2020 tickets for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party (MNSSHP) are now available (just £10 deposit needed), so you can secure your 2020 halloween nights. For 2020, the dates the halloween party will take place will be:
On these nights, the Magic Kingdom closes around 6-7pm to regular guests, and the halloween party begins and runs through midnight. A common question we get is whether it's worth it? So I dive into the positives and negatives for those who haven't yet experienced it based on our experiences.
"Unlimited Candy". You can trick-or-treat as much as you like. The queues are generally a few minutes long and you get a small handful each time, but there's no limit to how many times you can do it.
Seeing the Magic Kingdom in a whole new light is something to experience. The spooky atmosphere really does change the vibe of the park - for the better. Other than the Christmas party, there is no way to experience the Magic Kingdom with a completely different vibe, and it really is something to see.
The special fireworks show and parade for the Halloween party are both great. The headless horseman riding in front of the parade is fantastic and always great to get the crowds cheering before the parade comes through.
You can dress up! Dressing up really adds to the experience, we previous went as Wally/Waldo and the cast members do a really good job of adding to the experience if you go in costume. Plus, it's really fun seeing everyone else dressed up, too.
You can meet characters that you cannot meet anywhere else. Like all seven dwarfs, and Genie!
You can experience some of your favourite attractions in a whole new way! The tea cups light up, actors added into Pirates Of The Caribbean, and my favourite is Space Mountain in the complete dark.
Many people love these parties because, depending on where they live, they cannot take their kids out to trick or treat in a safe environment. Disney offers a safe place to trick or treat.
The parties can be incredibly overcrowded. Even though there is a ticket cap, it really seems that has been relaxed over the last few years and more tickets can be purchased for these parties. Which results in...
Unable to do everything. There are specific ride tweaks and unique characters that come out on the halloween parties, but because of the huge crowds, you can be waiting hours for just one of them. With putting aside time for the fireworks and parades, you're almost forced into disappointment if you want to experience it all, which can either leave you feeling disappointed or feel forced into paying for another night.
It finishes at midnight. While this isn't a negative for some, if you have small children it can be tough (although the candy should help with that.)
It's pricey, and can really add up if you're paying for children. (Keep in mind this is a Brit's perspective and most of us will have already paid for the ultimate ticket.)
The first time we did the party was in 2017, and we loved it. The park was quieter, we dressed up, and had a really good night. We did a good chunk of the Halloween offerings, or least what we wanted to do. The following year in 2018 we did it again, but it just wasn't the same. It felt really cramped in Magic Kingdom, more so than it was during the day. Even though the atmosphere will still really great, there was just so many people. It felt we weren't getting much candy at all from the trick-or-treats compared to previous years, and the lines for things were just too long. We were told the line to meet Jack Sparrow was 90 minutes. That's almost a quarter of your entire party time, and with other offerings being in the same vein, there was no way around it. It really felt like that we've paid extra (on top of our ultimate ticket) just to stand in more lines for hours. And as a long time Disney fan, I am fine with lines on a standard day, but for a separate pricey hard ticketed event, it's not acceptable in my eyes. Even though we went to find a parade spot 40 minutes before showtime, there was nowhere to stand with any sort of good view. We noticed people at around 9pm having enough and leaving (in costume) which really makes me sad. We skipped it entirely in 2019 after hearing the same complaints again as we had in 2018, but we're hoping it improves in 2020 (explained in the conclusion).
Although people are kicking up a bit of a fuss that the Halloween party now starts mid-August, I don't think it's that big a deal. Sure, it's more nights where the Magic Kingdom closes early for everyone else, but kids enjoy these parties and for families who can only go during the summer time when kids are off school, it's good they have the opportunity to do the parties. The dates are announced over 6 months in advance, so you can plan your days around the earlier closing of Magic Kingdom quite easily.
My general rule of thumb for the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party is if you haven't yet done it, and have the budget to spend £65-£135 per person (including children) for it, then do it. However, keep in mind the negatives listed above and manage your expectations. While I think - at those prices- you should have ample opportunity to experience all of the offerings and characters on a Halloween night, it's just not possible with the amount of tickets Disney now sell on a night. There are no Fastpass+ on Halloween nights, so when you get there, grab the entertainment schedule and decide what's most important to you, and leave ample time to get a good spot for the fireworks and parade.
If you have been before, then you'll know whether the positives outweigh the negatives. For me personally, the negatives do win, but as we're getting married at Disney World this year, we'll have friends and family - some of which are first timers - and they all want to experience the Halloween party, so we'll be doing it again. But, if it's still too overcrowded and disappointing like it was for us 2018, it'll be the last time.
The general advice to avoid the extremely busy nights, which are Fridays and Saturdays, and avoid the first week (as it'll be full of vloggers) and the closer you get to Halloween the busier it gets. Also, take your own bag for the candy! They only give you a silly little paper bag.
You can buy tickets for 2020 now with just a £10 deposit using the link below.