Disneyland Resort Bids Farewell to Summer, Hello to Halloween

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features, In the Parks

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Published on August 23, 2012 at 10:43 pm with 26 Comments

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!

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • 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.