Our coverage of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in August continues.
You’ll find four attraction overlays, or what Disney is calling “HALLOWEEN TWISTS,” at this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Two of them – Mad Tea Party and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – are incredibly easy to experience. The other two – Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain – will take a little more planning if you’d like to ride them with short waits. Let’s have a look at what we can expect.
We’ll begin with the newest HALLOWEEN TWIST, which you’ll find at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. According to Disney, “When you follow the treat trail into the Monster World at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, they’ll interact in all-new ways with the comic cast of monsters, as they learn about the curious Human World holiday we call Halloween.”
Monsters, Inc. remains a Trick or Treat stop with two separate candy opportunities – one at the entrance to the theater and the other at the end. Lines “feel” like they’re on the shorter side, perhaps because you’ll have to wind your way through the queue, so there isn’t much of an opportunity for things to get backed up.
For a couple of minutes at a time, the various Monsters will come on-screen to interact with the audience in real time, just as they would at the regular shows during the day.
It’s a little awkward though because only about a third of the people walking through will stop and sit down, while the other two-thirds continue marching through the theater while the show is going. It’s a similar situation to the old Maelstrom exit, where a handful of people would be watching the film, while the vast majority talked through their walk into the gift shop. Fortunately, there’s virtually no barrier to entry here and you’ll also be rewarded with two candy stops. The Monsters typically appear for about three minutes and then disappear for a couple, before another returns on-screen. If you’re a big fan of Monsters, Inc. or the regular Laugh Floor show, then you’ll want to seek this out. You can stay as long as you like and the space is air-conditioned and relatively comfortable, though you never know when you’re going to be called out. Sit off to the side and towards the back to minimize that chance. You might also want to learn a knock-knock joke, just in case.
Here’s a look at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor waits during the Halloween Party:
Visit the attraction at your convenience. Hopefully the other charts will be slightly more interesting.
Mad Tea Party also sees a spooky overlay with special lighting, music, and effects.
Waits are short enough that it’s worth experiencing if you’re a fan of the ride. I don’t ride Mad Tea Party on my own volition very often, but make a point to visit at least once during Halloween Party season.
It may be worth avoiding the 7:20pm to 8:20pm time frame if you’re looking to minimize waits as much as possible. The posted wait shouldn’t go any higher than 15 minutes and the classic teacup ride should be posted at five minutes for the majority of the Halloween Party.
Back to Tomorrowland, Space Mountain should post the highest waits of any of the overlays and is consistently the longest wait in the Park, eclipsing Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. According to Disney, “Space Mountain goes completely dark again this year, hurtling you through the blackness of deep space to the riffs and chords of a new hard-rockin’ soundtrack.” That about sums it up – Space is basically pitch black on-ride, as it has been at a variety of events over the last few years, including Villains After Hours.
In the picture above this chart, which was taken at 8:03pm during the first Halloween Party of the year, the posted wait was 45 minutes. You’ll spend the majority of that time waiting in line outside. For whatever reason, Disney pulses people into the Space Mountain building in small numbers. The line is not “actually” backed up all the way outside and about half way to Astro Orbiter. Still, you’re looking at a considerable time investment for the ride, which isn’t necessarily a huge departure from the regular ride, when it’s 86.3% dark instead of 98.7% dark.
Here’s the chart:
Like with just about everything else, waits do go down as it gets later in the evening with the best time to ride either during the Fireworks, which are scheduled at 10:15pm, or last thing at night. Of course, you can’t be everywhere at 11:30pm, so you’ll need to decide if you want to prioritize Space over other popular and unique experiences.
The fourth overlay is found in Adventureland at Pirates of the Caribbean. The first time that we saw attraction overlays at the Halloween Party was just last year in 2018. Historically, the rides during the Parties were not a priority for most people, with short waits virtually everywhere all night. The overlays were a way for Disney to drive interest towards several high capacity attractions. If you have a thousand or more people in line for the overlays, then you’re also keeping that number of people off the streets and you can potentially get away with selling even more tickets.
