Howdy folks and welcome back to the Monday MiceChat Disneyland Photo Update. You can’t escape Halloween at this time of year, so hopefully you aren’t afraid of pumpkins.  I’ll share today’s update in the order I shot it. Consider it your virtual day in the park with news and comments inserted to help fill in the blanks.

Downtown Disney is promoting new food trucks from Habit Burger Grill, Dos Chinos, and BrewWings, which they set up in the valet circle on the weekends.

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Rather than walk all the way through Downtown Disney, I hopped a Monorail. It’s always fun to ride the highway in the sky. And you can peek into the backstage areas and see what’s going on . . .

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Nothing out of the ordinary.

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On to the park . . .

Disneyland

The Pumpkins Will Guide You

It’s Halloween folks. Pumpkins are everywhere. In fact, around the Walt and Mickey “Partners” statue, there’s a pumpkin representing each of Disneyland’s 7 lands (and a big giant one in Town Square on Main Street which represents that area).

Let’s start off in Tomorrowland.

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Tomorrowland is a place in transition. The decorations are a mixed bag of visual styles. “Season of the Force” may be over, but most of it is still in operation. Only the marketing has been removed.

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Some folks like the new banners, some think it’s more visual chaos. I think they are a nice enough way to camouflage the Seasons of the Force banner rods until Seasons returns or the rods are removed. It’s the orange banners that really stand out, they don’t match the color scheme of the land. Perhaps they are a nod to the Halloween season.

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Star Wars merchandise remains popular with the guests. The Star Trader is always busy. I’ve been heading in here much more often lately. This merchandise seems fun to me. I really enjoy looking around.

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Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is packed from open to close. Still, it’s doesn’t seem to be quite as popular as Hyperspace Mountain was. I find myself missing classic Space Mountain more and more. It’s been so long since we’ve seen it without an overlay.

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On to Fantasyland . . .

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Peter Pan’s facade remains under refurbishment tarps.

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They set up Mickey’s Halloween Party treat stands on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in prep for the evening events.

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The inflatable Mickey ghosts are for the Halloween Party.

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From Fantasyland, it’s just a short hop to ToonTown.

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Roger Rabbit is another attraction which remains open while exterior renovations are under way.

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I reached ToonTown just before 5pm on a Friday. Lots of rare characters were out in the land greeting guests.

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Rabbit, Tigger, Friar Tuck, Chip & Dale, and the Queen of Hearts.

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What’s more appropriate for Halloween than . . .
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A scary clown!

 

ToonTown park was hosting all sorts of classic bears.

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Howdy pardners, let’s head to Frontierland . . .

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A big line is forming at the entry to Frontierland on Friday afternoon.

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Guests with day tickets to the park can activate their Mickey’s Halloween Party passes without needing to exit the park and reenter.

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There’s a free face painter in Zocalo Park.

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Here’s a tip. Did you know you can bring your food onto the Mark Twain and sit at the tables to eat? It’s a mighty nice spot to sit a spell and relax. The MiceChatters did that very thing during our noon meet-up on Sunday. The group grabbed food from their favorite spots and we all met back up on the 2nd level of the Mark Twain. There was even a live band on the stage!

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It’s always a treat to see Tiana in the parks.

 

Have you tried Riverbelle Terrace since it became a table service restaurant?

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If you are lucky, they’ll sit you inside. They’ve made an odd decision on how to add additional seating to the patio.

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Rather than using planters or boxed shrubs, they’ve set up barricades to divide seating between Riverbelle and Stage Door. Seems like they could easily use a prettier solution, as they often use boxed hedges or pots with flowers and shrubs to create temporary barriers.

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Dock work has completed on the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island.

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But you won’t be able to visit the island again until summer. Lots of work continues on the Island itself.

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The Sailing Ship Columbia continues its long refurbishment.

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What’s this? It’s New Orleans Square . . .

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Like the Mark Twain, the Disneyland Railroad remains open to guests even thought it doesn’t go anywhere.

