This was our first time doing the Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We've been to Disney World in the fall several times and known of the party, but never really got tempted to see what it was like until a couple years ago. As Brits, we pay for our park tickets in advance, and we have access to the 7/14/21 day ultimate tickets, and they're awesome. The thought of paying another couple hundred bucks for an evening in Magic Kingdom seemed a little off putting at first. It most probably seems peculiar to a lot of people who are uninformed or haven't really looked into it.
We played it safe and chose an early September week day date so hopefully it would be quieter and we'd be able to do everything to death. We were told we could enter the park from 5pm (even though we had our ultimate ticket we could technically go whenever). If you're already in the park from 5pm you can go to one of the designated areas to get a wrist band.
The good times began when we were in our hotel room getting into our costumes, looking forward to what the evening would bring us. We dressed up for the occasion as Wally & Wenda. (Although, as this was America, I only got called Waldo). As you can see from our Buzz ride photo below, we looked swell.
We left the hotel room and made our way to the Magic Kingdom bus stop, and that's where the fun began. We immediately caught people's attention. We had people looking over and smiling, parents grabbing their kids and pointing over to us. And it wasn't in a mean "ha ha" kind of way, everyone wanted part of the fun - it was rather amusing. This is where I got my first "WALDO" shout from a group passing by the bus stop. An Animal Kingdom bus went buy and we had the eyes of the whole bus as it drove past. I'm not a person that likes attention, but joining in with everyone having a laugh about it was great fun.
When we arrived at Magic Kingdom, I was concerned whether they'd let me in with my inflatable cane. (Believe me, it made the costume.) As we approached the security check at Magic Kingdom, it was quiet, and one of the security cast members yelled "I'LL TAKE THE WALDOS". We had a laugh, she checked our bags and we were let in. We got the turnstiles, scanned our Magicbands and there were cast members waiting to put on our Halloween Party bracelets. One of them shouted "WALDO, I FOUND YOU".
I know what you're thinking - we're 10 minutes until the evening and we've already had a lot of people shout towards us.
When we entered the park we were funnelled to the right where we pick up our candy bags and got our first handfuls of candy (we'd never been through here). Then we ended up by the Tomorrowland Terrace and were free to do as we please for the evening.
As we were there, we did our rounds at Tomorrowland. We sat on the People Mover and watched them set up the candy pick up areas as we travelled around. There were candy pick up areas all around the park, and all were marked on the park map. We went to our first trick-or-treat and they grabbed a handful of candy from the massive drums into our little bags. We both brought our own bags, too. So we emptied the little bags into our bigger bags and continued to get more.
We worked our way around the park a couple of times. We decided to get the later parade as most people seem to go the first. That would be a good time to go do the busier rides like Seven Drawfs etc.
The general atmosphere around the park was great. Especially around the Haunted Mansion area. Lots of smoke machines going off, spooky music - you name it. The best way to describe it would be Disney on steroids. Not only do you have happy people at Disney World, you have the real fans and Disney lovers there enjoying a special event which just heightened the experience overall.
We grabbed a Starbucks and of course kept in character ourselves.
At these ticketed events, they tend to have unique character meet-and-greets you can't get at any other time. One of which was Genie. We've always wanted to do a meet-and-greet with Genie. So we waited in line for probably 20 minutes to do just that.
No rides were more than 20 minutes, space mountain was walk on, we did it like 4 times in a row. We of course did more trick-or-treating, and one spot was at Philharmagic. After getting your candy, you'd walk through theatre to exit. They were playing cartoons on the big screen and you coud sit down for a bit and rest your feet. We took a few minutes in here, and as a massive fan of Philharmagic and that theatre, it was really cool to sit in there casually and see the big screen used for just playing normal cartoons. It felt like some sort backstage or after hours experience.
It was time to watch HalloWishes for the first time. I was curious to see if they were going to change the Halloween fireworks as they debuted 'Happily Ever After', but thankfully they didn't. The fireworks were really good and were not at all diminished by the new effects on the 'Happily Ever After' show at all.
After we watched HalloWishes we found a place for the parade. The parade was awesome. The headless horseman came through ahead of the parade and everyone cheered like crazy as he rode past. All the floats were awesome and well themed, along with the boo-to-you theme song.
(More pics are located at the end of this review.) We had one special moment where Cruella de Vil walked right up to us and shouted "Stripes? STRIPES?". Completely caught of us off guard but made us laugh.
After watching the parade and fireworks, we wandered around to get some candy and to go on the rides as we went past them. We went into the one at the Tiki Room and once again one of the cast members said "I FOUND YOU". I told her congratulations, and as a prize she could give me more candy. She said as much as she'd love to, she can't. So curious to see what their rules are and how strict the cast members have to be, but some spots have multiple candy bins and you can go through all of them (especially Tiki room and Jungle cruise for example).
Another rare meet-and-greet was Captain Jack Sparrow. You usually see him doing a little show outside the ride, but this was an actual meet-and-greet. We were tempted, but the cast member working the queue was shouting out that it was over an hour wait. This Halloween Party official hours is 7pm until midnight. I'm not sure any character is worth 1/5 of the entire time to meet.
As we were there, we of course went on Pirates Of The Caribbean. In the queue we were talking to an American family and they were complimenting our constume choices. I told them the best part will be when people look over their photos from the night, we'll probably be floating around the background in some of them.
I love Americans.
Scroll down past the image gallery below for our summary and final review.
We went on a quiet night and it was nowhere near sold out, but was still very busy. I'd hate to think how bad it is when its busier. Going in a costume is a must, and really adds to the experience. All the cast members from bus drivers to security join in and make your day even better. We will be doing this again, however maybe not going in a costume where we stand out so much. It was great fun and a very different way to experience Magic Kingdom. I would definitely stick to week nights and not too far into October, however.
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