Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2013 Review

Orlando is packed full of things to do during the months of September and October, especially if you are a fan of Halloween.  The two biggies, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, put on some incredible events starting near the end of September.

If being scared out of your wits is your thing, Universal Orlando puts on one of the most famous wet-your-pants, hurl-your-flaming-Moe, shindigs found anywhere.  Their Halloween Horror Nights 23 took things to a new level this year by adding more effects such as the smells of death and decomposition.  No...we did not attend this event during our 10 day stay in Orlando.  Part of me wanted to, but I also knew that we were headed to WDW after our Universal stay and I had planned on buying event tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party which I will from now on refer to as MNSSHP.  Plus...I am not sure nasty smelling zombies jumping out at me is my thing anymore at the ripe old age of forty...uh never mind.

So let's move on to MNSSHP which we did attend on Friday the 27th.  This event is equally as popular as Universal's shindig, but offers a much less frightening experience which appeals to everyone in the family (especially since Universal's party is for adults only). We had already attended Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) back in December of last year so I wanted to compare the value between the two events since both require an extra ticket besides just your normal park ticket.  If a family is going to spend upwards of an additional $60+ per person for a single night, they need to know what they get for the money.

Now I know some will disagree with me on this, but I am going to say it anyways; MNSSHP is a much better bang for your buck event than MVMCP.  Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed both events.  Both are magical in their own way.  But just looking at what you get for the extra ticket that others won't get if they don't pony up the extra cash, MNSSHP comes out on top.  For example...everyone who attends the Magic Kingdom during the Christmas season will have a chance to see Wishes, their awesome nighttime fireworks show.  Those that attend MVMCP pretty much get the same fireworks show as everyone else.  During MNSSHP, you get a fireworks show (HalloWishes) that is only for those who attend the event and it is FAR different than the normal Wishes show that is put on for other guests.  And is possibly one of the best fireworks shows I have ever seen.

Both events have special parades, but the addition of the Headless Horseman riding down Main Street during "Mickey's Boo To You Halloween Parade" makes it uber special in my opinion (see attached video).

Both events have special treats offered to guests.  MVMCP has stations set up where guests are treated to cookies and hot chocolate.  MNSSHP has trick or treat candy stations set up all around the park which gives the kids an early pre-halloween candy advantage over their friends back at home.

Both events have a lot of attractions open for guests who attend and most had VERY short queue lines which allowed us to get off and right back on some attractions had we wanted to.

But one of the other differences I noted that makes MNSSHP better in my opinion is how they are able to transform Liberty Square into an entirely different feeling area of the park during the party.  The music at the start of the video in this post is the same music that you hear during the party as you walk through Liberty Square.  But the best part is how they also bring the Haunted Mansion to life during the party.  The colors, the fog, the music and even some changes to the cast members make it an awesome thing to see during party hours.

One more added benefit to the MNSSHP is the attendees to the party.  Guests get to dress up which makes the party one gigantic costume party.  It was fun seeing the creativeness put into some of the costume designs. The atmosphere overall was one of a huge, fun family-friendly party.

So to sum it up...yes my wife and I spent over $120 to attend this event.  But would I spend that money to attend the MVMCP again?  Maybe not.  Would I spend it again to attend MNSSHP?  Absolutely yes.

Have you been to one of both?  If you have been to both, what is your overall opinion of the two parties?  Would you do one or both of them again?  I would love to get your feedback.