We have now been home a week since we attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and I thought I would write about it once again since I have now had time to collect my thoughts on our most recent experience. Overall, we enjoyed our time at MNSSHP. Did we get to do everything we wanted to? Certainly not! Is there anything we would do differently? Of course the answer to that is YES.
If you are coming across this post because you are planning on attending MNSSHP, then let me start off by giving you this one piece of advice:
You can’t do it all and that’s okay!
Our family constantly falls into the same trap every time we go to Disney. We try to do as much as possible, and in the end we are left exhausted and cranky. You won’t be able to do everything at MNSSHP. It just isn’t possible.
I recommend prioritizing what entertainment, exclusive character meet and greets, and rides are most important to you. Rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and The Mad Tea Party all have something special going on for the party (e.g., all the lights are turned off for Space Mountain).
You’ll also need to decide how important the actual trick-or-treating is to you as some of the lines for the candy stations can be quite long. We don’t eat a lot of candy and have access to great Halloween events here in the Washington D.C. area, so we only went to a couple of stations with Lil’ Man.
Tips for Maximizing Your Time at MNSSHP
So how can you make the most of the limited time you have in Magic Kingdom during the event?
- Arrive Before 7:00 p.m.
The party may officially start at 7;00 p.m., but those attending are allowed to enter the park at 4:00 p.m. In 2018, DVC members may enter as early as 2:00 p.m. If you are an annual pass holder, you may of course enter when the park opens. I do, however, recommend resting before the party.
- Get FastPasses for Rides Prior to 6:00 p.m.
There are no FastPasses during MNSSHP, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them prior to the event. This year, we were able to get FastPasses for The Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Big Thunder Mountain. We were also able to walk right on Splash Mountain before the party started.
- Reserve a Table Service Dinner Before the Party Starts
Our reservation for The Crystal Palace was at 7:25 p.m., and we did not leave the restaurant until well after 8:30 p.m. Our dinner took a huge chunk of time out of enjoying the night’s festivities. I will mention that the kids in our party received extra special attention from Pooh and his friends. The restaurant was almost empty and the characters came by our table on three separate occasions.
- Eat Dinner at a Quick Service
I recommend trying one of the quick services if you can’t secure an ADR before 7:00 p.m. This will allow you to quickly eat and move on to the party.
- Attend an August/September Event or a Weeknight Event
With the exception of this years’s first party (August 17th), the earlier dates are usually less crowded along with weeknights. You’ll have better luck on days like Tuesday or Thursday when the local children have school the next day. We attended the party on August 24, and we were able to walk right onto all the rides. Our longest wait of the night was to meet Belle and Gaston.
- Watch the Second Boo-To-You Parade
Most of the party’s attendees will be watching the first parade. Also, many people leave after Happy Hallowishes. You can find a pretty decent spot to watch the second parade without having to get there an hour before the parade starts.
- Do Your Shopping Last
This was my big mistake (see video below). The Emporium on Main Street U.S.A doesn’t close right at midnight, so head in after the party is over to grab your MNSSHP exclusive merchandise. Know that not everything may be in stock in the retail shops. I only discovered last night, after Lil’Man put on the TimTracker, that the MNSSHP t-shirt I had wanted was being sold at the souvenir carts.
Have you attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Share your tips with others in the comments below!