Making the Most of MNSSHP
MAKING THE MOST OF MICKEY’S NOT SO SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY
If there's one special event at Walt Disney World that we don't have to think twice about attending, it’s Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) at Magic Kingdom!
Running from September through October (and sometimes even the beginning days of November), the park comes alive with vibrant fall colors, special shows and fireworks displays, and of course, it's the one chance that we grown-ups get to go all-out and dress up as our favorite characters (it’s the only time of year when adults are allowed to enter the parks in full costume). I’ve come up with a list of simple Disney hacks to help you and your family get the most out of your one-of-a-kind Halloween celebration during MNSSHP!
Yes, the official party starts at 7:00 PM, but cast members usually begin letting guests into the park around 4:00 PM—A bonus three hours to get your party on! This is the time that we LOVE to walk around Magic Kingdom and check out the other costumes, because the sun is beginning to set and by the time the party really gets rolling the has gone down and you really can't see them.
Want to See Live Shows? Don't Stand Close to the Stage
I know I'll receive some heat for this one, but let me tell you last year's party tale. 2015 marked the debut of the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular at the Castle Forecourt Stage, and we, along with tens of thousands of other guests, wanted to see it. We headed to the stage hub area two hours in advance to score the perfect spot: directly in front of the stage on the other side of the "street". We were so excited to grab this primo location! We just hung out during our two-hour wait, chatting with other guests and eating specialty treats. Five minutes before the party began, other folks with the same idea filled in the area between the stage and hub. The second the show began, up went the kids on the shoulders of their parents and down went our view. Yes, we still had a great time listening to the music but an
audible show is about all we got. My tip? Stand farther back so you can still see even with the kiddos on their parents' shoulders.
Costumes Are Not Necessary… But They Sure Are Fun!
It’s true—you don't need a costume to enjoy the party but I truly feel that wearing one ups the fun. We are kind of obsessed with costuming and love to go all out, but I've seen folks in Halloween t-shirts or plain clothes having a quite the blast too.
Schedule Party Night Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRS) Early
We try to grab a Counter Service Meal before the party begins (more time to revel in the merriment!) but if you're adamant about Table Service Dining during the party, you'll need to lock down an ADR well ahead of time. Taking a last minute WDW Halloween trip? There's still a chance you can score one. Guests like to swap dates and times around at the last minute, so check several times a day to see if there's a cancellation. There's a 180-day window, but to make a reservation after 7:00 PM (the official MNSSHP start time), you'll have to have a ticket to the party.
Queue Up Early for Popular Character Meet-and-greets
Here's the scoop: the more elusive the Disney character, the longer the line. Think the Seven Dwarfs or Jack and Sally from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. If you hit the park before the actual party begins (characters are set up for their meet-and-greets promptly at 7:00 PM) and really want pictures with the popular ones, queue up an hour or so before the party begins so you can spend less time in line during the party itself.
Save Room for Candy
There's loads of candy to be had at the party and, while we don't make a point to spend hours in the candy queues, we do like to go through a couple of lines. If you really want to breeze through them, head over there during MNSSHP, Hallowishes Fireworks
Spooktacular, or sneak off as Mickey’s Boo-to-you! Parade takes to the streets—while everyone else is preoccupied with the festivities, you’ll get first pick of your favorite treats!
Score Tickets Early
Yes, there are dates that don't sell out, but tickets for weekends and Halloween itself (October 31st) go quickly! So as soon as you know you're going, head to the MNSSHP reservation page and purchase them.
Following these quick and easy Disney Halloween Hacks should keep your trip Not-so-scary, so you and your family can get to partying and enjoy this truly magical spooktacular celebration!