Thursday, January 19, 2006

Day Six PM - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Tonight was the event that I was most looking forward to, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The Magic Kingdom closes down at 6:00 PM and only those who have purchased tickets to this party are allowed to stay for the evening.

We arrived shortly after 4:00 PM and were greeted by a Cast Member who gave us wristbands, identifying us a party guests, as well as a trick or treat bag. After picking up a party schedule from City Hall, we had a little time to kill before our dinner reservation so we browsed through the “Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe” for a while. I found a few items that I wanted to purchase so we decided to come back later and do some serious shopping.

Dinner was at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square, an all you care to eat character meal served family style. As we sat waiting, we noticed that they would call out the name of the party and their state when their table was ready. When our name was called we were seated in the George Washington Dining Room which was very cozy with a fireplace at one end. Bonnie was our server and she took our drink orders and explained how everything worked. A bowl of salad and and basket of rolls with honey butter were brought to the table first. This was followed by a platter of beef, turkey and ham and bowls of stuffing, green beans, mashed potatos and gravy, and macaroni and cheese. Dessert was cherry cobbler with ice cream. The food was excellent. While we ate, the characters made their way through the room stopping at each table for pictures. Because of its colonial décor, the characters wear costumes from the period. Now because of the Halloween Party they were also decked out in costumes. Minnie was first to visit, followed by Goofy, Dale, Pluto and Chip. Jason and I each posed with the character while the other one took the picture. We knew it was time to leave when the same characters began making the rounds of tables.

After dinner, we went out to find that it had begun to rain. It was after six and the park was closing to non-party guests. From 6:00-7:00 PM, they herd everyone over to one location while they set up for the party. In years past they sent everyone over to Tomorrowland to wait. All the rides in the land were open so it was a good chance to ride everything before the party began at 7:00 PM. We checked with a Cast Member who told us to go to Tomorrowland. Once we reached Tomorrowland, another Cast Member told us to go wait in Adventureland. When we arrived in Adventureland, we were told to wait in Liberty Square. After going full circle, we ended up back in the same location we started.

The Haunted Mansion was open so we decided to ride it as a fitting way to begin a Halloween Party. Exiting the ride, it was really raining quite heavily so we broke down and donned our Mickey ponchos. It was like being in a steam room, but at least we weren’t soaking wet.

Fantasyland was open by now so we rode Peter Pan and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Making our way around, we rode Indy Speedway which is similar to the Autopia at Disneyland. Across from Indy Speedway was one of several trick or treat stations situated throughout the Park. We joined the short line and began to fill our trick or treat bags. Next we browsed through the Star Trader shop and then went back to Main Street to find a spot for the Boo to You Parade. We found a spot near the hub behind a couple seated on the curb. It had stopped raining for the most park so I took off my poncho so I could sit on it without getting wet.

Shortly before the parade was due to begin, announcements began over the PA system informing us that due to the weather there was a chance that the parade may be cancelled. This continued until well after the scheduled start time of the parade. The couple in front of us gave up so we scooted forward to a seat on the curb. Finally, the announcement was made that the regular parade would be cancelled due to weather but replaced with the Rainy Day Character Cavalcade. This cavalcade consisted of several of the Main Street Vehicles loaded with characters making there way along the parade route. It was kind of lame and little disappointing after waiting for so long. To make up for it, they had the Trick or Treat brigade come through at the same time handing out candy, so it wasn’t a total waste. After the cavalcade we searched Main Street for a Cast Member to see if they thought the 10:00 PM parade would still go as scheduled. We approached Michael, who we could see from his name tag was French. He replied in a very heavy French accent that he thought it would or they would have told us. Jason made fun of his accent for the next hour plus.

The crowd from the cancelled parade was still lingering in the area in anticipation for the special fireworks show, HalloWishes, scheduled for 9:15 PM. The rain had stopped so we hoped the show wouldn’t be cancelled. We found a spot directly in front of the castle and sat down to wait for the show. Most of the people were seated but there was a couple a little ways in front of us standing. I took several pictures of them with my bright flash hoping it would get them to sit down. Fortunately, they moved on a little while later.

The fireworks were amazing. Being very close to the castle it was a little difficult to see the ones that were set off behind the castle, but we got an excellent view of the projections onto the castle and the fireworks that were set off on either side of the castle. At one point fireworks were going off in a complete 360 degree circle around us, which was truly spectacular.

After the fireworks ended, we decided to try to find a good spot for the 10:00 PM Boo to You Parade, hoping that it wouldn’t be cancelled. We headed towards Frontierland and after much debate, settled on a spot along the rope directly across from Pecos Bill’s.

The parade began with the Headless Horseman galloping at full speed along the parade route mounted on a huge black stallion. Running along behind them at full speed (but not even able to keep up) was a maintenance man with a broom and dustpan in case the horse decided to leave gifts behind. The rest of the parade was great. It was fun to see all the characters dressed up in Halloween costumes. Periodically, parade participants would come through and put candy in our trick or treat bags.

The crowd after the parade was unbelievable. We inched our way along in what has been referred to as the Disney shuffle. Small mincing steps. We made our way to Tomorrowland and rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Jason wanted to do some shopping for pins at the Frontierland Trading Post so we walked all the way back to Frontierland with me whining all the way about the extra walking. Since we were nearby, we stopped in at the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and I purchased the items I had eyed earlier. Then on to the Frontierland Trading Post where Jason cemented his addiction to collectible pins.

By now I was exhausted, so we decided to leave, even though the party would go on until midnight. We caught the second bus back to the resort, arriving at 12:30 AM. After showering, we ate our leftover dessert from the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant then lights out at 1:30 AM.


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