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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – 2012

Jack Spence Masthead


This will be the fourth year I have covered Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP). However, I skipped last year because I needed a break from all the spooky festivities. LOL. If you’ve read my previous blogs on the subject, you’ll notice that the event doesn’t change much from year to year. But that doesn’t stop MNSSHP from being a favorite of many people. This seasonal event is a “must do” for many families. They wouldn’t dream of missing it.

For those of you who aren’t aware of this event and are wondering what it’s all about, let me give you a little history.

For many years, Universal Studios Orlando featured Halloween Horror Nights. This was a separate, ticketed event and the park was transformed each evening from its regular theming into a frightening park of terrifying sights and sounds. It was marketed toward teenagers and young adults and the idea was to truly scare their guests with monsters, vampires, werewolves, and other terrifying surprises.


Universal Studios


In response, Disney started their own Halloween party. But since Disney caters to a more diverse age group, they realized that their gathering would need to be more lighthearted than Universal’s. Thus was born, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. All you have to do is look at Universal’s advertisement (above) and compare it to Disney’s (below) to realize these two very popular events are marketed toward different audiences.


MNSSHP Logo


MNSSHP is held at the Magic Kingdom on selected nights between September and November. During these evenings, the park offers special theming and shows intended to entertain the entire family. But before I start with a detailed description of MNSSHP, let’s take care of some logistics and answer the inevitable questions.

MNSSHP is a “hard ticketed” event. This means you must purchase a separate admission ticket to attend. Your super-duper, all inclusive, park-hopper, Magic Your Way Ticket is NOT good for MNSSHP. You MUST buy separate admission. Tickets can be purchased online, at any guest relations window, or at the TTC ticket booths.

Here are this year’s dates and prices:



Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $55.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $50.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $62.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $57.95 + tax



Sunday, September 30, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $58.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $53.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax



Friday, October 5, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $69.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $69.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $64.95 + tax



Disney limits attendance at these parties so the park is never packed. However, the closer you get to Halloween, the busier the party will be. Although I’ve never attended on Halloween, I have heard complaints from others that this evening is too busy. The above prices should give you a clue. The more expensive the ticket, the busier the park will be. The parties are identical every night so it really doesn’t matter what day you attend. You might want to keep this in mind when scheduling.

This next piece of information is very important.

MNSSHP and all of the special events, shows, and parades run from 7pm till midnight. However, you may enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm with your MNSSHP ticket. If you call Disney and try to verify this, they will be evasive. All they will tell you is the “official” hours are 7pm till midnight. But trust me; you can enter as early as 4pm. I’ve entered at 4pm every year and I did it again this year on opening night.

Disney allows early entrance for a reason. Since the party is only five hours in length, they know that if they didn’t stagger the opening, they would be inundated with everyone arriving at the same time. They could not handle this onslaught of people in an efficient manner. By allowing guest admission starting at 4pm, it balances out the arriving crowd.

When you pass through the turnstiles, you will be given a wristband. This will distinguish you from the “daytime” guests. The Magic Kingdom will cease its normal operating hours at 7pm. At that time, the cast members will restrict access to the various lands. Only those with wristbands will be allowed on rides, in shops, and in restaurants. Those without wristbands will be asked to leave the park.


Wristband


In past years, I have received a number of letters from readers complaining that Disney does not remove all of the “day” guests from the park -- and I’m at a loss on how to respond to your comments. All I can tell you is that Disney does the best they can. As far as I’m concerned, the cast members get a great big “A” in my grade book. If people want to cheat the system, they’re going to cheat the system.

Is it fair that the couple waiting next to you for the Boo-To-You Parade didn’t pay to see it? Of course not. But you have a choice. You can either let these cheaters irritate you and allow them to ruin your night, or you can forget about it and have a good time. However, if you’re not able to release on this, then complain at City Hall. I cannot help you with this situation. Please note, if you send me a comment that contains references to this situation, I will either delete the reference or not publish your comment at all.

Some people want to spend the entire day at the Magic Kingdom, including MNSSHP in the evening – and that’s fantastic. Of course, you will need two tickets to do this – your general admission ticket and your MNSSHP ticket. Sometime after 4pm, you will need to get a wristband. To do this, you can either return to the main entrance or visit the FastPass area at Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland. The cast members here will process your party ticket and give you a wristband and trick-or-treat bag.


