Spooky greetings one and all. We find ourselves at a revitalized Disney California Adventure today. Halloween is the news of the day, but there’s a lot more for us to look at. We’ll also journey through Downtown Disney and spy on the current state of Star Wars Land construction.
BUENA VISTA STREET
Oogie Boogie has worked his magic on Buena Vista Street this year. Where Disneyland’s take on Halloween is mostly kooky, DCA feels a bit more spooky. Even the dark purple bunting and bat decor feels like a move toward a broader Halloween audience.
For me, the highlight of Buena Vista Street is the Headless Horseman statue.
What’s this long line on Buena Vista Street all about?!
Ahhhhhhh . . . Oogie Boogie popcorn buckets! Folks have gone bat crazy over these little glow in the dark fellows and they can command waits of 30 minutes or longer to get your hands on one.
The Halloween treats at the Bakery have also been popular, though many of the designs are repeated from previous years. I really appreciate the complex decorations on the caramel apples. The cupcakes look delicious, but i’m almost always disappointed with how they taste – bland, overly sweet, cake-y and usually dry. Disney World makes much better cupcakes, I’d love to see Disneyland adopt those recipes.
I tried to get you photos of the Halloween decorations in the Buena Vista Street windows, but the reflections and shadows were just too much. Still, you’ll get the idea. Many of the windows are inspired but vintage Disney cartoons such as Mickey Mouse: The Haunted House.
The former site of Summer of Heroes is looking pretty boring these days. While Summer of Heroes may have been unpopular, the land now lacks any semblance of energy.
The Showcase theater is completely unused at the moment.
The stage has been stripped of the Hero Training Academy set and is once again used for performances of student music groups.
The kiosk which sold shaved ice during Summer of Heroes has been abandoned . . . and looks it. They even took the printed plastic panels off the light boxes, leaving them looking horrible.
How about putting a “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign up or even a blank piece of plastic. Or better yet, board up the window completely!
There’s so little to do back here right now that a HUGE line developed just to see Sully.
There’s still a menu at the old Coke stand . . . but it didn’t appear to be open when I was there.
The food truck menu has been updated with items which were previously at the Summer of Heroes festival booth.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark is still PACKING them in. What’s interesting is that lines during the day also seem to be longer than normal at the moment. Perhaps folks expect to find the Halloween offering throughout the day.
They were using the overflow queue on Wednesday.
The Fastpass return lines continue to be much longer than normal.
Fastpass distribution is divided. Go early in the morning for a regular Fastpass. Return after 3pm for a Monsters After Dark Fastpass. However, lines develop around 2pm just to get a pass.
CARS LAND HAUL-O-WEEN
I’m totally in love with Cars Land’s Halloween decorations. I keep noticing more details. The Witch Car in front of the Halloween Cars Land sign is adorable. Her hat is a traffic cone, her hair is made of shredded tires, and her body is constructed to look like a stuffed vinyl car cover.
Fillmores has gained some ghosts.
Tow Mater’s Graveyard Jamboree has new decor and all new halloween songs.
A junkyard is really a graveyard . . . if you are a car.
I’ve gotten a lot of requests about the Cars themed movie posters which we showed you previously. So here are some close-ups. ALL of these would make great Pixar shorts. So clever.
Meanwhile . . . over at the Cozy Cones . . .
Lightning McQueen has a super hero costume.
And MiceChatter Natasha Tung posted this awesome photo of Ramirez to the MiceChat Facebook Group:
Town founder, Stanley, has become a witch for the holiday. You’ll also note that the fountain has been lifted in a bowl that is just high enough to keep people from using it as a water fountain. YES . . . folks were drinking out of this fountain . . . gross.
Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween is adorable. Again, all new music for the holiday.
DJ is rocking’ a mohawk.
Ramones has received some new festival flags.
They are all intricately cut with car themes. Well done!
And check out this Dia De Los Muertos style car in front of Ramones.
They even set up a little Halloween display inside the shop.
