WDW Magazine History Sampler - Page 24

Haunted golf carts on parade at Ft . Wilderness Campground . PHOTO BY MICHAEL KOLENCE OF THE GRIMM-LIFE COLLECTIVE
including then-current favorite Dr . Hook and a little band that had formed just two years prior , The Police .
And that was it . For over a decade , Halloween subsided into modest merchandise releases and occasional trick-or-treating and costumed activities at the resorts ( including another party at the Contemporary in 1989 ).
We likely have this era to thank for the tradition of over-the-top Halloween decorations and the golf cart parade at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground . Without official Halloween parties for guests to attend , campers got increasingly creative over the years with festive campsite decor and activities . It ’ s now a can ’ t-miss part of Halloween at WDW .
CHRISTMAS SAVES HALLOWEEN Not to get all Jack Skellington on you , but we can ’ t talk about Halloween without first talking about Christmas . In 1983 , the Magic Kingdom hosted the first Mickey ’ s Very Merry Christmas Party ( MVMCP ). Unlike the short-lived Halloween Hysteria , MVMCP celebrated with guests for years to come , growing from just two nights that first year to seven nights in 1995 .
The success of MVMCP was a lucrative proof of concept . Holiday parties were not just a light distraction at Walt Disney World : Guests began to plan their vacations to attend the celebrations .
Then-CEO Michael Eisner , in his eternal quest to add new guest experiences to the parks , took note of the popularity of the Christmas celebrations — and what was happening just down the street . Universal Studios had seen a growing fandom surrounding its Halloween Horror Nights since starting ( as Fright Nights ) in 1991 . Eisner left the zombies and killer clowns to Universal and approved a more family-friendly Halloween event for the Disney Parks .
MICKEY ’ S NOT-SO-SCARY DEBUT I love that , unlike previous Halloween celebrations , the first Mickey ’ s Not- So-Scary Halloween Party ( MNSSHP ) happened on October 31st . In 1995 , the ticket price was just $ 16.95 for both children and adults . Compare that to the 2019 Halloween night price of $ 149 for adults and $ 144 children . To be fair , the party ( and inflation ) have come a long way since that first Halloween .
At the first MNSSHP , Disney invited guests to wear costumes . They enjoyed trick-or-treating around the park and met characters dressed up in special Halloween attire .
In 1997 , the event grew to two nights and included , for the first time , Mickey ’ s Booto-You Halloween Parade .
EVOLUTIONS OF BOO-TO-YOU You can still witness the early days of the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade on YouTube thanks to old home movies , which feature the ghosts of floats we ’ d never seen again — and the undead remains of those we recognize today .
Much like today ’ s parade , the Disney Villains float carried the likes of Jafar , Captain Hook , and Maleficent — but they were busting a sick rap . And was that the Queen of Hearts wailing on keyboard