Are you headed to Disney World during the Halloween season? Well, you’re in for a treat – literally! Every fall, the Walt Disney Company decks out the parks with Mickey pumpkins galore and invites guests to celebrate the season with various activities and events, including Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
With so much to do, it can be hard to learn about all the Halloween offerings. If you’re ready for a Disney Halloween season — we’ve got all the details. Here’s everything you need to know to celebrate the Halloween season with Mickey and Minnie at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida!
WHEN DOES HALLOWEEN SEASON START IN DISNEY WORLD?
Disney doesn’t only celebrate Halloween in the month of October – they start much, much earlier! In recent years, Disney has decorated the parks for fall in mid-August and kept those up all the way through October 31st. It certainly won’t feel like fall weather-wise in August, but you’ll be able to enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte (and many other offerings) early in the season! (Disneyland Resort in California gets decked out in September.)
You can usually figure out exactly when the decorations will appear based on the schedule for Disney’s exclusive Halloween event, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Decorations tend to begin appearing a few days in advance and Magic Kingdom is fully decked out by the first night of the event.
And, while you have almost a full three months to experience Halloween in Disney World, you won’t want to plan your trip for even a day after October 31st if you want to see the decorations. Disney flips the park from Halloween to Christmas overnight, so you’ll miss out. Though, this can be a great time to visit if you want to see the parks decked out for both holidays in one trip!
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY
The biggest Halloween event that Disney World hosts is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This ticketed after-hours event takes place in the Magic Kingdom on select nights from August through October.
Here’s everything you need to know about this fun special event.
DATES AND PRICING
In 2022, the event is scheduled to take place on select nights from 7PM to 12AM between August 12th and October 31st. There are a total of 37 event dates ranging from Sundays through Fridays. You’ll want to purchase your tickets early though, as many nights are already sold out for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
It’s also important to note that your Halloween party ticket does not include a park ticket. Rather, your purchase only grants you access to Magic Kingdom after 4PM on the day of the event. This means that those hoping to visit Magic Kingdom for the entire day will need to purchase their park ticket separately.
When it comes to cost, tickets start at $109 and go up to $199, with prices increasing as Halloween approaches. If you want to pay less, you’ll need to plan your visit in August or September. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can usually purchase discounted tickets on select nights.
WHAT CHARACTERS YOU CAN MEET
There are a lot of exclusive things available only to guests who attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and one of those is the ability to meet very rare characters. There are several Disney characters that only come out once a year for this event! Plus, there are also more recognizable characters dressed up in their own Halloween costumes too.
For example, you can meet Mickey Mouse in his Halloween bat costume, Stitch dressed up as Elvis, and Pooh dressed up as a bumblebee. And, in addition to all these, you’ll also be able to spot characters like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, George Sanderson (from Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.), and more. You never know who you might see!
Perhaps the most sought-after characters at the party, though, are Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The duo usually can be found greeting guests near the entrance to the park and they’re very popular! Wait times to meet them can get very long, so plan on getting in line early in the evening.
Read More: 10 SPOOKY PLACES FOR HALLOWEEN ON THE EAST COAST
The Halloween party in Magic Kingdom also boasts four exclusive entertainment offerings. First is The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show, which takes place on the Cinderella Castle Stage. It features the Sanderson Sisters and many other Disney characters and can be seen several times throughout the night.
The Boo-To-You Halloween Parade is another popular offering that happens twice during each party. The parade steps off in Frontierland and makes its way up to Main Street, U.S.A. and features many unique characters and show elements. For example, there is an entire Haunted Mansion-themed section with grave diggers and hitchhiking ghosts, a Pirates of the Caribbean section, and the Disney Villains are the grand finale.
The only thing that might be more popular than the parade is Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show! Taking place only one time during each event night, the fireworks show is full of Halloween hits, specialty fireworks and projections on Cinderella Castle, and even an appearance from Jack Skellington himself! Fireworks dessert parties are available at an additional cost and offer guests some of the best views of the show.
Lastly, the Cadaver Dans also have a short show at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! If you’re not familiar, the group is a twist on the fan-favorite barbershop quartet, known as the Dapper Dans, during the day. They perform Halloween songs in various locations around the park, so be sure to check the times guide to find their exact location.
Throughout the entire event, there are also several Halloween activities that you can participate in for free. The most popular of these is trick-or-treating. That’s right, you can trick or treat your way through Magic Kingdom and collect a ton of candy along the way!
At the beginning of the party, all guests can pick up a free trick-or-treating bag. This is what you’ll take to the designated treat stations throughout the park. In 2022, there are a total of 14 stations handing out all kinds of candy like M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, and more. Note that allergy-friendly treats are available as well, just speak with a Cast Member when picking up your bag.
In addition to trick-or-treating, you can find exclusive photo opportunities with specialty backgrounds and props. Plus, several dance parties are available from 7PM to midnight, featuring live DJs and some fan-favorite Disney characters to dance with. You can find all of these activities (and any additional offerings) in the party-specific map – just pick it up when you enter the park!
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
There’s even more to explore during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! If you’re in the mood for a treat (aside from the ones that you get when you trick-or-treat), there are several specialty eats and drinks that you can only purchase when the party is happening. Look for things like the Grave Digger MilkShake, Chilling Chamber Pop, and even an M&M’S Peanut Butter Churro at select locations.
