Ah, fall! My favorite time of year. The leaves begin to blush, the wind blows crisp and cool, and everything turns to pumpkin at the stroke of midnight on September 30th. Although, if you’re like me, you may be ahead of the game, jamming to Christmas music as I write this. Don’t roll your eyes at me. Vince Guaraldi has composed the perfect soundtrack to cool weather. Besides, when you’re used to Disney time, every holiday gets an additional month (or two) of celebrating, and I’m not one to complain. The Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years string of excitement makes it worth the long wait. Who needs those other months, really?
Every year at the end of August, Magic Kingdom is transformed into a glorious land of benevolent spooks, clad in the red, orange, yellow, and browns of autumn. And although the actual weather of Central Florida may not always match the spirit of the season *cue hurricane Irma,* the attention to every little detail sweeps you away from reality.
Multiple times a week, the park closes early for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a special ticketed event. Children and adults* alike arrive in their cutest and cleverest costumes and walk away with bags filled to the brim with treats. Several designated stations are manned with Cast Members handing out heaps of candy at a time. Although lines sometimes look long, they fly by and you end up with a very satisfied sweet tooth.
In 2015, my parents and I decided to go all in with mom as Leia, dad as Obi Wan, and me as Han! Dad got pretty good at using the Force. It seems lot of Cast Members were easily convinced to give him a second handful of candy.
I’ve been to two Halloween parties now within the last few years, and I have always been incredibly delighted. The entertainment is fabulous, the fireworks are the best display shown all year, the character meet-and-greet offerings are villainous limited-time magic, and the people-watching is highly amusing.
Being a ticketed event, it does mean that a party ticket must be purchased in addition to a park ticket if you wish to be in a park for the entire day. However, consider this: the event always runs from 7pm to 12am, and your party ticket is valid for admission starting as early as 4pm. Depending on what your needs are for that day, you may not need to purchase a day-pass. Simply buy the event ticket, have a lazy day at your hotel, then kick it in the evening with Mickey and the Sanderson sisters. For ticket pricing, visit the Walt Disney World website here.
As it is a special event, FastPass is not utilized! While this may seem like a downer, it’s actually a great thing for these events. With a limited capacity, there are generally less guests here than during normal park operation. What’s more, there are tons of things to be doing outside of rides, so wait times typically average much less than average! Reride your favorite rides several times over.
The recent revamp of the Halloween party stage shows boasts famous, wicked faces including the Sanderson sisters, Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent, Hades, Cruella de Vil, Jafar, Lady Tremaine, Captain Hook, and the Evil Queen. If you don’t have time to wait in the often long meet-and-greet lines, this hilarious and beautifully choreographed show typically takes the stage 3-4 times a night. You’ll just want to consult your event guide for specific times.
Twice in the evening, the epic, infamous Boo-to-You parade travels from Frontierland down Main Street and features many of the other “not-so-scary” Disney characters in their favorite costumes, and is welcomed in by the run of the Headless Horseman. In the heart of the entertainment, shoots the epic once nightly fireworks display of Hallowishes.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is my personal, most recommended experience. It believe it is Disney at its finest. If you’re able to escape to Orlando this fall season, put this rollicking good-time at the top of your to-do list!
*Please note: there are rules and regulations to what costumes are allowed in the park. View here.