Did you catch the MiceAge Update on Tuesday? It seems that crowded feeling you were getting in the parks was actually record attendance for the resort. But it’s for good reason . . . Halloween in both parks and all new decorations for DCA in particular give guests a reason to return.  Best of all, because of the success of Halloween this year, budgets have already been expanded for Halloween 2018! Now, if we could just get Disney to green light that 3rd park they’ve been working on for two decades, perhaps we could get back to a normal crowd distribution which doesn’t involve needing to slather your body in coconut oil just to slide through the parks.

Folks were lined up to buy the new Paradise Pier themed coffee mug at Starbucks on Buena Vista Street (they got that one out just under the Pixar wire).

Sorry for the blur. I had to take this one on the run and from a bit of a distance.

The coffee mugs below are brand new. I’m crazy about the blueprint designs. While the last thing on earth I need is another coffee cup . . . well . . . I must have these.

Now that these decorations have been up a while, I’ve got some developing thoughts. I Love the idea of what they did with Carthay. The banners look great. But the bats coming out of the belfry are a little underwhelming. Hopefully this is something they can plus up a bit for next year.
And how cool would it be for the Headless Horseman to be an animatronic?!

A Musical Celebration of Coco

There may be some tears ahead. I FINALLY got a chance to watch the adorable “Musical Celebration of Coco” show in front of the Paradise Garden restaurants. For such a simple show, it packed a lot of heart. With an iphone in one hand to record video and a camera in the other to shoot photos for this update, I found myself without available hands to wipe away the tears (mostly of joy) at the end of the show.  But don’t take my word for it, I’ve embedded some video for you below (and why must Disney position the crowd in such a way that we have to stare directly into the sun to watch this show?!).

The narrator of this show is also the lead singer. He shares some of the cultural significance of the upcoming Pixar film, Coco, and leads the troupe of singers, dancers and musicians in 11 minutes of pure Disney magic. Please make the time to see this show folks.

Not far from where we watched the Coco show, they are doing free face painting with whimsical Dia De Los Muertos/Coco inspired designs.

Not free are the custom headbands. The artist in residence will assemble a unique work of art based upon what you select.

I spent a little more time looking at the Coco display and find myself increasingly interested in this film.

Goofy’s Sky School

They are moving at a glacial pace on Goofy’s. The ride is getting some safety upgrades.

AND . . . it still looks like the rusting hull of a ghost tanker.

There’s a new Halloween Corn Dog in the area . . .


Hollywood Land

One of the things Disney is famous for is maintenance. Unless, of course, they’ve decided they don’t care about something.  Case in point, the Animation building just got a refurb which replaced carpeting, lights, projectors, etc. to keep the attraction looking like new.

BUT . . . most of the Hollywood Pictures Backlot is looking really shabby.  Not only is the old Muppet Theater looking abandoned, but there’s lots of missing paint and signs of neglect.

The same could be said for the the Hollywood Studios arch. It was damaged after the Summer of Heroes sign was removed. But instead of simply repainting it, they just did a really bad patch job.

Benches in front of a rarely used stage and next to an abandoned snack stand.

Although the park was fairly busy for a week day in the off season, this little section of the park was dead.

Disney has been closing many of its food services locations early for years, even when the parks are busy.  Schmoozies closed several hours earlier than the rest of the park. Luckily, I had a chance to drop in early on Sunday to try my favorite seasonal smoothie.
The caramel apple smoothie at Schmoozies is one of the best, if not THE best thing, on the special Halloween menus around the resort. In years past, this smoothie had a tendency to be delicious but sickeningly sweet at the same time.This time it felt like the recipe was less sweet, there was more focus on the real apples in the smoothie and a good amount of caramel.

Guardians After Dark

This attraction is seeing new life for Halloween. While Guardians isn’t even 6 months old, lines had moderated. However, the “Monsters After Dark” overlay has sparked all sorts of interest.

Extended queue lines are back in full force.

This was the line to get a Fastpass at 3pm. It went all the way backstage!

Lines are long during the day, but they are insane at night.

The premise of the “After Dark” version of the ride is that the monsters were all released by us when we rode during the day. Now they are on the loose and wrecking havoc while we help Rocket save Groot. The only problem is that none of the monsters are out of their cages in the front room. So they are saying one thing on the video screen at the back of the room, but we see another thing with our own eyes.

If you time it properly, a spotlight hits Harold just right…

Does it Bug You

The Marvel Land project is being held up by the stall of the Eastern Gateway parking structure project. So Bugs Land may stick around just a bit longer than was planned.

Cars Land – Honkin’ Halloween

What they’ve done in this land for Halloween is really amazing. How would a car celebrate Halloween? They’ve pretty much nailed it. And as fantastic as it all looks now, it should get even better next year when they also add a Halloween overlay to Radiator Springs Racers! Now that’s going to be the hottest ticket in town.

I’d love to see the little mini billboards get Halloween graphics.

How cute are these pumpkin tires?!

They’ve got some fun Halloween treats at the Cozy Cones . . .

You can add candy to your popcorn!

As you exit Cars Land, look to your right and left. From Buena Vista Street, all the way to Cars Land, you’ll find decorated light fixtures.

But from Cars Land to Paradise Pier, nothing!

Much of what you are about to see will soon get a makeover to fit a general Pixar theme.

Screamin’ was broken when I walked by . . . again.


Grizzly Peak

I can’t walk through this area without thinking about Halloween expanding to this location next year!

Fastpass Return remains longer than normal at Grizzley River Run.  Ever since the debut of MaxPass, times have been all out of whack.

The ride looks so much better with the Geysers on!

There’s a LOT going on in Downtown Disney

For starters . . . here’s an oddly placed Haagen Dazs

I asked if people were stopping at this new location and the attendant said it’s a lonely spot.

They’ve added spanish moss to the pumpkin towers, which I like, especially at night.

Don’t worry, you can still get beautiful!

Here’s where the fun begins. Disney gave Ride Makerz, the hat shop and Build-A-Bear notice to leave by mid September. But the restaurant they hoped would move in fell through. So now Disney is trying to get Build-A-Bear and Ridemakerz stay through Christmas.

Opposite Build a Bear is Disney Vault and Fossil. Both have been closed and a Star Wars VR game is slated to open here this holiday season!

Anna and Elsa have also been evicted. . .

Lots of folks working on Splitzville. But they are way off from their early target of opening this fall.

Would you drive this car?

Over at the Grand Californian, the last of the refurbishment work is being conducted right now.

Earlier this spring, the pool was resurfaced and a new deck laid.

The lobby is currently off limits while the fireplace and floors are freshened up.

One More Thing

Here’s an item that isn’t from DCA or Downtown Disney, but it is new and fun, so I didn’t want to make you wait for Monday.  Jake the Star Wars robot from the D23 Expo was out in Tomorrowland being filmed.

Much thanks for reading folks! Now that Halloween has been rolled out everywhere. What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite park for Halloween this year? If so, which one?!

Today’s update was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage.

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