My First Time Experience at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Image Credit: Jon Self

On August 16th, 2022, I attended my first ever Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP). Sure, I have edited lots of blog reports about it. I have helped many live streamers during the event. Yet, I had never attended until yesterday. For context, I am typing this early in the AM hours after returning to the B Resort where I am staying this week. In upcoming days, I will describe the parade, some shows, and the food involved with this event. Right now, my objective revolves around giving a first impression from someone who has never attended this event before. I hope this will help others who have not attended before.

Okay, this event starts with the standard issues of any event at Magic Kingdom for anyone staying off-site, The Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). The need to cross the lagoon to get to Magic Kingdom consumes so much valuable theme park time. We arrived around 3:05pm to the TTC since our access to the Magic Kingdom began at 4pm with MNSSHP tickets. We made it to the ticket turnstiles at Magic Kingdom at 3:40 seeing a mass of people waiting, Magic Kingdom sets up a queue area to the right side for MNSSHP guests however.

As someone who visits Universal Orlando more often than Walt Disney World, I say this with respect. The organization of these queues failed to meet the level of organization at Universal Orlando. To be clear, that falls well below an endorsement of how Universal Orlando handles these situations. If you plan to attend MNSSHP, be prepared to stand in uncovered areas for a while. Also, expect inconsistent queue enforcement and organization. Once again, this system fell below level at Universal Orlando, which is close to abysmal sometimes.

Once we entered Magic Kingdom, things went reasonably well. As I have covered in other blogs, guests get wristbands and trick or treat bags. From 4-6pm, I followed my advice, focused on low wait time attractions and food. I went to Monster’s Laugh Floor primarily for the air conditioning. After that, I went to my table service dining reservation at “Skipper’s Canteen,” My spouse appreciated this plan having been to MNSSHP before. Since day guests and MNSSHP guests roam the park at same time during this time period, the crowds will be the highest for entire day usually, you will find longer waits in general for attractions at this time.

After our meal, we saw a low wait time for Pirates of the Caribbean before 6pm. We were on and off that attraction quickly. After that, we were in the “grey area” time, the party technically does not start until 7pm while day guests exit. We tried to find some characters meet and greet opportunities but few of them were open this night in contrast to opening night at this same time. I then had a MNSSHP snack. We then decided to ride Space Mountain. We experienced the “dark” version for the party. I remember why I disliked that coaster since it is still too rough and uncomfortable compared to modern coasters, However, we exited that attraction a little after 7pm so it was not a bad use of our time.

As expected for the first hour or so of the party, the trick or treat trails had long queues. We avoided those until later. That turned out to be a wise idea. Instead, we took a bathroom break. After that, we got the M&M churro near the central hub of Magic Kingdom,

Since we decided to use the touring strategy of seeing the second parade and final Hocus Pocus show, we focused on attractions, snacks, and treat trails. We decided to skip characters but if you are a character person, the offerings range from common characters to rarely seen. Also, we decided to watch fireworks away from the central hub to avoid crowds. You miss seeing “Jack” but also skip need to stake out spot so early.

Since the Disney website (and information sent to bloggers) indicated Jungle Cruise would not be running during MNSSHP, I faced surprise when I heard several trip reports from the first night indicate Jungle Cruise was open. We took advantage of this by entering that queue at 7:30pm and waited about 15 minutes. A 15-minute wait during last year or so for Jungle Cruise in standby queue sounds impossible. Yet, it is not impossible during MNSSHP this year.

After that, I ate another MNSSHP exclusive food item. We passed by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad seeing only a 10-minute wait, so we rode that. The wait lasted a bit longer but nothing awful. Around this time the first Hocus Pocus show happened. I was told the first and second show had technical issues. This problem of issues and delays has beset the Hocus Pocus show over the first two nights of MNSSHP. With rain and technical issues, the full show only happened once without a flaw. We watched that show at midnight. I consider us lucky based on how shows have been going so far for MNSSHP in terms of luck and weather.

Even though no special overlays happen at Haunted Mansion, this attraction deserves at least one ride during a MNSSHP party. We did that. During the party, they add a character interaction within the entrance or exit queue. This slight addition makes a nice touch for this attraction.

I did see the special lighting package for the Mad Tea Party but avoided riding that attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean offers a slight themed overlay also for the party. The addition of a few pirates to interact with and discuss where to find the treasure works well for MNSSHP.

At this point, I visited the trick or treat trails to accumulate some more candy. My spouse requested more candy. I need to be a good spouse, right? I enjoyed a few more MNSSHP food/beverage items. Also, I disliked a few food/beverage items. Remember, I will write reviews of those after getting some sleep from a late night at MNSSHP.

At this point, I am feeling tired and old. I watched the “Boo to You” parade sitting on a curb in Main Street area of the park. I sat close enough to see the “Powerline” Max pre-parade mini dance party. This last-minute addition to the MNSSHP sounded way better in theory than in reality

The parade showed off theme park aspects that Disney does best. Much has been made in internet traffic about the characters from “Song of the South” being removed from the parade. I fail to see how this should have surprised anyone. However, I have no strong feeling on keeping current theming of Splash Mountain or changing it.

AS mentioned earlier, we saw the Hocus Pocus show at midnight. Based on when the second parade ends, the wait for that show would be less than 15 minutes. The Hocus Pocus show functions as a well-done show. The issue with technical problems and weather have hindered it so far. Still, this has only had two nights so maybe things will improve.

MNSSHP offers some excellent entertainment. As someone currently stuck without an annual pass to Walt Disney World, these events extend a chance to enjoy the attractions there. However, the main reason to go to this event involves characters, shows, fireworks, and the parade. Though some of my colleagues balked at paying more for MNSSHP this year, I think it still offers value. In fairness, for someone who visits Walt Disney World often, the value of this party diminishes. My spouse asked me if I had a good time. I did enjoy the party. The party presents the main problem that you simply cannot do everything in one night. In fact, you can barely do half the things offered in one night,

If you decide to attend MNSSHP, then consider at least these last two things, One, many nights are already sold out. Two, decide beforehand what aspects of MNSSHP makes most sense for you. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy the spooky season, even if it is not so scary.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.