July has come and gone, and although it seems like we were firing off fireworks in celebration of the Fourth of July only 15 minutes ago, Disney World and Disneyland have moved on to spookier things. It’s August 1, and as of yesterday, Halloween decorations are up at Magic Kingdom.
Although August is technically still part of summer, it is often considered the beginning of fall by many people. Even though the weather is still hot and most schools haven’t started yet, the beloved flavor of pumpkin spice is making a comeback after a nine-month hiatus. Disney Parks in America are already getting into the spirit of Halloween, catering to eager fans who are excited for the season. While many of us are still in shock that the summer months are closing quickly, Disney, recognizing the high demand for seasonal activities in their Parks, is getting an early start on their Halloween-themed parties. These parties have become increasingly exclusive, with dates creeping up earlier and earlier each year, now even starting in August.
Did you know that the first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World will start on August 11? It seems like summer just started, and already The Sanderson Sisters, Jack Skellington, and Oogie Boogie will be hosting spooky events in our beloved Disney Parks in less than two weeks. While I’ll be busy buying school supplies with my kids, someone else will be enjoying the Boo to You Parade on Main Street, U.S.A. As Labor Day is technically the official end of summer, it’s worth asking if Disney is starting the Halloween season too soon.
A Disney Halloween Means 100-Degree Weather
Visitors to Walt Disney World during the months of August, September, and October will attest to one thing: it’s incredibly hot. Even during the typically cooler fall months when others are sipping apple cider and enjoying cool evenings, central Florida can be pretty brutal. Temperatures during these months can range from 85 to 100 degrees, sometimes even higher when considering the heat index. This summer has been particularly hot, with emergency management issuing heat advisory warnings multiple times. While there’s no way to escape the heat in Florida, it seems crazy to hold a Halloween party in August, when the average high temperature is 90 degrees. After all, isn’t Halloween supposed to be about cooler nights and fallen leaves? Not in Florida, and definitely not at Disney World, especially in August!
Part of the excitement of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is the opportunity to see all the creative and elaborate costumes that visitors come up with. We’ve witnessed some truly remarkable ideas brought to life in the Parks during the Halloween festivities. It’s impressive to consider that much of the imaginative thinking at Disney World isn’t hindered by the warm temperatures during the parties. However, the weather likely does play a significant role in determining what visitors wear or create to join in the celebration with Mickey Mouse and friends. Despite this, there’s still plenty of fun to be had!
Skip School and Celebrate Halloween at Magic Kingdom Instead
I recall a day when the best time to visit Walt Disney World was during late summer and early fall. Although the weather was less bearable, the crowds were usually much lower. However, over the years, the popularity of Halloween at Disney has grown, and September and late August (although still hot) became flooded with Guests who knew that the Parks would be easier to manage. Disney has increased the number of dates for their Halloween party to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to attend.
Unlike the summer lull this year, the decrease in attendance at theme parks during this time was not due to the weather but rather because children had returned to school. With the ringing of school bells, families were less inclined to travel. Summer had ended, and so had vacations. However, the popularity of Disney’s Halloween events, like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, had increased, leading to more visitors. Instead of preparing for school, families now spend their evenings watching the Headless Horseman pass by Cinderella Castle.
The Jumpstart on Halloween Has Almost Finished Thanksgiving
Do you have a friend or family member who goes straight from Halloween to Christmas? Well, I’m one of those people, and it seems like Disney is too. Disney World is all about their exclusive holiday celebrations like Halloween and Christmas, but Thanksgiving doesn’t get much attention anymore. Although you can still get a tasty turkey dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, you’ll have to listen to Christmas carols while you eat it. It seems like Thanksgiving is now just a brief break between three months of Halloween and two months of Christmas, like it has become for many people across the country.
Disney is known for their exceptional Park decorations. Halloween is a magical time at the Magic Kingdom, but as the witching hour comes to a close and the big guy rolls into town, they transform the entire Park from Mickey Mouse jack-o’-lanterns to holiday wreaths in a matter of hours. Disney World starts celebrating Halloween early every year, which means that by the time Halloween rolls around, everyone is exhausted.
This year, the first Halloween party at Magic Kingdom takes place on August 11th, and Disney will celebrate the spooky festival for a remarkable 80 days (the party only happens on select nights). Disney World dedicates 22% of the year to Halloween festivities, which is almost three months, while Thanksgiving only gets one week, squeezed between Halloween and the holiday parades, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and sugar cookies.
Halloween at Disney is a Great Experience, but Pump the Breaks
Disney World during Halloween is an exciting experience. In addition to throwing extravagant Halloween parties, Disney also offers unique merchandise, food, and more. Certain rides transform to fit the spooky theme, and the characters get into the spirit with cute costumes. Magic Kingdom is decorated with large jack-o’-lanterns and autumn colors as guests gear up for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
The party itself is a sight to see. Guests can dress up in their scariest costumes while enjoying exclusive merchandise and trick-or-treating around the Park. The Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus and other Disney villains take over Magic Kingdom for the night with their Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular! Rare characters like Dr. Facilier come out to greet those exploring the Park. Fan-favorite Jack Skellington brings Cinderella Castle to life during Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, which features a “wickedly wild fireworks display featuring some of your favorite Disney Characters and hosted by Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Starting the Halloween festivities in August may seem excessive and overwhelming. After all, school has only just begun, summer is still in full swing and the weather is still unpleasantly hot. If Santa Claus has to wait until after Thanksgiving to make an appearance, why can’t Halloween also wait until summer has officially ended before taking over stores and amusement parks like Disney World? While August may seem too early to celebrate Halloween at Disney World, the popularity of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party may result in the dates starting even earlier in the future.