Thanks to good friends, we were able to score some affordable tickets for the MNSSHP for last night, Tuesday, September 27th, 2011. Since the family wants to go alone, I took Mom and Bob instead- a first for both of them. Bob hadn’t been in the Magic Kingdom for 25 years, so we used the time for the rides AND the party. Mom and I dressed up in black t-shirts with sparkly pumpkins on them ($8 at JCPenneys) while Bob wore his Mickey gear. We parked in the Villains lot, Jafar, and headed towards the Magic Kingdom on the Ferry.
We headed into the Park with all those dressed up in costumes, including one gal dressed up like Judge Judy! The process to get in at 5 p.m. was quite painless, and they had clear signs that showed you where to head in for the party. They have a lovely sign for the Party right before the Security check, where we ran into my good friend, Mark. Once we got in, Cast Members made sure to equip each family member with a bracelet. A side note on the bracelets, make sure that they don’t make them too tight, and that they snap back the slack on them- mine wasn’t snapped properly and the slack got to be annoying by the end of the night.
As we walked in underneath the train station, we were handed our bags for candy, which cleverly had the Lion King on one side and the puppy movie on the other. We made sure to also get the guidemap for the evening, as it is imperative to see where everything is going on for the party. Even the seasoned veteran I am, it can be crazy and hectic to figure out where everything is happening. It was even more so because I had family with me who hadn’t been there in awhile- so I used the guide all evening.
We were there 2 hours early, so we had the time allowance to shop for other spooky goodies. The Emporium was alive with activity, which added to the excitement to the party that was to come. Mom and I found the Mickey Pumpkin ears, and since we already had matching shirts, we had to have matching ears as well. Where else are you going to wear them? They were comfortable, except that the string underneath your chin can get itchy at times. Eventually I wore it behind my head so it wasn’t bothering me.
When you have only an hour to give someone the MK ride experience, what do you do? Well I took Mom and Bob on Pirates first, which we got lucky with the front row. Bob asked me if you got wet on the ride, and I said “No.” But I have to say, lately, the cannons can get you wet if they splash you just right. Mom had been on the Harry Potter ride recently, so I figured she could handle Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- I was wrong! Mom and Bob sat in front of me and she looked like she was either going to scream at me or throw up. I kept rubbing her shoulders, but she gave me the look of “Die!” So after Mom got off the ride and found her feet again, we found our way to the Haunted Mansion. I took them through the interactive cemetery so they could see all the neat stuff, then let them ride in their own Doom Buggy.
By the time we got off, it was time for the party to start. We got in line right away for Cinderella’s Coach picture, and wound up only waiting about 10 minutes for our turn. They did have a Photopass person there, for those of you who use this service. We then headed to Snow White’s Scary Adventures and Pooh for a ride before really hitting the candy areas. Donald and Daisy Duck were dressed up in their costumes, and were located right across from the Pooh ride entrance.
We walked around the back of Fantasyland, passing the Mad Hatter and Alice behind the Tea Cups, near the Cosmic Rays area. Located on the backside of the Teacups is the entrance to a candy area, ending up near the front of the Speedway. They have 2 lines for every candy area, so utilize the space. After we grabbed our first candy, we headed into Rays for a light supper. We dined outside on the patio area with a great view of the Castle, I figured they would like that.
We then headed into Tomorrowland where the next Candy stop would be towards the Space Mountain area, almost near the smoking area. Make sure that when you are in this area, to look up and at Space Mountain- they have a clever spider on a web that covers the entire ride- pretty cool! As we left the area, we came across the 626 Dance Party, which basically was the same dance party they usually have there, but with Halloween music. The Buzz Lightyear meet and greet is outside the Carousel of Progress, with a Candy spot right next to it. The other one we found was hidden, without a candy sign on it, was near the entrance to the Stitch attraction.
