25 October 2010

Very scary fun

When it came to convoy entertainment, I grew up in a somewhat unique situation. Spending my youth in a small town in Florida, parades were reserved for Christmas and the Fourth of July, while at Walt Disney World you could count on a procession to march past in the early afternoon and again after the sun had set. Despite the fact that the hometown floats were not as ornate as those sliding down Main Street U.S.A., they did have something the pieces at the Magic Kingdom didn’t have, candy canes and other sweets. Moving to the present day, there is a parade that carries pageantry and candy hand-in-hand and is a must see, Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade.

The candy, the standard selection that can be found on all the treat trails during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, is doled out as a part of the final portion of the parade which represents Goofy’s Candy Co. It’s a sweet way to end the entertaining procession, but not the entire reason to view the parade.

The individual floats from Boo-to-You are not the usual conduits for moving characters through the throngs of guests. From beginning to end, the parade plays upon autumn themes: using a park gazebo, a tree flush with burnt orange leaves, tombstones, farms, and villainous lairs. They are some of the finest floats in the fleet of parade works, and by using the consistent fall theme it allows for ordinary characters, such as Minnie, Donald, and the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood, to don their favorite costume and come out and play. Of course, it’s the characters that you normally do not see that garner the most attention.

Headlining Boo-to-You is none other than the Headless Horseman, complete with a jack-o’-lantern head in his hand riding upon his midnight mount. A pirate flotilla includes Jack Sparrow, excuse me, Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hector Barbossa. When the grim grinning ghosts of the Haunted Mansion whisk past, their ghoulish gang begins with the Caretaker, followed by a troupe of gravediggers, but the real pageantry of this segment comes from the ballroom dancers, with graceful dances and opulent outfits that have become tattered and sullied since their passing. My personal favorite, being the boy who never grew up myself, is the collection of Lost Boys accompanying Wendy and Peter Pan ahead of Captain Hook and the Jolly Roger.

The Boo-to-You Halloween Parade is one of the most complete entertainment experiences ever put on wheels, at Walt Disney World or anywhere in the wider world. It has a broad theme that is interpreted and executed on the highest level by each individual float, a contagious tune that will stay with guests longer than their haul of sweets, and, when you come right down to it, is just plain fun!


Anonymous said...

You're right Ryan--Boo To You is so much fun! I've seen it three times now and it's always a blast. The Cast Members working along the route always seem to be having a great time and the parade has so many unique aspects that guests really enjoy it.

I love everything about the parade: from the Headless Horseman and the costumed characters, to the Haunted Mansion grave diggers and of course the villains! And last night's parade and party was made even better because it was a full moon!

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Tim, I'm glad to hear that it is always a great parade, and not just on the night that I happened to attend this year! I bet it Boo-to-You is even better with a full moon.