Category Rank: 4
Park: Magic Kingdom
Park Rank: 13
Our next entry will require us to make several distinctions. The Boo-to-You Parade, the Halloween-themed parade, is a staple of the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (NSSHP). The inclusion of a parade on this list requires us to determine what category it should go in, and if it is separate than the party itself. I've gone with "seasonal" for the category, since it is only available at certain times during the year, and it is definitely different (and much better) than the typical Disney parade. I could have gone with "show", since if a typical Disney parade makes this list, that is where it would be categorized.
I also decided to separate it from the party, which will have a separate spot on this list (spoiler). While the party will also be categorized as "seasonal", it essentially would be an ambience, given the decorations and overall atmosphere present in the park. Therefore, other seasonal shows (such as the Villains Castle show) would have their own separate spot on this list, but activities that are not attractions (i.e. trick or treating) do not. Yeah, that's probably way too much thought on the rules of a made-up list, but if I don't have rules, I have nothing. Well, except for achy knees. I always have achy knees.
Anyhoo, this entry is about the parade. I was under the assumption that the parade went on in Magic Kingdom throughout the Halloween season, and not just on party nights, which would be another reason to separate the two. However, I'm not sure that is the case, as I haven't found the parade listed anywhere without being connected to the NSSHP. For all my readers, please feel free to use the comments to let me know the truth on this. Also, for all my readers, please do not steal the blankets tonight in bed. (You see... this is a joke, because I have only one reader... ha... I love jokes).
In general, parades suck. They really do. I am getting grumpy in my old years, but I have always detested parades. Sitting out in the heat on an uncomfortable picnic blanket getting baked, all while watching a super-slow procession of vintage vehicles and farm equipment is not fun in any setting. Also, having kids kill each other over Tootsie Rolls thrown out by some Pork Princess, and having every politician in the state walking around, milking the event for airtime and causing a huge backup... also not fun in any setting.
Disney parades are different, however. There is no candy being thrown out (a good thing, in my opinion). The time is short (20 minutes), and the vehicles keep great pace. You can take them or leave them, and there are plenty of places along the path to get a good view. Plus, they have actual music, performances, and worthwhile "floats". Granted, I don't look forward to WDW for the parades and in general avoid them, but I far from detest them.
The seasonal parades are different even more. These actually have holiday-themed floats and music. While Disney performers in general are very professional, they still seem to "get up" more for this event. The Boo-to-You Parade features many of the things you would expect in a Halloween parade (skeletons, ghosts, pirates, etc), but all presented in charming, family-friendly manner. The parade starts with a ride by the Headless Horseman (of Ichabod Crane fame), and several of the villains get top billing on floats.
There are several sets of performers that are quite fun to watch. You can see chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins doing a number with their shovels, causing sparks on the pavement. There are also a set of dancing ghosts from the Haunted Mansion ride, including the 3 Hitchhiking Ghosts doing a strange robotic dance on a float. It is like an animatronic, being performed by a real performer. My favorite is the skeleton band that performs near the end of the parade. All of this is set to a song that doesn't grate on your nerves (check out the Electrical Parade for an example of grating).
Overall, this is a fun event, and it screams Disney. They have the ability to take items like Halloween monsters and make it family friendly without being cheesy. This is definitely one of the better attractions in WDW, and would rank even higher if this list was of my favorite attractions. It loses a bit in terms of nostalgia, mainly because we were introduced to this parade on just our last visit. Still, it will be hard to experience Halloween now without reminiscing of the park.
Since we have Halloween on our minds, we will stay in this vein with our next attraction, a slow ride from Magic Kingdom with another catchy tune, and 999 haunts as well.