The Magic Kingdom Halloween party, better known as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, takes place each year at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The party can be overwhelming if you do not have a good plan in place.
The unfortunate predicament is when you think you have a good plan but you actually realize later that you knew nothing at all. Keep reading to find out how we could have done things better so you won’t make the same mistakes.
Magic Kingdom Halloween Party
My husband and I attempted our first Magic Kingdom Halloween party in the fall of 2015 with our 3-year-old son and our 4-year-old daughter. The goals I put in place for the party were modest. Consequently, I was confident that we would achieve our plan without any snags.
Spoiler alert: I was wrong!
Five Failed Strategies
- Lined up too Early for Character Meet & Greets
- Stood in FP+ Fireworks Viewing Area
- Downplayed the Dance Party
- Missed Magic Shots
- Skipped Short Ride Lines
Lined up too Early for Character Meet & Greet
Generally speaking, lining up for Jack & Sally or 7 Dwarfs to attempt an early meet and greet is good form. On the other hand, for me, when it came to meeting Winnie the Pooh and Friends, I experienced a strategy fail. Even though I had a Character Locator subscription I found I didn’t use it well enough.
Stood in FP+ Firework Viewing Area
The plan was to watch the first parade from the viewing area then hang out in the viewing area and watch the projection show and fireworks. That too was a failed plan. Once the Boo to You parade started we soon realized our vantage point wasn’t as good as it would be for fireworks.
Downplayed the Dance Party
Missed Magic Shots
We didn’t take any magic shots simply because I didn’t know any existed. Consequently, anytime I go to Magic Kingdom, regardless of time of year, I ask Photographers if they have any cool magic shots to offer!
Skipped Short Ride Lines
As you can see from our Magic Kingdom Halloween party timeline, when we rode the Tomorrowland Speedway, our turnaround time from entrance to exit was only 11 minutes! Consequently, I wish we had attempted more rides. First of all, ride like Astro Orbiter, offer no FP+ and has very long lines during the day. We have yet to ride it because the lines are always so long.
Timeline of Halloween Party Events
On path to Magic Kingdom from Bay Lake Tower
It's amazing how fast kids run when they know they are about to get candy! Although the evening sky showed rain clouds we did not experience any rain during the party.
First in line to meet Pooh and Friends
Although we managed to be first in line, Pooh and Friends were fashionably late by 15 minutes. This pushed our party time schedule way off track.
Churro’s and popcorn while waiting in line
My husband held the line with the kids while I walked down the Storybook Circus cart for snacks. (Just in front of the Dumbo ride!)
Rode Mad Hatter Tea Party ride
Took turns holding the line with my husband riding the tea cups. So the kids rode twice!
Played in the Winnie the Pooh waiting queue and rode the ride
Around 6:30 pm I took the kids into the waiting queue for the Winnie the Pooh ride. I could see my husband from there waiting in line. By around 6:45pm line started forming behind him for the party meet and greet. So I took the kids and we got in line for the ride.
Took photo with Pooh and Friends
Pooh and Friends were late to the Meet and Greet by 15 minutes. Although if I had looked more carefully at Kenny the Pirate's Character Locator I would have noticed he listed the gang as a 7:15pm start time. To make matters worse, Eeyore didn't join them. Seeing Eeyore in his clown costume was something we were really excited to see.
Walked down to Storybook Circus to meet Donald, Daisy, and Minnie
The walk between Pooh and Friends Meet and Greet and Storybook Circus is as short as one city block.
Trick or Treated down Barnstormer path towards Tomorrowland
While waiting to meet Donald, Daisy, and Minnie my husband held the line while I took the kids on their first trick or treat run. In 2015 there was a candy trail with 3 candy stations along the path that parallels Barnstormer and the Walt Disney World Railroad tracks. This year for 2016, there is a similar candy trail inside Pete's Silly Side Show, normally where Daisy, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald have meet and greets during the daytime. I've heard good things about the new 2016 set up for trick or treating inside the tent!
