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Getting A-head at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Getting A-head at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

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As you walk through Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom these days and encounter all of those construction fences for the Fantasyland expansion project it's kind of hard to imagine what this part of the theme park will look like in just a few years.

But me? I can't help but look at the attractions that Fantasyland already has and wonder what this place would have been like if the Imagineers had been allowed to build the dark rides that they had originally designed for this section of the Magic Kingdom.

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You see, WED's original plan for "The Florida Project" was that Disney World's theme park shouldn't just be filled with clones of popular Disneyland rides but instead the Magic Kingdom should feature significant improved versions of Anaheim favorites (EX: "The Hall of Presidents" versus "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln") or - when possible -- entirely new attractions (EX: "Western River Expedition" instead of "Pirates of the Caribbean")

And as for the Fantasyland portion of the Magic Kingdom, the Imagineers had originally wanted this land to have three brand-new dark rides. With a "Mary Poppins" -themed attraction serving as a substitute for "Peter Pan's Flight," a thrilling "Sleeping Beauty" ride-thru replacing "Snow White's Scary Adventures" and a "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" dark ride standing in for "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Unfortunately, as the cost of turning 43 square miles of Central Florida swampland into "The Vacation Kingdom of the World" began to escalate (Executives back in Burbank had originally budgeted $100 million for the construction of Walt Disney World. By the time construction of Phase One of this project was completed, the Company would have spent over $400 million) Disney ordered across-the-board cost cutting in the late 1960s. This meant - wherever possible - the Imagineers had to reuse ride ideas & technologies that had previously been used at Disneyland.

And that is how those "Mary Poppins," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" rides wound up getting junked. Though a wee bit of Washington Irving did eventually manage to make it into the Magic Kingdom, thanks to that Sleepy Hollow quick-service dining location in Liberty Square (which - FYI - is actually modeled after Irving's estate in Tarrytown, NY).

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But even so, I've always wondered what that "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" dark ride would have been like. How it would have felt to be pursued through those dark & twisty forest by the Headless Horseman.

Well, if you're like me and have a fondness for this Disney Villain who doesn't have a good head on his shoulders ... you can actually get to see the Headless Horsemen ride through the Magic Kingdom on select nights September through November if you purchase a ticket to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Photo by Kent Phillips. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Now it's important to stress here that if you're thinking about attending this seasonal Walt Disney World favorite that admission to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party does require a separate ticket. So if you've only got a standard Disney World Park Ticket and/or Annual Pass, you won't be allowed to stay inside of the Magic Kingdom after 7 p.m. Which - thanks to special lighting, music and effects - is completely transformed into this not-so-Sleepy Hollow that's then loaded with all sorts of kid-friendly Halloween-themed delights.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party features all sorts of special entertainment. With one of the real high points being Happy HalloWishes, the seasonal fireworks spectacular where some of Disney's greatest villains appear to go trick-or-treating in the sky.

Photo by Gene Duncan. Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. All rights reserved

Better yet, because only a limited number of Guests are allowed to attend each presentation of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, you'll almost be guaranteed a curbside seat for Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade. The party features some of those 999 ghosts & ghouls from The Haunted Mansion as well as many of your favorite Disney characters clad in special Halloween-themed costumes.

And did I mention that "Boo-to-You" kicks off with a spectral appearance by the Headless Horseman? Who charges through that theme park while riding on this nightmarishly big black steed?

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Which - admittedly - isn't as cool as the Magic Kingdom having its very own "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" dark ride. But you have to admit that an actual appearance by the Headless Horseman is still pretty cool.

Anyway, if you'd like to stay a-head of the competition and make sure that you score tickets to the 2010 edition of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, know this: this super-popular seasonal event does sell out annually, especially for those dates that are closest to October 31st. So, if you want to get in on all the after-hours fun, purchasing a ticket now for Not-So-Scary would be a very bright idea.

Photo by Kent Phillips. Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. All rights reserved

The 2010 series of parties officially gets underway next Tuesday night , September 14th and will be presented on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, September 14, 2010
  • Saturday, September 18, 2010
  • Tuesday, September 21, 2010
  • Thursday, September 23, 2010
  • Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • Tuesday, September 28, 2010
  • Thursday, September 30, 2010
  • Friday, October 1, 2010

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

  • Sunday, October 3, 2010
  • Thursday, October 7, 2010
  • Friday, October 8, 2010
  • Monday, October 11, 2010
  • Tuesday, October 12, 2010
  • Thursday, October 14, 2010
  • Sunday, October 17, 2010
  • Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

  • Thursday, October 21, 2010
  • Friday, October 22, 2010
  • Sunday, October 24, 2010
  • Tuesday, October 26, 2010
  • Thursday, October 28, 2010
  • Friday, October 29, 2010
  • Sunday, October 31, 2010
  • Monday, November 1, 2010

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

And if you're looking for a bargain when it comes to tickets to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Orlando Fun Tickets is now offering admission for 10% off of what you'll pay at the main gate for select dates in September. If you'd like more information about this discounted admission material, please click here.

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