Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Walt Disney World's 24th annual Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party brings new thrills and frightening elements to classic rides at the Magic Kingdom park near Orlando, Fla.
The family-friendly ticketed event, which takes place on select nights now through Oct. 31, offers unique versions of signature Magic Kingdom rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and The Mad Tea Party.
Pirates will approach visitors while they wait in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, interacting with the crowd and urging everyone to be on the look out for Gunpowder Pete, a no-good scoundrel who is after the same treasure as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Gunpowder Pete will then make a special appearance during the swashbuckling attraction, commenting on his treasure hunt and guests, who he calls sorry landlubbers.
Space Mountain, meanwhile, offers more traditional Halloween scares with an altered version of the roller coaster that Magic Kingdom park employees call Deep Space Mountain.
The high-speed attraction, known for simulating a trip through space, is now darker then ever, preventing those on the coaster from seeing what's in front of them, and includes a new pulsing, cosmic soundtrack.
For The Mad Tea Party, based on Disney's Alice in Wonderland, guests will experience a glowing light and music show at the spinning tea cup attraction.
Outside of rides, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party also celebrates the 25th anniversary of Disney's classic Halloween film, Hocus Pocus. To commemorate the anniversary, the event features a Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular stage show that takes place in front of Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle on the Forecourt stage.
The show stars the mischievous Sanderson sisters of Hocus Pocus fame, who have returned to concoct a potion that will allow them to host a villainous party attended by some of Disney's most well-known evil-doers.
Joining the Sanderson sisters onstage are the likes of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians and Jafar from Aladdin, among others.
Magic Kingdom also offers 25th anniversary Hocus Pocus merchandise that includes replicas of the outfits the Sanderson sisters wear in the film and in the stage show.
"It's such a Halloween tradition. People have watched that film for 25 years especially during the Halloween season," Steven Miller, merchandise spokesman at Walt Disney World, told reporters at an event UPI attended Friday. "It's such a classic story, a fun story with great performances and a great stage show."
Other festivities happening at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party include park employees handing out candy to guests of all-ages, Mickey's Boo-To-You Halloween Parade featuring a cast of 175 performers and appearances by the three hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion along with the headless horseman and the villain-infused Happy HalloWishes fireworks show that celebrates Halloween across Magic Kingdom's night sky.
As they explore Magic Kingdom during the Halloween Party, park attendees will encounter 176 individually carved pumpkins along Main Street, the playing of a Halloween-inspired playlist featuring songs such as Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and spooky treats based on Disney characters such as a Jack Skellington push pop desert, an Oogie Boogie meringue and a not-so-poison apple cupcake based on the poisoned apple from Snow White.
"This is really one of our favorite events of the entire year. We love putting this on, working with all our partners and bringing this great entertainment experience to you," Walt Disney World ambassador Brandon Peters said.