Mommy Frog's Note: Hoppin' news! Disney is planning a new Halloween-themed Disney After Hours BOO BASH event that will include cavalcades, character sightings, treat stops and more! Hop here for all of the details.
Hoppy Halloween! OK, so perhaps it's not yet time for Halloween, but it's never too early to start planning for one of the most popular Walt Disney World events. Maybe we're a tad bit biased, but we think Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom is not to be missed! That said, with only five hours of party time to meet rare characters, trick or treat and catch spell-bounding entertainment, having a game plan is essential. Since we've been hopping to this event for many years, we have plenty of advice to help you get the most out of this special event.
Our Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Guide is quite thorough, so we've added some hopful links to take you to key topics ... or you can just keep reading!
Disney Halloween parties typically start in mid-August and run through early November. The parties are held at Magic Kingdom after the park closes, typically from 7 p.m. to midnight. The park closes at 6 p.m. for daytime guests without a party ticket.
In 2020, Disney made the difficult decision to cancel Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party due to COVID-19. We are saddened that the event is not hoppening, but we toadally understand it's more important to keep guests and cast members safe if proper social distancing cannot be maintained for the event's special parade, fireworks show and character greetings.
Best Dates to Attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
The biggest question we get for this event, as well as for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, is what the best days to attend are. These Disney Halloween parties can and do sell out, especially closer to Halloween, so we recommend purchasing tickets as soon as you know you want to attend.
Oct. 31 is historically one of the most popular dates to attend the Disney Halloween parties, along with Fridays in October, when more locals attend. Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, especially those in August and early September, are typically less popular.
Disney does not publicly release its party capacity, but we estimate that a sold-out party is around a crowd level 7 using our Crowd Calendar. Disney's variable pricing is a strong indication of the expected most popular dates.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Costume Policy
A revised costume policy went into effect for the Disney Halloween party in recent years that is more restrictive for adults.
General Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Costume Guidelines:
- Disney may deny admission to anyone or remove anyone who is wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or could detract from other guests' experiences.
- Guests may dress as their favorite characters, but cannot pose for pictures or sign autographs.
- Costumes must be family-friendly and not obstructive, offensive, violent or objectionable.
- Costumes must not contain weapons that resemble or could be mistaken for real weapons.
- Costumes may not contain sharp or pointed objects, or materials that might accidentally strike another guest.
- Guests who do not abide by the guidelines may be refused entry or removed unless their costumes can be modified to acceptable standards.
For guests ages 14 and up:
- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and subject to additional security screening.
- Costumes may not reach or drag the ground.
- Capes should not go below the waist.
- Themed T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts and hats are acceptable.
- Transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus are OK. Headwear must not cover the face.
- Masks are not allowed.
For guests ages 13 and under:
- Costumes and some masks may be worn. Masks cannot cover the entire face, and eyes must be visible.
In recent years, the party has officially started at 7 p.m. inside Magic Kingdom. Disney Halloween party guests are allowed to enter the park starting at 4 p.m., which we recommend taking advantage of. A popular question that comes up is how Disney handles the transition between park close and the start of the party. The park closes for regular guests at 6 p.m., which allows cast members more time to filter out those regular day guests who are not staying for the party.
Once you arrive at the entrance, cast members direct you toward specific touch points for entry. Party wristbands are then given to party guests after going through the touch points. If you've entered before 4 p.m. with regular park admission, you don't have to go all the way to the entrance! Wristbands are also distributed to those who present a valid party ticket at select locations inside the park. We saw a few of those wristband distribution areas near Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Mickey's PhilharMagic and Pirates of the Caribbean in 2019. Beginning at 6 p.m., cast members are stationed at critical points throughout the park to direct the wristband-less toward the exit.
For party guests arriving just in time for the spooky festivities, expect to be directed toward Market Street. (That's the name of the back alley between La Chapeau and Tony's Town Square Restaurant!) This path is where you'll find adorable Halloween character statues, fun photo-ops AND your first treat station. Select Halloween merchandise can be purchased here, as well. What a grand entrance to the party!
Interested in how exactly things work at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Last year's map highlights some of the activities and entertainment, trick or treat locations, allergy-friendly options and more in store at the party.
FastPass+ at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
FastPass+ is not available during the party. Luckily, there is generally less need for FastPass+ as most people are enjoying the party activities and spending less time on rides.
