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In this week's feature, we've got the first of many interviews that Mark did while at Walt Disney World. This time around, he talks with Laura Offerdahl, producer of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Mike is sick, so Mark introduced the show solo.
Those who haven't been to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in a while should expect to see a new parade, Mickey's Boo To You Parade. New pieces are added to the parade each year. This year, Captain Hook aboard a pirate ship (a modified version of the ship float used in Pirate & Princess) followed by a free-roaming mini-float of Tick-Tock the crocodile, have been added, as well as Captain Barbossa. Also new in the last few years is the Villains Mix-and-Mingle in front of the castle, a stage show followed by a meet-and-greet.
Also new this year is a meet-and-greet with Cinderella's evil stepsisters, who debuted at the Pirate & Princess Party early this year. In addition, a new decor package has been installed for the enjoyment of all guests, not just for party-goers, along Main Street. Bunting in seasonal colors adorns the Main Street buildings and a pumpkin scarecrow competition has apparently gone on between all Main Street denizens. Giant pumpkins in front of the Magic Kingdom complement the decor along Main Street.
The HalloWishes fireworks have been basically unchanged for a couple of years.
There are a couple of dance parties where characters are dressing up in their Halloween best. Stitch wears an Elvis costume, Pluto wears a spacesuit, etc.(Laura told a great story about a boy who had thought that he was too cool to wear a costume and then changed his mind once in the park.)
Live entertainment hasn't been forgotten. The Cadaver Dans wander Frontierland, the Lonesome Strangers provide other musical entertainment, and Madame Carlotta entertains those in the queue of the Haunted Mansion. Mark thought that Madame Carlotta had performed on the riverboat in the past, but then realized that it was Auntie Bellum.
Mark asked Laura about which popular floats may have been reused for this parade. Laura commented that she is the "Environmentally-friendly producer" because she is always careful about recycling or reusing anything that she can.
Laura reminded everyone that it's OK for everyone to dress up in costume. The dance parties attract lots of people, some of whom hang out there for quite a while.
There is a trick-or-treat trail between Toontown and Tomorrowland, where there are a bunch of characters, alternating with treat stations.
Laura's favorite part of the fireworks is the scream-along finale, while her favorite part of the parade is the villains unit. Mark's favorite from the last time that he saw the parade in 2003 was the gravediggers drill team, and they're back again this year. The rest of the Haunted Mansion float has been enhanced, especially the three hitchhiking ghosts aboard the float.
Running the event is pretty easy when the weather's good. However, when the weather gets bad, it takes a bit of work to deal with it. She has a great team to work with and they're really good at figuring out what needs to happen in various areas at various times.
This year, Hershey's Kissables are available at the Treat Trough at the exits, where you can get your trick-or-treat bag topped off if you feel like you didn't get enough at the party.
In addition to being producer of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Laura is also the producer for the parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. This year, the parade is all-new, with all new music, new floats, etc. It's going to be called "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime," and floats will feature all different types of takes on Christmastime. There will also be other enhancements to the Christmas Party event beyond the portions that she is working on.
Mark asked Laura if she had any Magical Moments to share. She talked about the cast members talking with guests in costume, especially small children, treating them as if they were really that character.
Mark had a really good time at the party. He, Brian and Jeff got a good start at the press room, and hen headed out to the park to check out the party.
Mark got to ride the recently-refurbished Haunted Mansion, and it's fabulous. It's a whole new experience.
Other upcoming interviews from Mark's trip:
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).