Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Review

I’d like to reiterate that the opinions of this blog do not represent the opinions of the Walt Disney World Resort. With that out-of-the-way…

I will be quite honest. I don’t think Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, MNSSHP for short, is worth the money, especially for a family with small children.  Unless, of course, taking pictures with  special characters is worth spending the extra money. Or the special perimeter fireworks is worth it. Or the specialty parades. Or fun.
On a side note. I am not a huge fan of fireworks or parades. Or fun.

Just kidding. That last bit was part of a new running joke.
On a further to the side note. You should probably see some Disney perimeter fireworks at some time in your life. Don't skip that. 

Julie's humor aside, let's get to my concierge opinion of this event. 

Yes, Concierge Class is in session.

If this is your first, second, or even third visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, paying the extra money for a hard ticketed event probably isn't worth it. You already have so much ground to cover, since there is no chance you've done every attraction, seen every show, used every monorail, and had time to use the pool at your resort. There is just no way.

As a former Disney concierge, I would have LOVED to give this one piece of advice to every single first time family before their arrival. If I could have planned their vacations for them, I would have taken their itinerary and have gutted at least half of the items they planned on doing.

So after hearing my negative opinion of paying for a hard ticketed event at Disney, you are probably wondering why I am still even writing a review on MNSSHP. Personally I love Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, but I may love it for different reasons than the typical Disney tourist. I love it because I always go with a huge group of friends. We do rides together. We eat way too much candy. We admire every single costume that guests have put together. 

It is one of the few occasions where adults can dress up in full costumes in a Disney park. I never turn down an opportunity to dress up. Just wait until you see my Christmas costumes.
Example A

Example B
Example Princess Status
I have been to the party a few times. My last party was in 2014, so this overview/review will cover what was featured at that particular event. Since I have not gone this year I will not be able to comment on the new offerings, like the Sanderson sisters from "Hocus Pocus." Believe me. No one is feeling more left out about this update than me.

Beside the topics I will cover ahead, a ticket to the Halloween party also gets you access to the Magic Kingdom at 4pm with the party not starting until 7pm. You will also have access to most of the rides during the party, so you have the possibility of shorter wait times (no fastpass is available). Read on for a better understanding of the additional offerings at MNSSHP.
Fireworks
The fireworks are villainy themed. They display pictures on the castle and make it green a bunch of times. Of course the wonderful perimeter fireworks are featured.  Like I mentioned earlier, I am not a fireworks fan. Not one bit. But I LOVED the Fourth of July fireworks at Magic Kingdom this past year. I like Wishes a lot too. The reason I liked them both so much is because of the music. Probably my favorite Disney park thing is listening to the pop version they play of Wishes right after the fireworks have ended.

The music for the HalloWISHES is not my favorite. It has all the different Disney Villains in it, so if you are a villain fan, I'm sure you'll love that. The "Oogie Boogie man" from Nightmare Before Christmas has his own little number. There is also this doorbell sound effect they use before each villain, like each villain is trick or treating. Cute idea, n'est pas?
Parades
They do the Halloween parade twice. Go to the second one. Believe me. It will be much less stressful, and you won't have to stake out your place very far in advance. Unless parades are not important in your life. In which case DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.

The parade only travels in one direction and one direction only, which is different if you are familiar with the other Disney parades. The "Boo to You Halloween Parade" is actually led by a horse, with a headless horseman. The horse knows the route by heart, so the parade will only travel the one direction because that is how they trained the horse. Pretty cool, right? 

It is a very LONG parade, so don’t let yourself get trapped on one side of the park while you wait for the parade to finish. I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time once, and the parade trapped me in Frontierland when I was attempting to ride Big Thunder Mountain. Since then I have made it my duty to make sure that doesn't happen to anyone else I know. There were 2 Haunted Mansion floats, which were incredibly impressive. My favorite part was the parade performers recreating the ballroom scene.
Candy Trails
There is lots of candy, and it is all over the place.  One year they gave out bananas, and my roommates picked up each one they saw. They didn't even like bananas. I made so much banana bread. The first year I attended the party, they gave out craisins. None of my friends like craisins, so I ate a lot of craisins. The last party I attended only had candy.

If candy is your prerogative, then don’t worry. You’ll have lots; however, I don’t view “gathering candy” as a huge perk for a party that you have to pay for.
Characters
Yes, there are characters that are not normally out. I do think having the Princes out is a very nice perk. I love any excuse to see Prince Phillip. Of course the Seven Dwarfs are out. There is typically a HUGE line for the dwarfs, so plan to get in line very early or expect to wait a long while. I have also seen the Old Hag from Snow White, Tarzan and Jane, and Captain Jack Sparrow. But I HATE taking pictures in the parks at night because they do not come out well.  This is part of the reason I am shopping for a new camera. But even if I get a big fancy camera, I will be visiting the parks early for my best photos.
Speaking of bad pictures
Shows
"Villain’s Dance Mix & Mingle" They performed and walked off stage, and I had to ask my friend multiple times, “Is that it?” So if you’re going to the Villain’s Mix & Mingle for a show, skip it. But if you’d like to stay after and fight the mob, so you can get pictures with all of those villains, then this is your grand opportunity. Seize it.

Have you or are you planning on going to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? I'd love to hear about any of your experiences!

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