Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

I’m not much on Halloween. It’s not because I’m too old or some strange aversion to costumes, I just don’t do scary. Horror movies, the dark, particularly intense episodes of Scooby-Doo - all are things I try to avoid like the plague. By default, Halloween falls into this mix, though it’s partially offset by the copious amounts of leftover candy. This year, for the first time in at least two decades, I was able to take part in the Halloween fun because my good friends at Disney have a celebration just for guys like me… Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Just like its Christmas Party cousin, Mickey’s Halloween Party requires a separate ticket for entry, which always makes me gristle a bit being a passholder. But I learned long ago to keep an open mind when it comes to any bash hosted by the Mickster, because they’re usually worth every penny.

My first experience at Mickey’s Halloween Party was no exception.

Oddly enough, both the Halloween and Christmas parties begin two full months before the actual holiday they’re celebrating, leading me to often wonder how anyone can get excited to Trick or Treat on Labor Day or eat Christmas cookies on November 7th. In our case, the first weekend of October felt more like mid-July, but that would change just a few hours after we scanned our MagicBands...

Although Mickey's Halloween Party technically doesn't begin until 7pm, guests with tickets can enter starting at 4pm. Since the overwhelming majority wait until the official start time - Disney doesn't exactly advertise the 4pm thing - those that do enter early are given a truly spectacular treat in the form of ridiculously short wait times.

You see, since the park "closes" at 7pm and the party "begins" at the same time, there's a brief lag where the rides are in something of a flux. All the normal park-goers have made their way toward the exit, while those attending the party haven't quite hit Tomorrowland en masse. Word to the wise... Get to Mickey's Halloween (or Christmas) Party early, because this sure beats a few pieces of candy...

Ahh but the candy... arguably the best part of Mickey's Halloween Party. I turned the page to my 30s long ago, but that didn't stop me from grabbing a bag with the best of them. There were roughly a dozen Trick or Treat stops around the Magic Kingdom and we hit them all. In the end, we came away with 4 bags that were overflowing with sweets. And not cheap knock-off brands either...I'm talking the good stuff.
Even Mr. Smee and Wendy went Trick or Treating.

Of course, the main attraction during the Halloween Party is the special edition of Wishes and the Boo To You parade. Our problem was we arrived at the Main Street hub a little later than usual and the place was already packed. It looked like we would have to watch from a rather lame location, but just then the Disney Gods threw us a bone.

A rain storm...

The crowd on Main Street scattered like they'd seen a ghost from the Haunted Mansion, and just like that we had the best seat in the house. Sure we got drenched, but it was totally worth it.

To put it mildly, Hallo-wishes was phenomenal. In fact, it just might be my favorite edition of Disney's fireworks extravaganzas, with the 180-degree finale playing a close second to the one at Epcot during New Year's Eve.

Finally, it's true what they say... Everyone loves a parade, and the Boo To You is especially good. All the usual cast of characters make an appearance, plus a few that seem out of place - read: girls dancing in Daisy Dukes - but overall it's worth the investment of time. Besides, who am I to complain about girls with fake southern accents dancing in short shorts. But fair warning: the song which accompanies the parade will be permanently implanted on your brain.

For a guy that's not big on anything Halloween, Mickey's version of the holiday is one heck of a good time. The ability to ride our favorite attractions with no wait, plus the candy, fireworks and parade made for a great evening - rainstorm and all. Will we be back next year? Probably...right about the time I get the Boo To You song out of my head.

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