Review: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2018
Once upon a midnight cheery, through a Magic Kingdom, ghoulish and eerie. I wandered the lands for tricks and treats, did Mickey’s party deliver? Was it spellbindingly sweet?
It’s hard for me to officially secede this bit of information, and it takes everything I have to immortalize this fact: it’s been two years since I attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I know, I’m ashamed too, but last year, despite my every effort, I just couldn’t make it there. I vowed then that I would make my grand return in 2018, and already started planning my costume!
I not only made it back for the 2018 Party, but I brought a friend along with me who had never before attended. On one hand you have me; the Disney nerd who knows what and where each Party-specific treat is sold in the Park, that Hocus Pocus’ 25th anniversary and castle show and rare character meet-ups are staples of the event, and can recite the costume guidelines on command.
On the other hand you have him; the Party newbie who hasn’t visited WDW since he was 17. When the opinion of a crazy-obsessed, know-it-all guest with high expectations pairs with a newcomers’…a spook-tacular review is a certainty!
Early Entry and Attraction Queues.
The Party doesn’t officially begin until 7pm, but guests holding tickets to the evenings’ event are allowed access to Magic Kingdom beginning as early as 4pm! When we entered at 4pm, I was expecting Magic Kingdom to be crowded with day guests vying to squeeze in a few attractions more before they got ‘swept’ for the Party….and boy, was I wrong! Magic Kingdom was very, very quiet on that day, and we had the Party to thank!
We successfully rode three popular attractions in Tomorrowland BEFORE a 4:45pm dinner reservation which goes to show that, even if you don’t have a Party ticket and your day in the Park will not include fireworks, it might be worth spending the early part of the day at Magic Kingdom for light crowds and minimal attraction wait times! I’m getting ahead of myself a bit, but when the Party officially started, no attraction, not even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, reached a line of over 40 minutes!
The Party Begins
As if by magic, the sun set just as the day guest sweep was taking place. As the crowds thinned and impressively intricate costumes began to surface through Magic Kingdom, the atmosphere was set. Deep green and purple lighting set a smoke-cloaked Tom Sawyer Island aflame against the black sky. Space Mountain cast hauntingly severe shadows over Tomorrowland.
The entire Kingdom, even Fantasyland, was glowing with spooky atmospheric energy, and just when I was about to snap photos of the impeccable lighting and themeing that surrounded me…I spotted my first treat stop!
There weren’t any lines for treats when I visited the party 2 years ago. This year was quite the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t wait more than 5 minutes in a constantly-moving queue for any treat spot, but long, serpentined queues packed with strollers and hungry guests were not ideal, nor what I remember.
Waiting for the treat stops located through Magic Kingdom though, definitely proved worth it! The Cast Members doling out the top shelf candy (think M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles, and Dove) did not skimp, and after only 4 stops, my bag was loaded with enough candy to last me until next Halloween! My friend put it best when he asked “and I can keep going back as many times as I want?”. You sure can! That’s half the beauty of a Party- unlimited candy!
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular!
I’ve been a fan of Hocus Pocus since college, and I remembered loving the castle foreground show so much on my last visit, that I made my friend stake out the ideal show spot with me over 40 minutes before the first show. Hey, I didn’t’ want to miss any of the 25th anniversary Sanderson sister action! As it turned out, the Party was so sparse with guests (except for those pesky treat lines) that we could have showed up just 15 minutes prior to the start of the show and had the same great spot.
From the moment the sisters made their entrance with that now-famous walk, Magic Kingdom exploded with energy! The actors on stage felt it too, because everyone, from the dancers to the Sanderson sisters all the way down to the Evil Queen put on a powerhouse of a show for all to see!
The fantastic backlighting in the castle tunnel amplified the scenic projections on the castle, but it was the villains’ entrances that really blew me away. Jafar, Cruella, The Evil Queen, and so many more emerged from the red and purple smoke-filled castle tunnel to thunderous applause! Their villains’ entrances segued to an unbelievably lively finale that blew this theater kid out of the water!
I was so impressed by the energy and overall production that I wasn’t going to let my live theater-hating friend bring me down…and that’s when I saw his smile! He was as equally impressed with the production as I was and, coming form a man who would prefer a Sunday football game to a Sunday matinee, said he loved every minute of Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular!
Parades and Fireworks
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a nod to both Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade and the Happy HalloWishes fireworks display. The Headless Horseman- straddling a massive, black-as-night horse- slowly led his steed down the parade route at a menacingly slow pace. Enough time to see him but not enough to dissolve the mystery that surrounds him.
Check out his ride and the full parade right here. The parade itself is the COOLEST of the year by far. I mean, in what other parade can you find the hitchhiking ghosts, Br’er Rabbit, Jack Sparrow, and Mickey Mouse? The gravediggers always take the cake for me, and when the sparks started to fly off the front of those shovels, even grim grinning ghosts would have a tough time competing with my smile!
Despite having to wait in long, serpentined lines for candy, the Party was a massive hit in the eyes of my friend and I! In addition to trick-or-treating, catching the parade, scoping out a prime spot for Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, we managed to conquer the mountains (Big Thunder, Space, and Splash) and make it onto a whopping 8 other attractions during the party!
In my opinion, there were the perfect amount of people at the Party, allowing for everyone to check everything off their Party bucket lists, and maybe even squeezing in 11 attractions to-boot. Have you been to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? What was your experience like? Leave me a comment and let me know!Are you planning on booking a Disney vacation for you and your family? I’d love to help! You can find me over on Facebook, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 800-308-6257