The allure Disneyland holds for me is far greater than that of any other theme park I’ve ever been to. It could easily come down to the fact that Walt actually had a presence in the park. Regardless, Disneyland has some sort of magic that I feel is completely lacking in Walt Disney World except during two particular times – Halloween and Christmas.
Disneyland doesn’t have a “hard ticket” Christmas party like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but Disneyland does have Mickey’s Halloween Party (MHP) as a special event similar to Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP). For the first time this year, I was able to go out to California and experience Mickey’s Halloween Party after attending MNSSHP for the past several years, but was it worth it? The short answer is yes.
MHP is very similar to MNSSHP in some regards. MHP offers trick-or-treat locations throughout the park, dance parties, special character meet-and-greets and entertainment: exclusive fireworks – Halloween Screams, and an exclusive parade – Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade. On top of that, Disneyland turns their Space Mountain into Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday, which features an overlay of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Mickey’s Halloween Party suffers from only a couple big issues as far as I could tell. On a sold out night, like the one I attended, the crowd level is so high that you have to basically decide between trick-or-treating around the park or lining up early to get a good spot for the fireworks and parade. From what I could tell, trick-or-treating is a lot more popular in Disneyland and most of the lines for candy stretched back a hundred or more guests. Also, Disneyland can cancel their fireworks at anytime due to high winds, which isn’t a problem in Florida. The fireworks were cut short right before the finale on the night I attended.
A few highlights of the party include the Cadaver Dans singing an a capella set of Halloween-themed songs on a raft on the Rivers of America and the elaborate costumes guests are wearing to the party. MNSSHP has its fair share of guests dressing up, but I almost felt like I was in the minority at MHP by not dressing up. Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade doesn’t even come close to comparing to the “Boo-to-You” parade at MNSSHP, with the exception of a Miss Piggy appearance, but the fireworks are taken up a notch at Disneyland with the addition of Zero, Jack Skellington’s ghost dog, flying back and forth behind Sleeping Beauty Castle and a special projection element that allows Disney characters to become involved.
Overall, I feel like both parties are must-do’s if you’re at Disneyland or Walt Disney World during the Halloween season, but I still can’t decide which one I prefer. If you’ve been to both, comment below about which one you think is best or if you haven’t been to one or the other do you plan on going?