Walt Disney World has announced new entertainment the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This post shares the details about the musical acts and characters, where you can catch it all, and other assorted commentary.
For those of you who are not familiar with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP), the hard ticket event runs from August 11 through November 1, 2023 from 7 pm until midnight. It features a special parade, fireworks, Hocus Pocus stage show, and much more. You can read more about all of that in our Guide to the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Prior to today, the only new-for-2023 addition to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has been the Sanderson Sisters as Disney characters. This means that Minnie Mouse is dressed as Winifred Sanderson, Daisy Duck as Sarah Sanderson, and Clarabelle Cow as Mary Sanderson. In addition to these characters appearing in Mickey’s Boo to You Parade, here’s the other new entertainment at the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party…
Adventureland will be taken over by a spirited pirate band and their crew. Be sure to listen for their sea shanties while their shipmates roam the land sharing tales of their explorations at sea.
Get ready for even more chances to “Stand Out” with Max Goof and his Powerline party pack at new pop-up parties throughout Magic Kingdom before this popular crew dances onto Main Street U.S.A. ahead of Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade.
Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parade will be more villainous than ever, with favorite foes Ursula, Cruella de Vil, the Queen of Hearts plus Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, and Clarabelle Cow joining the frightful finale as the Sanderson Sisters.
The Seven Dwarfs will be returning to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Presumably, this is referring to their former meet & greet location back in Storybook Circus, which was not part of last year’s event but had been for every year we can remember in 2019 and earlier. (We remember way back in the day, when Snow White also appeared with them!)
Walt Disney World is also adding three more items available for purchase at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Joining the 2023 collection is a Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular Women’s Tee and a glow-in-the-dark Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Adult Tee and Youth Tee.
Above is a list of the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party event dates and prices. As you can see, only the second and second-to-last nights have sold out thus far. The reason for the latter is obvious–it’s Halloween and that always sells out the fastest.
Our guess is that August 15 was the next date to sell out because it’s the first date at the lowest price point. Meaning that tourists with flexibility, locals who want to go early, and bloggers on a budget all chose that instead of the pricier opening night.
At present, no additional 2023 MNSSHP dates have sold out. However, if you haven’t yet purchased tickets, you might want to start thinking about doing so very soon. Even though there likely isn’t as much pent-up demand as last year, we would still expect most–if not all–2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dates to sell out.
That’ll likely start happening soon. Last year, the first party of the year sold out on July 28. No other dates ran out of tickets until August. Once the event actually started, tickets began moving fast. Once photos of the new Sanderson Sisters start hitting social media, there will likely be a “run” on tickets, with many more dates selling out around August 11, 2023. That’s the typical pattern.
As for commentary about the new (and returning) entertainment, we’re a bit conflicted. On the one hand, new additions are always welcome–anything that makes Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party feel a bit fresher is great. So we don’t want to complain about this.
On the other hand, we’ve been attending both MNSSHP and Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party at Disney California Adventure for each of the past several years, and there’s a night and day difference between the trajectory of the two.
In our view, Oogie Boogie Bash still is not as good as MNSSHP–but that’s debatable. What’s undisputable is that OBB keeps getting better with each passing year, and Disneyland puts a ton of effort into changing things up and adding exciting new things. This is in spite of Oogie Boogie Bash always selling out quickly–faster with each year.
It’s a bit of an odd dynamic, as Oogie Boogie Bash always sells out before the new additions are even announced. So you have to buy tickets ‘blindly’ without knowing what’ll be added to the event. By contrast, Walt Disney World adds entertainment to help incentivize ticket sales. (As always, Disneyland just does things differently.)
Suffice to say, we appreciate new additions to the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but it’s hard not to compare it to Oogie Boogie Bash, and conclude that the Magic Kingdom event feels a bit stale and tired. In fairness, the core MNSSHP entertainment–parade, fireworks, stage show–are all better than their California counterparts. But the character components, trick or treating, and everything else has a ton of room for improvement at the Magic Kingdom event.
Consequently, it feels a little like Walt Disney World is resting on its laurels with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and not iterating on the event and making improvements that are seemingly obvious in light of what’s worked with Oogie Boogie Bash. (This is a bit of a two-way street, as the DCA event could bolster the core entertainment, too. But this is a post about MNSSHP and our general perspective is that OBB is improving annually, not stagnating; so even if there is room for improvement there, it’s already in progress.)
