Disney: What’s new for parade on Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights

Walt Disney World has not stirred the pot/cauldron much when it comes to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the after-hours event at Magic Kingdom.  And really, why mess with a proven recipe so potent that the first month’s worth of Not-So-Scary nights are sold out already?

The most obvious tweaks appear in Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, which features a slew of characters, many decked out in seasonal, semi-spooky costumes.

“Our villains unit got even bigger,” says Tara Anderson, show director.

Bringing up the rear of the parade is that “it’s good to be bad” gang, an assortment of Disney baddies, some of whom appear a bit scary.

The addition of “The Little Mermaid” nemesis Ursula, who glides and spins through the parade route, is notable, and sidekicks Flotsam and Jetsam, are creatively presented by performers in shadowy black top-of-head-to-tippy-toe body stockings.

“The Queen of Hearts brought some playing cards,” Anderson says, referring to a new set of choreographed dancers from a deck. “Gaston is flirting with the Tremaine girls, and Foulfellow and Gideon are there, so there’s lots of villains.”

Each troupe of characters has unique choreography, including the villains who have slow, stiff, methodical movements to cap off the promenading.

Clarabelle Cow and Minnie Mouse, clad in Sanderson Sister costuming, wave from a parade float during Not-So-Scary’s opening night. (Dewayne Bevil/Orlando Sentinel)

But up front is a new spin on the Sanderson sisters, the trio from the “Hocus Pocus” films. In the parade, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Clarabelle Cow are costumed as the film characters. Having Minnie collaborate with Bette Midler is pretty iconic, although folks might be distracted by Mickey, who’s on the same float but more on street level.

“This was just a great opportunity to let them cosplay, if you will,” Anderson says.

Moving Clarabelle up in the order of appearance cause a ripple effect, resulting in Goofy getting a new station on a barn float, flanked by dancers costumed as scarecrows.  Gone are the cowboy/cowgirls dancers, which gave strong Frontierland vibes (and well as the Buzz Lightyear unit that was so Tomorrowland).

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Max, Goofy’s nephew, was a hit addition in last year’s parade and remains prominent in a new way in 2023.

“Max and the Powerline Party Pack are now popping up all over the park. So they’ll do their thing before parades. But they’re also appearing all over the place,” Anderson says. “We wanted to get more people a chance to see that rather than just folks around the parade route.”

Another relocation involves the live, non-animatronic folks from inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  They’re now outside in streetmosphere mode and sometime performing music (“Yo Ho” alert) on the nearby stage.

Anderson explains this move by way of a pivotal scene in the attraction.

“The dog gave them the key so they’re out there roaming,” she says.

The format of the Not-So-Scary event remains much the same as in recent years. The fireworks show hasn’t changed nor has the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.”  There’s some unique entertainment in the streets, including the Cadaver Dans quartet, a sort of afterlife version of the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet. And folks still line up for in-park trick-or-treating.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs select nights through Nov. 1. It is not included with regular park admission. And, beware, more than half of the evenings — including Oct. 31 — have sold out already.

For tickets or more information, go to disneyworld.com.

Email me at dbevil@orlandosentinel.com. My Threads account is @dbevil. You can subscribe to the Theme Park Rangers newsletter at orlandosentinel.com/newsletters.

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