If you have ever wanted to meet Maleficent and the Evil Queen, experience dressing up and trick or treating within the Disney parks or see the Magic Kingdom re themed into a spooky, haunted world then look no further than Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This party is an after hours event that allows parents and kids alike to explore the Magic Kingdom under a Halloween theme filled with unique lighting, music and special effects.
The earliest attempt to create a Disney Halloween event was the the Village Halloween party which encouraged children and adults alike to come to Lake Buena Vista and trick or treat from store to store. The event was an attempt to bring life to Walt Disney World’s newest local area: the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village which has since been renamed to Downtown Disney. After the success of this event, Disney continued to experiment with Halloween styled parties at the Contemporary Resort in October of 1976 and 1979’s Halloween Hysteria which was an after hours event in the Magic Kingdom. After years of success, it wasn’t until October 31, 1995 that Disney finally brought forth their signature Halloween party.
The reason Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party did not occur until 1995 was mainly because they were too busy building Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The Christmas themed park event originally took place as a single night event in December of 1983. Through popularity and demand, the annual event expanded to two nights in 1989 and went to three nights in 1990. Once the 1990’s began and their Christmas party took off, Disney decided to expand its seasonal events. We saw the creation of the Flower and Garden Festival in Future World in Epcot during late Winter, Holiday’s Around the World in the World Showcase of Epcot in late November and the Mardi Gras Celebration in Pleasure Island which use to occur in late February.
Then in 1991, Universal Studios began their very intense Halloween Horrors Night on October 25 of that year. The event by Universal was seen as competition even though it was a much more intense production compared to anything Disney would put on since it focused on terror and horror and even recommending children 12 years and younger not to experience the event. With the expansion of their seasonal events and Universal’s implementation of a Halloween event Disney executives believed it was a logical next step to create a Halloween themed experience for guests.
The event began in 1995 as a one night event much like, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but quickly expanded to two nights by October 1997 because of the strong reactions by fans. By 1999 Mickey’s newest event climbed to three nights and was not going to stop any time soon. Every year the demand for tickets grew exponentially leading to Disney expanding the event to five nights in 2001, 10 nights in 2003 and 15 nights in 2005. In 2008, Disney even expanded the event internationally to Disneyland Paris. In 2016, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is up to 29 nights surpassing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas celebration by eight nights.
So what makes this event so special? To begin with, in 2013 they gave away 215 tons of Halloween candy including their sponsored brand Nestle, Mars’ M&M and Snickers and the Disney branded candy from Main Street USA “Goofy’s Candy Company.” In addition, Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Parade features the headless horseman himself as the grand master and the parade is filled with dressed up characters, ghosts from the Haunted Mansion and an assortment of Disney villains.
There is also a Hocus Pocus Villain Speclltacular which is a live stage show featuring the Sanderson sisters. In their limited time to run amok, they interact with the likes of Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie and Maleficent! You can meet and greet a wide variety of characters including Mickey, Tinker Bell, Cruella DeVil, Jack and Sally and many more. Furthermore, the event has a magical villain show projected onto Cinderella’s castle and caps off the night with the Happy HallowWishes fireworks show filled creepy songs and an exciting display.
Although there are so many events going on, one of the biggest advantages of going to this after hours event is the limited amount of people allowed into the park allowing guests to experience attractions and characters with much smaller lines making it a much more intimate family experience. Whether you get a chance to go or prefer experiencing the holiday at home, I would still like to wish you a Happy Halloween!