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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Report

A slice of the holiday decor up on Main Street. As usual, click to see a larger version. This one is available in desktop size.

On Friday night Disney World treated some of us local media to a fun night at the Magic Kingdom enjoying Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We had a great time, saw many marvelous costumes, and scored a metric ton of candy. There are still plenty of nights available between now and Halloween. It’s an separate ticket but if you like the spirit of the holiday, Disney does the night right.

Although they were handing out free trick or treat bags, this merchandise cart was available for those who wanted to upgrade. We recommend upgrading and consolidating your candy into a larger bag throughout the night.

Many more photos below the jump:

Even though I knew we’d be collecting pounds of candy in a few minutes, these great looking treats were still very tempting.

The Alice in Wonderland themed candy walk has been moved to Splash Mountain and replaced with Song of the South character pumpkins. They were all very well done.

A beautiful setting for a candy distribution point.

A new themed area at the Jungle Cruise. I hope they find use for this great set piece at future AP events. If not, I’ll take it for my backyard.

Lots of great Tiki figures were around the Jungle Cruise

The Haunted Mansion always looks extra spooky this time of year.

While the headless horseman only walked by this year instead of trotted, the effect is still impressive.

The rest of the parade was much like previous years. We did wonder what happened to Clara Kluck.

Also much the same was the Fireworks show. I really expected Disney to do something with those amazing new Castle projectors they use for the Magic, Memories & You show.

With the monorails closed, I lingered a bit on main street and took a few pics. This one is desktop sized if you want it. Not having both monorails and boats running meant long lines to return to the TTC. It took some people 1.5 hours from the exit gate to their car via the ferry and tram combo. That’s unacceptable, especially considering how Friday night’s event wasn’t sold out. What are they going to do on the busy nights?

Update: I’m adding a bit about the Ferry issue and the failure of Disney’s otherwise famed transportation system to service park guests in an adequate amount of time.

The 1.5 hour wait came at the end of the night after the park closed and most of the attendees had left. Just running two ferries to get everyone back to the TTC will not cut it.

At some point in the night (say right around the 1st fireworks) someone should do a count of cars in the TTC parking lot, multiply by 3.5 (for avg car occupancy), add in a margin for those who arrive via bus from their hotels, and then figure out how much transportation will be needed between then and 1 hour after the event to clear the park. If two ferries won’t cut it, bring in extra buses or keep the monorails running on one beam.

Some simple Googling shows that each ferry can only hold 600 people max. Cut that by 33% since there are more kids in strollers and folks in wheelchairs these days and you get 400 people on average for each trip. If each trip takes an estimated 8 minutes plus 12 minutes of load and unload time. Then each ferry can make 3 trips an hour if everything goes perfect. That’s 400x2x3 or 2,400 people an hour via the ferries. If there are more than 600 cars in the parking lot at closing that means it’s going to take at least an hour to transport everyone by Ferry. Buses aren’t that efficient either. They only add an estimated 200 an hour for each bus to and from the TTC. But even so that’s another 60 families who are getting back to their car in a reasonable time at the end of the night.

My numbers may be estimates, but I know for a fact that Disney has a department who can do this sort of calculation. The fact that they either did and management chose to ignore it, or neglected do to it in the first place, speaks very poorly of park management. If you can’t afford to staff properly at the end of the night, then don’t hold the event. I’m sorry, but that’s what it comes down to. Guests attending a special event deserve the same level of guest service that regular guests get during regular park hours.

The last memory of a guest should be of the fun they had at the end of the event, not of a marathon struggle to get back to their car or resort bus.

Other than the monorail/ferry issue, the night went pretty well. I liked how Disney had a lot of characters out (although a few more meet and greets would have been nice) and the atmosphere was fun and family safe. This event seems to be running pretty much on cruise control. I hope to see Disney shake things up a bit next year and really do something impressive and new while keeping the price/value ratio the same.

Are you going to this year’s MNSSHP or have you already been? What would you like to see?

