Will Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Return This Year?

Guests at Walt Disney World have already seen a number of special events return to the theme parks and resorts in their original, pre-pandemic forms. This year’s EPCOT International Festival of the Arts was the first EPCOT festival since the park’s closure in 2020 to have a full lineup of programming, including the return of the Disney on BROADWAY Concert Series, and this summer, fans can once again look forward to the return of H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. With things starting to return to “normal,” many fans are wondering about the fall, and specifically, whether or not Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will return to the Magic Kingdom. 

Past Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Events

Madame Leota visits during’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Credit: DisneyPhotoSnapper)

The most recent Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party took place in the Magic Kingdom in 2019, and offered Guests a variety of fan-favorite experiences such as Mickey’s Boo to You Parade, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Fireworks (R.I.P. Happy HalloWishes!), the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, and more. (Sinister Disney villain characters, including fan-favorite Oogie Boogie even made appearances during this show that took place right in front of Cinderella Castle.)

As in past years, the 2019 party also offered Guests a variety of Halloween-themed snacks and beverages around the park, from specialty burgers from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, to pumpkin milkshakes and sundaes from Sleepy Hollow, and Hades Nachos at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tall Inn & Cafe, a dessert party at the Tomorrowland Terrace, and more, all in addition to trick-or-treating. And, a favorite part of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has always been character meet and greets, with many Guests using the event to see rare characters (like Jack Skellington and Sally, Mickey Mouse and friends in their Halloween costumes, and more) and a favorite Disney villain or two that are not typically out in the theme park.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party gave Guests of all ages the rare opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom while dressed up in a costume, an activity that during regular park hours is limited to Guests under 14 years of age. And, it featured special additions just for the occasion to Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Mad Tea Party attractions. And the Haunted Mansion would also have some extra happy haunts entertaining Guests outside in this corner of Liberty Square (though they appeared at Boo Bash, too.) Another fun addition to the party was the magic shot photo ops a Disney Cast Member could take at various stations around the theme park.

Disney After Hours Boo Bash

Credit: Disney

In 2020, while Walt Disney World was still operating under capacity limits and strict reopening guidelines there were no special events in the parks, however, Guests were able to visit the Magic Kingdom in costume in the weeks leading up to Halloween for the first time ever.

The following year, missing experiences had begun to return to Walt Disney World, but Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was still missing from the calendar. Instead, Disney offered an After Hours Boo Bash event, which celebrated the Halloween season, but functioned much more similar to a traditional After Hours event, or to a Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic event.

The event took place on select evenings throughout the fall and did not feature fireworks or a stage show, but it did include character cavalcades with rarely seen Disney characters in lieu of a parade, specialty snack options, and distanced character sightings.

Guests who attended Boo Bash largely enjoyed themselves, especially given that the experience was offered with such limited capacity during a time when other familiar events were few and far between due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Boo Bash did sell out most nights last year, is it possible this event will return to the park instead of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?

The Average Disney Guest vs. The Disney Fanatic

One top consideration that Disney makes, and that we should note when trying to understand decisions made by Walt Disney World is that we ‘Disney Fanatics’ are not the average visitors to the park.  Most visitors to Walt Disney World only visit every couple of years at the most, and it is quite possible that many of these Guests are casual enough visitors that they do not even realize there was much of a difference between Boo Bash and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (perhaps besides the price, as Boo Bash was significantly more expensive.)

These ‘every couple of years’ Guests fortunately for Disney but perhaps unfortunately for us Fanatics are the ones who spend the most money. They are more willing to spend nearly $200 more per person for tickets to Boo Bash vs. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary if that is the event that is offered during their visit, partially because they do not visit the parks often enough to feel that an event is too expensive or not worth it compared to what was previously offered. If it is their only time at the parks in the next five or ten years, they are willing to spend.

What About Boo Bash vs. Not-So-Scary?

Mickey's Not-So-Scary

Credit: Disney

Assuming one of the previously offered events returns to Walt Disney World, the question then is, which one will it be? We can’t have an answer until Disney confirms or denies one of the events, but we do have some thoughts.

Boo Bash undoubtedly was a success because it was offered during a time when no other events were taken place. With full parades back daily at the Magic Kingdom, a character cavalcade, even with rare characters might not cut it for Guests. And, with the ability to visit the parks somewhat easier now, justifying the higher pricepoint of Boo Bash might be more difficult to Guests, and if that is the case, Disney is surely aware of it.

On the flip side, After Hours events at Walt Disney World generally do well in terms of ticket sales (even before the pandemic.) While regular Guests and Annual Passholders sometimes could not fathom spending a couple of hundred dollars per person for more time in an albeit less crowded park, some vacationers swore by the events because it allowed them to get on more rides with little to no waits. If Disney decides to focus on this side of a fall special event rather than the pageantry with the Halloween parade through Frontierland and down Main Street, fireworks, and character meet and greets, it is possible we will see Boo Bash or a similar Disney Halloween event return to this Disney park.

At the same time, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has been a staple in the Magic Kingdom since 2008 and fans have come to know and love this event. The Party offers something totally unique from any other Walt Disney World event, and if not for the pandemic, we would probably be writing an article about ticket prices and event dates right now instead of speculating its return to this Disney park.

Ultimately, this fall’s events in the Magic Kingdom are up to Disney, and whether the company decides to continue with the After Hours model or bring back a uniquely Disney Halloween tradition remains to be seen, but we will update you as soon as plans are made for Halloween 2022 at Walt Disney World.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party would ordinarily take place select nights in the theme park from mid-August through Halloween, and tickets would normally be on sale by the end of this month. Don’t put your Halloween costume away just yet though, since we hope to be back with more news on Halloween events at Walt Disney World soon. And in the meantime, you can always experience a small taste of the Halloween season at Magic Kingdom park by taking a spin on the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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