It's never too early to get into the spirit of Halloween, especially if you're Disney (DIS 1.09%) and can get visitors to pay as much as $199 for an evening of family-friendly diversions. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is back at Disney World's Magic Kingdom for the first time since 2019. The event was canceled after the resort reopened in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, followed by the watered down Disney After Hours Boo Bash last year. 

The park will close to day guests at 6 p.m. on select nights. Only those with Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party tickets will be allowed to stay after that -- in costume, if they wish -- for the event that runs through midnight. The party features several trick-or-treat stations, Halloween-themed character meet and greets, event-exclusive performances, and relatively short ride lines. Tickets start at $109, peaking at $199 for the already sold-out fete on Halloween night. 

The event kicks off Friday -- tonight. If you're debating the merit of paying $139 to collect candy at the world's most-visited theme park on a warm and potentially stormy evening in mid-August, the point is moot. Tonight's party has been sold out for some time. No treat for you.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in orange costumes.

Image source: Disney.

Welcome foolish mortals

Halloween is big business for the theme-park industry. Most of the August dates for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party have sold out. A few freeway exits away, Comcast's (CMCSA -0.36%) Universal Orlando brings back the far more intense Halloween Horror Nights on select evenings, starting on Labor Day weekend.

Even SeaWorld Entertainment's (PRKS 0.82%) busiest park in Orlando got into the game of premium-priced nightly Halloween events last year. The only thing better than operating a theme park and getting folks to buy a ticket for a day at a gated attraction is to break the operating day into two parts and either refresh your visitors or get some guests to pay twice. 

Disney doesn't necessarily need to pull this lever. Its theme parks are already posting record revenue and operating profits. Guests now are spending 40% more per capita than they were the last time that Disney was hosting Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. It's still a brilliant way to spur traffic just as the summer travel season dies down, with families going back to school. 

If anything, the surprise here is that Disney's showing restraint this time around. Prices for last year's After Hours Boo Bash started at a higher $129 price point than the $109 that folks will be paying for most Tuesday and Friday nights in August. Last-year's hours were also shorter, with fewer exclusive offerings. However, compared to the cover charges of 2019 when the tickets fetched between $79 and $135, it is -- with apologies to Aladdin and Jasmine -- a whole new world on this end of the pandemic. 

Disney World is also offering the event on 37 nights between tonight and the end of October, compared to just 23 party evenings last year. You can expect most nights to sell out.

Even with threats of an economic slowdown, Disney fans aren't flinching at the post-pandemic pricing. The bellwether of travel and tourism stocks knows what it's doing. It's got tricks to keep the treats coming in its goodie bag.