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In the Parks

Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland, ElecTRONica Re-energized, Star Wars and More

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by , 10-07-2011 at 12:18 AM

It's time to party up! The after-hours Mickey's Halloween Party events have started at Disneyland, and the return of ElecTRONica has re-energized Disney California Adventure on weekend nights. Meanwhile, Disneyland Hotel is transforming its public areas into a more modern look. Further north, Six Flags Magic Mountain starts up its own "Fright Fest" Halloween events with more scares. "Star Wars" fans will want to check out the new exhibit coming to the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. We also take another look at Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Haunt, which has made some fixes to this year's Calico Mine overlay for Haunt.

Disneyland Resort's Halloween Time is in full swing now that Mickey's Halloween Party nights have started. The talented pumpkin carvers in Big Thunder Ranch continue to show their amazing skills. A little mid-week rain made for a nice break from the big crowds who continue to saturate weekends to see all the Haloween-related attractions and decor.


The separate admission, trick-or-treat parties are held on select nights from Sept. 30-Oct. 31. Here are photos from Mickey's Halloween Party from opening night on Sept. 30, which was reported as sold out. It's highly recommended to buy tickets in advance, since capacity at Mickey's Halloween Party is capped at a much lower number than regular operating hours to make for an enjoyable private party-like atmosphere. Dates, hours, prices and tickets are available online or at Disneyland ticket booths.

Ghost Mickey blowups greet guests entering Mickey's Halloween Party.

Spinning, spooky images are projected along the buildings and ground of Main Street, U.S.A.

Glowing windows and jack-o-lanterns add to the party atmosphere.

Mickey pumpkin blowups light up a darkened Hub area.

Lighting effects on Sleeping Beauty Castle change throughout the evening.

Mickey's Halloween Party guests are allowed into the park up to 3 hours prior to the event's start time. As normal operating hours ends, day guests are filtered out and party guests show wristbands at check points before entering different lands.

Small, complimentary trick-or-treating bags are given to party guests. It's common to leave the party with several pounds of candy.

Trick-or-treating stations are located throughout Disneyland. A wide selection of name-brand, fun-size candy is given out, along with healthy choices, like apple slices, carrots and Craisins. Give me the chocolate!

The party-exclusive mini-parade runs twice a night and features dozens of Disney characters all dressed up for Halloween. The parade's music loop is upbeat, catchy — and short, so the repeated chorus of "Are you ready for Halloween?" may irk some guests as much as the soundtrack to "it's a small world."

Vampire Mickey "flashes" guests in the opening float as he opens and closes his cloak to reveal the cavalcade logo.

The second float is a costume shop that sets the theme for what's to follow.

The costume shop float is filled with a hodgepodge of décor and rolled-up clothing material.

Themed Mickey-o-lanterns head up each cavalcade section: Pirates, princesses, monsters and cowboys.

Mr. Smee, Peter Pan and Captain Hook are featured in the pirates section, which does not include Jack Sparrow.

Princesses and their royal attendants must dance the entire parade route in heals!

Woody, Jessie and dancers hoe down throughout the cavalcade.

The monsters section gives guests a chance to see Monsters, Inc. characters inside Disneyland.

A lucky family is picked to ride in the grand marshal car.

Country Bears make a rare appearance (in tutus no less) during the cavalcade.

The finale features a repurposed castle float previously used in Disneyland's 50th Anniversary Parade of Dreams.

A lot of Halloween décor and details are used in the castle float. Donald is dressed in his royal garb from Parade of Dreams, while Goofy dons a superhero outfit.

Miss Piggy gets the diva spotlight at the end the cavalcade.

The party also features the event-exclusive Halloween Screams Fireworks.

Jack Skellington as master of scarimonies, and his flying ghost dog, Zero.

The "Maleficent" section no longer features fire (at least not on opening night).

The grand finale mixes high-and-low level fireworks.


Facebook users of Disneyland's "Mickey's Trick or Treat" game can find bonus codes at signs posted throughout the event.

Party attendees, including adults, can come in costume during the event. These Haunted Mansion fans did an amazing job!

Rivers of America is especially cool to see during the event with special lighting and fog effects.

New for this year, the Piratepalooza dance party in Rancho del Zocalo restaurant has Goofy, Donald, Pluto and Chip 'n' Dale dressed as pirates for the chance to kick up your boots with characters while a DJ plays upbeat, pop music.

Goofy is the top dog at Piratepalooza.

A DJ spins family-friendly party music.

A lot of decorations and theming are added to Rancho del Zocalo during party nights.

Spinning images of giant spiders are projected onto New Orleans Square.

Spooky lighting and new thunder-and-lightning effects enhance Big Thunder Trail.

