The Complete Guide to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World in Orlando

Get the most out of this annual Halloween event with these helpful tips.
Mickey's Boo to You Halloween Parade at Magic Kingdon (Photo: Disney)
Mickey's Boo to You Halloween Parade at Magic Kingdon (Photo: Disney)

When the spooky season arrives, there’s nothing better than walking down Main Street, U.S.A., at Walt Disney World. Mickey pumpkins line the street, the smell of pumpkin spice lattes wafts in the air, and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is in full swing. For many Disney fans, the kickoff to Halloween isn’t complete until this annual festival gets underway.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a separately ticketed event that takes place at Magic Kingdom every year from mid-August through Halloween. No matter which party date you choose, you’ll encounter Disney characters in their Halloween costumes, ride attractions with festive overlays, and take in a ton of Halloween-themed entertainment.

If you’re planning to go to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year, here’s everything you need to know about the event, including how to get the most out of your party time.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: The Ultimate Guide to Disney Genie and Genie+

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom begins in mid August every year (Photo: Disney)
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom begins in mid August every year (Photo: Disney)

What Are the Dates of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 2023? 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is an annual event that runs from mid-August through Halloween. This year, it’s running on select nights from August 11 through November 1. Tickets start at $109 and go up to $199 per adult ticket ($99 to $189 per child), depending on the date of the party. There’s a $10 discount on tickets for annual pass holders and Disney Vacation Club members on select nights. 

What Time Does Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Start? 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes on until midnight each night. Even though the party starts later in the evening, families with a ticket to this Halloween-themed event can get into Magic Kingdom starting at 4:00 p.m.

SPOOKY STORIES: 38 Great Halloween Books for Kids and Teens

If you plan to go to the park during this early entry time, you do not need a theme park reservation or a separate day ticket to get in. Your separately ticketed admission for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will get you into Magic Kingdom any time after 4:00 p.m.

What’s Included with Entry to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?

There’s a lot to do during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Most of the attractions at Magic Kingdom are open throughout the party, including fan favorites like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain. You may also be able to get a virtual queue spot for TRON Lightcycle/Run during the party. The boarding groups drop at 6:00 p.m., but you don’t have to be inside the park to request to join the line. 

WHERE TO STAY: 12 Best Disney World Hotels for Every Age Group and Interest 

Throughout the night you’ll find a plethora of Halloween-themed entertainment, including the iconic Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, and other pop-up entertainment and dance parties around the park. Of course, no Halloween party is complete without seeing Disney characters in their costumes while you’re dressed up in yours. Around the park, you may encounter Mickey Mouse, Pooh and his Hundred Acre Wood pals, and even Jack Skellington!

You’ll also find trick-or-treating stations set up around Magic Kingdom. These spots are mainly located inside restaurants or shows that are not operating during the party, such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, and Columbia Harbor House. 

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular at Magic Kingdom (Photo: Disney)
The Sanderson Sisters headline Disney’s Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular at Magic Kingdom (Photo: Disney)

Costume Rules for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom

You can dress up in full costume at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party as long as you abide by a few rules. Anyone 13 or younger can wear a mask as long as there’s unobstructed peripheral vision and Cast Members can see your eyes. For those 14 or older, a costume can be worn only on party nights, and masks are not allowed.

EXTRA SPACE: 11 Best Disney World Hotels for Families of 5 or More 

Costumes have to be family-friendly and not drag on the ground. According to Disney, accessories that resemble a weapon are not allowed, but some acceptable accessories can include transparent wings, plastic light sabers, and toy swords. The full list of Disney’s costume guidelines can be found here

I do recommend wearing a group costume to make the night feel more festive and fun. Just be careful about what you wear—not only because of the costume guidelines, but also because Orlando can be quite hot during the party season. If you’re going to any of the August or September parties, consider wearing a lightweight costume that’s breathable and comfortable. October parties can be cooler, which means that you can dress in heavier outfits that may not be suitable for earlier dates. 

Costumed characters at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Photo: Disney)
See familiar characters in Halloween-themed costumes at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Photo: Disney)

How to Get the Most Out of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom

1. Arrive right on time

Since you can get into Magic Kingdom with your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket starting at 4:00 p.m., I strongly suggest you do just that. The gates to the party open right at 4:00 p.m. and your family will be shuttled through the Main Street bypass near Tony’s Town Square Restaurant.

DISNEY DINING: 25 Best Disney World Restaurants at the Orlando Theme Parks and Hotels

In the bypass, you can take photos with cute character statues and you’ll get your party wristband, trick-or-treat bags, your first round of candy, and party maps. Use this extra three hours in the park to grab dinner at a quick-service restaurant and plan out what you want to do during the Halloween party. 

2. Get in line for high-priority characters early

One of the biggest draws of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is that you can see some very rare characters or characters dressed up in their Halloween costumes. The lines for characters can get long very quickly. If you entered the park at 4:00 p.m., plan to get in line for your top character meet-and-greet no later than 5:00 p.m. 

