Your Ultimate Guide to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)
Check your calendars, everyone! That most glorious time of the year is here! Yes, Halloween is right around the corner…and by right around the corner, I mean more than two months away. Still, The Walt Disney Company has decided that if Hallmark Channel can have Christmas in July, then Disney can bring back Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) in late August.
Sure, the premise here is faulty. And no, we shouldn’t be talking about Halloween for another six weeks. That’s totally beside the point, though! The return of MNSSHP means that we get to sing Boo to You! right now instead of waiting until October like calendar loyalists! Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know about MNSSHP…but it won’t be the last one! We’re just giving you a taste of the Halloween candy right now!
What Is MNSSHP?
Disney fanatics love the villains from the animated movies. In fact, fans love them so much that Disney has debated a Villains-only park at Walt Disney World. They’ve even made a special upsell ticketed event called Club Villain. And each year, Disney holds an autumn exhibition that celebrates that dark side of Disney. This event is known as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and it is glorious.
Here’s what you need to know about MNSSHP. This is a ticketed event that Disney will host several nights a week from now until the start of November. The cost of a ticket is ranges from $74 to $119, depending on the age of the attendant and the date they visit the park. And the park is Magic Kingdom, which kicks out all non-ticketed guests at 7 p.m. so that the MNSSHP crew can have the run of the place for the rest of the evening.
From a practical perspective, this means that your ticket buys you multiple rides on your favorite Magic Kingdom attractions. Since attendance is limited – sellouts happen for most MNSSHP evenings – you won’t fight huge crowds to ride things. That means Space Mountain will have shorter lines than usual.
I should warn you about something, though. Some of the attractions that Disney kept open in previous years like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train aren’t supposed to run during the event this year. I’m stating that prior to posting a list from Disney’s official site about attractions that are open because…well, they show Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as open. I’m not sure whether they changed their minds or if someone running the website didn’t get the memo. Anyway, here’s the full list:
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Haunted Mansion
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- “It’s a small world”
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mad Tea Party
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- The Barnstormer
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Something else that you’ll love about MNSSHP is the character meet and greets. More than 20 (!) Disney characters are available for photo ops. Some of them are ones that you won’t see at the park the rest of the year.
That’s particularly true of the unofficial host of MNSSHP, Jack Skellington, and his beloved Sally. You’ll also see several other Disney characters in thematic Halloween costumes. Fans who want magical pictures during their park visits will adore this event for its meet and greets. This year, Disney has even added special Halloween Magic Shots!
Here’s the current character list for 2017:
- Buzz Lightyear
- Cruella De Ville
- Daisy and Donald Duck in Halloween costumes
- Goofy in an aviator costume
- Jack Skellington
- Jack Sparrow
- Jane and Terk
- Jasmine and Genie
- The Mad Hatter
- Minnie Mouse in a Halloween costume
- Queen of Hearts
- Seven Dwarfs
- Snow Queen
- Snow White
- Tinker Bell
As you can see, it’s an incredible list of potential character meetings.
You can zhusz up your pictures even more thanks to one of the novel aspects of MNSSHP. Disney not only allows but even encourages guests to dress up on these days. As you know, wearing costumes at Walt Disney World is usually a huge no-no. Since it’s a Halloween party, however, Disney relaxes their dress code and lets people show up in holiday-appropriate outfits, as long as they follow the rules.
One of the joys of this event is that you’ll spend a great deal of time admiring other people’s costumes. Instead of the more subtle style of DisneyBounding, guests actually get to dress up like their favorite Disney characters. When I attended last Fall, I had more fun people watching than I’ve ever had at Disney before. Fans really get into the spirit of the event.
And since everyone’s in costume, Disney has to provide candy! That’s right. You get to Trick-or-Treat at the event, with “free” candy kiosks at each of the themed lands – it’s free as long as you don’t think about the hefty price to attend MNSSHP. Mars, Incorporated is the official sponsor of the event, and so the candies are their famous brands like M&M’s, Mars Bars, Snickers, Milky Way, and Twix. If you’ve ever wanted to do Disney while you’re on a massive sugar rush, this is your chance!
The unforgettable part of MNSSHP has nothing to do with any of the above, though. Instead, what you’ll remember forever are the shows. Disney offers three different ones during the ticketed event, which more than justifies its price in my opinion.
While Wishes is no longer a part of everyday park life at Magic Kingdom, it will return during MNSSHP…but with a twist. During the exhibition, HalloWishes replaces the regular fireworks. Half of this display is the Wishes you know, but the other half is a villainous take on the same premise. Don’t worry! Even in this gothic setting, good still triumphs in the end!
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular is a celebration of every Disney fan’s favorite Sarah Jessica Parker movie. The once unheralded 1993 release has become a cult classic to the point where fans are clamoring for either a sequel or a remake. During MNSSHP, Disney fills the void with this return of the Sanderson Sisters. They host a thrilling mystical party that also features other Disney magical villains such as Oogie Boogie and The Shadow Man. It’s a wonderful show that would easily stand as the anchor of a ticketed event. It has to settle for a distant second at MNSSHP, however, because…
Simply stated, the Boo To You Parade is one of the best things that Disney does all year. In fact, I would shortlist it in the conversation for THE best thing Disney does annually. This parade starts with a Headless Horseman riding on horseback, charging down the street. That’s the moment that you realize you’re not watching a conventional Disney parade.
Then, the parade restores your faith in kindness and decency as Mickey and Minnie Mouse lead the way. Several other happy Disney characters follow them, but then the parade takes an expected turn.
A series of gravediggers appear, singing the menacing earworm that is Boo to You. After that, the crew from The Haunted Mansion arrives, embracing this rare opportunity to demonstrate their occult side on the streets of Magic Kingdom. Since Disney didn’t move forward with a Villains theme park, this part of Boo to You is the closest that guests can come to the bad guys running Disney. It’s a joyously fun event, and Boo to You the song is the strongest earworm that you can get this side of It’s a Small World.
To watch HalloWishes, The Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular, the Boo to You Parade and other events, you’ll need to buy your tickets to MNSSHP. It’s available on select nights from now until November 1st. You can either avoid the crowd by visiting this week (August is pretty early for Halloween) or you can get in the spirit as Halloween approaches. Whatever you decide, you’ll have the time of your at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.