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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?