Show Times for Key Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Entertainment
- Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade - 9:15 p.m., 11:15 p.m.
- Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular - 10:15 p.m.
- Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular - 8:30 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 12 a.m.
- Dance parties - all night long!
*These times are based on the 2019 event.
If inclement weather may be on the horizon during your visit, be sure to catch the early stage show and parade in case the later ones get canceled.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Characters and Locations
One of the biggest highlights of the night is meeting characters, especially those who don't greet guests at other times of year. Some of the most popular characters, such as Moana or Jack Skellington and Sally, draw big lines but may start meeting guests before the official party time. (We passed by Moana at around 5 p.m. She hadn't started greeting just yet, but when we walked by again around 6:30 p.m., the line was moving.) Below, you'll find a list of last year's characters and their greeting spots. With waits as long as three hours for some characters, you need a strategy! Hop down to tips to see our best strategies for meeting them.
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
- Jack Skellington and Sally at Town Square Theater
- Seven Dwarfs
- Queen of Hearts, Alice, Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum, Mad Hatter
- Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger (dressed in Halloween costumes)
- Ariel and Eric
- Belle and Gaston
- Minnie Mouse (dressed in Halloween costume)
- Daisy Duck (dressed in Halloween costume)
- Goofy (dressed in Halloween costume)
- Donald Duck (dressed in Halloween costume)
- Cruella DeVil (roaming)
- Anastasia and Drizella (roaming)
- Cinderella and Elena
- Rapunzel and Tiana
- Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear, a.k.a. Lotso
- Stitch (dressed in Elvis costume)
- Tarzan, Jane and Terk
- Captain Jack Sparrow
- Aladdin and Abu alternate with Genie and Jasmine
Attractions Open During Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
One of the major perks of ticketed events such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is the shorter lines for some of your favorite attractions. Last year, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train line had a maximum 35-minute wait! We expect that this list of rides will remain the same in the future.
Rides are subject to closure at any time. For a list of refurbishments during your specific dates, please see our full list of Disney World ride closures:
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (enlist at the Firehouse)
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- “It’s a small world”
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mad Tea Party
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- The Barnstormer
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Some attractions receive spooktacular, party-exclusive overlays and enhancements, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Mad Tea Party, Space Mountain and new last year, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. A crew of live pirates takes over your journey on Pirates of the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Mad Tea Party gets special lighting and music, while Space Mountain goes completely dark. Over at the Laugh Floor in the Monster World, the comedic monsters learn more about the Human World holiday called Halloween.
New and Expected-to-Return Party Experiences
Aside from rides and character meet-and-greets, experience the special event's dance parties, "Boo-to-You" parade, Hocus Pocus Villains Spectacular and fireworks show.
Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular
A fireworks show with projection effects, lasers, lights and fireworks debuted in 2019! Hosted by Jack Skellington from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular features Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy on a trick-or-treating adventure, as they are drawn to a mysterious haunted house. The show also showcased appearances from dancing skeletons and ghosts, along with some troublemaking Disney villains, during their journey inside the house. We LOVED the stunning castle projections (they're super fun and colorful) and as usual, Disney didn't disappoint with its booming fireworks. It was the only time of the night we weren't saying "boo," but instead, "ooh" and "aah."
The park also hosts fireworks dessert parties with treats such as chocolate-dipped strawberries, cupcakes, ice cream, seasonal fruits, cheeses and special drinks.
Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam
Calling all tadpoles! Storybook Circus hosted the Disney Junior Jam, featuring some of Lily's Disney Channel faves. Last year we spotted Vampirina, Fancy Nancy and even Timon. Lily LOVES this dance party!
Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball
Over in Tomorrowland at the Rockettower Plaza Stage, join Mike Wazowski and Sulley, who are hosting the Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball all night long! Show off your best monstrous dance moves.
Disney DescenDANCE Party
The Disney DescenDANCE Party took over the stage at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Inspired by the "Descendants" movie franchise, you can dance the night away as your favorite Villain Kids appear in dance videos from Isle of the Lost.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
The infamous Sanderson Sisters from "Hocus Pocus" are a must-see at the Disney Halloween party! Watch out — they may put a spell on you as they conjure up the "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular" show at the Castle Forecourt Stage. The show is held exclusively during the party and features the Sanderson Sisters, Winifred, Mary and Sarah, along with other Disney villains such as Dr. Facilier, Ooogie Boogie and Maleficent. "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular" replaced the Villains Mix 'n' Mingle. There are typically no picture-taking opportunities with the Sanderson Sisters or the villains. The show is still a wicked-good time, especially for fans of the film!
Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade
Catch your favorite Disney characters in Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade! About 15 minutes before it begins, the Headless Horseman trots over the Liberty Square, continues in front of Cinderella Castle (but does not go all the way around the hub) and down Main Street.
Mickey and Minnie lead the parade along with their friends, including Goofy, Pluto, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Aladdin, Jasmine and others. Tinker Bell and Captain Jack Sparrow follow along on their floats. The Gravediggers precede Constance Hatchaway, better known as The Black Widow Bride from The Haunted Mansion. She is new to the parade this year and glides down the street alongside dancing ghoulish couples. The Tomorrowland floats are also new, featuring The Incredibles, Edna Mode and Buzz Lightyear with a crew of aliens.
Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet
This Dapper Dans-style ghostly group pops up throughout the night for performances in front of The Frontier Trading Post in Frontierland. Show times aren't advertised on the event map, but we caught them for the first time not long after 7 p.m. when the party officially started. They'll crack jokes with their deadpan humor and sing songs, including "Happy Trails To You" and "Boo to You."
Cruella's Halloween Hide-a-Way
Mingle with Cruella de Vil at Tony's Town Square Restaurant during this special dining experience. The event starts at 9:30 p.m. and continues through the night until 12:30 a.m. during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights. You can pop in and out during the event to enjoy savory hors d’oeuvres, samplers and sweets. It also includes access to a reserved viewing section for the 11:15 p.m. parade. Cruella's Halloween Hide-a-Way is a separately ticketed experience ($99 per guest) and requires Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party admission, which is not included in this price.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Trick-or-Treating, Specialty Food & Merchandise
One of the big "treats" of the Disney Halloween party is trick-or-treating around the park. You can haul in quite a lot of candy if that's the goal, but we prefer to enjoy the entertainment and hit a trick or treat trail or two as we hop around.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Treat Locations
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Town Square Theater (allergy-friendly center)
- Market Street (party entrance; open until 8 p.m.)
- Tortuga Tavern
- Jungle Cruise
- Splash Mountain
- Miner's Cove (by Big Thunder Mountain)
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Liberty Square Ticket Office (allergy-friendly center)
- The Diamond Horseshoe
- Pinocchio Village Haus
- Mickey's PhilharMagic
- Walt Disney World Railroad Station
- Ariel's Grotto
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
- Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
If the free candy doesn't quite satisfy your sweet tooth, enjoy spooktacular offerings created especially for the season. We tried the Amuck, Amuck, Amuck Cupcake in 2019. The cupcake itself was perfectly fluffy and moist, but there was a lot of sweet frosting packed on top. The black frosting turned our teeth different colors, so beware before snapping a selfie!
It's important to note that some of these special, event-exclusive treats for purchase have long lines and can sell out later in the night, particularly if crowd levels are high. However, we noticed some treats, like the Pumpkin Spice milkshake, started selling before the official party time. So, if you've got your eye (and stomach) set on a specific treat, we'd recommend hopping to it the earlier, the better!
Speaking of sweets — while we, of course, advise you to save some room for treats throughout the party, we recommend grabbing a meal ahead of time. Sitting down for dinner with your tadpoles can eat up anywhere between thirty minutes to over an hour of the five-hour party time, so it's much better to enjoy a nice meal before you start partying.
If shopping is your top priority, visit the Emporium and Big Top Souvenirs for apparel, ornaments, pins and more exclusive to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. You can also find tons of event pins and MagicBands at Frontier Trading Post. We're not overstating this — lines for exclusive merchandise can rival the lines for the characters. Items can sell out quickly if you wait until later in the night. Before you arrive at the party, decide how much time you're willing to spend to get that limited-edition pin. If you're lucky enough to be traveling with two "grown-up" frogs, we recommend one waiting for merch while the other takes the tadpoles on a ride or two nearby.
As we've mentioned a time or two, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is one of the Frog Family's absolute favorite events! For those of you who love Halloween, it is definitely not to be missed.
