Attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party can be overwhelming to a first timer, even if they consider themselves Disney experts.
The five hour party isn’t long enough to meet all of the characters, see the shows, parades, fireworks, shop for merchandise, go trick or treating, go on rides, and eat. I was certainly disoriented, but I did the best I could to prioritize.
Below, I’ve included pictures of my park map. I suggest going over this map ahead of your trip and making a schedule based around the entertainment showtimes you don’t want to miss. I would also recommend using the map to figure out which candy trails are closest to the character meet and greets you want to hit. As you will notice, the map does indicate where character locations are, but it doesn’t include which characters will meet there! I researched ahead of time and found some helpful information HERE; however, this information is not 100% accurate.
Speaking of characters, it’s impossible to meet all of them so pick who you want to meet the most and get in line for them as soon as possible. Some character lines are as long as 2-3 hours!!!! BUT if you are entering the park with a MNSSHP ticket only, you can enter as early as 4pm. Use this time to get in line for the top priority characters: Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Seven Dwarves from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I recommend looking over the character list, choosing three, and ordering them by importance. Finish the characters first, follow up with the fireworks, view the second parade, and WATCH THE AMAZING CASTLE SHOW.
Skip the rides. The lines for rides may be shorter, but you are paying for the party. If you want to experience as much exclusive MNSSHP entertainment as possible, you cannot afford to waste your time going on rides that are open literally any other time.
If your group is large enough, take turns waiting in line for characters while other group members do candy trails or shopping. I went to the party by myself, but I noticed many people around me were splitting up to get candy for everyone in the group, meet other characters, hold spots for the parade/fireworks, go on rides, or grab food.
Don’t waste time getting dinner inside the park. Bring water, snacks, and Subway. Next time, I will definitely bring my own dinner. Not only does it give you something to do while you’re waiting in line, but MNSSHP is no walk in the park so it will keep you from passing out. Some people don’t know this, but you are definitely allowed to bring food into the park. I’ve even seen guests take in ice chests!
If you are going with children, make them nap beforehand. There is really no way children (or adults, to be honest) can play in a park all day and keep going straight through the party. The party is absolutely exhausting and demands every piece of your remaining energy. I was worn out by the end of it (actually, halfway through), and I had done nothing all day leading up to it! You will get more out of what you paid for if you rest beforehand. The kids will be happier, and it’s likely the adults will be too.
Finally, wear a costume! Or even better, wear a Disney costume or coordinate with your group. Part of the fun of MNSSHP is seeing what other people wear, and pictures with characters will be 10,000x better if you coordinate. This is your one chance to go all out and dress up in costume at a Disney park so the possibilities for pictures are endless.