MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY
After the blood, guts and gore of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, if you thought Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was going to be much tamer — you’d be right! It’s a different, but fun sort of an add on to your theme park ticket.
At the bewitching hour of 7, the Magic Kingdom closes for those not so lucky to have a ticket to the party. While the party is going on, a fraction of the regular populous of the Magic Kingdom has free reign over around 80% of the attractions that are still open for the event.
The Ghost Host of Haunted Mansion fame takes over the park designating it time for the festivities to begin. The entire park’s lighting scheme changes and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party begins.
For the most part, the party lived up to it’s name of not being so scary, but more Halloween themed without the blood and gore. I understand horror fans reading this may think that’s blasphemous, but as I’ve said on the podcast several times, I don’t understand the correlation that everything Halloween has to be about bloody body parts. The scariest thing about the Halloween party were the cast members (for those uninitiated, that’s what Disney calls it’s employees). To ensure no one stayed in the park without the proper wrist bands, cast members literally form a human line in each area and take slow steps in unison. If you have a band, you can pass. If you do not, you can not pass and eventually the line would lead you out of the park. Effective, but still kind of a scary visual.
Perks of the Halloween party are numerous.
1. There are a bunch of characters meet and greets exclusive to the Halloween party. It’s the best time to get pictures with a lot of the villains as naturally, this is their time to shine. The two most popular meet and greets that only come out for the Halloween party are the chance to meet Jack Skellington and his girl, Sally and the change to get your picture taken with all seven dwarves at once! My main goal at the party was to get in line for Skellington as I had heard the line to meet him and his lady had reached upwards of three hours in the past. We got in line at six (with the party starting at seven) and lucky for us, it started raining. I know that doesn’t sound lucky, but the good folks at Disney didn’t want us standing all night in the rain, so they let us start chumming it up with the Pumpkin King an hour early — of course, assuming you had the add-on wrist band.
2. The Halloween party brings with it, it’s own set of merchandise because no one knows how to get your money better than Disney. One of the most sought after pieces is actually free. Disney World has it’s own card game (Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom) that you can collect cards for and play for free. While supplies last, you can get a special Halloween themed card for the game that is only available for those attending the party. Not that I would sell mine, but those suckers go for about $50 on the secondary market.
This year the Halloween party we attended saw the grand opening of a merchandise store next to the Haunted Mansion that sold exclusive Haunted Mansion merchandise. It took a lot more willpower than I thought I had to not drop a quick hundred in that place.
3. Many attractions are still open. With a fraction of the people in the park as normal and many of them doing various other activities, attractions lines are next to nothing.
4. Trick-or-Treating! Regardless of age and whether or not you are wearing a costume, you get to trick-or-treat all night long in the Magic Kingdom. They even provide the bag. It’s normal candy — not everything has Mickey ears
For spectacle buffs, the Halloween party has it’s own version of the nightly fireworks show above the castle with a villainous theme as well as it’s own castle show with a good number of villains. The biggest spectacle of all may be the “Boo to You” parade. If you click the video below, I warn you that you will have the song stuck in your head for literally days. The “Boo to You” parade not only begins with the Headless Horseman running through the park but it almost unanimously considered the best parade for any event all year. The parade forgoes the typical princesses and Disney characters (with the exception of one float which has Mickey and company in Halloween costumes) to highlight areas such as the Haunted Mansion with it’s hitchhiking ghosts, the awesome gravediggers and the graveyard caretaker from the world famous attraction. Again, villains are highlighted. Even the bears from the Country Bear Jamboree get in on the act. This is the only time some of these characters get dusted off for the entire year.
There are characters aplenty about the park. You can’t seem to go twenty feet without running into them. We came very close to literally walking into Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck and Goofy (all in Halloween costume) as they made their way out of some dark corner.
The thing I don’t seem to understand about these events (and Disney is bad about this all the time) are the “dance parties.” Perhaps they are popular with kids? I tend to avoid those events, though I had read about a “dance party” I wanted to check out in one of the rarely used buildings in Frontierland. Club Villains opened up at the beginning of the party and it was a DJ led dance club (complete with graffiti styled villains portraits) with various villains dancing around the place. It was as I suspected. The villains danced (most noteably the wicked stepmother and stepsisters from Cinderella) while everyone else just sort of stood around because most people don’t know how to dance.
Toss in extras such as the Halloween mood lighting all around the park, turning the Dapper Dans (a barbershop quartet) into the Cadaver Dans and bonuses like the very entertaining ghosts that hang out in front of the Haunted Mansion for just his occasion and it makes for a fun, if not-so-scary evening. If you’re at the Magic Kingdom and you have the $45 to blow on the add-on, I would most definitely suggest it!