Disney California Adventure has launched a creepy and kooky Halloween and it’s almost perfect. Buena Vista Street and Guardians of the Galaxy offer a slightly scarier version of Halloween than Disneyland, while Cars Land delivers funny freights heavy on the puns. This is a huge update, so please stick with us so you don’t miss any of the amazing details!

Halloween Invades DCA

Cars Land

The wrench webs have been strung and Haul-O-Ween is delighting guests in Cars Land. During the day you’ll find quaint decorations made of various car parts, as you would expect. The two flat rides have received cute (but relatively minor) Halloween overlays. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is currently Mater’s Junkyard JamBOOree.

Front grills shaped like tombstones have been erected all along the junkyard, which further makes me wonder about what exactly a junkyard is to the world of Cars. My question: does Mater essentially live in the graveyard? The fact that he’s dressed up as a vampire this year adds even more interesting, and fun to think about, questions.

The main change here is that the square dancing music has been swapped out for a series of Halloween themed songs and purple and green lighting has been sprinkled in. The music is essentially parodies of popular Halloween songs like “Purple People Eater.”

Below, a 360° video of the experience. If you’d rather watch a traditional video, that can be viewed here
In Mater’s “Petting Zoo” you can find one of the tractors dressed up as a mummy. It’s adorable. It’s too bad there wasn’t a way to dress up the ride vehicles too.

Across from Mater’s junkyard at Fillmore’s you can purchase bread in the shape of “Vampire Mater,” except in bread form he’s a bat. Folks really seem to like the character shaped bread (like Groot)!

Can Pixar actually make these into shorts? Please? Adorable!!!

It’s not Halloween without snacks and the Cozy Cone is the place to go. I found a few different holiday treats at the cones, including a pumpkin spice churro, a mac and cheese cone that is died black, and this specialty popcorn mix which sounds like a child’s dream. . .

This terrifying looking car occasionally tries to start up. Took me a moment to realize that this isn’t just a dilapidated car, this is a zombie car.

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters is hosting a “Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween” which, similarly to Mater’s, has some small Halloween additions to the queue and new Halloween themed music tracks.

I never would’ve thought I would want a pumpkin made out of tires… but I do!

There is a new back banner for the overlay, and Dr. Luigi and Igor Guido are just plain adorable.

This being a trackless ride, they were able to program new “dances” for the Halloween music, which, as always, are more entertaining to watch than to actually ride.

Below, a 360° video of the experience. If you’d like a traditional video, that can be viewed here.

As you exit, you may find the Horn-O-Plenty and some gas-o-lanterns. Yes, I want a gas-o-lantern now too.

Disney has even created more fun statues to take photos with. The witch car has proven to be a popular photo op!

The real magic of Haul-O-Ween begins at night when the neon and darkness transforms the land into an adorably spooky affair. Whoever realized that they could insert eyes into the Fire Station building to make faces is a genius. You can watch the effect in GIF form below.

Let’s take a quick tour around Cars Land at night.

Don’t miss this AMAZING “Psycho” reference at the Cozy Cone lobby.

Look closely and you might notice that the Spider-Car is a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride ride vehicle. What a clever use for a photo op! And this thing does draw quite the line to take a photo in it…

Here you get the best glimpse of what they’ve done to really make the land feel completely different: the Cadillac Range is now a spooky purple and green! Debbie has supplied a panorama below which gives you an idea of just how different the color change makes the land feel.

The waterfall is lit with a deep red which makes it look like a river of blood (or would that be hydraulic fluid?)

Riding around on Radiator Springs Racers with spooky lighting creates quite a surreal experience.

You’ve probably already seen photos online of Vampire Mater and Super Lightning McQueen, but today we found Red in his “It” cosplay…err I mean, clown costume.

DJ is hosting Halloween themed dance parties as well, sporting a massive gear-shaped mohawk!

While we’re sure there is more on the way in future years, the first year of Haul-O-Ween is pretty dang solid. Great decorations, fun twists to classic attractions, and an all-around fun atmosphere. We can’t wait to see what else Disney does with Haul-O-Ween in the future. . . full overlay to Radiator Springs Racers please!!!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark

The Halloween overlay of the recently opened Guardians of the Galaxy ride has opened and it was crazy popular. When it debuted on Friday evening they had to re-open the backstage extended queue to house all the people waiting for the attraction to re-open with the overlay on. Guardians cast members close the attraction doors and then flip everything over to Monsters After Dark for a re-opening around 6pm. They even change costumes!

The end of the line stretched all the way to the Hyperion theater on Friday, and wasn’t looking too much better around the same time on Sunday. The FastPass line stretched around the Red Car Trolley stop and into Bugs Land.

The Guardians CMs get different “Tivan Response Team” costumes for after 6pm.

