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  1. #1

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    TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Happy Halloween everyone.. Here I am with one last Halloween related post before the strike of midnight here on Oct 30th... Have fun tomorrow and do not eat too much candy, or else, you'll get fat like me. That would not be good.
    Anyways... I was able to squeeze yet one more Disney resort for a Halloween event photo pictorial. Note I am not saying a... "disney" halloween because here at DLP, it just isn't a "disney" halloween at all. In fact, there are so many things that are wrong about DLP (more on that later) that frankly...we should start calling this place Parc Faux-Disneyland.
    Immediately after getting off the RER train, I was constantly assaulted by cigarette smoke coming from right and left. It's amazing and quite sad that after all the warnings about this filthy habit, parents go around DLP leaving a trail of smoke behind them, and with small children in tow. Are they that ignorant about the 2nd hand smoke offects on their kids? It's sad and it makes me want to apologize to all these kids for the enviromental abuse they have to go thru. Worst, these kids will probably follow on theior parents' footsteps and get hooked on that habit as well.

    #1 thing DLP does not do right: Controlling smoking in the parks to smoke areas only.

    I got to DLRP on Sunday afternoon on the 28th, and apparently it was a day where crowds swell at DLRP. DLP was jammed packed and WDSP was to a lesser extent... very busy as well. Since I was going to be there for a few short hours.. I was a man on a mission.

    First up, getting my Fantasy AP renewed. For some reason, the CM at the ticket window was having trouble getting my credit card billed, so after 10 mins or so, I was told to go to another window, where the other CM was more knowledgeable about her job it seemed, and handled the transaction with TDR-like efficiency.

    So fine, I buy my renewal AP, and head over to the AP processing center *INSIDE* the park. In 10 mins, I had my new AP. Then I proceeded to explore the Halloween decor. Here at DLP, they have been going with that Pumpkin men motif for several years now, and frankly, I think it's time they went for a different approach. Maybe... a Disney themed one? (while on Main Street and as an added delight, I was able to catch the Character Express train that goes down the parade route several times a day, using TDL's Party Express event music. Aaaah! The memories..)

    #2 thing DLP does not do right: Halloween in a "disney" enviroment.

    The decor is plentiful and sometimes, a bit too odd and grotesque to be a part of the Disney theme. If it was pretty, I could deal with it, but most of what they do here is neither pretty or scary. A big misfire if you will. Many of these pumpkin men statues are grossly out of place in these surroundings, and worst! Many of them block the way of guests since they are poorly placed in the middle of sidewalks as to make them blend with the crowd. While I understand the purpose of the (bad) story they are trying to tell a story.. but some of the statues are simply a safety hazard. I witnessed a lady tripping over one of them on Main Street. The decor in the Main Street area is just too messy and too gaudy for my taste. Thumbs down here.

    Now let's move on to Frontierland, where that horrible pumpkin tower is sitting smack in the middle of DLP's most elaborately themed land. Again, it's a horrible eyesore and should be demolished for good. At least this year, they did not damage Big Thunder Mountain with what I call the Pumpkin men skyway ride. Good call.

    Further into Frontierland.. we have what appears to be the kingdom of the Pink Witches. Again, the decor is totally unrelated to Disney in every sense. I mean... Disney has some of the most memorable and scary characters of any animated studios, yet! they decide to go in an odd direction, and plop some Disney faces in the mix in hopes that people like me won't notice how badly misplaced Dingo (who the heck came up with that name?!?!) and Minnie look amidts a sea of pink and purples.

    At the end of the trails is the newly rebuilt Woody's Roundup area. Too bad I was not able to go in there to check it out, mostly because the area is being used as a grotesque makeup and hairdo makeover studio for Halloween, pretty much like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at DTD, where kids come out looking scary and painted in wild colors. There is this big difference though.. the halloween makeup and hair styles here are much much more elaborate and fun than the rip off "dress up" results I see at the overpriced BBB at WDW. It's obvious the CMs doing the halloween makeovers here are true stylists and makeup artists, as opposed to your average "Rosa from the barrio with a hairbrush and chewing gum" at BBB, while making your little girl look like Princess Jonbennet. Some of the kids' halloween makeovers here were truly inspired works of art. Kudos! Did not take any kids pics in makeover disguises because I do not want to be accused of something...you know.

