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How to Enjoy The Halloween Season at Disney World Without a Party Ticket

How to Enjoy The Halloween Season at Disney World Without a Party Ticket

Are you visiting Walt Disney World during the Halloween season, but you don’t have a ticket to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here are fun ideas for embracing the season WITHOUT attending the ticketed event!

Halloween in Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

Disney World does a fantastic job of celebrating Halloween with family-friendly energy, and that secret is OUT. Halloween has become increasingly popular at Walt Disney World over the years. It has become so popular, that October is one of the busiest months of the year!

There are plenty of Halloween festivities to enjoy while you are in Walt Disney World. One of the most popular is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. You can read everything there is to know about the party HERE in our KTP Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parky archives. And, truly it is a great event!

Credit: KtP

But, the reality is that many Walt Disney World Guests do not have the party in their budgets. Moreover, even if every single Walt Disney World visitor on any given day had the available funds to purchase MNSSHP tickets and wanted to attend, it would be impossible. The party is a hard-ticketed event with limited capacity. In fact, the majority of visitors will not be at the party and will be distributed elsewhere throughout Walt Disney World on any given evening.

If the party that coincides with your visit sells out, or if you simply cannot attend, fear not! There is plenty to do in Walt Disney World to lean into the Halloween season. Here is a list of ideas for how to have fun during Halloween in Walt Disney World without a party ticket!

Decorations

Credit: Monica

For one thing, you do not need a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Ticket to enjoy the Halloween decorations that bedeck The Magic Kingdom. The decorations are up all day long, even during regular theme park hours, for the entire season. Pumpkins abound!

If you visit on a non-party night, you can enjoy the decorations in the evening as well. They are beautiful when they begin to light up!

Haunted Attractions

Credit: KtP

In Walt Disney World, there are several attractions that pair perfectly with Halloween! If you wanted to, you could make a fun day devoted to conquering all of Disney’s haunted and monstrous attractions.

In the Magic Kingdom, The Haunted Mansion provides the most obvious Halloween tie-ins. After all, it is a literal haunted mansion. Every aspect of the ride from the details throughout the queue to the Stretching Room, to the Doom Buggies to the ride’s storyline and characters is perfect for getting in the mood for Halloween!

Next up, enjoy another Magic Kingdom opening day attraction to continue the fun. Pirates of the Caribbean starts with one of the spookiest scenes on any Magic Kingdom attraction: a beach littered with skeletons.

Credit: Kenny the Pirate

If you head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will find the pinnacle of rides to get your pulse racing. Visit the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for the ultimate experience to pair with Halloween! Not only does the experience take you directly into the Twilight Zone, but you encounter a family of ghosts that haunt the hotel. To top it all off, it is one of the biggest adrenaline rushes you will get in Dinsey World. Be prepared to scream.

Finally, don’t forget about Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can face off against a Yeti when you ride Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. It is one of the most immersive rollercoasters in terms of storytelling. And, in this case, it is a monster of a story!

Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit

Credit: Disney

If you head over to EPCOT, you will find a fun, festive activity in Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit! This adorable scavenger hunt will send you around World Showcase and other select locations around EPCOT in search of pumpkins.

Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit comes at a small cost of $9.99 per map. Guests can stop by select retail locations to purchase a special map to find their way and to mark their progress. At the end of the challenge, you can redeem your map for a fun prize! Typically there is a choice of several prizes while supplies last.

Pluto's Pumpkin Pursuit
Credit: Marisol

If you do not want to pay for the activity, you can still have a great time searching for pumpkins and making note of their locations. However, you will not be able to use a map or earn a prize if you go this route.

Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit begins in EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort on September 29 and runs through October 31, 2023 (or while supplies last). It is a great way to enjoy some Halloween fun!

Fantasmic!

Credit: Kate

It just so happens that one of Disney’s nighttime spectaculars features Disney Villains. It is unlikely that you will encounter more Disney Villains in one place than you will during Fantasmic! With so much evil afoot, it is easily one of the best Disney experiences to enjoy for Halloween.

After all, your experience will include a gigantic cobra as well as a fire-breathing dragon. And, you will also come face to face with the Evil Queen in her absolutely terrifying haggard old woman form.

Festive Dining

Credit: Disney

You can find fun Halloween snacks and treats throughout Walt Disney World. While some of these festive treats are Halloween Party exclusives, many of them are not. You can find Halloween goodies at your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and in Disney Springs! Better yet, you can enjoy plenty of pumpkin-flavored things, including a seasonal Joffrey’s drink.

And, of course, you can always book Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This buffet meal is also a character meal!

