Considering a visit to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)? Here are thirteen things to know before you go!
Let’s start with some basics about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a.k.a. MNSSHP.
1. The Party Starts at 4PM and Ends After 12AM
MNSSHP is a special, ticketed event at Magic Kingdom on select August, September, and October nights. We’ve got a full guide to the party here. Disney lists the hours of MNSSHP as being 7PM to 12AM. While it’s technically true that most offerings are available only between 7PM and 12AM, that’s not the entire truth.
Party guests can arrive and enter on their party ticket as early as 4PM. Between 4PM and 7PM, they can ride rides (no overlays yet), buy some merchandise, and attend some character appearances. Event exclusives are staffed by Cast Members who will check your wristband during these hours. (This tip also applies to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.)
2. Costumes Are Allowed and Encouraged
You might not know that adults typically are not permitted to wear costumes at Walt Disney World! MNSSHP is one exception to this rule. There are regulations as to what’s allowed (and they’re tougher on adults), but this is a rare chance to experience Magic Kingdom as your favorite character!
3. The Candy Is Everywhere (and Unlimited!)
This is to be expected, but one featured activity of MNSSHP is trick-or-treating. At locations scattered throughout the park, you’ll find Cast Members handing out handfuls of Halloween candy to guests. Just hop in line, get your handful, and thank the Cast Member!
There are plenty party-exclusive experiences to be had and things to be seen at MNSSHP, let’s check them out!
4. Access Exclusive Merchandise and Snacks
We loved the exclusive MNSSHP merchandise so much more than the standard Magic Kingdom Halloween merchandise! You need to be a party guest to access this merchandise, and during the hours when other guests may be in the park you’ll see it behind a red rope guarded by vigilant Cast Members.
The snacks are another great perk. Disney Parks Blog has a list of all the exclusive treats that are available. Just don’t be shocked if your particular item doesn’t turn out Instagram-worthy.
5. Search for Gunpowder Pete! (And Other Ride Overlays)
Update: Despite PeopleMover and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad originally being tabbed for 2019 overlays, it now sounds like we’ll be left with the 2018 overlays again.
New for 2018 are three ride overlays during the party. Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and Mad Tea Party are all tweaked a bit. Space Mountain goes without lights and with rock music. Pirates of the Caribbean adds three live-action characters as part of the story of “Gunpowder Pete.” Mad Tea Party adds lighting and spooky music.
6. Check Out The Unique “Boo-To-You” Parade and “Hallowishes” Fireworks
Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade brings unique floats and characters to the streets of the Magic Kingdom twice each party night. The once-a-night Happy Hallowishes Fireworks has a uniquely spooky soundtrack backed up by Disney’s always great fireworks and projections!
Update: Hallowishes will be replaced with a new show, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, in 2019.
7. The Sanderson Sisters Are Back and They’re Spelltacular!
Whether you’re a diehard fan of Hocus Pocus or you’ve never seen it, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular Show lives up to its punny name (it’s spectacular!).
This show has a strong case for being our favorite Disney show in the world. We obviously haven’t seen every single Disney show, but in over a year of visiting Disney parks around the world, this is the only show we were sure to see twice. It’s a fantastic, villainous affair with a stellar case, great pacing, and amazing effects. This is a must-see for any Disney fan!
8. Unique Characters and Outfits Make Appearances
Fans of character appearances will not be disappointed by the MNSSHP offerings. You’ll get a blend of characters who aren’t ordinarily around, like Jack and Sally, along with more common characters in their favorite Halloween costumes. Just be sure to line up early if you want a picture with Elvis Stitch!
9. The Entire Park is Transformed
Seriously, take some time to do a lap around the entire park, you won’t be disappointed. The entertainment and effects don’t stop with listed items - the entire park is transformed. You’ll hear great music and see great decorations, lighting, and effects throughout the park.
The Odds and Ends
We’ll finish up with four odds and ends too important to ignore!
10. Not Everything Is On The Guidemap!
As we said with #9, you’ve got to check out the entire park! Brer Rabbit was hanging around an unmarked location greeting guests, for example. There’s some spooky entertainment around Haunted Mansion. You’ll even find a cadaverous group of dapper singers if you take time to explore!
11. You Should Skip The Rides After 7PM
With the exception of the three rides with overlays, you shouldn’t even consider any rides once 7PM rolls around! This is a $100ish event with tons of exclusives you won’t find any other time of the year. In some cases, you might never see these items again! There’s no need to spend your time on rides that will be there tomorrow! (Forget about FastPass+, it isn’t even active during party hours!)
12. Add In Some Magic Shots
Disney doesn’t make this one free (or included with your ticket), unfortunately, but if you have or purchase Memory Maker, you’ll be able to download party-exclusive PhotoPass Magic Shots. Just be sure to stop by the PhotoPass photographers during the party!
13. Tweet and Instagram with #NotSoScary
Even if you’re not active on Twitter or Instagram, this is a great way to learn more about the party. If you’re posting, use “#NotSoScary” on your posts. If you just want to see what you’re in for, head to Twitter or Instagram and search for #NotSoScary to see the best photos from MNSSHP!
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
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Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
When it comes time to book, we've got you covered with posts on how to book cheap flights, how to get the best deal on your Disney hotel, and where to find discount Disney World tickets. And of course everyone wants to know whether or not they should get a Disney World dining plan!
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon!
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.