By Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel
10:50 AM PDT, September 17, 2012
How often have you seen someone awaiting a Magic Kingdom parade on Main Street USA look at the time, scowl, and say, "The parade's late." Of course, 99 times out of 100, the parade isn't late — it's on its way from Frontierland. (Even Disney magic can't make the parade appear everywhere at once.)
To make that waiting time more bearable for impatient children, Disney has unveiled a new pre-show act during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which is running on select nights during this spooky season after the Magic Kingdom's regular hours.
The extravagantly entertaining "Boo To You" parade is a primary attraction of the Halloween Party — full of gravediggers, ghosts, trick-or-treating characters, the Disney villains and candy.
The Headless Horseman, of Sleepy Hollow fame, kicks things off with a trot through the park — but there's a gap in the action between his ride and the start of the main parade.
So on Main Street, Disney's "Creepa Crew" presents "The Not-So-Scary Street Jam," a mini-dance party with children. The show is reminiscent of Disney's "Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!" An emcee works the crowd and invites the kids out to the street to get their Halloween groove on. The Crew — an energetic bunch — teach the children some "Thriller" video-type dance moves.
It's all accompanied by a thumping dance soundtrack with a vocalist in the style of Nicki (or would that be Mickey?) Minaj. Her name is actually China Anne McClain, singing "Calling All Monsters."
Kids who want to learn the dance moves ahead of time can check them out at the Disney Parks Blog before attending the party.
It's fun for the little ones, who have energy to burn after enjoying the candy. And it's a relief to parents, who are spared the plaintive cries of "When's the parade getting here?"
Speaking of the parade, there were a few changes of note. The friendly witches carrying the front banner have been replaced by women in pirate-wench costumes, which is a bit odd.
The pirate wenches, including the Redhead — you know, as in "We wants the redhead!" from Pirates of the Caribbean — have been replaced by The Jolly Roger Pirate Flag Corps, like you'd see in a marching band (the flag corps, not the pirates). They must have had plenty of time to practice on the open sea, because they looked sharp.
And the routine of the gravediggers, a "shovel corps" if you will, has been tweaked so the diggers are scraping their shovels on the asphalt more frequently. This creates a sprinkling of sparks that grabs the attention of parade watchers.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which runs from 7 p.m.-midnight, continues on these dates:
• Sept. 18, 21, 25, 28, 30
• Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30 and 31
• Nov. 2
Tickets range from $50.95 to $69.95, depending on the night. Go to Disneyworld.com/Halloween
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