Boo…to you…and you…this is Halloween…what an absolutely great night at MNSSHP. It is a separate ticketed event at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and if you haven’t been before I thoroughly recommend it…but with a few important tips that will improve your night.
So firstly, you need to consider the cost. It’s not cheap, at $79 for adults and $74 for children rising to $130/$120 by the time it gets to Halloween. This could work out an awful lot for bigger families. In order to get the cheaper tickets, you need to go very early on in what Disney classes as its Halloween season, which is from mid-August. I did not feel particularly Halloween-ish at this point in the year, however, when we arrived at Magic Kingdom, the pumpkins and Halloween decorations were out and transformed the park. It was impossible not to feel as though Halloween were just around the corner.
Another reason to go as early on in the Halloween season as you can, is that in mid-August it was very busy, so I can only imagine how busy it is on the run up to Halloween itself. The After Hours events at Disney are usually a bit quieter than a normal park day, as that is the whole point, and while I realise it’s not strictly an after-hours event, I did not expect as many people.
MNSSHP ticket holders can enter Magic Kingdom from as early as 4pm on the day of their event, although the party does not officially start until 7pm and finishes at midnight. You get a special wristband to show you are a ticket holder and will be asked to show it when you enter rides. Everybody is given a bag when entering the party, to put their Trick or Treat sweets in.
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show is very entertaining. The Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” return to the mortal world for one night to use their magic to throw the best, most evil Halloween party ever. The show is on 3 times during the night.
There is a dance party featuring Monsters Inc. favourites Mike Wazowski and Sulley, and it takes place on the Tomorrowland Stage from 7 p.m. – midnight.
The Boo To You parade is held twice during the party (at 9:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.).
Lots of people get dressed up, and not just in traditional spooky costumes. We felt it was far too humid to wear any sort of costume so we bought a few glow in the dark T-Shirts from the Emporium on Main Street earlier in the week and they were every bit as great to wear to get in the spooky spirit.
All the villains and the unusual characters are at meet and greets, if that’s your thing, and gives you the chance to meet ones like the seven dwarves and Jack and Sally from a Nightmare Before Christmas. The three hitchhiking ghosts and headless horseman are a big part of the parade. Haunted Mansion is as you would expect, very popular, and there are a lot of spooky goings on outside the Mansion until really late.
Disney always has exclusive merchandise available to purchase during their parties and a lot of themed snacks, but honestly the queues were so long to purchase anything we ended up not bothering. I would have liked to try the Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake – spiced apple cupcake with pecan crunch and buttercream and the Halloween Cinnamon Roll – cinnamon roll topped with icing and a chocolate spider web. Next time!
There are a lot of Trick or Treat stations around the park and all marked up on the map. But do yourself a favour and do Trick or Treating later in the night to avoid lugging around all that candy. The queues were absolutely enormous early on, and were noticeably shorter later in the night, with Cast Members also more generous with their portion sizes. Yum!!
For easiest Parade viewing, go to Frontierland and go for the second parade. While the first parade is on you can do your meet and greets or get on some rides. There are no Fastpasses available for the duration of the party, and while the rides aren’t exactly walk on, they do have shorter wait times than a normal park day in August.
Having learned a few valuable lessons, this would be my plan for our next event:
- 4:00 – 7:00 – ride rides, eat MNSSHP snacks, then get in line between 5:30 and 6 to meet your highest priority character
- 7:00 – 9:00 – rides, shopping for MNSSHP merch
- 9:00 – 11:00 – Hallowishes, Hocus Pocus show
- 11:00 – midnight – Boo to You Parade
I thought the fireworks at the Castle were amazing, as good as Happily Ever After in my opinion, and the Sanderson Sisters show is really good fun.
It’s an absolutely brilliant night albeit busier than I expected and of course, there is the extra cost. The whole atmosphere is mildly spooky so suitable for the whole family. Even taking into account the crowds and the cost, I would go at least once, just to see the Boo To You Parade and Hallowishes fireworks, which were outstanding. But of course, if you’re not attending, then the flip side is to make sure you don’t plan a full day in Magic Kingdom on a MNSSHP day, as come 7pm, you will no longer be able to go on any rides and as you don’t have a wristband, you will be encouraged to leave the park at 7pm. Not so great if you’ve only got one day planned in Magic Kingdom and it’s cut short, so check your dates.