A little confession before we break down one of my favorite ticketed events on Disney property: I’m not a Halloween girl. I struggle with the concept of being scared for fun, and I’m still overly traumatized from an incident involving baby bats and an old church when I was 2 years old. To this day, I can’t watch the movie Batman and even cartoon bats make my skin crawl. And when I heard that the cast member costumes for the Halloween events at Disney were a purple bat pattern? I was not sure that I could participate.
So how in the world is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party my favorite event in all of Walt Disney World?
Let me back up a bit.
Three years ago, a friend and I decided on a girl’s weekend at WDW, to visit the Food and Wine Festival, and when we realized we would be there the same time as the MNSSHP (the fun acronym by which I’m going to refer to the party from here on out), we decided, why not?
Not only were the kiddos dressed up in their Halloween best, but the adults were rocking some fantastic costumes as well. We saw a family dressed as Madame Leota and the three hitchhiking ghosts. We made best friends with a girl dressed full out as Jasmine and her boyfriend as Jafar. But my heart was done in when I saw a lady dressed as Belle. Not just any Belle. Full-out-ballroom,-yellow-dress-with-intricate-details-ready-to-meet-the-Beast Belle.
It was in that moment I vowed to return the next year, and I was going to do the Halloween party up right.
Over the next two years, I returned as Walking Ariel and Provincial Town Belle, complete with meeting my idols, wearing their garb.
That’s what so amazing about the Halloween party. It helps those of us who don’t love the scary part of Halloween celebrate the holiday with the fun stuff: costumes, candy and a whole lot of Disney. It’s one of the only times of year where adults can wear costumes into the parks and people take the opportunity seriously.
The party isn’t just about wearing your Halloween best. MNNSHP is also the home of one of Disney’s finest parades, the Boo To You Halloween Parade. Warning: be prepared to have this catchy theme song in your head for weeks after you depart from your Disney vacation. The parade in total lasts about 20 minutes but is worth the price of admission. Dancing ghouls from the Haunted Mansion, characters in Halloween costumes and country cowboys line the streets for a performance you won’t want to miss. The highlight of the parade, though, is the gravediggers. These guys light up the streets with their shovels, literally. Sparks fly as they dance and scrape through the parade route. It’s jaw dropping.
Trick-or-treat stations are abundant throughout the park, and there’s even a villain dance party at the main stage in front of the castle. And new this year! The stage show will be themed around the Disney classic ‘Hocus Pocus.’ I can’t wait to see what fun Winifred, Mary and Sarah have in store for the Kingdom. And you can’t close out the party without seeing Hallo-Wishes. This fireworks extravaganza lights up the sky behind the castle set to some of the most villainous music from Disney movie history. And my love of all things mermaid is satisfied as Ursula has her own segment, complete with a rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” with the best fireworks spectacular I’ve ever seen.
And if your family is dying to meet Tarzan, the Seven Dwarfs or some other elusive characters, these parties are THE time to give your autograph books a workout. Disney does a great job of bringing out those special characters you can’t meet every day!
Last year, Disney offered a special Villain Soiree inside of Cinderella’s Castle. Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters invited some of their favorite evil friends to take over Cinderella’s Royal Table with some fantastic desserts. This was a separate price on top of the party, but in my opinion, it was worth it. I got up close and personal with the Evil Queen.
The verdict is out on if this is returning for 2015, but even if it doesn’t there are some amazing treats that you can only find at the party. We spotted some bat-shaped cookies at the Confectionary, but obviously, my bat-phobia prevented me from partaking. I did enjoy my ghost sprinkled rice krispie treat though!
So that’s how this Halloween-hating girl became the MNSSHP’s biggest fan. My friends and I are still contemplating our costumes for this year. I’m personally dying to channel my inner Wilderness Explorer for an “UP” theme. So, make plans to attend this fantastic event this fall at the Magic Kingdom. But if you do, don’t be afraid to have a killer costume prepared. You’ll fit right in.