I am going to tell you about one of my favorite things at Disney World — Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This will be my fourth and final Disney World post in my 2019 (Updated for 2020) summer series. We are going to cover some major differences between the Halloween party at Disney World and the Halloween party at Disneyland Resort more specifically California Adventure.
Have you been thinking of going to Disney World or Disneyland Resort this Halloween season? Whether you do the event or not, you should know what is going on because it will impact your visit.
What I describe for the Magic Kingdom generally applies to Disneyland, for years the party has been at the Disneyland Park, but there are differences. This year will bring even more differences.
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Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash
This year is the second year that the Halloween party held at the Disneyland Resort is exclusively California Adventure since 2009. The event this year is a called the Oogie Boogie Bash.
We are hoping that the Mickey’s Halloween Party returns to the Disneyland Park next year, but if you are deciding what to do this year, there are going to be major differences between Florida and California. Basically because California Adventure is a much smaller park!
Overview of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Oogie Boogie Bash
What Does your ticket Include?
Admission to the park 3:00 pm – till close.
We will start in Florida with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It is one of the special events held at the Magic Kingdom.
The party dates have extended over a longer period of time to help accommodate its growing popularity each year. For 2020, the party starts on August 13th, and goes through November 1st.
It happens two, three, or four times a week , with more days of the party happening each week the closer you get to Halloween.
As for California, the Oogie Boogie Bash is held three days a week, every week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday). It runs for a shorter period, beginning about a month later, around the middle of September. (tickets will not be on sale until closer to the dates because of Covid-19)
What Kind of Ticket is Required to Go to the Not So Scary Halloween Party?
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is separate from general park admission. You can get into the Magic Kingdom the day of the party with general admission, but the park closes early that day, usually 6:00 pm.
If you want to be at the Magic Kingdom the entire day of the party, you will need to buy both a general admission ticket and a special event ticket.
The special event ticket costs from $79 to $115 on the high end, except for Halloween, which will cost you $135. The earlier in the season you go, the less expensive it will be, and Fridays are almost always more expensive than the other days of the week.
At Disneyland, the Oogie Boogie Bash prices run from $110 at the low end, to $145 on the high end (that’s not just Halloween, but also on five other days). It was a mere 6 years ago that I paid $69 to go to the party at Disneyland! Wow, have times changed!
I realize that sounds expensive, but I still think the ticket price is worth it comparative to general admission. More on that later.
What Time is the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?
The party starts at 7:00 pm and typically lasts until midnight. Please note that historically Disney has let special event guests enter the Magic Kingdom three hours before the official start of the party. At Disneyland, we’ve actually got in three and a half hours before start time. (We haven’t tried to get in early at the Magic Kingdom.)
How Does Disney Know Who has a Special Event Ticket Compared to a General Admission Ticket?
One perplexing item for us before our first time attending the party was how Disney get general admission guests out of the park. We found that Disney does not actually close the park. Instead, Disney gives party guests a wristband.
At the official start of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Disney employees (cast members) stand at the entrance of each land. If you don’t have a band, you are informed of the park closure or escorted to the park exit. Look for the special event entrance and get your wrist band and candy bag!
Why is the Halloween Party So Magically Worth it?
Maybe I should have first asked, “Is it worth it?” Absolutely! I’ll talk more about it later, but you can probably get more done at the party than with a general admission ticket, and without enduring the heat of the day! In other words, if you want to do the normal Disney stuff, you can do it at the party, and for less than a general admission ticket. And you can do all of the party stuff too!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is awesome! Low lines, candy, the parade, characters, the show, the props . . . oh, did I mention low lines? The magical spirit of Halloween is all around. Disney does a fantastic job of decorating having special food items on the menu, and making your experience amazing.
Dressing Up for the Halloween Party
Dressing up for this event is a big deal. Some families match and go all out. We have gone all out on some years, but last year it was so hot that my son was just not going to wear his costume! It is not required to dress up but if you do there are a few restrictions that you need to pay attention to
- You can dress up as your favorite character but you may not pose with park guests.
- If Disney thinks your outfit is inappropriate they can remove you from the park.
- Costumes must be family friendly.
- Costumes cannot contain weapons that look like real weapons
- Costumes may not contain items that are sharp that could hurt other guest.
