I recently attended my very 1st MNSSHP on Aug. 24th. This event was a longtime WDW Bucket-List item for me and I’m happy to say I was not disappointed! In fact, I’ll even say it was one of my favorite evenings I’ve ever spent inside the Magic Kingdom.
I never go to Disney without a plan, one of those written out, timed and meticulously thought out plans. Yeah, I’m that kind of vacationer and today I want to share with you some of my planning and how it all played out the night of the party!
The party I attended was the 2nd party of 2018. Right after the 1st party every Disney news outlet was posting their reviews/info/pics of the first party night. I spent hours absorbing all of this info and then decided I would have to prioritize what I wanted to do at the party. I decided on Entertainment, Ride Overlays, and Special Foods. I attended the party with a friend and she added Trick-Or-Treating to our list. *Note, we were not interested in meeting characters. This is a big deal for a lot of party goers but it wasn’t a priority for us. (Although, I do kind of wish we had met Elvis Stitch!)
Ok, so how do you make time for it all!? There’s so much to do and see! Well, the first thing is to make sure you’re in the park by 4:00p. If you’re using a regular day ticket or AP you can enter the park at any time, DVC members at 2p and all other party ticket holders at 4p. You can use 4-7p to do many things before the party actually begins. We used it to get in some favorite rides and snacks that weren’t party exclusive, many people use the time to queue up for popular characters.
*Secret Message* Everything I read online said I would not be able to reserve fastpass+ during that 4-7p time frame (fastpass+ is never available during special ticketed events, which started at 7p). After buying my tickets online, about a week in advance, I decided to go in MyDisneyExperience App and just see. Well bam! there it was, fastpass+ booking available for the day of the party. Moments later I had booked 3 fastpass+ for the 4-7p time! Mine Train! (What?! I know!), Haunted Mansion, and Jungle Cruise. Maybe it was a fluke in the system but they sure did work like a charm! Lesson here is never say never until you try. #disneymagic
We entered the park at 4p, went straight to Market Street (on the right side of Main Street U.S.A.) where you get your trick-or-treat bag and your first candy, which is a special bag with full-sized candy in it! There are special photo ops and decorations out on Market Street so it’s not to be missed. My friend did the regular bag but I opted for the Allergy-Friendly bag. I was interested to see how that worked and planned to bring the treats home to my roommate who has a severe peanut allergy.
Off we went! Mine Train FP+, Haunted Mansion FP+, Jungle Cruise FP+. Over to Buzz Lightyear (I lost) and then to Auntie Gravity’s for my first treat! The Candy Corn Milkshake topped with Cotton Candy and a Mickey-Shaped Marshmallow! It was delicious, my favorite treat of the night no doubt. It wasn’t solely a vanilla taste but definitely not full on candy corn flavor either, it was perfect for me. It was large and definitely sharable.
Then it was actual party time, 7p! Trick-Or-Trick! We actually went into Cosmic Ray’s for candy around 6:45 and they were ready! Allergy bags get a token at each candy station that can be traded in for treats at an Allergy-Friendly Center (Town Square Theater and Liberty Square Ticket Office). Ahoy! Over to Pirates for the special party overlay. We got in line around 6:55 and the queue was extended down the path towards Jungle Cruise but once the ride officially switched over, just minutes after 7p, the line moved quickly and we only waited about 20 minutes. I always enjoy Pirates. Was the overlay mind-blowing? No, but it was fun! Our boat had a funny interaction with Gunpowder Pete and I enjoyed the atmosphere characters in the queue line. I think it’s worth the ride, especially since it’s unlikely you’ll have to wait more than 20 minutes for it.
Aloha Isle, is that you?! I knew I had to try the Hitchhiking Ghost Dessert, a party exclusive. Luckily it came in a plastic container, so I put it safely in my bag and saved it for later. It was much smaller than I thought it would be but it was super cute. I didn’t eat the chocolate ghosts or the licorice hand bar but the main part is really just a cream puff. The filling is supposed to be Oreo flavored, I didn’t really taste much of that but if you like cream puffs you’ll enjoy it.
Hades Nachos time! This menu item is available only during the party at Pecos Bill. These had an overwhelming Buffalo flavor. For a girl who’s always in it for the cheese, I was a little disappointed by these. But, if you love Buffalo Sauce these were made for you! The portion size was much larger than I expected. I shared this with my friend and we still didn’t eat it all.
Then Florida couldn’t let us get by without any rain, of course! It was lite at first. We ventured over to Haunted Mansion to see if the characters would still be out on the lawn… They weren’t, but! Madame Carlotta was mingling with guests in line and the Butler was taking photos at the beginning of the regular queue!
Then came the downpour! We ran to Small World for the best kind of rain shelter. No wait, obviously. Pinocchio Village Haus for candy and then my favorite candy spot of the evening, Mickey’s PhilharMagic! PhilharMagic plays classic Disney cartoons in the theater throughout the night and there were many people taking a break, just sitting and enjoying the show, AND it’s a double treat station! Even if you’re not into Trick-Or-Treating, I suggest you make your way through this stop. We went back again at the very end of the night because it was my favorite.
The rain subsided and we confirmed with a cast member that the 9:15p parade was a go. The only sad news was that the Headless Horseman wouldn’t be riding. I wanted to watch the parade in the Liberty Square area, it’s my go-to spot for Festival of Fantasy and I wanted to watch in a darker area of the park instead of by the castle or Main St.
This is something I would do differently next time for 2 reasons.
