Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party kicked off on Friday, August 17 at the Magic Kingdom. The party featured several new experiences, like the addition of Gunpowder Pete at Pirates of the Caribbean and a special new soundtrack with new effects at Space Mountain. These new additions gave the party a new energy that it hasn’t had since the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show premiered three years ago in 2015.
The party was sold out, which lead to some long lines and congested walkways. It felt just about as busy as the park feels in the middle of your average day in the Magic Kingdom. I have no idea what the exact number Disney typically limits the holiday parties to, but they really need to lower that number, whatever it is, because the crowds put a damper on a great party.
New Additions to the Party
This is what I was most looking forward to at the party. Usually, the party has such small incremental differences that there isn’t even much to mention.
I’ll start by saying not everyone felt this way, but I loved the Halloween Space Mountain. Really all that was different was that all the lights were off, and there was different music playing. There was no blue tunnel, no stars on the ceiling, no lights at all. The whole ride was in complete darkness. Our own Craig Williams and Corey Martin were underwhelmed, but I thought it was brilliant. Undeniably it would have been cool if there were a couple ghost projections, but I honestly had an amazing time regardless. I’ve ridden Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom so many times in my time as a Tomorrowland cast member and as an annual passholder, but this was the most fun I’ve had on the ride in years.
Gunpowder Pete, a pirate-themed character performer, was added to Pirates of the Caribbean. This was kind of a head-scratcher for me. While it was cool to see a real human interacting with guests on the ride. It was just strange. His role was very unclear, and he was just shouting basic pirate nonsense at us. Because his character was not integral to the story of attraction it just felt unnecessary.
Unfortunately, with how busy the party was I didn’t have time to check out the Mad Tea Party, which apparently had some fun lighting and special effects. Hopefully, I’ll go to another Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year to check that out!
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular remains a must-do at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The only difference to the show this year is that the Sanderson Sister briefly mention that it is the 25th anniversary since Hocus Pocus was released in 1993.
This show is still so popular unless you are waiting in front of the castle 20-30 minutes early you will not get a great viewing area.
Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade
So many guests love the Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade, and I am starting to realize that is just isn’t my favorite. This is a personal preference and not at all corresponding with the public opinion.
This year was no different. There weren’t any changes, or if there was I didn’t notice them. [Update: It has since been pointed out to me that there were some changes to the parade this year including a new outfit for Clarabelle Cow, the addition of Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbossa, and the addition of a Tinkerbell float.]
There are some elements that I enjoy, like the graveyard diggers along with the hitchhiking ghosts float, but I think the addition of Jack Skellington and/or the Sanderson Sisters would be extremely popular among guests.
This is by no means a bad parade. It just needs some additional tweaking, and maybe a new song.
Happy HalloWishes Fireworks
180-degree fireworks are always amazing. The moment all the fireworks explode at once it really takes your breath away. My favorite part is during that finale when the park is lit up for half a second like it is the middle of the day, just from the explosion of all the fireworks.
While this firework display probably needs an update it is still beloved by so many guests that I don’t think Disney feels the pressure to really make the change anytime soon.
During the party, there are several specialty treats found at select locations throughout the park. These party-exclusive treats are, of course, Halloween themed. I tried to hit as many specialty treat locations as possible, but there simply wasn’t time to eat and try everything, while juggling the rest of the party. I did try Hades Nachos, Worms & Dirt, Zero Waffle Sundae, the Jack Skellington Cake Push Pop, the Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake, and the Halloween Cinnamon Roll. Overall the best thing I tried was Hades Nachos at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, which was black bean nacho chips topped with fiery buffalo chicken.
Trick-or-Treat Candy Locations
Considering how crowded the park was for the party, I was surprised that the lines at the Trick-or-Treat Candy locations weren’t longer. Filling up bags of candy is always great, but honestly one of my favorite parts of stopping by the Trick-or-Treat Candy locations is just witnessing how much fun the cast members are having. This seems like their dream shift because their only real responsibility is to make people happy by giving them candy.
The only complaint I will make is that when you first enter Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party they herd the guests down the Main Street U.S.A. bypass like cattle, and the lines for candy are so long and congested. Even if you wanted to skip this line you really can’t because the lines are so far backed up you can get past people.