Guest Under 13
- Can wear masks, but the masks can not cover the entire face
Guest Over 13
- Layered Costumes are discouraged
- Costumes that drag on the ground are not allowed
- Capes can be worn as long as they do not go below the waist
- Themed clothes are acceptable
- Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
- No mask are allowed
If you want more detail on Costume guidelines you can go directly to the Disney site. These rules apply to both Disneyland and Disney World.
Trick or Treating During the Party
Trick or treating is the best part of Halloween. At this party children and yes even adults are allowed to trick or treat. There are candy trails located throughout the park. The park map handed out for the event will show you where they’re at.
There will be a Goofy Balloon located at the entrance to the trick or treat lines.
There is a special trick or treating line that opens up early. It is located as you walk into the park, you will be directed to the right location. At this station they give you a bag full of candy!
The quality of the candy is amazing. They have candy from the Mars Company like Butter finger and M&M’s. They also have, non chocolate varieties like Twizzlers and Mike and Ike. Plus many more. They also have healthy option such apple slices and carrots.
Trick or Treating at Disney World vs. Disneyland
In this category Disneyland Wins. Disneyland had a lot more trick or treating lines compared to Disney World. They are closer together at Disneyland and easier to get from one to another. But most importantly, there are multiple stations in each line at Disneyland, whereas at Disney World most of the lines only had one station that handed out candy. Not nearly as fun!
We had purchased big bags when we went to California and we filled them up with 10 pounds of candy. (Luckily for us our kids don’t gorge on candy, and so after the candy sitting at our house for a while, we gave the rest away.)
In Florida, we didn’t even need to use the bags we brought because the amount of candy fit into the small bag provided at the front gate.
I am not positive how the candy lines will be at the Oogie Boogie Bash, but I imagine it will be good. But based on how it’s being advertised on Disney’s site, the lines there will be much better than those at Disney World.
Rides are Different During the Not So Scary Halloween Party
We mentioned that the lines are low during the party! This is the major perk of getting a special event ticket. The last two hours of the party we walked right on to most rides. Even major attractions like Snow White and the Seven Drawfs (at the Magic Kingdom) will have a min 15- 20 minute wait.
Special Changes on Rides at Disney World
Some attractions receive spooktacular overlays and enhancements! These rides include:
- Space Mountain – Goes completely dark
- Mad Tea Party – Special lighting and music
- Pirates of the Caribbean – A crew of live pirates take over the ride
- Monster’s Laugh Floor – Learn’s about how human’s celebrate Halloween
Special Changes at California Adventure
The location of the Halloween Party has changed this year to be exclusively at California Adventure. In past years it has been at Disneyland and more recently both parks.
- Guardian of the Galaxy Mission Break Out- Super Scary
- Luigi Rollickin ridester changes to Luigi Honkin Halloween
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree changes to Mater’s Junkyard JamBooree
Note: Disneyland is not included in the Halloween party but typically Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion have overlays.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World
In past years I would say it would be Disneyland Park because of the much longer and more enjoyable candy lines! This year Magic Kingdom wins because the amount of rides available at California adventure is limited! Magic Kingdom is a bigger park with much more to offer.
But there are some cool offerings at California Adventure that will be interesting to see. The Grizzly Peak area, which usually has a challenge trail, is transformed into “Villians Grove.” This won’t be a haunted forest on a scare level, but you don’t go to the party for that. With Disney effects, this may be a game changer.
Parades and Special Show during the Not So Scary Halloween Party
There are three show’s this year at Magic Kingdom. They include Fireworks, Hocus Pocus, and the parade.
Disney’s World – Not So Spooky Spooktacular
There will be a new firework show that will not disappoint, with lasers and projection effects. The Fab Five will go on a trick or treating adventure leading to a haunted house and encounter villains along the way.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is a production that is held four times each night. It is on the stage in front of the castle and features music and theatrics from the villains. If you are a diehard, you can hold out until the midnight show, and you get to experience the show when everything else is shut down (getting the most out of everything else before the show).
Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular is only at the Magic Kingdom and is not offered at the Disneyland Resort.
“Boo To You Halloween Parade” is a must see. You will need to claim your spot early and get ready for a great show. The headless horseman rides out in front on his horse to start the parade. It is really cool to see.
The headless horseman also makes an appearance in California now, and will be returning this year for the “Frightfully Fun Parade.”
