Happy Friday the 13th everyone!  Today marks the beginning of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. What does that mean?  Frankly, not much for Disney California Adventure.  But it means a lot of fun for Disneyland Park.  Today, the much-loved overlay, Haunted Mansion Holiday, reopens to celebrate its 13th year.  We have been watching the installation of this attraction and will be updating this article later today with more pictures and a ride-through.  Also on tap is Ghost Galaxy, the spooky overlay of Space Mountain.  Back in the Big Thunder Ranch, we have the wonderful Halloween Time Carnival and a sprinkling of limited time magic goodies at different locations throughout the park.  We will also be touching on a few of the other bits of news like more guard rails, the lack of Halloween in DCA and the Big Thunder refurb.


It’s a big update that will continue to evolve throughout the day.  We will be updating it with pictures and information about Haunted Mansion Holiday and Ghost Galaxy as the news comes in.  So make sure to check back!


My favorite time of the year at Disneyland is Halloween Time. So, for me, the magic begins today!  There are tricks, treats and pumpkins galore in Disneyland park.  Two major E-ticket attractions get their annual overlays, and festivities abound.

Along the tram route from Mickey and Friends, the ghosts have a welcoming scene set up for guests
Also, along the tram route, Mickey, Minnie and Donald are in costumes.


Approaching the gates of Disneyland we see the usual pumpkins adorning the main gates.







Main Street U.S.A.

Yellow and orange bunting and grinning pumpkins are clustered on every ledge and overhang along Main Street. It’s a wonderful display.







Fiery celosia in Town Square compliment the decor.


Wouldn’t it be cute if they showed Ub Iwerks Skeleton Dance cartoon in the Main Street Cinema during Halloween Time?





Limited TIme Magic

What is Halloween without a few sweets?  Disney is not one to waste a marketing opportunity and here they take care of it in the form of pumpkin flavored treats and specialty dishes at select (see: Not all) food locations throughout the park.



  • French Market: Fiery Meatloaf Sliders with Cajun House Chips and Grapes, Oreo Mousse Coffin Dessert and Haunted Mansion Holiday Souvenir Hot Mug
  • Cafe Orleans: Pumpkin Beignets Served with Vanilla Cream Anglaise
  • Royal Street Verandah: Pumpkin Fritters with Apple Cider Caramel Custard Dipping Sauce, Pumpkin Latte, Haunted Mansion Holiday Souvenir Hot Mug and Spooky Kooky Gingerbread Cookie
  • Mint Julep Bar: Pumpkin Latte, Pumpkin Beignets, Haunted Mansion Holiday Souvenir Hot Mug and Spooky Kooky Gingerbread Cookie
  • Frozen Lemonade Cart: Spooky Kooky Gingerbread Cookie
  • New Orleans Square Popcorn Cart: Haunted Mansion Holiday Souvenir Popcorn Bucket
  • Harbour Galley: Spooky Kooky Gingerbread Cookie
Pumpkin beignets with vanilla creme anglaise at Cafe Orleans. Looks good, doesn’t it?




Unleash the Villains on Friday the 13th

There will also be a special kick-off night of sorts to start Halloween Time. Disneyland will stay open until 1 a.m. on Friday the 13th with 13 Disney villains meeting with fans around the park in the evening to celebrate. Below is the information Disney has released so far on the event.

Coming Friday, September 13, get ready to experience the most spine-tingling bit of Limited Time Magic yet at the Disneyland Resort! From 8:00 PM until 1:00 AM – a.k.a. the 13th hour‚Äö – the Disney Villains will be waiting for your arrival as they make their way to various areas of Disneyland Park. Come along for this devilishly delicious affair, on a night jam-packed with 13 dastardly Disney baddies and a host of fiendish festivities. It’s a one-time event you won’t soon forget, even if you try!