Wristband Distribution

Trick-Or-Treat Bags


If you find you’re in the park on a party night and don’t have a MNSSHP ticket, but want to honestly partake in the events, you can buy a ticket at City Hall if the party is not sold out.


City Hall


Most, but not all of the rides and restaurants will be up and running during MNSSHP. Here is a list of what will be available:

Adventureland

Pirates of the Caribbean
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Aloha Isle

Fantasyland

“it’s a small world”
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Mad Tea Party
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Peter Pan's Flight
Prince Charming Royal Carousel
The Barnstormer
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Storybook Treats Ice Cream

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Splash Mountain

Golden Oak Outpost
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café
Westward Ho
Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart
Frontierland Churro Wagon

Liberty Square

Haunted Mansion

Sleepy Hollow

Tomorrowland

Astro Orbiter
Buzz Lightyear's Ranger Spin
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor
Space Mountain
Stitch's Great Escape
Tomorrowland Speedway
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
The Lunching Pad

Okay. Now that we have the logistics out of the way, let’s have some fun.

The merriment begins at the TTC where signs welcome us to the event.


TTC


Upon arriving at the Magic Kingdom, more signs and decorations greet us as we approach Bag Check. On the other side of the ticket booths, Mickey’s Forecourt is decked out with festive bunting, pumpkins, and autumn garland. Don’t forget to pick up your wristband and trick-or-treat bag.


Magic Kingdom Entrance

Train Station

Pumpkins

Halloween Garland


Disney has come up with a special cast member costume just for this party. Here we have two spooky crew members sporting the latest in Halloween fashion.


Cast Member Costume


But Disney cast members aren’t the only ones who get into the spirit with special attire. Party attendees are also encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween outfits. However, there are a few guidelines to be observed.

Costumes should be child-friendly and not obtrusive or offensive.

Adult guests may wear masks, but the masks must not obstruct vision (you need to be able to see where you’re going).

Guest who dress like Disney characters are NOT to pose for pictures or sign autographs for other guests.

Do not bring large or dangerous props with you.

Generally, costumes are not allowed for anyone over the age of nine during normal operating hours. However, Disney relaxes this rule on party days for guests spending the entire day at the Magic Kingdom.

Here are a few pictures of some costumed partygoers.


Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes


Since dressing in costume is a big part of the event, you might want to consider making reservations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League for a child makeover. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique accepts their last reservation at 7:30pm and The Pirates League is open until 8pm. However, I would suggest making an earlier reservation so your child can thoroughly enjoy the party in their princess or pirate garb.


Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Pirates League


Main Street and Liberty Square are the only lands that are decorated for MNSSHP. We’ll begin on Main Street with the pumpkin citizens found around Town Square. The first two fellows are part of the Walt Disney World Band.


Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People


Here we have the Mayor and his lovely wife.


Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People


As we circle Town Square we find an Emporium shopper and a baseball player who has wandered over from Casey’s Corner.


Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People


And finally we come to the two pumpkin-people cast members from the Main Street Confectionery.


Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People


Disney has also set up a photo op on Town Square. The statue of Roy and Minnie has been removed and replaced by stacks of pumpkins that perfectly frame the castle in the background.


Main Street Photo Op


Pumpkins, pumpkin, and more pumpkins line the upper stories and windows of Main Street. Many of these are themed appropriated for their location. Above the Fire Station we see these. I especially like the pumpkin pointing the way to the restrooms.


Fire Station Pumpkins

Fire Station Pumpkins

Restroom Pumpkins


Above the Main Street Cinema we see a pumpkin filmstrip of Mickey.


Main Street Cinema Pumpkin


Casey’s Corner also gets into the act with a few sports and food related carvings.


Casey’s Corner Pumpkins

Casey’s Corner Pumpkins

Casey’s Corner Pumpkins

Casey’s Corner Pumpkins


Across the street at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, a few more specialty gourds can be seen. I think the fellow in the last photo is suffering from an ice cream headache.


Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Pumpkins

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Pumpkins

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Pumpkins


Don’t forget to check out the Mickey adorned light posts.


