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In the Parks

Disneyland Halloween, DCA Buena Vista, Knott's, Six Flags and Haunt Updates

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 09-18-2011 at 09:24 PM

Halloween arrived at Disneyland on Friday and celebrations are starting to kick in at all of the major Southern California theme parks. Join us as we tour the fun fall festivities and see if there are any activities you'd like to add to your entertainment list. We also share an interesting look at at Knott's Berry Farm's "Scare School," it's where the monsters go to learn how to make you scream. Along the way, we'll introduce you to Haunt designer, Daniel Miller, as we discuss his highly anticipated new creation, Delirium. Finally, there's progress on the Manta coaster construction as well as some Halloween happenings at some of the other Southern California attractions.

Are you wondering why In The Parks is running on Monday this week? Well, it just so happens that Andy Castro is away on vacation the first part of this week and we'll be in Hawaii the latter half of the week, so we decided to swap publishing dates this week only. Here we go, it's time for a special Monday edition of In the Parks.


Tickets have now sold out for MiceChat's
Sat. September 24th Knott's Scary Farm event. But why don't you join us for our Fri. September 30th Universal Hollywood Halloween Horror nights event as well as our spooktacular Queen Mary Dark Harbor meet 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!

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

Universal Studios Hollywood
Halloween Horror Nights

Friday September 30th

Discusion and updated info on MiceChat HERE.
•Admission and front of line access to mazes and Terror Tram*
•3 Course Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe at CityWalk
•Meet and Greet with Universal Horror Nights creators
•VIP seating to the Bill and Ted Show
*One time use per maze
A $150 dollar value for just $95.00!

Disneyland resort kicked off their annual, family-friendly style Halloween celebration on Friday, September 16th and continues through October 31st. Despite the lack of surprises, it's still a treat to see all of the fall decorations and activities. That's not to mention the returning favorites, Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. It's wonderful time of year to visit the resort. Lets take a look at what is offered.

The Mickey Pumpkin in Town Square greats visitors with a big, orange smile.

Skeleton Goofy greets guests. We really enjoy seeing what crazy outfits the characters will wear each year.

Decorated Lamp posts along Main Street. (Keep this image in mind for later in the update)

Main Street is adorned with candy corn colored bunting.

Many of the awnings are decorated with glowing pumpkins.

Mickey's Halloween Party:
Mickey's Halloween Party launched last year as an up-charge event geared towards Halloween fun for the family set. While many balked at the idea of suddenly paying for what was once free (Decorations, and the Halloween Fireworks show) there was actually much more to the event than just decorations and fireworks. Mickey's Halloween Party offers...

  • Admission to the Disneyland Park up to 3 hours prior to the event's start time
  • Photos with favorite Disney Villains
  • Special treat stations offering candy (and healthy goodies for those who are being good)
  • Dress up and enjoy the ghoulish goings-on at Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade Parade
  • At Piratepalooza in Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante, kick up your boots with Goofy and other swashbucklers.
  • Come to Tomorrowland Terrace for Buzz Lightyear's Intergalactic Space Jam
  • Access to nearly all attractions, including Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Free parking for one vehicle. Although larger vehicles may require an additional fee
The tickets range in price from $49.00-$64.00 depending on the night and what evening you chose to go. There are special rates for Passholders, but you do need to set up your account on to take advantage of the offer online. You can purchase your tickets to Mickey's Halloween Party here.

Haunted Mansion Holiday:
Jack Skellington has returned to New Orleans Square to bring his own brand of holiday fun to the Mansion. Haunted Mansion Holiday commanded wait times over an hour on opening day, last Friday, and the FastPass machines are on and going full steam ahead. A word of advice; get to the park early, grab your FastPass and go take a ride. Then, later on in the day, take another trip through the mansion with your pass.

This year is just as good as any other. The lack of new additions is a bummer, but not a deal breaker. We still get the wonderful floating Leota ornament in the seance room, what appeared to be a few lighting tweaks throughout the mansion, and the annual gingerbread monstrosity in the ballroom, (and we mean that in a good way). Grab your peppermint latte and visit Jack.

Just outside of the Mansion, a new collectible popcorn bucket has been unearthed.

