If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Orlando during their Halloween celebrations then you may just be able to attend one of the special Halloween events that start from the end of August this year – they do like to drag it out!!
Although Seaworld and Busch Gardens do have their own events the most popular ones and the ones most people are aware of are Universals Halloween Horror Nights and Disney’s Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween. These events are so worth going to if they’re on and give you a different way of seeing the parks but which one is the best one for you? If you can it’s worth going to both as they’re so different but if you can only visit one then hopefully this handy little guide will give you some information that may help you make up your mind… or make you save harder so you can do both!!
WHEN IS IT?
Mickeys Not So Scary (MNSSHP) starts really early this year and runs on selected dates from August-November
- August 25 and 29
- September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 and 29
- October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31
- November 1
Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) runs from September-November
- September 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
- October 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
- November 3, 4
WHERE IS IT?
MNSSHP is at Disneys Magic Kingdom
Halloween Horror Nights is at Universal Studios.
IS IT ON ALL DAY?
No these are both evening events and the parks will close early to accommodate them so do bear that in mind if you don’t have tickets to the parks for the day.
MNSSHP starts officially at 7pm although they have historically let guests into the park from 4pm and it finishes at around midnight. If you have a normal Disney ticket that allows you in the park in the day you are able to get in earlier and stay in for the event. When the event starts you will find cast members scanning tickets and giving out wristbands to those who have tickets for the event.
HHN starts at at 7pm also and gates open half hour before it starts and finishes around 1am. If you have a day ticket for the parks as well as the HHN tickets then you will be able to stay in the park when it closes for the event. They have ‘holding’ areas for those with tickets which put you in prime position for some of the scare houses as soon as they open.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THESE EVENTS?
Both of these events are obviously Halloween themed so you do expect a certain amount of scariness.
MNSSHP is on the milder side of scares and is family friendly, HHN is more macabre with scare actors and scare houses based on horror movies.
Both parks are decorated for the occasion and each event will have exclusive merchandise and food as well.
MNSSHP is definitely more on the fun and less on the scary. A lot of the regular daily Disney things are given a Halloween makeover so you have different parades and fireworks as well as exclusive shows including one based on ‘Hocus Pocus’ and a villain show too.
Regular characters are dressed in their best Halloween outfits and rare characters and villains are around the park to meet you all including the ever popular Jack Skellington and all of the Seven Dwarfs. It’s also a chance to meet the Princesses with their Princes.
Also included in the admission ticket is a trick or treat bag which you can fill up with candy at all the treat locations around the park and you can go to these as many times as you like!! That is a lot of candy!! Allergens? Then don’t worry they cater for that too, you just tell them as you go in and you’re given a different colored bag and there are treats just for you!!
HHN on the other hand is there to scare you!!
The main attraction at this event are the many scare houses based on horror movies and TV Shows (past themes have been The Exorcist, Krampus, American Horror Story…) Each one of these transports you into the movie so you feel like it’s all happening around you, they use clever special effects, animatronics and real scare actors to completely immerse you into the experience. This is Universal, it’s not a ‘normal’ haunted house attraction.
Also around the park are various ‘scare zones’ again themed on popular horror shows and movies with scare actors walking around completely in character chasing you.
Please note these actors are NOT allowed to touch you so if you’re worried about that – as I was – then you don’t need to be!!
Sound a bit too intense for you? Then don’t worry there are various ‘safe’ zones around the park so you can take a break and there is also a really fun show based on Bill and Ted which changes every year to include things that are relevant in pop culture.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
MNSSHP prices start at $74 – $115 depending on what evening you go. Halloween night itself is the most expensive time to go. These are one night tickets and will not allow you into the park before the event starts.
THESE TICKETS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE FROM DISNEY DIRECTLY
HHN prices start at $70 – $81 again depending on when you go. These are one night tickets and will not allow you into the park before the event starts.
HHN also have Frequent Fear Passes available these are great value and allow you unlimited access to select nights while the event is on. These are great if you’re there for 14 days and can be purchased from most ticket resellers for around £105.
Tickets for these events do sell out on certain dates so it is recommended that you purchase them before travel to avoid being disappointed if you can’t get in.
CAN I DRESS UP?
You can for MNSSHP although there are guidelines to follow which you can find here.
You are not allowed to dress up for HHN
WILL THE RIDES BE OPEN?
Yes. Rides are open for both events but not all of them. Check the websites for up to date info on what you will be able to go on. MNSSHP has info now but HHN is not available just yet.
CAN I SKIP THE LINES?
Disney FastPass+ is not available during MNSSHP, however because of all the other events going on not many people do ride so it is a fab time to get on some as you’re walking around the parks. Remember though you can do these on a normal day in the park so make the most of the exclusive events and not so much the rides, you don’t want to miss out on something you only have one chance to experience.
You can purchase Express Passes for the houses for HHN, these are in addition to the event ticket and are only available through Universal directly. I’ve searched for some prices but I can’t find any at the moment!!
WHO CAN GO?
Both events are open to anyone although HHN do advise that it may not be suitable for anyone under the age of 13. I have a 10 year old who is desperate to go so it does all depend on what scares your child.
I’ve had a look at some vloggers online and picked 2 of the best ones to give you a bit of a more visual idea of what you can expect from both events.
If you have any questions at all then please let me know 🙂
Halloween Horror Nights
Halloween Horror Nights House
Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween