Mickey’s Halloween Party and My Fear of Buyer’s Remorse

Every Fall, the Disney Parks transform to cater a recurring celebration called Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a nighttime event for little “boys and ghouls” to dress up and experience their favorite Park like they have never seen it before. The Parks seem to endure a Halloween tsunami that unearths larger-than-life decorations, dark character costumes, and a new spooky atmosphere.

Attendees have a few special perks that might make this event worthwhile. For example, the Parks are closed to the general public during the party, so there would be a significant difference in foot-traffic and waiting times. In addition, ticket-holders can enter the Parks a few hours before the party starts, which is usually around 6-7 p.m. During the event itself, guests can meet characters (including Villains), access most of the rides, and get an exclusive showing of the Halloween Screams fireworks spectacular.

Generally speaking, there aren’t many differences between the Party at Disneyland and that of WDW Magic Kingdom. There is a slight price increase at WDW (between $48-$68, depending on the date and time of purchase), but guests also get to see Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade, which includes characters from the Haunted Mansion ride, as other parades typically do not.

While I grew up living fairly close to Disneyland, I never had the opportunity to attend the Party. But now that I am a bit of a Disney freak, I am very curious. As a college student very conscious of her budget, I’m having trouble swallowing the price of a ticket (between $49-$64) for only a few extra hours in the park.

So, fellow Disney fans, I’m asking you for advice: For those of you who have attended the event in the past, did you think it would be worth the price for someone without children? Are there any other Disney Park events that you love?

Amanda (@amandajcorreia) is a Boston-based marketing student with an immense passion for film, travel, blogging, and pretending she’s a Disney princess (http://amandajcorreia.wordpress.com/).

34 thoughts on “Mickey’s Halloween Party and My Fear of Buyer’s Remorse”

  1. I don’t have kids and I love MNSSHP it’s some of the best character interactions i’ve had. The music and shows are amazing. I ended up going to two parties in a week once because I loved it. While I don’t find the Christmas party worth the price i wouldn’t hesitate to for MNSSHP. There is enough to do and see you won’t find yourself bored (but get that ride on the HM in early because that gets a wait)

  2. not.worth.it.

    I love the Christmas parties at WDW, but the Halloween party was just sort of “eh”. Lots of trick or treating, which gets old without kids. Hallo-Wishes is pretty awesome, but you can watch it from the beach of the Poly.

  3. I love it. The atmosphere is so fun, they have so many characters walking around you don’t usually see…I saw Snow White with all the Dwarves. And there are no lines. I rode Big Thunder with no wait and the train half full, and when we came into the station, there was no one waiting so they let me ride again without getting out of the train. We have gone twice, and I would do it again.

  4. I went when I was in college with a group of friends. It was a lot of fun and a real treat to see the park and characters as you don’t normally get to see them. You never too old if you are a kid at heart.

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  6. The first time we went to MNSSHP we were kidless. We brought my mom along as well. We all dressed up and had a great time. It is definately made for the younger kids and we plan on taking our daughter in 2 years or so, but the decorations, the characters, the headless horseman, the people watching made it fun.

    I put people watching at the end because A LOT of people get into it and its fun to see people in costume. Little boys as pirates, girls as princesses and the parents dressing up to also enjoy the festivities.

    While i was in college, i had a tight budget but this one night will be worth the 3-4 times you could go out to eat for the same cost.

  7. Ok, I know you asked for comments about people who have been before…but I am a MNSSHP newbie this year…I am going in October with my family. I am so excited!!! We are character hunters (cough) ::stalkers:: and I’ve not gotten to meet any of the Villians yet…we are dressing up as Disney characters for the party…I am going to be Malificent, my partner is going as Buzz Lightyear, our 3 year old is Peter Pan and my 17 year old son is going as a Haunted Mansion butler! We went to the Christmas party last year and while it was fun, we probably won’t do that one again…Halloween is more our style :)

  8. Worth every penny! I love the atmosphere and the short wait times. Be sure to check out the parade and get there in time to see the Headless Horseman ride! The Boo to You parade is the best Disney has to offer.

