Halloween Time is here! Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and the new Halloween Screams fireworks show is bringing new thrills this year while old favorites like Haunted Mansion Holiday, Candy Corn Acres, and the Main Street Pumpkin Festival are back. While Halloween Time scares up fun in both parks the new Edelweiss Snacks turkey leg stand in Fantasyland has opened, and construction continues in Disney's California Adventure.
More information on many of the various construction projects featured in today's update can be found in the Project Tracker threads on MiceChat. Simply click on a photo with a Project Tracker watermark and you'll be linked up to the latest news and discussion on the various projects underway at the Resort.
The Mickey floral still sports the "Celebrate Today" design, but Mickey's party hat and the floral balloons are now in fall colors.
Pumpkins line Main Street
Mickey balloons get a Halloween touch
SPACE MOUNTAIN GHOST GALAXY
Space Mountain has reopened with the new Ghost Galaxy overlay. The ride is essentially the same, with some changes in lighting in the launch tunnels, new projections throughout, and a new soundtrack. Is it worth a special visit to the parks for out-of-town guests? Not really, but if you were planning a trip anyway, it's worth checking out.
Signs notify guests that the experience is scarier than usual
The queue is mostly unchanged.
The screen showing images of outer space is the only thing that hints at what's to come. At times a green glow can be seen warping the video feed, static wipes out the visual, and other times the "signal" is lost completely.
Ghostly aliens like this guy are seen throughout the ride, attempting to interrupt your trip through space.
On-ride photos have a "Ghost Galaxy" border.
The OC Register's Around Disney blog spoke with Walt Disney Imagineer Steve Roach, show producer for Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy:
The climb through a tunnel starts normally with stars drifting past the rocket and a swirling galaxy awaiting at the top. But about half way through the tunnel, white stars turn orange and red, swirling into a skull-like face and skeletal arms extend. Spiny hands grab out, shooting crackling lightning past riders. The creature roars.
This is just the beginning of the new Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy that debuts to the public today at Disneyland. The seasonal makeover of the roller-coaster marks the first time that Disneyland has redone Space Mountain for Halloween Time, which begins today.
“It’s classic Space Mountain with a whole new look,” said Steve Roach, the ride’s show producer.
Disneyland Resort usually tries to keep the mood light for the Halloween season, but this ride is slightly different.
“For the first time, it’s something actually very frightening for Halloween,” Roach said. “I don’t think we’ve done anything this scary before.”
A sign will warn guests that the ride may be too scary for young children, Roach said.
Ghost Galaxy’s back story is that Disney wants recruits to explore unknown phenomena during a deep-space research trip, but then something goes wrong. Guests are detoured into an unknown galaxy with cosmic phenomena at every turn, Roach said.
Throughout the ride, guests can see morphing ghosts reaching out toward guests. One arm grabs above riders. Another ghost chases riders alongside the carriage. A creepy eye blinks in front. And one final surprise ghost pops out at the very end. (We know because we got to ride it early.)
And despite being advertised on the guide map as a Halloween offering, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror doesn't feature ANY of its usual Halloween Time decorations. It's sad, because they were the best Halloween decorations in California Adventure. No bat arch. No lamppost decorations. No lobby decorations.
THIS AND THAT
The new Edelwiess Snacks quick service turkey leg and frozen drink stand is open for business across from the Matterhorn Bobsleds queue chalet.
The new building clears out two prominent outdoor vending carts from the area, and makes the area much more aesthetically pleasing in the process.
The theming is really top notch here. It looks great and appropriate for the area.
It's just a shame the menu is turkey legs and corn on the cob. What a missed opportunity.
The back of the new Edelweiss Snacks
The entrance stockade to Frontierland is getting some TLC.
New Orleans Square has switched around a couple stores. Port Royal (which took over the former home of Le Bat en Rouge a couple years ago) has once again become Le Bat en Rouge, but not officially. The store is now fully stocked with Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise, and even some Haunted Mansion goodies, too. Meanwhile, Port Royal's displaced stock of trendy character tees, Vinylmation figurines, and other odd-n-ends has moved over to the current Le Bat en Rouge store.
Haunted Mansion action figures!
The popular Jack, Sally, and Maleficent photo op is back out in front of Port Royal.
Over at the current Le Bat en Rouge, the old Nightmare Before Christmas and Haunted Mansion decor has been swapped out with glass bottles and other items that you might find in a store like the Fortuosity Shoppe.
Trendy character tees line the shelves
Some windows in the back of the store are blacked out as some work goes on behind them in the Courtyard of Angels
Nearby, the former Christopher Radko Christmas ornament shop is still closed as it undergoes a remodel, but it has been renamed "Le Bayou Magique."
And finally, Disneyland has its seasonal baked goods out for sale now for those of you with a sweet tooth.
DISNEY UNVEILS GRAND CALIFORNIAN HOTEL EXPANSION
The Grand Californian Hotel expansion finally opened last week and is now welcoming guests.
Disneyland Resort Unveils Expansion of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2009) – Disneyland Resort today unveiled a stunning new addition to its Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, including 203 new guest rooms and 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas, the first Disney Vacation Club property on the West Coast. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa immerses guests in the magic of the Disneyland Resort by capturing the spirit of early California through design and architecture. Many of the new vacation villas offer guests spectacular views into Disney’s California Adventure Park.
“This expansion reinforces Disney’s long-term commitment to investing in Anaheim’s Resort District,” said Ed Grier, president of Disneyland Resort. “Since opening in 2001, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa continues to impress our guests with its timeless sophistication and exquisite service. The new villas and hotel rooms will give more guests the opportunity to enjoy the immersive vacation experience Disney is known for.”
The 2.5-acre addition to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which increases accommodations by more than 30 percent, is part of ongoing resort expansion work. Currently underway is a multiyear expansion of Disney’s California Adventure Park, which will add new attractions, entertainment experiences and an entirely new 12-acre Cars Land. In addition, the resort’s historic Disneyland Hotel also began a major three-year renovation last month.
“We are so fortunate to have a wonderful partner in the Disneyland Resort,” said Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle. “Disney’s continued investment in Anaheim benefits the entire Resort District as well as the surrounding community. This grand addition to the city’s only four-diamond hotel will encourage even more visitors to come to Anaheim and experience a vacation in our great City.”
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa mark the 10th property for Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s innovative vacation-ownership program. As with all Disney Vacation Club properties, guests are able to experience the comforts of home, such as a fully equipped kitchen, living area, dining area, washer and dryer, whirlpool tub and other amenities, depending on the size of the accommodations. Guests can choose from four different room categories including a studio (sleeps 4), one-bedroom villa (sleeps up to 5), two-bedroom villa (sleeps up to 9) and the three-bedroom, two-story Grand Villa (sleeps up to 12).
“It is exciting to witness the incredible growth of Disney Vacation Club, because not only are we creating new accommodations here in Anaheim, we are creating new experiences,” said Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis. “Now Disney Vacation Club is part of the place where it all started, a place known worldwide as the Happiest Place on Earth.”
Other new amenities at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa include the Mariposa swimming pool, the Grizzly Game Arcade, a guest laundry facility, two gas barbeque grills, the Paradise View Terrace on the 6th floor overlooking the Paradise Pier area of Disney’s California Adventure Park, underground valet parking spaces and an expanded Pinocchio’s Workshop – a licensed child activity center. The hotel now boasts 948 guest rooms, which includes 44 guest suites as well as 50 Disney Vacation Club two-bedroom equivalent vacation villas.
That should wrap up this week's Dateline Disneyland. Get out and get to the parks!
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