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!