It’s Halloween-lo-ween ev’ry body . . . let out a scream, hooray it’s Halloween!
It’s almost time for the ghosts and goblins to have their moment in the material realm. And as they prepare to socialize, let’s take a look at one more Disneyland update this week. This time around we’ve got some Pixar parade news as well as a look at Mickey’s Halloween Party.
Mickey’s Halloween Party – Disneyland
Have you done one of Mickey’s Halloween parties at Disneyland? It’s quite the special event. But least we tempt you, ALL nights sold out many weeks ago AND this is likely the last year for quite some time before the event returns to Disneyland as it is slated to move to Disney California Adventure next year.
Town Square is where you want to be if you’re looking to meet villains. While I love the prospect of meeting the baddies, I still don’t really like this location because I tend to pass it by on the way in and then forget to come back before they all leave for the night. Plus, it’s one of the least scary spots in the park. Big Thunder Trail would have been perfect for the villains.
Taking a walk down Main Street, you’ll find Halloween party specific projections to get you in the mood. That is unless you decide to do the treat trail down the bypass.
The castle also has projections as well. It’s a nice touch that should be expanded around the park for these parties, Small World is currently the only other place that has projections. They’ve already got projectors on the Matterhorn, why not turn it into Bald Mountain or a graveyard?
Here’s a GIF so you can check out some of the castle projections.
Frightfully Fun Parade
Probably the best thing to be added to the Halloween party is the Frightfully Fun Parade. Before Friday evening I hadn’t seen it yet (though I’ve seen both the Magic Kingdom’s Boo To You Parade and the old Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade). This parade makes the old Cavalcade look like child’s play and even manages to hold its own against Boo To You in my eyes.
I love the Headless Horseman pre-parade, it really sets the mood.
Having Ichabod Crane as a part of the Headless Horseman pre-parade is genius, it really ups the cool factor of this parade.
He also clops along the parade route with a bit of storytelling narration instead of barreling down the street like he does at the Magic Kingdom. Both are great, but at least with this version, you won’t miss it if you blink. My only complaint is that both Ichabod and the Headless Horseman are really hard to see and/or photograph most of the time due to low lighting.
Now for some frightful fun!
The first thing you notice when this parade starts is just how much time and effort was put into the floats and showpieces. The Nightmare Before Christmas section is really detailed and fun to watch.
Like who’d have thought they’d create vampire puppets? They aren’t even a huge part of the movie yet they fit so perfectly into the parade.
Watch out for Zero, he’s underneath the stairs!
For any readers that know me, I love me some Haunted Mansion, and the Frightfully Fun Parade doesn’t disappoint. With not only a wickedly cool float that mixes screens in the windows, great lighting, and live actors, this section stands out.
Dr. Facilier is one of the creepiest villains, and his segment reflects that. If there were any complaints of this parade being too scary, it’s probably because these stilt walkers look like something out of nightmares.
The final segment is a villains segment packed with loads of your favorite bad guys and gals. So many, in fact, that I couldn’t even photograph them all.
I do love that some less common villains like Hades and Frollo are included. Frollo is downright creepy. Fantastic!
My only serious complaint is that the parade feels very short. This parade is so good I want more! Please add more floats, this parade is amazing!
Halloween Screams has to be one of the most fun fireworks shows I’ve ever seen. It’s essentially a clone of HalloWishes, but this show ups the ante with projections, Zero flying around, and a giant blow-up ball that Jack Skellington’s face appears on.
Unfortunately, the show was canceled due to wind on party night, but Disney launched the show the following evening. So this is the general public version of the show (on an unusually extra crowded day).
I’m going to be seriously mad if this doesn’t return in some form next year when the party moves to DCA.
Pixar Pals Halloween Dance Party
Over at the Tomorrowland Terrace, there’s a dance party with all Pixar characters. Everyone seemed to be having fun, but these sorts of things always feel cheap to me. This one felt especially low budget since it was just a bunch of random characters on a dance floor under the theme “Pixar,” which has nothing to do with a dance party (kind of reminds me of some certain pier that’s getting a retheme next year).