    Moving on... This year, the usual Halloween Villains Parade was been given a hiatus. Instead we get a little Halloween preshow called "Stitch and the Pink Witches". Here, we see some girls dressed in a pink witch outfits doing a little dance. The former Cinderella float from the old parades has been repainted and turned into a witch pumpkin carriage. Interesting. Then finally! A bit of Disney...with Clarice, Daisy, Stitch, Lilo and Chicken Little dressed for halloween in a little sing along moment utilizing the "Boo to You" from the MK's Halloween parade, and the "Happy Happy Happy Halloween" song from TDL's halloween a few year ago (remember, they debut a new song for halloween yearly at TDL, at DLP..they borrowed. No Halloween-lo-mein song this year). The halloween costumes for the characters is drab. I was glad to see the nice new 15th anniversary parade follow this poor attempt at bringing a little Disney into the halloween theme. Maybe it is a good thing they do not do a Disney halloween after all.

    Finally, I got to see the regular Once Upon a Dream parade the way it's intended, with a short show mode movement, and even a confetti blast. Furthermore, now I know where the anniversary song ("Just like We dreamed it") is performed since I have only heard it on CD, but its the music used for the show mode. Mind you, this show mode is not a huge extravaganza of dancers and audience participation a la TDL, but it was Ok for what it was and especially for this crowd since no one would do a little dance to the music as they are more preocupied with their constant smoking instead. So whatever.

    #3 thing DLP does not do well: parade show modes. Even Fantillusion's show mode at TDL was much nicer than the ones they do here in the same parade. Come to think of it.. it's amazing how much TDL stuff we can find here...but then again, can't go wrong when TDL's music is used at other parks. Just look how the current TDL parade song saves the current stale MK parade in the afternoon.

    After the parade, I decided to quickly make it to the Studios... and after some hazzle to enter, I was able to go into the park. You see.. after being delayed again to enter, a CM took my newly bought AP and disappeared with it for about 10 mins... Irritated by the lack of info as to why this was happening, I later found out my AP was actually blocked from use on this day and week!!! I argued why would they sell me this AP on a day when it's blacked out for use? After a tete a tete with the lead CM, I was allowed into the Studio park. Gee! It's only supposed to be this hard to enter a park when you have to submit yourself to a turnstyle finger print reader! No such gizmos here though, so what gives?

    First up.. TOT. 99% finished it seems. Very similar to the DCA one in look, albeit, I don't remember DCA's TOT having long balconies as this one does in the center of the building. The Hollywood placemaking is coming along nicely, and while most of the work they are doing is plain old facades, the level of details on some of them put the MK park's theming to bloody shame. Once you come out of Studio 1 and see "Partners" there, the effect is quite stirring with an impression of Hollywood in the background.. Compared to the bare area it was before... Now, the entire corner is beginning to look like a Disney park should look. I momentarily felt transported to the golden days of Hollywood. Once finshed, the difference between the newer areas of the park and the ugly south corner will be quite obvious and disturbing to say the least.

    While there, I did not ride "Crush's Coaster" because I wanted to get back to DLP and catch the night time look of the 15th anniversary decor. However, the wait time was only 40 mins and would have gladly done it, unlike some FP lovers and advocates. Still, I was able to ride R&RC and check out some of the new areas of the park lit up at night... including the TOT. And like DAK at WDW, the night time feel is quite different and quite nice here when compared to the daytime. I was even impressed by the subtle light movements on the Crush Coaster's mural that effectively simulated how the sun light filters thru underwater. It those little details that bring it home for me.

    Finally, I left WDSP and returned to DLP (having the same black out problem again, and only being admitted because I was smart enough to have had my hand stamped as proof of earlier same day admission, along with my same day of purchase receipt), and got back inside DLP just in time to watch my first night time viewing of the fabulous Candleabration show.

    Now...the anniversary decor on Main Street, with "DLP 15" banners that in the daytime just overpower the area's old fashioned charm. But at night, these banners glitter with spectacular LED and fiber optic lighting and folks... it's FABULOUS to look at. If only the MK came up with similar Xmas decor, it would truly be spectacular! (Note: DLP does the same castle xmas lights the MK will unveil this year..and that should be spectacular as well)

    Then to top my visit to DLP.. it was my first chance to see "Candleabration" at night. Folks, this is the only way this show should be presented. I saw it in the daytime and it was a waste of my time. At night though... this is truly quite simple but yet, quite spectacular too.

    The music swells and the lighting goes out all over Main Street and thru the Hub. Everything goes dark. The little song and dance number is OK, but it's nothing in comparison to the beautiful lighting ceremony happening on the castle. The way the castle shimmers in strobe lights, in conjuntion with lights in the trees of the hub, is great to look at. I love the way each candle lights up and the type of light technology used to make the candles appear to flicker. If you are a true Disney fan, I dare you NOT to get misty-eyed as you watch this ceremony live... as it's truly a most magical sight, as Mickey so boldly proclaimed at the beginning of the show. I was floored by the cheer simple beauty of it all, especially when you look back to Main Street and see the banner lights sparkling all the way to Town Square. This is Disney at it's best, exceeding expectations. Yet in a bizarre way, it also is a prime example of "less is more". KUDOS KUDOS KUDOS!!! Can they please do the same show at the MK for the 40th in 2011?

