During Son’s two week mid-term October school holiday, we escaped the gloomy UK autumn and traded it for the blue skies and sunshine of Florida. (Actually it was not that gloomy but anyway…). Our last night in America was Hallowe’en, much anticipated by all of us, the excitement had been building up throughout our stay and was infectious. It is not such a big deal in the UK so we loved the whole experience. Just before the big night we headed to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World for Mickey’s Not So Scarey Hallowe’en Party.
This is a ticketed event held on select nights in October and wanting to experience as much of an American Hallowe’en as possible, we figured it would be a fun thing to do. It was, we did all have a good night, but if I am truthful I totally preferred the “real” Hallowe’en celebrations in the little town nearby – families dressed up and children trick or treating around the neighbourhood – that was wonderful. Anyway, back to Mickey’s party…. They promised Hallowe’en themed fireworks, entertainment and trick or treating – all delivered and it came with the guarantee that the living daylights would not be scared out of us. That works for Son and me – chickens both and not ashamed.
We arrived around 7pm and found the whole place lit up with spooky special effects and misty fog swirling in the air – the atmosphere was instantly eerie and spooky. I loved all that, but most of all loved the costumes, adults and children alike had made a massive effort. Apparently only children aged 9 and under are normally allowed to dress up at Disney, this was a rare exception and all the adults were going for it. We had done our research – they say week nights are less crowded and Tuesdays are the best night to visit. On our Tuesday though it definitely didn’t feel less crowded, people everywhere I dread to think what a busy night would be like.
Everyone was already staking their pavement claim for the 8.15 parade (over an hour beforehand) so we felt compelled to do the same. I didn’t mind, there was plenty to watch with all those costumes and the fabulous changing lights on Main Street, but Son was fidgety to say the least. Eventually the lights dimmed, the streets were cleared and the story of Sleepy Hollow boomed out over the loudspeakers, followed by the Headless Horseman galloping down the street. Extremely well done, it sent a shiver up my spine. However, we then had about another 20 minute wait before the main parade finally arrived, even I was getting fidgety by this point. The Boo To You Parade when it eventually rolled up was good, an array of Disney characters with a great Haunted Mansion float in particular and some ghosts and ghouls. I wasn’t entirely blown away though, maybe all that waiting had made me grumpy.
Next up was an amazing show projected onto the Cinderella castle, many special effects and the whole thing was mesmerising. Then the fireworks lit up the sky and I have to say, they were completely magnificent.
We tried out a few rides after all that waiting around – this was what Son was keen on doing from the very beginning. No waiting and no queuing which was definitely a bonus, our highlight was the Haunted Mansion ride. Fun on the ride, but with the special lighting outside and the “ghost” lady on the lawn interacting with the crowd, we loved it.
Son collected a bag and we trekked around all the Trick or Treat stops. At various locations throughout the park, he loved the experience. I was a bit unsettled at the vast quantities of confectionary that were being doled out. He has enough to last until Christmas at the very least, mostly confiscated when we got home and stashed away by me for a rainy day. Luckily we did not incur excess baggage charges on the flight home – not too sure how we avoided that.
We left the park just before midnight, Son gave the experience a big thumbs up with the trick or treating being the highlight. Husband and I enjoyed it, the parade was entertaining, the fireworks were spectacular, there were all sorts of mouth-watering treats to buy and the lighting and effects were outstanding. In all honesty though we preferred the authentic family Hallowe’en we experienced later in the week. That was something special and unmissable.