If we dig deep into the history of Disney Parks and the man who created it all, Walt, it’s clear to see that Disney never shied away from the darker side of things. As a storyteller (in my opinion, the G.O.A.T. of Storytelling), Walt knew how to play on basic human emotions and fear was one of them. Whether it was his “Skeleton Dance” Silly Symphony, the darker villain-type characters in his movies, or a handful of dark rides, Walt knew how to intertwine fear and make it coexist within the Happiest Place on Earth.
I genuinely loved the fact that Disney was embracing something that isn’t always cheerful and merry. I was curious to see Disney’s spin on the holiday and curious as to how my kids would enjoy it. Fast Forward to the present day, we are currently trying to decide which weekend we will be going this Fall all while my 4 and 5 year-olds are going back and forth about which costume they want to wear. This year will be the 5th time my husband and I are going (we went on our Honeymoon and 1st Anniversary), and the 3rd time our children are going.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween is actually (and to quote the parade theme song), not so very scary. Your little one is likely to be more frightened by the Haunted Mansion on any given day, than the Halloween party. I’m not sure how Disney did it, but they found a way to make the event interesting for people of all ages. Unlike some theme parks, and even your town’s haunted house or hayride, Mickey’s Halloween appeals to everyone. As adults, my husband and I love seeing Jack and Sally, and we love the haunting clacking noise of the horseshoes as the headless horseman rides down Main Street (in what seems like the only time the park is completely silent). Our children have always been drawn to the traditional Disney characters, all dressed up in their Halloween costumes. There’s free candy involved, need I say more?
My husband and I had gone twice and when it came time to bring our children, we were probably in the position you are now, wondering if your child is too young. Will they be frightened? What if they don’t want to wear a costume? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, read on and I’ll be sure to answer all your questions.
1. Is this included in my park ticket?
No, admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Party is not included in your general park ticket. It’s an extra ticketed event. Tickets start at $79 and vary in price depending on the date you decide to go. There is no adult and child price, they’re equal for the party.
The Halloween party begins at 7:00 PM, however, they begin letting Halloween guests in beginning at 4:00 PM. I love that! As a family, in the past, we’ve opted out of a park ticket for that entire day and purchased only the Halloween party ticket. We go in between 4-5 PM, so if you think about it, you could take the morning and afternoon to enjoy your resort or explore Disney Springs. I’ve also seen people who still want to do a park that day on their vacation, but opt out of the park hopper option on that one particular day of the Halloween party. They can still visit a park, but know that they’re hopping will consist of whatever park during the day and then the Magic Kingdom for the Halloween party.
You’re given a wrist band to let Cast Members know that you’re there for the Halloween party. Trust me, they check! Multiple times throughout the night you will be asked to show your wrist band. So if you’re thinking of sneaking in somehow, don’t waste your time. I’ve actually seen Cast Members tell families they had to leave, as they were lined up on Main Street waiting for the parade because they didn’t have wrist bands and just stayed in the park. It’s not worth all the sneaking around, just buy the ticket. You won’t regret it!
2. Are the costumes required? Will we feel left out if we don’t wear them?
That’s a big, no and no. You aren’t required to wear a costume, you don’t have to wear a family costume, or anything else having to do with the wearing of costumes. My husband and I didn’t dress up the first two times, but once we had kids, it was fun to get into the spirit a little bit.
The first year we went with kids, I purchased the Peter Pan costume from the Disney Store and the PJ Masks costume was from Party City. I attempted to be Minnie Mouse, without having to buy a costume. My skirt and shirt were from Forever21, and my ears were of course from Disney Parks. Last year, in 2018, the boys were in full-blown Star Wars mode and their costumes were purchased from the Disney Store. Since Star Wars was (Actually, still is) a family favorite, I decided to go with matching family costumes as Star Wars.
Everything I purchased for my Rey costume was from Walmart, and the total cost was under $30. The cloth draped across me is actually a curtain panel! Mommas, hear me out, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on costumes. Anything purchased for my boys’ was when Disney had an online sale, of after Halloween from the previous year. Last year when I was looking up Rey costumes, I was seeing prices go as high as $100 for an adult costume. No way was I going to pay that, so I made my own, and I think I rocked that Rey look!