Last week, Disney detailed some of the offerings coming to this Friday’s special event. In Town Square and New Orleans Square, villains and dance parties will scare up some fun in the evening:

  • Party Like a Villain Celebration in Town Square: Soak up a series of nefarious sights as a seething selection of the most infamous Disney Characters make a series of appearances.
  • Unleash the Villains Dance Party, near New Orleans Square Railroad Station: Scare up an unforgettable time as a spooky Station Master unleashes the evil evening in tandem with a collection of detestable Disney baddies, including the Evil Queen, Captain Hook, Dr. Facilier, Judge Frollo, Lady Tremaine and the Queen of Hearts.
  • Official Merchandise: Official “Unleash the Villains” tee, available while supplies last at the New Orleans Cart in Disneyland Park, as well as Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney California Adventure Park.


Also returning is the wonderfully frightening overlay to Space Mountain, Ghost Galaxy.  This week there was little indication that such a malevolent force was taking over in the distant galaxies, aside from one singular sign.

Pic taken on Tuesday.

As expected there were no changes at all to the attraction overlay.  The spooky spirit has once again begun to terrorize Space Mountain and tries to capture riders at every turn.  This is such a fun, often startling attraction that really took us by surprise at its debut.  We are glad to have it back.



Digital projectors are in place for the nightly projections on the dome.
Speakers ready to go for the spooky sound effects tonight.



Darn that pesky spirit messing up the transmission.







The wonderful Haunted Mansion Holiday is back and more beefed up than ever before.  This year they have pulled out all the stops and really tried to make this year something special.  Hanging from the columns at the steps of the mansion is a massive, bright orange banner that proclaims this to be the 13th year of Jack Skellington’s celebration.

What should you expect from the mansion this year? We attempted to find changes from the outside earlier this week, but to no avail. The pictures below were taken before the ride was opened to the public.









Outside the mansion it is literally covered, top-to-bottom, in the usual decorations.  The one major addition is the bright orange banner proclaiming the celebration of 13 years of Haunted Mansion Holiday.


















It is when one enters the stretching room that you see the first, arguably the most noticeable change.  Yes, the original stained glass portraits are there, surrounding the upper portion of the gallery.  But it is the ceiling, directly above guests that is now a brightly colored “stained glass” digital projection.








As the room stretches the projection continues to change in color.  Soon spiders begin to scuttle across the surface.  Then, at the big moment, the glass shatters, revealing a projected version of the tower.  Gone is the large, static Jack Skellington head.  Instead we are treated to a projection of a fully animated Jack dancing around the rim of the room.  It’s a dazzling effect and very effective.







As we inter the portrait gallery we notice that the first painting is now of Santa on his sleigh.  It then cross-fades into Jack driving the sleigh, with Zero flying by.





Everything else is pretty much the same at first glance.









The only other change is, of course, the large gingerbread house in the ballroom scene.


Overall the overlay has never looked better.  Filled with secret little sight gags, 13 in all we are told.  The sound this year seems a little more bumped up.  The lighting usually starts off a bit wonky at the beginning of the run of this attraction, but it seems they nailed it right out of the gate.  Nice work folks!








We now just get to wait to see what the Mansion looks like at night with all of the winking candles on every awning.


Big Thunder Ranch and the HalloweenTime Carnival

An alternative to the bright, garish tones of Haunted Mansion Holiday, the Big Thunder Ranch looks lovely in subdued tones of orange, yellow, red and brown.













The Halloween Carnival behind the ranch is nearly the same as last year, featuring games, meet and greets and the Conjure a Villain tent.











 Big Thunder Mountain

Little has visibly changed on the carrot-colored spires of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  The clearance Train has been moved down to the Rainbow Ridge area of the attraction that is just before the station.


The train in Rainbow Ridge.


Dia De Los Muertos

Lovely Dia De Los Muertos decorations have popped up in and around Ranch Del Zocalo, as has become the tradition.










King Arthur Carousel

The iconic King Arthur Carousel is under a top-to-bottom refurbishment that has enclosed the structure in scaffolding.  It is nice to see that they are taking their time with this refurbishment that seems to be addressing every little detail.




