10 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Disney World’s Halloween party may be “not-so-scary” but you know what IS scary? WASTING time during the party!

We can’t wait to get back!

If you’re paying to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) this year, then you’re probably paying a chunk of change to get tickets for your whole group. And since the party is only 5 hours long, you don’t want to waste any of that time! That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of 10 rookie mistakes that you don’t want to make at MNSSHP.

Not Checking the Entertainment Schedule

DO NOT, and we repeat, DO NOT forget to check the entertainment schedule for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party before you go. You can often find showtimes for the entertainment options in the My Disney Experience app ahead of time, and if not, we post the full schedule here on AllEars when we visit the first party of the year.

Look at those showtimes!

It’s a really good idea to go into the party with a plan, knowing exactly which parade and stage shows you want to see, and making sure that those times don’t contradict each other (or with the fireworks!). There are several entertainment options available, and to catch them all, you’ll have to do a little bit of finagling ahead of time.

Boo-To-You Parade

And even if you don’t want to see everything, it’s important to know what the showtimes are for the things you DO want to see. You’d hate to miss the fireworks because you jumped in line for a ride right before they started.

Not Staking Out a Parade or Fireworks Spot in Advance

When people think of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, they often think of it being a time when Magic Kingdom is a lot less crowded than it usually is. Don’t be fooled — it’s STILL crowded!


The holiday parties aren’t like After Hours events where the park is completely empty. No, you’ll find some heavy crowds on Main Street, U.S.A., and in front of the castle when it comes time for Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade and Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular. For both those entertainment options, we typically recommend staking out a spot in advance, especially if you want a prime location.

A spectacular finale!

Don’t walk up at the last minute expecting to stand on the edge of the sidewalk for the parade or get a direct view of the castle for the fireworks. It won’t be that easy! You also won’t have to wait an hour ahead of time like you do during regular park days, but just arrive 20-30 minutes in advance and you should be ready to go when the parade rolls through.

Watching the First Parade

And speaking of the parade, did you know that it runs TWICE during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary? Yep! Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade happens at 9:15 and then again at 11:15PM each night of the party. It runs from Frontierland through Liberty Square, and then down Main Street, U.S.A.


Unless you’ve got kiddos that need to get to bed, we suggest that you skip the first parade and watch the second one instead! The first parade is a popular choice for families with little ones, and because of that, it’s much harder to find a spot to watch. Going to the second parade typically means you’ll be dealing with lower crowds and a better view!

Watching the First Castle Stage Show

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is the stage show that happens in front of Cinderella Castle each night, and it features the characters from Hocus Pocus as well as a variety of Disney villains. It’s one of the most popular offerings at the party!

The Sanderson Sisters!

The show typically happens at 8:35PM, 10:45PM and 12AM in August and September, but adds a fourth showtime at 7:40PM starting in October. And if we could give you one tip for watching this show, we recommend that you don’t watch the first one!

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

For the same reason as the early parade, there are WAY more people who watch the first stage show of the night. You won’t be able to get as close to the stage and get a good view of the characters up close. It’s usually easier to wait until a little later into the night.


But here’s the kicker — make sure to watch the rain forecast! Because if you wait until the last show of the night and then the rain comes, the show will be canceled. It’s just a good idea to keep an eye on the weather anyway.

Totally Skipping Character Meet and Greets

If you love Disney characters and meeting rare Disney characters in the parks, then the Halloween party should be your paradise! During the holiday parties, Disney often brings out rare characters that you can’t meet any other time of the year, like the seven dwarfs, Jack Skellington and Sally, Genie, and the Disney princes.

Jasmine greeting guests

If you skip out on the characters, you’ll miss the chance to interact with a lot of your favorite Disney pals that you won’t see any other time throughout the year. Don’t sleep on the meet and greets!

Waiting TOO Long for Characters

But there’s a warning on the OTHER side of that too. Because the character meet and greets are so rare, we sometimes find that popular characters get REALLY long lines during the party.

Elvis Stitch!

For example, we’ve seen the line for Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas reach two or three hours in the past. When you’re paying extra money for just five hours of party time, do you really want to spend HALF of that in line for just one meet and greet?

Some of the lines get LONG

If you want lower wait times for characters, consider “rope dropping” the meet and greet at the beginning of the party or going toward the end of the night. You could also skip the parade or fireworks show if meeting that character is particularly important to you.

Arriving at 7PM

MNSSHP starts at 7PM and runs until midnight, but there’s an important tip you should know — those with party tickets can enter Magic Kingdom at 4PM, even if they don’t have a ticket to the park for the daytime!

The 2022 candy bag!

If you wait to arrive until 7PM, you’ll be wasting party time getting into the park and getting settled. Instead, get there at 4PM, get your party guide, and wristband, and make your game plan for the night. You’ll probably be able to knock out a few rides before the event starts!

Using the Whole Party to Do Rides

MNSSHP is first and foremost, a HALLOWEEN party. That means that throughout the night, you can enjoy unique entertainment (that day guests don’t get to see), go trick or treating, check out special ride overlays, and experience Magic Kingdom in a way that is unique to those with event tickets.

Mad Tea Party ride overlay

Often during holiday parties, there are short lines for the rides. However, we don’t recommend taking the entire night to do a bunch of rides when there are so many unique things to see. If rides are your priority, it might be better to pay for an After Hours event instead, or upgrade your hotel room to a Deluxe for a night so that you can check out Extended Evening Hours.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

You can also probably get most of the rides done at Magic Kingdom during the daytime if you use Disney Genie+ effectively. Don’t waste money on an MNSSHP ticket just to skip all the Halloween offerings!

Wearing a Costume That Isn’t Weather-Appropriate

One big mistake you can make, especially during August and September, is wearing a costume that isn’t weather-appropriate. The summer heat in Florida lasts a lot longer than you think it does, and in the fall months, it’ll often still be hot at night.

Guests in costume at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

So if you’re coming to one of those earlier party dates, make sure to wear a costume that’s summer-friendly. It’ll mean that you’re a lot less miserable at the end of the night!

Planning Improperly for Food

Last but not least, we’ve got to talk about food! The first mistake you can make when it comes to food is forgetting to eat. Several restaurants will close during MNSSHP and be used as trick-or-treat stops, so you might not be able to get the meal you want after 6PM. Make sure to plan ahead — see what will be open and where you can eat so that you don’t have to survive on candy!

Don’t survive just on candy!

The other problem you could face is a completely opposite one. Both Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table will be open during the parties and are accepting reservations. But meals at both those spots will take up a significant chunk of your party time. Skip those and save them for a regular park day!

Bayou Burger from 2022

Those are all the big mistakes we need to warn you about! If you’re going to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year, stay tuned to AllEars for all the updates when the Halloween season kicks off. We’ll be covering EVERYTHING on the first night of the party!

4 Big Changes Announced for MNSSHP in Disney World — Click Here!

Are you going to the Halloween Party this year? Tell us in the comments!

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