/ Monday, October 31st, 2011

by Leah Emmanouilidis

I’ve heard it before. Heck, I’ve even said it before… “I don’t need to pay for an extra ticket just to go trick-or-treating at Disney World. That’s just for kids.” After attending the party, I can now say I feel very differently!

As an adult with no children, I can attest that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) can be just as much fun for adults as it is for children. Perhaps, even more so! My husband and I have attended MNSSHP twice, once in 2010 and again in 2011. I’ll admit that the only reason we attended in 2010 was the fact that we received party tickets with our Run Disney Mickey’s Halloween 5K race registrations. We hadn’t previously considered spending the extra money for this ‘hard ticket’ event because we didn’t really think it would be worthwhile for us. Boy, were we wrong! We had such a great time that we have recommended the party to many family members and friends, and we purchased tickets to attend again this year.

Here are the top reasons why we enjoyed MNSSHP and recommend it for adults as well as families:

Enhanced Décor and Theming:

If you are fans of Disney’s details, you will thoroughly enjoy the party theming and added scenery during your MNSSHP experience. Sure, much of the jack-o-lanterns and Fall decorations seen at the party are the same as what you can experience during the day and on regular evenings, but with the party comes significantly enhanced show elements. Lighting with vibrant purples, greens and oranges cast spooky visual tones all over the darker-than-usual Magic Kingdom. From the train station to Main Street to the Caribbean Plaza and beyond, the park takes on a completely different feel with scary sounds and fog complementing the special lighting throughout the park. Traditional Halloween-themed images like ghosts and spider webs are projected on the castle, buildings and ground. They add an element of whimsy and fun to the detailed Halloween theme and decor.


You might be thinking, ‘am I really going to dress up? Is it worth the space in my suitcase to pack a costume?’ Well, it depends on your personality, but chances are if you are reading this, you like to have fun and you’d enjoy partaking in the excitement at MNSSHP too! Cast members and guests alike enjoy seeing all the fun and creative costumes at the party. You will be amazed, surprised, and delighted by the creative things other guests come up with! I’ve seen everything from entire families dressed as classic Disney characters to hitchhiking ghosts to a group of Tower of Terror Bell Hops (in short skirts, no less)! You can play it up as much or as little as you like (or as much as your suitcase will allow). For example, for our first party, my husband and I dressed as Mr. & Mrs. Incredible with homemade t-shirts and masks and regular pants for simplicity. This year, we went a little further.  We dressed as Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark – including a gold idol, whip, hat, and satchel for Indy and a monkey and the staff of Ra necklace for Marion. We managed to buy regular clothes for the costumes and made the props. You’ll find cast members are dressed in special attire and characters are in costumes for the party too. With Disney’s PhotoPass staff on hand and all the cool scenery, you can get some great photos of you with your significant other or your group of friends all dressed up.  Below are photos of me and my husband and me with my friend Nicole, who made an amazing Mary Poppins!

Unique Photo Opportunities

If you are a fan of photography, you can have a lot of fun with the lighting and fog combinations as well as the unique party elements like projected images and Mickey-shaped pumpkins and ghosts. The parade and fireworks will offer even more great shots, but I’ll get to those next.  We found it to be both exciting and cute that Mickey and Minnie and many of their character friends dress in costume for MNSSHP.  If you like to get character photos, you’ll be happy to know that special character Meet & Greets are all around the park. The Disney Villains Mix and Mingle stage show offers glimpses of less-frequently-seen villains, who also come down for photos with guests between performances.  Other unique photo opportunities at the party include things like Cinderella’s carriage, the Haunted Mansion hearse carriage and Snow White with all Seven Dwarfs! There’s a great spot for a group or family photo from Town Square near the flagpole – the scene is of pumpkins on either side of you with a uniquely lit Main Street and Cinderella’s castle in the background. For those who are wondering, yes – this is the spot where the Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse “Sharing the Magic” statue normally sits. Don’t worry, Roy and Minnie still reside in Town Square; they have just been moved near City Hall for the duration of the party.

