People always give me a strange look when I tell them that Halloween is our favorite holiday and time of year! My wife and I love the parties, the spooky movies on TV, the costumes and trick-or treaters. We have Halloween decorations galore and love giving out candy! And I can’t think of a better place to celebrate our much-loved time of year than at the Magic Kingdom’s Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party. This separate hard-ticketed event held on select days is one of the most popular guest events. In fact, many families have made it a tradition and it’s an event not to be missed.
This guest favorite gives everyone in the family to dress up in their favorite costumes, (mostly Disney characters!) and trick-or-treat all around the magic kingdom at select “Treat” locations, identified by a large lighted Mickey Pumpkin Head. There are also Trick-or-Treat “Trails” with multiple treat stations to load up on the goodies! In addition, select attractions are open as well as Halloween merchandise available in and around the park.
I have again been invited as a member of the media by Disney to cover this event. Although the party pretty much stays the same, this year the media was treated (Treated, get it?) to a special event. Media and their guests got a sneak-peak look at the new “Princess Fairytale Hall” which replaces Snow White’s Scary Adventures; one of the Magic Kingdom’s opening day attractions. It is simply amazing how the Imagineers transformed this former attraction into the new Hall. The Hall is slated to open to the public on the 18th of September.
Here is a rundown of the events at this year’s MNSSHP. Special Disney Character appearances will meet and greet guests intermittently during the event. A Disney Villains “Dance Mix and Mingle” party takes place on the castle forecourt stage (7:45pm-8:50pm-10:05pm and 11:15pm). Take in your favorite Character Dance Parties, at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland or Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup at the Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square.
These parties offer a great opportunity for the kids to interact with their favorite characters. The biggie of the night (For us, at least!) is “Mickey’s Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade. Starting in Frontierland, this parade has some of the best floats of any Disney parade! Preceding the parade is an energetic DJ, along with Cast Members and Phineas and Ferb who encourage guests to join in and party! Watch for the Gravediggers troupe from the Haunted Mansion, my favorite part of the parade.
At 9:15pm, Cinderella Castle is transformed into an amazing Halloween projection show, “Celebrate the Magic” complete with some of Disney’s most evil villains. Every time I see this Castle show, I am still awed just how amazing it is. But stay right there, for immediately after the show, the fireworks spectacular, “HallowWishes” lights up the sky. The show again is hosted by some of your favorite Disney villains.
Here are some things to keep in mind. You can enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4pm, even though the party does not start till 7pm. Many guests spend the entire day at the Magic Kingdom and stay for the party. This of course means you have to purchase a separate ticket for the event, and you are given a wristband to enter. Disney has been much more diligent making sure that guests have the special wristband on, showing that they paid. If you do not have the band on, you will be asked to leave the park.
Main St. USA and Liberty square are the only lands that are decorated for Halloween. Take your time in these lands to see the wonderful decorations in and around. Jack-O-lanterns festoon all the buildings on Main St. Mickey Pumpkin heads are all over. In the Town square, check out the mannequins of the citizens of Main St. City Hall, the Train Station and Firehouse all sporting their Halloween finest. You’ll also note that Roy O Disney and Minnie mouse have been moved to the side of City Hall to make way for a large display of pumpkins, which makes for a favorite Kodak moment!
Not all attractions and eateries are opened. Dining for this year’s party is at Main St. Bakery, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Casey’s Corner. Adventureland is Aloha Isle. In Frontierland; its Pecos Bill’s, the Frontier Churro Cart, the Turkey Leg Cart and Westward Ho. Liberty Square has Sleepy Hollow open. In Fantasyland, its Storybook treats and Gaston’s Tavern. And in Tomorrowland, you can eat at Cosmic Rays and the Lunching Pad. Keep an eye out for some of the special costumes that the Cast Members are wearing, especially the Haunted Mansion crew.
Attractions, you can play the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Adventureland, Swiss Family Treehouse, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Pirates Adventure. In Frontierland, open is Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Country Bear Jamboree. In Liberty Square, of course the Haunted Mansion! Fantasyland has It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Dumbo, Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, The Barnstormer, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the Mad Hatter Teacups and the Casey Jr. Splash N’ Soak. In addition, check out the special Halloween merchandise at the Emporium, Frontier Trading post, Heritage House, Big Top Souvenirs and Ursa’s Major Minor cart. And speaking of carts, some of the coolest lighted gems can be had at the many merchandising carts.
From 8:15 to 9:30pm, the media was given a sneak peak at the new Princess Fairytale Hall. As expected, Disney did an amazing and beautiful remake of the old Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction. You enter via two queue lines. Each line parallels into a hallway, lined with large pictures of Disney Princess’s you can expect to meet. The interior and exterior is of course themed as a Fairytale castle Inside the queue lines, overhead are Crown shaped chandeliers and regal tapestries hanging on the walls. The hallway to the Princess’s meeting rooms has large, ornate columns which hold up wood beam trusses to the ceiling. The walls also have ornate and fancy candle holders. At the head of both lines is a beautiful alcove, with the glass slipper on a blue silk pillow, which Cinderella wore to the ball.
The Princess’s we greeted were Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella and Snow White. The meeting areas for the Princess’ are just as regal and sumptuous. Marble flower pots, stained glass windows, fancy draperies and wood wainscoting. Another nice touch was a big fairytale book on a wooden table. The story was opened to the beginning of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, written in German; since the story was written by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. The Fairytale Hall is being opened to the public on September 18th.
Here is a little more information…Remaining dates for Mickey’s not-So-Scary Halloween Party is… September- 17, 20, 24, 27,29th. October- 3,4,6,11,14,17,18,20,22,24,25,27,29 and Halloween itself, the 31st. And November 1st, Tickets for the day of the event are… September 10th – 27th: Ages 10+ $65.00+tax -ages 3-9 $60.00+tax. On September 30th – November 1st (except October 31) Ages 10+ $67.00+tax, ages 3-9 $62.00+tax. On October 31, Ages 10+: $73.00+tax Ages 3-9, $68.00+tax. Purchasing tickets in advance is…September 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, Ages 10+ $59.00+tax, Ages 3-9 $54.00+tax. For September 29, October 3, 4, 6, 10, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, November 1: Ages 10+ $62.00+tax, Ages 3-9, $57.00+tax.
If you are DVC (Disney Vacation Club) or Annual Passholder, the rates are… September 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27, Ages 10+ $56.00+tax, ages 3-9 $51.00+tax. September 29, October 3, 6, 10, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24, Ages 10+ $58.00+tax, ages 3-9 $53.00+tax. Note…No discounts for the following dates… October 4, 11, 18, 25, 27, 29, 31, and November 1st.
Disney also offers retired and Active members of our military forces, discounted tickets for selected dates… September 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27, Ages 10 & Up $41.30 + tax and Ages 3-9 $37.80 + tax.
For tickets, call 407-934-7639 or click on Disneyworld.com. If a spooky, scary good time is what you are looking for, then Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween party is just the ticket!