Anyway, turning to the specifics of the added entertainment at the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I’m most looking forward to the “spirited pirate band and their crew” in Adventureland. We absolutely love the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet, and always make a point of listening to their sets during downtime at MNSSHP.
It’s also possible that this spirited pirate band and crew is the Rusty Cutlass, which has appeared before during events in Magic Kingdom. If that were the case, it seems like Disney would’ve mentioned the Rusty Cutlass by name, though. Whatever it ends up being called, hopefully this pirate band sharing stories and sea shanties has a similar song-and-comedy vibe to both the Rusty Cutlass and Cadaver Dans.
It should be entertaining and a nice diversion away from the congested areas of the park. Speaking of which, Adventureland is typically one of the dead zones of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, so this could help (a little) with redistributing crowds.
Same goes for Max Goof and his Powerline party pack at new pop-up parties throughout Magic Kingdom. This debuted last year as a pre-parade crew dancing onto Main Street ahead of Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, and it was popular but easy-to-miss. Dance parties aren’t my jam, but Powerline is a popular character and having him out and about more sounds great.
As for the Seven Dwarfs, I’m honestly surprised that they’re returning to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This meet & greet was cut from the lineup last year due to performer staffing shortages, and I figured there was a decent chance it’d be gone for good. It’s very resource-intensive for a single meet & greet, even if it is a popular one.
Frankly, I would’ve been fine with Walt Disney World retiring the Seven Dwarfs meet & greet and replacing it with 3 new meet & greets. (Assuming that overall staffing needed for a single meet & greet with 7 characters is about the same as 3 single-character meet & greets once you count character attendants, PhotoPass photographers, and other support.)
Nevertheless, I’m not complaining that the Seven Dwarfs are coming back. I’d definitely rather have Bruno from Encanto, rare villains, Disney Afternoon characters, etc–but the Seven Dwarfs certainly beat the “alternative” from last year, which was nothing at all in their place. This combined meet & greet with so many characters is not something you otherwise see–so that’s another plus!
On a related note, Halloween is HERE at Magic Kingdom!
Walt Disney World released the above photo with the following caption: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse welcome the first touches of fall on Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park on July 31, 2023, at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Fall decor can be enjoyed by guests through Nov. 1 and is just one of many festive touches that visitors can look forward to experiencing this autumn at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
For those who are curious, this is earlier than when Halloween decorations normally start going up at Magic Kingdom. (Our prediction for the park being fully decked out was August 6-9, 2023.)
At present, only the front half of Main Street is decorated, from the pumpkins at the turnstiles to the Town Square Pumpkin People. The pumpkin festival above the buildings on Main Street and the Mickey Head Pumpkin Wreaths are not yet lining the lampposts. Regardless, a lot of key decorations are up–and up early. It stands to reason that the remaining decor will go up overnight this week.
Ultimately, we’re pleased to see more being added to the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We’d love for Walt Disney World to go bigger, reinventing a lot of the hard ticket event outside of the parade, fireworks, and stage show–all of those things are either pretty much perfect or new-enough that they shouldn’t be messed with quite yet. (Although many fans–including us–could probably get behind replacing the current fireworks with a refreshed HalloWishes!)
While we’d love to see more of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party overhauled, there’s probably an (understandable) don’t fix what isn’t broken mentality within Walt Disney World. The event sold better than ever upon returning last year, and even with attendance slowing down this summer as pent-up demand fizzles out, MNSSHP will likely have its second-best year ever. So perhaps more significant changes will come in 2024 if/when there’s a greater need to lure back locals and diehard fans with new and fresh party offerings.
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What do you think of the new pirate band in Adventureland or Powerline pop-up parties? Happy that the Seven Dwarfs are returning, or do you think it’s dopey to allocate so many resources into a single meet & greet? Thoughts on Daisy, Clarabelle and Minnie Mouse costumed as the Sanderson Sisters joining Mickey’s Boo to You Parade? If you’re attending the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, are you planning to see this terrifying trio? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!