By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Halloween 2017 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


Halloween 2017 at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netWhile Halloween itself is October 31st of course, Walt Disney World provides a special Halloween celebration at the Magic Kingdom many evenings in 2017 from late August until the first of November.

This celebration is called “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party,” or “MNSSHP” for short.

At the party, many of the Magic Kingdom’s rides are open, and trick or treating, special events, and different parades and fireworks are offered.

The official Disney World page for this event can be found here.

Click the images below for the 2017 offerings.

And you can find a review of the 2017 MNSSHP party here.



Street Art at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party from yourfirstvisit.netThis party occurs from 7p-12MN  on certain evenings at the Magic Kingdom in (some years) August, September, October, and some years even early November.

The 2017 Halloween Party dates are:

  • August 2017: 8/25 and 8/29
  • September 2017: 9/1, 9/7, 9/10, 9/12, 9/15, 9/17, 9/19, 9/22, 9/24, 9/26 and 9/29
  • October 2017: 10/1, 10/3, 10/5, 10/6, 10/9, 10/10, 10/12, 10/13, 10/15, 10/17, 10/19, 10/20, 10/22, 10/24, 10/26, 10/27, 10/29, and 10/31
  • November 2017: 11/1

You need to buy a special ticket for this party. This ticket is different from regular Walt Disney World park admission tickets.

  • The special party ticket does not allow you to enjoy the rides and attractions of the Magic Kingdom before the Party starts–you need a regular ticket for that (but typically you can get in as early as 4p, even though the ticket will say 7p.)
  • Regular tickets used to enter the park earlier the day of a Party do not give you access to the Party–you need to have the special Party ticket

The party tickets are expensive, so why would first-time visitors be interested? A couple of potential reasons

  • Evening parades and fireworks are rarer this time of year, so going to one of the parties is a way to guarantee you can see them–though the Halloween parade and fireworks are different (and better!!) than what you’ll see on regular nights
  • Operating hours at the Magic Kingdom are shorter this time of year, so the Party allows you more time there within the same visit
  • Walt Disney World sells only a limited number of tickets to each party, so the evening waits can be much less long than other nights these months

Many families go the first time for one of these reasons…and then going becomes a tradition!

On the other hand, families following one of the standard 8-night itineraries on this site will see the fireworks and evening parade, and have plenty of time at the Magic Kingdom.

For that reason, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is not designed into this site’s itineraries.

The 2017 easy Guide

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1 Dack { 02.14.17 at 7:11 am }

Thanks Dave. Do you know when Disney typically releases the official dates? Trying to plan a trip in September.

2 Dave { 02.14.17 at 11:19 am }

Dack, last year they came out in late March.

3 Eric { 02.14.17 at 4:06 pm }

Hi Dave. Me AGAIN! (maybe I should post with a fake name…) Depending on which way the wind blows, our feelings towards going to the Party changes. I think crowd size is the ultimate factor. Do you know how many party tickets they offer per night? And compared actual size of peak crowds in October. If it helps, we are planning on going to the Party on Oct 17 (Tuesday). Thank you!

4 Dave { 02.15.17 at 2:49 pm }

No worries Eric! Rumor is that on the order of 25k tix are sold. However, few of these people are in ride lines, except at Peter Pan and Seven Dwarfs, so if you plan to get a couple of hours of rides in, it’s a great experience, and much better than any non-party October evening at MK.

5 Sue { 02.23.17 at 7:56 pm }

Dear Dave,
Congrats on having the BEST WEBSITE EVER for planning a trip to WDW! Starting to plan our 4th family trip, and this is the first place I come to!
Ok, so now I’ve got a few questions for you!
1. Is it safe to assume that all of the WDW parks will be decorated for Halloween by the end of August/beginning of September? Just booked a trip for 8-26 to 9-3 and the sole purpose was to enjoy Halloween at Disney without having to take the kids (and myself bc I’m a teacher) out of school.
2. At MNSSHP, what would you suggest for dining that evening? We have the regular dining plan, but I wasn’t sure if booking a table service reservation would be a good idea. Eat quickly at a counter service, eat an early dinner, or is there plenty of time to sit and eat and enjoy the party too?
Please let me know what you think and THANKS! ?

6 Dave { 02.26.17 at 7:05 am }

Hi Sue, while my guess is that the party will happen during your trip, we won’t know for sure until Disney releases the dates for it. MK will have Halloween decorations up before it opens, and the other parks by Labor Day. You want to be done with dining and in MK before the actual 7p start, and with that constraint can eat where you wish.

7 Lisa { 03.23.17 at 10:42 am }

Any updated gossip on when they are going to release the dates for the Halloween party. You know it makes it a pain in the rear when you are trying to book dining and they aren’t releasing all the BOG times because of this. The woman on the phone told me as soon as they release some of the dates normally more BOG times are released . I am trying to get in there which as you know is not overly easy.


8 Dave { 03.25.17 at 5:57 am }

Hi Lisa, since the October calendar is now out it should be soon.

