Saturday, October 24, 2009

Disneyland Halloween Time

Let me start of by saying Halloween has never been my holiday. I have no idea why, because I enjoy getting dressed up and I love candy, but nevertheless, I have never really liked Halloween. It’s not like I hate the holiday or have some sort of objection to it, I’m just not a big Halloween person. If I had to eliminate a holiday, Halloween would be the one I cut. Well, I guess I should say that until last year Halloween would have been the holiday I could have lived without. But last year everything changed. Last year I went to Halloween Time at Disneyland and my feelings about the holiday did a 180. I actually liked Halloween Time so much that this year, I made a return trip to Disneyland at Halloween.

So what’s so great about Halloween at Disneyland? Well for starters Disneyland is decorated for the holiday. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald greet guests at the front entrance as pumpkins, and the pumpkin theme continues throughout the park with Jack-O-Lanterns everywhere, even on the lampposts. You can even visit Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Roundup to see pumpkins transformed into Jack-O-Lanterns. And just in case you haven’t gotten your fill of pumpkins, a giant Mickey Jack-O-Lantern sits at the beginning of Main Street, waiting for you to pose with him.

When guests Park Hop over to Disney’s California Adventure, the pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns stay but the main theme switches over to something much sweeter, Candy Corn. Candy corn has invaded every square inch of California Adventure, even the iconic CALIFORNIA letters have been turned into candy corn. There’s Candy Corn Acres, where guests can see the candy corn being grown and harvested. Who knows, you might even spot a character or two helping harvest all that candy corn.

Of course, a Disneyland Halloween is more than amazing decorations. Disneyland has also redone two rides for Halloween. Jack Skellington has transformed the Haunted Mansion into a Nightmare Before Christmas themed ride. New this year, Space Mountain has also been transformed into Ghost Galaxy. I don’t want to give away too much, but both attractions Halloween makeovers make them into completely different rides. I’m not a big Haunted Mansion fan, but I absolutely love what Jack Skellington has done with the place. My brother has never seen The Nightmare Before Christmas, but he still enjoyed the ride. And unbelievably, Ghost Galaxy is much scarier than Space Mountain, keep an eye out for ghosts, you never know when one might surprise you.

Also new to Halloween Time this year is a Halloween themed fireworks show called Halloween Screams. Halloween Screams differs from other Disneyland firework shows because Tinkerbell does not start it; instead Zero flies above Sleeping Beauty’s castle to start the show. Halloween Screams mixes fireworks, pyrotechnics, a large video screen, lighting, Disney villains and even ghost fireworks into one incredible show. The soundtrack is a combination of Disney songs like “Heffalumps and Woozles”, with new songs like “Happy, Happy, Happy Halloween” which is still stuck in my head, weeks later. This show is not to be missed. Although, parents with small or easily startled children should be aware that a very loud group scream a long concludes the Halloween Screams fireworks show.

A returning favorite to Disneyland’s Halloween Time is Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party. A separate ticketed event that takes place on select nights in California Adventure Park. Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party is my favorite Disney event, at either park regardless of the season. Everyone is allowed to dress up for the party, and seeing everyone in their costumes, including the Disney characters is awesome. Once inside, guests can go trick or treating at Treat Stops where candy is given out in very large quantities. My 5 year old cousin received more candy trick or treating here then she did trick or treating at home. Characters are out and ready to pose for pictures. In my experience villains, princesses, Pixar characters and the Fab Five are out for you to visit with. The Pacific Wharf area is transformed in Pirate’s Wharf, an entertainment area with games, crafts and characters. Hollywood Pictures Backlot has also been transformed into Hollywood Bat-lot and if you visit the Bat-lot be ready to join in the dance party! Another kid favorite is Mickey’s Hide and Go Treat Trails, in the Redwood Creek area; treat stations are also back here. The twice-nightly parade, Mickey’s Trick or Treat On the Street, features Disney characters dressed up for Halloween, and is part parade/part dance party. We all got up and danced and we were rewarded with yet more candy and even special pins for our efforts. Of course you can also ride the rides during Mickey’s Trick or treat party, we rode Tower of Terror multiple times and with the whole Halloween thing going on, it was definitely spookier.
There’s more than enough Halloween to keep even the most spirited little kid amused and just in case special treats and merchandise is available also. I came home with a Mickey Jack-O-Lantern coffee cup and two Mickey Jack-O-Lantern trick or treating buckets. And trust me, leaving there with just those were difficult. So from a reformed Halloween critic, come visit Disneyland during Halloween Time for some new rides and shows, great food, a chance to catch Minnie as a witch and even see some villains. Happy Halloween.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more! Halloween has always been just another day for me, until this year, when I went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. I loved it!


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