Mickey’s Halloween Party vs. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

| October 30, 2014 | 9 Replies

The allure Disneyland holds for me is far greater than that of any other theme park I’ve ever been to. It could easily come down to the fact that Walt actually had a presence in the park. Regardless, Disneyland has some sort of magic that I feel is completely lacking in Walt Disney World except during two particular times – Halloween and Christmas.

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Disneyland doesn’t have a “hard ticket” Christmas party like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but Disneyland does have Mickey’s Halloween Party (MHP) as a special event similar to Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP). For the first time this year, I was able to go out to California and experience Mickey’s Halloween Party after attending MNSSHP for the past several years, but was it worth it? The short answer is yes.

MHP is very similar to MNSSHP in some regards. MHP offers trick-or-treat locations throughout the park, dance parties, special character meet-and-greets and entertainment: exclusive fireworks  – Halloween Screams, and an exclusive parade – Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade. On top of that, Disneyland turns their Space Mountain into Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday, which features an overlay of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Mickey’s Halloween Party suffers from only a couple big issues as far as I could tell. On a sold out night, like the one I attended, the crowd level is so high that you have to basically decide between trick-or-treating around the park or lining up early to get a good spot for the fireworks and parade. From what I could tell, trick-or-treating is a lot more popular in Disneyland and most of the lines for candy stretched back a hundred or more guests. Also, Disneyland can cancel their fireworks at anytime due to high winds, which isn’t a problem in Florida. The fireworks were cut short right before the finale on the night I attended.

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A few highlights of the party include the Cadaver Dans singing an a capella set of Halloween-themed songs on a raft on the Rivers of America and the elaborate costumes guests are wearing to the party. MNSSHP has its fair share of guests dressing up, but I almost felt like I was in the minority at MHP by not dressing up. Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade doesn’t even come close to comparing to the “Boo-to-You” parade at MNSSHP, with the exception of a Miss Piggy appearance, but the fireworks are taken up a notch at Disneyland with the addition of Zero, Jack Skellington’s ghost dog, flying back and forth behind Sleeping Beauty Castle and a special projection element that allows Disney characters to become involved.

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Overall, I feel like both parties are must-do’s if you’re at Disneyland or Walt Disney World during the Halloween season, but I still can’t decide which one I prefer. If you’ve been to both, comment below about which one you think is best or if you haven’t been to one or the other do you plan on going?



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  • Cheryl Weikel Jung

    They’re both very different, I agree!

    The parade & fireworks are better at MNSSHP, in my family’s opinion.

    I agree that the costumes by guests are amazing at MHP, though!! The Haunted Mansion overlay is outstanding, and while hubs & I enjoyed Ghost Galaxy, my kids (12 & 9) HATED it.

    A CM gave us an outstanding parade viewing tip (near the single streetlight, by the Matterhorn waterfall, on the bricks) and that made all the difference for us – also near the Pixie Hollow ToT spot – so something for the kids to do while we waited 25ish minutes.

  • Kim

    I loved the cadaver Dan’s at MHP. But I was sad that there were no grave diggers in the parade at MHP. Of course we loved the holiday layover at haunted mansion. I could have done without ghost galaxy. As far as the projections on sleeping beauty castle, they were alright. What truly disappointed me was that there were not hardly any photo pass photographers.

  • Donald Taylor

    Been to both but when we did MHP(2008) it was at CA and wasn’t worth the $25 it cist, Candy stations were few and out of candy. The parade lasted about 3 minutes and there were no fireworks. MNSSHP is the highlight of any fall trip to WDW. And while we loved NBC Haunted Mansion, it had nothing to do with the party.

  • funhart

    I live in southern California and grew up with Disneyland but have never been to the Halloween party. However, we discovered Walt Disney World 3 years ago, and since then have been at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party for the past 3 Halloweens. The Boo-To-You parade is absolutely the best, ranking up there with the Disneyland “Christmas Fantasy” parade and the “Electrical Parade.” I think Magic Kingdom has a much better Halloween party, but maybe I’ll try Disneyland so I can make a true comparison!

  • mcmoorhouse

    We just went to a MHP oIn Oct. 8th and also attended in 2011. And although, I can’t make a true comparison because I have never attended a MNSSHP (yet), I can say that my whole family LOVES MHP. We actually considered just doing 3 parties while we were there instead of buying park hoppers. I thought the crowd levels were great! There were many rides that we walked right onto….including my husband and kids doing Splash Mountain 6 times in a row without getting off. We actually don’t go for the candy, so if we get some towards the end, that is great for us, but definitely not a priority. I have only attended a MHP since it moved to DLR, so can’t comment on how it compares to when it was a CA, but from the other poster’s comment, I would say it has drastically improved. We paid $57 per ticket and to us it was worth every penny. As much as I wanted to watch the parade, I was out-voted by my hubby and three kids who were all about the short ride lines. I love the Haunted Mansion overlay, but don’t love the Ghost Galaxy at Space Mountain. My 4 year old was scared of it, and the rest of our group said they prefer the regular music and stars of the ride as compared to the ‘cheesy’ ghost projections. I can’t wait to someday go to a MNSSHP and make a true comparison!

  • Pat McCormack

    I also went to the Halloween parties, on both coasts one year. The Halloween parade at MK is just so much better than the one at DL. The Headless Horseman is an amazing bonus, too. The other plus at MK is the variety of rare characters at the meet and greets.

  • Wombat16

    Just got back from MNSSHP it was AWESOME, not the first time we’ve done it but tonight was special, some fabulous costumes, we whew the Shrek family…. The parade was amazing from the grave digging dancers to the bloodhound, nit forgetting the wonderful characters. We managed 4 rides too and have come home with a mountain of candy how I’m going to fit it in the case to get back to England I don’t know! But again 10 out of 10 for Disney, we love you!!!

  • chocolatechipmunk

    Wombat16-loved your costumes, (I put on your wristbands). Glad you had fun, please come back next year and surprise us with something new!

  • Ryan

    I went to the Halloween party at Disneyland for the first time this year. I have been to Disneyland a few times in the past in October and really enjoyed it. I have to be honest, the party was a bit disappointing. Also, it seems like everything done in Orlando is better than Anaheim. I didn’t see any special party merch, no headless horseman, no magic spot photos, didn’t see any photo pass cast members really, besides at character spots. As far as the party itself, it needed more villains in the parade and in the fireworks. Where’s Dr. Facilier? The frozen float before the parade made no sense. Jack and Sally character photos were separate, not together. I don’t want to wait 30-45 minutes for each character, have them together. We didn’t even get any villian character photos, the lines were too long, and they have them in town square, way away from everything. I think they should give out 3 fast passes when you come in for the party that can be used on anything. Characters or rides. That would help the long wait times. After coming back from an amazing trip to world in May, this was disappointing.