31 thoughts on “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Report”

  1. I work photo pass at Magic Kingdom and just wanted to say that Clara Kluck was in the parade for the cast preview and the first party last tuesday…I didn’t even realize she wasn’t in the one friday. Not sure what happened there but she is supposed to be in it.

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  3. I’m going on Oct 2nd for the first time. We are excited, as we have heard a lot of positives about the MNSSHP. Fortunately, we are staying at Bay Lake Tower, so I’m happy we will avoid the transportation issues after the party.

  4. The Headless Horseman has a new horse that started last year. He doesn’t move as fast because he isn’t experienced enough yet and it’s too dangerous. Perhaps in future years he will trot faster but for now he will be at that pace. It isn’t a cutback or anything it is working within the horses limitations.

    1. Buttercup took over from Ike starting last year, so she should have been able to trot like last year. However, there are enough stupid guests that will roll a stroller with a child in it into the pathway requiring someone to yank it out from in front of the horse.

    2. As far as I’ve heard, they don’t want the horseman riding as fast as he has in previous years because of safety concerns.

  5. Thanks for the report. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has always been my favorite special-ticket event. I am really disappointed, however, with Disney’s decision to shut the monorails at night. Guest service doesn’t seem like it’s first priority here… plus how can one justify paying hundreds more for the monorail resorts now?
    At least you got a beautiful photo! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I know we are going on 25 October while we are out there for F&W. And this time we are viewing the parade, at least the Headless Horseman ^_^

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  8. John, you are a great blogger. Your posts just have this voice that is unmistakable and keeps me coming back to this site, my favorite source for all things Disney. Keep up the great work.
    Also, this post was great, as I don’t get to go to any of Disney’s themeparks often. I love readings about the stuff they do at the parks.

  9. We went later in the season last year, and the horse moved along pretty quickly. Is it possible, that it is just because it is early in the event timeline that they are moving slowly? We are going to be there again this year, on the night of 10/21 so I hope that they do something with the park exit because I expect it to be a busy night.

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  11. Hey!
    My family and I are going on the 28th to the party… I called Disney and, contrary to what I had read, they told me the earliest we could get in with just the ticket to the Halloween party was about 6.30. Is this true? I had heard that you could get in, sometimes, as early as 4pm…
    HELP! :)

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    1. Disney has made no official announcement as to why the monorail is running reduced hours. But there have been plenty of signs that the aging system needs increased downtime for maintenance.

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  16. I am so excited to go to my first MNSSHP on 9/27. I will be wearing my Tower Of Terror ears this night. My kids have been watching the parade on YouTube. My kids have their costumes…we are set! I just hope Disney figures out the Transportation issue before I get there!!

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    1. We went tonight 9/28 and they let everyone in at 4:00pm on the dot. You go in on the right side and get your bracelet and then go on your way.

  18. We are going on Friday night and staying at the Wilderness Lodge. Do you know if the boat runs to the Lodge after the party or will we have to take a bus like the Monorail resorts.

    Great blog thanks for all the good information.
    This is my first time for this party and I am so excited. My daughter has no idea we’re going, and mom and I are whipping up Mouseketeers costumes for the three of us.

  19. Does any one knows if during the day they have a parade, we have a 19 month son that probably he would be asleep by the time the fireworks that probably would run late too. Does anyone knows the schedule of the different activities during the day

  20. hi, first time blogger from the uk..but a total disney nut and disney vacation club owner since 92, flying in on the 17th till the 4th of november, have pre purchased 8 tickets for the whole family to enjoy the halloween event at the magic kingdom!! just cant find any info about when we can go in??we are at the contempory resort at 5 for chef mickey ,we dont want to use our normal passes, so can you great guys tell us what time we can gain entry using the halloween tickets only??..hope this makes sense!!!..10 more sleeps till DISNEY!!!!!( iam 41 yrs old need to grow up i guess!!)

  21. Hi. I was there Oct. 7th, 2011. It was great, especially the DJ in Tomorrowland. Does anyone his name or how I can get DJ like that for my daughter’s 10th birthday party?

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