Micky Lamppost

Micky Lamppost


On the Hub, holiday statues of some of our favorite characters can be found.


Hub Character Statues

Hub Character Statues

Hub Character Statues

Hub Character Statues


In Liberty Square, some pumpkins, garland, and other autumn decorations have been added to give this “land of freedom” a Halloween touch.


Liberty Square Decorations

Liberty Square Decorations

Liberty Square Decorations


The cast members working the Haunted Mansion also get a makeover. Besides their regular, somber costume, their faces are made up to look ghoulish. Also, a “spirit from beyond” takes center stage on the lawn of the mansion and entertains guests with wonderful stories of her life, both living and dead. Many let others pass them in line so they can stand longer and listen to her tales. To add to the creepiness, the gravestones are given a spooky look with the addition of low lying fog.


Haunted Mansion Cast Member

Haunted Mansion Cast Member

Mansion Ghost


Be on the lookout for impromptu Halloween games like this Spider Web Toss.


Impromtu Games


For those of you who play the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, a special collector’s card is available at the party. Note, Disney will punch your MNSSHP ticket to insure that you only get ONE, and only ONE card.


Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card


Now let’s get to the real purpose of Halloween, CANDY. Throughout the park are a number of trick-or-treat candy stations. These are clearly marked on the handout you receive when entering the park. However, Disney has also made it easy for you. At each trick-or-treat spot a cast member will be stationed nearby holding a Mickey Pumpkin sign. Also, and illuminated Mickey Pumpkin clearly marks the spot for goodies.


Candy Station Markers

Candy Station Markers


To see the handout for the party, click here.


At the beginning of the party, lines for candy are long as the kids want to get the good stuff immediately. But later in the evening, lines disappear for the most part. The candy offered is the small, bite sized pieces, but good brands are provided. Also, the cast members are generous with their handouts.


Generous Candy


Each of the candy stations is mildly themed to the area. Here are a few of the location banners.


Candy Stations

Candy Stations

Candy Stations

Candy Stations


Halloween merchandise is also a big seller and Disney is ready.


Halloween Merchandise

Halloween Merchandise

Halloween Merchandise

Halloween Merchandise


A particularly popular item is this Ghost Mickey popcorn tub that can double as a trick-or-treat bucket once you get home. These are only available at the popcorn wagons. They sell for $12 – including popcorn.


Ghost Mickey Popcorn Bucket


There are two Character Dance Parties. Rock-It Out…Stitch’s Club 626 can be found at the Tomorrowland stage. Here, a very energetic DJ gets the entire group goovin’ with Stitch, Goofy, and Pluto.


Rock-It Out…Stitch’s Club 626

Rock-It Out…Stitch’s Club 626

Rock-It Out…Stitch’s Club 626

Rock-It Out…Stitch’s Club 626

Rock-It Out…Stitch’s Club 626


Over at the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland we have Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup. Another DJ is on hand to liven things up with Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye.


Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup

Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup


These Dance Parties are a fantastic opportunity for your kids to interact with the characters. It’s a lot more fun than standing in a long line waiting for a photo and autograph.

Presented on the Castle Stage is the Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle show. Here, some of Disney’s greatest bad-guys and gals dance and rant and try to impress you with their evilness. This show is presented at 7:45, 8:50, 10:05, and 11:15. This show is far more entertaining than scary and kids should have no problem with it.


Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle

After the show, the villains come down from the stage and pose for pictures with guests. However, they will only be available for about 15 minutes and they are mobbed by enthusiastic fans.

I think most people would agree that Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade is the highlight of the evening. Shown twice each night (8:15 & 10:30), this spectacle is a hoot. Be sure to find your viewing spot by the announced beginning time as the Headless Horseman makes a mad dash along the parade route to the cheers of the crowd. If you’re not there in time, you miss him. Also note, the second parade is significantly less crowded. If you’re planning on staying late, skip the first parade and enjoy the park.

The beginning of the parade starts off tame enough with some of the not-so-scary characters, but then the villains take over for a haunting good time. Toward the end of the parade, several Goofy’s Candy Company carts stroll by and a number of his minions pass out treats to the crowd. I filmed the entire parade and it can be seen here.



