The pumpkins are in place at the Magic Kingdom. That must mean that Halloween is right around the corner. Or is it? We’re still in the middle of August, many schools in the US are still on summer vacation, and it’s a gazillion degrees outside. In most of the world, it is way too early to think about Halloween. But that is not the case at Walt Disney World. To me, the timing is perfect.
People complain all the time about how much it costs to spend a day at Walt Disney World. Often the single day ticket price is quoted. The one day adult price runs between $109 and $159, depending on the day. Adult tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party start at $79! Of course the price goes higher the closer you get to Halloween, with October 31 itself costing $135. But there are many days when a Party ticket costs less than a regular admission ticket. If you arrive at 4:00 and stay until the last show of the evening (which usually starts at midnight), you’ll get eight and a half hours at the Magic Kingdom! You can even offset the cost of the ticket by hitting all of the Trick or Treat stations more than once. You can end up with a lot of candy if you do that.
If Disney decided to not start Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party so early, one of three things could happen. The first is that they could raise the cost of the tickets. People would still go, and they would make the same amount of money on the party. Of course there would be a lot of complaints about Disney trying to nickel and dime the guests, and I’m sure the phrase “Walt is turning over in his grave” would be thrown around quite a bit.
The second possibility if they started the party closer to Halloween is that they could have just as many nights, but crowd them all into a four week or so period. Could you imagine having the Magic Kingdom close at 6:00 every day for a month? People who weren’t going to the party would not be able to see the Magic Kingdom at night, which would lead to more comments about poor Walt.
The final possibility is that Disney could hold fewer parties and keep the price comparable, but just sell more tickets. There would be a lot of backlash about this as well, because lower crowds with shorter wait times is one of the reasons why some people go to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. If more tickets were sold, we would once again hear that is not what Walt would have wanted.
I think that starting Halloween in the middle of August makes a lot of sense for Walt Disney World. There can be more parties at a lower price, and more people can enjoy them. Starting early also means that people who visit the Magic Kingdom and don’t go to the party can still see the decorations. It’s a win for everyone.
I’ll admit that I don’t want to see Halloween costumes and decorations everywhere in my local Target in the middle of August. For that, it’s too early for Halloween for me. But I think it’s great that the decorations are up at the Magic Kingdom. It’s nice that so many people can enjoy them. And I think that Walt would have approved.