Regardless, I do like that it gave me a chance to see some characters I haven’t seen in a while like the Incredibles, Mike, and Sully (the latter two I didn’t get photos of).
Around the Park
Other than those three activities, there’s not much else in terms of “events.” There are treat stops, decorations, and a handful of character interactions. Besides Frontierland, the rest of the park felt a little empty.
Of course, part of the fun is seeing what people came up with for costumes. This family looked like they belong in SpectroMagic.
Over in Fantasyland, you’ll find a mesmerizing projection all over It’s A Small World.
Frontierland easily has the best decorations out of any part of the park. There are even tons of new ones for the recently opened Big Thunder Trail.
Something very menacing is hiding in the old Nature’s Wonderland tunnel and every few minutes he pokes his eyes out!
Here’s some video so you can hear just how menacing the cave dragon is.
Patches is near the Golden Horseshoe, and he’s just as fun as always. He cracks some of the best jokes and it’s even more hilarious when he can pick on people’s costumes.
I grabbed some video of him picking on some people dressed as Peter Pan characters.
The Golden Horseshoe itself had some fun little western vignettes set up inside.
Over at Rancho Del Zocalo, there are vignettes set up as well, but pirate themed.
There are all kinds of little details in Frontierland, I wish I had spent more time there.
The fog rolled into New Orleans Square, creating a really spooky atmosphere around the rivers.
If you wait until late at night, the Annual Pass photo op near the Rivers of America has a really short wait and it’s a cute backdrop. It’s just sad that AP holders used to get more than just a backdrop to take a photo in front of…
And with that, that’s pretty much all there is to do at the party, besides some of the character interactions I missed.
Are you a Mickey’s Halloween goer? What did you think about this year’s event and what would you like to see them do with it at DCA? Will a Halloween World of Color be a good substitute for Halloween Screams?
Pixar Fest News
It all begins April 13th, with a Pixar themed fireworks show about the power of friendship dubbed “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular.” The show will take advantage of the Disneyland Forever projection systems. There’s very little information about this one, so we get the feeling this is a very temporary fireworks show.
Paint the Night is officially set to return on April 13th with a new Pixar themed float in the mix but this time around the parade moves to DCA. We’ve also been hearing that the parade may have a limited holiday run at DCA starting in November, so let’s cross our fingers. It sure would be a great way to even out the crowds between the two parks.
Pixar Play Parade will be moving to Disneyland and bringing new parade elements like the Pixar lamp leading the parade and the return of characters from Up and Inside Out. We’re still iffy about how well it will fit at Disneyland, especially considering its age, but we’ll see in April.
Unsurprisingly, the Sunset Showcase (previously the Muppets theater) will house the same “Pixar Shorts Film Festival” that has been showing at the Magic Eye Theater at Epcot. The Paradise Gardens will have Pixar character greetings, music, and other Pixar activities for young children. There will also be Pixar Fest merchandise including some exclusive charm bracelets for those interested in that.
The thing that interested me most was that there was no mention of Pixar Pier. No idea why they didn’t mention the arguably biggest part of Pixar Fest. Perhaps they are worried it won’t open in time.
And now to end our ghostly gathering…
When something’s good, you tend to want more of it, especially when you’re dropping $120 a night. As it is, I don’t really feel like I needed to go another night, which is completely opposite of my experience at Knott’s Scary Farm. I’ve been twice with MiceChat and I still feel like I want to go again. Sadly, I didn’t feel that way about Mickey’s Halloween Party. It was fun, but there just didn’t seem to be enough of it to justify a price higher than a single day admission to the park. I hope that Disney can find a way to add value to the experience when the party moves to DCA next year. Build a family friendly maze or two Disney and plop a Halloween themed film into Sorin’. Dusty had a great idea for a “Ride of the Headless Horseman” film that he spoke about on a recent MiceChat Podcast. So many possibilities. Let’s help Disney figure out ways to make the Halloween Party worth $125. Looking forward to your ideas folks.
Now I will raise the safety bar and a MiceChat Columnist will follow you home ! ! !