Friday, October 23, 2009

Attraction Review - Mickey's Boo To You Halloween Parade

The last time I tried reviewing a parade I decided to a full recap of the two-hour Christmas Day television parade. This should be a little more manageable.

Intro: As one of the special features that go along with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Boo To You Halloween Parade replaces Spectromagic. (Boy that Mickey is a vain guy. How much crap does he name after himself?)

Show: Things start off in iconic fashion as the Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow races through the Magic Kingdom leaving a trail of smoke in his path. This is delightfully spooky and probably the “scariest” part of MNSSHP.

Then the parade proper begins with wacky (and thoroughly annoying) music. If you’d like to recreate it at home just say “boo to you” over and over and OVER again. A pack of various and sundry Disney characters lead the way including Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice, Aladdin, and Jasmine. Following closely behind them is a Halloween-decorated gazebo. Inside are the Magic Kingdom’s first and second couples: Mickey & Minnie and Donald & Daisy. I’ve always imagined if Mickey were the President, Donald would be Vice President. (There’s a Dick Cheney joke in there for sure.) I’ve always imagined Goofy as the Secretary of State (smiling, middling and making things worse) and Pluto as the Secretary of Defense (you know, the whole guard dog thing.) Wow…I can tell this is going to be one of those reviews where my tangents end up being longer than any actual content.

So, yeah, this year Mickey is dressed as a Court Jester (maybe a call back to that Mardi Gras parade with the giant balloons they did in ’92…or maybe I’m the only one who remembers that,) Donald is a knight, and I have no idea what Minnie and Daisy are supposed to be. They’re dressed like Maid Marian and that chicken from the Robin Hood movie.

The Winnie the Pooh gang follow behind: Pooh is a superhero, Eeyore is in ridiculous party attire, Tigger is a pirate (SYNERGY!), and Piglet is a butterfly or a fairy or something…because, you know, people don’t make enough gay jokes about the guy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Bringing up the rear is Rabbit and Kanga on a float that looks like a tree.

Next up are Peter Pan, Wendy, and the Lost Boys. They dance around and do nothing of note. Much more interesting is the pirate ship that follows, its got Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, and some other singing pirates. A gigantic and kind of freaky alligator (might be a crocodile, I never know, I think it has something to do with the nose) follows behind. More pirates follow and dance with marginally interested wenches. Following behind them is BARBOSA! Awesome! Then we have another pirate float, this one with JACK SPARROW on top. And wow does this guy ever look like Johnny Depp. Seriously ladies, get your cameras.

Next up we get the scared guy and the dog from the Haunted Mansion graveyard scene! The guy has his lantern and everything. That’s pretty cool. Dancing ghosts (or should I say “happy haunts?”) follow, with a float containing the three hitchhiking ghosts behind them! Then we get the parade’s signature scene: the undertakers that make sparks shoot out of their shovels.

Next up we get the Country Bears on a float, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, Chip and Dale. So it’s the “random critters” section of the parade. Speaking of which, we get a float with a chicken in it. I have no idea who this chicken is (please don’t write in to tell me because I REALLY don’t care) but it clucks along to the music in a manner not at all unlike Robot Chicken, so that made me chuckle.

Straight out of the Main Street Electrical Parade comes some kind of Jack-o-Lantern man sitting atop a big lighted Christmas ornament thing. A bunch of skeleton people forming what appears to be a rock band ride by on a float. They’re joined by Pain and Panic (Hades’ henchmen from Hercules.)

Then come the VILLAINS! This is really cool. We get Cruella di Vil, the Wicked Queen, Queen of Hearts, the Sheriff of Nottingham, the Big Bad Wolf, and a few more. Behind them, on a float, are Jafar, Maleficent, and Ursula. The hyenas scamper around behind the float.

Next up, and I should note that the villains’ section was way too short, a few cast members wave flags and pass out candy (known in some circles as the “we wanted to drag this out but ran out of ideas” part of the parade.) Pluto rides by on a truck. Goofy follows on what appears to be a foot pedaled parade float boasting a large “Goofy’s Candy Company” banner. More cast members pass out Goofy’s candy as this parade dies a slow death.

Mercifully, cast members follow with a “THE END” banner. Just in case someone though the line of parents pushing a hundred strollers was a float from a Disney movie. No doubt the scariest Disney movie of all.

Thoughts: I don’t want you to get the impression that this is a bad parade because it’s not. Yet in the pantheon of Disney parade/fireworks/special shows this one has to rank near the bottom. There is some goodness like the rare characters and the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion stuff. Overall though, this could just as easily be the Christmas parade if you replace the ghosts with elves and reindeer and change the lighting and music. Nothing really sets it apart. It’s Disney characters in Halloween costumes with a few rare villains thrown in there for kicks.

Sure it’s a perfectly fun diversion for twenty minutes during the Halloween party if it’s not too crowded and it’s a cool thing to see since it only happens a few times a year. But if you’re not a big fan of parades or you have to line up an hour early to get a good spot then you don’t need to bother with this one.

Overall Rating: ***

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