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In The Parks - Jonas Brothers at Disneyland, Halloween Haunts, construction and More

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by , 09-23-2010 at 10:33 PM

Halloween time has finally arrived at the major theme parks in Southern California. Time for the ghosts, goblins, villains and creepy crawlies to come out of the shadows for some mischievous fun. But that's not all, there is quite a bit of exciting construction, destruction, and news to catch up on as well. A light accident on Space Mountain/Ghost Galaxy, The Jonas Brothers during filming in Disneyland, more from Carsland and the latest at Universal Studios Hollywood.

One quick Reminder...

This is your last chance to join MiceChat for our Knott's Scary Farm Meets. Today is your last day to pick up a ticket!

• PreScare All you can eat Buffet Dinner
• Early entry into Haunt
• The Hanging
• The World Famous MiceChat Maze Death March.


• PreScare All you can eat Buffet Dinner
• Behind the screams tour of one of the mazes prior to Haunt opening to see how the magic is made.
• Souvenir Haunt T-Shirt and Refillable Mug.
• Meet Halloween Haunt Legend and Founding Father John Waite, Lighting designer Andrew Strain, and Knott's Preserved Author Eric Linxweiler.
• The Knott's Scary Farm Show Run: a tour to view of all Haunt Shows. Includes VIP seating.
• Front of the line access to all mazes.

This was an interesting week at Disneyland Park. Stars made appearances and then quickly blew out. They are still playing with the lighting on Pirates and a somewhat lackluster marketing campaign was announced. Let's have a look.

Disney Announced new "Let the Memories Begin" Campaign:

Disney will be projecting images and videos of guests on It's a Small World at Disneyland and the castle at WDW as a part of their new Let the Memories Begin campaign. It is already generating lots of opinions on the boards. Discuss it here on MiceChat

Jonas Brothers Filming at Disneyland:

Just after closing, and before the park had completed the nightly security sweep, the Jonas Brothers quietly filmed a short segment for Disney in front of the Castle with Minnie Mouse as their date.

Lighting rigs and screens

The feed monitor

Pirates of the Caribbean:
The lighting has been adjusted once again in the Pirates of the Caribbean grotto scene.

now there is more amber lighting. It was mostly blue last week.

Ghost Galaxy:
This past Wednesday a flash bulb burst at the on ride photo portion of Ghost Galaxy, showering one guest with bits of glass. No injuries were reported and the ride was able to resume normal operations shortly after the incident. However, the on-ride photo feature is currently unavailable.

In space, no one can see you flash.

The on-ride photo system has been shuttered until repairs can be made

Haunted Mansion Holiday:
After the opening day push, Haunted mansion Holiday has calmed down quite a bit. The average wait time is 15 mins during the day. There is a noticeable uptick in wait times after the locals get out of school and off of work but the waits have remained mostly reasonable.

Next time you are visiting, take note...

If you are entering the regular line, stay all the way to the left. FastPasses and disability passes enter in the middle lane. the far right is for disabled exits.

The Oogie Boogie wind up doll IS in the toy attic scene.

Big Thunder Ranch:
One of the most charming aspects of Halloween at Disneyland park is the Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Time Round up. The ranch is transformed into a sea of orange pumpkins, festive decor and artistry.

C'mon in pard'ner

Even the goats get into the spirit.

A master pumpkin carver sculpts familiar faces.

We know what you want, but is that the pumpkin you need?

Jack and Sally in a surrey.

Friendly pumpkin-folk inhabit the cabin

Village Haus:
The Haus is closer and closer to reopening ...

Let down your Hair!

Just don't get it in the food.

WOOF! Rapunzel must have one BIG hair net for when she is in the kitchen.

Mickey's ToonTown:
Over in Mickey's Toontown is getting a little work

Enter the world of cartoons

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon spin is behind walls.

The ride has no official return date.

Our pal Jeffrey is back with the latest Disney Geek and answers a MiceChat reader question:

Disney California Adventure embarks on a major phase of its overhaul. Walls have sprung up all over the park from Hollywood Pictures Backlot to Paradise Pier.

DCA Entrance:

The tile mural that was once touted as an attraction upon DCA's opening is now on its way to becoming a part of park history. Although a nice piece of work, the mural's concept never really seemed to connect with park goers who were meant to feel as though they were walking into a post card.

Soon to be Buena Vista Street.

ElecTronica construction is growing in size and has moved out into the Sunshine Plaza. The video screen seen below will be cycling Tron images while at the same time obscuring the deconstruction of the shiny hubcap behind it.
ElecTronica is planned to debut on Oct. 8th

Tron stage in the Sunshine Plaza.

Metal scaffolding in front of the Animation bulding.

A stage of sorts has been built on top of the Mickey fountain in front of Monsters Inc.

Soon to be an electronic wonderland.

The footing for the structure seems to blend a lot better than Glow Fest's supports did.

Hyperion Theatre:
Hyperion Theatre's facade is looking better and better each week.

Nothin' but blue skies

A chunk of wall has been removed near the old Cruela D'Ville meet and greet by the bathrooms.

Almost done.

Catch a Flave is still under refurbishment.

Let's hope the flavors come back.


The removal of the Maliboomer is getting a slow start as the scaffolds have now reached to the top of the structure. Deconstruction is a tricky endeavor as there is, of course, an operating roller coaster under its shadow. The crane being used to pick the ride apart can only be operated during day light, this only leaves roughly 4-5 hours available each day to do the work. Despite these constraints the tower is scheduled to be fully removed by November.

The Dark Tower

Doesn't this remind you of Lord of the Rings?

Workers with a fear of heights need not apply.

World of Color:
As noted by an Al Lutz note in this week's MiceChat Round Up, there appears to be quite a bit more wrong with World of Color than Disney initially let on. The platforms continue to struggle night after night and the water in the lagoon gets ever murkier. Workers are continuing to aide the valiant efforts of the show's new technology on a daily basis.

The air bladders seem to be the cause of much of the work.

Paradise Pier Food Court:

Behind the walls over near Mulholland Madness work has begun in earnest.

Concrete has been torn up.

The foundation for a structure is being prepped.

But the burger still hasn't left the planet.

The expanse of Carsland continues to grow upward as steel beams and structures reach skyward.

Let's look at some Carsland action.

This will soon be covered with wire mesh for the rock sculpting.

Rock sculpting like this.

Luigi's Tire Pit entrance building and Flo's in the foreground.

The scope is rather impressive.

Not too much has begun on the farm just yet.

Round she goes

Wow that's a lot of steel. They better save a little to build that new Disney cruise ship!

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure:

Going under the sea will become a family experience when The Little Mermaid opens next year. Right now the show building is being finished up and ride technology is being installed.

Finishing things up on the outside.

The Dome of Undersea-ness

Knott's Berry Farm has been getting ready for it's busiest season of the entire year. The world famous Halloween Haunt opens its creaky gates to terrify and amuse us for its 38th year.

Today we get a look at some of the frightening things you will find tonight at the haunt.

Halloween Haunt:
Knott's Entertainment Designer Todd Faux leads the charge into the murky depths of fear by creating a world of crazy killer clowns, ravenous zombies and escaped lunatics to entertain horror fans.

Entertainment Design Manager, Todd Faux poses
with a guy in a black shirt. (Sorry Todd, we couldn't help ourselves)

Uncle Bobo's Big top of the Bizarre:

Uncle Bobo's Big Top of the Bizarre is a technicolor kaleidoscope of monterous clowns bent on terrorizing all who visit. During a preview this week, the talent in this maze gave 101% and were unrelenting in their scary/goofy/fun. Make sure to catch this one.

Please come in (note the ToonTown look)

A dizzying nightmare of colors

Come and play, won't you?

he mentally deranged are loose and on the attack in this full blown prison riot.

The entrance to Lockdown.

Extra Crispy.

Terror of London:
In what was certainly one of last years highlights, Terror of London returns with great talent and enhanced effects.

Enter the fog

Jack Strikes again, and again, and again!

The Doll Factory:
The Doll Factory returns for more creepy mechanical mayhem. A mad doll maker is capturing victims and creating living dolls. Escaping his factory is a difficult thing to do.

This isn't the type of maze that will terrify you, but it does set the perfect mood for Haunt. Lovely, creepy, and skewed, this maze remains a highlight.

Come to the factory if you dare.

The talent in this maze really gets into it this year.

I don't bite?

Dia De Los Muertos:
A fun homage to Dia De Los Muertos and a psychedelic romp through latin legend and folklore. Again, this is another maze not meant to terrify, but to entertain, and startle. Good fun, but mostly identical to last year.

The test audience queues up

ΏQueres chicle?

The ancestors come out to visit.

Look out for La Llarona

Sleepy Hollow Mountain:

Although not in "Haunt mode" we took a ride through the rethemed Log ride. The sets are coming together nicely. We can't wait to see the finished product on this one!

Enter the line

Anybody seen Trick r' Treat?

They re-purposed the dead cowboy from last year. Looks good.

Here's the church, here's the steeple.

Camp Spooky:

Now, although the park is scary at night, there is plenty for younger ghosts and goblins to enjoy during the day. Camp Snoopy is Transformed into Camp Spooky and caters to the 10 and younger set with meet and greets stage shows and trick or treating.

So cute!

Pumpkins along the creek

Take a spin on Sierra Sidewinder.


Ghostrider has reopened after a brief refurb period. We will take a ride next week to see if the ride experience has benefited from the break.

Goldie's Place:

Goldies Place is nearly complete and is looking amazing. Just one thing remains to be added.

The structure will soon be open.

The sign points to the town jail.

Where's the leg?

Poor Joe is just itching for new visitors.

Along with Knott's, Universal Studios Hollywood is also ready for their big event, Halloween Horror Nights. Meanwhile Citywalk looses a resident, Pirates 4 wraps up filming on the outdoor set, and a new wall appears in front of the Transformers site.

City Walk:
City Walk lost the Chocolate Loco store. Oh well, there is always Sparky's across the way.

No Mas

TIP: Try Wolfgang Puck L.A. Bistro for lunch while at the park. They have a great meal deal for only $8.00 and it's just outside the entrance to the park!

Main Entrance:

The main entrance is all scared up.

Freddy greets you.

What Fear fears most? A Bad Manicure.

Also murderous moms and crazy clowns.

Halloween Horror Nights:
New HHN merchandise has been rolled out in time for the event.

Care to play a game?

These are actually cool.

Lunaticz run crazy.

We hear that this maze is a real stand out. A must do.

The Zombie vision 3D really enhances the maze.

We hear the Freddy maze is a cut above.

Jason is ready for guests too.

La Llarona scare zone

Why does it have to be Klownz?

The freaks come out at night.

Kate Moss?

Terror Tram:
The Terror Tram route has a new resident with murderous mommy, [ame=""]La Llorona - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame].

Finishing touches are being put on the War of the Worlds set for HHN.

Jurassic Park in the Dark & Skull Island Express:
Two attractions in the lower lot are exclusive to Halloween Horror Nights. The Jurassic Park in the Dark ride and the new Skull Island Express.

Enter for Jurassic Park through the regular entrance.

Take a left and go up the stairs for a tram ride straight to the Studios newest attraction.

Jurassic Park:

Jurassic Park receives some maintenance.

"Welcome to Jurassic Fence!"

Despite this Brachiosaur being gone

There is another near by to see.

Lower Lot:

On the lower lot a new fence has been erected in front of the Transformers site. It features a sign for the Saw:Game on maze for this year.

See Saw

Look away ladies

Studio Tour:
The paving project near the Earthquake show building is nearing completion.

Little Europe:
Uplighting has appeared throughout the Little Europe area of the Backlot. The tour guide gave suggestions that it might be for a private event or a film. He didn't exactly know.

Wisteria Lane:
Just as Halloween is kicking into gear in the parks, the sets which were Halloween themed last week are now returning to normalcy.

The house used for NBC's Parenthood has lost its spooky decor.

Pirates 4 set strike:
Pirates 4 appears to be ending its long shoot on the huge exterior backlot set. The set has started to be struck.

The contents of the tower

The tower in ruins.

The styrofoam rockwork is being torn down.

We reported last week on the retail offerings in the Studio Store at the front of the park. Although mediocre, the store was well presented and reasonably priced.

Well, here is a tip. Instead of
dealing with the massive headaches of last minute shopping you can easily stop by the Studio Souvenirs shop near the entrance of the Studio Tram Tour.

Stop by the Studio Souvenirs shop

It has al the monkey business you are looking for without the hassle.

Something for the actor or actress in your life?

Mugs are universal.

Annual Passholder deals:

Another interesting shopping option is in the upper lot at the Palace theater facade. Annual Passholders get special deals on top of the regular discounts offered.

The award for best Pass holder goes to...

Everything is 15% off as usual.

But anything with a red tag gets AP'ers 30% off the marked price.

Not a bad deal really.

And that just about does it for this week in SoCal theme park goodness. Don't forget to follow our LIVE coverage of the D23 Destination D event Friday the 24th and Saturday the 25th - HERE.

Before we sign off for the week, we want to share a contest that our good friend Circarama is running to celebrate the sale of his beloved Mr. Toad ride vehicle. You could win a Mr. Toad collectible

Find out how you can win this little lovely for your very own: Circarama's Toad-ally Awesome MiceChat Challenge
If you happen to run across any interesting theme park or attraction news or have photos that you'd like to share with us, please consider contacting us at [email protected]. Still looking for photos and news from the theme parks you love? There's a world of fun information to read elsewhere on MiceChat, might we suggest:

  • Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks and other sights and landmarks!
  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • And you'll always find something interesting on the forums and on MiceAge.

Tell your friends about MiceChat and In The Parks, sharing is caring!

Today's update was brought to you by our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors Captphoebus, CoheteBoy, Fishbulb, Pratt55, SirClinksalot, and Dustysage.

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of another wonderful update . . .

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  1. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update !

    No Jonas Brothers...boooooooooooooo
  2. jimmy467's Avatar
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    the lord of the rings????
    which scene????
  3. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy467
    the lord of the rings????
    which scene????
    I believe that the dark tarps remind Fishy of the Dark Tower.
  4. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!
  5. Fishbulb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage
    I believe that the dark tarps remind Fishy of the Dark Tower.
    No, Sarumon's tower

  6. michael darling's Avatar
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    Don't know HOW you guys find the time.

    Good thing you are taking pics of the interior rockwork in CarsLand. From the looks of it, parts will be closed up, and future generations will ask "what's INSIDE that rockwork?". A basketball court? Feral cats? The burger from burger invasion? Who knows! Ah, but WE will know. We will know.

    "In The Parks" is very fun to view each week. THANKS
    Updated 09-24-2010 at 04:40 AM by michael darling (misspelling)
  7. penguinsoda's Avatar
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    A shout out for MiceChat from the D23 Geek? How cool is that! Awesome report as always everyone! DCA is looking better and better!! It makes it a mess right now with all the construction going on, but once its finished it will be a better park to visit!
  8. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  9. TravisMT81's Avatar
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    That WoC diver is cute hahaha!
  10. JADP's Avatar
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    I thought Luigis Flying Tires was an outdoor ride...I'm pleasently suprised that it is not. (I know Maters will be outdoors).

    Great Report, thanks for the construction update!
  11. Fishbulb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JADP
    I thought Luigis Flying Tires was an outdoor ride...I'm pleasently suprised that it is not. (I know Maters will be outdoors).

    Great Report, thanks for the construction update!

    No, it is an outdoor ride. We were referring to the entrance building.
  12. richboi117's Avatar
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    HAHAHA!! I love the mama odie pumpkin!
  13. lilbigguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TravisMT81
    That WoC diver is cute hahaha!
    I have to agree!
  14. CaptainEO,ATIS's Avatar
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    When will Disney just drop the jonas brothers?
  15. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    What has happened to the Pirate ship Parade float used in the now removed Disneyland hotel swimming pool? Was it saved like the old Natures Wonderland train?
  16. BassBone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishbulb
    No, Sarumon's tower

    Orthanc, you mean?
  17. mondo's Avatar
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    Autobot Hot Rod, Is this too early for merchandise for the Transformers ride
  18. toemblem's Avatar
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    Soon to be Buena Vista Street.

    I heard the Golden Gate bridge is coming down but will the monorail still run through there? It seems like a theming problem for Buena Vista Street.

    Also, is it me or is a "dia de los muertos" themed maze in poor taste?
  19. Princess Victoria's Avatar
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    Great update. Thank you!

    I'm looking forward to checking out Universal tomorrow night. I've been there once before, but never for the Halloween festivities.
  20. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toemblem

    I heard the Golden Gate bridge is coming down but will the monorail still run through there? It seems like a theming problem for Buena Vista Street.
    The Monorail won't move, but a bridge more in keeping with the theme of Buena Vista Street will be built in place of the Golden Gate.

    Quote Originally Posted by toemblem
    Also, is it me or is a "dia de los muertos" themed maze in poor taste?
    Dia De Lost Muertos was one of the highlights of last year's haunt. I'm not sure if it is in "Bad taste," yours is the first comment I've seen in that vein. However, I'm not Hispanic, so I really don't have a sense for how much play can be given to the Dia De Lost Muertos theme before it becomes an insult to the culture. I'd invite our Hispanic readers to chime in on whether the maze celebrates, parodies, or defames this aspect of their culture.
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