This is a week of massive change for the Disneyland Resort. The last of the summer offerings, Summer of Heroes, ended on Sunday. This week will begin a mad dash to get Halloween up and running in time for Friday the 15th.  But signs of big new things are everywhere. We’ve got the scoop for you and lots of photos from DCA and we’ll follow up tomorrow with even more from Disneyland.

But first, we’d like to take a moment to wish our friends and staff in Florida a safe recovery from Hurricane Irma.  It seems that all of the tracking for this epic storm was wrong. Against all odds, the storm switched coasts then swerved more toward the Orlando area. Our fingers are crossed that the damage was minimal and that everyone is OK. Please join us in sending prayers and positive thoughts to the “Sunshine state,”

It’s a Disney California Adventure Halloween!

Early in the year we shared our first rumors about Halloween moving to DCA. At the time, it was hard for many to imagine what that might look like. Disneyland has all the right elements for a spooky but not-so-scary Halloween, hard to let something awesome go. But there’s good reason for Disney to make this big shift. With Star Wars Land opening in 2019, Disney isn’t going to want to close the park early for Halloween parties when they can pack the park until late at night on the star power of Star Wars alone. DCA on the other hand will have plenty of room comparatively. And if Disneyland ends up being too crowded (or blocked out) for passholders, DCA may very well serve as a substitute for a while with special parties, events and festivals.

As soon as you approach DCA, you’ll see see a bold new vision for Halloween. A MASSIVE Oogie Boogie entry sculpture has been erected above the front gate. On Friday, there was just a hint at the larger work of art. But by Sunday, it was looking quite impressive.

This was Friday night
This was Saturday.

But it’s still not done. There will be long swarms of bats on either side of Oogie when complete. Here’s the concept art:

Buena Vista Street will also get in on the act.  While none of the Halloween decorations were up as of this past weekend, by Friday the Headless Horseman will have made his debut, Halloween bunting and decor will be on the shops, and the Carthay Circle will get its own swarm of bats!

Disney concept art
Concept art for Carthay Circle.

There will be three rides with a Halloween overlay in DCA. The Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout will have a new mission after dark as the team must go back to find Groot. But they’ve already unleashed all the monsters, so it should be pretty crazy in the old Tower!

Here’s how Disney describes the new experience:

#SaveGroot at Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark — part of the expansion of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort to Disney California Adventure park!

Your adventure picks up moments after the events of the popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction. The Guardians have successfully escaped The Collector’s Fortress, but they have accidentally left Groot behind! Rocket enlists you to distract the creatures that have been released so he can find and rescue his little buddy. While The Collector’s ever-resourceful assistant, Apheta, may try to assure you that it is all just a momentary setback, we advise you to proceed with caution!

Once the sun sets each evening during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will transform into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. Music continues to be at the heart of the experience, and an all-new song, “Monsters After Dark,” was created especially for this attraction by Tyler Bates, composer of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

The other two Halloween attractions will be in Cars Land.  The transformation of the land itself is nearly complete as the townsfolk of Radiator Springs have decorated for Halloween the Cars way. But the rides won’t switch to Holiday mode until later this week. Both Mater’s and and Luigi’s will get new Halloween music and thematic lighting. Meanwhile, your favorite Cars will all be dressed in their trick or treat costumes for the photo meet and greets.

The billboard at the entry to Cars Land wishes you a Happy Haul-O-Ween

Get Your Hex On Route 66
Trunk Or Treat

Flow’s has a giant spider web made out of chain.

Radiator Springs Curios has gotten a spooky new look and punny new signage.

A tree grows up through the remains of a creepy old jalopy.
Happy Haul-O-Ween
Happy Haul-O-Ween
Corroded Undead Batteries
Get your BOOvenirs here
Tarot Cars

The hood art at Ramone’s House of Body Art has all been replaced as well. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to shoot through the glass here due to reflections. But you get the idea . . .

The Cozy Cone Motel also takes on a spook look.

We LOVE the ghostly look the pumpkin cones. One of our readers commented that the cones would have made perfect Candy Corn.

Sarge’s is suffering a spider invasion.

Lots of folks are looking forward to seeing the Cars in their Halloween costumes. Mater, Red, Lightning, Sally, and the rest of the crew will all be dressed up for their meet and greets later this week. Here’s the concept for Mater:

But it’s the two Halloween overlays which will likely have folks lining up like never before. Here’s how Disney describes the transformation of these two spinner rides . . .

Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree is an all-new haunted hootenanny featuring Haul-O-Ween music that’s tons of fun for all makes and models.

While tractor-trailer dance partners swirl Guests around the graveyard, Mater becomes the life of the party by crooning creepy country tunes with a Haul-O-Ween twist—including “Welcome to Radiator Screams,” “Monster Truck Smash” and other frightfully delightfully dark ditties. Ghosties beware… this junkyard-turned-graveyard is filled with tombstone grills that beckon you to “rust-in-peace!”

Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween is an all-new, ghoulishly grand song ‘n’ dance bash guaranteed to wake the dead… batteries, of course! While his kooky cugini (aka, cousins) give Guests a spooktacular spin around the dance floor, Luigi and Guido add a happily haunted twist to traditional songs and stories from the old country—including the “Terror-antella,” “The Chop Top of Carsoli” and more.