The Jack Skellington coffin. $12.00

Ghost Galaxy:
The Halloween overlay to Space Mountain returns to frighten space travelers. Ghost Galaxy opened Friday. The fact that they can make this ride functional in just two days is pretty impressive. However, that they haven't plussed up this holiday overlay with queue effects and additional elements in the three years it has been running is a bit of a disappointment.

The ride through the stars, being chased by a malevolent creature, is one of our favorite Disneyland overlays. But after three years, you would think they would maybe make a few minor improvements to the experience. Simple touches like a new queue soundtrack that warns space travelers of strange goings on or improved safety video pre-show would do wonders to keep this experience fresh.

Meet and Greet:
In the Small World Mall, a rotating cast of villains are ready to meet and greet their fans. Keep an eye out as some rare characters pop up here every so often (The old hag from Snow White, Judge Frollo, as well as the more main stream baddies).

Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Round-Up:
Over in Frontierland, the home-spun flavor of a hoedown Halloween is the order of the day. The amazing thing to see here is the pumpkin carvings done in the shape of Disney characters.

Rancho Del Zocalo:
In Zocalo Park it's Dia De Los Muertos. Nothing new here, again. But there is still the brightly colored, festive decorations of this latin holiday.

Beautiful stuff here.

In a bit of news that is unrelated to Halloween, there seems to be a bit of work going on in Critter Country in the area that contain the Winnie-the-Pooh meet and greet. Nothing official has been announced just yet, but it appears that the meet and greet, which was only a temporary installation, will be going away.

Expect crowds to trend upward this week as Disneyland enters the Halloween season. As the fall and winter holiday seasons approach, can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With holiday crowds on the horizon, it's a good time to subscribe to to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

Monday, September 19, 2011

3 / 10
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 3 / 10
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3 / 10
Thursday, September 22, 2011 4 / 10

Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you'll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Partial AP blockouts this weekend.
  • Expect heavy crowds over the weekend as Guests come to experience the Halloween overlays.
  • Disneyland park's lowest days will be Tuesday , when it's an 1.4.
See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on your iPhone, Android, or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

Disney California Adventure goes largely untouched this Halloween season, Duffy appears to be the only one getting into the spirit of the season. The rest of the park continues to focus on construction as Buena Vista Street and Cars Land press on with their construction.


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!).

Here's a look at the current progress on Buena Vista Street.

The exterior on the Carthay Circle Theater obscured by green construction netting, but you can clearly make out that drywall is going up around the entire building.

Behind the walls at the heart of Buena Vista Street. That fountain will serve as a sort of hub for DCA.

What used to be the lockers and bathrooms

Behind those construction walls at the front gate.

Palm trees have gone in near the pump house and trolley stop.

The view from Condor Flats

As work continues on replacing California Screamin's loop, some other bits of maintenance are also being handled on the attraction.

The station is being repainted and touched up.

There's a bit more color around the queue as some lovely plants have filled in what was once a much more sandy looking landscape.

Let's scan the vista and see if we can spot any new details. A couple things we noticed this week was the increasing amount of trees, especially by Luigi's and the lamp posts being installed along the main drag.

Notice the brown lamp posts along the street.

Most of the scaffolding has come off of the top of the butte

Along with the fence, Luigi's will have trees as a berm.

Near the edge of the rock-work, new steel supports have been installed to support new out-facing rock facades.

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

A new facade is being installed on the side of what was the Bountiful Valley Farm barn.

And here's our cone-y conclusion to the Carsland construction!

It's Knott's Scary Farm time, Camp Spooky during the day for the kiddos. Whatever your preference, Halloween is everywhere. Knott's Scary farm begins this Friday night.

We took a trip to the park this week to find out how the biggest Halloween haunt of them all gets put together? Where do these folks come up with these ideas? Who are the monsters that they hire to scare us? Will they be ready for opening weekend? Let's find out.

The front is being spooky-fied.

Ghost Town has received a creepy holiday covering.

Who dreams up the crazy mazes and scares at Knott's? We'd like to introduce you to one of the best.

Daniel Miller, Maze desiner of Delirium.