The Cadaver Dan’s Barbershop Quartet is located in Frontierland. It is a great musical show.
Disneyland Oogie Boogie Bash
Villianous is a World of Color Spooktacular staring a girl that discovers there is a little villain in all of us.
Decendance – a decedent inspired dance party. Dance with Villians from the isle of the lost.
Frightfully Fun Parade – a parade lead by Mickey and Minnie.
Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Have you ever heard of Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom? It is only located in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
There are magic mirror’s located all throughout the park. Beginning in the Firehouse on Main Street you can activate your magic band and begin a game. You are given a pack of cards that are used to defeat the villains. You can do this everyday you are at the Magic Kingdom.
So What Does this Have To Do With the Halloween Party?
During the Halloween Party, you can stop by the Firehouse and get a special card to use. My son loves this game and he was so excited about getting this special card.
This game is free to play during park hours. The pack of cards they give you are great souvenirs and they are free. If you have duplicate cards there is a cast member at the fire station with a binder that you can trade with.
Should I Go To a Park Before the Special Event?
We don’t go to a park before the special event (buying an extra ticket). This is usually our relax-and recover-day. We may check out some of Disney’s hotels, or Disney Springs. Or we may just hit the pool at our hotel. You can do so much at the special event, we get our fill without having to do a park beforehand. So my advice is save your energy for the evening festivities!
So What’s Different Between California and Florida?
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is very similar — most years. This year the party in California is at California Adventure. Rumor has it that Disney moved the location last year and again this year because of the opening of Star Ward Land at Disneyland Park.
This was a bit of a downer for us. We love seeing the castle during the Halloween Party, going on the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain, and enjoying the spooky feel of Main Street. (Space Mountain at Disneyland is my favorite)
The event is also more expensive in California than in Florida. This year, the ticket is $110 to $145 at California Adventure, and $79 -$135 at the Magic Kingdom.
I will say that setting aside the price, between Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, we enjoy the party at Disneyland slightly better (in years past), for one main reason — the candy lines.
At the Magic Kingdom, each candy location usually only has one place to get candy. Disneyland Park in the past have been awesome, some locations are like candy mazes, with multiple spots to get candy! It was an experience in itself.
When to Buy Tickets?
Buy tickets now if you want to go! These tickets sell out in advance, and so I don’t think you can buy them the day of especially closer to Halloween. Tickets usually go on sale in the summer.
Disney has increased the amount of people who can purchase tickets to the party.(which kind of stinks this will probably be different this year because of Covid-19) Last year it was easier for more people to enjoy the party, but also made it more crowded!
Which Park Should I Attend in 2020?
|Not So Scary Halloween Party||Oogie Boogie Bash|
|Prices||$79-$115 (Expect Halloween $135)||$110-$145|
|Dates||August 16- November 1||September 17- October 31st|
|Average Temp. on October 1st||86 degrees||81 degrees|
|Average Rainfall||Between 2.5 - 3 inches||Less than an Inch|
|Shows||1. Hocus Pocus Villian|
2. Disney’s Not So Spooky
Spectacular (fireworks show)
3. Cadavar Dans Barbershop
|1. World of Color:
2. Cadavar Dans
|Trick or Treat||Yes||Yes|
|Parades||Boo-to-you-Halloween Parade||Frightfully Fun Parade|
|Attraction Overlays||1. Space Mountain|
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Mad Tea Party
4. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
|1. Guardians of the
2. Luigi’s Rollickin’
3. Mater’s Junkyard
|Fireworks||Disney’s Not So Spooky|
|No separate fireworks show|
|Extras||Parade Seating and Eats (3 options)|
1. Dining with Cruella De Vil
2. Dessert Party (Plaza Garden)
3. Dessert Party
Things are a lot different in 2020 compared to 2019. Covid-19 has really made things difficult to plan. My personal recommendation is to wait until Disney opens and then purchase your tickets.
Deciding which park to attend is a tough decision. We went to Disney World – Magic Kingdom last year. I had full intention of going to Disneyland this year. But, when I saw how much more the ticket prices were for California I was shocked! Most of the perks from last year were gone (free parking, double park pass).
We opted to go to Disney World again because the price was slightly lower and it would be held in the Magic Kingdom. Excitement is the best word to describe how we feel about the Not So Scary Halloween Party!