Hello out there! Is it autumn yet? Well, technically no, but Magic Kingdom has started their Halloween party so it can’t be too far off. We attended the very first party of the year on August 17th, and we’re here to tell you the lowdown on this seasonal hard ticket event.
The dates for the party this year are as follows: August 17, 24, 28, 31 September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30 and October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31. Tickets range from $74 adult/ $69 children to $125/ $120 (for Halloween night.) The hours for the party are 7pm-12am, but guests can enter as early as 4pm (2pm for DVC members.) Weekdays are generally cheaper and less busy, and if you have your heart set on celebrating on Halloween, be prepared for serious crowds.
The main draw of this event for us are the special entertainment, trick or treating, and special treats and merchandise. There are also a plethora of special character meet and greets. The lines for these however, can be insanely long.
We arrived at the gates at about 3:40 and joined the huge crowd waiting to be let through the tapstiles. It was fun to check out the costumes, but it was also so incredibly hot. That was the theme throughout the night and it was hard to fully enjoy myself sweating as much as I was. We were let in just minutes before 4pm and then stood in line to get our wristbands. Wristbands fastened, we entered the park and headed to the right-hand path behind Main Street that they sometimes open up for overflow crowds. Here there were cast members giving out trick or treat bags and schedules for the party. Lots of Photopass photographers were stationed along the route to capture photo ops with the festive fall decor. There is also a little cart with party tee shirts and lots of plastic stuff that people seem to like to buy. This way you can get your merch quickly without having to visit the gift shops.
B wanted to meet Stitch so we made our way to Tomorrowland and got some great pictures with that oh, so cuddly alien. The full selection of party-specific shirts and pins are only available at the Emporium on Main St. and Big Top Souvenirs in Storybook Circus, so we went over to Big Top Souvenirs to look at the pins. A cast member was standing near the checkout with a picture of all the pins. We were told to tell the cashier which one we wanted when we reached the register, but the line was so long, and we didn’t really feel like waiting (time is money when you’re paying for a special event.)
At this point, the party hadn’t started, but the daytime crowds were dying down, so we rode Peter Pan (about a 30 minute wait) and Splash Mountain (about the same.) We then decided it was time for a snack, so around 7pm we headed to Main Street to try out the Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake from the Main Street Bakery. Spiced cake with pecans topped with buttercream and a candy apple shell. Boy, it was good but sweet! You really have to dig down to get a little cake with your frosting. The other treat we tried was the Maleficent dessert-lime soft serve in a black waffle cone, with purple sugar and chocolate horns. I liked this a lot, as it was really refreshing and not nearly as sweet. We tried to sample the apple cider slush from Golden Oak Outpost, but the slush part wasn’t quite working. Cold cider was still nice on this steamy evening.
Three rides have special effects going on during the party. Space Mountain has a new soundtrack and is in total darkness, Mad Tea Party has special lighting, and Pirates of the Caribbean has live actors throughout the ride interacting with guests. There are entertainers in Frontierland and outside Haunted Mansion, along with a Monsters Inc. dance party in Tomorrowland. We didn’t experience much of the entertainment due to the huge crowds. The party was sold out on the night we attended and was definitely oversold. One reason to attend a hard ticket event is the feeling of exclusivity. You absolutely didn’t feel that way on this party night.
About 45 minutes before the parade we made sure to get a good spot in Frontierland. The Boo to You Parade is just so much fun. It’s got pirates, classic and new characters (from Tigger to Vanelope) ghosts, villians, and dancing grave diggers. The second parade is usually much less crowded, but it’s so good that we watch both. Parade times are 9:15 and 11:15.
The other highlight of the party for us us the Happy Hallowishes fireworks show. Paying tribute to some of Disney’s best villians, this is one of the best fireworks shows around. We got our spot in the hub about 40 minutes before the show started and had a great viewing spot. The show starts at 10:15 and is best seen from the hub in front of the castle or the top of Main Street.
After fireworks, we rode Space Mountain and Mad Tea Party, then did the bulk of our trick or treating, as the lines for candy were much lower towards the end of the night. The characters we saw out included Jack Skellington and Sally, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum with the Queen of Hearts, Tarzan, Jane, and Terk, and Tigger, Pooh and Piglet. The Moana and 7 Dwarfs meet and greets were moved inside this year so we couldn’t peek in on them. We would have loved to have met some rare characters but the lines were unbelievably long and we couldn’t justify spending precious party time standing around.
Overall, we had a great time at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I can’t wait to go back next year…in October! It was entirely too hot to get in the party mood in August. The heat was exhausting and unfortunately we had to miss the last showing of the Hocus Pocus Villian Spectacular because the kid had just had it. Have you celebrated Halloween at the Magic Kingdom? What is your favorite part? Let us know in the comments and subscribe to read more about our amazing trip!