At 9:30, a special fireworks show called Happy HalloWishes is presented. A Ghost Host introduces villain after villain and the castle is illuminated appropriately while color coordinated fireworks burst overhead. Once again, I filmed the entire show for your enjoyment.



That’s it for my review of MNSSHP. This event is a favorite of thousands and a “must do” every season. If you think this event is for you, then by all means, get yourself a costume and go. You’ll have a ghoulishly good time.



The previous post in this blog was BoardWalk Promenade - Part 2 of 2.

Comments (18)

Matt:

Last year my wife and I went to the World at the end of August, beginning of Sept and we saw the start of the decorations going up for the Halloween party. We instantly decided that we have to come for the party.

This year will be our first MNSSHP and we can not wait.

plus we are going to try to get to Universal's horror nights as well...

crystal:

Great review! Do you have info on where we can meet characters that are out for MNSSHP?

Jack's Answer:

The characters are all over the park -- often with a short line or none at all. Last night I could have had my picture taken with Jafar or Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters with absolutely no wait.

Mark:

Hi Jack! I think that people stop to hear the 'tales' that the "spirit from beyond" tells...rather than the 'tails' that you mention...unless, of course that she really does have tails that you can hear. LOVE your blog!

Jack's Comment:

This is what happens when you don't get home until 1am from the party and try to get two videos and a blog ready by 2pm the next day. LOL

Thanks for the great review Jack. This is my first time visiting WDW for the Halloween season and therefore the first time attending MNSSHP, can not wait!!!

Abby:

Thank you so much for posting this! I am going to be there for The Tower of Terror 10 miler and this is definitely a victory present to myself!

I'm excited to meet Maleficent. This will be my 1st time and I can't wait! Hope her line isn't insanely long.

Do you happen to know of any rare characters being there that would be a must see?

Jack's Answer:

Ummm, I'm not sure Maleficent is one of the characters that is "out and about." She's in the parade and the Villains Dance Mix show. I didn't see her posing for pictures yesterday, but then, it's impossible to be everywhere and see everything.

Dawn Smith:

Another great review! We are going to be attending MNSSHP on the last night, 11/2. Would you say that is a day to avoid the MK during the day?

Jack's Answer:

I really don't know. Disney doesn't make attendance predictions public. Party days can be busy as many come and spend the entire day.

John:

Great review. We have done the MNSSHP for the last four or five years and it is a blast. We go during September (Will be there in just a week, cannot wait!), and it is rarely crowded, though there is a glut of people between six and seven. Parents with small children seem to vacate the parks rather early and it is left uncrowded as a result. There's nothing better than walking around the Magic Kingdom with hundreds of folks in costume, getting great candy (lots of chocolate bars), and riding every ride at least five times. I can't stress enough how fantastic the fireworks are. Well worth the price of admission! Only slight downside is you will have the "boo to you" song in your head for at least four months... ;)

Amy:

Thanks so much for this Jack. Our children vary in age and this was very helpful in deciding whether or not they are ready for the event.

Noelle:

We went for the first time 2 years ago and had a total blast! Didnt think they could beat the christmas party but it did for us. Love people watching during the party so many people get really into their costumes. And I had the cutest 2 year old Winnie the Pooh EVER :)We caught a Photo Pass Person on the side of the castle going toward the haunted mansion and she took several playful shots for like 10 minutes while he played in his costume. Fireworks are a must see with also music! We will be there for the Sept 30th party.First time for my in-laws..we Cant Wait and niether can my 4 year old Peter Pan!!

Lisa:

My husband and I are going to the party for the very first time on Sept. 30th. We are Florida residents, and of the many dozens of times I've been to WDW, I have never been to MNSSHP, and I have not been trick-or-treating since I was a little kid! I'm very excited--now I just have to figure out costumes. We don't have children but we are always thrilled to act like kids at Disney.

sandi and Dave Lamborne:

We have been to several MNSSHP too. Can I make a few suggestions to the comments your fans made about characters? We mainly go for the characters....and the parade... All the Villains come down for photo ops after the show, but you have to ask a cast member during the show where to line up for each character. Then stand there. When the show is over people make a mad dash and the cast members try their best to maintain order.If you are lucky, you may be able to see more than one character after the show. They only stay for 15 minutes so you may have to go to two or three shows if you want your picture with each one.
Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs are usually in Frontierland. Tarzan and Jane in Adventureland as well as The Genie and Jaboo with Jasmine. I heard Gaston was there last year, but we missed him so we are going to ask a cast member/ photographer this year. Also don't forget the Disney Magic photo with the Coachman at Haunted Mansion.
Thanks for your review. we are heading over on the 18th and can't wait.