DISNEY MOM TIP: We’ve only ever been to Not So Scary in October. Even though it’s night time and the month of October, it’s still hot! Especially when you’re going into the park around 4 or 5 PM. It’s hard planning costumes when most everything sold online and in stores for kids is long sleeves, pants, and made of a material that just seems to create more heat for your body. If you can find a short sleeve costume, go with that. If you’re super crafty and are making costumes, try to figure in short sleeves and/or shorts. My youngest, his first year was Peter Pan. The costume had a long sleeve shirt to go under it and pants, I chose to put him in neither of those. Last year, my oldest who was going to be a Stormtrooper, decided last minute it was too hot and didn’t want to wear his costume at all. It’s still Florida and it’s still hot in October, so try to keep that in mind when deciding on costumes.
3. Are The Characters out and about? Is Fast Pass still offered?
Let me get to Fast Pass first, no they do not offer fast passes during the Halloween party. That being said, the crowds are low. Especially if you’re going farther away from the actual Halloween holiday. We’ve gone on more rides during the few hours at the party than we have an entire day in the parks. Want to know where the longest lines in the Magic Kingdom are during the party? Wherever you say those giant inflatable Mickey pumpkins, you will see the long lines! That’s where everyone is lining up for the free candy. Our kids are so little, they don’t even know when they’re walking past the free candy spots. Last year, they were more aware but even then, we only did a few stops. Upon entering the party, you are also given a free trick or treat bag that’s already full of goodies!
The characters are not only out and about during the Halloween party, they’re in their Halloween best! You’ll even find characters who aren’t usually out in the parks. Click on our article regarding all the characters and more specifics of the Halloween party- https://thekingdominsider.com/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party-all-the-dates-and-details/
4. Plan for the parade
As much as it pains me to say this, because if you knew my family you would know, we aren’t parade people. If we happen to catch one, fine. But we don’t plan our day around them or plop down on Main Street hours before to save our spots. That being said- I would wait in one spot for 3 hours if I had to, just to make sure I saw the Halloween parade. The Boo To You Parade is perhaps the best parade at Walt Disney World. Bold statement, I know, but I stand by it!
The parade is the traditional parade route through Magic Kingdom (Frontier Land through Main Street). The star of the parade isn’t even in the actual parade. The shining star is the Headless Horseman. About 15 or 20 minutes before the parade begins, an eery silence comes over the entire park. The only noise you hear is the clicking and clacking of the horse’s horseshoes. Suddenly, out of the smoke and darkness, appears the Headless Horsemen. What a sight he is! If you’re worried about your kids being scared, all I can tell you is, mine never were. They were so intrigued by what was galloping past them, they didn’t have time to be scared.
Then come the parade and every character you could imagine is singing and dancing, decked out in their Halloween costumes. The theme song from the parade will have you wanting to sing and dance and you’ll never say “Boo” again, without following it up with, “Boo To You!”
DISNEY MOM TIP: The parade occurs twice during the party. Usually, after the first parade, the park clears out a little more. We always skip the first parade and make a date with the second one.
Pack pajamas for your little ones. By the end of the night, they’re tired and just want to be comfy. Sometimes they want to keep their costumes on, and other times they just want their pajamas. I always have pajamas in my bag and ready to go for them.
5. What if my child has a food allergy? Can they still participate in Trick or Treating?
I continue to sing praise to Walt Disney World for handling situations like a guest with a disability or food allergy. They are so accommodating and make you feel extremely comfortable. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween is no different. My children don’t have any food-related allergies. But I have many friends who have children and face life-threatening allergies to food items such as nuts, eggs, and milk, I know how severe and frightening food allergies can be, especially when one is unexpectedly exposed to contaminated food. Trick or Treating is one of those unknown situations where allergy contamination can occur, this is where Disney goes the extra mile to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Any Cast Member will tell you, “safety starts with me.” With a safer trick or treating experience in the park, it starts with the bags. When you arrive and are given your complimentary trick or treat bag, guests can opt for a bag that’s the color teal. Teal is the color for food allergy awareness. The teal bag alerts cast members of the allergy. Disney doesn’t stop there, they assume most families have more than one child and are sure to include the child with allergies at every candy station. There’s no need to leave siblings or friends behind. Your child can trick or treat with their party, rather than get candy, the cast member will see the teal bag and hand them a teal token. The teal token can be redeemed at allergy-friendly locations throughout the park. This also eliminates cross-contamination.
There you have it, my Disney Mom’s guide to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween. No child is too little, and no adult is too old. This Halloween party is for children and adults of all ages. My kids were 1 and 1/2 and 3 when they went for the first time and we’re about to be taking them back for the third year in a row! Get into the spooky spirit, embrace your darker Disney side and enjoy the night, it’s an event you don’t want to miss.
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