Fantasyland Safety

The scaffolding in Fantasyland is slowly receding and we are seeing the first of the new safety railings along the rooftops in Fantasyland.  So far?  Not so bad.

Still working here.
Things are still wrapped up with Snow White.
But over at Pinocchio we can see the walls that have been built. Totally cohesive, if not logical.


Repaving Pinocchio

The entire Pinocchio lot is being repaved.  This is the open-air lot just next to the Mickey and Friends parking structure.

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Starbucks in DTD

The new Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney is coming along.  The work appears to be substantial here and will no doubt be a very popular first stop for thousands of daily visitors.



It seems that Disney California Adventure is getting the short end of the stick this year when it comes to Halloween.  There are subtle decorations here and there, but as of this writing, the only thing that we noticed were decorations in Duffy’s shop on Paradise Pier.  Thankfully there will be some additional theme added to the Mad T Party and, if you are interested they are screening The Nightmare Before Christmas in the Muppetvision theater for one day for passholders.


Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before ChristmasScreening
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure Park
September 13, 2013

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Screening for Annual Passholders

In celebration of the start of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, Passholders can join Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, as he discovers Christmas Town in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Date & Times
Friday, September 13, 2013
7:00 PM and 9:00 PM

Event Details

  • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 PM (noon) on the day of the event at the Muppet*Vision 3D Theater in Disney California Adventure Park.
  • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member to check event availability and to register and receive an event wristband. Photo ID may be required.
  • Registration must be completed in person at the Muppet*Vision 3D Theater on the day of the event only; no phone reservations or other registration will be accepted.
  • This is an all-ages event. However, all participating Guests ages 3 and older must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event. Children under 3 may attend the movie screening as long as there is space available and they receive an event wristband during the registration process.
  • It is recommended that all members of your party register together to help ensure that everyone receives an event wristband.
For assistance, you may contact the Annual Passport Member Services team at (714) 781-PASS (7277).
More information

Safety First at Jumpin’ Jellyfish.

The metal structures disguised as a children’s ride on Paradise Pier just got a little uglier.  Yes the safety wave has hit Jumpin’ Jellyfish and the blue towers are now crowned with basic, blue safety railings which stick out like a sore thumb.



Don’t get us wrong.  We are all for workplace safety where it is really needed.  We love our cast members.  But in a theme park, theme should also play a part. There’s a rampant rush to install safety railings on EVERYTHING in the parks. At what point will level heads say “Enough!”


Duffy has the lion’s share of Halloween decorations in DIsney California Adventure. Black and orange garland frames almost every shelf inside Treasures in Paradise, seemingly begging folks to stock up on all of the Duffy mercy and accessories and costumes.







Did you hear the Disney angels singing hallelujah? For a long weekend in August, all the Disney stars aligned during Disney’s big Comic-Con like event, the D23 Expo. Of course, MiceChat was there. We set up a huge booth and offered three days of Disney Celebrity meet and greets, giveaways, podcasts and more. But the big fish was Disney itself, who set up massive pavilions for Imagineering, Archives, Legends and more. In this show, we tie ropes around our waists and jump head first into the cave of Disney wonders. We make it back with quite a few gems to share.  Oh, and this is the show where we make Dusty cry. It’s a touching moment and a reminder why so many of us are true Disney fans.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

A big thanks to Disneyloon for his amazing photo support today. Are you ready for Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort? What’s your favorite part of the Disneyland celebration?

Happy Halloween Everyone.  😉

  • redrocker

    I can tell ya right now…they arent going to say ENOUGH….not at all :'(

  • Great update Fishy and Disneyloon!!! Great photos.

    Looking forward to your Halloween update later today.

  • MainSt1993

    On the Pinocchio paving project, too bad Lightning McQueen isn’t pulling the paver!!

  • Awesome photos–really has me excited to see HalloweenTime at Disneyland for the first time. Especially looking forward to the decorations, Ghost Galaxy, and all those snacks.