Meet Daniel Miller, former Haunt Monster, twisted maze designer, and Gaiman-esque author of the book, The Short Death of Phineas Bean. ( Miller has made Knott's Berry Farm his home for the past 16 years and has developed a knack for designing remarkably inventive haunted attractions. Some of his creations include Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns, Malice in Wunderland, Hatchet High, The Asylum, Redbeard's Revenge, Slaughterhouse, Terrorvision (Co-Designer), Asylum and Lockdown, Fallout Shelter and his latest haunted spectacular . . . Delirium.

The highly anticipated new maze delves into a bizarre world of nightmarish imagery from inside a demented mind. Who better to bring this waking dream to life than Daniel?!

MiceChat recently took a walk through Delirium with Daniel and we have an interesting interview to share with you.

MC: Many of our readers will remember your mazes like Beowulf and The Grudge.

DANIEL: Actually, it's an interesting story, I originally designed Delirium the year we did the Grudge maze. I think it was 5 years ago.

MC: You've had Delirium on the shelf since then?

DANIEL: Yes, I've had a design on the shelf but the original one was completely different than the current one. What ended up happening was I borrowed a lot of ideas from the original Delirium mazes and put them in other mazes I designed since then. So when I finally got the chance to produce the current version of Delirium I had to redesign a lot of it.

MC: You borrowed a lot of the original Delirium idea to make The Grudge?

The entrance to Delirium.

DANIEL: Yes, I'd say I took OUT a lot of the original Delirium to make the Grudge.

Delirium was all laid out and was planned to go in Fiesta Plaza. But Sony came to us with the idea for a Grudge 2 maze. They gave us the script and asked us to put together plans. I took the original Delirium and re-purposed most of it by putting several Grudge-specific rooms in the layout. The eyeball hallway wasn't something we came up with for Grudge, that was a leftover idea from the original Delirium. But it worked well into the Grudge.

Thankfully, it all came out okay and everyone seemed to like it.

MC: But where did the idea for Delirium come from?

DANIEL: I loved an old maze called Nightmares. It was done around 15 years ago. Katherine White was one of the designers. She made the maze very pretty. There were a lot of people dancing and it was very colorful, full of purples and blues, simply a gorgeous maze. It was sold as low gore/high scare. I thought to myself, "Why can't' it be high gore/high scare?" I mean, it's Haunt. Right?

My nightmares were never like that maze, but I've had some pretty freaky ones and I've always wanted to try to capture that feeling. I really tried to borrow from the surrealist painters and weave this kind of tapestry of grotesque images. Another thing is that delirium is an actual psychological state of mind, and it's different from a nightmare in that it is like a lucid dream - where you are awake, but not awake. Your surroundings are exactly the same, but you are dreaming. I wanted to capture that same feel and paranoia.

For the maze, we wrote a backstory about a woman who is plagued by these horrifying lucid dreams. As a visitor, you are walking through her dreams. This character has had a troubled childhood, recollections of her abusive father and a terrible life. The father in the maze is actually the maze itself. You pass through these different traumatic experiences in her life starting out with being born and all the way through to death.

We also laced a few really demonic elements throughout the maze.

There's another inspiration. The original Asylum inspired me to return to the idea of Delirium. Incidentally, Delirium is a bit of a sequel to Asylum because it is kind of like what is going through the mind of one of the patients from the Asylum. I tried to capture the essence of what slipping into madness was like. The original Asylum had several rooms that did just that: Shifting floors, a whisper hall. I decided that when I redesigned Asylum. The maze was better if it stuck to just a creepy old Asylum. But I really liked the idea of making a maze that put you in the head of one of the patients. Delirium does that. All good maze ideas feed off of each other and inspire each other.

MC: Delirium is very episodic. It seems pretty modular.

DANIEL: Yes, we designed it that way. The whole dream conceit makes it easy. Dreams are rarely linear. In the future, if we find a room just isn't working or becomes stale, we can easily change it out.

MC: Speaking of changing things out, there seem to have been a lot of changes to the other mazes this year.

DANIEL: That's right. At least one or two rooms in each maze have been adjusted or changed out. We really wanted to improve things and build in a lot of surprises. Wait until you take a look into Uncle Bobo's. Todd is doing a great job there.

MC: That's awesome. The anticipation for Delirium has been pretty impressive. The fan community is eager to see what you have in store for them. It's good to hear that it will be a healthy mix of scare and gore.