It seems to have worked, as not only are the overlays themselves popular, but wait times for the other rides have risen considerably each of the last two years compared to 2017 and before. It’s almost like people rediscovered the fact that they could do rides during the Party, instead of just waiting in 20-minute lines for grocery store candy. At Pirates, “embarking upon the high seas with the Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll discover a crew of live pirates on your journey, engaged in a whole new adventure in search of treasure.”
I thought the Pirates overlay was a little disappointing last year, as “just” three live pirates joined the ranks – two in the queue and only one on the ride. The whole Gunpowder Pete storyline was kind of cheesy, too.
This year, we still have two pirates in the queue.
But two more pirates have been added during the ride, bringing the on-ride total up to three.
You’ll see the first just after the first drop as the pirate fights with the captain.
The second spot is the same as last year on a bridge overhead.
But a second pirate is present to interact with the one overhead.
The pirates change throughout the evening.
So if you ride twice, you should enjoy a different experience.
Of course, you’ll also be able to enjoy the rest of the ride.
Adding two more pirates definitely livens up the experience and the banter is a lot of fun.
Wait times are sort of all over the place at Pirates, but it makes sense in the context of the Party. The overlays should come online right at 7pm for the official start of the Party. While Magic Kingdom closes at 6pm to day guests without Party tickets, the rides that operate during the Party continue to do so for Party guests. That’s why we see the dip at 6:30pm, as few people are getting in line for a ride that is going to see a HALLOWEEN TWIST in just a half hour. Wait times go up substantially to begin the Party as there is considerable hype about the live pirates. Those waits wane just 90 minutes into the Party as people become interested in other things, like the 9:15pm Boo to You Parade and 10:15pm Not So Spooky Fireworks. At the conclusion of the Parade, we see a bump in the wait time, which goes down again at 10:30pm as people watch the Fireworks. Then there’s another bump after the nighttime spectacular before the lowest waits of the evening return. If it fits into your schedule, getting in line between 8:30pm and 9:30pm is your best bet. That should be doable for those planning on seeing the Fireworks, second Parade, and 12am Hocus Pocus.
If you’re not participating in one of those, then you’ll find the shortest waits after 11pm or during the Fireworks.
While it doesn’t officially offer a HALLOWEEN TWIST, Haunted Mansion is a lot of fun during the Party with its unique color scheme.
You’ll also see a variety of characters appear on the grass in front of the Mansion. Note that you can enjoy the ghostly entertainers by going through the exit on the right and walking up to greet them. On-ride, there are no changes, but the atmosphere certainly feels at home at Not So Scary. Disney put live actors into the ride over in Disneyland for a special 50th anniversary event. Fingers crossed that we see something similar in Florida for the Party next year. It probably won’t happen, but we can hope.
Here’s Mansion’s wait times:
Like most everything else, wait times go down throughout the evening and the beginning of the Party is the worst time to get in line.
What should you do during the first 90 minutes of the Party, when everything is swamped? Getting in line for a priority character may be a good option. I have their locations and meet times in this post. You could feasibly meet Jack and Sally, who first begin meeting at 4:30pm, and the Seven Dwarfs, who first begin meeting at 6:15pm, before the Party even officially begins. You could then move on to another priority character. Riding some of the moderate priority rides is also a good choice. I like to ride the PeopleMover at least once because it’s particularly fun with the Halloween lighting and music in Tomorrowland. Fantasyland rides other than Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight will also have short waits. Big Thunder and Splash typically aren’t too bad after 8pm as well.
Overall, experiencing Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and Mad Tea Party is easy to do at your leisure. Space Mountain presents the biggest challenge. The best times to ride are when you’ll probably be wanting to do something else yourself. If you’re attending a second Party, then you’ll likely find it easier to ride during the Fireworks, Parade, or other event as you’ll have been able to see them on a different night. But other than getting in line during the Fireworks or at the very end of the night, you’re looking at a 30-minute wait most of the night, which translates to a 45-minute total experience time. That’s nearly one fifth of the Party time. You might try to convince yourself that experiencing the ride as it’s normally presented is enough. Anybody who enjoys Pirates of the Caribbean should take the time to experience the Halloween Party version, ideally after 8pm.
We’ll see what’s next.