The Hocus Pocus stage show is a fan-favorite . PHOTO BY CLIFF WANG
“ Hunt for Gunpowder Pete ” backstory had pirates accosting and questioning guests both in the queue and within the ride .
Around the park , character greetings have included rarely seen villains available for photos , including those in the Booto-You Halloween Parade and crowd favorites , Jack and Sally . Since the early days of MNSSHP , The Cadaver Dans have entertained guests with their spooky a cappella stylings . Various dance parties , including one that was held in Ariel ’ s Grotto hosted by Chip ‘ n ’ Dale , have kept guests boogying through the years .
HALLOWISHES AND HOCUS POCUS The Disney Villains Mix and Mingle Show was held on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage in the early years of MNSSHP , with meet-and-greets available afterward . But in 2015 , the much-loved Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular replaced this show . In it , the Sanderson Sisters , assisted by Dr . Facilier and other assorted Disney Villains , attempt to cook up a nefarious Halloween celebration each year .
By 2004 , MNSSHP had worked its way up to 14 dates , earning a bit of nighttime spectacular . A revival of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show ( the long-running nightly show had just been replaced by Wishes ) was interrupted by the Evil Witch as she presented a 3-minute Halloweenthemed finale . The “ Night on Bald Mountain ” ballad from Fantasia boomed , ghosts streamed up the castle walls , and the Evil Witch flailed at guests atop a turret on Cinderella Castle .
The next year , Happy HalloWishes : A Grim Grinning Ghost ’ s Spooktacular in the Sky treated guests to a new show exclusive to the party . It started with ominous Haunted Mansion notes and included danceable medleys from Ursula , Oogie Boogie , Scar , and a few Heffalumps and Woozles . The big upbeat finish was hosted by Jack Skellington and a chorus of “ This Is Halloween .”
But Jack didn ’ t stop there . Just last year at the 2019 MNSSHP , The Pumpkin King came forward to deliver his Halloween greetings in person . At the new Disney ’ s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular show , a shockingly lifelike puppet of Jack dominates the stage . As scary and tall as you ’ d imagine Jack to be in real life , he tells the story of Mickey and friends on a
Halloween adventure that plays out like seasonal cartoon short .
HEADS WILL KEEP ROLLING By 2007 , MNSSHP was in full swing . It had expanded to 20 nights a year and then hovered under 25 nights for about seven years . We ’ re up to 36 creepy nights now , and the season is only getting longer .
In 2018 , the party had crept into the last days of August for the first time , and just last year , the first night of the party was on August 16th . Forget Christmas in July — this is Halloween in August . Or maybe July next year ? Cut to me in complete bliss drinking a hot pumpkin latte in the summer Florida heat . Anything for Halloween .
We may not have Mickey ’ s Not-So-Scary to celebrate this year , but looking back on a history bursting with spooks and haunts , all I can think is , like a jack-o ’ - lantern lamp on Main Street , next year is gonna be lit . pg . 25 | WDW Magazine