In the past week, I’ve been to The Disneyland Resort twice to check out the Halloween Time scene. Last Tuesday, I was at Disneyland with a couple of friends and our kids (6 toddlers and 1 newborn). Then this past Friday I was at Disney’s California Adventure for Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party. This year, Disneyland is featuring Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy for the first time. Ghosts appear out of the starry darkness and swirling galaxies of Space Mountain, reaching out as if to grab guests as they speed through space. The exhilarating drops and curves of the journey are punctuated by piercing screams, creepy sound effects and haunting music. I did not get the chance to take a ride on it but I have a friend who went on it with her two tween daughters. She said they all loved it but it was a bit scary. One of my favorite attractions is The Haunted Mansion. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go on this one either! Team Toddler nixed it. Oh, well, maybe one day I can shake the kids and go by myself! Transformed to a mix of Halloween spookiness and Christmas tradition, Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” Jack Skellington and his friends provide plenty of havoc and surprises as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion in their unusual style. Jack’s return to the Haunted Mansion includes the traditional Halloween/Christmas gingerbread house in the Mansion Ballroom, with some special spooky surprises in this year’s design.
My favorite area of the park is the Big Thunder Ranch. I can’t totally explain why, but I just think it’s so fun and a peaceful vibe. During Halloween Time, visitors will sometimes find the ranch animals dressed in costume for a seasonal Halloween Roundup, with pumpkin carvers, Halloween décor and activities for youngsters, all presided over by Sheriff Woody. Next door at Big Thunder Barbecue (my favorite restaurant in Disneyland), Miss Chris and the Roundup musicians add Halloween songs to their repertoire. I love fireworks! Luckily, I was able to catch “Halloween Screams – A Villainous Surprise in the Skies,” a fireworks spectacular that haunts the nighttime sky of Disneyland throughout the Halloween season. To start the show, “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington appears in a flash of fire above Sleeping Beauty Castle. I really enjoyed the show as did Team Toddler. There were several, “how’d they do that?” moments. It’s more than just a fireworks display.
This past Friday, Chip and I were invited to attend Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party at Disney’s California Adventure. Our neighbors heard we were going and wanted to join us, so eight of us: 3 parents, 3 toddlers, 1 13 yr old and 1 20 yr old all set off for Anaheim. Mickey’s Trick or Treat Party is a separate admission event held at Disney’s California Adventure for 12 nights in October (2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 and 31). This party lets adults and children alike dress up and trick-or-treat in the ultimate Disney neighborhood. The event starts at 7:30pm on Fridays (6:30 pm other nights) and goes for four hours. We arrived around 8:00pm due to Friday traffic. So, although the party is described as being for younger kids, I wouldn’t recommend it for the under 8 year old crowd. Chip is 3 and our neighbor twins are 4. It was a late night for them and with only about 3.5 hours do do things like meet characters in special Halloween Costumes, participate in some Halloween activities, see the Character Cavalcade, Trick or Treat and go on 2 rides, we just couldn’t do very much and the kids were tired and overwhelmed. I did see lots of tweens having a blast. There are two party areas, Candy Corn Acres and Hollywood “Bat-Lot” Bash where tweens and teens were dancing around and having a really great time. The 13 yr old and 20 yr old in our group went off together and had an awesome time. It was the perfect event for them. So my recommendation is to take your younger kids during the day to Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure. There is still plenty of Halloween feeling in the decorations and you will be able to pace yourself and maybe just wrap things up after the fireworks. For more information about Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort, see www.disneyland.com/halloween. This site will be updated as frightfully fun details become available.
Value-minded vacationers can celebrate Halloween Time with a special travel offer this fall: savings of $400* at the Disneyland Resort. From Aug. 12 through Dec. 19, 2009, guests will save $400 when they book a 4-Day/4-Night Disneyland Resort vacation package, featuring Disneyland Resort hotel accommodations – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier – and park hopper tickets. The offer is valid for arrivals through Dec. 20, 2009, with a final booking day of Dec. 19. Details are at www.disneyland.com/Save400 .
I’m planning to be back at The Disneyland Resort at least two more times before Halloween Time (September 25-November 1) is over. It really is a great time of year to go!
For some great reviews and info about Disneyland, visit Uptake.com