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The Zero light-up popcorn bucket is adorable.

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Critter Country would be a great place to visit next . . . if it was open . . .

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Harbor Galley, which sits at the nexus of New Orleans Square, Frontierland and Critter country, was closed on Friday.

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But it wasn’t the only thing closed. The entire land was closed on Friday, including Splash Mountain and Winnie the Pooh. Pooh will reopen on weekends only through the 3rd of November. The rest of the land will remain closed, including Splash, through November 3rd.

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While Critter Country is down, the Pooh characters meet with guests between the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain, in the abandoned Fastpass distribution area (also a former smoking location).

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Off to Adventureland . . .

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They’ve removed the turnstile from the Enchanted Tiki Room Patio. Without the barrier to entry, it seems like more folks are flowing into the patio and then into the attraction. Happy to see so many people enjoying this classic attraction which was first presented and sponsored by Walt Disney himself.

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I couldn’t get a good shot of the entry during the day due to the crowds, so I came back and snapped another one at night just after a patio full of guests entered the theater.

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Main Street U.S.A. . .

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As the Executive Director of the Disney Van Dyke Foundation, I thought these guest costumes (for Mickey’s Halloween Party) were very clever. Jack and Sally dressed as Burt and Mary (from Mary Poppins)!  A jolly holiday indeed!

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I also have a fascination with classic sodas at the moment. Walt Disney’s Father ran a soda company in Chicago called O-Zell. I’ve been running the revived O-Zell company for the last couple of years and just love seeing the old soda bottles and flavors. At Coke Corner on Main Street they have a nice little display of classic bottles!

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I also can’t help stopping by the candy shop on Main Street. It’s just not a trip to Disneyland without at least looking at the treats.

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Selfie

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The Starbucks window displays are creepy and awesome.

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The cannons have been reinstalled on their new platforms in the gardens near their former locations.

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The sign for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln has also returned. Let’s take a quick look inside.

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Walt Disney and friend dressed as Abe Lincoln.

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New seats and carpet in the Lincoln theater.
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How long would you wait to take your photo with a giant pumpkin?
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Remember this guy. We’ll come back and see him again after dark. 🙂

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STAR WARS CONSTRUCTION

Here’s the latest Star Wars land construction shots from Darth Daver.

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A deep basement is being dug for the Battle Escape attraction (code name Alcatraz).

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This is the new backstage area for Fantasmic.
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The tunnels will allow guests to enter the land from below and the trains to pass overhead.

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A new walkway is being constructed in this area which will finally connect Critter Country to Star Wars land. Critter Country will be a dead end no longer.

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There’s more from Disneyland at the end of this update. But first let’s see what’s going on at the Disneyland Resort’s other park . . .

Disney California Adventure

Plain and Tall

There’s not a tremendous amount of news from California Adventure that we haven’t covered in recent weeks, but it’s always fun to walk the parks anyway. Plenty for you to see. I also couldn’t help but notice just how much the Hollywood Tower Hotel hovers over the entire park.  That view will soon be covered in pipes.

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What’s that in the background.

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Some friends were in from out of town and I stopped by Carthay Circle to say hello. What a beautiful restaurant. Hard to believe something this fancy is in a theme park.  This is the true gem of DCA.

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Big changes at Hollywood Studios. They have FINALLY taken down all those hulking lighting truss from the now defunct dance parties. Looking so much better already. Though still not enough for guests to do back here.

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The arches with the stopwatch screen are gone.

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The old Muppets theater is how showing a preview for Dr. Strange.

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There is still some construction around the old dance party stage.

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Monsters Inc remains open while the dance party equipment is removed.

 

They weren’t sure if they’d be able to show the 5:30 performance of Frozen on Friday. Therefore, they didn’t offer any fastpass for the attraction for that performance.  As a result, the 5:30 showing was entirely standby. Guests without a Fastpass could still get into the theater as the show was starting. It sure would be great if they’d do this every day, so guests who aren’t at the park at opening still have a chance to see the show.