  9. We LOVE the Not So Scary Party! We’ve been going annually for many years. One year my MIL flew down just to do the party! My 11 year old daughter says it is tough to pick her favorite part. I think she likes all of it LOL! My favorite part is no wait for rides. Everything is marked 5 minutes and it is awesome. I wouldn’t go the week of Halloween. We usually go the week of Columbus Day in the middle of October. The fireworks are awesome and the parade is lots of fun. Watch for the headless horseman at the beginning. I’ve been dreaming lately about doing at least a little bit of Disney by myself. That is without children or family :). And the party would be a fabulous place to just wander around and absorb the atmosphere. I say go, dress up and have a fabulous time! AJ

  10. I’ve done the MNSSHP at WDW 2x, both with my daughter at ages 2.5 and 4.5 and are doing it again this year (5.5). Last year my sister (single & 29) did it with 2 friends from college who ran the Wine & Dine race with her. They had a great time & one was completely sold on the parties just for the ease of getting on rides with no lines. Save TOT for late in the evening because it is very crowded early in the evening.

    I wouldn’t do it alone, but with a group of friends it should be fun. Don’t forget a costume – it can be simple. I’ve done a Minnie Witch and Chef Minnie – Minnie ears with a witch costume & Minnie ears and a red apron with white sticker polka dots.

    1. Interesting. That was another question I had: Can adults dress up, too? I know Disney usually has strict rules against it, but I have three (for shame, I know) princess costumes I would love to wear!

      1. Yes adults can dress up too. They have a few rules about not posing for pictures or signing autographs if you’re dressed as a Disney character. But that’s about it.

      2. Amanda, this is EXACTLY what has made MNSSHP worth it to me on my two times attending (both without kids). Kids can dress up at Disney any time, but this is one of the few occasions when adults can. The parade is great, the fireworks are cool, but what really makes the party worth it is the fun you can have with your friends dressed up in costume and seeing other people do the same. Definitely wear a costume – go big, and you’ll love it.

  11. I for one, LOVE Halloween. Combine that with the greatest place on Earth (Disneyland) and it’s magic! I know the price is difficult to swallow (especially if you are unemployed like me) but worth doing at least once, ESPECIALLY since it is back at Disneyland instead of DCA.

  12. My husband and I did MNSSHP when we were at Disney for our honeymoon. It was so worth it and I can’t wait until we can take our daughter.

    The parade and fireworks is worth the price of admission in itself. Best fireworks ever! Of course, Halloween is my favorite holiday, I adore dressing in costumes and I’m a Haunted Mansion fangirl.

  13. My wife and I have also done the NSSHP. And we can’t have kids. Because we loathe them.

    Great to see the characters and how much effort Disney puts into the event.

  14. Unless you feel like paying $60 for half an operating day in an extra-crowded park just to collect candy you can get for pennies on the dollar the day after Halloween, skip it. We went to both Disney World’s and Disneyland’s Halloween parties last year and were thoroughly unimpressed. The most galling part was having to pay $$$ extra to get into a park that was WAY more crowded than any other regular day on our trip (and this was Tuesday, well before Halloween). Most of our time was spent waiting in line: for the parade, for fireworks, for candy, for party merchandise (if we could even find it). Yes, it was fun to be in the park in costume…for about 20 minutes, and then it was just uncomfortable.

    If these parties still had the perks and attendance caps they used to, they’d be worth it. But now they’re just a shameless money-grab.

      1. I’ll agree with Carrie.
        I love, love, love Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, but see no reason to pay extra for a few hours of cramming yourself in with countless others.
        I can’t blame Disney for making this easy money, but they won’t get mine during these evenings. I’ll be over at Downtown Disney instead.

      2. Both times I went, it was to one of the earliest parties in September. Very light crowds (but enough other people to enjoy seeing in costume).

      3. The earlier you go, the less the crowds will be. The closer you get to Halloween, the more crowded it is. At the latest, my group will go by mid-month. This year we’re changing it up a bit and going in late September, when it’s cheapest (and also least crowded).

      4. Yes! We were shocked by how crowded it was. We’d much rather go first thing in the morning on an off day.

  15. We were at the Disneyland party on the Tuesday before Halloween last year. It was EXTREMELY crowded – probably twice the number of people that were there during the day. You felt like you were in line just walking down the streets.
    With that said, I enjoyed the atmosphere with the Halloween decorations, eerie lights and fog over the Rivers of America, spooky music and the Halloween Screams fireworks alone are ALMOST worth the price of admission. My wife however did not enjoy it as much. I’m glad I went once but probably won’t go out of my way to do it again.
    It mostly comes down to your tolerance for crowds and your willingness to pay extra for a few small Disney perks.