This boo-some twosome pulls out all the pit stops with don’t-miss Haul-O-Ween décor and tons of be-hitching fun

Disneyland’s new Halloween commercial focuses on the offerings at DCA. The whole idea of Halloween this year is to get folks thinking about DCA as the Halloween park so they aren’t too disappointed next year when it leaves Disneyland (at least for a few years).


Summer Ends

Summer quietly ended yesterday as the Summer of Heroes wrapped up. Perhaps it was the out-of-sight location or lack of exciting offerings, but this campaign really failed to launch. Even in its final days, the whole area was mostly empty.

The Summer of Heroes Showcase opened after the rest of the offerings in this campaign, but it never found an audience.
It’s mid-day on a Saturday and although the rest of the park was moderately busy, Summer of Heroes was dead as a door nail.
There were a lot of good ideas with Summer of Heroes, but many were underwhelming in execution. Take Knowhere Eats for example. The establishment offered tacos and nachos with gimmicky names. If you waked by and didn’t know what you were looking for, you might not have noticed it at all. It was set back pretty far off the path and hidden behind a sea of red umbrellas. It also lacked critical mass. Had they brought out 3 or 4 other Food and Wine Festival booths to the Summer of Heroes, they might have made it more of a destination.

The one standout success of Summer of Heroes was the character interaction. Black Widow in particular was popular with guests.

Spider-man is always popular . . . but the costume isn’t the best. It always seems to be ill-fitting and doesn’t have that hi-tech look that the movie version has. Perhaps Disney can conjure something up that’s a little closer to what guests expect to see and which doesn’t make the actor wearing the suit look like the Saggy Baggy Elephant.

Around The Park

Over in Paradise Pier (just across the way from what will soon be “Pixar Pier”) Goofy’s Sky School is getting a lengthy refurbishment.  The attraction isn’t set to reopen until mid-December. To our knowledge, the ride has never required a refurbishment longer than a month.  It’s an off the shelf Wild Mouse coaster from Mack, we’re not sure why it would require such lengthy down time (perhaps all that rust we showed you in our previous updates was more serious than we thought).


Meanwhile, back on Buena Vista Street, we found some interesting merchandise. . .

The Halloween candy comes in cute new bags with this year’s Halloween logo on it.

Mickey’s coffee now comes in K-Cups.

If you like candied apples, they are usually available on Friday’s.

This new Maleficent tea pot is brilliant . . .

But it comes at a price . . . $115

There’s actually quite a large line of tea pots right now.

Here’s my new coffee Mug. Morning cup of joe out of an official Star Wars Porg mug! I just think they are ridiculous and awesome at the same time. LOVE IT!

There’s also Halloween almost everywhere now.

At Gone Hollywood, you’ll find Halloween costumes and other apparel.

The epic battle . . . does your daughter want to be Leia or Rey?

The boys costumes all have faux leather look and are printed vinyl.


Downtown Disney

Build-A-Bear has successfully lobbied Disney to remain open through the holidays.

However, there’s a long list of stores which are going soon . . .

Farewell Disney Vault and Fossil.
Bye bye Anna and Elsa’s
Toodaloo Ridemakerz
Hasta la vista hat store

The World of Disney Store has new window displays featuring Star Wars on the outside and Halloween merchandise on the inside.

Splitzville bowling and sushi is beginning to be enclosed.

Here’s what the building looks like from behind.

AMC is promoting the upcoming Thor film which won’t be released until November!

At first I thought Sephora was closed.  But there’s a little construction tunnel to gain access.

The info booth in the Esplanade is behind refurb walls. Since this booth is almost never used, we’re curious what they are doing with it.

And over at the Disneyland Hotel, the popular Trader Sam’s is partially closed. The patio remains open while the interior undergoes a 12 day refurbishment.

Tram Route Mickey

And we’ll wrap this update up the way we began it, with Halloween. The decorations on the tram route, which were castoffs from Tokyo Disneyland many years ago, have returned.

These signs may already be replaced by the time you read this.

MiceChat Event Announcement

Dusty invites you to a very special Tiki event in Hollywood on Saturday, September 16th.

Tickets HERE

Tiki Night is a Polynesian party at Hollywood and Highland. There’s Disney inspired entertainment, a tiki bar, silent auction, special merchandise opportunities and Hawaiian comfort food. And best of all, the proceeds from this event benefit Multiple Sclerosis research!! It’s a win-win. You get a fun night in Hollywood with your MicePals and you’ll be doing a good thing at the same time. Now that’s my idea of a great party!

A Sweet! Hollywood Tiki Night – The 5th Anniversary
6801 Hollywood Blvd #201, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Saturday, September 16, 2017
6:00p – 11:00p

Tickets can be purchased HERE – HOLLYWOOD TIKI NIGHT

Don’t be shy, come join us, it will be Tangaroa-tastic!

Well folks, that’s our Disney California Adventure update for this week. We hope you enjoyed it and that you are as excited about Halloween in Cars Land as we are. Today’s update was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage.

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Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to this or other MiceChat columns? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]