DANIEL: Well that's my signature. For some reason I became the gore person.

MC: That's weird because I really don't think "Gore" when I think Daniel Miller. I mean, look at Fallout Shelter. That was a lot of fun. Some scares, some effects, very little gore. And that turned out to be one of the favorites from last year.

The Bedroom in Delirium.

DANIEL: Yes, Fallout Shelter.

MC: People loved that bubble room.

DANIEL: Oh about that.

MC: Don't tell me…

DANIEL: People complained about the bubbles last year.


DANIEL: I know! I was surprised too. But management said that they had a huge amount of people complaining about it getting on their clothes. The upside is that management also recognized that about four times as many people loved them. So we have a work-around. The bubbles will still be there, you will see them, they just won't get on you.

MC: When you are putting a maze together, what do you aim for? What are the characteristics of a Daniel maze?

DANIEL: I really go for mood. When I am designing a maze, I do something that would scare me. I want me to be scared. It's easy to scare a teenage girl. But I want to scare the 38 year old male. It's hard. It's really hard. A lot of people are jaded.

MC: What is it that scares you?

DANIEL: In a word... Maggots. My chore when growing up was to throw the trash out and to take it to the street corner. My family owned several dogs as well. The dogs and the trash combined made for several brushes with maggots. I hate them. Small little wriggling cream-colored things boring into your skin. I always had to take a shower after I saw one. Gives me the major chills. That scene with the steak in Poltergeist didn't help matters. I was more frightened of that than I was the creepy clown doll.

So of course I put a maggot in my maze. A SIX FOOT TALL ONE!

MC: Were you particularly happy with anything that you pulled off last year?

DANIEL: I loved the lighting that we did in Fallout Shelter. It could have gone in a very wrong direction. It could have been over lit, but I think we hit a good balance.

MC: Some people were put off a bit because the maze was sold as "3D" but really wasn't until the end of the maze.

DANIEL: Yeah I almost wish that we could have had a sign halfway through the maze that said "Put your glasses on!" or "Put your protective radioactive goggles on now!" or something.

MC: Do you have any favorites from last year? Not just at Knott's but from any of the So-Cal haunts?

DANIEL: The only other place I got to go was Universal. I really loved the Rob Zombie maze. The use of LEDs and color was brilliant. I was told they had about 80 separate lighting cues.

One of the creatures in Delirium

MC: You started off as a monster at Haunt, didn't you?

DANIEL: Yeah, 1994. I was a monster in House of 1,000 Maniacs. That was a hillbilly maze, great maze. I loved it, but it was exhausting. I was also a monster for three years in a haunted house while I was in college at UC Irvine.

MC: When was your first visit to Haunt?

DANIEL: Oh, I was about 11 or 12, it was a while ago. I remember Lair the Vampire. If I was forced to choose my all-time favorite maze, it would be Lair of the Vampire. It was just so cool. I mean, a lot of people have rose-tinted glasses about past mazes but I think that one was actually very good.

Daniel Miller inside his gory new maze.

MC: It's interesting that you say that; because, I have to wonder if the mazes in the past were really that scary when I was growing up or if it was just me.

DANIEL: Well you have to remember that, with the exception of a few colleges or high schools, Knott's was the only one doing it at that time. There was nothing to compare it to, so it was the scariest thing out there. Nowadays there is huge competition and we have had to step it up.

MC: Step it up you have Daniel. Knott's is holding its own just fine in the Haunt world. We can't wait to see everything you have in store for us this year!

We'd like to thank Daniel for taking the time to walk with us. If you are joining MiceChat for our Halloween Haunt meet this coming Saturday, you'll likely be able to meet him for yourself!

Every year, hundreds of new people are hired to be a visitor's worst nightmare. How do you teach a monster to scare? Is it something that is learned or can it even be taught? The answer is a little thing called scare school.

After a person is hired on at Knott's Scary Farm, they are cast in a maze. Before the event, they are invited back to get used to their new home and to learn how scare in their new location. Today, we'll join a new group of eager scary folk who were cast in a maze called Lockdown.

Lockdown is a maze in which the prison has gone crazy and the inmates are running the show. Let's see how they do.