    One little complaint here though... as beautiful as this show is, it's also quite challenging to watch due to the excessive rudeness of most guests. Unlike at TDL, where CMs will quickly ask guests to avoid sitting children on shoulders and ask you to remove big hats to allow those in the back a chance to enjoy as well... here at DLP, it's a free-for-all. If I had a dollar for every child that went up on dad's shoulders or for every skinny girlfriend who did the same with her boyfriend...I would be $1,000 rich today. People's Me Me Me sense of self entitlement is alive and kicking here and I for once can't think of a better example of that than trying to watch this show with a 1,000 other guests sitting over their companions' shoulders. HOW RUDE can people get? Needless to say, as soon as I moved to a better spot, 10 seconds later, a person in front of me would block the view with another huge child/petit adult female going up on someone's shoulders.

    #4 thing DLP does not do well: crowd controlling. They could learn from TDR's ways here, and the european guests could learn to be more respectful of others' right to enjoy as well. Very annoying behaviors here, or probably I have been visiting Japan way too long. Then again, some complain about the same habits in DL in CA, but I am yet to experience the intensity of the problems there.

    Anyways... DLP was to be opened until 10pm, but without TDL's (Yes! TDL's) Quarter-Fantillusion not being presented tonight, and no Wishes Fireworks...it was not worth it to stay any longer and I decided to leave by 7:45pm, espcially because I was over the unruly crowds, the constant 2nd hand smoking assaults, the lack of people who would pause if they saw you taking a photo... etc etc.

    One final comment. Both parks were very crowded but I was glad to take a note of one item here: cleanliness. Compared to other visits with less guests, I noticed the park was actually being cleaned to a degree. I didn't see too much waste accumulating as it happens here often.. so that was good to see. Also.. the lights were on at the DL Hotel, which has not been the case in my last few visits. For a change, it's nice to see the lights that were out on other visits (like 40% of them) have been replaced. If only all of that messy Halloween decor was gone, the park would look quite great. Oh well, that's all gone come november 2nd thank goodness.

    Now for your enjoyment... here are the photos of my visit to DLRP. The cover most everything I commented on above and include captions with even more commetary and observations, both good and bad. The night shots were hard to do because of the crowds and the low lighting levels, so apologies. But let me give you more reason to check the pics out.. you will see what I consider to be the worst "Disney Look" violation I have witnessed in my 35 years of visiting Disney parks around the World. Needless to say, I was shocked to the core.

    #5 thing DLP does not do well: enforcing the Disney Look and Traditions... I mean, will it kill the french to go without wine for 10 hrs of the day? ..And bleached mohawk hairstyles do not look great on stage, and especially on Main Street.

    Here are the photos... ENJOY!!

    http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/Albu...3&a=32604027&f=

  2. #2

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Nice pics again, thanks!

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Just WOW to mohawk guy! That is disgraceful!

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    i love your report . i love that picture with the guests on the hill .

    i agree with you TDLFAN they are not supposed to be here but you know Europeans and how they are respectful especially the French .

  5. #5

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Very beautiful pics. Rather nice trip report

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    I used to have hair similar to that

    http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View...027&p=75952840

    That poor girl will read your coments and decided to kiil herself now!

    http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View...027&p=75952719

  7. #7

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Thanks for the great report. I'm sorry I missed you, but we were en-route back home that afternoon.

    I must agree about all your complaints. I don't know if I got a sore throat from the cold weather or the constant second hand smoke. People were smoking in the queues as well - they just didn't care. I also saw lots of cigarette butts on the floor throughout the park. People did not smoke indoors though, but it was like walking through a smokescreen to get in and out of places like the hotel lobby, etc.

    And why did ALL the kids have to be screaming all the time. It was like a kindergarten playground, but the parents would not do anything to shut them up.


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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Nice report and pictures! Thanks.
    Good to read that a lot of things have improved.

    On the annoyances; I think they all come down to one thing; things done a little bit different than in the US or at TDR. I can't say the your annoyances regarding the Halloween-decor, the wine and the mohawk irritate me personally. I don't think that everything should be the same in every Disney-park. I mean, what harm can a (rather little) mowhawk do? I would not have noticed it myself.
    We are in Europe and some things are done and/or perceived differently here....

    Regarding the smoking and the rude-behaviour; this can indeed be annoying. Luckily on my visit in september, I did not notice a lot of smoking and/or rude behaviour. But then again; I wasn't particularly paying attention to it either.

