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Daffy Does Disney – This is Halloween!

Every year, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom hosts a series of Halloween parties that feature trick or treating, special fireworks, parade, and unique merchandise. This is the one time in the year when adults are allowed to wear costumes into any of the parks (with some specific rules). The party is ticketed separately from your regular park tickets. In order to facilitate these events, the Magic Kingdom closes to non-party guests at 7pm and Halloween partiers are allowed to enter the park at about 4pm, which creates what is approximately an 8 hour park day–just starting on the late side and lasting past midnight if you have the endurance.

The first time I went to the Halloween party I found that the crowds were low and so were wait times for the attractions. Since then, the parties have become gradually more popular, resulting in heavier crowds and an increase in the number of party nights. This second step was necessary, but it can be argued that these parties reduce the value of a regular park ticket during September and October.

After our very full day at the Food & Wine festival in Epcot which was capped by a quick park hop over to the Magic Kingdom so we could say we were there on the day of its 45th anniversary and maybe pick over whatever celebratory merchandise was left, Sunday morning was a time to sleep in and relax. Any initial thoughts of touring the monorail resorts or going to Disney Springs that day before our late afternoon party start fell away for me when I began to experience some data storage issues connected with all of the video I was shooting. So I spent most of that day in the cabin chatting convivially with my bunkmates and working out a solution in order to be able to continue shooting material for these videos. It was valuable down time though, and the cabin was well suited to the task.

Join us about a half hour before the start of the party and let’s see where the night took us!

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Posted on October 11, 2016, in Magic Kingdom, theme parks, travel, Trip Report, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The only time we have done the Halloween party was back in 2008. Even eight years ago, there were already complaints about how Disney was raising the prices while cutting costs. It used to be that your ticket came with a free family photo. Several entertainment offerings have been cut. The year we went, some of the pyro was cut from the fireworks. I will say from your video that the candy offered in 2008 was not as good as what was being handed out this year. Name brand candies were very uncommon when we went, but I saw a lot of M&Ms in your video.

    I don’t think there is any argument against the notion that the hard ticket events reduce the value of the regular tickets. Especially right now when the only way to see a night time parade at the MK is to attend the Halloween party. For four months out of the year, operating hours are reduced for regular paying guests, but prices are not reduced to reflect that. It is what it is. That isn’t going to change as long as the parties remain popular.

    And as you point out, the parties have grown in popularity. When we went, there were no lines to speak of once the party started. Everything was a walk-on. There was no need to pick out a parade spot. We were able to just walk up and find a decent spot when the parade started. Back then, if someone was looking to do a half-day at the park, the Halloween Party was a good deal. For less than the cost of a regular ticket, you could do more during the party than you typically would be able to do in a full day at the park. It looks like the popularity of the event has changed the math substantially in the last 8 years.

    I don’t think I would consider the party a bargain any more. Arguably, if that’s all you are doing is the party, you might come out ahead. But most people are going to buy their party ticket as an upcharge in addition to a multi-day Magic Your Way ticket. When you do that, you’re definitely not saving any money. The question then becomes, how much is that add-on worth? That’s something people have to figure out for themselves, but obviously enough people still think it’s worth it for the parties to sell out.

    It is a neat event. I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from attending. If you’re a Disney fan, it’s one of those things you probably want to experience at least once. I think for a lot of people, it has become a tradition.

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    • I would definitely recommend that if you’re doing multiple days in the park AND want to do the Halloween party, that you not buy a park ticket for the day of the party unless your trip is a very very long one where the price of a park day is negligible. I don’t do very long WDW trips so I simply take the morning and early afternoon of the party to do other things. This time it was all about recovery and dealing with some technical issues. Some of us talked big about going somewhere that morning, but when it came down to it we slept in and just enjoyed hanging out in the cabin instead. Once I’m done editing and posting my videos (there are probably 3 or 4 more), I’m going to borrow some photos from one of my bunkmates and write up a quick reflection on my experience at the cabin.

      I mostly stuck with my friends this time around, which mostly meant shows, fireworks, and parades. That was fine. It was what I signed up for, but gee whiz I’m the wrong audience for that Dream it Shake it Wiggle it and Shout it monstrosity. Experiencing that thing only confirmed that I had been right to avoid it like the plague in the past. I genuinely like the Hallowishes fireworks and Boo to You parade (despite quibbles with their soundtracks), but there was just no way I was sticking around for the Hocus Pocus show. I don’t get the appeal of the movie, and a second ride on the Haunted Mansion was a winner by a landslide. As I say in the video, I ended up being the last guest to ride a doombuggy that night because I hung back to listen to the gargoyles in the stretching room mutter at me.

      We had an excellent experience with one Haunted Mansion cast member, a tall blonde girl named something like Alicia (I wish I could remember for sure). When she saw Pierre dressed as the sea captain, she immediately addressed him as “Captain” and walked us past the other guests into a closed portion of the queue so he could get photos next to his tomb. This is the kind of special attention that keeps making WDW an appealing vacation spot beyond some of the great attractions.
      My experience at AK the next morning was a little more of a mixed bag, but you’ll see that in a couple of days.

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      • Good advice with regards to the party. I know someone who is attending the Christmas party this year and she is insisting on visiting a park the same day as the party. I have tried to gently persuade her that maybe that isn’t the best idea, but she will hear none of it. In fairness, they are the type to open and close the parks despite having three very young children. For the life of me, I don’t know how they do it. That’s another thing about the parties, they work best for those who will stay late. If you’re the type that likes to sleep in on vacation, the parties are a good fit. We’re early risers who are in bed by 10, so the parties make less sense for us.

        I was hoping that there would be some kind of article about the cabin experience. It’s one of those things at WDW I will probably never experience first hand.

        I was surprised to see two parades in the video knowing you are not inclined to watch parades. Granted, the Celebrate/Shake/Whatever parade hardly counts. When Kara was younger, she was fascinated by parades so we had to stop whatever we were doing and watch that thing every time it came around. But the kids were too shy to actually get up and participate in the dancing. Still, they were happy so I was happy. I share your opinion of Hocus Pocus, but Kara is into that right now as it turns out. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of knowing whether or not you are the audience for something. I would not choose to sit through a Hocu Pocus show, but if we were there right now, it would probably be a high priority for the kids (and Mindy).

        The cast members are still the most reliable source of Disney magic. When they go above and beyond, it’s usually memorable. Unfortunately, there are times when that doesn’t happen. But given what they are paid, I can hardly blame them for falling short now and again.

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