Jack Skellington and many other characters are available for meet and greets at decorated photo spots.

Many attractions, including Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, remain open — with short or non-existent lines — during Mickey's Halloween Party.

Many character locations have special backdrops put up only for the party.

Rainy days can be wonderful times to visit the parks, if you are prepared. This week offered just such an opportunity and we were there to take in the beauty of the park as well as a bit of moisture.

Ponchos are the fashion of choice during rainy days.

Jedi Training Academy's rainy-day Plan B gives guests the chance to meet Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Jedi instructors and Darth Maul.

Darth Maul is a little under the weather.

Pumpkin carvers continue to show their jack-o-lantern carving skills throughout the Halloween season.

The Princess and the Frog

Pumpkin artists show off their latest creations — a giant Cheshire Cat along with Luigi and Remy from "Ratatouille."

Tools of the trade with visual-reference material.

Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts!

Winnie The Pooh, Yoda and Jessie

A few odds and ends from the park.

A long span of lattice walls along Rivers of America hid catering materials for a private event.

Pirates of the Caribbean building gets a touch up while the attraction is closed for refurbishment.

Short wait times are the bonus for visiting on a rainy day.

Adventureland restrooms are closed for refurbishment.

New MiceChat contributor, infaMOUSEproject, has a couple of cool videos to share with us this week. First up is the Art of Mary Blair Exhibit in the Disney Gallery on Main Street:

In honor of Halloween, we've been invited to take a look at the Haunted Mansion's original pet cemetery:

If you are enjoying these videos, please be sure to check out even more from infaMOUSEproject on YouTube.

Construction continues on Buena Vista Street and Cars Land, while ElecTRONica has rebooted after a few weeks of being powered down.


Remnants of the Golden Gate Bridge remain while new walls have been installed along the monorail track.

The area in front of Carthay Circle Theatre.

The area behind the entrance gates.

New protruding, building elements are visible on the sides of Carthay Circle Theatre. It's getting fancy folks!

New wigwag railway crossing signals and ornate streetlamps have been added near a section of Red Car Trolley tracks.

The former Greetings from California store has been completely gutted.

Steel framework has been added beyond the structure of the former shops by the California Zephyr train.



Radiator Springs Racers is looking more an more ready to go every day. Note all the trees planted along the track.

Cozy Cone Motel


Paint work continues on California Screamnin' tracks while the roller coaster is closed for refurbishment.

Yellow landing strip on one side of Taste Pilots' Grill gets a much-needed touch up.

The other side of the landing strip will likely be repainted next.

The nighttime, weekend dance party based on "TRON: Legacy" has been re-activated in Hollywood Pictures Backlot after several weeks of being off line for refurbishment. Things have been refreshed with a few added little touches.

The Grid is open again.

Team Millennia, a Southern California hip-hop dance crew who has appeared on MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew" competition, performed during ElecTRONica's return weekend from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

The giant Recognizer is once again scanning Programs who enter ElecTRONica.

DJ Michael Paul, ElecTRONica host Eckert and TRON dancers keep party goers pumped up.

The "Laserman: Reconfigured" show continues to wow audiences.

More MiceChatter from the MiceTube
Sarah Snitch visits with the Road to Pixar folks to catch up on their progress building a Pizza Planet truck. She then talks them into helping her with this week's MiceChatter video. It's fun and funny.

We invite you to read more about the Road to Pixar project in their MiceChat blog: Road To Pixar Blog

Disneyland Hotel's major refurbishment continues as the classic hotel transforms to a more retro-contemporary look.

Construction walls blocking this entrance way from Downtown Disney has been removed.

The giant Sleeping Beauty Castle mural inside the entrance of Fantasy Tower has been replaced with a framed painting and service table.

Construction continues across from the entire length of the check-in counter.

The outside of Fantasia Gift Shop has been repainted and awaits signage.

New walls have yet to be adorned.

This restroom divider wall going from the Fantasy Tower to the ballroom section was once covered with black-and-white photos of Walt Disney and celebrities who visited Disneyland in the early years.

Ottomans form a Hidden Mickey.

Lobby areas are now filled with contemporary-style furniture.

Mickey peep holes allow guests — tall and short — to view construction progress around Disneyland Hotel. Who are we to pass up such an opportunity to spy on the progress?

Work continues on the new E-Ticket swimming pool (formerly Neverland Pool).

Six Flags Magic Mountain has expanded its Fright Fest with four new scare zones, three new mazes, two new shows, and extended park hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Magic Mountain offers 13 days of terrifying haunted mazes, roaming zombies and spooky shows on weekends from Oct. 7-31. Admission to Fright Fest is included with admission, but mazes cost extra. Tickets are available online.

