Welcome back to the beautiful Disneyland Resort, where Halloween makes the parks spooky in expected and unexpected ways. Let’s take a look around Disneyland and see what it looks like as they prepare to wrap up Fall festivities and unpack Christmas.


Splash… Animals Still in the Dark


Technical problems are still unresolved and continue to plague Splash Mountain.

Splash’s Fastpass line generally backs up to the train bridge starting in the middle of the day until late at night

Let’s jump on the “dark ride”.

Dropping into the first scene, as we’ve been reporting lately, we find mostly uneven lighting. It’s hard to even tell you are supposed to be in the deep South, it looks more like the lighting of a horror film.

Singing Geese
There might be a Bear here and possibly a Fox.
There’s a bunny somewhere in all this darkness.
Br’er Rabit on a handcart (not moving) with bird watching

Let’s splash down into the Laughing Place where we find continued bad lighting and static figures.

Exposed fountainhead not working

Two birds, no lighting on the second one
Dog on boat (not spinning) in bad lighting
Br’er Fox Capturing Br’er Rabit with a Bee Hive

Splashing down into the finale scene we continue to see bad lighting and figures missing.

This 3 Gator Band is down a Member

Organ player missing. Spots burned out.
Steamboat wheel was broken
Wait, one bulb is working
Br’er Fox’s tail being grabbed by Gator in the water
Br’er Rabit sitting at home. Dark
Barnaby Owl sits completely in the dark and turned off. (Flash was used)

The lighting throughout Splash Mountain is wretched and not at all up to Disney’s high standards; the continued poor show is frustrating. The attraction needs a long refurbishment this winter that addresses all the issues with the animatronic figures, lighting, and their ease of maintenance. Love this ride, but the current condition is just sad.


Main Street

Halloween has nearly played itself out. And before the week is out, we should start seeing the first signs of Christmas appear on the castle and in the stores.

If you’re a fan of the chicken fried chicken at Carnation Cafe but wish it were spicy, then you’ll be a fan of the Halloween promotional item, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It’s made with the same fried chicken that we all know and love, but its glazed with Sriracha and topped with pepper jack cheese, slaw, and a brioche bun. Scott tried it and said it was one of the messiest things he’s ever eaten but it had an almost sweet and sour appeal to it with just enough burn to merit it being called “spicy”. . . but not too spicy. Final verdict: give it a try if you’re feeling adventurous.

The Halloween donuts go quickly in the morning…

The pumpkin spice churros have been so popular that they’ve been added into multiple locations and were spotted at the Main Street churro cart. They were originally exclusive to the Cozy Cone at DCA.

Christmas lights have been strung in the trees on Main Street. With the move of the Paint the Night parade to DCA, hopefully the Mickey wreaths will be strung across the street once again. Disney is planning to shoot it’s Christmas Day Parade Special November 3rd and 4th. Seasons will change in a snap!

Someone has their Holidays mixed up


As reported by David Koenig, Jingle Cruise will not be returning this holiday season. I personally believe that Disney is likely considering removing some or all of the beloved holiday overlays before Star Wars Land opens in 2019. Disney is playing the crowd games these days as they attempt to pull more guests over to DCA.

Don’t look now, her Roots are showing
The temple god Ganesha guards the Sacred Pool of Elements.
Remember, hippos are only dangerous when they are wiggling their ears and blowing bubbles.
I hear the fish are really bitting around here
Extra lighting on the glass elephant for the Halloween parties. They should keep the lighting all the time.

Inside Indy, the pole in the Collapsing Room has been removed for maintenance. This is one of those effects which is sadly broken more often than not.

What pole?

Some folks online have been calling for the removal of Tarzan’s Treehouse, or at least the entry tree, to help crowd flow through the congestion in Adventureland. I don’t think that it would be very helpful at all, as the main clogs in Adventureland continue to occur at the Indy entrance/exit and near the Adventureland restrooms. Unfortunately, unless Disney wants to make drastic changes, these problems will continue to persist.

If you’re riding through Adventureland on the Disneyland Railroad, you might notice a certain black panther has already gone missing…

A familiar primate was walking around interacting with guests on Saturday…

When wait times (and temperatures) soar on the weekends, The Enchanted Tiki Room is a great place to kill some time. It really helps to relieve stress when “all the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room.”

Let’s all sing like the birdies sing

New Orleans Square

Over in New Orleans Square, the crowd situation is much worse than even in Adventureland. I believe the FastPass over at Haunted Mansion is to blame. As Disney management pumps up Fastpass ticket availability, two things happen that worsen general pathway overcrowding. First, queue lines for both standby and Fastpass return swell, taking over former walkways. Secondly, those who would otherwise be in regular standby queues are now out walking around in pathways until their Fastpass ride times. The result is congestion and occasional gridlock.

Saturday was abnormally busy due to Fall Break in some parts of the western states. The Pirates queue took up even more room than usual, causing gridlock everywhere.
The Haunted Mansion queue ran out of queue on Saturday, it got to the point where it went along the walkway towards the train station.

Fortunately today we got a Fastpass so we get go right in.

Scott never gets tired of photographing Mansion, and the Holiday overlay is no different…

A man-eating plant makes a wonderful wreath. That is if we don’t get caught in its teeth.

Can you smell the gingerbread?

