Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2019 Guide

Interested in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Then this is the place for you! In our combined review and guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the flagship Halloween season event at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, including planning for the 2019 event!

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About This Guide

Keep reading, and we’ll start with the basics—the schedule, cost, map, and overview of activities for the event. Then we move on to arrival and checking in. That’s a short section, but its also important not to overlook the details.

From there, we cover the activities at the party in detail, discussing everything to do at the party. Finally, we close out with two sample itineraries you might want to try if you’ve unsure how to begin planning your party.

The Basics of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a ticketed event that happens on select nights (listed below) between August and October (sometimes November) at the Magic Kingdom. The party takes over the entire park after it is closed to non-ticketed guests. The party hours are 7PM to 12AM, but party guests can arrive as early as 4PM. The last show is at 12AM, and you can hang around and shop for a bit after that.

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party offers unique character greetings, Halloween-inspired ride overlays, unique food items, trick-or-treating, unique shows, fireworks, and a special “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. We cover all these items in this guide.

2019 Dates & Prices (Tickets Now On Sale)

The event is offered somewhere around two to four times a week. The 2019 dates are: August 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30; September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27 and 29; October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31; November 1.

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Prices vary by party date and start at (pre-tax) $74 for kids / $79 for adults and go up to $130 kids / $135 adults. You can buy tickets directly through Disney or through Undercover Tourist. Disney offers Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club discounts on party tickets.

New for 2019! Party Pass

The Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Pass is a new option that costs $299+tax and allows access to all the dates of the party except Halloween—October 31. As the linked article indicates—if you already have an event ticket, you can upgrade it to a party pass.

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FastPass+ at the Party

FastPass+ is not available during party hours (7PM to 12AM). Sources are split on whether you can book FastPass+ reservations with only a party ticket but I’ve most commonly heard that people with only a party ticket can book FastPass+ during the two hours of 4PM to 6PM when they overlap with other guests (I can’t confirm this personally due to having an annual pass).

Map & Times Guide

A special combined map and times guide is provided for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. You should check all times and information in this guide against the guide you get when you arrive at the party! Here’s a look at the 2019 map:

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Activities (Overview)

This post will discuss in greater detail the activities at the party, but before we go further it’s good to give a quick overview of some of the things highlighted on the map.

After we discuss the activities in more detail, we have some sample itineraries at the end to help you plan your own party visit. We’re ordering these in terms of how important we think they are.

Entertainment. This is what we consider the cornerstone of the party. The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, the Boo To You parade, and the Not-So-Spooky Spectacular are the must-do activities at the party.

Character Greetings. About 20 characters are stationed for greetings throughout the park, many either exclusive to the party or in party-exclusive outfits.

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Photopass and Magic Shots. Photopass is available during the party, and many of the photographers will have special Magic Shots available during the party.

Roaming Characters and Park Atmosphere. Besides the characters who do formal greetings, several characters (Cruella de Vil, for example) are roaming in different areas of the park. You might also encounter the Cadaver Dans in Frontierland. We recommend taking some time to enjoy talking around the park for these chance encounters.

Overlay Rides. Some rides have special overlays for the party. These are worth considering as part of your visit.

Dance Parties. There are three dance parties around Magic Kingdom. These are an opportunity for (mostly) kids to dance around with some Disney characters.

Trick-or-Treating. Spots are setup around the park for guests to bring their candy bags and get handed candy from Cast Members throughout the park.

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Food and Merchandise. Exclusive food and merchandise are available during the party. Honestly, I just assume that regardless of whether I tell you its a priority or not, you know whether you’re a food or merchandise person, and you’ll prioritize it accordingly.

“Regular” Rides. Many of Magic Kingdom’s rides remain open during the party without overlays. Generally, we consider these to be the lowest priority at the party because you ideally have a way to visit them another way during your trip (see, for example, Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Strategy, Magic Kingdom Rope Drop, Magic Kingdom One Day Plan).

Costumes at the Party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is one of the few times Disney openly encourages everyone, including adults, to wear costumes. There are a few regulations to know, though. The Disney website lists some key rules, but you should remember that Disney Cast Members will always have the final say on your costume. If you’re at all in doubt as to whether your costume is appropriate, err on the side of caution!

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We don’t wear costumes, and we’d guess about 50% of adults are in costume on the average date (Halloween and the first party probably see more costumes). Most everyone had some sort of Halloween gear, and those who didn’t usually just paid $16 for a light-up pumpkin or Jack Skellington necklace.

