I don’t know about you, but I like fall. I like the slight crispness to the air. I like when the leaves begin to change. I like the smell of baking when it starts to get cold outside.

But I LOVE Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

No one decorates for a party the way Disney can. The entire Magic Kingdom is a flourish of fall colors, flickering lights, and festive touches everywhere. It’s magical!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place select nights August-October. It does require a separate admission purchase. If you’re not sure this event is for you, here are my top 5 reasons why you’ll love it! (And some tips to help you make the most of the night!)

#5. Special sweet treats! The Magic Kingdom is filled with trick-or-treating stops (a map is provided when you arrive), and the candy is endless! If this will be one of your highlights, I recommend bringing in your own bag or bucket. A free (small) plastic bag will be provided when you arrive, but you might want more candy than that.

Plus, there are limited-edition desserts available at food and beverage locations throughout the Magic Kingdom. Delicious delicacies that you can only enjoy during the party. My personal favorite: Pumpkin Spice Waffles topped with Vanilla SoftServe and spooky sprinkles! Mmmmm, it’s to die for. (And back this year!!!)

#4. Everyone dresses up! As an adult, this is your ONLY time during the entire year that you can enter the Magic Kingdom in costume. So take advantage! Trust me, the rest of the grown-ups will be dressed up, too. You won’t want to miss out. Plus, tons of great photo ops!

You may want to be mindful of the heat, however. The earlier dates in August and September will still feature high temperatures during the day. You don’t want to succumb to heat exhaustion before the party even starts, so check the weather for your travel dates, and choose a lighter costume as appropriate. (I attended a late September party 2 years ago, and it was still 90 degrees when we arrived at 4pm. Be aware!)

#3. Special character sightings! Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party brings out some rare characters indeed- and I’m not just talking about the folks who are dressed up! In the past, I’ve seen Snow White with all 7 Dwarfs. Jack and Sally make an appearance. Even the Sanderson Sisters can be spotted! Hint: if you really want to meet a special character during the party, be sure to line up early and be prepared to wait. Some of the rarest get the longest lines.

Early, did you say? That’s right- your ticket gets you into the Magic Kingdom beginning at 4pm- even though the party doesn’t start until 7pm! That gives you plenty of time to grab a bite, hit your favorite ride (FastPass service is even available until 5:30pm), and still have plenty of time to line up early for your favorite rare character. Or, just enjoy the park for a few extra hours!

Plus, admission is limited to this event, so you will find shorter-than-usual lines for some of the most popular rides. Be sure to keep an eye on wait times as you trick-or-treat!

#2. Happy HalloWishes Fireworks! No one does fireworks better than Disney, and this show does not disappoint! The fireworks will only go off once during the night, so be sure to check the time when you arrive, and plan to get a good viewing spot.

Or, sweeten the evening with the Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party! Book ahead of time, and arrive to a buffet of cupcakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, sparkling cider and more. Indulge as much as you want, because you have reserved seating for HalloWishes- and every table has a great view!

#1. Boo To You Parade! My all-time favorite Disney parade! It runs twice during the party, so if you are planning to stay late enough to catch the second run, you will be treated to lighter crowds along the parade route. (Use the first parade time to meet characters or get on some of the more popular rides.) Stay for the parade, and you will be treated to your favorite characters dressed up in costume, the catchiest music, Captain Jack Sparrow, grave diggers, zombie dancers. . .the list continues. And the whole thing is led off by the Headless Horseman galloping through the park. Try seeing him and NOT getting a chill down your spine!

This amazing party goes until midnight, so party till you drop- but don’t schedule any early dining reservations the next morning. You will want a chance to sleep. . .like the dead. . .

Want more tips for Fall at Walt Disney World, or YOUR next Disney vacation? Contact me at sara@middleofthemagictravel.com for more personalized planning and advice!