Now, each of us Frog Family members has a different thing we love most about the party, so that just goes to show you there is a little something for everyone! For those of you wondering whether the party is worth the additional expense, for us, it's a resounding "Yes!" To make it the absolute best experience for your family, follow these tips:
1. Wear a costume.
While it's not required that you wear a costume, it sure adds to my enjoyment because my favorite part of the night is taking in all of the elaborate costumes! And since this is the one event of the year where you are allowed to wear a costume at Magic Kingdom, I like to take advantage of it. And, in case you're wondering, you're never too old to enjoy Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We saw so many creative costumes last year! Moana, Aladdin and Toy Story characters were popular choices. Note: Masks are not allowed to be worn at the Magic Kingdom, so keep this in mind when choosing your costume.
2. Keep it light.
While temperatures in Orlando are cooling down a bit, the average high is 91 in August, 90 in September and 85 in October. It can still be quite muggy, especially after those still-frequent afternoon rains, so parents should dress their children (and themselves) accordingly for the Disney Halloween party. Think twice before outfitting your little monster as Sulley (or at least a head-to-toe furry Sulley). Consider bringing a change of clothes for younger children "just in case" and picking up rain ponchos at your nearest dollar store before you leave for the trip.
3. Bring your own trick or treat bags.
Upon entry into the park, guests will receive treat bags. It's a cool perk, but they are on the smallish side. If your children are there for the loot, consider packing extra bags. You can also purchase souvenir bags that do the trick! Trick-or-treating is Lily's favorite part of the party, but she loves saying "trick or treat" as much as she loves the candy. You'll find candy stations throughout the park. Save time and skip the crowds by trick-or-treating later in the evening. If your treat line is long, don't wait. Visit a different one, or come back later. Also, if the cast members tell you to use two lines, go for the shortest one. For some reason, we noticed everyone will line up on one side despite them saying that, and the other line barely gets used!
For allergy-friendly offerings, a teal chip is handed out at the entrance of the party. Make your way to the street behind Tony's Town Square Restaurant to pick up your chip. You'll exchange this token for a teal treat bag and special candy at the allergy-friendly locations located at Town Square Theater and Liberty Square Ticket Office.
4. Get to the parks early.
This is the single-most important tip for maximizing your fun and justifying the cost of this separately ticketed event. While the Disney Halloween party officially starts at 7 p.m., guests can begin entering the park as early as 4 p.m. (And yes, you can wear your costumes into the park at that time!) We highly recommend you get to the park early, so you can spend as much time in Magic Kingdom as possible.
When you arrive, Halloween party attendees will be directed to a special entrance to receive wristbands. If you've already spent your day at the Magic Kingdom, you can secure your wristband from a cast member at specially designated locations throughout the park — don't worry, you can't miss the signs! Receiving your wristband is an absolute MUST-DO. Cast members are around every corner to usher non-party attendees out of the park.
5. Visit the most "in-demand" characters first or during the first parade.
Leap's favorite part of the party is meeting all of the characters who greet guests in different locations. "Rare" characters are out for photo-ops, and your usual favorites are wearing their best Halloween garb. Lines can get very long for the most popular characters (up to three hours or more!), so be sure to prioritize. (If you want a costume idea, check out our DIY Jack and Sally T-shirt.)
Some of the more exclusive characters (Jack and Sally, the Seven Dwarfs and Moana) may be found meeting before the party even begins, but only for Halloween party guests with wristbands. If you arrive at Magic Kingdom when doors "open" for Halloween party guests at 4 p.m., we recommend heading toward the characters' designated locations and asking cast members where and when to line up. That way, you can spend valuable party time doing other fun activities!
When we attended the party again on a Tuesday night in September, Jack and Sally started meeting people at 4:30 p.m. The Seven Dwarfs came out at 6:15 p.m. but already had a two-hour wait! Meanwhile, Moana had an hour wait when she started greeting at 6 p.m.
Can't make it early? Have no fear. Our best advice is to wait until just before parade times to hop in line for character meet-and-greets. Pick one of the two parade showings to attend, and then spend the other time snapping pics with your favorite characters. It was only a 30-minute wait to meet the Seven Dwarfs! However, some characters (Alice, Mad Hatter, Tweedle-Dum, Tweedle-Dee and Queen of Hearts specifically) do leave their spots because they're in the parade. Additionally, don't wait until the very end of the night. We tried getting in line to see Stitch around 11:30 p.m. but cast members said they were finishing up for the night and weren't letting anyone else in line.
