I have never visited Disneyland or Walt Disney World during the holidays. Specifically Halloween. For my birthday this year (which was in March) I picked Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom as my special birthday celebration location. A few nights each week in September and October, Magic Kingdom closes early so that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party can be held from 7 p.m. to midnight (though people with party tickets can enter as early as 4 p.m.).
Anthony and I geared up for the party by selecting costumes to wear. The Halloween party is the only time that adults can dress in costume at Magic Kingdom. Originally we were going to rock the Star Wars theme. Me with my Jedi costume and Anthony channeling his inner Emperor Palpatine (Dark Sidious). That was right up until about a month before our trip to Florida. Anthony checked on the newly released costume guidelines and they had significantly changed from 2015. Now layered costumes were highly discouraged, capes longer than waist length were not allowed and costumes could not reach or touch the ground in length. Also full face paint and masks for those over 14 were not allowed even if your eyes were visible. Anthony even went as far as contacting Disney to check on our costumes and we received word that our Star Wars costumes would not meet the new guidelines. Yikes! Back to the drawing board.
We did a quick turnaround and completely switched characters and movies for our visit. Alice in Wonderland became our new inspiration. Anthony selected the White Rabbit and I decided to dress up as a female Boho Mad Hatter drawing inspiration from Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter costume. I put together new purchased pieces like my Mad Hatter hat, Bandolier thread spools, hat pin collection, Wonderland bow tie and Wonderland bird patch with inexpensive thrift store finds like my skirt, jacket and shirt. I took my thrift store finds over to As You Wish Clothiers and they helped me Boho my skirt and jacket adding touches of ribbon, lace and antique handkerchiefs that were my grandmothers. I changed all the buttons on my shirt so they were mismatched and dressed up my hat to also include real peacock feathers, buttons and odds and ends. My last purchases were some striped socks (two different colors), an inexpensive clock purse and some low boots.
For Anthony's costume we already had the hat and pants. He found a thrift store black jacket, white shirt, bow tie, clock and tennis shoes to finish his costume. I was honestly nervous about our quick costume turnaround but in hind sight I had nothing to worry about. The minute we stepped out of our hotel room we received compliments on our costumes from everyone under the sun. Visitors, families, cast members etc. It was an entire evening full of thumbs up for our costumes. Although I would say that a good 75% of the Halloween party attendees were in some sort of costume or decorative t-shirt our costumes were some of the most ornate in the park. Although we put them together so quickly I think it was the attention to detail that made ours stand out. I even sprayed my hair red (vs. using a wig) and it turned out great. I have enough natural curl to get the Mad Hatter look without looking clownish. I also put on heavier make-up than I normally wear and used two different colors of eye shadow and eye liner. One eye was bright blue and the other was bright pink. This allowed me to still be in the guidelines without chalking my face totally white like Johnny Depp's character in the movies.
The actual party was so much wicked Halloween fun. They had Trick-or-Treating, the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade (which is held twice during the party led by the Headless Horseman), Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Show, Hocus Pocus Stage Show (performing four times during the night), character visits around every corner (including Jack and Sally), Disney Photo Pass Special Magic Shots that you can only get during the party (like the Headless Horseman and Hitchhiking Ghosts) and special Halloween desserts. They also drape the castle in different Halloween themes during a projection show which is just amazing to behold.
Although not all the park rides are available during the party the rides we have enjoyed the most were running and there were no long lines to wait in. Our only misstep in the evening was not planning our dinner options wisely. We had eaten at Disney Springs for lunch and then failed to think ahead. By the time we decided we were way past the point of hungry our dining options had become extremely limited. We were left with hotdogs and corn-dogs around 11:00 p.m. We closed the celebration down at Midnight and headed back to our hotel room exhausted. Best Halloween Birthday Celebration ever!