The park will also add a dark element to some of its coasters by turning off the lights at Tatsu, Apocalypse, Viper, The Riddler’s Revenge, and Goliath. Other coasters get retheming: Batman The Ride turns into Foggy Nights, and X2 becomes X2: Area 19. The classic, wooden coaster Colossus is also run "backwards."

The newest, and one of the largest, mazes in Southern California is The Aftermath, where brave souls enter a post apocalyptic city inhabited by nomad warriors who rule with bone-crushing iron fists and the dead stalk the living.

Also new this year is Chupacabra, where guests come face to face with this elusive blood-thirsty creature as it terrorizes the local Dia De Los Mueftos (Day of the Dead) festival; and Cursed, featuring roaming gypsies and werewolves who hunt for fresh blood.

Returning mazes include the popular BITE II, featuring sexy and sinister werewolves who are out for a bite in this nest of the undead; and Lecter's Slaughterhouse, a family-run business specializing in tasty human treats.

Spooktacular shows include hypnotists Chris Maybre and Suzy Haner, who put park guests in compromising scenarios in their hilarious stage show located in Golden Bear Theater, and the new Off With Your Head, a pop/glam-rock musical featuring the music of Bon Jovi, Rhianna and Michael Jackson.

Additionally, the comical freaks of the new Dr. Fright's CarnEvil perform the hits of Guns 'n' Roses, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga in front of DC UNIVERSE, and be sure to dust off your thriller moves and join in the fun as the popular DJ Demonic and GRAVE return to the same area.

For the little monsters, a Trick or Treat Trail, Kid Scaryoke and Witch Hazel Halloween Crafts in Whistlestop Park round out the activities.

Fright Fest Dates and Hours:
October 7, 9,16, 23, 30 & 31 - 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
October 8 - 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 - 10:30 a.m. to midnight

In the Parks will have a full review of the event in next week's article.

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination

Could the technology of Star Wars become a reality with humanoid robots translating languages, landspeeders whizzing down the highway, and X-wing Starfighters protecting the skies. Beginning Friday, November 18, Discovery Science Center will host an out-of-this-world exhibit, "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination." The exhibit, featured in three viewing galleries, explores the futuristic technologies depicted in the "Star Wars" films, the real science behind them, and the research that may someday lead to real-life versions of some of the technologies seen in the films. The exhibit also features props and costumes from all six "Star Wars" films.

"Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" is the largest traveling exhibit in the history of Discovery Science Center and is over three times the size of a normal DSC display. Two brand new, never before seen exhibits halls have been created to house the incredible experience.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, October 12. For more information about the exhibit, special events, online ticket sales and more, visit

On September 24th MiceChat took a first trip to Knott's Scary Farm of the year with a group of over 200 of our readers. It was an amazing night filled with fun and freight. But, as luck would have it, there was one attraction which just didn't look ready. We recently went back to Knott's scary Farm to review the Mine Train's holiday overlay in a more completed form. Before we bring you that review, we would like to let you know about a special discount being offered.

-- November 1-24, 2011 --

Knott’s Berry Farm continues its tradition of honoring the brave men and women who have served in the U.S. military, both past and present, with free admission during its 22 nd annual Military Tribute. Knott’s is the only theme park that has continuously offered free admission to veterans and active military personnel in honor of our nation’s Veteran’s Day holiday.

The free-admission offer applies to all U.S. veterans and active military personnel and their spouse (or one guest.) Up to six additional tickets may be purchased at Knott’s Ticket Booths for only $17 each. Military personnel may also purchase additional tickets at their local MWR ticket office.

U.S. veterans and active military personnel must present military ID or proof of U.S. military service at Knott’s ticket booths to receive the complimentary tribute tickets. Veteran or active military personnel must be present.

U.S veterans and active military can also take advantage of a great $84 a night rate at the Knott’s Resort Hotel. For reservations, call (866) 752-2444, or or your local military base. For information on operating hours, please call Knott’s Information at (714) 220-5200 on the day you plan to visit or log on to

We returned to Knott's Scary Farm this past week to review "Invasion Beneath" the Halloween overlay to the Calico Mine Train, as it was clearly not ready during our initial visit on opening weekend. They've had some time to work around those issues and make some fixes.

Last year's spiders have been exterminated and in their place are 9ft tall subterranean monsters.

As visitors approach the Mine Train queue, they will find the mountain ablaze with red sirens lights. Three separate flat screen monitors along the queue give the back story of the attraction through emergency news casts. A race of underground creatures has made their way up through the central mine shaft of the attraction and are attacking guests on the attraction. This is the first time that Knott's has used a theme so self-referential. It is a novel approach, for sure.