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  17. I’ve been to the halloween party in WDW four times and have dressed up each time. It is super fun. The first time I went with my family and we met tons of characters. The next time I went with a bunch of friends and it was great not having to wait in long lines and all the cool photopass pictures you can take are worth it. The next two times were in the same trip, my mom sister and I loved it so much the first time round we went a couple days later and did the stuff we missed the last time. We always go in late sept-early oct, never been on the actual Halloween day.

  18. My wife and I have gone to the Magic Kingdom’s party for four years straight now…and we have no kids. It is certainly NOT more crowded. We’ve never waited for a ride. Its a good time BUT it depends on what you want to do. The ride lines are short, and there are lots of characters out (including the Headless Horseman) who you normally do not see.

    There is trick or treating, extra Halloween decor…and yes, adults can wear costumes.

    The first year we went it was raining off and on…we really thought the night would be ruined, but the Disney characters just got out there and played with patrons until everyone was smiling again.

    Frankly, the Halloween party is a LOT better than the Christmas party.

  19. My friends and I have been going to NSS for the past 8 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes (increase of price, reduction of perks) over time but it has still remained one of my most favorite Disney events. All of us started going during undergrad (again, it used to be at least $20 cheaper) and prefer it over Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. The latter is just too darn crowded, too hard to navigate, and the appeal of being scared just isn’t there for us. We’re Disney fans, and love dressing up–you can’t do that at Universal. Depending on when you go to NSS will determine how crowded it is, but even at its most crowded, you rarely wait more than 20 minutes for anything. The past few years we’ve been worried that we can’t afford it; this year we’re going on September 30th to catch a cast member discount thanks to one of my best friends. But hey, I get enough candy to literally last 6 months, so that’s where those extra $20 are going!

    If you love Disney and love Halloween, you can’t miss the Party at least once.

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  21. I used to work at Disney on Main Street and on the WDWRR. And the only time I loved working the parade was at MNSSHP!! That is probably the best parade they have! The music is so catchy and everyone always seems to have a great time! I went with a few of roommates to like 4 or 5 of the Parties and we always had a great time! We trick or treated and got pics with all the characters that were dressed up! It was so worth the money! you will have a blast!!

  22. I’ve been to Disneyland’s Halloween Party almost every year that its been happening. When it was at California Adventure and cheaper, it was completely worth the price. Last year it moved to Disneyland and was incredibly more crowded and expensive. I think part of the reason it became more crowded is because they only showed the Halloween fireworks during the Halloween Party, so more people bought tickets for it. We didn’t feel it was worth the cost, and it went up again this year.

    We had a great time before (we being two late 20s/early 30s females) and we dressed up every time. If it wasn’t over $60, I would say go for it.

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  24. I say go for it! It is so much fun and totally worth it. I’ve been to MNSSHP twice and Mickey’s Halloween Party once. I prefer MNSSHP, but Mickey’s Halloween Party is also a good time. It’s the only time adults get to go to the park dressed up. And it is so much fun. There are many rare characters out and about (if you’re into character spottings, it’s totally worth it)

    You also get to go trick-or-treating all around the park. I took my mom last year and she was really stoked about this part. And they have really good candy! (name brand and all)

    The attmosphere is amazing! Go for it!

  25. I was a Guest Relations cast member at The Magic Kingdom and had the opportunity to work many of the MNSSHP events. It’s my favorite event at WDW, by far. I attended the event when I was single with a large group of friends and took my wife for our honeymoon. The lines were non-existent and the party goes from 6-12, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the rides and the entertainment. The parade is amazing, and the fireworks are “perimeter”, which means they are launched from multiple locations and feel like they engulf you from all sides. Seeing the intricate costumes people create for the event is really fun. I know that masks aren’t allowed, but that wouldn’t be a problem for you. I’m not sure how much the event has changed over the years, but I would love to go again. I highly recommend it and think you’ll find it to be a completely unique Disney experience.

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