Though it may seem like you’re wasting time by waiting for a character before they officially start meeting guests at 7:00 p.m., you will be towards the front of the line, which will allow you to be among the first to get photos and autographs. Then you can be on your way just after 7:00 p.m. and not waste valuable party time. In some instances, characters will even start meeting guests a little bit early, so you may be done with the meet-and-greet before 7:00 p.m.

High-priority characters often include Jack Skellington and Sally, who meet inside the Town Square Theater; all seven dwarfs, who meet in Storybook Circus; and Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet, who meet next to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. 

AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: 9 Cheap Theme Park Hotels in Orlando Near Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld

3. Don’t trick-or-treat until the last few minutes of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

During the party, you will be able to trick-or-treat at select locations around the park, but I suggest waiting to do this until after the fireworks go off. The trick-or-treat lines can be long during the first half of the party, especially for families who have younger children who may fall asleep early. 

If you wait until the last half of the party, the lines are usually shorter and you can hit more trick-or-treat spots in a shorter amount of time. You can find the candy spots located on the party map, or by locating the large blow-up columns that say “treats.”

Fireworks above Magic Kingdom during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Photo: Disney)
The spooky fireworks show above Magic Kingdom lasts 12 minutes during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Photo: Disney)

4. Always watch the first parade

I love Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade and always suggest that families watch the first parade. The biggest reason is that if the parade isn’t performed for the first time slot you’ll have another chance at the second. My favorite spot to watch the parade is on Main Street, U.S.A., looking down towards the castle. Another great spot is just in front of the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. 

FASHION AND FUNCTION: What to Wear at Disney (and What to Leave at Home)

Try to pick your viewing location about 30 to 45 minutes before the parade starts because there are two “pre-shows.” The first is seeing the Headless Horseman go by and the second is Max Goof dressed up like Powerline from A Goofy Movie hosting a dance party along portions of the parade route. The best spot to see Max is on Main Street near the Emporium or the Confectionary. 

Times for the parade are 9:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. If you’re watching from Main Street, U.S.A., the parade gets to the Emporium around 9:35 p.m. and ends around 9:50 p.m.

5. After the parade, move up to the castle for the fireworks

If you’re using my tip and watching the first parade from Main Street, U.S.A., I also suggest moving as close as you can to Cinderella Castle after the parade passes to get ready for Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show. The show is scheduled to start at 10:15 p.m. and lasts 12 minutes. 

The closer you are to the castle, the better view you will have of the life-sized Jack Skellington puppet. Jack acts as your host for the fireworks, so if you love The Nightmare Before Christmas this is something you won’t want to miss. 

6. Stay for the 12:00 a.m. showing of the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

While it might be tempting to watch one of the early showings of the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, I prefer to stay and catch the 12:00 a.m. show. This is the last big entertainment offering during the party. The midnight show is usually the least crowded and it gives you time between the fireworks and the show to ride an attraction, wait in line for a quick character meet-and-greet, or do some trick-or-treating. 

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: Disney’s Dining Plan Explained: Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World’s Pre-Paid Dining Plans 

The show features the Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s hit movie Hocus Pocus, along with plenty of other Disney villains showing off their powers. This is one of Disney’s best castle stage shows, so do not miss it.

7. Only do rides with layovers or unique character interactions

You may be tempted to do attractions at the party because they have low wait times, but to maximize your party experience I suggest limiting your rides to those with Halloween layovers or unique in-queue character interactions during the party. Rides that have a layover will be noted on the party map.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER: Why It’s Time to Stop Skipping EPCOT When You Visit Disney World 

One thing you definitely should not miss is Madame Carlotta or Madame Renatta with their butler in the outdoor section of the Haunted Mansion queue. These two ghosts of the mansion don’t start meeting until dusk but are worth hopping into the line for the attraction to hear jokes or stories about the residents of the Haunted Mansion.

A highlight of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is sampling all the spooky treats (Photo: Disney)
A highlight of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is sampling all the spooky treats (Photo: Disney)

8. Don’t try to sample all of the snacks

One of the highlights of any Disney party is the scrumptious snacks that you can try. Every year at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the Disney chefs come up with creative new sweet and savory options you can only purchase during the party. I suggest looking at the Disney Eats: Foodie Guides to see the full list of options each year, plus where everything will be sold. Then make a short list of two or three things you want to try. 

OUT OF THIS WORLD: Ultimate Guide to Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios in Orlando

Pro-tip: Mobile ordering is not available at any location during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party so you will have to wait in line to get snacks. The lines do get shorter for treats as the night goes on, but unless you want to spend all night in the snack line it’s smart to pick a few favorites rather than trying to sample them all.

9. Buy your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party merchandise early during the party

If want to get party-specific merchandise and not just the general Disney Halloween merchandise, plan to buy it early on during the party. Party merchandise can often be found in the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A., and other select locations around the park. It usually includes a T-shirt, trading pins, and a spirit jersey, among other unique items.

More from FamilyVacationist:

Megan duBois
Megan duBois is the Senior Theme Park Editor for FamilyVacationist. She's also a freelance journalist who covers theme parks, cruising, family travel, and wine tourism for outlets like Conde Nast Traveler, Business Insider, Forbes, Travel + Leisure, The Points Guy, and National Geographic. You can reach her via email at megand513 [at] gmail [dot] com.