And now, the post you've been waiting for!Before we get started, you may want to grab a drink and snacks, this is probably going to be a loooong post!
On the days that Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place, there are huge inflatable pumpkins at the entry gate to Walt Disney World.
Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere!
I should clarify, most of the park is not any different than normal. The biggest changes are at the entrance and on Main Street USA. There are jack-o-lanterns lining all the buildings up and down Main Street and, somewhat, Liberty Square. Some of them are actually useful...
There is a counter service eatery in Liberty Square called Sleepy Hollow, which is suitably decorated. They had signs for a Headless Horseman stein but never had them in stock. :(
Here's a close up of the bottom shelf
You have to buy a separate ticket to attend the Halloween Party. The park is only open to the public on party nights until 7pm. After that time, cast members begin directing guests that don't have Halloween wristbands to leave the park. Spooky Haunted Mansion music plays over the PA as the Ghost Host announces the start of the festivities. The music and sound effects go on through the night helping to set the mood.
Not all the attractions are open during the party, but of course the Mansion is!
I managed to get an interesting shot in the foyer.
There are Trick or Treating stations all around the park. They even hand out bags at the gate in case you didn't bring your own! The other really cool thing is that you're allowed/encouraged to dress up. Nothing too creepy of course but there were some great costumes, including Gravity Falls! Check out this gallery...
There was one family who had their younger daughter and son in some really awesome Leia and X-Wing Pilot costumes. I stopped the dad as they walked by and asked if I could take a photo (I always like to ask) and he basically reacted to me like I was some kind of creeper.
Jack Skellington and Sally are available for meet and greets on party nights but the line is very long. As much as I wanted to get a pic with them, there were a lot of other things to do instead of waiting in line.
There were two dance parties going on for the kids. One was Toy Story and the other Monsters Inc. These are great opportunities to meet and interact with the characters without having to wait in long lines.
Before the big parade, there's a light show and fireworks at Cinderella's Castle. The light show is nothing short of amazing. I'm not sure how they manage it but they project images on the castle. They include many Disney movies, past and present.
At one point, they make the castle look like it's made of bricks and Wreck-It Ralph
tries to knock it down.
After all that excitement and the heat, I needed a cool snack.
Candy corn ice cream!
It's got a little bit of candy corn vanilla flavor to it and has candy corns at the bottom.
After that, the Boo to You Parade begins. I wasn't able to get as many good pics as I would have liked with my pocket point and shoot due to the darkness and things moving.
The Headless Horseman precedes the parade.
I overheard someone saying the Horseman now only trots because one year the horse slipped while at full gallop. We went a few years ago and let me tell you, it is Awesome seeing the Horseman coming down the road at full tilt!
One of the best parts of the parade are the Haunted Mansion zombie-like gravediggers and their shovels. Here's a short video.
Whew, that may be the longest post I've ever done. And there's still a bunch more photos I didn't feature. If you want to see them all head over to Flickr and check them out.
Be sure to get more Halloween goodness at Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!