Ever notice this adorable photo of Jack and Zero in the attic? It’s easy to miss!

See Zero, I told you they loved my Christmas!

Work Continues on the River Bell Restaurant as it will reopen as a fully converted table-service restaurant next month.

Along the River, the Snow Machines have been installed for the Holiday Fireworks Show.

Snow going all directions

Scott managed to get on Pirates even though the line was nuts this weekend.

“Thinking about redheads.”

It seems like Disney is taking its time to change the auction scene. They had previously announced that the changes would be taking place this year, so take in as much of the redhead as you can before she gets a little more aggressive.

One of the pirate musicians has been missing for months. That barrel is getting tired.

A toast to piracy!

Unlike the accordion player, the barker bird in the queue is back after its recent disappearance.

Critter Country

Up in the spire of the Hungry Bear, a little refurbishment work is occurring.

Along the Critter Country stream, water has been flowing off and on in the last couple of weeks. This week the water was on again.

Water flow makes the land feel calmer.


At the edge of the frontier is a galaxy far, far away.

Big Thunder Mountain has reopened after its two-week refurbishment and the good news is the explosion on the third lift hill is working again!

These props look new
Disney moved the Fastpass and standby merge back to the little pathway under the track switch to help keep more guests within the queue and hopefully out of the walkways of Frontierland.
Disney forgot to remove these refurbishment markings off the track. One label reads “Decorative Bolts “.

Take a look at my ride-through:

Disney recently cleaned out the bottom of the Big Thunder Trail lagoon and you can actually see wildlife swimming in it!

Off to…

Star Wars Land

Rock work intensifies on the tallest peak of the mountain.

New exterior stairs being added on maintenance hatch of the showbuilding.


Disney has pulled out the Casey Jr. Churro Cart, hopefully just for maintenance. During its absence, this Red Rose Tavern themed cart is filling the space.

Over at Dumbo, new to me, Disney has assigned the elephants numbers and now CMs give guests laminated numbered cards to match an elephant. I still wish Disney would go back to feathers as the guests counter, it fits in better with the story of the attraction.

Small World closed last night as Disney begins the holiday install. Disney will be “testing” Fastpass on this attraction, but I fear that it will have the same negative results we are seeing in New Orleans Square. Disney originally tested Fastpass on this attraction back in 2001 and it created a nightmare around the entrance of the attraction. How are the walkways around the entrance going to look this holiday season when the attraction is posted at a 2 and a half hour wait while Parade and Firework viewing prevent the overflow queue from using that extra space in Small World Mall?

Even before Fastpass, lines still pop out of the queue area.
The wait time sign was down during our visit.

Christmas Lights now completely adorn the building

Let’s take a ride inside. We’d play you the soundtrack, but we’re sure you already know it.

The Siemens sponsor signs should be gone when the attraction returns next month
Scott hasn’t contributed to the update if he hasn’t included a photo of the Matterhorn…


Have you seen this hidden Mickey?

Over at the Castle, no snow yet, but hopefully, when the Holiday lights are strung across the Castle the original tin roofs will return to replace the current leftover 60th Anniversary roofs.


Heading through Tomorrowland crowds are still crashing at the entrance of the land in front of Star Tours. The problem here is the crush of guests trying to get around Astro Orbiter which narrows in front of Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear. Personally, I believe that strollers are partially to blame here.

I would vote for Disney to convert the Star Tours Extended Queue building into stroller parking like they did in Adventureland.

Star Tours will be getting new destinations based on Episode 8. The added destinations will start next month.

Over in Launch Bay, crowds continue to dwindle as no new experiences have been added in a while. It’s getting close to the launch of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we’d be excited to see some promotional experiences inside Launch Bay.

The movie often shows to an empty room

Character Meet and Greets also have increasingly shorter queues. Maybe a room full of porgs is in order.

Mind you that this was an otherwise very busy day in the park.

Upstairs, Disney has continued to leave the second floor in mothballs.

Over at the Autopia Winner Circle, Disney has decided to ditch the Toy Shop look and return the kiosk to the Hat Stand vibe.

We’re not sure why there are Autopia cars parked under the Agrifuture sign backstage in Tomorrowland, but you see this from the Disneyland Railroad as soon as you pass it’s a small world.

Halloween Screams

Scott Attula was at the Halloween Party on Friday and missed Halloween Screams due to high winds (which was devastating for him, he had the absolute perfect spot in front of the castle). Fortunately, the pyro was saved to shoot off on Saturday for a surprise non-party presentation of the show. I’ve included some of my photos and Scott has some more for a special Mickey’s Halloween Party update tomorrow.

I think Zero light trails are my new favorite thing…

That was chilling, wasn’t it?

Now the real question is what will happen to this fireworks show when they move the Halloween Party back to DCA next year. Will they show Halloween Screams at all? Or will a new Halloween World of Color attempt to fill those big shoes? This show is incredible, so we hope to see it again.

See Ya Real Soon
All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us.  Today’s column was shot and assembled by Brian Pinsky with additional photo contributions from Scott Attula, Dusty Sage, and Dsny Debbie. Check out Scott’s look at Mickey’s Halloween Party HERE and my look at the impact of the Halloween Parties over at California Adventure HERE. It was a huge week folks! 


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That Goat is Dynamite!