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It’s easy to forget that adults aren’t regularly. allowed to dress up as characters at Disney theme parks. So if you’ve been holding onto a costume idea, now the Halloween party is your chance to break it out! If you’re not the costume type, don’t worry, you won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Crowds at the Party

Crowds are a pretty big problem at Magic Kingdom’s parties, but there’s also little you can do avoid them. Generally, getting a weekday party ticket will be better than a weekend, and the farther away from Halloween, the better.

Besides that, the new “Party Pass” option mentioned above ensures that a steady flow of locals will keep the party pretty packed throughout the season. All you can really do is arrive as early as possible and prioritize the things that are most important to you.

The 10:15 Not-So-Spooky Spectacular will always have huge crowds because it is the only showing. As for the other two pieces of entertainment—the Boo To You Parade and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular—these will have the lowest crowds for their last showings of the day.

Arrival and Wristbands

Remember, you need a special event ticket to enjoy Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Magic Kingdom technically closes to non-event guests at 6PM. This means if you’re visiting Magic Kingdom on a party day with just regular park tickets, you’ll have a very abbreviated day. Cast Members distinguish identify event guests by their special Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party wristbands.

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The events are scheduled to start at 7PM every night of the party. While Disney doesn’t openly post it, party guests can arrive as early as 4PM. Just as non-event guests cannot hang out after 6PM, event-only guests will not be admitted before 4PM.

DVC members can enter as early as 2PM. They can bring up to seven friends who have event tickets to enter with them at 2PM, as well.

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Starting at 4PM, most of the entry queues are dedicated to party guests. Party guests who arrive after 4PM are shepherded through dedicated queues and directed directly to get wristbands for the evening.

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If you have a non-party ticket (or are an annual passholder) for the day and also have a party ticket you are (obviously) welcome to visit Magic Kingdom all day. In that case, you’ll see different spots marked “Wristband Distribution” where you can scan your ticket and grab your wristband.

In 2019, wristband distribution location are: the front of the park, by PhilharMagic, across from Pirates of the Caribbean, and near Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. Ask a Cast Member for the nearest distribution point.

Trick-Or-Treating at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

There are fourteen trick or treat locations on the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party map. You might find Cast Members handing out treats at a few other spots, too. Trick-or-treating is ongoing from 7PM to 12AM.

Almost all of these locations are handing out standard Mars / Wrigley treats (lots of chocolate, some Skittles / Starburst). For allergy friendly options, swing by the Allergy Friendly Centers (indicated on the map) in the front of the park and in Liberty Square.

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These trick-or-treat spots are in-and-out situations. You get in a queue, walk up to a Cast Member standing next to a bucket of treats, the Cast Member drops a handful in your bag, you say thank you, you exit.

The queues move quickly and tend to have multiple buckets in case someone holds up on insisting the Cast Member dig for a specific treat. The longest line I’ve waited in was seven minutes. Most treat lines—even if they look really long—take three to five minutes maximum.

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For the shortest waits, head to the back of the park over by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. Or just wait until after about 8:30PM or 9PM, once everyone is focused on parades and show (more on these below).

While trick-or-treating is a cornerstone of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party experience, it’s also a pretty big waste of time. You’re not getting amazing candy, and there’s no special element to it (something like characters handing out candy would be cool).

But hey, kids love candy. If you need to go through a few stops early in the night to check that box, go for it. We recommend putting this as your lowest priority, because you should be able to find a free three minutes while passing by a treat stop later in the night no problem.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Character Appearances

Besides entertainment—which occurs on a fixed schedule—character greetings are the highest priority. This is because most of them are either (1) characters you can’t ordinarily meet in the parks or (2) characters in special holiday outfits.

There are about 20 character appearances at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (depending exactly how you count). Some waits will be less than ten minutes most of the night. Then there are three-hour waits some nights for popular characters like Jack and Sally or “Elvis” Stitch.

For the most popular characters you do need to plan to arrive early and count on at least an hour wait. Try and arrive at 4PM and begin asking Cast Members if there is a line you can get in, along with when the character is expected to start appearing. Here are the highest priority characters:

  • Jack Skellington and Sally (Town Square Theater)

  • Seven Dwarfs (Storybook Circus)

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Stitch (Stich Character Spot)

  • Minnie (Storybook Circus)

  • Daisy and Donald (Storybook Circus)

  • Pooh and Friends (Outside The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh)

Some characters begin greeting as early as 4:30PM on the busiest days. Most characters are present from 7PM to 12AM, but their lines may close earlier than that.