Rachel K:

Wow, this makes me so excited for the party. I'm going for the first time this year with my toddler. (She actually likes to stay up super late so I think the party should go well.) Out of curiosity, did you see Mother Gothel from Tangled? My DD is a huge Tangled fan and really likes Mother Gothel (along with the more expected Rapunzel et al.)

Kim:

With three small children, where is the best place to watch the parade? We'll be there at the end of September.

Thanks!

Nicole:

You did it again, Jack! A great blog that answered all of my questions for two weeks. It's like you read my mind. First the Boardwalk over view followed by MNSSHP both of which we will be at next week! I'm so excited. Thanks for all your hard work.

Casey:

Loved reading this blog about MNSSHP. We are going for the first time ever this year. Heading to DW 10/29-11/5 and willl be at MNSSHP on Halloween night. I know this is one of the busiest nights of the party if not the busiest but I am really looking forward to it. I also don't think we will be too overwhelmed seeing as we have gone to DW twice before for Christmas and have been at the parks when they are filled to capacity. I really enjoyed the blog and I can't wait to see it in person.

Allie :

I attended Tuesday as well. I am surprised that you didn't mention they got rid of the wenches and pirates waltzing in the Pirate section of the parade. It was replaced with a "Pirate Color Guard," that I didn't enjoy as much. Who ever thought they would see 10 male pirates dancing with flags? Not very pillaging and plunging type work there!

You also did not mention that after the Headless Horseman rides, they have a hip hop dance party on Main Street. The dance is on the Disney Blog so you can learn it before.

We had a great time and will probably buying another ticket to do it again this year!

Jack's Answer:

Disney provided AllEars with a list of new things added to MNSSHP this year. Blogger Kristin wrote about this (see the front page of AllEars). One of the things mentioned in Kristin's blog was new entertainment before the parade. I watched the parade twice from Liberty Square. There was NONE.

The parade changes something EVERY year. And to be honest, I really don't remember from one year to the next.

There is no way I can cover everything that happens at MNSSHP. There is too much and my blog would become tedious. Besides, I got home from the party at 1am and posted my blog to AllEars at 2pm the same day.

Sarah P:

We are Disney regulars but never been over Halloween before. We are going the end of October for the MNSSHP for the first time. Can you tell me the difference between the Trick-Or-Treat Trails and the Trick-Or-Treat spots? Also, did the MK railway still run around the park?

It looks like the cute Mickey popcorn buckets are offered this year again - is that right?

Thank you so much for the reviews! Great info! We are counting down until our trip!

Jack's Answer:

A Trick-or-Treat spot will feature only one candy barrel where CMs are handing out goodies. A Trail will have multiple barrels along a path where you can stop again and again for candy as you proceed along the trail. There are so many candy distribution spots it really isn't important. Kids can get all they want.

In my blog, I listed all of the attractions that are running during the event. The steam train is not one of them.

In my blog, I have a picture and the price of the Mickey popcorn bucket.


Steve Smith:

So during the parades are there only 988 happy haunts left in The Haunted Mansion? I counted 4 pairs of dancers plus 3 more spirits on the float.

Jack's Answer:

When a good friend of mine was applying for a job at Walt Disney World, the interviewer asked him if he knew how many people were employed here. He answered 55,002. The interviewer asked, "How did you come up with that number?" My friend answered, "Every time I ride the parking lot tram, the CM says, 'On behalf of the driver, myself, and the OTHER 55,000 CM's, we'd like to welcome you to Epcot.' So that makes 55,002."

He got the job.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 12, 2012 1:42 PM.

The previous post in this blog was BoardWalk Promenade - Part 2 of 2.

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