So here’s the thing @dworpek - depending on the night you go, you might have an easy run at the lines for rides, etc. You DON’T NEED a park ticket on a day when you are going to MNSSHP.
Let me explain…
(note - we are Halloween lovers, so we are biased… lol)
We’re packing a multi-day trip in September (8th - 18th), which includes (2) travel days (first and last). It’s going to be hot, and we budget naps into our daily quota for planning, which means -3 hours of park time each day. It saves our feet, our backs, and our sanity… it’s worth it to us.
We purchased tickets for MNSSHP for Tuesday, Sept. 12th. It’s not a busy attendance day (kids are back in school) to begin with, so we expect the MNSSHP lines to be lighter than average. If you go on a weekend, or in the later part of October, you’re going to be in a lot of lines, to be sure.
We’re NOT using regular park tickets on the day of the event… we are going to the park ONLY at the open of the party, which is 4pm. Since the party (and parades, fireworks, etc) are all later in the evening, and the park doesn’t close until 12 midnight, this is a heck of a deal! $78/ea for 8 hours - woot!
From the Touring Plans party description:
It should be noted that any guest with a Halloween Party ticket can enter the Magic Kingdom starting at 4 pm and stay until the party ends at midnight, meaning that it is quite easy to save a day on Magic Your Way tickets. This practice is not officially advertised by Disney, but it has been in exercised for many years and Cast Members will readily confirm this information.
Other items of note that make this event special:
If you are an adult that likes to dress up, MNSSHP is pretty much the ONLY time you can do it (with restrictions for safety).
They have some hard-to-find characters (like a picture with ALL SEVEN DWARFS, or JACK AND SALLY), but be forewarned that waiting for these hard-to-get-photo-ops will cost you precious ride time
I’m 50/50 on parades (can take or leave 'em), but the headless horseman leading the parade route is pretty amazing. The dancing ghosts from Haunted Mansion are also fairly cool… my opinion.
Candy - really, I’ve maybe stopped for candy once or twice. There’s too many treats to buy, I don’t want plain ol’ M&M’s when I can have a special treat from Disney. Speaking of special treats…
PARTY ONLY treats and gifts - there are some party-only food and merch items. Even more special things to buy if you are an annual pass holder (or if you find one and ask them to buy you that pin… bring cash!)
SPECIAL PHOTO OPS - I love the magic photos that are only available at the MNSSHP every year. Very cool!
So really, if you need a sleep-in morning, a laundry-n-pool morning, or a chill morning mid-trip, that would be the ideal day to do it and only use the MNSSHP tickets. Your park-hopper (or just straight) park tickets are good for 14 days from the initial use of them. So this could be a really elegant solution to save you money - I like saving money!
As for Universal’s HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS, we are going during the first (2) weeks of the event, @PrincipalTinker, so we get the RUSH OF FEAR pass. It costs the same (less, really) as a single admission to the event, and we can go for (3) nights while we are there - woot! That means we can linger in Diagon Alley at night, which is really just the best experience
We ended up paying extra this year for HHN express pass to add on to the RUSH OF FEAR pass, which put us up at $300/each… but that’s really just $100 a night/each to do whatever we want as quickly as possible. So… yay! Love, love, love the fear/scare zones!
OOOPS - forgot to add these links: