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In the Parks

Disneyland Halloween Time Arrives, DCA, Knott's and Universal Construction

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 09-15-2011 at 09:36 PM

Ready to travel through southern California's theme parks for the latest info? We cover quite a bit of ground today. Halloween Time arrives at Disneyland today and is soon on the way to all of the other local parks and attractions. Disney California Adventure is in full press construction mode to meet all time tables in order to open a whole new land as well as a new entry by June of 2012. Will they make it? Sure looks like they are trying. We'll also take you to Knott's Berry farm and Universal Studios Hollywood today for the latest news and photos.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Next week (September 29th through 23rd), In The Parks and Dateline Disneyland will be switching places. That's right, for this coming Monday only you will be able to return to MiceAge/MiceChat to read more about all of the things going on in So-Cal theme parks. Included in Monday's special edition of in the parks which will offer a comprehensive listing of each of the major theme parks Halloween offerings this season. See you Monday!


Tickets have now sold out for MiceChat's
Sat. September 24th Knott's Scary Farm event. But we'll tell you how to get your name on the waiting list in the event someone drops out or Knott's makes more tickets available to us. Tickets are still available for our Fri. September 30th Universal Hollywood Halloween Horror nights events as well as our spooktacular Queen Mary Dark Harbor event Saturday, October 8th (one of the real haunted spots in LA). AMAZING behind the scenes access, dinner, and front of the line access to the scary fun is available at all of our events. . . . All at a price that won't scare you to death!

Universal Studios Hollywood
Halloween Horror Nights

Friday September 30th

Discusion and updated info on MiceChat HERE.
•3 Course Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe at CityWalk
•Meet and Greet with John Murdy
•Front of the line access to and Terror Tram (One time use per maze)
•VIP seating to the Bill and Ted Show

A $150 dollar value for just $95.00!

Discusion and updated info on MiceChat HERE.
•Front of the line access
an AMAZING value at just $55.00


•Admission & Early Entry
•Backstage tour (Maze/costuming/make-up)
•Pre-Scare Dinner
•Meet and Greet with Haunt makers and legends
•Raffle with your chance to be a •monster in a haunt maze that night
•Front of the line access to mazes
•VIP seating to all shows

Halloween Time fun for families returns to the Disneyland Resort from Sept. 16 - Oct. 31. Fall colors and decorations have made their way into the parks. And the big Mickey pumpkin on Main Street apparently even spooked one of the Trolley horses.

Parking Tram Route:

Pumpkin Royalty: Minnie, Mickey and Donald have reappeared near the Mickey & Friends parking structure.

Happy Halloween Time!

Pluto helps ghosts harvest pumpkins in this returning display.

Goofy is evidently not afraid of costumed ghosts.

Main Street Pumpkin Festival:
The pumpkin theme starts above the entrance gates with giant jack-o-lanterns of the Fab Five. About 300 unique pumpkins will soon decorate Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street's red, white and blue bunting have been replaced with bright, fall colors.

Apparently, on Wednesday morning the newly installed, large pumpkin mickey in Town Square gave one of the horses quite a scare. Not used to the big orange Mickey gourd the horse was spooked and took a tumble. Not to worry, all was fine in the end.

The exterior of Photo Supply Co. will soon be picture-perfect again.

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy:
Creepy cosmic creatures will soon take over Space Mountain today for its Halloween overlay. Installation required closing the attraction for only four days.

Pavement outside Space Mountain and Captain EO is being replaced behind the walls.

Space ghosts take over today (Sept. 16)

Captain EO is still saving the world, but you must take a temporarily rerouted path to see him.

Haunted Mansion Holiday:

Jack Skellington and his crew have been busy decking the mansion for the annual holiday overlay which shows what happens when Halloween and Christmas collide. The attraction opens Sept. 16 and continues its run through the Christmas season. Here's a look at some of the exterior details.

Zero days until Haunted Mansion Holiday, as of today.

Don't park your strollers here when the mansion reopens.

FASTPASS will be used once again for Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Big Thunder Ranch:
Halloween Roundup decorations have appeared in Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo as well as the barbecue.

We love the pumpkin people.


The final scene through the Primeval World diorama (or should we say "Dinorama") has been refurbished and it's worth a ride on the Disneyland Railroad to see the improvements. The stegosaurus and tyrannosaurs fighting around a lava pit are looking more fierce and lifelike than ever before. As the T-Rex moves, you can see his skin jiggle and move in a very realistic way.

The attraction, along with Blue Bayou restaurant, remain closed during its lengthy refurbishment (expected to return in late November).

Disney California Adventure has about 8 months until its official re-launch and both the front and back of the park is currently under construction. The race against time continues this week as Buena Vista street tops out and Cars Land details emerge. Will they make it on time? We think they will (what do you think?).

All of the facades from the right hand side buildings (restrooms, lockers, Engineer Toys, Burrbank IceCream) have been stripped and are awaiting reconstruction.

Welcome to Disney California Adventure.

The west side of the street.

What used to be the lockers and restrooms. The tree remains, but the ATM machine building was removed.

The fountain at the center of Buena Vista Street has beautiful blue tile.

Ladies and gentlemen, the CUPOLA of the Carthay Circle Theater has been installed. They used a crane to plop it into place last week.

The rest of the Carthay Circle Theater is enshrouded in green netting.

The pump house walls could be removed soon.

Junior Master Chef Australia was in Paradise Park this week taping their show.

The Disney gang cheers them on.

Do you want to know who the winner is? You will have to tune in and find out! Visit their website here to watch episodes and follow the Junior Chef action.

California Screamin' has been thrown for a loop, literally. The ride is down while its signature element is being completely replaced and reinforced.

Over in Cars Land, the scaffolding continues to subside, leaving behind beautiful sculpted rock work. While on the floor of Radiator Springs, the details of the town continues to develop and emerge.

Those blotches will soon be painted to match the surrounding rock work.

The town court house is the last building to be finished.

The track is nearly ready to begin testing.

Luigi's Flying Tires.

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.

Cozy Cones construction creating convincing covering.

Electronica has been powered down for the month of September. The night time street party is getting some much needed TLC and updating ts show elements. It will reopen on September 30th.

At least the food truck is still open.

MiceChatter With Sarah
Sarah's back with a new Vlog. Looks like she's been thrown out of the house. But we are so impressed she did this video all in one take, while walking down the street and knitting a sweater.

Sunday October 2nd, 2011
Join Us For A Free MiceChat Eye Spy Game at California Adventure

Meet us at 3pm on Sunday the 2nd of October in front of Monster's Inc. near the ElecTRONica Stage. For a quick hour and a half family friendly event.

We'll give you a full color game book with images and clues you need to find in the park. It's like a visual scavenger hunt. Anyone of any age will find this hour and a half long event to be a fun diversion. And you might just win some neat prizes too.

Visit this discussion on MiceChat to enter the event (bring your friends and family!).

Knott's Berry farm is gearing up for their world famous Halloween Haunt (they were the first to do a large scale haunt event in a theme park setting). The preparations take months of back-breaking work. But it results in one of the most exciting theme park experiences. Let's take a look at what is new this week.

Around the park, skeletons, themed bunting, Haunted mazed and all sorts of holiday props are popping up on stage.

Ghost Town:
Ghost Town is the classic setting for Halloween Haunt. The black and purple bunting is hung and the spiders, rats and ravens are all in place.

This is what happens when you assign your students too much homework

The Hanging:
The Calico Stage is being transformed into the set for The Hanging. The stage is raked this year and seems to be a bit more compact.

Here is an overview.

Who will walk the gallows this year? Will it be Snookie? Charlie Sheen? Lady Gaga? Or some other pop culture icon?

Sleepy Hollow Mountain (Log Ride):
Things are coming along nicely at Sleepy Hollow Mountain. The brilliant Sleepy Hollwo overlay to the Timber Mountain Log Ride is progressively taking shape with props taking their place along the flume.

The Headless Horseman animatronic.

Hall of Heads.

The witches cauldron.

These flats are awaiting installation.

The finale.

Pumpkin garland has been hung over the station.

And pumpkins are out at the last drop turn-around.

Invasion Beneath (Calico Mine Ride):
There isn't too much to be seen, just yet, with the brand new Invasion Beneath overlay to the classic mine ride. There are a few scare platforms installed, and little else at the moment. With just one week until show time, we bet there are a lot of staff sweating over all the last minute work yet to do.

A scare platform in the glory hole.

Boardwalk Fountain:
Another nice touch has shown up in the Boardwalk area of all places. Spitting Gargoyles have been installed in the fountain and they look GREAT.

Nice touch

Virus Z:
Not much we can see from the outside on Virus Z but there is plenty going on inside the walls. Hammers, drills and other noises are a constant sound from this maze now.

Corn Stalkers:
The facade for Cornstalkers is ready to be dressed as is most of the rest of the maze. Be sure to hit this one this year. It has become one of our favorites.

ENDGAMES: Warriors of the Apocalypse
The final maze to begin construction is the ambitious Endgames maze in Camp Snoopy. Walls have suddenly gone up and set dressing and major props have begun. Painting is now underway and the maze should barely just be completed in time for dress rehearsals.

Layers of deconstruction throughout the maze.

A steampunk gear bed.

An oven made of wood. It will all be painted to look real(ish)

"What Fear Fears Most" will soon be unleashed during Halloween Horror Nights on select dates from Sept. 23-Oct. 31. Scare zones and mazes have started to come together in preparation for the Sept. 20 Employee Preview and Sept. 23 Opening Night.

"Scream" scare zone:

The "Scream" Scare Zone at the entrance has received extra lighting.

Klownz scare zone on New York Street:

Looks like the Hulk has become a Killer Klown

Zombieville scare zone on Baker Street:

Yep, brain sucking lawyer.

Freakz scare zone on French Street:
Most of the gypsy wagons used in this scare zone were used in Universal silent horror films.

Eli Roth's Hostel: Hunting Season

Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare:
The Nightmare maze is coming together nicely, complete with menacing house facade.

The Thing: Assimilation
The Thing maze, built in the space of the former Wild west arena is the final maze to be taking shape.

Terror Tram: Scream 4 Your Life
Halloween elements in the backlot are moving into place.

A new addition to this year's Terror Tram route includes a detour through a mini maze in front of the "Psycho" Bates Motel.

Transformers: The Ride
Moving on from Halloween, let's look at one of the most highly anticipated attractions to ever come to Universal. Lots of walls have gone up in the Lower Lot marking the beginning of a massive refurb in preparation for Transformers' spring 2012 opening. This first phase of the refurb will last until November and closes Tomb Treasures as well as the stage area between Ben & Jerry's and the Transformers site.

Parts of this building will soon become a Transformers gift shop.

The contract between Universal Studios Hollywood and El Pollo Loco has ended and will not be renewed. Hollywood Cantina has closed for the season but will reopen later in the year with a new menu of in-house made products. We're glad. Why go into the park to eat food you can get in any city of the country.


A strip of pavement near AMC CityWalk Cinemas gets replaced.

Join us on Monday for a special edition of In The Parks!

And that wraps up today's update. We'll have a special editing of In The Parks for you on Monday while Dateline Disneyland is on vacation. Dateline will return next Friday in our normal spot. But don't worry, all this is just for one week. We'll all be back on our regular schedules soon.

Today's update was brought to you by the following members of our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors: Capt Phoebus, Daniel Lew, F!an, Sir Clinksalot, Gaptoothed, Fishbulb, and Dustysage. (If you've got breaking news or photos to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact Dusty today.)

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Updated 09-26-2011 at 09:05 AM by Fishbulb



  1. mickeyfan4ever's Avatar
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    grate i cant wait for mickey halloween party
  2. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  3. DisneyResort's Avatar
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    I think Buena Vista Street and Carsland should open on time. It certainly can't end up the huge embarrassment of Fantasmic's new Malificent Dragon, which was highly promoted as part of Summer Nightastic a few years ago. If you remember, because of technical delays, the dragon never showed up until well after the summer.
  4. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update!
  5. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update!
  6. Wendygirl's Avatar
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    The horse incident would explain why I noticed yesterday so many CM's with a trolley. One was driving, one riding along, one walking by the horse at the front and one walking alongside.

    Last evening after the parade they had the roof of Ghost Galaxy fully operational - all the lights and sounds. Very cool to see with no one around me.
  7. TCadillac's Avatar
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    That "Klownz" section at USH looks utterly disturbing....
  8. LiTtLeMeRmAiD's Avatar
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    Apologies if this was mentioned somewhere else and I missed it, but does anyone know what is happening in Critter Country? I was there yesterday and the meet and greet honeypot area was walled off (and a peek thru the wall showed the ground and planters all torn up). Just general refurb, or something new?
  9. F!an's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiTtLeMeRmAiD
    Apologies if this was mentioned somewhere else and I missed it, but does anyone know what is happening in Critter Country? I was there yesterday and the meet and greet honeypot area was walled off (and a peek thru the wall showed the ground and planters all torn up). Just general refurb, or something new?
  10. LiTtLeMeRmAiD's Avatar
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    Well, yes. I was there yesterday and I saw that. But my question was does anyone at MiceAge or others on the board know why this is happening and what the purpose is.
  11. martinjbell1986's Avatar
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    Does anyone know more specifics on the Pirates / Blue Bayou refurb?
  12. SpectroMan's Avatar
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    In talking to one of the creators of such, The Pooh meet & greet area was meant as temporary one-summer set up (like so many other things at the Park that end up permanent) and had reached end of life, and then some. That's why it's coming out. I have no idea if any replacement is scheduled.
  13. brian11811's Avatar
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    Wow, How do you guys get out the parks every week and take such great pictures? After work?
  14. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinjbell1986
    Does anyone know more specifics on the Pirates / Blue Bayou refurb?
    It is just a refurbishment. The water rides need a lot of tender loving care. Pirates goes down every once in a while for maintenance and to freshen the props and effects. Blue Bayou closes because the work lights are usually on during refurb.
  15. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian11811
    Wow, How do you guys get out the parks every week and take such great pictures? After work?
    Teamwork. We have a lot of great folks who visit the parks after work or on their days off to help assemble this update for you. It's a whole lot of work, but we enjoy doing it.
  16. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice update.

  17. FredSimmons's Avatar
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    You said about Universal: "Why go into the park to eat food you can get in any city of the country."

    I feel the same about the way Knott's is headed.

    It's ironic, because Knott's amusement area began as a sideshow for Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, and their boysenberry stand. The place was literally built around food - it's own food.

    But in the last few years, they have opened a Panda Express inside the park (which replaced the original Shootin' Gallery), a Johnny Rockets (where the Penny Arcade was), a Pink's hot dogs and a Cinnabon shop (where the old Cable Car Cafe used to be), and a TGI Friday's (right across the street from the Chicken Dinner Restaurant).

    Why go to Knott's to eat the same food you can get in any neighborhood in Los Angeles?

    And the most of the restaurants don't match the surrounding theming. Johnny Rockets is a '50s diner, stuck in the Roaring 20's section of the park. The modern Panda Express has nothing to do with Ghost Town. And TGI Friday's looks out of place in the semi-rural MarketPlace.