Disney World Confirms Major Magic Kingdom Disruption, Guests Forced To Leave Earlier Than Ever

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Crowds gathering around Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Disney World

Credit: Inside the Magic

The Walt Disney World Resort’s most popular theme park will be kicking out guests earlier than ever later this year.

Crowds on Main Street U.S.A. at Disney World with Cinderella Castle in the background
Credit: Forsaken Fotos, Flickr

The Disney Experiences brand is going through quite a transformation. Not only was Josh D’Amaro’s division rebranded last year, but the House of Mouse is actively developing its resorts with a $60 billion financial investment over the next ten years.

Just a few months ago, The Walt Disney Company confirmed work would commence on the colloquially named “Beyond Big Thunder” project at Magic Kingdom Park via a permit filing for the development location. This came over a year after D’Amaro shared concept art at the D23 Expo 2022.

Frontierland at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Allen Castillo. Flickr

But the investment at Magic Kingdom is not the only thing heading to Orlando, Central Florida, sometime in the near future. The opening of EPCOT’s CommuniCore Hall and Plaza inside the World Celebration comes in just a month’s time, while further down the line Test Track will undergo a complete renovation.

It’s not just in its construction projects where Disney excels in bringing new magic to guests. Throughout the year, the Disney resorts expand their already stuffed offerings with special and seasonal events.

A monorail glides along a track in the foreground with the iconic geodesic sphere of epcot's spaceship earth in the background under a clear blue sky.
Credit: Inside the Magic

At EPCOT alone, Disney brings a series of festivals year-round, with the likes of EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden and Food and Wine Festivals enticing guests for months at a time.

While the EPCOT festival offering is free for ticketed guests, Disney World–like many other Disney parks worldwide–also offers exclusive hard-ticketed events that come at an extra cost. And, despite Disney being lambasted for its soaring prices across all factors of the business, guests still choose to return time and time again.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party parade with character in costumes on Main Street, U.S.A.
Credit: Disney

Two of Walt Disney World’s most popular hard-ticketed offerings are Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, both at Magic Kingdom and both taking place towards the end of the year.

On Monday, May 6, 2024, Walt Disney World Resort revealed the dates for its upcoming Halloween event, and it’s taking place the earliest it ever has.

Mickey and Minnie dressed up in their Halloween costumes during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Credit: Disney

The official event page for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party shows that the iconic spooktacular event is taking place from August 9, 2024, through October 31, 2024. August 9 is the earliest the event has taken place, as WDW Magic points out: “[the event] started on August 11 in 2023, August 12 in 2022, August 17 in 2018, and August 25 in 2017.”

While this is a positive for Halloween fans, the continued extension of the event poses an operational risk for regular theme park guests. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party commences at 7 p.m. on event nights and runs through midnight. Guests with tickets for the party can enter Magic Kingdom at 4 p.m., and regular ticketed guests must leave by 7 p.m. if they do not have party admission.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Jack and Sally
Credit: Disney

The Halloween party season brings exclusive Disney characters, experiences, and performances to Disney World’s flagship theme park, but it always comes at a cost. While the party is on, the regular schedule is dismissed, meaning the nightly performance of the Happily Ever After fireworks spectacular does not run–38 nights in total, spanning the event’s duration.

The hard-ticketed event comes with a price tag of anything between $119 and $199, so it is a costly endeavor for five hours of entertainment, eight including the early entry time. That said, guests with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween tickets do not need to pay regular Magic Kingdom admission when entering from 4 p.m. before park close.

A vibrant fireworks display illuminates the night sky above a brightly lit, fantasy-themed castle adorned with blue and purple hues during the Disney Halloween Party, attended by an excited crowd.
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney World Transportation Suspended at Resort Indefinitely

During the event, guests can witness multiple shows, including the iconic Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, as well as Mickey’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, which both take place at Cinderella Castle. They can also partake in trick-or-treating activities, collecting candy throughout the many lands of Magic Kingdom.

Exclusive character meet and greets and photo opportunities, in addition to the Midnight Melodies dance party, round out the event at the Disney resort.

Three classic Disney villains, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, and Maleficent, stand in front of a lit, eerie castle at night during a Disney Halloween Party.
Credit: Disney

For all of its pomp and popularity, though, it’s hard not to see the extension of the event as another loss for guests who don’t want to shell out more cash for an event that banishes them from the park without a ticket.

If guests want to see the likes of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their seasonal best, as well as popular characters like Jack Skellington and Sally, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place on the following nights via the official Walt Disney World Resort website:

August – 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30
September – 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27 and 29
October – 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31

Disney World entertainment - Fireworks during the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party event at Disney's Magic Kingdom park
Credit: Disney

Tickets for the event can be purchased by guests of select Disney World hotels from May 8, with all other individuals getting the chance to buy from May 15.

Other special events at Disney World include the Disney After Hours ticketed event, which happens across Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at various times during the year.

Mickey's Trick and Treat at Oogie Boogie Bash
Credit: Disney

Related: New Photo Reveals What Will Be Destroyed in Record-Breaking Magic Kingdom Expansion

It’s not just Walt Disney World that brings the scares over Halloween as Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Southern California, also has its own hugely popular event. The Oogie Boogie Bash — A Disney Halloween Party event commences on August 25, 2024, and runs through October 31.

Will you be purchasing a ticket for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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