The first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party of the year started on Friday. That’s days earlier than ever this year, but it still sold out. Disney is offering 34 party nights this year and has added four major new experiences to the event to accommodate demand for the popular separately ticketed holiday event.

Whether you’re going for the first time or a repeat visitor, you’ll find a lot to explore at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP). We were invited to a media preview night for the party and talked with a Disney Parks Live Entertainment manager to get a taste of what’s new this year:

The new adventures include a dance party with popular Disney Junior characters in Storybook Circus and three special attraction overlays. Of course, all the great entertainment and trick-or-treating you remember from past Halloween parties is back as well.

The Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam pops with a live DJ and characters like Timon from Disney’s The Lion Guard and Doc McStuffins herself. This was a cute idea and the youngsters seemed to be enjoying themselves. These dance parties are not really opportunities to get photos with characters, but that never stops parents from trying.

Of the three attraction overlays we enjoyed the Mad Tea Party the most. It put a new spin on Halloween fun. Disney added a ton of lights, new special effects, and four original new songs and then set the show on random. This makes for some mad fun even if the ride operation itself is exactly the same.

Space Mountain offered the unique experience of riding in near complete darkness. Other than some small light creep from doors and vents, the roller coaster was pitch black. A space soundtrack was blasting from some central speakers (Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain doesn’t have on-vehicle speakers) adding to the energy of the attraction. We would not recommend this for some child’s first time on the ride, but it was fun for us who’ve been on it hundreds of times.

The last overlay was on Pirates of the Caribbean. You could see what Disney had in mind by adding live actors to the queue and ride, but the results weren’t entirely successful. This was just the lightest brush of enhancement, with two of the three actors being in the queue. I would have preferred if all three were in the ride and actually interacting with guests on the boats. Even without ‘jump scares,’ mixing in with the more permanent residents of the ride could have added to the fun.

Many of the Magic Kingdom’s other attractions are also open, but without a Halloween overlay. Which other attractions do you think could do with a MNSSHP overlay next year?

Previously: MNSSHP 2018 event exclusive Merchandise Preview