Foto Fridays: Fall-oween Face-off!

Congratulations on making it to the conclusion of another work week! Even bigger congrats to those who had the day off work because their employers recognize Pre-Halloween as a holiday. (Let’s start the national movement, TouringPlanners, for this oh so special day to become the next federal holiday!) With your ghoulish weekend about to start, hopefully this eases you into relaxation mode. In this edition of Foto Face-off Friday, the weekly blog that features photographs from our TouringPlans Flickr Group that are an extension of the Disney Debates we’ve been holding on our Twitter Account, @TouringPlans, we are featuring a Fall-oween Face-off to determine the best aspects of Disney in the Fall and at Halloween!

Here is what some of our followers on Twitter had to say:

@truffino The cooler weather.

@floridamingo MNSSHP 🙂 specifically the Boo To You parade

@rashizb Mickey’s Boo To You Parade! #DisneyDebate

@myfizzypop helping plan my post Thanksgiving trip to Disneyworld with top tips and a great community… 🙂

@lintman My favorite aspect is the parties. At #WDW I love the parade, at #DLR I love the fireworks. They are both fun. #DisneyDebate

@RyanKilpatrick Besides everything? Food & Wine, MNSSHP, lighter crowds, better weather…it’s the best time of year

@guyselga Favorite Halloween aspect of Disneyland is THE PUMPKIN FUDGE!!!!

Along with their photo entries, we asked for an explanation as to why each Flickr poster preferred their respective choice. Their reasons may pertain to photography, general enjoyment of the choice, or both. Their personal thoughts are provided below their photo-entry. To view more of their photography click on their respective submission, which will direct you to their Flickr photostream.

Halloween in Liberty Square [Explore]
Halloween party in Walt Disney World, Florida. Did you know that when people walk next to you on this bridge it shakes! Not very fun when you’re taking pictures.

Isabelle Boivin:
2009 was my first visit to the World during Halloween time. And I loved it ! MNSCHP was a hit for my friend and me. We where there the first night of our stay. The mood is so cool in MK on Halloween nights. Specially around the Haunted Mansion. That picture was taken at almost 1AM… I think my eyes were closed as I hit the shutter ! Sill, I tink this HDR came out not so bad.

CJ Balogh:
Magic Kingdom Train Station
2009 was our first time visiting during the Halloween season as well. Actually, we were there mid September and were surprised to see so many decorations. It’s so cool at night, especially Magic Kingdom, gives the park a totally different feel than a regular, non-themed night. As for the photo, sadly a year ago I was not as ‘photo-minded’ as I am now, so this was the best shot that came of the decorations.

Adam Hansen:
Gotta love Main Street at Halloween
This just says Halloween at WDW to me when looking at it. It turned out to be one of my favorite photos I took on my last trip. The Halloween party is amazing, though I think the best part is seeing how great Main Street looks during the event. All the buildings are lit perfectly and change color throughout the night. There are decorations everywhere and it just feels like the entire park is transformed for Halloween. This was taken at the end of the night and turned out to be my last shot before leaving. You can see the cast member standing on the left waiting for me to finish up. I really am happy with how this came out between the building colors and the sky above the castle.

Expedition Everest
This shot of Expedition Everest taken in late October 2008 reminds us that the shorter days of autumn are, for most of the US, a precursor to winter’s snow and frigid temperatures. Sounds to me like a good excuse to go to Walt Disney World!

Mickey pumpkin
Have always loved all of the little details that Disney puts in to their decorations, and Halloween isn’t any different. Was wandering around Main St this past Oct during Wine & Dine Weekend, just taking it all in, and saw this little guy with the scarecrow. The feeling you get at Disney around any holiday is like no other!

100_0309 e
I absolutely love Halloween at WDW. The atmosphere is completely different in the Magic Kingdom during MNSSHP. The lighting and decorations make for fantastic photos!

wonderful world of Hilary:
Jafar Revisted
Plain and simple during Halloween all my favorite Villains come out to play. When else can you not only watch them dance in a snappy stage show but can than indulge in photos with the baddest of Disney’s bad guys and gals.

Finally, my entry and commentary:
Boo to You - Happy Halloween!
I’ve only been to Walt Disney World once during the Fall, and that was last year on a photo trip. Even though it was more aimed at photography than the Fall and Halloween events, we did attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and also participated in a few Food & Wine Seminars. The Food & Wine seminars were awesome, and a great value (especially considering the samples there compared to what you’d pay for the same samples at the various kiosks), but I really would have enjoyed doing more. One of the speciality dinners prepared at a resort under the instruction of a celebrity chef, the Eat to the Beat concert series, and many other presentations we all missed. We definitely love food, but because we experienced so little of the Food & Wine Festival, the Halloween Party wins somewhat by default. But that shouldn’t be construed as a knock at it in any way, as it is certainly a “Fall Heavyweight.”

Since Sarah and I are big character photo geeks, we really ate up Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We were able to develop an excellent strategy for seeing the characters prior to our trip, and we interacted with nearly all of them. The characters out during the party, for the most part, were either rare (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) or festively decked-out. It was very cool seeing them like this, and the experiences made me wish Disney would have more themed versions of the popular characters out on a regular basis (e.g. Chip and Dale dressed in astronaut garb in Tomorrowland). In addition to the characters, we caught both Boo to You parades; this parade is easily one of my favorite Disney parades. It’s probably second to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Parade, but it’s close. The soundtrack, dancing, and entertainment during the parade were all phenomenal. The fireworks were another highlight, with another exceptional soundtrack. Not quite on par with Holiday Wishes, for me at least, but very strong, nonetheless. We, unfortunately, were unable to catch Villains Mix & Mingle during the party as we bustled around everywhere–and we didn’t even ride a single attraction, get any candy, or stop for photos during the party. To me, this is a testament to the amount of entertainment offered during the party. Although I prefer MVMCP, I think MNSSHP provides better value for the money.

In addition to the scheduled entertainment, there were a lot of nice little touches that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Chilling lighting, spooky background music, projections through the park, and a layer of fog on Main Street, just for good measure. Although some balk at the $55 ticket price for the party, it is easily a good value. I think next time we’ll probably attend two parties during our trip. It probably doesn’t quite have that level of value, but we’re just crazy. And I’m not even that big of a fan of Halloween.

We’re planning on heading back next Fall for a longer trip centered around Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary on October 1st, so hopefully we’ll get to experience more!

What are your thoughts on the face-off? What’s the best aspect of Disney in the Fall? Let us know in the comments!


The next challenge features all of the countries of World Showcase! Post your favorite country in the World Showcase and tell us why it’s your favorite! (I’m assuming we’ll have 10 entries of American Adventure, because anyone who submits some other country is distinctly unpatriotic!) Also, please help us determine the best country (in the World Showcase) by voicing your thoughts on Twitter to @TouringPlans and entering your submissions in the TouringPlans Flickr Group discussion entitled “TouringPlans’ Foto Face-off Friday Blog – World Showcase!” You could have your comments and picture chosen to be featured in the next Face-off blog, so get to Tweetin’ and Postin’!

Tom Bricker

Tom is an amateur Walt Disney World photographer. He recently married his princess, Sarah, to whom he became engaged at WDW on the beach of the Polynesian Resort in 2007. Tom and Sarah have a miniature dachshund named Walter E. Dogsney and a yellow cat named Yossarian the Cat. Together, Sarah and Tom run the website Tom's photography can be found on his Flickr page ( and he can be contacted via Twitter (@wdwfigment) and Facebook (