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There are many characters with much shorter waits, particularly later in the night. We met Minnie at 10:45PM after a 15-minute wait that could have been five if not for some very slow groups. Everyone wants their special Halloween photos with characters, but try to be reasonable!

Here’s Pooh and friends back in 2018:

If you’re interested in them, character appearances are going to take a big chunk of your time. We’d suggest putting the ride overlays on the backburner and planning to visit the 12AM Hocus Pocus show to carve out some time if you’ve got a long character list.

Finally—some characters aren’t available during the parades (9PM to 9:30PM and 11PM to 11:30PM). I unfortunately don’t know which, so I’ll just have to suggest you check with Cast Members stationed at the greetings.

For a full list of characters, we recommend checking out the guide over at WDW Prep School. For a map of their locations, we recommend the annotated map at WDW Prep School.

2019 Ride Overlays at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

In 2019, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party features four attraction overlays. Rides are operational until 12AM.

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Pirates of the Caribbean

While the Pirates of the Caribbean overlay has added actors to last year’s three-person overlay, the larger five-person overlay (three on the ride, two in the queue) isn’t a significant improvement over last year.

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It’s fun to see something a little different, and we got a kick out of the two in the queue. It was a little disappointing for a ride with so much spooky potential, though. The big problem is that the unique characters are much more special, so it’s tough to say you must prioritize this ride.

Waits are typically posted around 30 minutes, but can be less (even if the posted time doesn’t change) right at open or during a parade.

“Deep Space” Mountain

The Space Mountain overlay is two simple changes. First, the ride lights are turned off, setting the ride in an almost pitch black environment. Second, the music is replaced with an alternative soundtrack.

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This was our favorite of the overlays. Even though they can’t get the inside of Space Mountain completely black, it’s noticeably darker than the standard ride, and it makes for a very exciting experience. Waits were 25-35 minutes much of the night. If you hop on later, you’ll snag a shorter wait.

Mad Tea Party

The Mad Tea Party overlay consists of Halloween music and lighting.

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New For 2019! Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Halloween

As part of the trick-or-treat spot at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, that attraction is running with a comedic monster doing a stand-up show. It’s much like the regular attraction, just with a Halloween angle.

It’s worth a few minutes for some laughs. This overlay and the Mad Tea Party have the shortest waits, and they’re both good picks if you just want to add a dash of rides to your evening.

Dance Parties

There are three dance parties at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. These are mostly geared toward kids—maybe to help them burn off some sugar—but all are free to partake.

There isn’t much to say about them. They’re themed, but mostly consist of characters and guests dancing to a wide variety of music. All three dance parties run from 7PM to 12AM.

Like trick-or-treating, it doesn’t really make sense to prioritize the dance parties simply because they’re ongoing and never have lines. You’ll also probably pass them a few times, so if you want to pop in for a few minutes, just go for it.

Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball

The Scream-O-Ween Ball is one of three dance parties that take place for the entire duration of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. There’s really not much to this, there’s a DJ, simple lighting effects, and characters from Monsters, Inc. dancing along.

The Ball takes place at the RocketTower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. You’ll inevitably pass by it at some point during its operation from 7PM to 12AM.

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Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam

Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam is really easy to miss as it’s buried all the way in the back of Storybook Circus. It’s the same concept as the Scream-O-Ween Ball but with Disney Junior Characters. Again, the Jam is ongoing from 7PM to 12AM.

New for 2019! Disney Descendance Party

Finally, there’s the Disney Descendance Party. This one takes place inside Cosmic Rays in the same way as Club Tinsel at the Christmas Party. Characters from the Descendants join in the fun. The Disney Descendance Party runs from 7PM to 12AM.

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is our favorite part of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This is a villain-centric performance with a plot driven by the Sanderson Sisters from the amazing Disney film Hocus Pocus. It is shown three times at 8:30PM, 10:45PM, and 12AM. (In past years there were four showings.)

We’re huge fans of this show, even watching it twice some nights. If you watch the 12AM showing, you should be able to get a great view as late as 11:45PM.

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If you or your kids haven’t seen Hocus Pocus, bookmark this post and go figure out how you’ll see it ASAP (and definitely before the Halloween Party)! It sometimes plays as part of movie nights at the hotels, and it’s also frequently on Freeform.