And, during lunch and dinner meal periods, you will get a chance to visit with Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy! During the fall, enjoy the Halloween Dine! The characters sport their Halloween Costumes! It is some of the most fun you can have at a meal during the Halloween season.

Credit: Maggie

Another great option in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Sci-Fi Dine In. The restaurant is set up like a drive-in movie, and diners get to eat in cars! During the meal, the feature is a series of campy clips from old horror movies and Halloween-themed or otherwise spooky shorts starring Mickey Mouse or Tom and Jerry. If you love watching Halloween content, this would be a really fun experience for the season!

If you want to skip the meals and head for a sweet treat, the best place for Halloween vibes is Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs. It serves unique cookies, cake slices, and coffee creations. See a review HERE.

Credit: Katie

If you enjoy Victorian-inspired images with a healthy dash of creepiness, you will love seeing the inside of Gideon’s Bakehouse. Some people will think it is a ghoulishly delightful aesthetic. The walls are hung with characters that are part of the storytelling that permeates the bakehouse.

Even the Gideon’s Bakehouse backstory feels suitable for Halloween. Legend has it that once upon a time Steve Lewis, the creator of Gideon’s, purchased what he thought was an ordinary antique cookbook published in 1898. But, when he opened it, he found the margins were filled with faded notes and doodles from what appeared to be a young boy who had dreams of becoming a baker. The boy’s name was “Gideon.” Lewis modeled his bakehouse on the dreams of this boy from long ago.

Disney Springs

Credit: Disney Springs

Speaking of Disney Springs, there is lots to do there for Halloween! The shopping and entertainment district runs a seasonal event called Fall into Magic with Disney Springs.

You can sweeten your Halloween celebration with limited-time treats at select locations including special DOLE Whip creations at Swirls on the Water. And be sure to discover candies and confections to delight trick-or-treaters—and yourself—at Disney’s Candy Cauldron and Goofy’s Candy Company.

You will also be able to find unique entertainment offerings popping up throughout Disney Springs on weekends. For instance, you can catch the skeleton stiltwalkers roaming around Disney Springs Town Center on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from September 29 to October 29, 2023.

Credit: Disney Springs

Also, be on the lookout for the Zombeats! These zombie percussionists play drums as they stumble and drag their feet around Disney Springs. They are sure to conjure up a spook street party wherever they go. Hunt them down around Disney Springs Town Center on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from September 29 to October 29, 2023.

Finally, you have got to check out Squad Ghouls. You will love the hauntingly harmonious tunes from this ghostly capella group. They perform at performing at Waterside Stage on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from September 29 to October 29, 2023.

Finally, discover Halloween-themed photo backdrops at Disney PhotoPass Studio! Just drop in for a professional portrait session with a Disney PhotoPass photographer—no reservations required.

Resort Hotels

Disney's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular
Credit: Disney

As I mentioned earlier, many Walt Dinsey World Resorts offer Halloween-themed treats. These are typically available for purchase at quick service locations. Check your resort for offerings.

You will also find that some of the resort activities offered to Guests free of charge are fitting for an early Halloween celebration as you approach the season. For example, you can enjoy a campfire and a marshmallow roast in the evenings. Sometimes the Movies Under the Stars features will be Halloween-themed.

Credit: Monica

Even better, the Walt Disney World Resorts typically offer special Halloween activities on the day of the holiday itself. Be sure to check the activities calendar at your resort if you will be visiting on Halloween.

You may find some fun is in store for you. For example, last year, Pop Century offered Trick or Treat Trail, a special pool party, and a showing of “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.”

Fireworks

Credit: Disney

Finally, it is possible to enjoy Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, the fireworks display for MNSSHP, from outside of the park! While you will not have a great view of the projections that make the show extra special, you can still enjoy the pyrotechnics and the music. Several dining locations offer firework views and pipe in the music for Guests to enjoy the show including California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Naroossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. You will almost certainly need an Advanced Dining Reservation for these locations.

And, of course, there are plenty of other great places to enjoy fireworks from outside the parks. You can see a rundown of some great locations to enjoy the fireworks right here.

Are you visiting Disney this Halloween season? What activities are you looking forward to? And, if you have been to Disney during Halloween before, what experiences did you enjoy? Let us know in the comments! As always, feel free to pass this article on to others so they don’t miss out on all the fun!


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John

Sunday 17th of September 2023

Forget about Gideons, they have a virtual queue again and it is a 3 hours wait. I was there twice from aor 9 thru the 11th at different times and the wait was the same

KatieP

Sunday 17th of September 2023

It can be a long wait, it's true.

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