As the leaves start to change colors here in Virginia, I find myself longing for the delightful fall decorations that adorn Magic Kingdom this time of year. We were fortunate enough to see MK decked out for this year’s festivities on the last day of our trip in August. Although I was exhausted and ready to head home, I found myself wishing we could stay an extra 24 hours in order to attend the first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party of 2017.
While we are unable to participate in this year’s MNSSHP, I thought I would offer some tips based off of our experience attending the party back in 2015.
First of all, keep in mind that MNSSHP requires a separate ticket from your daily admission. Yes, it costs extra, but there are a few discounts available. Members of the military can get discounted tickets for select nights. These tickets can only be purchased directly from Disney World or Shades of Green. Disney Vacation Club members can also purchase specially priced tickets in advance. The price of admission to MNSSHP varies by date, with the price increasing the closer you get to Halloween.
Upon entering Magic Kingdom, you will be greeted by cast members issuing MNSSHP wristbands. You will also be given a bag for trick-or-treating, but you may bring your own if you prefer. Party guides are also available with a map of trick-or-treat locations as well as the schedule for MNSSHP exclusive events and shows. Attendees get to enjoy a special fireworks show as well as the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade. For those of you who can’t make it to Florida for the festivities, you can enjoy the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade live from home on Friday, September 22nd at 9:30 pm EST.
Tips for Attending MNSSHP
If you are lucky enough to attend this year’s MNSSHP then you are in for a real treat! Here are a few tips to make your night more magical.
- Come in Costume: This is the one time adults are permitted to enter MK in costume. We chose to do a family-themed costume by dressing up as our favorite characters from Big Hero 6. Make sure you adhere to the Disney’s rules regarding costumes, and keep in mind Florida’s unpredictable weather when deciding on clothing. I recommend choosing a costume suitable for the warm, humid climate and be prepared for rain (you don’t want to drag a long dress through puddles). Patrons of all ages are welcome to join The Pirates League where they can be transformed into a pirate or mermaid for the night’s festivities.
- Rest Before the Event: Remember you will be trekking about the park gathering treats until midnight, so there is no need to tire yourselves out by going to a park all day prior to MNSSHP. We decided to spend the day at our resort, enjoying the pool and relaxing. If you have little ones, I recommend having them nap just before the party. Lil’ Man wouldn’t nap at all that day, and he was cranky by the time we settled down for the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade.
- Arrive at 4:00 pm: Although the event’s official start time is 7:00 pm, attendees can enter the park as early as 4:00 pm. I advise entering early in order to maximize your time in the park. After all, you’ve paid for admission to MNSSHP, so you might as well get the most for your money!
- Prepare for Crowds: I did my research and had us attend MNSSHP on what was supposed to be one of the least crowded days. We all agreed that it was plenty crowded that evening, and we did not get to explore everything MNSSHP had to offer as a result. If you plan on watching a show or the parade, make sure you nab a spot early for better viewing. During the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, which I highly recommend, I saw more backs of people’s heads than villains.
- Be Organized: Have your night planned out before you attend. Prioritize what rides and shows you want to see because you most likely won’t be able to do it all. Remember, you can always ride Space Mountain with your regular admission, but this is your one opportunity to watch the Happy HalloWishes Fireworks show. (Note: Be aware that not all attractions are open during this event. See this year’s party guide for available attractions.)
- Unique Character Meet and Greets: Be sure to visit Mickey Mouse at Town Square. Mickey is dressed for the occasion during MNSSHP. This is a great photo op for the entire family, and it is one of my son’s favorite character meet and greets. You can also find more elusive characters like Jack Skellington and Sally during MNSSHP.
- Special PhotoPass Photo Ops: If you have purchased Memory Maker for your trip, then you will want to take advantage of some of the magic shots offered only during MNSSHP. Make sure to stop by and get your picture in front of the Haunted Mansion as well as Cinderella’s Castle for some hauntingly good shots. (If you are military, you can currently purchase Memory Maker at the park for the discounted rate of $84.
- Keep an Eye on the Weather: Florida’s weather is unpredictable and you never know when you might be caught in a sudden downpour. Use a weather app with radar to watch for rain coming your way. If it starts to rain, then it might just be time to take a tour of the Haunted Mansion where you’ll find some ghoulish hosts who will be more than happy to help you stay dry.
If you are visiting Disney World for the first time, know that Disney is wonderful about accommodating guests with dietary restrictions (I’m one of those guests), so allergy friendly treats are also offered during the event.
For those of you lucky enough to attend MNSSHP this year, I wish you a magical, and ghoulishly good, time at MNSSHP! Thanks for stopping by!