If you’re heading to the party in an hour and haven’t seen Hocus Pocus, fear not, you won’t miss out. You don’t need background knowledge to enjoy the Sanderson Sisters, and there are plenty of other villains involved in the story that you and your kids will love.

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In the past when there were four showings, skipping the first was an easy “trick” to beat the crowds. With that showing cut, the crowds unfortunately are more difficult to beat.

While we love the show, our suggestion has to be watching the 12AM show. Character lines and ride will close at or before 12AM anyways. If you can’t stay up that late, the 10:45PM show is a fine option between the fireworks and the parade.

Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade

The feature parade of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. This parade features unique halloween-themed floats and appearances from rarely-seen characters like the Gravediggers and Hitchhiking ghosts.

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The parade occurs twice, at 9:15PM and 11:15PM. More esteemed commentators than us suggest seeing the 9:15PM parade because it’s so good you might want to see it twice.

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While we still don’t think you have to see it twice, we are happy with some changes Disney made to it. The parade has been upgraded and lengthened, and it is now a respectable 16 minutes long. As for additions, Constance—the bride from the Haunted Mansion—now makes a stunning appearance.

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It was tough to get a great spot for the first showing, but the second showing is much easier, especially around Frontierland. The route follows the standard Magic Kingdom parade route and is indicated on the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party map.

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If you think there’s a chance you’ll want to watch it twice, then obviously plan to watch the first showing. But if once will be enough, then target the 11:15PM as part of wrapping up your day.

Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular

The new once-a-night firework / projection show at the party is Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular. This show is a big upgrade from the old Hallowishes. The projection usage is better, but the show also improves on the already great usage of fireworks.

This is the only once-a-night show on the schedule, so be sure to plan to see it! It is typically 10:15PM, but you should definitely confirm the time when you arrive.

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The show isn’t perfect—it has its weird moments. But even at its worst, the technical achievements are astounding. Be sure to check out this show, hosted by Jack Skellington and starring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. It is a can’t miss! If you’d like it spoiled, here’s a video.

Party-Specific Food and Merchandise

There is a wide range of food and merchandise items that are available specifically during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The Disney Parks Blog has a great rundown of the special food options available at the party. Keep in mind, though, that there is no chance at all that your food item will look as good as the photos the official parks blog was able to get.

As for merchandise, we find our opinions vary by year. Sometimes the party merchandise is better than the general Halloween merchandise, but sometimes the merchandise available to all guests its better.

Merchandise locations are noted on the map, but Emporium will be your best bet for the widest selection. Here’s a look at most of the party-exclusive merchandise from 2019 (use the arrows to navigate):

While you can get a ton of Haunted Mansion and Nightmare Before Christmas themed merchandise at any time, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is when you’ll have the widest selection Hocus Pocus merchandise.

Merchandise lines are going to be longest following the fireworks and at the end of the party. Earlier in the party, we were able to walk through the stores with almost no one else, and the exclusive merchandise sections were empty except for us.

That said, once you’re in the store you won’t get kicked out until well after close, so it makes most sense to just pop in just after 12AM and deal with the crowds.

Additionally, not merchandise but close, there’s a free Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card you can grab at the Main Street Firehouse.

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Magic Shots

There are four “Magic Shot” locations during the party where you can get special PhotoPass Magic Shots unique to the party. These are indicated on the map. Here’s an example of a Magic Shot at the front of the park (2018 edition):

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Other Attractions and Dining At The Party

During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a good number of Magic Kingdom rides are operational. You can see the list on the map & times guide posted near the beginning of this post.

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Honestly, the party is not a good time to ride rides. With the exception of the above-mentioned overlays, the rides are the same as they are outside the party. It’s just not a good use of your time to be waiting in lines for these rides. Walking around the park to enjoy event-specific decorations, music, and lighting is a far better use of your time (seriously).

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A fair number of dining options remain open for the party, as well. These include stops like Casey’s Corner, Cosmic Ray’s, and Pecos Bill. While Disney widely advertises that Mobile Ordering remains active during the party, we had no such luck.

Halloween Party Add Ons

If paying for one ticketed event wasn’t enough, you could also purchase tickets to two events within the event. Cruella’s Halloween Hide-A-Way provides a dinner buffet and special parade viewing. We highly recommend easyWDW’s review of that option (honestly, read it even if you don’t care about the event because Josh is such a good writer).

There’s also a dessert party with special firework viewing. Here’s WDW Prep School covering that.