I waited in line to get you these close up shots of the spider car photo op in front of Flo’s Diner. At first blush this may look like it is just a prop. But it’s actually . . .
. . . a Mr. Toad ride vehicle all dressed up!
And Red looks amazing as a clown. Right out of a Stephen King novel. 😉
PLAZA DE LA FAMILIA
Do you need to take a bathroom break? Because we’ve got a lot more for you in this update! One of the nice little surprises of DCA’s Halloween is in the Paradise Garden Grill area, which has taken on a Dia De Los Muertos look in honor of the upcoming Pixar film COCO.
Hundreds of people have tied memories of their departed family memories to a wall near the Tree of Life
There’s also a food cart in this area.
There’s a little pavilion of COCO movie stills and info as well.
Garden Grill has a Mexican food menu for the festival.
I tried the chicken street tacos and really enjoyed them.
Meanwhile, Goofy’s Sky School continues its major refurbishment.
TALKING MICKEY & FRIENDS
Our friend Disneyland Panda captured another test of the talking Mickey Character. This time around, Mickey was joined by Minnie and Donald. It’s a heavily choreographed experience, but is quite effective. Very curious to hear your thoughts.
Nearby, the geysers have returned to Grizzly River Rapids. I also want you to think about this area and how many great spaces there would be for trick-or-treat trails next year. The waterfall trail would be perfect, as would all of the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
As we head out of the park to check on Downtown Disney and Star Wars Land, you’ll note the back of the moon (Oogie Boogie is on the other side facing the Esplanade).
Since the moon is out of context here, it would be neat for them to silhouette a colony of Buena Vista street bats here, or perhaps a witch or even a message “Happy Halloween. See ya real soon”
Change is afoot in Disneyland’s shopping district. Some shops have now closed to make way for new experiences, while others have been given a reprieve until the holidays.
DCA Halloween Banners
Disneyland Halloween Banners on the flip side:
Some fun new pumpkin towers have popped up throughout Downtown Disney. These are new this season.
Anna and Elsa’s boutique has closed.
Haagen Dazs is branching out in a strange way.
In addition to their popular store (above), they’ve also taken over the former info booth in the Esplanade. Apparently, the yogurt, fruit cup and Peet’s Cold Brew is exclusive to this location.
Ridemakerz was supposed to have been closed by now, but they’ve been given an extension through most of the upcoming Christmas season.
Chapel, on the other hand, has now closed.
Build-A-Bear will also remain open for most of the holiday season. An exact closure date is not known.
Around the corner from Build-A-Bear is the rapidly advancing construction on Splitzville.
The building is now mostly enclosed on three sides. I don’t see how it’s possible for this venue to open in time for the Holidays as was originally planned. It will be interesting to watch.
Also now closed are Fossil and the Disney Vault.
At the Disneyland Hotel, Trader Sam’s has reopened. They replaced the bar top and some of the back-bar facilities. The establishment looks otherwise unchanged and they did not decorate for Halloween.
I almost always miss the Coffee Shop during its limited business hours. But I love this location for the Dole Whip with splash of rum and for their delicious doughnuts.
STAR WARS LAND CONSTRUCTION
Let’s wrap up this update with a quick look at the Star Wars Land construction.
The far North side of the project is the Millennium Falcon attraction. Some tall rock work looms above it.
Next to that, on the West side of the land is the MASSIVE Battle Escape attraction which is now being walled up.
This is the launch bay scene:
Let’s take a closer look inside:
And South of there is this area, which will contain the path from Critter Country.
Today’s update was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage.
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I’m going to leave you with this little treat from our friend Brandon on Instagram. I think he really captured the feeling of Buena Vista Street in all its purple glory, don’t you?
The word “vista” originally meant an avenue-like view, narrowed by a line of trees on either side. And “vista” has also long been used, like view and outlook, to mean a mental scan of the future — as if you were riding down a long grand avenue and what you could see miles ahead of you was where you’d be in the near future. #BeunaVistaStreet #VioletVista