After begin given a brief explanation about the maze, each person is given a number, 1 through 30ish, depending on how many are cast. They are then asked to line up in numerical order.

Veteran monster, Caleb, gets the new actors pumped to scare by getting everyone to scream.

This future inmate is ready.

The actors are then led through the maze single file and placed in the maze in their assigned spots. Once all are set, the coaches go through the maze for a dry run to see how everyone does.

Not bad!

C'mon you're a big guy . . . Scare me!

And soon the actors are comfortable in their spots. When you visit, show your support of the monsters. . . scream as loud and as long as you can. It let's them know they are doing the job right!

Necropolis/Camp Spooky:
Over in Camp Snoopy, it's Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang during the day and spooky Necorpolis at night.

Aaaa fuzzy spiders!

These look familiar?

The stage is set.

A necropolis zeppelin in the air.

Endgames: Warriors of the Apocalypse
The new masterpiece by Brooke Walters is taking shape. Let's look at what she has done now.

The crashed zeppelin set.

The Hanging:
The set for the Hanging has really come together. During our photo trip a band was actually preparing for a private event. So, please look past them and focus on the construction.

Looks like a silo on the left.

Sleepy Hollow Mountain:
Sleepy Hollow Mountain is all set and ready to go for Friday! Let's take a gander.

The sign is up!

The steeple!

This is a scare platform at the side of the flume.


Those spiders are everywhere!

Sleepy Hollow is a great overlay to a classic attraction!

Invasion Beneath:
Invasion beneath is the new theme for the Calico Mine Train. The miners have tapped into something evil and it awaits visitors who make the trip deep below Knott's Scary Farm.

That blue thing is a siren light.

Sirens have also been placed on the side of the tunnel.

New supports and a scare platform.

The water is drained for now while they finish up the construction.

Set pieces are still being assembled.

The glory hole scene has added a few more scare platforms

The Dynamite tunnel.

All the fun starts this weekend. Check back with us in the next In The Parks update for photos from MiceChat's Halloween Haunt event.

Sinister Pointe, an independent haunted attraction and Halloween production studio in Orange County, will bring its latest creation to 195 Arovista Circle, Brea, CA 92821. Over the years, the Sinister Pointe team has helped create the haunted attractions for areas such as Anaheim Hills Center, Irvine Spectrum Center, The Block at Orange, and 2010 Queen Mary's Dark Harbor.

Joint the MiceChatters at Sinister Pointe for a special deal CLICK HERE!

Dates: Thursdays to Sundays from Oct. 6-31 with one Wednesday date (Oct. 26) and Halloween Monday (Oct. 31).

Sunday to Thursday: 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
Fridays and Saturday: 7 p.m.-midnight

General: $15
All Night Pass: $28
General Scream Pass (front of the line): $23
All Night Scream Pass (front of the line): $33

Magic Mountain announced their upcoming Fright Fest Mazes and attractions with an all new website that promises that this year will be their biggest ever.

Fright Fest 2011 at Six Flags Magic Mountain offers thrills by day, and FRIGHT by Night. New mazes, scare zones, shows, and extended park hours await you and your friends. Below is a full listing of Fearful Frights

NEW! Chupacabra
Come face to face with this elusive blood-thirsty creature as it terrorizes a local Dia de los Muertos festival.

NEW! The Aftermath
Enter a post apocalyptic city where nomad warriors rule with bone-crushing iron fists and the dead stalk the living.

Jokester’s Hideout 3D
Sneak through an all black light hideout and catch a 3D peek of what funny project the Jokester and his crew are working on.

Willoughby’s Haunted Mansion
Eerie twists await you at the Granddaddy of all mazes….there’s hair raising terror around each nightmarish turn and dreadful screams down the long twisting hallways.

Lecter’s Slaughterhouse
Step on these deadly docks and enter a family run business specializing in tasty human treats.

Warehouse 13
The ultimate test of bravery is at the toxic warehouse where employees are less than happy about seeing visitors. Be forewarned, work is mandatory and escape impossible.

Bite II
The sexy and sinister are out for a BITE in this recently uncovered nest of the undead. Will you be the one bitten?

MONSTERTAINMENT (Streetmosphere)

NEW! Nightmares – A Twisted Tale
The evil nightmare has never been so edgy as your favorite bedtime stories take on a new and twisted tale.

New! Dr. Fright’s CarnEvil
Join the haunted party with zombie performers, hit songs and red-hot choreography starring the murderous Dr. Fright. The most wicked dance in the west is only recommended for the strong of heart.

New! Off With Your Head
Ghoul Rock has gone pop! Dead or alive, this music spectacular is sure to entertain.

Prepare yourself for a mystical, edge-of-your-seat, comical stage show.

NEW! Gypsy Hollow
A horrible battle between the nomadic gypsies and the local townspeople has continued for years. Visit the one area in the park where there’s always a full moon and werewolves are rumored to hunt for blood.

NEW! The Wastelands
In the darkest wastelands, an ancient beast stalks the night, worshiped by barbarian humanoids and feared by the modern world. Many have entered the darkness, none have returned. Enter the world known as The Wastelands if you dare.

City Under Seige
The insane and unruly run rampant in the streets of DC Universe. Prepare to feel really uncomfortable with these comic-like characters running amuck.

Exile Hill
The dead have risen and are looking for new souls to take on this dark and sinister hill that surrounds Willoughby’s Haunted Mansion.

Hillbilly Massacre
These nomadic hillbillies enter the California area every Halloween. No one knows where they come from or where they go once the holiday’s over. All that’s known is that they’re the most gruesome creatures ever seen by man. A family of demonic, backwards folks hunting the area for human skin.

Spine-Chilling Adventures (Enhanced attractions)

Foggy Nights (New!)
One of Gotham’s most notorious villains has released fear toxin into the night air at Batman The Ride.

Terror Tracks
Face your fears and experience the world’s greatest thrills, with the lights off! Tatsu, Apocalypse, Viper, The Riddler’s Revenge, and Goliath will all run without track lights, bringing a new dimension to nighttime thrills.

X2: Area 19
Get launched into an extreme high speed, heart-pounding journey through an abandoned facility captured by aliens.

Thumper Bumpers
Pulsating sounds and driving bass rock the craziest bumper cars into a totally new and extreme driving experience.

In addition, if you are a fan of Magic Mountain on Facebook, they have a special opportunity for you to get your last rides on Deja Vu on Sunday nights until October 16th.

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Theme Park, Amusement Park | Facebook
Déjà Vu fans, we have created some exclusive after hours ride time for you to ride it again before October 16. Every Sunday, 9/18 through 10/16, any SFMM Facebook fan that stops by Guest Relations, paid admission required, can pick-up an after hours ride time voucher for Déjà Vu for that night (while supplies last).

SeaWorld is in a bit of disarray at the moment due to the construction of the huge Manta Coaster in the center of the park. Here is a look at construction progress.

Track has finally arrived and is being staged in the parking lot while footers and the loading station are built.

The park opens this pathway on busy days.

The construction site.

A few days ago, no supports were up...

Then suddenly...

Station area and maintenance bays.

Queue area.

Launch area.

In other news:
The former Plaza Del Sol and late Passport Member center is gone! Look for landscaping here in the future.

SeaWorld San Diego's kid-friendly and not-so-scary Halloween Spooktacular takes place Oct. 1-30 only on Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (On Oct. 31, the park will remain decorated and visitors can enjoy "Clyde & Seamore’s Spooky Adventure" show and the "Pirates 4-D" movie.) Halloween activities are included with park admission.

Trick-or-Treat Sweets:
Kids are encouraged to come in costume and use their Spooktacular maps to trick or treat among 11 sea-themed stations. Candy and healthy treats will be provided.

Connect With Animals:
Meet a variety of spooky and not-so-spooky animals at Animal Connections near Seaport Marketplace. Trainers will be on hand to dispel myths about animals and why they are misunderstood.

Countdown to Halloween, at Sesame Street’s Bay of Play musical stage, features Count Von Count, Elmo and friends. Kids can also capture photos of their favorite Sesame character and enjoy interactive games.
Pirates 4-D, a wacky film adventure about a pirate captain (played by Leslie Nielsen) and his bumbling crew at the park’s Mission Bay Theater.
Clyde & Seamore’s Spooky Adventure, at Sea Lion and Otter Stadium, is a new specially-themed show with a blast to the past. If you remembered the show back in the 1980s, then you’ll want to revisit sea lions Clyde and Seamore and their buddy O.P. Otter for all the kooky fun as they are mysteriously transported back to Uncle Smedley’s Castle.

Main Gate Entertainment:
Guests will be treated to an Octopus Candy Garden with brightly colored tentacles and candy treats; photo ops with Sesame Street characters; and SeaWorld costume characters also will be on hand to get everyone into the Halloween spirit.

Pathway Encounters:
• New for 2011: The Search for Captain Lucky’s Treasure, adjacent to Cirque Stadium, is an island-themed outdoor adventure that leads visitors through various obstacles to Captain Lucky’s treasure, where Halloween enthusiasts receive a special Pirate eye-patch giveaway.

Penelope’s Pumpkinfish Patch, in front of Seaport Marketplace, offers festive fun, including posing for photos among a decorative pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting and meeting Pumpkin Princess and her bouncing stilt-walker court.
• Along the sea-inspired pathways, guests will encounter a variety of fun-loving characters like the new Jay Minnow show host, who will interview guests around the park.

LEGOLAND California is holding Brick-or-Treat Party Nights each Saturday in October on Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Free with Admission: Halloween activities are included with paid 1-day admission or a Membership Plus Pass.
$25 Party Nights Hopper Tickets: For those who only want to arrive for the evening activities, this ticket is valid for same day admission to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. on Brick-or-Treat Party Nights.
Brick-or-Treat Hopper Plus 2nd Day Free: This ticket offer includes a full-day hopper ticket to both LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium. First and second visits are only valid between 10/1/2011 and 12/25/11.

Brick-or-Treat Trail:
Every Saturday and Sunday in October, a Brick-Or-Treat Trail offers candy, healthy snacks and a few surprises along the way. Saturday: Noon-5 p.m., Sunday: Noon-8 p.m.

Several areas of LEGOLAND are open late for Party Nights, including Land of Adventure, Castle Hill, and the Imagination Zone, along specific rides, like Coastersaurus, Safari Trek and Fairy Tale Brook.

BOO Crew:
A host of characters will entertain guests, including:
• Hubble Bubble, Zany Zelda host a dance party with special guests the BoogieMonSTARS.
• Brickzini the Magnificant fortune teller, Count Brickula, Jester Funny Bones, and Zac the Zombie, along with jugglers, unicyclists, and stilt walkers in the Castle Hill area.
• Wandering werewolf Howlin’ Howlin will hold “Howler of the Hour” contests for kids 12 and under.

LEGO Brick-o-Lantern contest:
Kids can take part in pumpkin-building contests by using orange, yellow and green LEGO bricks.

LEGO Candy Corn Scavenger Hunt:
Make your best guess on the number of LEGO Candy Corns hidden throughout the Haunted Hideaways for a chance to win return tickets to LEGOLAND and LEGO toy products. One scavenger-hunt winner will be selected each weekend of Brick-or-Treat.

A display of fireworks will end Brick-or-Treat Party Nights every Saturday in October at 9 p.m.

Costume Contest:
Prizes will be given for the Best Star Wars, Most LEGO Themed and Most Creative costume. Winners in each category will receive a 4-pack LEGOLAND California Resort Membership Passes and a gift basket. Second and third-place runners up in each category will receive LEGOLAND California tickets and toy product.

Mail Order Monsters show returns to the Courtyard Theatre. Princess Playwright has ordered some delightfully scary monsters for the Brick-or-Treat celebration but the mischievous Jester Funny Bones conjured up a spell to make the monsters as sweet as candy. Guests have to help the Princess retrain her monsters — and break the spell — all in time for the big Halloween celebration.
Spirits-of-Brick or Treat light show shines on the Castle rooftop. It's inspired by new entertainment acts, including Anthony the Magic, Dr. Hyde’s percussion cart, Splash Art, Tap Dancing Skeletons, and Professor Weasley who will wow you with the wacky and eerie sounding Thereminophone.

SEA LIFE Aquarium:
SEA LIFE Aquarium, located next door to LEGOLAND, will feature a bonus Brick-or-Treat station. You’ll find not-too-spooky décor in the aquarium, along with treats while learning about the "monsters" of the deep every Saturday and Sunday in October.

The Scream Zone at the San Diego County Fairgrounds (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA) is San Diego County's largest haunted attraction. It features three haunt zones in one location: House of Horror with rooms filled with terrifying scenes and scares lurking at every turn, a Haunted Hayride through the haunted barns on the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's race track, and The Chamber with the largest spinning tunnel in San Diego.

Entrance and Parking:
Free in the designated Scream Zone parking lot. Enter the San Diego County Fairgrounds at the Solana Gate, which is on the south side of Via de la Valle (between the Coast Highway and Jimmy Durante Blvd.)

• Friday, Sept. 30; Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2
• Thursday to Sunday, Oct. 6-9
• Thursday to Sunday, Oct. 13-16
• Every night, Oct. 20-31

Fridays and Saturdays: 7 p.m.-midnight
Other days: 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

Triple (Combo) Haunt: House of Horror, Haunted Hayride and The Chamber - $27.99
Double Haunt: The Chamber plus House of Horror or Haunted Hayride — $18.99
Single Haunt: House of Horror or Haunted Hayride — $14.99

Fast Track:
Get front-of-the-line privileges by purchasing an additional $10 Fast Track for the House, or an extra $10 Fast Track for the Hayride.

There is no cost to enter The Scream Zone complex. Parents who are not touring one of the attactions can have something to eat or drink while waiting for their kids. No refunds or exchanges.

And that wraps up today's special edition of In The Parks. Dateline will run this Friday and we'll be back to our regular schedule next week.

Today's update was brought to you by the following members of our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors: Daniel K. Lew, 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 09-19-2011 at 05:10 AM by In the Parks



  1. Mr Doodle's Avatar
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    I'm just curious, is California Screamin' ever going to get a re-theme to match the rest of the "new" Paradise Pier? Not that I'm complaining, I just remember hearing something briefly about this awhile back.
  2. bigglesworth003's Avatar
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    I can't believe that a ride has a Glory hole section!
  3. Scary Scott's Avatar
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    Wait, Camp snoopy becomes a scary steampunk zone?
    I WANT!
  4. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigglesworth003
    I can't believe that a ride has a Glory Hole section!
    They do. It's what they have always called the central room in the ride.
  5. surffnutt3000's Avatar
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    Is anything behind schedule (at risk of not getting done on-time) at Knott's? I typically go on the first night of Haunt and thought they might be running late on a couple mazes???
  6. jaxbistro's Avatar
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    It's great to see Oingo Boingo re-unite at Rancho del Zocola. Maybe they can play at Videopolis again!
  7. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  8. jpg391's Avatar
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    Great update!!!
  9. Fishbulb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surffnutt3000
    Is anything behind schedule (at risk of not getting done on-time) at Knott's? I typically go on the first night of Haunt and thought they might be running late on a couple mazes???
    Honestly they are REALLY cutting it close with Invasion Beneath and Endgames. but with Invasion, I have never seen it so close to show time and be in this state. But, you never know. They always seem to pull it out at the last minute.
  10. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigglesworth003
    I can't believe that a ride has a Glory hole section!
    Naughty, naughty!

    Great update.
  11. BrodyDanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigglesworth003
    I can't believe that a ride has a Glory hole section!
  12. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice Update.

  13. Dadoo's Avatar
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    I love the singing pumpkins in the HM...

    Here's my version of singing pumpkins singing "Blue Moon"!...
    Singing Pumpkins 2011 - "Blue Moon" - YouTube
  14. DLRaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishbulb
    Honestly they are REALLY cutting it close with Invasion Beneath and Endgames. but with Invasion, I have never seen it so close to show time and be in this state. But, you never know. They always seem to pull it out at the last minute.
    Yeah the only other time I can think is last year Fallout Shelter was pretty behind, but still made it.
  15. niklj's Avatar
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    That's awesome that Daniel Miller is a UCI alum. His mazes are awesome! Zot zot zot!
  16. wec's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of Halloween but alas when I was a teenager, I participated in designing and working at a local haunt on several Halloweens. We did pretty good but what made the haunt work was the fact that the house basement where we did our haunts had an old walk in vault! You can'r ask for anything better than a creepy old walk in vault LOL!