Welcome back to what has become a yearly tradition: predicting the least crowded Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. We’ll look back at last year’s recommendations in a bit and give you the full 2018 list, but first make sure you check out our dedicated page for a complete list of dates as well as a thorough description of what the Halloween party is.
In short, if you’re looking for the best 2018 Halloween Party to attend, we recommend Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Four out of the past five years we’ve recommended a Tuesday night party in mid-September. In 2017 we broke that streak because the parties started so darn early last year. It turned out that more people went to the late-August parties than the early September parties, so we’ve gone back to the previous recommendations despite the Halloween party starting even earlier this year.
The entire list of parties and how we rank them can be found below, but here are some general rules:
- Parties earlier in the year are less busy than those closer to Halloween. There are certainly exceptions that are listed below, but for most parties this is true.
- Tuesdays are generally less busy than other days. Again, exceptions, but when in doubt go on a Tuesday.
Before we get to the 2018 party rankings, let’s revisit our predictions from last year to see how accurate we were. Here were our top 5 recommended party days and how they turned out:
|2016 Party Date||Projected Rank||Actual Measured Rank|
|Tuesday, August 29, 2017||Lowest Wait Times||10|
|Friday, September 1, 2017||2||5|
|Sunday, September 12, 2017||3||1|
|Thursday, September 7, 2017||4||3|
|Sunday, September 10, 2017||5||Hurricane|
As you can see, we didn’t do too badly. Number 1 isn’t great, but as I explained above we mistakenly thought the August parties would be even less busy that the historically-low-crowd second week of September. We have not made that mistake this year. Sunday, September 10 last year was cancelled due to the hurricane — the second year in a row that Halloween parties were cancelled for hurricanes — but we’re confident that it would have been towards the top.
In general, the 2017 results were in line with the recent trends. Every year the wait times we’ve been monitoring have gone up and they went up again in 2017 to just a shade above a 15-minute average wait. That’s still not a bad time to wait, but it represents a slight increase on numbers that were up 20% from 2015, which itself saw a 20% increase. Oddly enough, we don’t think the parties are necessarily busier–there were fewer sellouts in 2017 than in many years (probably due to the price increases). We think this could merely be an overall trend, possibly due to staffing cuts.
For the curious, the highest average wait time during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party belongs to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (no surprise) at a 36-minute average wait. Attractions like Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Princess Fairytale Hall are right around an average of 20 while the lower end is made up of rides like the Barnstormer, it’s a small world, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and Under the Sea, all between 5 and 8 minutes.
Now let’s get on to this year’s rankings. Here are our predicted rankings of crowds at each of the 2018 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties. Our formula now considers more than just attraction wait times. We now also consider if previous parties sold out and we look at the crowd ratings for the daytime hours. We present the chart below in order to give you as much information as we have so that you can make an informed decision.
|Party Date||Rank||Advance Purchase Price for an Adult Ticket||Notes|
|Tuesday, September 11, 2018||Best Party||$75|
|Tuesday, August 28, 2018||2||$75|
|Friday, September 07, 2018||3||$79|
|Friday, August 24, 2018||4||$79|
|Tuesday, September 25, 2018||4||$79|
|Friday, September 14, 2018||5||$79|
|Tuesday, October 02, 2018||6||$89|
|Sunday, September 09, 2018||7||$75|
|Tuesday, September 18, 2018||8||$75||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015.|
|Sunday, September 30, 2018||9||$89|
|Thursday, October 04, 2018||10||$89||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013.|
|Friday, August 17, 2018||11||$79|
|Monday, September 03, 2018||12||$75|
|Friday, August 31, 2018||13||$79|
|Sunday, September 16, 2018||14||$75|
|Tuesday, October 09, 2018||15||$99|
|Tuesday, October 16, 2018||16||$99||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015.|
|Sunday, September 23, 2018||17||$75||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015.|
|Friday, September 21, 2018||18||$79||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2 days in advance in 2015.|
|Tuesday, October 23, 2018||19||$99||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2016 and 7 days in advance in 2014 and 2015.|
|Tuesday, October 30, 2018||20||$109|
|Friday, September 28, 2018||21||$89|
|Sunday, October 21, 2018||22||$99|
|Thursday, October 25, 2018||23||$99||Sold out 28 days in advance in 2014 and 14 days in advance in 2015.|
|Thursday, October 18, 2018||24||$99|
|Thursday, October 11, 2018||25||$99||Sold out 2 days in advance in 2013 and 1 day in advance in 2014.|
|Friday, October 26, 2018||26||$109|
|Friday, October 05, 2018||27||$109||Sold out 1 day in advance in both 2013 and 2015, and 2 days in advance in 2014.|
|Monday, October 08, 2018||28||$99||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2014.|
|Friday, October 12, 2018||29||$109||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2014.|
|Friday, October 19, 2018||30||$109||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2014 and 2 days in advance in 2015.|
|Sunday, October 14, 2018||31||$99||Sold out 1 day in advance in 2014 & 2017.|
|Sunday, October 28, 2018||32||$109||Sold out 10 days in advance in 2016.|
|Wednesday, October 31, 2018||Most Crowded Party||$125||Sold out 27 days in advance in 2013, 71 days in 2014, 89 (August 3!) days in 2015, 54 days in 2016, and 23 days in 2017. Crowds will be heavy for character meets and parades.|
Our wait times only include attractions−not character meet and greets, special shows, or parades. The characters, in particular, often have long lines, especially for rare characters like the Seven Dwarfs. Regardless of which party you attend, some of the character lines will be long. If those are a must-do, do them as early in the evening as possible.
If you prefer your information in video format I also made one of those:
Looking for more information? You may want to check out Derek Burgan’s Six Reasons why He Loves the Halloween Party for even more Halloweenieness (that made-up word is even a stretch for me).
If you consider yourself handy with the camera, or if you simply want better pictures, you can’t go wrong with Tom Bricker’s tips on photographing the Halloween party.
Now that you are armed with the most powerful weapon…knowledge, you can plan your 2018 trip to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This blog post will help you find all of the party dates and prices.
Hopefully this analysis will help you choose the best Halloween Party to attend. Make sure to check back here in a future blog post, where we’ll be breaking down the best dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.