Harknell and I ventured out to our first and last time at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (AKA Mickey’s Halloween Party) at Orlando’s Walt Disney world Resort. Disney is trying to market this event as an all ages event.
“During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Guests of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. Even better, you can collect delicious candy as you trick-or-treat around Magic Kingdom theme park.”
I had read a few reviews online of the event, and it seemed to boil down to “if you are OK with paying for trick-or-treating, special fireworks, costumed characters, and a cool parade, you’ll like this event.”
We aren’t so much into waiting in line for costumed characters, but Harknell and I are the douchebags who cry at Wishes (fireworks). We love the Electrical Light Parade that Disney runs on a daily basis. Halloween is our favorite holiday and trick-or-treating is cool, so I figured this would be the event for us.
I was wrong.
I’ll break this down into Pros and Cons so you can see my reasoning and decide if you might like this or not on your own.
Attraction Lines: Everyone coming to this event is here for photos with costumed characters,fireworks, trick-or-treating, and the parade. Almost no one is in line to ride anything. Not all attractions are running, but all of the big ones are. If you want to go to this party and treat it like an unlimited Fastpass for your favorite big rides and ignore the party entirely, you’ll come away happy.
Costumes: This is the only time adults can wear a costume into the Magic Kingdom. If you really like this idea, you will love this party.
Costumed Characters: Disney has a large number of rare costumed characters available for photos. We saw the crew from Tarzan, Aladdin, and a lot of Villains. The lines were long for these characters. Character photo collectors will like his party.
Trick-or-Treating: This was really cool at first. We really enjoyed pretending to be kids again. However, it got old really quickly.
Parade: The parade started out strong. These was this awesome Headless Horseman up front:
The parade never ended up getting this cool again.
WHAT THE FLYING POOPMONKEYS DOES THE FOLLOWING HAVE TO DO WITH HALLOWEEN?
The parade was the worst night parade I have seen in Disney history. The quality felt like that of a 3:30 parade – certainly not a main attraction. They had a handful of decent Halloween-themed floats and walking characters in Halloween costumes. The rest of the parade appeared to be padded with whatever old floats they had in the back. We had a CHICKEN, cowboys, COUNTRY BEARS – just random characters all over the place. Most Disney products tell a story or stay on theme really well – this just didn’t.
There were some cool things in the parade that actually related to Halloween:
These were the bright spots between the filler.
The bottom line is that the majority of the parade fell short. The quality of the floats and music did not compare to the normal quality we expect from Disney. To add insult to injury, the product placement for their Goofy’s Candy Company store on Downtown Disney was so in your face it was infuriating. They already had their logo up at the trick-or-treat trails. This was cool. It made sense to be there. Smart product placement doesn’t upset me.
The finale of the parade consisted of a song about candy, eating candy, and a fleet of Goofy’s Candy Company people pimping out candy. The parade ended up feeling like this was the message:
(I found this photo after I got home and almost fell off my chair laughing. How on earth did I get this lucky to get this exact photo?)
Music: We both hated the music for the parade so badly. The song consisted of one or maybe slightly more phrases repeated over and over and over again. (Sorry, not listening to it again to get the exact number of phrases.) The end of the song ended up being the product placement verse repeated over and over again urging you to buy candy from them. I can only compare it to the Barney the Dinosaur song. Nothing about this song is timeless. This is the type of music parents suffer through for their children at events for babies – not a “for the whole family” event.
This song was also tough to get the song out of your head after the party, so it was the gift that kept on kicking us in the teeth. If you want to experience pure, unbridled hell, they are streaming it on the party’s website, sans product placement ending.
Wishes is amazing. Almost every night in the Magic Kingdom it tells the story of following your dreams. Hallowishes was just a mash up of sound bites of villians with no story, rhyme, or reason. The fireworks seemed to be “just shoot off whatever, guys. Make it different.”
What a disappointment.
The price for this event ranges from $54 to $67 dollars per adult. Children’s’ prices start at $43 and range upward depending on the day you visit and age. If your idea of fun is costumed character photos, trick-or-treating, and different fireworks, you might like this. If you want to just use this ticket as a astpass to get on as many big rides as possible and ignore the party, you might like this. If you are taking a small child, your child might like this.
We couldn’t help but think that this is another example of Disney marketing just to kids-the very thing that Walt Disney himself loathed.
If you expect it to be anywhere near the quality of a normal Disney fireworks or parade, you’ll probably feel like we did and never want to go to this party again.
Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based CMO and entrepreneur that is obsessed with progressive rock / metal, marketing, and nightlife. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.
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