The cool breeze of autumn has yet to be felt in Anaheim. But Halloween is already being installed throughout the park. Meanwhile, the Princesses remain homeless until their new location at Fantasy Faire Village is complete. We also have some more good/bad news from Splash Mountain, changes to the Little Mermaid ride and more tidbits to share.

Halloween Time 2012 is almost here with an official run lasting from September 14 to October 31. In Disneyland Park, Haunted Mansion Holiday makes its return this year along with the popular Ghost Galaxy overlay for Space Mountain and the pumpkin festival on Main Street U.S.A.  Meanwhile, Disney California Adventure will be showcasing Frankenweenie with a traveling exhibit stationed in the Art of Animation building and a “4D” sneak preview of the upcoming film in the Muppet Vision Theater.

All of this takes some time to prepare and the transition is already beginning.  Most notably,Disney Showcase is already decked out with costumes along with the cursory candies and trick or treat bags.

Disneyana is now showcasing Halloween figurines.

There are still a few remnants of 4th of July lingering.

Yesterday, Disneyland quietly held a first-of-its-kind event in the park.  Annual Passholders were asked to stop by the opera house in Town Square and check in for a special Disney movie screening.  They were instructed to get their wristband from a cast member stationed just outside the entrance to the opera house and to vote for what film they wanted to see later in the day, at 7pm.  The choice was between Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

By the 6:30 cut off time,  the theater had reached capacity and the attraction closed until after the screening.

Interesting that they could fill the entire opera house on the novelty of seeing a Disney Classic on the big screen again.  Did you attend the event?  What are your thoughts?

Some refurbishment work is being conducted on one of the arches at Coke Corner.

Great news, kind of, to report from Splash Mountain.  The Brer Rabbit handcar animatronic, precariously positioned above the flume inside the Mountain has finally returned to operation.  A big bright light shines on the figure as Brer Rabbit rides the rails to seek adventure.

Yay!  Brer Rabbit is back on track.

But on the other hand, the ride is currently limited to just one vulture at the bottom of the final lift hill and drop. Riders may note the odd audio issues created with one of the two birds out of order.

Keeping an intricate attraction like Splash Mountain fully functional is a huge task, we agree.  But when important show elements fail, they should be fixed quickly, rather than being allowed to languish. We’ve got to wonder if this is an operations/Maintenance issue or one of budget.  Will we ever see Splash at 100% again?

The 2013 princess project is moving along nicely near the Sleeping Beauty Castle. A center structure has been framed with steel beams and the facades along the back berm of the area are starting to see substantial work done on them.

A new bit of art has appeared on the construction wall.

Pick up your copy of the new Buena Vista Bugle.  Apparently there are new innovations that have Buena Vista Street bustling.

As was the case over at Disneyland, Halloween Time is also beginning to appear in Disney California Adventure.

The Five and Dime is leading the Halloween invasion with stuffed animals.

Meanwhile, Duffy is getting outfitted for his pumpkin suit.

THE LITTLE MERMAID: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
A minor change has occurred inside the LIttle Mermaid dark ride.  While floating through the Under the Sea sequence, notice the tufts of “sea weed” and underwater flora that have been added to key areas of the scene.  They are being used to obscure the view  of Ariel at certain angles.  Most notably the side view of the figure where, unless you are directly in front of her, her hair looks like it is in a pony tail.

The wait times in Cars Land seem to be mostly unaffected, even though pass holder black out dates have been lifted.

In fact, the wait times have come down a bit.

No longer the two hour wait it was.

The wait is a mere 40 minutes and this indoor queue now seems like a merciful bit of planning on the part of the imagineers with the recent, record heat wave.

Still no balls.

As they finished resurfacing one side of the Down Town Disney parking lot, the other half is now being worked.  Continue to expect limited access and long lines to get into the Downtown Disney Parking lot for now.

For all you Earl of Sandwich fans, here’s  status update:

The former news star location has been leveled

The building is being readied for paint.

Don’t be impatient, good sandwiches are almost always worth the wait.

If you attended the park’s movie night in the Opera House, let us know what you thought.  In-Park events for the Annual Passholders is a great way to reward loyal Disney fans with a little more.  We hope to see you soon, in the parks.  And please don’t forget, there is a Six Flags Magic Mountain update waiting for you HERE too!

  • DisneyDrums

    I’m lovin’ this! Can’t wait to go in October!

    • nat

      We will be there in Oct too ! It’s been a long time.

  • ghosty4

    Is that a Jack Skellington Mickey Mouse stuffed animal, because if it IS I need to get myself to the Five & Dime!!

  • ravencroft

    Regarding Splash Mountain, don’t forget the bees spinning around the hives on Brother Bears nose down in the laughing place. Those were non-functional from before the last refurb and SM came out of refurb without those working. I was shocked at the time. I Guess the ticket price increases are going to pay for the DCA expansion.

  • Terrytiger

    My biggest complaint is the missing canoe for Brer Fox in the Laughing Place scene. For at least 5 years, Brer Fox has been getting an enema sitting on a fountain of water rather that sitting in a canoe on the fountain… I even mentioned it directly to Tony Baxter several years ago and it was still missing on my last visit in Jan.

    • waltopia

      I’m glad someone else has noticed this….Brer Fox with a paddle, spinning around in mid-air over a water jet! Obviously supposed to be a boat under him, which has been missing for YEARS. The many many other effects which rarely work are minor compared to this glaring lapse.

  • vnormth

    Spoke to a CM about the beach balls: 1000 were ordered and made and but they kept popping. The clincher though was when a few people on the ride would spike the ball hitting and hurting other guests. We’ll never see them again.

    I noticerd people are getting used to the ride as is though and having fun. Once you get the feel for what to do, the attraction really works and – in true Disney form – can’t be experienced anywhere else.