    Speaking of snacks, any idea when they start serving the Pumpkin Yule Log at Plaza Inn?

    • Grizzly

      That’s a holiday food item. The pumpkin Yule log is served from holidays start until thanksgiving at which point they switch to the chocolate one. At least that’s how it’s been for the last couple of years.

  • WDWorldly

    At first glance I thought that metal structure on the carousel was a new safety railing, yikes!

  • stevem85

    Thanks for the great update. I was at the park on Wednesday, and to be totally honest I don’t even notice the new safety railings that are popping up everywhere. I am probably like most visitors and just don’t notice these things. Granted, I am not specifically looking for them which is why they probably don’t bother me. The only one that really sticks out is on Alice In Wonderland. You cant miss that nightmare.

  • Algernon

    It is fear of big government and greedy lawyers that has Disney over-reacting. There are better ways to ensure safety, but Disney, in my opinion, would rather go the cheap and easy route than come up with more suitable solutions. Window washers work on big buildings without permanent safety railings installed. Actors perform on stages without safety railings. How many workers have fallen off the Alice in Wonderland leaves, or any rooftop–in over 50 years? Maybe everybody had better wear Star Wars Storm Trooper body armor. Welcome to Coney Island!

    • One external contractor falling off of Space Mountain was all it took.

    • The Lost Boy

      OSHA fines are progressive and cumulative. After the Space Mountain penalty subsequent violations, even minor ones are magnified in seriousness and fines. The contractor fine made the news, I’m sure OSHA has a laundry list of incidental issues that it’s holding over the Park’s head. Disney is taking this seriously, they’re hiring a crew of safety professionals to help keep the park out of trouble.

  • Big D

    Honestly if it weren’t for MiceAge I doubt I would have ever noticed any of the railings that they’ve installed. As most people don’t look up even in a place as richly themed as Disneyland with so many details to admire. So as long as the railings are more or less the same color as their surroundings I really doubt that most people will ever even know that they are there.

  • mickeypancakehead

    Wonderful update and can’t wait for more later today! My heart aches! I want to be there to see it. But luckily, I only have to wait a couple more weeks for my trip! 🙂

  • Donald Fan

    Exactly 13 comments when I showed up…spooky!

  • JulieMouse

    Great update, good information for tonight! It keeps bugging me to see Disney calling the midnight hour the 13th hour (instead of noon)…but I should just let it go. I agree that the Fantasyland safety railings don’t seem too bad, but just sticking the railings at the top of Jumpin Jellyfish is really noticeable and they should be able to figure out how some other way to safely get cast members up there when necessary. Looking forward to tonight’s festivities!!

  • martinjbell1986

    Disneyland looks great right now! Hopefully California Adventure gets something along the same lines that fits with the theming.

  • Dizzey

    Does anyone else find the Haunted Mansion decorations just over-the-top gaudy? Yuck. I guess the theme has become “Help I’m trapped in a Halloween warehouse!” Stuff jammed everywhere.

    Subtlety pulls one into a theme. A blast of decorations makes me put on my sunglasses and keep my head down before I have a seizure. Remember that guy in the neighborhood that overdoes the Christmas lights?

    • Haven

      I have to agree this year. The banner was a bit too much and looks too much like a sign you can have made at a local print store from your own computer file. I think that’s the overriding problem with it for me, looks like OfficeMax decorated the outside.

    • TwilitWings

      Then again, over-the-top and more, more, more is kinda Jack Skellington’s schtick. I do think it’s a bit much for my tastes, if I was the one decorating, but I find it surprisingly in character, haha.

  • Thanks for the update Fishy. Real dedication to rush to the park at opening to deliver the most up to date holiday offerings!

  • Kenny B

    Those railings will only cause more damage then prevent them. Has there ever been a incident of a worker at Disney “falling off a building”? Know where the roof ends the “blue sky” begins seems like the first thing one would notice.

    It’s only a matter of time until a worker accidentally falls over, or somehow is hurt due to the railings limiting/impeding their work area.

  • jasonlaurea

    Thanks for the great update!!

    Was the choice of spelling “inter” intentional or a just a great coincidence…either way, bravo and well done!

    “As we inter the portrait gallery we notice that the first painting is now of Santa on his sleigh. It then cross-fades into Jack driving the sleigh, with Zero flying by.”

    • It was an error, but we’ll leave it just for you. 😉

  • billyjobobb

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I won’t make it to Halloween this year. By and far it is my favorite time at Disneyland. At least for a few minutes I can feel like I’m there.

  • kennykoala

    Great update 🙂 and some great pics. Just got back home to Australia … Hopefully not too long b4 I get back to the mouse.

  • Zorro825

    Thank you for the update! I really do wish they would fix the countdown clock outside the Mansion to say the actual days til Xmas. That was a nice little touch that they took away after a few years.

  • Pipeek

    My take on the Gingerbread House is that it is what it looks like: a Countdown Calendar. There is very little going on with the house other than one or two gingerbread men on the outside of it. Riding the attraction earlier it looks like the doors open. My theory here is like previous years when they had the presents at the attraction loading open, they will open one new door every week. If that’s the case with week 1 starting next Friday, the 13th door opens on Friday the 13th in December.

  • Rongo

    I have to say, if they are gonna have railings they’re doing it right in Fantasyland. Basically, it looks like the castle is being “plussed” and enlarged, with more detail.
    Of course, with new walls like that, there may be the need for a cast member to get on top of it… that means another railing on top of the railing. Who knows where it will end? 😉

  • Sleepy505

    Everything look great! my family and I will be traveling there the second week of October and yes to me Halloween time is my favorite time of the year to visit the parks also I find the weather is great this time of the year as well.

  • DisneylandManFan

    Wonderful update! Thanks for all that you do for keeping us all up to date on the great things happening in the Parks for “Halloween in September”. 😉

  • sean317

    First of all… I love the update!! But, I wish Haunted Mansion “Halloween” would have its own special update. This is A LOT of pictures for 1 post!!

  • DanMcNeely

    Awesome Pictures. I love Holidays at Disneyland. I found an amazing video of Haunted Mansion Holiday already posted to YouTube.


    The stretching room and Zero jumping portraits is in the video as well. I love the new stuff Disney added.

    • DLFreak71

      With the “stain glass” window effect
      Maybe it’s because it’s being video taped
      but you can see “ripples” in it (best word I can come up with)
      I’m also not in love with the first break
      Once Jack comes into the picture, it seems better.
      I’m hoping the regular version doesn’t have the projected image
      and only the holidays.
      I think it’s fun
      but to me (maybe just the video)
      it comes off a little cheap looking.
      I’d rather have “real” vs projectors.
      I think theme parks are relying on projections a little too much.
      But just my opinion. Others probably enjoy it (and that’s fine)

      I also noticed around the projection (from the video) that’s there’s something flashing in the corner.

      • DLFreak71

        I figured out the “flashing”. It’s a “night vision” camera. It’s what happens when video catches the camera’s in the dark.

    • DLFreak71

      Also wasn’t a fan of zero (I really like his character and don’t mind him more in the ride) jumping to each portrait.
      They are suppose to be portraits, not a video screen.
      Really ruins the illusion of being “portraits”

  • AvidTurtleTalker

    I went to Disneyland yesterday for the Friday the 13th festivities and boy was it packed! We had fastpasses for the 9:00 World of Color so we started leaving Disneyland at 7:50. Main Street was complete gridlock due to the dance party being placed at the train station and the villains M&G near the flag pole. Later in the night, it was still busy, but MUCH more organized. Sadly because of the crowds, we didn’t get to meet the villains or get into the dance clubs. However, we got to ride HMH with a 30 minute wait and it was SPECTACULAR! Our group walked into the stretching room and immediately noticed the new ceiling. Later on when the window broke open and Jack appeared, the whole room started cheering! I can’t wait to ride it again and again and again!

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