Well, we have made it to the #1 thing I am looking forward to on our trip to Walt Disney World! My family and I have gone to many special ticketed events over the years. (this includes E-Ride Nights, Pirates and Princess Party, Early Morning Magic, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – just to name a few.) They have all been fun and exciting in their own way, however – my very favorite event we have ever attended is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. There are many reasons why, more than I could (or want to) list here in a blog.
But I definitely want to share some of my favorite things about the party for you…including a couple of tips that may help if are also planning a special spooky night at the Magic Kingdom!
- Atmosphere – the park is decorated so well for this party (way beyond the decorations that adorn the park the rest of the day.) I mentioned in the Haunted Mansion blog that I love fall and all that goes along with it. The colors, the pumpkins, and all the other decorations are so awesome. As it gets dark, there is a creepy fog around the park, and multi-color lights providing a spooky feel to the entire park. The use of projections onto the buildings over the last few years add to this effect. Also, lots of people are in costume – not us, mind you – so many adorable couple and family costumes that you do not see on a regular day.
- Trick or Treating – there are stations set up throughout the park for children, and adults, to pick up candy. (And over the last few years, the candy has been the good stuff!!) Now quite honestly, I am not a huge candy fan – but there is something about people trick or treating all around the park that gives a unique, almost neighborhood, feel to the park. It adds something special to the night.
- The Haunted Mansion – Clearly this is big, since yesterday’s blog was all about this, and this is the second time I am mentioning that entry here in this blog. I do love riding this attraction during the party!
- Excellent Wait Times – Now this is not a given, it depends on how many tickets are sold for the party, which other than opening night, tends to grow larger as you get closer to actual Halloween night. Typically, when we have attended Not-So-Scary, wait times are extra low since there are not as many people at the park during a party as there is in a normal day. This can mean lots of re-rides – and when you are especially lucky – the coveted ‘ride again without having to get out of the vehicle’ magical moment!
- Hallowishes Fireworks – The fireworks during this party are unique, and like so much of the party entertainment, you can only see them during this party. They are spectacular. We have always been big fans of Nightmare Before Christmas – so the heavy use of this music along with more villains, Halloween colors, and awesome explosions – just WOW!
- Speaking of Villains – Other than an occasional evil step-sister or Gaston, you don’t see a lot of the villains around the Magic Kingdom on a normal day. It is delightful to see them out and about during the Not-So-Scary Party. If you want to have a picture made with them, they have meet-and-greet opportunities, but be prepared to spend a lot of your time in those lines – they can be kind of long.
- The Headless Horseman – Just before the parade, the Headless Horseman rides through the park and it is one of my all-time favorite scenes in a show at the Magic Kingdom. Simply tremendous – it is magical. But don’t be that person who curses out a cast member (yes, in front of children!) because the safety of the rider is way more important than having to wait until next time, even if that is a year or more away.
- The Boo to You Parade – The parade is the highlight of the party for me. This parade’s music and themes are fun and worth waiting to get a front row spot! The music is so catchy you will be singing it for the rest of your trip (and probably buying the soundtrack, if only to hear the chicken clucking Ghost Riders In The Sky!). And when the Haunted Mansion unit goes by, with the butlers performing with shovels and the ballroom scene’s dancing ghost couples – I just can’t stand it. It is just all the things… (and you can actually watch it tonight on Disney Parks Live Blog, plus hopefully they leave up the video so you can watch it over and over when you get home! If not, there are 100 youtubers who have videoed it that do a decent enough job.)
Wow, that was harder than I thought it was going to be – there is barely enough room in one blog post to describe the fun and excitement that is the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. All that we have seen before, plus there are new experiences we have yet to see. For example, Space Mountain, totally dark; live actors in Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.
The only problem with the party, is that it only lasts 5 hours (you can arrive at 4, but the party gets going at 7), and this may not be enough time to do everything you to do – so just like most everything with Disney, it takes a little planning to make sure you get all you expect out of the extra cost.
A few tips from our past experiences with the party (and may update with another blog after we go this year!)
- Since they have added more dates this year, this may not be as big of an issue…but we found that week night parties are much less crowded the parties held on the weekend.
- If you see that your party has sold-out, be prepared for it to be a much busier night. We have found on those nights, it is best if we just focus on the events specific to the party and make sure we have plenty of time to ride attractions on another day. (Except the Haunted Mansion, always ride the Haunted Mansion! And try Space Mountain in the dark. And Pirates. and, and , okay, so they do make this difficult don’t they?)
- Decide, ahead of time, the most important things that you want to do. If you just must get a photo with Jack and Sally or you cannot survive without the Oogie Boogie Popcorn Bucket – plan on doing those things as early as possible. Lines get incredibly long and sometimes the special items sell out, and sometimes quickly sell out. The earlier you can get those things checked off your list – you will feel less stressed during the party.
- Check in the party as soon as you can. A lot of people wait until late to get their wristband (at least in years past it has been a wristband) and the lines get long. This is particularly true if you are already a ticketed guest at the Magic Kingdom that day.
- Don’t forget your special Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card! The party ones are really cool!
- Check out the schedule for times of shows, a lot of times the later shows are less crowded. Like the second parade, or the Hocus Pocus Vilian Spelltacular show they have at midnight as the night ends.
The Mickey Not So Scary Halloween party is one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World. It is such a unique experience that combines childhood activities like trick-or-treating and costumes, with special event parades, fireworks and a Halloween experience that is as fun in August and September as it is on Halloween Day itself (maybe more since the place will be sold out on Halloween night!) And it really…is not so very scary!