  • I’m just about ready for Halloween Time. Almost.

    I was expecting the park to be packed when the passes were unblocked. This Sunday will likely be very crowded due to the SoCal passes being unblocked on a weekend for the first time this Summer. But who knows. This summer seems to have changed everything we know about traffic patterns at the Disneyland resort.

  • DarthBrian

    When Radiator Springs Racers first opened, the wait times were up to three hours IIRC. A 100-minute wait is a breeze in comparison to that. :p

  • KingEric

    This is getting me excited for my CA trip!

  • Algernon

    Halloween is the most creative time of the year. They were smart to jump on that bandwagon. Next comes Christmas. They were smart to play that up as well, doing a spectacular job for both seasons.

  • Gregg Condon

    I’d love a Perry the Platypus costume, but not for $65.

    As for the DtD repaving, let’s hope they finish it before the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon next weekend. Most people will be using the DtD parking lots on Friday and Saturday to pick up their race gear from the Expo. It’s always packed and not having that lot is going to create a lot of issues.

    Hopefully they will just use Pinnochio for DtD parking like they’ve done in the past to alleviate any issues.

  • SpectroMan

    Not to change subject, but the Pirate balancing across 2 boats in the burning scene in Pirates has been MIA forever. He was there after the last rehab, but only for a short time and then has been gone since. Anybody know why?

    Great news on the Brer Rabbit. One step at a time.

    I would not waste precious Disneyland time to watch Lion King or B&B in Lincoln’s theatre. I thought we all had those on Bluray by now. Out of print classics, or the very newest releases, absolutely.

  • TodAZ1

    If Disney is trying to gage if customers will go see the classics in a real theater, I would have to say ABSOLUTELY!!!

    Turner Classic Movie cable station recently showed “Singin’ in the Rain” in theaters across the country. I don’t know about the rest of the theaters in the U.S. but the one I was at was standing room only! An amazing experience to see a classic movie like that in a real theater!

  • TodAZ1

    And with a live audience to enjoy it with!

  • Spongeocto4

    Thanks for the update!

  • Princess Victoria

    Thanks for the great update! After all the recent heat, I think I’m digging the Halloween additions even though it seems a bit early.

    I hope they repaint the Earl of Sandwich location into a nicer color scheme. I’m not a big fan of a lot of the coloring they used on Downtown Disney back in 2001. It could stand to be updated.

  • Susan Hughes

    Disney seems to be doing well re-releasing their classics in movie theaters. Remember recently when Lion King was #1 at the box office two weeks in a row? Not bad for a movie that came out in 1994. And Beauty and The Beast did well too. Now Nemo’s on it’s way to the big screen again.
    So if they show a Disney classic…in Disneyland…for free…you know that’s going to be a big hit. My suggestion would be, at the end of the movie in the exit lobby, have the characters from that movie waiting to meet and greet everyone.

  • camplkc

    I’m sorry..but to close down a classic attraction during park hours to show a movie to AP members(who could come back anytime) leaving that attraction dark for those who may only be at the park for a day…? We have a Movie Theater on Main Street..use it!

    • Marko50

      I do see your point. Truly. But it’s not a fact that APer’s can come back anytime. I live close to a hundred miles away and would not come up for a couple of hours. And I know there are other pass holders that are in the same boat. I have other factors that contribute, but that’s not germaine to this discussion.

      Also, suggesting that the Main Street Movie Theater and the Great Moments with Mr Lincoln attractions have comprable auditoriums is just ludicrous.

    • Susan Hughes

      The reason they started doing this in the Opera House is because it literally gets NO traffic. Even with the addition of the Voices of LIberty for the summer, people still bypass this attraction.
      So taking up an hour and 40 minutes to fill the seats during a slow weekday, then return it to it’s virtually unused state is not too much to ask.
      As for the Main Street Cinema, it’s not a theater. It has no seats and only holds about 25 standing people.

  • Crazee4mm

    So, which movie won? Beauty & the Beast or The Lion King? Did they show the 3-D versions or just the original 2-D?

    As for Dusty being surprised that the blocked out passholders didn’t stampede back into the parks once the block-outs ended, I can only say PRICING. Out of a group 0f 6 friends, all of which have/had passes, I am the only one that still has a pass. ALL of the others in my Disneyphile group have let their passes lapse due to the massive increases in ticket/pass prices. I now mostly go to the Disney parks alone as everyone else have been priced out. They have opted for Knott’s/Universal/Magic Mountain passes instead.

  • victoriaskitten

    This post has gotten me so excited about my trip September 28th. So much so I just may arrive a day or two earlier than my family to prolong my visit.
    Halloween/fall has always been my favorite time at Disneyland since they do such a wonderful job with the decorations. For me it is better than Christmas. I am however, looking forward to an early December trip so will enjoy both seasons. Hey, any reason to get away from the freezing Montana winter for a few days is a good one.
    This will be my first visit since all the construction on Main Street as well as at California Adventure has been completed. I am really looking forward to seeing everything new and old. I get goose bumps just thinking about it and seeing all the great updates. Am I weird or what?
    Thanks again for keeping me informed.
    By the way I would love to meet any Mice Chatters in person on my visit. Let me know if you are interested.

    • Marko50

      Last I heard, there’s still a Mice Chat Meet Up every Sunday afternoon at noon, I think. It’s in the hub at the end of Main Street USA. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong on any of these points. I keep forgetting about it every time I’m in DL at that time – it doesn’t happen that often that I’m there then.

      • Marko50

        Hey, look at us! We could be cousins!

        Or computer illiterate. 🙁

  • GlennAlexander

    splash mountain never works. I went to DW a few months ago and all of the animatronics looked like they were dead on the showboat. now disneyland? lame.

    its such a good ride though!