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 available & sold out 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. (Updated September 25, 2023.)
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 wanting to plan for the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the good news is that tickets are now on sale for all guests. We’ve already attended MNSSHP this year, and have updates in the “What’s New” section below. We’ll have more continuing coverage throughout September, with new posts about characters and more. If you want to read our updates on the 2023 MNSSHP, subscribe to our FREE email newsletter. For now, here’s everything you need to know about the event…
In a nutshell, here are the highlights of the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular! – Watch 3 sinister sisters bewitch and bedazzle the residents of Magic Kingdom in this stage show.
Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular – A wickedly wild fireworks display featuring Disney characters and hosted by Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade – Disney characters and iconic floats inspired by Haunted Mansion and other Halloween scenes appear during this beloved parade.
Trick-or-Treat Trails – Fill bags of candy with “free” treats in these walk-through trails.
Disney Junior Jam – This dance party features some favorite friends from Disney Junior shows for young partygoers.
Enjoy Attractions – Most popular Magic Kingdom rides are open during the event, and lines are typically much shorter than during the day
If you’ve already purchased MNSSHP tickets and want something that synthesizes all of the basic info about the event into a step-by-step plan, see our 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Itinerary. That’s more concise, leaving out a lot of background and crowd info.
Now, let’s turn to a brief summary of what’s new at the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party season, just in case you don’t read our MNSSHP report above…
There have been a handful of new-for-2023 additions to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. First, the Sanderson Sisters as Disney characters. This version of the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus appear in Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade. They are NOT meet & greet characters–so you’ll be able to see them, but not get your photos with them. There have also been other changes to the Boo To You Parade that repeat visitors will appreciate.
Additionally, Max Goof and his Powerline party pack will appear at new pop-up parties throughout Magic Kingdom before this popular crew dances onto Main Street U.S.A. ahead of Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade. This is a nice addition, and is a good way to see Powerline up close outside of the parade.
There’s also what’s essentially a “pirate takeover” of Adventureland, with the Rusty Cutlass singing sea shanties while their shipmates roam the land sharing tales of their explorations at sea. This adds atmospheric entertainment to Adventureland, similar to what’s already in Frontierland thanks to the Cadaver Dans and Country Bears.
Unfortunately, every night of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is now sold out, except for November 1, 2023. In all likelihood, that will sell out soon, so if you’re on the fence about attending the Halloween Party after Halloween…you might want to decide ASAP!
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World and are hoping to purchase last-minute tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on sold out dates, you might be able to do so outside the park at the Guest Relations window or inside City Hall on Main Street.
On occasion, there are same-day tickets available as a result of cancellations or other circumstances. If so, instead of the ‘sorry folks, tonight’s event is sold out’ sign pictured above, you’ll likely see one advising that a limited number of tickets are available for purchase. For what it’s worth, we are not aware of any same-day MNSSHP tickets being sold thus far in 2023. The most likely scenario for this to occur is when there are hurricane or other weather scares causing people to cancel their trips or plans. In other words, it’s a longshot–but worth trying, nevertheless!
Spanning portions of 4 different months, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party “season” is the longest special event at Walt Disney World. Last year, the event was held on 37 select nights August 12 through October 31. The 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts one night earlier, ends one night later, and has 1 more night over the course of party season. For those keeping score at home, these are all records.
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.
Also during the party, you may have the opportunity to experience some of your favorite attractions, including the newly opened TRON Lightcycle Run. Here’s the list of attractions that will be open during the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:
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 is following that pattern. It could, but it’s also possible that Walt Disney World lowered the attendance cap after complaints and price increases. Our anecdotal perception is that MNSSHP has been less overcrowded the last 2 years than it was in October 2019, but it’s still busier than years (or even the two months that year) prior to that.
We also believe that Disney typically increases the capacity cap in October each year when the earlier sunset allows extra entertainment to be added to the schedule. So it’s entirely possible that crowds will feel worse during the October 2023 parties than they did during the August and September ones. (On the plus side, the heat shouldn’t be nearly as bad!)
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…
As for entertainment, here’s the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party schedule:
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
August & September: 8:35 pm, 10:45 pm, 12 am
October: 7:40 pm, 8:35 pm, 10:45 pm, 12 am
Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular
Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade
9:15 pm and 11:15 pm
Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet
7 pm, 7:45 pm, 8:30 pm, 9:50 pm, 10:30 pm
Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam
7 pm until midnight
Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Dance Ball
7 pm until midnight
Rusty Cutlass Pirate Band in Adventureland
7:15 pm, 8:15 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:20 pm
Max Goof’s Powerline Party Pack
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)
Seven Dwarfs – Storybook Circus (second-most popular meet & greet; line forms at 4 pm)
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.
Pirates of the Caribbean – Discontinued for the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Previously, live pirate actors appeared in the attraction. Now, these pirates roam Adventureland.
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. The last few years, every single night has sold out. Prior to that, it was common for only the first couple of nights plus most of October to sell out. It’ll be interesting to see whether this trend continues with the 2024 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We’d bet that it will.
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.