Our Guide to the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party offers tips & info for Magic Kingdom’s fall special event at Walt Disney World. This includes dates, ticket prices & discounts, schedule & strategy for seeing the parade, fireworks, and characters, plus our review of MNSSHP and whether it’s worth your time & money.
For those unfamiliar with it, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is a special event that occurs after Magic Kingdom closes for the day. It is separately ticketed, meaning you have to pay extra for the party if you’re already in the park as a day guest and want to stay through MNSSHP.
If you’re already wanting to plan ahead for the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the bad news is that Walt Disney World has yet to release dates, tickets, or other details. On a positive note, we do know that MNSSHP will return, with more info coming soon. If you want to be notified when dates & tickets for the 2023 party are released, subscribe to our FREE email newsletter for updates. While we don’t have any other official details, there’s more we can surmise based on past precedent…
One of the most common questions we hear from readers is when will Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dates be announced and tickets go on sale? Our expectation is sometime between now and May 2023. It could literally occur within the coming weeks based on past precedent.
Looking back, last year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was announced in late April during “Halfway to Halloween.” The three parties before that were announced in mid-February, mid-January, and mid-March, respectively. That’s quite the scattering of dates, but it’s worth noting that in the two most recent totally normal years, dates and tickets were released in the first two months of the year. That was becoming a trend for hard ticket events, and our expectation is that Walt Disney World gets back into this habit.
As for the event itself, our prediction is that the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will start on or around August 11, 2023 and continue several nights per week until October 31, 2023. Last year, dates were August 12, 16, 19, 23, 26 and 30; September 2, 5, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29 and 30; October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30 and 31.
Ticket prices for the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will likely range from $125 to $225 depending upon the date. Costs have skyrocketed in the last several years, and it doesn’t help that all dates sold out last year. That alone was unprecedented, but the fact that it happened despite huge price increases could mean even more expensive tickets for the 2023 MNSSHP.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place from 7 pm until midnight on evenings when it’s held. On MNSSHP dates, Magic Kingdom is open to regular guests from 8 am until 6 pm. (Despite the significantly shorter hours, these are good days to visit Magic Kingdom if you’re not attending the party. We explain why here.)
Ticket holders are admitted to Magic Kingdom as early as 4 pm on the valid date of their ticket–giving you more time to enjoy park favorites before the event begins. These date-specific event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or theme park reservation.
Not only have ticket prices skyrocketed, but crowd levels at the events have also gone up dramatically. With every single night of the event sold out, attendance levels absolutely exploded, and crowds were very bad at times. We would strongly recommend “Is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Too Crowded?” for a look at what we mean.
At this point, it’s impossible to say whether the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will follow that pattern. It could, but it’s also possible that Walt Disney World lowered the attendance cap this year after complaints last time.
If you have questions about what the event does and does not include, crowds, and much more, see our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party FAQ. We wrote that in response to the most common questions in the comments to this post. If you have a question, there’s a strong probability that FAQ answers it.
Here’s everything else you need to know about MNSSHP if you’re planning for 2023, including strategy and our review of whether the Halloween party is worth the high price tag…
Let’s start with the normal Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party schedule:
Now, let’s turn to a brief summary of what’s new at the 2022 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party season, just in case you don’t read our MNSSHP report above…
We attended the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and wanted to quickly run through some of the “new for ’22” additions, enhancements, and other changes to the event.
The one that Walt Disney World has touted is the addition of Max Goof as Powerline in the 90s styled “Powerline Party Time” pre-parade to the the Boo To You Parade. Max Goof and his dance pals replace the Zootopia Party Patrol that ran for the last few years of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Songs played during the pre-parade include “Stand Out” and “I2I.”
The Powerline Party Time pre-parade only takes place on Main Street USA and in Town Square, so be sure to grab a spot there if you want to see Max Goof. Stops are around Center Street on Main Street and the Town Square Train Station in the very front of the park. All in all, Powerline Party Time is a bit lackluster, so don’t plan your evening around it.
Another minor thing is the new trick-or-treating bags made out of a durable reusable bag material. These make for a nice little keepsake that you can use at home (well, if your neighbors are stingy with candy–the bags are small).
Speaking of which, another keepsake is handed out as you exit the event at the end of the night. Cast Members stationed near the Train Station give guests Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party art in honor of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Both of these are nice touches that make the higher prices a bit more bearable.
There are also a bunch of Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary photo ops scattered throughout the park.
The first of these that you’ll encounter is a Legend of Sleepy Hollow backdrop at the end of the entrance corridor by Plaza Restaurant. We found this had the longest line by far, whereas the Hocus Pocus 2 photo op tucked away in Liberty Square and the Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride one in Stitch’s Great Escape had no lines whatsoever.