After boarding the mine train, riders are driven directly into the center of the chaos. Monsters are running wild and attacking anyone in their path while the military is fighting to control the situation. Soldiers spring from nearly every corner shooting their weapons blindly. Monsters burst though walls, lunge from behind crates and so forth. The big wow moment is set up when you see the machine they have used to get to the surface in the glory hole. This is followed by a quick escape though the dynamite tunnel and back to safety.

Once on the ride, the actors do their very best to startle and scare. But the majority of them are dressed as the military in a life or death fight with the monsters and therefore, aren't really there to torment the riders since we aren't the enemy, the monsters are.

The "monsters" in the attraction are mostly animatronics. All machine and no actors. Animatronics add a certain WOW-factor, but they just don't compare to live actors for scare appeal. It would have been great to have a few scenes of the monsters breaking through the soldier defenses to attack the train.

There are positives to this attraction. The technical aspects of the ride, lighting, sound and art direction are all very good! The sound is thunderous and the lighting is dark and moody. It's not as repeatable as some of the other mazes this year (Delirium will knock your socks off) but it is worth at least one ride through and very clever if you allow yourself to take in the whole story rather than just wait to be scared.

Here are a few shots from Haunt last night. Weeknights are a great time to go if you can. There are fewer people and the same amount of scares.

The Birdcage Theatre

Necropolis scare zone.


Virus Z

We'd like to invite you to join us as we tour two of Orange County's top independent haunts next Friday - October 14th:

Come join us for two of the best haunted houses in Southern California. We will start the night off at Anaheim Garden Walk for a little food at the Bar Louie Tavern & Grill at 5pm. We will then experience the Empty Grave at 7pm. Once finished there, we will venture over to Brea for the wildly inventive Sinister Pointe Haunted Attraction. No tickets are sold in advance for this event as we will buy them at the Box Office at a special MiceChat Rate on the evening of the event. To join us, you'll find More information HERE.

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 just about wraps up this week's edition of In The Parks.

Today's update was edited by Daniel K. Lew (DisneyDaniel) and brought to you by the following members of our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors: F!an, Sir Clinksalot, 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 10-07-2011 at 11:24 AM by In the Parks



  1. napamaninsocal's Avatar
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    Great update. I sure do hope they put back the Castle mural when they are finished withe Disneyland Hotel. I always thought it was great picture spot and what's there now is very boring. Also, I know it's not done but for being the Fantasy Tower there why are all the images of Main Street?
  2. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Excellent update! Man oh man do I want to do Halloween at the parks one day. Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all Canadian Micechatters!
  3. redrocker's Avatar
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    The "Maleficent" section no longer features fire (at least not on opening night).
    Cross your fingers... dont be surprised if they show up soon....
  4. TifaOnACloud's Avatar
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    Man, they are just killing the charm of The Disneyland Hotel. The mural's a blank wall, the row of fascinating photos of the hotel's history also blank, and the beautiful wood decor of the check-in lobby being gutted in favor of probably more barren minimalist wall, when it already fit the "Fantasy" moniker to begin with. Poor show, WDI.

    I'm really not going to recognize the old girl the next time I'm there, and worse, what's replacing has all the charm of a modern office building.
  5. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  6. SpcMtn77's Avatar
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    The Star Wars science exhibit is amazing! We saw it in Seattle earlier in the year. Go see it if you get the chance! Thanks for the updates today
  7. Rixter's Avatar
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    I was amazed by the photos of the Halloween parade. I haven't been to a DLR Halloween party since the first year at DCA. They have come a long way in just a few years!
  8. SpectroMan's Avatar
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    That caretaker and bride from Haunted Mansion appeared at D23 as caretaker + Constance. I LOVE that they've adapted to the older version of the ride! It looks even better!
  9. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    I'm LOVING the fact that they still really take care of the look of the buildings at Disneyland. The work they're doing on the PotC buildings while it's down for refurbishment is very nice to see!

    And since there's no place to comment on Al's "Editor's Note" on the home page, does anyone know if they lowered the American Flag when Walt died? If so, was it from a Presidential order or did Disney do it on their own? I feel it's up to the owner of the property that the flags (both U.S. and Disney) stand on to determine if they want to run the flags at half mast. Just my thoughts.....
  10. disneygirl's Avatar
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    The Star Wars science exhibit was great! It's a must for any Star Wars fan. I saw it when it was in philly a few years ago. The props were amazing.
  11. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice update!

  12. fravitmonk's Avatar
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    My favorite part of In the Parks is seeing whats going to be on the "We'll see you..." graphic at the end. That blond cast member girl looks like she's having a good time. I want to party with Chip and Dale.