By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

Halloween 2018 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


While Halloween itself is October 31st of course, Walt Disney World provides a special Halloween celebration at the Magic Kingdom many evenings in 2018, from August 17 until October 31.

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. My review of the 2018 party is here.

Click the images below for the 2018 brochure.




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 2018 Halloween Party dates are as follows:

  • August 2018: 8/17, 8/24,  8/28, and 8/31
  • September 2018: 9/3, 9/7, 9/9, 9/11, 9/14, 9/16, 9/18, 9/21, 9/23, 9/25, 9/28, and 9/30
  • October 2018: 10/2, 10/4, 10/5, 10/8, 10/9, 10/11, 10/12, 10/14, 10/16, 10/18, 10/19, 10/21, 10/23, 10/25, 10/26, 10/28, 10/30, and 10/31
  • November 2018: none

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.


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1 Matthew { 02.26.18 at 9:45 pm }

Generally when do these special tickets go on sale? We happen to be planning to go on the day you mention in August as a strong possibility.

2 Dave { 02.27.18 at 8:52 am }

Matthew, last year the dates were announced and tix went on sale in early April.

3 Gina { 03.02.18 at 3:23 pm }

When you say that having a regular park ticket doesn’t get you into the party, do you mean that we’d have to leave the park before the party starts, or we just can’t be wherever the party is? And we’ve been to the MNSSHP once before, years ago, but only b/c some friends bought us tickets that day as a surprise. So I don’t know how it works if we have no interest in going to the Halloween party. 🙂

4 Dave { 03.03.18 at 8:08 am }

Gina, the park closes to those without the special ticket at 6p.

5 TeacherGrandma { 03.09.18 at 12:03 pm }

I have been unable to secure ADRs for supper around 5:00 at MK on two of the probable MNSSHP dates. Is this a new policy? It seems more than strange, that MK would completely forfeit supper crowds four days a week during party season.

6 Dave { 03.09.18 at 12:31 pm }

From last year: “To make dining or dessert party reservations that take place during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you must have a valid event ticket for that night.” What I don’t know–with the 6p park closing for non-party-goers–is how early “during” starts.

7 Angela morrs { 03.18.18 at 12:30 pm }

My family is going to Disneyland in late October and had it panned this got mickeys party Halloween night but was not old the tickets were sold out. If the tickets don’t go on sale until early April than how can I be sold out just asking!!

8 Dave { 03.18.18 at 12:54 pm }

Angela, they have not yet gone on sale.

9 Christine { 07.05.18 at 10:56 am }

Hi Dave,
I just bought your book and read it. We are planning to go to WDW for the first time in the 3rd week of October. Due to budget and time constraints we will only be spending 2 days in the parks (AK and MK). Your book and site have been very helpful! We are adding on the Halloween party on a 3rd day in order to spend more time in MK, and because we love Halloween. I sure wish you had a first-timer’s guide to it (hint hint). I hope you can clarify one question, though. You say the party starts at 7, but you can enter at 4. A video I watched about it also said you can ride rides and even make FastPass+ selections in that time between 4-7, but Disney site says nothing about it. From your site I thought we could just enter to shop and eat, etc, in that time. Can you clarify? Thanks!

10 Dave { 07.05.18 at 11:27 am }

Hi Christine, so glad the site and book are helping, and I do have hints for the party! See this, especially at the end: It is from last year, but the basics should still apply.

Since forever, Disney has let you in at 4p. While that may possibly change, we should hear in late August if it stays the same or changes. At 4 and later you can do anything, including ride rides. The FastPass+ is more complicated and ambiguous, but the short advice is to book your “regular” FP+ first, then try for party FP+ at for example 4.30 and 5.30p. I thought I had seen that this was being phased out–that it might even be a glitch–so let me know what you experience with it!

11 Julie schantz { 07.25.18 at 10:05 pm }

Hi Dave, this will be our first trip to Disney as a family with my very tall (42 inches) 3 year old. We are staying at the Contemporary theme park view, club level with the deluxe dining plan. Originally we were going 10/7 – 10/12 then extended to Saturday the 13th. We are flying in but then after Orlando driving 2 hours south to see my parents for 5 days. My question is – do I need the extra day being that my daughter is only 3 and you know the nightly cost. I know I will be going back again but not until the following fall. Also, how bad are the parks 10/8 Columbus day? I haven’t been to Disney in over 15 years and do not remember it being as crazy busy as it sounds now. I dont even remember fast passes being a big deal. Anyway forgetting it was a holiday week do I avoid certain parks Monday my plan was

10/7 hotel and California grill. Maybe go to the other hotels skip parks or go AK
10/8 MK
10/9 Epcot
10/10 HS and maybe AK
10/11 MK
10/12 wasnt sure if leaving that day
10/13 not sure if leaving Friday .

Made a lot of reservations which dictated the park I am going to.

Lastly, do I get hopper tickets?????

I dont remember visiting Disney this hard. I’ve been there at least 6 times and 4th of July week and never reserved so much before.

Thanks for your help

P.S. got the book a few days ago and it’s so helpful especially knowing the rides to go on and one we cant.

12 Dave { 07.28.18 at 10:07 am }

Hi Julie, first with a good plan you can easily make this work. Second, I’m not sure what a three year old would do at Epcot for more than an hour or two. With a child that age several half days at MK and and a half day at each of AK and HS will be great trip, and leave plenty of time for naps and the pools.

You don’t need a hopper, and probably don’t need the extra days.

Your days look mostly OK. Here’s my advice on them:
10/7 avoid MK and HS
10/8 avoid HS and AK
10/9 avoid Epcot
10/10 avoid MK
10/11 avoid Epcot
10/12 avoid MK and Epcot
10/13 avoid all but HS

13 Kelly { 09.20.18 at 1:45 pm }

Hi Dave! My mother, my daughter and I will be going to Disney as first timers October 17th,18th, and 19th this year [2018]. We have a list of rides we want to do in the different parks but I am A little confused about what parks to avoid on which days. Also, for those days, could you tell me what thrill rides to use our fast passes for? Thanks for any and all help, this will be my mom’s last hoorah before she gets too old [so SHE says] and i want to make it enjoyable and not stressful for her.

14 Dave { 09.21.18 at 11:40 am }

Kelly, first start with this.

Then based on it let me know which parks you want to see, and for how many days. You can get a “park hopper” add on to enable you to visit more than one park a day, but it’s expensive and you will waste some travel time in what is already a way-short trip.

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