Pink Witches... Pirates... Disney Villains... Fantastical creatures... Ghost ships... and not a single Pumpkinman in sight! Disney's Halloween Party Night 2006 promised an evening of entertainment based on ghostly pirates and rampaging Pink Witches, with meet 'n' greets, a Black Pearl Fireworks show and a strong blast of fire!,
The evening began at 8.30pm, with guests asked to enter via Walt Disney Studios’ gate before filing around to Disneyland Park, avoiding the guests still leaving from the park. Once through the gates, the Pink Witches pounced immediately, chanting their spells and shouting their words of witchcraft to the passing guests on Town Square, holding signs proclaiming “Pink Witches – Choose your side!”
In addition to the park’s main attractions being open for guests, the usual series of special entertainment kicked off in Halloweenland (Frontierland) at the FantaStitch Stage. The Halloween Festival show “Goofy and the Magic Pot” was joined by musical performances from “Hot Couture”, the female lead singer of which gave a rousing performance trademarked by more jiggling dance moves than ever seen before inside Disneyland.
Exploring deeper into the beautifully lit park, Adventureland was the place to meet and greet characters of every kind. Whilst Jafar, Ratcliffe, Shan-Yu and more gathered by Restaurant Hakuna Matata, a massive band of Pirates (including Jack Sparrow himself) was on the rampage opposite Captain Hook’s Galley, taunting guests and jumping over and around the beach scenery. If these characters were a little too menacing, a hop over onto Adventure Isle found classic characters such as Peter Pan, Wendy and Mr. Smee, whilst the Galley featured a pirate playing bagpipes and outside Pirates of Caribbean itself a live Pirate band performed throughout the evening.
At select times during the evening, a firey cavalcade made its way through Adventureland’s Bazaar and across the Adventure Isle bridge to Pirates’ Beach, where a haunting ceremony of flames and chanting took place, culminating in a giant blast of fire into the air above the water. Despite their best attempts, Adventureland appeared intact the following morning. Back in Frontierland, more villains such as Gaston and Cruella De Vil were waiting with the Pink Witches, and all manner of strange and mysterious fantasy creatures roamed the park.
At 11.30pm, The Ghost Ship Cavalcade made its way onto the parade route at Town Square. Presented entirely by an outside performance group, the show featured Adventureland’s fire artists and pirates joined by performers in flowing white costumes (surprisingly none of which caught fire). At the end of the cavalcade, the Ghost Ship itself arrived, with acrobats hanging from the masts. The music was unique to the performance, which featured three long stops just on Main Street itself, and was perhaps reminiscent of artistic circus performances such as Cirque du Soleil. Overall, however, the crowds appeared hugely unimpressed with what most agreed was a slow and misplaced performance.
You can see the Photos Magiques video of The Ghost Ship Cavalcade here.
Similarly disappointing, perhaps, were the fireworks. 2005 saw the creation of an impressive “Sound & Light Spectacular” featuring video projections depicting the story of the Pumpkinmen and Pink Witches. This year, the theme of pirates was used to create The Black Pearl Fireworks, a simple and fairly unoriginal performance of fireworks to music from both Pirates of the Caribbean films. An exciting finale for fans of the film, but otherwise an unimpressive end to a Halloween Party that, in terms of its unique live entertainment at least, never really entertained.