1. The Zootopia Dance Party that happens before the parade, only goes down Main St. I didn’t know this before the party and kept waiting to see Judy! *If you noticed in my Milkshake picture, I went to the party as Judy Hopps. I definitely recommend dressing up for the party but make sure you will be comfortable and most importantly COOL, y’all know it’s for real hot in Florida all the way up to Halloween. It’s a blast seeing everyone’s costumes. I saw a group of friends dressed as the different lands of Magic Kingdom, that was brilliant and an amazing Edna Mode with baby Jack Jack in tote!*
2. The lighting design/show on all of Main St. during the party is amazing. I stood there and watched it for 5 minutes before we left. Main St. is definitely is a crowded area during the parades but I think it’s worth it.
I still thoroughly enjoyed the parade from Liberty Square! We found our spots around 9p and had no trouble. We were only 2 adults which makes it easier. If you have a larger group or smaller children who would have a hard time seeing you would want to get a spot a bit earlier. Wherever you choose to view, this parade is not to be missed! I think next time I go I will try to watch both parades from different spots. The parade happens at 9:15p and 11:15p, weather permitting. Personally, I will be singing Boo-To-You until Halloween!
We followed the end of the parade toward the castle and got our spots for the HalloWishes fireworks. We stood in the middle of the area in front of the partner statue. Again, it wasn’t hard for us to get this spot with it just being the 2 of us (and we weren’t afraid to step around the many people sitting down holding spots). Once in our spots we only waited about 10 minutes for the show to start at 10:15p. This is the only fireworks showing during the party and it’s also not to be missed! The lighting on the castle during this show is way dated by the projections we have now during Happily Ever After but the fireworks themselves are amazing and I think the soundtrack is super fun. The end has full perimeter fireworks and it really is just spectacular.
Right after the fireworks, we moved up closer to the castle for the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. This is, in my option, the best outdoor stage show WDW puts on (Totally Tomorrowland Christmas comes in a close second for me). The music, the villains, the dancing, the lighting, and the SANDERSON SISTERS. Disney did this one right and you have multiple chances to see it throughout the party! We saw the 10:45p show.
I also had just enough time in-between the fireworks and the show to run over to Cosmic Ray’s for the Muenster Burger, another party exclusive item. I took it to-go with fries and cheese sauce, (because you should never have WDW fries without getting the cheese sauce) back to my friend who was holding our spot for the Hocus Pocus show. The burger was really tasty! I’m not one to get excited over a burger but I really did enjoy this one. There was plenty of the Muenster cheese, the sauce had a kick but wasn’t too spicy and the tater tots added an interesting crunch which I enjoyed. Oh! and there was bacon which is always a good thing.
Next, we ventured to my 2nd favorite treat spot, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. This is another double treat spot and you get to walk through the theater which was exciting! Then on to Deep Space Mountain, another attraction with a special party overlay. Complete darkness! I was actually nervous about this but had to do it of course. It was so much fun, it was truly complete and absolute darkness, you had no idea what was going to happen next! I’ve seen negative reviews of this, comparing it to the overlays they have for Space Mountain in Disneyland but I’ve never done any of those and I thought Deep Space Mountain was a blast. We barely waited 15 minutes, if you ask me, it’s a must-do!
It was the end of the party and time to do something I had been waiting to do all night. The Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake from Main St. Bakery was at the top of my food list. I had confirmed with a cast member earlier in the night that the bakery would be open until around 12:40a even though the party technically ended at 12a. I arrived to the bakery right around midnight and the line was LONG, like even coming out of the door a bit long. My friend offers to hop in line for me while I go to trade in my Allergy tokens at the Town Square Theater (she’s the best).
The line to trade in Allergy-Friendly tokens at the end of the party was also LONG. Earlier in the night while waiting for the parade I popped in the Liberty Square Ticket Office and traded in a few of my tokens but thought, “I won’t do them all now so that I don’t have to carry as many treats around all night!” Smart, right?? Well, turns out it probably is better to trade them in earlier if you want more of a selection. They have a great menu-like list of the allergy-friendly offerings with all the ingredients listed for each and you get to tell them what you’d like. They’ll fill up your bag, it’s not just one token for one singular piece of candy. But at the end of the night in Town Square Theater the options were slim. I wasn’t too upset about it considering I was getting the treats for a friend (and trying to fit them in my carry-on for my flight home) but I saw many kids in line that I can only imagine ended up pretty disappointed. Hopefully Disney can do better with this in the future. I do think it’s an amazing option they offer for those with food allergies but seems they still have a few wrinkles to smooth out.
Back to the Bakery and the worst disappointment comes, the cupcakes are SOLD-OUT. Gone. All of the special items in Main St. Bakery are available all day so it made sense. I was mostly angry at myself for not getting it earlier in the night but I had thought, “well I’ll just grab it on our way out and take it home!” Lesson learned, whatever item you want the most, get it early on! I opted for the Pumpkin Cheesecake and took it home. I ate it the next day and I’m not sure if it had something to do with it sitting in the fridge or what but I did not enjoy it. It seemed to have zero flavor, I kept eating it waiting on some kind of flavor but I finally gave up. Maybe if you eat it fresh it would be better but I can’t personally recommend this one.
Even without my cupcake I left the party on cloud 9! I had a blast and can’t wait to attend another MNSSHP. I absolutely think this party is worth the money and would recommend it to anyone, any age. It does have so much to offer so make sure you do some research before you go and get your list of priorities situated with any others you might attend the party with! You’re guaranteed a great time rain or shine, cupcake or no cupcake! Boo-To-You, and you and you and you! Happy Halloween!