“When hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls…” I can hear it now. The foreboding, ominous voice of the ghost host welcoming us into the hour where ghosts are present. Can you hear it?
This past year, my husband and I had the privilege of joining the world’s most famous Mouse and his pals as they hosted Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Wald Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom. Of all the times I have visited Orlando’s Disney parks (which began when I was four years old) I had never been during the Halloween season! Crazy, I know, but this would be the first time. This short recount of our experience as first time attendees to MNSSHP will shed some light on whether we believe the party was worth the price of admission.
People who know my husband and me best will tell you Halloween is probably our favorite holiday. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas just as much, but for different reasons. I love Halloween because I have so many fond memories of decorating and dressing up to go trick-or-treating from my childhood. My siblings and I still talk about candy trading and crazy neighbors today. As long as I can remember, I have always loved getting dressed up in a costume whether it was for Halloween or not. Even to this day I have a fairly large box full of costumes I have collected over the years. Yes, I am 33 and have a costume box.
Usually when the 31st of October rolls around, you can find the hubs and me handing out candy to trick-or-treaters by the light of the flickering Halloween decorations that adorn our entire house. In addition, it is a requirement to watch scary movies and shows all month long (which includes multiple viewings of “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” and “Hocus Pocus”).
Because of our love of all things haunted and spooky, we are slightly obsessed with Disney’s Haunted Mansion rides, and the history surrounding them. Our favorite description of the classic Disney dark ride comes from a young foolish mortal holding hands with his mother before entering. “It’s just a little bit spooky,” the young boy said with confidence in comforting his timid mother. It may be the cutest description in the history of time.
Naturally, because we like things “just a little bit spooky,” we wanted to experience Disney’s take on this beloved holiday. My husband had visited the parks when they were decorated for Halloween, but neither of us had ever been to MNSSHP. After booking our next Disney adventure, I took to the “interweb” for some tips and tricks for attending the Halloween party. When it comes to preparing for a trip to Disney World and its ever-changing policies, security updates, and weather forecasts, I don’t think there is such a thing as being over prepared.
Something I didn’t know, before looking into it, was how the parks operate for special events. They close early, leaving special ticketed guests inside for the exclusive fun. I read a few blogs that said Magic Kingdom crowd levels are typically lower on special event days due to party guests being allowed in as early as 4pm ET and non-party guests having to leave early at 7pm ET. I think it’s nice that those who purchase a special event ticket (which is almost the same price as a one-day ticket) basically get a full park day’s worth of fun. Thanks Disney!
I am a planner through and through. I want to know the ins and outs of everything while I’m planning so I can make the most of my time (and fun, of course). Because of this, I am always directing friends and family to Disney vacation planners. There’s just too much you can miss out on because of simple planning mistakes. Disney planners can be your best friends! Needless to say, I had done the research, we had it all planned out, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of the festivities!
Okay. Time for real talk. One thing I hate more than anything is being hot and sweaty when I haven’t been working out. Well…I hate it even when I work out. By the way, I don’t sweat; I glow (am I right ladies?). For this reason, I have to be very intentional about what I wear to the Disney parks and the Halloween party was no different. I’m now flashing back to my freshly done makeup melting off my face before it was even rope drop. This made me so cranky. This was not my best moment. It was then I realized I needed to take my cranky pants off or we were going to have a bad day. But I digress…
I knew I needed to find a fun and comfortable costume that wouldn’t lead me to be a sweaty, miserable mess. I remember reading a blog post that said sometimes the temperature at night during this season could still reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. GULP! Translation: You don’t want to be caught wearing a full on wookie costume for the festivities if you don’t want to go sleeping beauty on everyone, ya feel me?
My husband and I are big fans of wrestling (specifically WWE) and decided to go as a couple of our favorite superstars at the time (Bayley and Kevin Owens for all you ‘rastlin’ fans out there). I highly recommend the “not-so-hot” Halloween costumes for sure! I don’t have human children (we have a fur baby), but I can’t imagine a kid being that much fun at 10pm or later after he or she has been walking around the parks for hours, possibly without a nap, and has been sweating it out in a cute costume the whole time. Honestly, this sounds like it would be a “don’t feed them after midnight” situation to me.
Upon entering the Magic Kingdom for MNSSHP, we were directed to the right of Main Street to start our picture and trick-or-treating tour. It was cool because it was an area we had never been to before, so it felt exclusive right off the bat. I loved seeing all the photographers ready to capture the magic, and who doesn’t love FREE CANDY! There are all kinds of trick-or-treating paths to take as you meet up with some of the most rare Disney villains on your way to the attractions and shows.
Everything was happily haunting and so much fun! I don’t want to ruin the magic for anyone, but you just can’t beat Disney when it comes to the attention to detail. They have thought of it all: decorations, stage shows, costumes, characters, fireworks, food, pictures, parades, and even some of the rides are updated for special holidays. It’s just plain incredible!
Our whole night was nothing short of magical! I absolutely loved seeing the Sanderson Sisters and villain friends rock the stage show as we perused the park, riding our favorite rides, trick-or-treating, seeing everyone dressed up in amazing costumes, taking pictures with villain characters, and of course watching the parade!
Oh, the famous Boo-to-You Parade! It is simply my all-time favorite and I would buy a ticket just to see it! The headless horseman riding past Sleepy Hollow across the Liberty Square bridge to kick it all off is one of the coolest Disney experiences in my opinion. Warning: The parade song will get stuck in your head for days though I didn’t mind it one bit!
I highly recommend this exclusive experience. Whether Halloween is your thing or not, MNSSHP is fun for every age just like everything else Disney has to offer. Our next adventure will be Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This will be another first for yours truly, and I cannot WAIT to experience this!
Thank you to @DougDoesDisney and @MagicalShannonMarie for the use of their amazing photos!