Halloween Time creeps in across the Disneyland Resort as summer comes to an end

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features

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Published on August 25, 2014 at 5:05 am with 44 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • FerretAfros

    It’s a shame that Halloween is already taking over everything. DLR doesn’t recognize summer until a couple weeks after Memorial Day and it’s all gone before Labor Day; it just feels weird that they would completely ignore the traditional summer bookends like that

    And wasn’t the Frontierland game originally supposed to be permanent? It seems like Disney began changing their online language to reflect its temporary status a couple weeks ago, which makes me think they were somewhat unhappy with how it turned out

    • Walt Fan

      I agree with you about Halloween overtaking summer. My family is going on the 8th and 9th and we’re bringing two kids who have never been before. Unfortunately they (and I) will miss out on Space Mnt as well as the Haunted Mansion because of two stupid overlays.

      • heffalump

        It does seem early for Halloween. I think the reason for it is that Disneyland hasn’t really added anything new since Cars land, so the seasonal overlays have the illusion of something “new” being done.

      • heffalump

        Sorry you’ll miss those rides. That’s rough.

      • TodAZ1

        If you want to blame anyone, blame the consumers. Retailers (Disneyland included) wouldn’t put Halloween (or Christmas, for that matter) out on display if consumers weren’t buying anything until October (or December). They’re only meeting consumer demand.

      • TodAZ1

        Also, I don’t think either overlays are stupid, by any means.

      • MarkW

        The funny thing is that Christmas decorations will be up before Halloween rolls around. It would be nice to not see Halloween until after Labor Day and Christmas until after Halloween.

    • Anonymouse

      I was actually pretty worried that they would do a “Frozen Halloween” to further exploit that franchise. So, as much as I agree with your point about Halloween taking over so early, I’m glad that we’re seeing August Pumpkins instead of Snowmen.

  • bamato

    Fingers crossed they cleaned the glass in the show-building dioramas…

  • Algernon

    Finding Nemo. What a waste of a formerly good ride.

    • Marko50

      Really? Again?

  • heffalump

    Spent Friday and Saturday at Disneyland, and I’ve seen Fantasmic a million times. But Fantasmic continues to amaze me each time I see it.

    • martinjbell1986

      Same here. Also feel the same way about World of Color.

    • Laughing Place

      Me too! I end up watching Fantasmic every night when we are there and it is always amazing.

  • Skimbob

    Thanks for the update. It looks like a lot is going on in the parks. Too bad NOS is not being addressed. Someone yesterday said that everyone would forget about it in time. I for one will not forget about it in time. A special part of the park is gone without any improvements being made for the vast majority of us. As long as there is imagination left in the world should be changed to as long as there are dollars to be made they will destroy whatever they want.

    • TodAZ1

      Gotta agree with you there, Skimbob.

      “A special part of the park is gone without any improvements being made for the vast majority of us.” And in my opinion, a big portion of NOS is worse than it was before.

      • Skimbob

        Way worse.

    • Larry Parker

      The stained glass at the Court of Angels entryways seem lacking in the rich detail of the rest of NOS. And several exterior portions of Club 33 are also similarly lacking. Looks like greed triumphs over park quality once again-past examples include loss of the Penny Arcade, and the lackluster Main Street Starbucks. Disneyland revenue/profit is at all time highs. How much money will ever satisfy Corporate Disney? Greed, greed, greed. I intend to write Disneyland Resort president Michael Colglazier at Disneyland’s address. Anyone know of a better address to reach him at?

      • TodAZ1

        Also ask Colglazier why the gate closing off the Court of Angels is plastic! It’s not even real glass!!

      • MonteJ

        My guess is that the plastic on the court of angels gate is just a placeholder while the permanent glass is being fabricated. At least I hope so, and it seems logical.

        Personally, I think that the holiday makeovers of classic rides like SM, HM & SW have mostly been a good thing. However, as someone who can only visit Disneyland every few years I feel the pain of those who miss a major attraction during its overlay set or take-down period.

        If I had my druthers – Halloween-time wouldn’t start until Oct 1st – and Christmas-time until after Thanksgiving. But, there is no way the parks could do as much decorating for such short lengths of time. The holidays have kind of been ruined by their own success (so to speak).

    • pattimarie

      i won’t forget either, skimbob. the pictures of friends and family at angel’s court alone will remind me for a long time to come.

    • http://www.storiesfromadventureland.com PoopedPirate

      Amen. I won’t forget over time either.

  • msdlpierce7530

    Great update. Thank you so much for all the time it takes to put these together. We are not sure when we will make it to the park next but your updates keep us going until then.

  • ChrisNJ

    Ah Monday and another virtual trip to Disneyland – Perfect. Thank you.

    Frozen merchandise is everywhere at this point. I Was looking in a few Disney stores and even they have a bunch of the stuff. Probably a bit late for DL to have a dedicated store – but I’m definitely not the audience as I thought the film wasn’t all that.

    I need to plan a trip to DL that isn’t Sept – Dec so I can see the HM and SM in their corruptible mortal states. Miss them a lot.