9 Dack { 03.25.17 at 8:11 pm }

Hi Dave,
Sorry for the multiple questions in one day, but you’re the man, soooo….. Planning a trip for 9/12-9/17. We are flying in on 9/12 which is an anticipated MNSSHP date, but that would put us feeling very rushed to get to the hotel, changed and to the party. We would probably be getting to the party much later than we would want to. However, I would assume this would be a very low crowd night. Our other option would be Friday the 15th, but I assume this would be a much busier night. I am leaning towards the 15th because I’m traveling with my younger daughters and less stress is the key. But do you think we will be overwhelmed with higher crowd levels on Friday night? Keep in mind the ages of the girls are 5 and 7 so we definitely won’t be shutting the party down.

Thanks as always,

10 Dave { 03.27.17 at 7:46 am }

Dack, it depends a bit on what you are trying to do at the party. If it’s rides, there won’t be much difference–lines will be short except at Peter Pan and Seven Dwarfs. If it’s characters and trick or treats, those lines will be longer on Friday than Tuesday. The hub, main street and the parade route will be mobbed both days

11 Keith { 04.24.17 at 10:48 pm }

I was hoping to come in for a party on Sept 1. Is that a bad time due to weather to attempt the party? Do resorts decorate and will everything be up and ready at that time or is it too early in the season? I’m debating rescheduling for October ? I’d truly appreciate any advice on planning.

12 Dave { 04.25.17 at 8:52 am }

Keith, October weather is certainly typically much more pleasant. There’s not much in the way of resort hotel decorations so I would not let that affect your decision.

13 Megan { 05.03.17 at 11:15 am }

Hi! We will be on property on Halloween but don’t plan on doing the party that night… what is there to do on Halloween to have fun with the little ones?

14 Dave { 05.04.17 at 8:28 am }

Megan, the Disney hotels commonly have minor celebrations. Here‘s an overview of what happened last year.

15 Shelby { 05.07.17 at 9:45 pm }

I do not live in Orla do but I am an annual passholder. Do I still have to buy a separate ticket for MNSSHP?

16 Dave { 05.08.17 at 8:54 am }

Shelby, yes, you do.

17 Laura McDonald { 05.12.17 at 1:06 pm }

Hi we are taking our first trip with our 5 year old twins to WDW 9/16/17-9/23/17. I’m thinking that we will skip the MNSVSHP this year since we are doing the Fireworks Dessert Party with Garden Viewing on Monday the 18th, and have a ROL Dining Package on Tuesday. That would leave Friday for the party and it might be better to enjoy EMH in the morning at MK and then switch to Epcot for the evening. Does this sound like a good plan? Also, will there be any Halloween decorations up in the parks during this week or are most of the decorations minimal during the day and just rolled out for the party? Thanks!!

18 Dave { 05.13.17 at 9:38 am }

Laura, MK Halloween decorations are out all day. Those at the other parks are much more subtle.

Epcot on Friday nights during Food & Wine can be pretty raucous–I’m not sure I’d take a 5 year old to the park then…

19 Mike { 05.22.17 at 4:26 pm }

Dave- You are the MAN! We’ll be in town for the party on 9-7. I’ve been to the Xmas party a couple of times, and we usually ONLY buy tickets for the party that day, and use the early part of the day for some resort time. This is all predicated by the fact I don’t ever think I’ve NOT seen the MK admit people at 4. That’s a big variable. 4-to-close makes for some substantial park time. I don’t feel 7-to-close is a very good value though. Do you feel the 4-o’clock “early” opening will stay pretty reliable this year? I’ve always guessed they put the party gate up early so there wont be a mass ingress and egress of park-goers at the 7-o’clock hour.

20 Dave { 05.23.17 at 8:04 am }

Mike, while nothing is ever certain, the 4p open is pretty sound…

21 Mike { 06.23.17 at 10:12 am }

Hey Dave- I’m back with ANOTHER question about the 9-7 party. Just about every resource I use to gauge the crowds (yes…I look around…but you’re still my NUMBER ONE!) has September as a “1” on their crowd scale. I’d wager its one of the least crowded days of the entire year. Here is my dilemma- Would the crowds be lighter during the normal operating hours and leaving at 7, or would they be lighter if I were to attend the party? Is there any value in attending the party to minimize waits if the normal crowds during that day would be in fact lighter than the party itself? More simply put, which do you think would have the lower crowds, the party, or what might be one of the lightest days of the year (assumed)?

22 Anonymous { 06.23.17 at 10:16 am }

To my question above….I meant to type “Just about every resource I use…..has SEPTEMBER 7 as a “1”….”

23 Dave { 06.24.17 at 8:24 am }

Mike, standby wait times will be much lower during the party. However, you’ll have much less time to take advantage of them–especially if you watch the parade and fireworks. So with a good rope drop and FP+ plan you will be able to see more during the 9a-7p timeframe than the party time.

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