You won’t want to forget to hop on some rides between all the shows and activities too! During the event, five rides are transformed to celebrate the season with Halloween overlays. This includes Space Mountain, Mad Tea Cups, Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Haunted Mansion. These are rides that you definitely don’t want to skip when you’re visiting!
Dressing up in costume is also encouraged, so put on your Halloween best and enjoy the lower park crowds and spooky atmosphere. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a fan favorite event for a reason!
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WHERE TO FIND HALLOWEEN-THEMED DINING
If you’re headed to Disney World in the fall, you might want to add some Halloween-themed dining to your to-do list! In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hollywood & Vine hosts Minnie’s Halloween Dine from mid-August through early November. Here you can snag a reservation for lunch or dinner to meet Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and other Disney friends in their Halloween costumes while you eat.
Aside from table service dining, Disney also releases limited-time Halloween and fall-themed snacks. In 2022, Disney has whipped up ghoulish delights like the Pain and Panic Hot Dog, the Oh, My Gourd Cupcake, a Cold Witches Brew Coffee, and more. Plus, you can even enjoy your fall treats in a Disney Halloween-themed souvenir, like a Glow Mickey Mummy Premium Popcorn Bucket, a Donald Candy Corn Sipper, or a Zero Popcorn Bucket.
The specialty eats and drinks change on a yearly basis, though Minnie’s Halloween Dine is available annually. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to secure an advanced dining reservation at Hollywood & Vine! These can be made up to 60 days in advance of your trip.
HALLOWEEN DAY RESORT ACTIVITIES
The Disney Parks aren’t the only places that you can celebrate Halloween! Many of Disney World’s Resort hotels also do something special on October 31st. These activities and events are a great option if you’re looking for something to do to escape the crowds. And, the best part? They’re usually free!
Complimentary activities usually include things like Halloween-themed arts and crafts, costume contests, trick or treating, and Disney Halloween movie screenings. Disney’s Fort Wilderness has even been known to have a Halloween Golf Cart Parade and cabin decorating contest that guests are encouraged to participate in. To know what events are happening at your hotel, check with the front desk when you arrive.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has also hosted a Return to Sleepy Hollow event in the past on select nights. During the event, they show the 1949 Disney animated classic film “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and guests can meet the Headless Horseman. This usually takes place in October, though it hasn’t returned in recent years. Keep an eye on Disney’s website if this is something you’re interested in!
WHERE TO PURCHASE HALLOWEEN MERCHANDISE
It wouldn’t be a celebration without some Halloween merchandise coming to Disney, and you can find a lot of it in the parks! Each year, Disney releases several Halloween collections that include clothing, accessories, home decor, and even Halloween costumes. Items feature classic Disney characters, characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and more, so there’s a lot to choose from.
Most merchandise is available for all guests in the gift shops at the parks, though Disney does release one collection that can only be purchased during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This collection usually includes spirit jerseys, pins, Minnie Ears, and other clothing items. The collection goes on sale beginning at 7PM each party night in The Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. and lines can get long. So, plan to do your shopping first if there’s something you really want.
Aside from the party exclusive souvenirs, you can usually find most of Disney’s Halloween merchandise online on shopDisney as well. This is also where you’ll find the largest selection of Disney Halloween costumes. But, plan to do your shopping early in the season as some items do sell out.
EPCOT FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
In addition to all the Halloween happenings in Disney World during the fall season, there’s another big event happening – the Food and Wine Festival! This event takes place in EPCOT and features 30+ food booths with exclusive eats and drinks, unique merchandise, activities, and more.
The EPCOT Food & Wine Festival usually kicks off in July or August and runs all the way through mid-November. So, you’ll have extra time to enjoy it beyond the Halloween season. During this time, international food booths pop up around World Showcase with menus that feature unique eats and drinks from that country.
In addition to the food booths, you can enjoy the Eat To The Beat Concert series, which features a different band each weekend. Or, you can partake in Emile’s Fromage Montage, which involves purchasing select cheese dishes to receive a prize. And, if you want something to do besides eating your way “around the world,” you can complete a scavenger hunt during the Food and Wine Festival.
Plus, new in 2022 is a Halloween Scavenger Hunt! Known as Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit, guests visiting EPCOT can make their way around the park on the hunt for hidden pumpkins that are decorated like Disney characters to win a prize. Note that this Halloween scavenger hunt is an additional cost. You can purchase the map at several gift shops and bring it back once completed for your prize.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO DISNEY WORLD
- YOUR THEME PARK VACATION
- UNIVERSAL HALLOWEEN: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS
- ROLLER COASTERS: 9 THRILLING & FUN DISNEY WORLD ROLLER COASTERS
- DISNEY DINING: DINING WITH DISNEY CHARACTERS: 14 SPOTS YOU’LL LOVE
- DISNEY WORLD TIPS: 80 BEST DISNEY WORLD TIPS FOR A MAGICAL VACATION
- DISNEY AT CHRISTMAS: 22 BEST REASONS DISNEY AT CHRISTMAS IS MAGICAL
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