Beginning September 10, 2013, the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to the Magic Kingdom. This will be my 10th consecutive year of attending and today I’m giving you the inside scoop on all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.
Order those tickets right now!
If you know what night you’ll be attending, there’s no reason not to get those tickets ASAP. Many party nights will sell out, and I’ve never seen discounts offered outside of the standard discounts that are already available. Especially if you’re traveling a great distance to be here, you don’t want to miss your chance to attend! Personally, when we traveled to Anaheim in 2011 for my first west coast Mickey’s Halloween Party, I begged a friend of mine to purchase our tickets the moment they were released early to Passholders. I knew I’d be crushed if we waited and they sold out. If you feel that way you should go order your tickets right now! You won’t regret it.
Cars arriving even before 7pm will be charged special event prices to park at the Magic Kingdom. While this doesn’t impact day guests who would pay anyway, it means Passholders will be subject paying full price to park. It is a good idea to get there early and avoid getting dinged with this additional fee.
Get there early
Though it’s never guaranteed, Disney has consistently allowed party guests to enter the park at 4pm rather than the 7pm start time. If you are trying to save yourself a day of park admission getting in at 4pm can really help. However, be aware the overlapping time of 4pm – 7pm is normally the busiest time of the day with day guests and Halloween party guests both in the park.
The weather in Orlando could give you hot, cold, rainy, or a full on monsoon. Last year as we were driving to the park I actually called ticketing because I was worried the torrential rain would cancel everything. (It didn’t.) A good rule of thumb is that you can’t really trust the Orlando weather forecast until about 3 days in advance. Keep this in mind when planning your outfit.
But dress up anyway
I would recommend an easy and light weight costume, but you will see amazingly elaborate outfits at the party. Last year we saw a complete group of Disney princesses in handmade ball gowns! Dressing up takes the party up a notch and makes you feel like you’re really participating. It can also lead to amazing character interactions! One of my best Disney memories is dressing up as Esmeralda while Frollo followed me along Main Street, hiding behind a lamp post every time we looked in his direction.
Go in with a plan
There’s so much to see and do during this special event that it’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and do nothing at all. Take a look at online guides and have a rough plan of what you want to see and do before the party starts. This way you won’t be disappointed that you missed something once your time is up.
Eat before 7pm
Park time is very valuable during this special hard ticketed event and you don’t want to waste your time in line for food. Make sure that you are not hungry before you start your night. It’s a great idea to get a table service reservation between 4pm – 6pm. This way you get to be in the park and watch as it transforms into a spooky wonderland but you miss the crowds during these hours. It is also important to wrap up by 6pm so you can start getting in line for characters that are important to you.
Choose your characters
During the Halloween party some of the longest lines in the park will be to meet characters. Especially with Jack and Sally appearing for the first time ever on the east coast! In my experience it’s best to choose your can’t miss character interactions and prioritize them first. Lines for the most popular characters will be setup by 6pm. If there is anyone on your can’t miss list it’s smart to get in that line early. I’ve also had great luck with catching characters during the last 45 minutes of the party. Last year I was able to get a photo with Snow White and the seven dwarfs without any wait at all just by waiting until the end of the night. But remember you have to be careful as it isn’t guaranteed the crowd will die down.
Be a spooky sorcerer
It’s heavily rumored that for the second year in a row there will be an exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card available only to those guests attending the Halloween Party. Last year there were some nights that these cards ran out so if this is important to you prioritize getting your card before the first parade. Make sure you keep your original event ticket and are wearing your wristband. Both are required to receive your exclusive (and free) 2013 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Sorcerers card.
Edit: The new card has been announced. Check out comments below from super reader Christine. (Thanks!)
Be a candy bandit
I’ve been going to the party for a long time and each year I watch the trick or treat bags get smaller and more flimsy. Last year we were determined to really get our money out of our tickets so we each brought a backpack to dump our candy into as our small bags filled up. By the end of the night we had collected an embarrassing amount of candy! There is no limit to how many time you can visit each station so feel free to take full advantage. If you’re driving home from Disney and have extreme willpower you can use your loot to hand out to trick or treaters at home like we did last year!
Choose your parade wisely
Just like every night at Disney it’ll be much easier to grab a spot for the second parade. However, be sure to keep a close eye on the forecast. If the second parade is cancelled for weather you will have missed your chance to see it. The best views with the least crowds are normally in Frontierland.
Hallowishes is my favorite fireworks show, and if you’ve paid for admission to the party, you absolutely can’t miss it. Of course, the best view can be found on Main Street, but much less crowded viewing locations are available throughout the park. While you will miss projections on the castle, the fireworks are beautiful from inside New Fantasyland. The view is equally stunning along the water in Liberty Square. Looking back at my photos I realized I haven’t watched HalloWishes from the hub since 2006! If you don’t want to fight the crowd check out one of these other locations rather than missing this awesome show.
Well.. I guess we’re walking
Last year upon exiting the Magic Kingdom at 12:30am we realized the monorails were no longer running. Of course, Disney had an excellent bus system available to all locations, and the ferry boat was still in operation, but we were still surprised. So keep in mind that if you make it for the whole party, you may not be able to take the monorail back to your car or resort.
Did we miss your favorite tip? What is the most outrageous costume you’ve seen at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Let us know in the comments below!