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Thanks for your report & sharing the piccies (and your honesty). Sorry you had a miserable time. You need to understand that Halloween isn't celebrated the same way (if at all) in Europe as its is here in the US etc. I get what you mean, but I actually like alot of the decor at DLP during the period myself. But again, being a true "goth", anything Halloween is appreciated. Thanks again!
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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommie View Post
    On the annoyances; I think they all come down to one thing; things done a little bit different than in the US or at TDR. I can't say the your annoyances regarding the Halloween-decor, the wine and the mohawk irritate me personally. I don't think that everything should be the same in every Disney-park. I mean, what harm can a (rather little) mowhawk do? I would not have noticed it myself.
    I disagree. Disney parks have a tradition and history to uphold. If I wanted to see employess that look a bit unprofessional in appearance, I'd go to Six-Flags. At Disney, there is a "Disney Look" which all of us who worked for them had to follow. When I was a CM, the slightest violation would have a manager sending me home with no pay for the day. Reason why, when I see what some CMs get away with now, I get a bit bitter. I do not want to go into a Disney park to see individual arts of expression in regards to haircuts and facial hair and assessories. That is the reason why there is a "Disney Look" policy. While I understand there are cultural differences that make everyone unique, in a corporate enviroment like Disney where it operates in a global level, those little differences should be avoided in order to offer a standard product to all, otherwise you have a disjointed experience (like I did) when you pursue the same product from one part of the World to another. So I disagree with your assessment that every Disney park should be a little different in that regards, and while I welcome differences in design and entertainment, I do not agree with difference in the way the CMs project themselves.

    We are in Europe and some things are done and/or perceived differently here.... I did not notice a lot of smoking and/or rude behaviour. But then again; I wasn't particularly paying attention to it either.
    THat is exactly the problem with european guests at DLP. You people DO NOT seem to pay attention in regards to others and that is why I was incovenienced more than once watching shows, taking pictures, and what have you. These are things that can happen in the USA parks as well but not to the extreme degree I see at DLP, so the fact that you are in Europe and we are not makes little difference. Or maybe my mama raised me well to be polite and understanding of others around me when in such crowded situations... and since I am, I too would like a little of the same concideration back.

    AS for Disney parks... their show, presentation, cleanliness, and CM's look should be universal regardless of the park location. Otherwise, you compromise the "soul" of the company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nojarama
    Thanks for your report & sharing the piccies (and your honesty). Sorry you had a miserable time.
    I DID NOT have a miserable time. I enjoyed my visit, the parades, the night show, the shopping, the food I ate, etc etc. I just wished most guests were a bit better behaved.

    You need to understand that Halloween isn't celebrated the same way (if at all) in Europe as its is here in the US etc. I get what you mean, but I actually like alot of the decor at DLP during the period myself.
    I understand the different takes on Halloween. For example, some feel it's all about horror and murder, as presented at Universal parks during Horror Nights. I also understand that Halloween is perceived differently from one part of the World to the next... but again.. in regards to Disney parks, the product should be simialrly presented to suit the Disney theme. That was the reason why I had a slight problem with the Haunted Hotel walkthru attraction at HKDL, even though it was well presented. In regards to DLP.. this is a "disney" park and should adhere to the Disney brand, or else, change the name to Europeland if indeed that is what guests are demanding there and not "disney" per se.

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Oh, one other thing that totally shocked me was that every night between the train station and Disney Village, a group of about six different street vendors would take our their cheap flashing lights merchandise to sell to the tourists. I don't know how Disney permits this. The only thing I could explain was that since it was near the train station, this might be considered public property???


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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeland View Post
    Oh, one other thing that totally shocked me was that every night between the train station and Disney Village, a group of about six different street vendors would take our their cheap flashing lights merchandise to sell to the tourists. I don't know how Disney permits this. The only thing I could explain was that since it was near the train station, this might be considered public property???
    Indeed. Disney has nothing to say about what happens on that piece of real estate.

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    When you say that some of the new themeing in WDS puts the MK to shame, are you referring to the Magic Kingdom at Paris?
    The happiest place on Earth

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    No, the MK at WDW. There is only ONE magic kingdom and that is FL. All others to me ar "DL" parks, and I don't recognize them as "mk"s. Of course, I am exagerating here a little bit, because the new placemaking facades are a very small part of the new area but the level of details in some of them are really nice, unlike some structures at the MK or other DL parks.

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    Re: TDLFAN's DLP/WDSP Halloween report (photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    No, the MK at WDW. There is only ONE magic kingdom and that is FL. All others to me ar "DL" parks, and I don't recognize them as "mk"s. Of course, I am exagerating here a little bit, because the new placemaking facades are a very small part of the new area but the level of details in some of them are really nice, unlike some structures at the MK or other DL parks.
    Wow. I'll be really impressed if they are that good. It shows that the park is moving in a very good direction!
    The happiest place on Earth

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