We were in attendance at last night’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party to check out what’s new at this year’s party. One of the things we were looking forward to the most was the all-new Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks and Cinderella Castle projection show.
The Not-So-Spooky fireworks show replaces HalloWishes, which ended a 13-year run at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party last year. Whereas HalloWishes was a very fireworks forward show with little to no projections on Cinderella Castle, the Not-So-Spooky fireworks add quite a bit of projection tech in an attempt to string together a storyline for the Magic Kingdom’s new Halloween nighttime spectacular. The move to a projection-heavy show wasn’t unexpected. When Wishes was replaced by Happily Ever After, we saw Cinderella Castle used as a canvas on which to tell a story of friendships, battles, heart, and perseverance. One spot where Disney typically excels at is projection technology, so we were excited to see what they could come up with for the Not-So-Spooky fireworks show.
With the show being touted as a projection-heavy show, we decided to position ourselves right up close to Cinderella Castle for the best view. We also knew that a Jack Skellington puppet would be used during the show to play host. Before we present our video, let’s first set the stage by seeing what Disney had to say about the show.
Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” serves as the host of this all-new nighttime extravaganza, with state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks filling the sky above Magic Kingdom Park. Jack has come to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. Jack’s ghost dog, Zero, then flies off carrying everyone along on a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house. Their journey takes them from one room of the house to another, encountering dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts and a whole series of troublemaking Disney villains. “Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular” promises to be the perfect Halloween treat!
Ok, here’s our front-and-center view of Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular in 4K.
Overall, the show features really good projections on Cinderella Castle and has a very good amount of fireworks. We’re happy to see that the show doesn’t skimp out on fireworks just because it’s a projection show. We’ve seen Disney’s Hollywood Studios cut out a lot of their big fireworks over the years as they move to more projection-heavy shows, but so far, so good at Magic Kingdom. The Jack Skellington puppet was really impressive and the puppeteering was great. Overall, we enjoyed the show, but it isn’t without its faults.
To us, some of the musical choices were confusing at best and just wrong for Halloween at worst. Songs sampled from Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, and Sleeping Beauty are probably not high up on your Halloween playlist, and they shouldn’t be high on Disney’s playlist here either. The show is disjointed at places and it seems like it takes us way too long (dancing skeletons and ghost masquerade scenes) to actually get to any of the Disney villains that we love. Once we arrive at the villains, we end up moving through them too quickly in a “best of” fashion. Disney has a rich bank of villainous characters and we would have loved to have seen more of them. Even worse is the fact that Disney has a Halloween/spooky attraction in Haunted Mansion and has largely decided to remove it from the show. One moment that we missed was the “everybody scream” section of HalloWishes and how it built to a finale. There is no real moment in Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular that built to a finale. There are some parts of the show that need fixing, but it’s still enjoyable with some impressive tech. We can’t wait to see how Disney plusses the show for next year.
Because we’ve been asked the question a few times, we want to address the “perimeter” fireworks debate and why they were modified for this show. When we first put out video of the fireworks testing 11 days ago, there were noticeably no perimeter fireworks. We had chalked it up to the fact that this was only a test and that the perimeter fireworks would return with the debut of the first show last night. We were only half right. Fast forward to yesterday afternoon when we spotted the typical “perimeter fireworks” notice posted around Walt Disney World roadways that would be affected by those types of launches. We tweeted out the sign and figured we would once again be enveloped by fireworks during the finale of the new show as we were with HalloWishes.
As it turns out, if HalloWishes would have lived another year, they wouldn’t have been able to present it with the same perimeter fireworks as they did in the past anyway. With the construction of the Tron roller coaster, we’ve lost a perimeter fireworks launch point. Modifications were made to accommodate the construction site while still providing something different during Mickey’s not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The compromise was to effectively cluster the launch points to a position that is more directly behind Cinderella Castle. As a result, “perimeter” fireworks, while utilizing specialty launch points not in use during Happily Ever After, are not nearly as far to either side of Cinderella Castle as they were in years past.
So is Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular a worthy replacement to HalloWishes? Let us know on our Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below. Also, keep an eye out for more news, reviews, and photos from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!