The Villains show was playing as we tried to leave the area, so we opted to back track through the Lands and take another ride on the Haunted Mansion during the spookiness of the night. I love walking up to that area, the smoke surrounding it, the ghost gal talking it up outside, and all the Cast Members are dressed to the nine. We didn’t wait too long, as the parade was starting in Frontierland, so there wasn’t anywhere to go yet anyways. Funny enough, we got stuck in the attic, which I have ALWAYS wanted to get stuck in because it is SOOO cool! But, we then got stuck for about 15 long minutes in the Cemetary- about 5 minutes of that was in complete silence, the soundtrack was non-existant. Thanks to everyone who kept us entertained while we were stuck!
We soon were off the ride, and thankfully not one of the spirits yet, and quickly headed to the front of the Castle to plant it for a fireworks spot. Hallowishes is seriously one of the best fireworks shows I have ever seen, and I wanted to make sure Mom and Bob saw them. You can see them great behind and in front, but the front hub is cool to see them from because you are surrounded in them. We only waited about 30 minutes for the show, but we were definitely packed in like sardines. The show was incredible and I loved every minute of it- during the finale I had both hands in the air and just smiled.
Now the plan was to hold our spot for the parade where we were for the fireworks, and if you have a curb, HOLD ON TO IT. The word on the street was to go to the 2nd parade because it would be less crowded, not so last night. I looked at my Mom who looked like she couldn’t take one more person in the crowd bumping her, plus the humidity, she had had enough. I got her and Bob out of the chaos and planted them in Frontierland near the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon. The great thing about this area was that you are above ground level, and there are benches to sit on, better for those who cannot sit on the curb or ground. My mom held our seats while Bob went trick-or-treating, and I went into the Saloon and did the Thriller dance with Jessie and Woody. If you need a spot of air-conditioning and want to work out some energy, the Saloon is the place to be. There was no seating inside, but there was the dance party and a candy spot as well.
We had our seats all ready, the parade was ready to start, and all the late-comers ran in front of us to stand. Really?!?! So we had to ask them to move, then stand where they did so no one else did it- so much for the nice seating we had. Mom and Bob seemed to love the parade, but I wouldn’t pick that spot again, only because the more people who stood below us filled in any chance of seeing any of the faces in the parade.
After we fought the crowds, we made our way to the Pirates area to meet up with the Aiken family. The kids looked adorable, and it was great to see Bill and Korie. We chatted for awhile, then we hit the ride while they went to the Villains show. Jack Sparrow does a Meet and Greet by the POTC attraction, but the line was all the way to the Jungle Cruise area, so get in line as soon as possible for him. Next time I go I WILL be in that line! A side note that the area in which Jack performs his show during the day is a great photo spot during the evening because it is lit up by a large spotlight, as seen below.
We headed back towards Tomorrowland, walking past the Adventureland veranda area, which held Terk, Jane, and Tarzan. We also saw Lotso walk by, but we weren’t sure where he came from. The wonderful thing about these parties is that the rides are usually pretty empty- such was the case for Buzz Lightyear and the TTA. Funny to see Bob so proud of his 83,000 points, and he challenged me to a duel. I promised him I would smoke him, and I did, with over 600,000 points- sorry Bob!
The evening ended with a lovely ride on the TTA, and a walk down Main Street with the Haunted Mansion music playing throughout the Park. We were able to get on the first Ferry and the first parking tram we walked up too- we were a bit concerned about that part. We got home around 1:00 a.m. and went to bed with smokes from a fun night.
I have been asked “Is it worth it?” Yes, this Party is a must, at least once! With all the costuming by the visitors, the special exclusive fireworks, parade, and shows, then add the candy plus rides if you have time- yes, it is worth it! Just use your time wisely, if you want to hit the first parade, time it so the same spot can be used for the fireworks or the Villains show. If you are there for Characters, plot out who you want to see around 5 pm so you can make your plan of attack early. Have a plan and you will get to enjoy everything the Party offers!