As a time-saver, try meeting characters who are joined by a friend. This may also make your tadpoles hoppier. Lily was dying to meet Jasmine, but Tad was all "whatever." Once he saw Genie join Jasmine, he hopped right in line with his sister.
The lines for characters have grown longer than in years' past. We recommend deciding as a family who your "top priority" characters are and making a game plan before you go. If a photo isn't a must, it's fun just to walk around and see the characters and their unique outfits. A majority of them meet outside, so it's easy to check them out in passing.
6. Stake out your parade location.
Tad's favorite part of the party is watching Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Parade. He loves the Headless Horseman, all of the spooky floats and the characters in costume. You don't want to miss the Grandmaster's entrance — even if he is missing his head. Be sure to find a spot along the parade route at least 15 minutes in advance if you don't mind standing behind other people. If you want to be in the very front row, you should plan on staking out your spot — especially near Cinderella Castle and along Main Street, U.S.A. — at least an hour ahead of time.
Don't want to spend so much time holding your ground? We recommend viewing it in Frontierland. You can get a great spot with a much shorter notice. We love the atmosphere of Main Street, U.S.A. (and that's where you'll find us for the Christmas parade), but Halloween is a different story. We think Frontierland fits the spooky ambiance of "Boo-to-You." Since the parade starts in Frontierland, that also means it finishes sooner. So you can hop on more rides and character meet-and-greets while the rest of the audience waits for it to finish up.
The parade happens twice nightly and kicks off in Frontierland, follows the waterway until it reaches Liberty Square, crosses the Liberty Square bridge, circles Central Plaza in front of Cinderella Castle, then heads down Main Street, U.S.A., where it ends next to Harmony Barbershop. If you don't mind the kids staying up late, go to the second parade. It's usually much less crowded.
7. Spot your favorite villains during the Hocus Pocus show.
The Sanderson Sisters take over the stage again in the "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular," but the show also features Dr. Facilier, Ooogie Boogie and Maleficent. In the past, the villains would mix and mingle after their singing and dancing performance on the castle stage. Although these villains do not typically join the crowd for photo opportunities anymore, the performance is worth making time to see.
The lines for character meet-and-greets are typically a lot shorter just prior to and during parade performances, so plan to see some villains, such as Anastasia and Drizella or Cruella de Vil, during either the first or second Boo-to-You parade.
8. Get your boogie on.
It just wouldn't be a Disney Halloween party without a dance. As we mentioned before, there are THREE opportunities to show off your moves. Mike and Sulley play host to their own Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. Join the Villain Kids at the new Disney DescenDANCE Party over in Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe for a groovin' good time. Or, dance the night away with Disney Junior Pals at Storybook Circus.
9. Don't froget the fireworks show!
The centerpiece of the night in years past has been the villainous fireworks show, Happy HalloWishes. It was one of our very favorite displays ... however, the brand-new fireworks spectacular, Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular, exceeded our expectations! It's important to know that there is only one fireworks show, which begins at 10:15 p.m.
We think it's best to see it in front of Cinderella Castle so you can see the frogtastic projections. However, if you really don't want to mess with the crowds in the hub (or if you're attending multiple parties), it's cool to watch the fireworks in Fantasyland. You get more of a 360-degree show with fireworks booming all around you!
10. Don't spend too much time waiting for the ride overlays.
While it's always neat to experience your favorite attraction with a twist, we didn't find any of the special Halloween party attraction experiences worth waiting too long for. The difference in the party-exclusive changes on Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and Mad Tea Party are fairly minor, so don't get your hopes up on having a toadally different experience. (The rides close and undergo a short transition period before the party begins.) We wouldn't wait any longer than 20 to 30 minutes for any of these. If you can catch a short line (like our 15-minute wait for Pirates), you should check 'em out!
11. Knock out Hocus Pocus, the parade and fireworks all at once.
If these three experiences fall at the top of your must-do list, we'd recommend finding a good viewing spot in front of Cinderella Castle and staying put through all three — starting with Hocus Pocus at 8:30 p.m. While the second parade has lower crowds, trying to get through the crowd that has already been in the hub from the first parade who stay for the fireworks is not easy. If you're just coming for the fireworks, Casey's Corner or Plaza Ice Cream Parlor would be great options for a quick escape, but you'd still need to arrive early.
Do you have questions about Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Share them in comments below! For more vacation planning tips, check out the When to Visit Orlando page inside our Orlando Planning Timeline!