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With scaffolds now completely covering the left side of the Tower, it has temporarily lost it’s signature “T” shape.

From time to time I enjoy producing little live videos from the parks. Here’s a trip from the front gate to the Tower of Terror as the scaffolds were going up.

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Scaffolds going up, dome and sign removed, Disney is wasting no time converting this attraction.

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They say it’s lucky to find a 4-leaf clover.

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Who can resist free chocolate?

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Here’s something I don’t understand. For years you could just walk into the Cove Bar and get a drink . . . and usually a table too. However, for the last couple of years the establishment has run long waits almost all the time.  They doubled the seating capacity and the lines just keep growing.

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There’s that tower again. We can see it from the far end of the park.

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The taller shrubs in this planter have been replaced.

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Although the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has one of the best lighting packages in the park, they’ve been closing it at dusk,

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Long waits for Soarin’ on this holiday weekend.
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spotted this beautiful cat on Grizzly mountain.
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This view will soon have more pipes in it.

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More sweets from Trolley Treats.

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Reader Amy Granger wrote in to ask about coffee cups at the Disneyland Resort. Here’s a mini photo essay for you Amy. Hope you spot that perfect mug for your collection.

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I need this one.

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Without my morning coffee . . .

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Halloween Party Decor

A Hershey Kiss Goodnight

Had to run back over to Disneyland shortly before the Halloween Party began. Snapped just a few photos for you that I thought you’d enjoy.  MiceChat is hosting our own Mickey’s Halloween Party event tonight (October 10th). If you already have Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets, come join us. Event info and schedule HERE

We’ll have more Mickey’s Halloween Party photos for you very soon.

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Guests with Halloween Party tickets can begin entering Disneyland up to 3 hours before the party starts. It’s a great idea to get there early as the lines get very long.

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Disneyland isn’t on fire. But there is plenty of atmospheric fog.
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The sky was beautiful just moments before the sun was completely gone.

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lots of extra colorful lighting has been added to trees throughout the park for the party.
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Remember this fellow from earlier in the update? He glows green at night and greets you just as you enter under the train tracks.

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There’s a great spooky audio track which plays at Tarzan’s Treehouse during the party.

 

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The Disneyland Forever digital mapping projectors have been put to use on Main Street.
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The new parade looks fantastic. We’ll have photos from the event for you soon.

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Refurbishment Round Up

Disneyland continues to grow and change, now more than ever. Here is a brief list of some upcoming projects:

Disneyland:

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  • A remodeled Rivers of America with the Sailing Ship ColumbiaMark Twain Riverboat,Tom Sawyer’s Island, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes and Disneyland Railroad will reopen next summer (2017). All of those attractions are currently closed as a result.
  • Splash Mountain will be closed 10/3 – 11/5.
  • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh will be closed week days from 10/3 – 11/3. The attraction will be open to guests on Saturdays and Sundays during this period.

Disney California Adventure:

  • Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror will close in January to become “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT” next summer.
Get Disneyland Wait Times with Mouseaddict

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Thank you !
All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Each week we’ll feature different photographers and commentators (often more than one). Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage with additional photo contributions from Darth Daver.

MiceChat-Meet-Oct9

Are you a member of the MiceChat Sunday Meet-up Facebook group? If you are interested in meeting up with fellow theme park lovers in the parks, please be sure to follow this group: MiceChat Sundays in the Park.

And please follow the MiceChat Facebook Page for news and updates from the Disneyland Resort and beyond:

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That’s it for this week’s Update.Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to the Disneyland Update or other MiceChat columns? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]

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Dusty is the founder and CEO of MiceChat.com. When he's not visiting theme parks and writing, editing or speaking about Disney and theme parks worldwide, Dusty stays busy as the Executive Director of both the Walt Disney Birthplace AND the Dick Van Dyke Foundation. He also runs O-Zell Soda (the company originally operated by Walt Disney's father and at which Walt once worked). If you've got news or photos to share with the MiceChat community, or would like to book Dusty for an upcoming event, please contact [email protected]