July 24, 2024

How to Waste the Least Time Meeting the Seven Dwarfs at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

The biggest and one of the best meet & greets in all of Walt Disney World is the Seven Dwarfs–Doc, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful & Sneezy–all meeting together in Magic Kingdom. This post covers how to do approach this rare character collection and do so while wasting the least time waiting in line.

That word choice–waste the least time–is deliberate. If you’re looking to avoid the line or beat the crowd, that simply is not possible. Don’t believe any big promises made elsewhere; there is no way to (reliably) do this meet & greet without a significant amount of waiting. (Although one time we did wait less than 10 minutes to meet them, but that was during a hurricane scare a few years ago–a definite outlier!)

The Seven Dwarfs is one of the most popular meet & greets in all of Walt Disney World; it routinely commands a longer wait than Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which usually has the longest line in all of Magic Kingdom. The good news is that there are ways to minimize how long you wait to meet the Seven Dwarfs, as well as shifting your wait to a less valuable time of day…

The bad news is that the Seven Dwarfs do not appear during regular daily operations at Magic Kingdom or any park at Walt Disney World. You can occasionally see a single dwarf in random locations, but there is no dedicated meet & greet spot for all–or any–of them.

The Seven Dwarfs only meet all together at Walt Disney World during special ticketed events that are held at Magic Kingdom. Typically, this means Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), two events where the characters have appeared in the past.

Last year, the Seven Dwarfs did not appear at either MNSSHP or MVMCP. The meet & greet was cut from the lineup 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.

Thankfully, it didn’t end up being gone for good–the Seven Dwarfs meet & greet is now back for the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Our expectation is that the same will hold true for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but that hasn’t yet been confirmed by Walt Disney World.

We’ve had the chance to meet the Seven Dwarfs numerous times over the years. They’ve been a mainstay of the hard ticket events at Magic Kingdom for at least the last 15 years, serving as one of the parties’ flagship meet & greets (the other being Sally & Jack Skellington).

The Seven Dwarfs meet & greet has been around so long that it actually predates the venue where it’s currently held, which was previously part of Mickey’s Towntown Fair. Prior to setting up shop here, the Seven Dwarfs bounced around various outdoor locations in Fantasyland. As they got more popular and the line got longer, they moved indoors to a permanent spot with an actual queue and switchback lines.

Our first meeting with the Seven Dwarfs was back in 2007. Back at that time, they actually met with Snow White! (See above.) If our records are accurate, that continued for a couple more years–our first photo with just the Seven Dwarfs was snapped in 2010 (below). But enough with the history lesson, let’s discuss where you can meet the Seven Dwarfs now, along with details about our recent experiences…

During the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the Seven Dwarfs meet inside Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus. This is a character spot at the back of Fantasyland that’s normally home to an excellent meet & greet for daring Disney pals as circus stars. It features two separate meet & greets each with two characters–the Astounding Donaldo and the Great Goofini or the marvelous Minnie Magnifique, and the mysterious fortune teller Daisy Fortuna.

This venue has been home to the Seven Dwarfs for the last several years, and likely will be where they appear at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, too.

Like Jack Skellington and Sally, this is one of the meet & greets that opens prior to the start of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The event officially begins at 7 pm, but guests who have party tickets can enter Magic Kingdom as early as 4 pm. When entering the park with your party ticket, you’ll be given an event wristband. This is necessary to queue up for the Seven Dwarfs meet & greet, and Cast Members will check guests in the queue–repeatedly–for wristbands.

If you’re already in Magic Kingdom as a regular day guest, you can simply go to an in-park wristband station around this time. This approach can be savvy strategy if you want to be one of the first people in line for the popular pre-party meet & greets.

With the Seven Dwarfs back at the 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the first time since 2019, I decided to prioritize this meet & greet. Rather than racing here right at 4 pm on the dot to be at the front of the line, I opted to do a few other things first and ended up jumping into line at right around 5 pm.

Part of this was strategic. It was an incredibly hot day at Walt Disney World, with triple-digit feels like temperatures and blazing sun. I wanted to minimize my time in that. I also suspected that after the initial surge of people lining up immediately at 4 pm, there’d be a lull until around 5 pm. That was more or less correct, and I only had a couple dozen people in front of me in line.