  • disneychrista

    Halloween should be no more than the last weekend in September – weekend of/after. And then Christmas should NOT be put up until they are taking down Halloween and be Thanksgiving – New Years. It is pretty sad that when you go in mid-October for Halloween you get Hallowenmas. The only place they should “collide” is the HMH.

  • Kenny B

    One sixth of the year is now dedicated to Halloween

    • unclemike

      I won’t be satisfied until it’s at least half.

  • Haven

    It feels to me like Disneyland’s summer season only runs from about mid-June to mid-August anymore. Regardless of what the numbers actually are, that’s what it “feels” like to me. Halloween before Labor Day Weekend, huh? I am still looking forward to our family trip next week, but I do long for the days when Disney was open early, stayed up late and Halloween was more of a secondary holiday event. It feels that ever since the creation of Downtown Disney (and Citywalk over at Uni) park hours seldomly linger into the evening hours during the week like when I was a boy. Of course, to get a room at Grand Californian for this trip we had to book in it back in May, at which time there was no calendar of park hours or closures available on their website with any accuracy, so as a guest, you do your best. Not everyone is in SoCal and can just pick up and go when the weather is nice on the spur of the moment.

    • Westsider

      What alternate universe do you live in that Disneyland was open any later than it is now?

      Disneyland used to close at 6PM on weekdays beyond Labor Day until 1997. Then in September, 1997 they stayed open until 8PM on weekdays in the off season for the first time ever. Go back any earlier and Disneyland was open until 6PM on Fridays in the off-season, or 7PM on Saturday or Sunday in the off-season, well into the 1980′s. Here’s a spring calendar from 1970, as but one example. 6PM Friday closings, and 7PM weekend closings in April/May 1970 would have been mirrored in September/October/November throughout the 1960′s and 70′s and 80′s. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_3jV5FcVqpE8/TGTDVOcDBZI/AAAAAAAAPqY/0XaSBChK0zw/s1600/MKC+1970+cal.jpg

      Seriously dude, what alternate universe were you spending your vacations in where Disneyland was open any later than it is now? The Disneyland Resort has never had more operating hours seven days per week, peak or non-peak, than it does now.

      • pattimarie

        your are right about it closing much earlier in the past (70s and80s), but there was a time when it did stay open until 1 am during the summer. that was before the second park. i’m a night owl, so i remember vividly how nice it was to be able to stay until 2 am on main street shopping. they would have a first main street electrical parade, then fireworks, and then a little later a second parade. the ride lines would go down dramatically during the first parade and fireworks, so we’d ride the rides then. And you could still see the second parade without quite the hustle and bustle of the first one! my favorite times at the park.

    • CCS

      Been going to D-land for 50 years, and I’ll have to say that I recall the park being open until 1:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, and that’s about it. Shopping venues remained open until 2:00 a.m. and the trams ran late. It is magical to be in the park very late at night with fewer people in evidence. Currently, a midnight close at Disneyland means shopping available until 1:00 a.m.

      • fkurucz

        Like pattimarie I too recall DL being open as late as 1AM during the summer.

  • Susan Hughes

    I had never heard of the “ice bucket challenge” before. Apparently it’s supposed to have good intentions. But leave it to the jerks and jackholes to turn it into something pathetic and stupid.
    Seems there is a growing problem with people trying to pour cups of water over the character’s heads and video tape it. Not for charity but for some retarded sense of accomplishment.
    Cast members have been warned about this occurring and are on the lookout for those lowlifes in the parks.

    • Slightly

      Great job casually throwing around the “R” word, “jackhole.”

      • Susan Hughes

        very foolish or stupid.
        “in retrospect, it was a totally retarded idea”

    • Marko50

      “I had never heard of the “ice bucket challenge” before.”

      Yeah, that probably says all we need to know about Ms Hughes.

    • fkurucz

      I can’t wait for this inane fad to run its course.

  • Slightly

    The Book from “Hocus Pocus” in the window at The Book Rest!!!!!


    • Slightly

      (It’s not identical to the movie prop… but looks close e-stinkin’-nough to believe that the window dressers are referencing it.)

  • jawknee

    Guarantee you that Andy’s going to reference, “wait and see,” about NOS changes for the rest of his life, even though changes have been made little by little but still do not satisfy him.

    • Larry Parker

      And how long have you been in the employ of Corporate Disney jawknee? The changes in the NOS exteriors are obviously NOT up to the rich artistry of the rest of the area-UNLESS you’re a corporate hack justifying a greedy “bean-counter” mentality.

    • FixitKronk

      Agreed! We walked past it the weekend it went up and both said to ourselves god that looks worse in person! But we’ve been back 6 times since then and walking past it neither me or my wife have noticed. Things change life gos on and the parks are still great

      • Larry Parker

        BUT if the park continues to degrade as on-the-cheap changes continue, park quality degradation will become more and more evident/obvious. And the genius of Walt Disney will slowly be lost. And why? Out of sickening corporate greed..

  • alanplm

    The corporate greed sadly cheapens the park(s) experience. The Penny Arcade is a great example. I’m glad to have memories of Disneyland during the 60′s and 70′s. It would be nice to have Halloween AFTER labor day ! And Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving (lol)