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Monday, Oct. 20, 2008

Party for Halloween Out of Town

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

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Seems like more and more Milwaukee area school districts are using the Halloween holiday as a reason to schedule "in-service" days. That means that many of you are looking at a four-day weekend the last week of October and probably wondering what you can do since most cities and towns around Milwaukee will be finished with Halloween this weekend. Why not take a break before the really cold weather gets here and head to Disney World with the kids?

The crowds are smaller (some of the smallest crowds of the year according to the Unofficial DisneyWorld Guidebook), the weather is great, and airfares are more affordable than they have been in recent memory.

There are a couple of destinations to check out on the web before you travel. Mousesavers(www.mousesavers.com) and the Walt Disney World site. Disney World has done a pretty good job getting you ready for Halloween on their site, but I wonder why it's not as interactive and fun as the Disneyland site?

A quick sample of online airfares shows that you can get to Orlando for about $391 direct from Mitchell on American, or save a bunch by flying from O'Hare and reducing your fare on American to $166. I did see gas over the weekend as low as $2.79 for regular, so you could argue that you could actually do the drive for less than one airline ticket (assuming 24 mpg and 3,000 miles roundtrip). I'd recommend driving or taking the shuttle to O'Hare to save a few hundred dollars on your trip and use it instead on a day or two at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Here are a few of the activities you'll find waiting for you:

FRIGHTFULLY FUN FIREWORKS: Orange-hued fireworks explode over Cinderella Castle while illuminated pumpkins are projected onto the facade during the "Happy HalloWishes" fireworks show. The pyrotechnics show is part of "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party," an after-hours Halloween celebration that takes place on select nights at the theme park.

TRICK-OR-TREAT: Whether its a pirate, a princess or a pixie (as seen here, with three girls dressed as Disney's famous fairy, Tinker Bell), kids of all ages get into the Happy Halloween spirit during "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" at the Magic Kingdom.

HAPPY HAUNTS: Mickey and Minnie Mouse are decked out in their newest Halloween party-wear in front of the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom. It's all part of the fun that takes place during "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party."

When the Disney characters dress up for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be debuting a whole new look. Mickey has traded his scarecrow costume for stunning purple and orange eveningwear fit for a Halloween ball. Not to be outdone, Mickey's best girl, Minnie Mouse, exchanged her witch costume for a party dress to complement Mickey's attire.

For Mickey, it's a top hat and purple tails. For Minnie, it's a party dress with a purple hat with an orange ribbon - bright and colorful, befitting the fun on 26 evenings between Sept. 5 and Oct. 31 when Magic Kingdom hosts the popular after-hours party.

Guests are invited to dress up as well for the 7 p.m.-midnight party which features two scheduled entertainment extravaganzas guests can see at no other time: the "Boo-to-You" Halloween parade and the bewitching "Happy HalloWishes" fireworks spectacular. There's trick-or-treating galore and also a chance to experience popular attractions throughout the evening.

Parties are slated for Oct. 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31. To purchase advance tickets, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY or visit disneyworld.com/halloween.



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