There are also a ton of new and returning PhotoPass Magic Shots.
We made capturing all of these one of our top priorities, and will (finally!) be sharing a post listing all of the locations along with our sample photos from those, tips & tricks, and more in the days ahead.
Rounding out the relatively new additions for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are new ‘dancing’ lighting schemes for Space Mountain and Mad Tea Party.
These are fun touches that give the area more kinetic energy–there’s no reason they couldn’t be permanent enhancements.
It’s probably difficult to read, but above is a look at the park map for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
It mostly just reiterates the info above, offering showtimes, lists of operating attractions, restaurants, and other locations in Magic Kingdom.
The map does not list specific meet & greet locations, but we have you covered:
Main Street USA
Sally & Jack Skellington – Town Square Theater (most popular meet & greet, line forms at 4 pm)
Mickey Mouse – Town Square Theater
Ariel and Prince Eric – Prince Eric’s Village Market
Belle and Gaston – Maurice’s Cottage
Tigger, Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore – The Thotful Spot near the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Drizella and Anastasia – Fantasyland (roaming)
Timon – Storybook Circus
Vamprinia – Storybook Circus
Doc McStuffins – Storybook Circus
Fancy Nancy – Storybook Circus
Witch Minnie, Princess Daisy & Pumpkin Donald – Dumbo
Pirate Goofy – Barnstormer
Abu and Aladdin – Agrabah
Genie – Agrabah
Jafar – Near Agrabah
Jack Sparrow – Near Pirates of the Caribbean
Country Bears – Country Bear Theater (roaming)
Elvis Stitch – Buzz Lightyear’s Star Command
As for the enhancements to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party from the past few years, the first is a replacement for Happy HalloWishes: the new “Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular.” These fireworks feature projections, pyro, and Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas as host.
Jack’s ghost dog, Zero, flies off to start this trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends — Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy — find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house. The journey takes them from one room of the house to another, encountering dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts, and a series of troublemaking Disney villains.
There are also several attractions across the park receive special enhancements just for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party…
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – When you follow the treat trail into the Monster World at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, you’ll interact in spooky ways with the comic cast of monsters, as they learn about the curious Human World holiday we call Halloween.
Mad Tea Party – The teacups take you for a colorful ride with added lighting and effects providing a different nighttime atmosphere.
Space Mountain – Rocket ships hurtle through deep space as a special soundtrack and effects transform the adventure.
It’s a savvy move on Walt Disney World’s part to increase the number of attraction overlays. Recent Halloween Parties have been consistently overcrowded, especially on Main Street and at character meet & greets. The attraction overlays are a good way to help absorb and redistribute some crowds, easing congestion elsewhere and (hopefully) improving the experience at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
So you can prepare for the Halloween Party now, here is our analysis based upon the last several years to help you determine whether this expensive hard ticket event is worth it to you, and if so, what your “Plan of Attack” should be to efficiently conquer the various offerings. Between this party and Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, plus improving weather, the fall months at Walt Disney World are one of our favorite times of year to visit!
Also note that this guide covers Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, not Mickey’s Halloween Party (now Oogie Boogie Bash) at Disneyland Resort. For info about the latter, read our comprehensive Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland!
Should You Attend?
Given the high cost of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you might be trying to determine, “is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party worth the money?”
Our opinion on this question has changed over the years. It used to be an unequivocal yes. Then, as prices for the event nearly doubled, it became “yes if you want to splurge.” Now, with prices up and Walt Disney World having raised the attendance cap, it’s harder and harder to justify.
We still love the event. We don’t love the crowds or prices, but we go anyway. Probably in part because of nostalgia and in part because we have a good time enjoying the experience at a more relaxed pace. We don’t follow our own itinerary in this post since we’ve seen/done 75% of these things in previous years, so the stakes aren’t as high for us, so to speak. It’s simply a fun, albeit overpriced event.
If you can approach it from the perspective of not having to accomplish it all and being willing to overpay a bit for a truly fun and spooky evening in Magic Kingdom, we say go for it. Just don’t expect to leave thinking, “that was really worth the money.” At this point, it’s hard to come to that conclusion.
Another question we often receive is whether we prefer the Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We are total suckers for Christmas, so we can’t answer that without bias. With that said, we prefer the Christmas Party, but probably two-thirds of people we know prefer the Halloween Party. Your mileage may vary.
Aside from the higher price, the biggest difference between the two parties is that the Halloween Party offers more special entertainment and character meet & greets. Personally, I enjoy the Christmas Party more, but I think it’s undeniable that there’s more to do at the Halloween Party.