Mickey’s Boo-to- You Halloween Parade

Few words can really describe how awesome this parade is. That means a lot coming from me because I don’t usually like to stand still long enough to watch more than a couple minutes of the park parades. But, this one is worth watching twice per night! Really. The parade begins with Sleepy Hollow’s legendary Headless Horseman galloping on a real horse through the parade route.  He’s amazing. And, that’s just the first 5 seconds! The cute and catchy Boo-To-You song carries through the entire parade, which includes everyone’s favorite lovable characters, various scary villains and some really cool special appearances. I don’t want to spoil too much by giving away the details, but the highlights include a skeleton rock band, the Haunted Mansion Caretaker with his dog, Gravediggers and the ballroom dancing ghosts from the Mansion and the Goofy Candy Company (get those treat bags ready)! It’s really like no other parade I’ve ever seen. It’s interesting and captivating and just so unique – definitely a Disney must-see!

Happy HalloWishes – Grim Grinning Ghosts Come Out to Socialize

Halloween-themed fireworks? How can it be bad when it’s hosted by your ghost host from the Haunted Mansion?!  With exciting renditions of our favorite scary music like Grim Grinning Ghosts, This is Halloween, Poor Unfortunate Souls, and many more villainous tunes, the fireworks display will not disappoint! The perimeter fireworks are used in this show and the party really takes to the night’s sky. The heavier use of orange and purple colors really emphasizes the darker, Halloween feel of this version of Wishes.  Adults and kids alike will be seriously impressed!

Character Dance Parties

Depending on how you feel about popular dance music and party songs like the Cupid Shuffle and Cha-Cha Slide, you may or may not be interested in the Character Dance parties. Even though I am not a big dancer myself, I do find it fun and amusing to dance with characters in costumes like Stitch, Goofy, Pluto and Chip n’ Dale! If that sounds like fun to you, definitely make your way to Stitch’s Club 626 at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. (Side note, our awesome wedding DJ, Charles Miles, from our Disney Fairy Tale Wedding has been the DJ at Club 626 for the past two years! It was fun to see him and dance with him again!) Or, if more traditional songs like the Hokey Pokey, YMCA and other dance songs are more your speed, you can party with Woody, Jessie and Bullseye at Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup at the Diamond Horseshoe restaurant.


C’mon, whether you want to admit it or not, most adults turn into little kids when free candy enters the picture!  At MNSSHP, cast members hand out trick-or-treat bags when you enter the event. At first, you may not realize what a treasure this is going to be, but as you wander the park, you will see candy trails (basically trick-or-treat stations) and your excitement will grow. As you traverse these trails with your little treat bag, cast members drop in handfuls of candy, and before your know it you will be giddy as the children beside you in line! And, there is no limit to the number of times you can go through the trails collecting as much, or as little, sweet goodness as you want. And its good stuff too –this year we had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Now and Later, Snickers, M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie pops, Sweet Tarts, Sour Patch Kids, lollipops and much more! Oh yeah, and raisins too, which actually make great portable snacks to toss in your bag during the rest of your trip. Sweet!  (pardon the pun  )

So, if it’s not clear by now, I’ll re-emphasize the entire party’s atmosphere is fun, whimsical, a tiny bit scary and very, very unique.  I highly recommend you check it out if you are visiting WDW next Fall!

Have you already been to Mickey’s Not So Scary? With kids or adults? Did you think it was worth the extra admission price? Would you do it again?
Happy Halloween!

A life-long casual fan, Leah’s love for Disney soared to new heights in 2003 when she and her (now) husband, Andrew, got to know each other at an Orlando-based business conference. Visiting the parks together, Leah and Andrew relived their childhood and fell in love with each other as well as Walt Disney World. Trips to WDW grew more and more frequent over the years as new facets of Disney caught their interest, like Run Disney events, backstage tours, Food & Wine Festival, holiday parties, DVC and more. With a wedding proposal under the Magic Kingdom fireworks in 2009 and a Disney wedding and honeymoon in 2011, the magic of Disney brought Leah her very own fairytale and she’s hooked for life! Follow Leah on Twitter: @Leah679.



2 thoughts on “Why Adults Love Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party As Much as the Kids”

  1. cindy says:

    My DH and I went this year without kids and LOVED it~~ enjoyed short lines on the rides, the candy and just the great lighting and theming. Totally recommend to families….. we usually bring the kids, but this year we went solo and loved it!!!! I will come back year after year for this event!

  2. Christian M. says:

    I wanted to go so bad to this but I couldn’t 🙁