Shortly after arriving, maintenance Cast Members from Buena Vista Construction Company appeared to change over the signage to reflect the appearance of the Seven Dwarfs. It was pretty cool to see this, and they moved quickly before moving on to install other temporary overlays for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Even nicer was the setting sun slowing casting more of a shadow and putting the queue area in the shade. Still ridiculously hot for the start of the “Halloween” season, but a marked improvement over standing in direct sunlight.

Right around 6:05 pm, Pete’s Silly Sideshow opened and the queue moved inside. This time varies from night to night, so it could be earlier or later when you attend.

The air-conditioning was very welcome; like a literal breath of fresh air. This is one of the few party-exclusive meet & greets that occurs indoors, which is significant when the weather is hot at the start of Party Season. In all of my other photos from this MNSSHP, I look disheveled and utterly exhausted. In the Seven Dwarfs photo, I looked downright refreshed by comparison.

Just something to keep in mind if you’re heading to an earlier Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and are balking at the potential time commitment to meet the Seven Dwarfs. If you’d rather have quality over quantity, this is a good option.

Depending upon your perspective, it’s also arguably a good quantity option. This is 7 characters in one location!

Towards the beginning of the line inside, Cast Members were handing out glossy postcards with jewels on the front.

Note that this says Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but does not specify a year. I’m pretty sure they’ve used this exact same design in the past.

While this is a nice keepsake, the real purpose is efficiency. 

The card is handed out in lieu of the Seven Dwarfs signing autographs. That would be incredibly time-consuming, and cause this already slow-moving line to move much, much slower.

Speaking of which, my wait to meet the Seven Dwarfs ended up being 1 hour 42 minutes.

Less than 20 minutes of that time was after the Seven Dwarfs started appearing and meeting guests. Meaning that MNSSHP attendees who showed up right at 4 pm ended up waiting longer than me in total. Not only that, but I had slightly longer to ‘recover’ in the air-conditioning before getting my photo taken with the characters.

From my perspective, this was about the sweet spot. After finishing up here, I was able to get a fairly good spot in another Fantasyland meet & greet line.

Guests who lined up for the Seven Dwarfs between 5:30 pm and 6 pm actually would’ve had an even shorter wait than me, so in theory, they timed it perfectly. However, they also would’ve finished after 7 pm, which is when Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party officially starts. They would’ve then encountered peak lines for all of the other characters.

If you don’t arrive for the Seven Dwarfs before Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts, don’t bother. At least, don’t bother at the beginning of the event. In our anecdotal experience, the lines for this meet & greet peak pretty close to 7 pm.

If you arrive around then, you’re looking at a wait time of 2-3 hours. (Note: this is the wait time range that Cast Members have quoted us multiple times in the past. We’ve literally never tested it because we know better; there’s a good chance that range is a bit inflated. Regardless, the line is visibly longest from 7-8 pm.)

If you can’t line up for the Seven Dwarfs at least 45 minutes before Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party begins, your next best option is waiting until the last hour or so of the event. Note that this is NOT like rides; you cannot wait until 11:59 pm to jump into line, and have your entire wait be after MNSSHP ends.

When it comes to meet & greets, the lines get cut earlier. This is usually done with the goal of having the last guests out of line by the time the clock strikes midnight. As a result, there’s no hard and fast rule to when the line gets cut. When we’ve done the late night approach, we’ve usually erred on the side of caution and queued up around 10:45 pm. With that said, we’ve gotten lucky at 11:15 pm before–but also been burnt around then. So it all depends upon your risk tolerance.

It also depends upon whether you want to meet Jack & Sally, or any other rare characters–and which ones are your top priorities. It’s almost impossible to meet every character during one night of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, so you have to make some tough choices.

Ultimately, the Seven Dwarfs meet & greet is one of the coolest character experiences at Walt Disney World. It’s relatively rare to encounter more than a single character in one spot, and the outliers are almost always duos. This is literally your only opportunity to do a meet & greet with more than 4 characters anywhere at Walt Disney World.

While the multi-hour wait is a big time commitment–especially given the high per hour cost of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party–the Seven Dwarfs is also one of the few character meet & greets that starts during the mix-in time prior to the party officially kicking off. So if you view that as “free” time, the cost isn’t nearly as high. Or, you can look at the wait in terms of a per-character cost…in which case, it’s “only” like 20 minutes per dwarf!

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Your Thoughts

Have you met the Seven Dwarfs at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Did you think the cost (in time or dollars) was worth it for the photo and experience? Where does this rank on your list of meet & greets at MNSSHP, MVMCP, or Walt Disney World as a whole? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? 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!