Building a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Itinerary

Because it has fewer scheduled shows than the Christmas party, it’s easier to determine your scheduling options for the Halloween party. However, it’s also more difficult to come up with a complete plan because you have large chunks of time that are just totally up to you to choose how to fill.

We’re going to give two sample itineraries for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, along with an explanation of the pros and cons of each, and our rule of thumb for choosing between them.

For these itineraries, we’re basically going to be talking about shows (Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Boo-To-You Parade, and Not So Spooky Spectacular) vs. “other party activities” (rides, dance parties, characters, trick-or-treating, enjoying the park, Magic Shots).

The only other thing to highlight before we go on is that for the most part we think you should plan to shop after 12AM. The shops typically keep their doors open until 12:45AM to 1AM—but obviously try not to push it. Photopass opportunities along Main Street USA also remain available for a bit after 12AM.

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Pre-Party Itinerary (4PM to 6PM / 7PM)

This pre-party itinerary covers 4:00PM to 7:00PM and can go before either of the sample itineraries. At 4:00PM, all ticketed guests are allowed to enter the park.

By most reports, ticketed guests should be able to book FastPass+ during this time, so you may want to do that and plan to use one or two of those, particularly during the 4PM to 5PM hour.

Between 4PM and 6PM, some popular characters may be available for greeting—particularly Jack & Sally (Main Street Theater) and the Seven Dwarfs (Storybook Circus). At 5:00PM, you really should at least be inquiring as to any popular characters you want to meet.

If you’re passing on those, it’s a good time to visit some attractions with short waits (Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, Enchanted Tiki Room, and PeopleMover are our favorites). Ride overlays won’t be active during this time.

At 6:00PM, the park closes to non-party guests. Many characters will start to appear during this time, and the ride overlays may begin. Once 6:00PM rolls around, you want to pick something to start your night with and line up if you haven’t already.

At 7:00PM, the dance parties will start, trick or treating will start, and the party will be in full swing.

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Sample Itinerary 1 — Late Night Entertainment

The first itinerary pushes all the entertainment to the end of the night:

  • 4:00PM to 7:00PM — Pre-party

  • 7:00PM to 10:15PM — Characters / Rides / Other Party Activities

  • [9:00PM to 9:30PM some characters don’t greet because of parade]

  • 10:15PM Not So Spooky Spectacular (only showing)

  • 11:15PM Boo To You Parade (showing 2 of 2)

  • 12:00AM Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular (showing 3 of 3)

  • Shopping & Main Street Photopass

The big pro to this is that you have from 4PM to 10:15PM to do whatever you want. That’s six hours, 15 minutes straight, at least three hours and 15 minutes of which will be filled with party activities.

There are several cons to this. First, you’ll spend the most time in line because guests tend to want to get things like rides and characters done earlier rather than later so they can leave. The short lines will be at the end of the night, while you’re watching shows.

Second, if you want to watch a show twice, if you’re running late, or if bad weather strikes against your scheduled showtime, you’re just out of luck. You’re totally counting on catching the very last showtimes of the parade and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.

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Sample Itinerary 2 — Earlier Entertainment

Our second sample itinerary takes care of the entertainment earlier:

  • 4:00PM to 7:00PM — Pre-party

  • 7:00PM to 8:30PM — Characters / Rides / Other Party Activities

  • 8:30PM Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular (showing 1 of 3)

  • 9:15PM Boo To You Parade (showing 1 of 2)

  • [Maybe time for a character or ride]

  • 10:15PM Not So Spooky Spectacular (only showing)

  • 10:30PM to 12:00AM — Characters / Rides / Other Party Activities

  • [11:00PM to 11:30PM some characters don’t greet because of parade]

  • Shopping & Main Street Photopass

The pro to this approach is that you’ll have the shortest lines for characters, rides, and trick or treating between 10:30PM and 12:00AM. Additionally, you can re-watch entertainment if you’d like.

The big con is that your free time is split, so you might struggle to fit characters with longer waits in. The other issue is that you don’t really know how short waits will be to end a given day, and the characters that have the short waits might not be characters you’re interested in anyways.

Personally, we prefer the first approach because we think crowds can make it too much of a hassle to get in and out of good viewing for the different entertainment. Generally, if you have to meet some major characters, you’ll go with the first plan. If you prefer short waits and don’t mind settling for “b-list” characters, the second plan might work better for you.

Recommended Reading (Other Sites)

If you’re still here, you probably really like planning for your Disney vacation. Here are some Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party guides from some of our favorite sites (links open in new tabs):

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