There’s a lot of special entertainment including one of Disney’s best parades and a great fireworks show, a great ambiance to the party including special decorations and lighting, lots of unique character meet & greets, and even seeing other guests in Halloween costumes makes for a fun experience.
If you do decide to do the Halloween Party, make sure to buy your tickets in advance, and use any available discounts (Disney Vacation Club member, Annual Passholder, etc.). Tickets are more expensive on the day of the party, and several nights each year sell out completely. It’s wise to purchase party tickets early if you know you’re going. It would stink to wait until the last minute and have your dates sell out.
As for what you should do during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, here’s our guide to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party…
The first important tip is to pick the best day on your trip for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Some nights are busier than others, and that post covers our tips for choosing the least-crowded dates. Disney prices these parties based on historical demand, so going on the cheapest party night you can is generally the best idea from both the perspective of saving money and avoiding crowds. Win-win!
In recent years, MNSSHP attendance has been, generally speaking, dramatically higher than previously. Many of the events–especially dates in October–sold out. That could change for 2023, but we suspect it’ll again be a busy year barring a downturn in Walt Disney World attendance for whatever reason.
The second most important tip is to arrive early to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The Party officially starts at 7 p.m., which is when all of the entertainment actually begins, but guests can enter with their Halloween Party tickets as early as 4 p.m. This is not something Walt Disney World advertises, but it absolutely is true, and you will see plenty of other guests arriving at 4 p.m., and Cast Members in their Halloween outfits at the turnstiles.
This earlier entry offers you potential savings to offset the cost of your tickets. Before we were Annual Passholders, we’d plan on doing Disney Springs or a water park the morning we went to the Halloween Party, which allowed us to purchase 1-day less on our park tickets. We highly recommend that you do the same! In other words, if you normally would buy a 5-day ticket for your trip, buy a 4-day ticket and do something besides one of the 4 theme parks before 4 p.m.
The additional day you’re not purchasing would have only added on ~$30 in cost to your total package, so we’re not talking a substantial amount here, but it makes the Halloween Party more economical. To save even more money on multi-day Walt Disney World tickets, we recommend buying from an authorized ticket broker selling cheaper tickets than you can buy directly from Disney.
Read our Tips for Buying Discount Walt Disney World Tickets Guide for more information about saving money on park tickets. You can’t buy Halloween Party tickets from these authorized ticket sellers, but the amount you save on your regular park tickets plus the savings on that extra day you’re not purchasing will help offset the added cost of the party tickets.
The next biggest tip is to wear a costume! Although Disney has had some tweaks to its security policy over the last few years, costumes are allowed for all guests.
Here’s Disney’s official word on costumes: “while costumed attire may be worn, guests ages 14 and older are strongly discouraged from wearing layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body as they may be subject to additional security screening. Additionally, costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.”
At least half of the Guests who attend the party wear costumes, and it’s a lot more fun if you do. You’re spending a fair chunk of change to attend one of these parties, make sure you get as much value for your money as possible by wearing a costume.
You don’t need to buy some expensive costume from the store–make one at home from items you buy at a thrift shop. Sarah and I attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party as the following: astronauts; an elf and princess; and “Cute Minnie” and a Toy Story Alien, among other things. Most of the time, our costumes are pretty lame as compared to other guests, but we still have a lot of fun!
For costumes, go inexpensive, simple, and most importantly…LIGHTWEIGHT. We have a Guide to Halloween Costumes for the Disney Parks that covers the nuts and bolts. Suffice to say, we have worn heavier costumes, and let me tell you what a mistake that was. It may be cooler at nighttime in the fall, but it’s still Florida, and it’s still humid and hot.
Beyond being a waste of money, the dessert party is a waste of time. There are just too many other great things to do at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (it’s unlikely you can do all of the regular entertainment in a single night) to justify attending a dessert party. It’s just not worth taking the time from the regular awesome entertainment of the Halloween party to do this. Plus, the idea of another upcharge event within an upcharge event just makes us cringe.
Arrive at 4 p.m., grab an event map for a refresher as to what is located where and entertainment showtimes, eat an early dinner, do an attraction or two, and knock out a couple of daytime PhotoPass Magic Shots for Halloween. Once 6 pm hits, it’s time to get ready to party, and time to initiate your Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party attack-plan to do and see as much as you can.
If at all possible, find a way to avoid trick or treating or save it until the end of the night. It is a major time drain, and you could buy a bag of candy yourself for like $3. It may be difficult to convince kids not to trick or treat, but if you can, find a way. There is so much entertainment during the Halloween Party that you won’t get everything done even if you don’t trick or treat and don’t do any attractions.
From here, we will start with our plan of attack to efficiently accomplish as much as possible during MNSSHP on PAGE 2.