Donald, Daisy, and Minnie take a break from the crowd
While waiting in line, after devouring the majority of the candy (there wasn't much amongst four of us), we took some pictures in front of Casey Jr. Splash and Soak. You can see my daughter already has her blankie at this point so the kids are already getting tired (even after the sugar rush!). She was 4 1/2 and my son had just turned 3. The characters took about a 10-12 minute break during our wait.
Finally met Donald, Daisy, and Minnie.
Honestly, this Meet and Greet is so worth the wait. Donald, Daisy, and Minnie are so playful and nice. Their costumes are so amazing, having a photo with them for party night memories is wonderful.
Walk to FP+ West viewing area to watch Boo to You Parade
Normally the FP+ West viewing area is absolutely wonderful for Wishes and Celebrate the Magic viewing. Only once before this had we used this area to view a parade, the Electrical Padget Parade. The one caveat to the Boo to You Parade is that a lot of the entertainment is street level. So there are fewer high floats to offer views from far away. The Gravediggers, Haunted Mansion dancers, and even the Wreck it Ralph candy corn truck was difficult to see. Lastly, there were party goers sitting on the fence in front of our viewing once the parade started. This is normally enforced as a no-go however for party night the CM's were a little more lenient.
Headless Horseman arrived
Show times for parades and stages shows differ from September to October parties. Make sure to plan according to the month you are visiting.
Walk down to Tomorrowland in search for candy
We left the FP+ West viewing area after the final struggle to lift the kids up to see Wreck it Ralph. Since we had zero candy left (and of course the point of taking a 3 an4-year-oldld to MNSSHP is for candy right?) we went in search of some. We walked back to Tomorrowland and hit the candy stop at Stitches Great Escape. Again, we only received a few pieces each (maybe 3 each) so we decided not to waste any more time trick or treating.
Happened upon the Monster’s Inc Dance Party
Super fun surprise! Tomorrowland has an Incredibles dance party during regular hours, but we aren't huge Incredibles fans. That said, I had no idea that the dance party was specially themed for the Halloween party. (another blunder) Our daughter was a little scared of the monsters but our son ran right up and starting dancing! The videos we have are priceless. Just know they don't take autographs or stand still for pictures. Tip:The Monsters are moving fast sometimes so using the video option to record memories is the best way to keep up with them! If you have newer iPhone you can take still photos while recording video by selecting the white button on your screen while you are recording. Or you can watch the video on your computer later and just screenshot the paused video image you want. (that's what I did with the image of my son dancing the Mike Wazowski on the left!)
Entered Tomorrowland Speedway with no wait!
There was no line for the Tomorrowland Speedway! We just ran all the way around the waiting queue right on to the ride! It took 11 minutes to go through line, ride, and exit. Once we exited the ride we noticed two trick or treat bins next to one another. There was a large crowd of people lined up in two lines (one for each bucket). We waited in one line and again only received about 3 pieces each.(this was at 9:50pm) Disappointed with the trick or treating we decided it was time to cut our losses. So we began back towards the Castle HUB.
Caught Castle projection show: Celebrate the Magic
We followed the Tomorrowland Bridge towards the Castle Hub. Just as we were approaching the side view of the castle we caught the Celebrate the Magic show! I had no idea you could see the projection show on the side of the castle too. It was a great discovery. Towards the end of the show, we walked towards the Castle Hub to grab a great spot for Hallowishes fireworks.
Walked back to our room at Bay Lake Tower
After the fireworks, the kids were tired, as were we. We passed right by the shops on Main Street never knowing they were selling exclusive merchandise and specialty cupcakes in the bakery. We also failed to stop at any Magic Shot locations because we didn't know about them in advance.
Learn from these mistakes
To make up for these blunders we attended two Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween parties in 2016 and will be doing the same in 2017!
A good plan with strong strategy is all that you need to get the most out of the Magic Kingdom Halloween party.
Leave a comment and ask your questions or share your party strategies with our readers!