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Thrills and Chills at Walt Disney World

FTC Mass Comm student Amy Guthlein traveled to Orlando, Florida to bring some Disney Halloween spirit to campus.

(Photo credit: Amy Guthlein)

By Amy Guthlein

It’s the most spooktacular time of the year at Walt Disney World in Florida. The Magic Kingdom is decorated with oversized pumpkins, and the Disney villains have been unleashed as guests get a little trick with a lot of treats while they celebrate Halloween at the theme park. Although this season typically calls for some good old-fashioned scaring and horrors, Disney is upfront with the fact that this party is family-friendly with a frightfully fun twist. After all, the annual event is called Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, guests of all ages are invited to dress up as their favorite characters while filling up on Halloween sweets and enjoying the exclusive frightfully festive-themed parades and spell-tacular nighttime fireworks show.

While guests over the age of 14 are not typically permitted to wear costumes in the parks, this rule is lifted for the Halloween party, and everyone is encouraged to dress up and let their creativity shine as their favorite characters. Ashlee Curless from Kansas City, Missouri used her creativity as a way to save a little money on her vacation. “I’m spending so much money on the ticket, the hotel, and the flight, so I decided to make my own costume,” said Curless.

(Photo credit: Amy Guthlein)

And what’s Halloween without candy? At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, there are candy stations scattered throughout the Magic Kingdom, where partygoers can trick-or-treat and satisfy their sweet tooth with as many treats as they can carry. One notable station is right inside Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, which got a Halloween overhaul just for the season.

Some fan-favorite attractions got a Halloween makeover exclusive for guests of this party. Pirates of the Caribbean adds several pirate actors to its queue to interact with guests, the Mad Tea Party has special music and lighting, and Space Mountain has gone completely dark with a new rock-and-roll soundtrack. The changes offer unique bone-chilling twists on the rides Disney fans know and love.

Catch your favorite Disney characters in the Boo-to-You Parade! The Headless Horseman trots down the streets of the Magic Kingdom to get this spellbinding parade officially started. Mickey and Minnie lead the parade in their costumes alongside their pals Goofy, Tigger, Aladdin, Rapunzel, and more. Other favorite characters in this parade include Tinkerbell, dancing ghosts from the Haunted Mansion, and, of course, Disney’s most troublemaking villains.

One of the best parts about visiting any Disney park is the magical fireworks show at the end of the night- and the Halloween version doesn’t disappoint! This year debuts a brand new nighttime multimedia show “Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular,” hosted by Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. It stars Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald as they trick-or-treat at a mysterious haunted house. The gang runs into some classic Disney villains as well as waltzing ghosts and the iconic dancing skeletons from the 1929 animated short, “The Skeleton Dance” from the Silly Symphony series.

Emily Henningsen from Sterling-Heights, Michigan was surprised at how elaborate the firework spectacular really was. “Disney never disappoints with the shows! The Jack Skellington puppet was incredible, and it’s really cool how even far back, we could still see him in front of Cinderella’s Castle. We felt like we were surrounded by fireworks, and that made the night feel even more magical,” said Henningsen.

The party runs on select nights throughout August to October, and guests must purchase a separate ticket to experience all the Halloween offerings. The main party begins at 7 pm, but guests with event tickets can enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4 pm to enjoy the park in its natural state before it’s sprinkled with a little Halloween magic.


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