Once inside, everything has gone haywire since the events of the daytime attraction. Alarms are blaring, the room is bathed in red flashing light, and the video is glitching out. Oh, and the FastPass line actually merges with the standby at the outside doors instead of at the split between the two Collector offices, so everyone is able to experience the full queue inside the lobby.

Seems Cosmo escaped after the generator went out!

When you enter the Collector’s Office, Rocket is rummaging around looking for Groot before realizing that we’re all still here even though the generator went out. In Rocket fashion, his plan is to use us as bait while he looks for Groot.

What are you guys still doing here?
The lighting in the (boiler room?) has gone haywire and searchlights and alarms are now the focus.

Below, a video of the experience.

We were quite surprised to see how different the ride experience was with  minimal changes (mostly lighting, screens, and sound). The drop sequence drags you up and down in the darkness for what seems to be longer than usual, which makes the experience a bit more terrifying. The song, which is an original for this overlay, sounds almost like a Motörhead song, which was extremely fun and intense, but a little jarring coming from the softer 70s tunes that play during the daytime version.

Oh, and the dragon does have a purpose. It’s Surtur’s Fire Dragon, which will appear in Thor: Ragnarok later this year. So this overlay is a bit of a preview for the new Thor film.

Buena Vista Street

Buena Vista Street has been decked out in bats for Halloween this year, including a large Oogie Boogie entryway into the park. If you hang out long enough, Oogie talks to you.

At night the sign is spookier and the lighting perfectly backlights Oogie.

The theme is art deco bats and purple banners. Unfortunately, during the day, there’s not much else.

The piece that will likely become iconic is this headless horseman statue that has been plopped down in the planter where the Christmas Tree goes.

Elsewhere, little bits of Halloween can be found in and out of the shops

At night, the land transforms into something a little more sinister. The Headless Horseman glows and his horse breathes smoke.

The lights in the Carthay Circle tower glow a witchy green which contrasts nicely with the bats flying out of it.

The whole land glows a deep purple and green that makes it feel quite surreal. If that’s not enough for you, the soundscape is really quite eerie. They’ve opted to turn off the beautiful 20s background loop and play creepy background noises with a light organ track that really gets you in the spirit. On top of that, Oogie can be heard laughing and speaking sinister phrases. . .  and not in just one place, he jumps all over and can be heard all over the land, almost as though he’s floating from building to building. Creepy!


The Paradise Garden Grill is hosting yet another small event, this time as a promotion for the new Pixar film, Coco. The film will be about visiting the Land of the Dead, so it fits right in at this time of the year. The gardens are now the “Plaza De La Famillia” and feature two statues in an animated Dia De Los Muertos style.

Inside, there are a few activities including Face Painting and a tree decoration not unlike the one during Chinese New Year.

There’s also a “World of Coco” exhibit which gives you background on the film with some signs and screenshots of the movie.

Some decorations are low budget, but some of them fit in.
What’s an event without entertainment?

I wasn’t aware until later that there’s actually a show that happens right in front of the main entrance to the gardens periodically throughout the day. It seems it’s just a mariacha band and some dancers, but showtimes need to be added to the app because I had no clue until someone told me.

One thing I always like about special events in the gardens are the promotional menus. If you’re a fan of Viva Navidad, this looks to be similar fare.

There’s also a small cart in between the two activities with classic Mexican treats.


This and That


There are Halloween promotional dining and drink options all over. So many, in fact, that we only had a chance to try a few. Over in Hollywood, there are quite a few Halloween-themed drink options.

A bacon and cheddar soup bowl is available as a special Halloween only offering at Boudin Bakery. It’s generally only available during the Food and Wine Festival, and it’s wonderful to have in a full sized bowl. Brian tried it and said it was dang good.

If you’ve ever wondered what happens if Lightning McQueen needs a tune-up while he’s out, there’s a pop-up barrier they place around him while he gets fixed up and ready to meet guests again.

We spotted an orange and vanilla swirl on Paradise Pier, which sounds a whole lot like the Citrus Swirl at Orlando’s Magic Kingdom.

I’m a sucker for a good specialty lemonade, and Smokejumpers’ Grill has a green apple lemonade for Halloween. They didn’t have a sign out yet, but you can still ask for it. It was a lot like the cherry lemonade during the Food and Wine Festival, but with apple instead of cherry and was very refreshing.

This week saw the departure of Summer of Heroes, but it looks like they took a little more than what they anticipated with them as there is damage all over the Hollywood Studios sign.

Don’t Miss The MiceChat Podcast

We have a brand new MiceChat Halloween Podcast from Doug and Dusty. LOVE these guys. Click play below or download the show from iTunes HERE.

See Ya Real Soon
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 Scott Attula with additional contributions from Dusty Sage, Dsny Debbie, Brian Pinsky, and Shelly Valladolid.


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:


That’s it for this special Halloween 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]