The husband and I were going to Mickey's Halloween Treat at DCA. This would be our third year attending the event, but this year, I was going to the event directly from work, so I had a very different experience. Normally, I would be at the resort earlier in the day, but this year, for the event that started at 7:30pm, I got off the 5 freeway offramp at about 7pm - and came to a dead stop. Apparently, lots of other people were also coming to the event after work, and many of us were getting there at the same time. From the time I got off the offramp to the time I managed to cross Harbor Blvd. was about 15 minutes. For anyone else who's coming to a Halloween Treat on a weeknight, keep in mind that you'll encounter a lot of traffic the closer it gets to event start time.
The husband had been saving a place in line in front of the DCA gates, and I had planned to join him, but when it was clear how late I'd be, I told him we'd just go in late, so he met up with a friend of ours and waited for me in Downtown Disney. He had bought me a chili dog from Coke Corner (so we wouldn't waste time at Halloween Treat with having to find dinner - he'd already finished his), so I ate that as they chatted. We met up with other friends for a while before the husband and I bid farewell to them and headed off to Halloween Treat. By this time, it was probably close to 8pm, and the lines to get in had cleared so we just went straight to the turnstiles and picked up a map and got scanned in. Right after you go into the park, there are tables where you pick up your treat bags. The treat bags this year were about half as big as the ones from previous years, but it made a lot of sense. With the bigger bags, the candy has farther to fall, so more chance of breaking the bag. The smaller bags were easier to carry around. One side of the bag has a DVD ad for POTC3, and the other side has a DVD ad for "Ratatouille". We perused the map for a while just to get an idea of what might be different from previous years and noticed that a new treat trail had been added inside the Animation Building. I had also brought a different container with which to trick-or-treat, and I had also brought bigger bags into which we could empty out our containers as they got full.
We headed off for our trick or treating by heading in the direction of Soarin first and then basically making our way around the park. Most of the CMs seemed much more generous with the candy this year, except for the CM who gave me one single piece of candy. In previous years, you usually got two or three pieces at once, but this time, they were giving out almost a handful at once. One of the things I like about Halloween Treat is that they generally give out the name-brand candy. This year's official sponsor was Hershey's Kissables, so there were many stations that only had that. My assortment of candy received for the evening included fun-size M&Ms, giant lemonheads, different flavors of Wonka Laffy Taffy, different flavors of giant Now and Laters, different sizes of Tootsie Rolls, Baby Ruth miniatures, fun-size Snickers, different flavors of Toosie Fruit Rolls, Smarties, different flavors of Tootsie Roll Pops, Butterfinger miniatures, fun-size Twix, Crunch miniatures, different flavors of Starburst, different flavors of Jaw Busters, Sixlets, Nerds and Dots. There were other candy that I saw in various bins (like Clark bars) that I didn't end up getting any of. Most of the stations also had healthy alternatives, including little bags of carrots or apples or little boxes of raisins with "Cars" characters on them or Smooshed Strawberry Organic Fruit Flat ("Flat. Fruit. I like Flat Fruit." Oh, sorry.)
We went through the treat trail that goes behind Grizzly River Run as well as the one in Redwood Creek. When we got to Golden Screams, there were a number of characters out at that time, including Bowler Hat Guy from "Meet the Robinsons". He was great. We then made our way to the Paradise Pier area. There is some Halloween Treat merchandise at Sideshow T-Shirts. The t-shirts are basically the same as last year except they have an additional "2007" screen printed on the front. I didn't see sweatshirts this year. They also had the same photo frame as last year. There are also a couple of pins (including one with ghost Mickey). They have a new light-up baseball cap with the Halloween Treat logo with various bits/outlines that blink on and off. The midway games were again free this year, but it was a little crowded when we were there, so we decided to skip them.
The princesses photo op is again at the top of Paradise Pier, right outside the Cove Bar. The Mickey and Minnie photo op has been moved off the Grizzly trail and is being held in the ampitheatre by Golden Screams. The villains photo op is in under the Palace of Fine Arts dome right outside Golden Screams, and characters from Playhouse Disney as well as Pooh characters have a photo op in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot right in front of the backdrop next to the Hyperion.
The Pacific Wharf area has been turned into Pirates Wharf, with many pirate-related personnel there, including Captain Hook. There are also crafts and other things for kids and adults to partake in. There are also pirate photo ops there too.
We stopped in front of A Bug's Land to watch and talk to the talking scarecrow hanging around at the entrance. There's one treat station right outside the entrance and another one inside the land itself, but the one in the land had a really long line, so we skipped it.
We then headed into the Hollywood Backlot and first headed into the Animation Building. The first treat station is at the entrance to the Beast's Library section, with more treat stations along the way. I thought it was a good idea to have the treat trail there because it takes you through a section that many people might not have seen before, including the library itself (I haven't seen the transformation of the Prince's picture/falling petals on the rose in a long time, so I have to go back and see that again soon.) and the stations where you can sing popular Disney songs and hear them played back. The only problem I saw is that while all of the other treat stations each had two CMs working them, the stations inside the Animation Building each only had one, which made for longer lines. It also didn't help that just a bit ahead of us throughout the trail were a group of about 8 tweens who would each recite a litany of 3 or 4 exact candy pieces they wanted at each station which the CMs felt compelled to follow.
After exiting, we headed to the Batlot Bash since the dancing/music that they play in the little theatre there (right outside the Monsters, Inc. ride) is my favorite every year. Mr. and Mrs. Incredible and Frozone were there, and they were a lot of fun to watch. We sat and watched everything for a while before heading over to Tower of Terror. After visiting the nearby treat station, we sat to watch the sound and light show from the hotel. Over the course of maybe 20 minutes, you hear bats and see them climb the tower, you hear a phone ringing, you hear guests laughing and enjoying a party, and on two occasions, one shorter and one longer, you hear thunder and see as lightning hits the tower. It's really cool. This year, there's also a luggage rack in front of the tower that's spotlighted so makes for a good photo op. It has the Halloween Treat logo and one particular hat box for a very familiar mouse. After sitting for a while, we decided to go on Tower since the sign said it was only a 13 minute wait, which is what it usually says when the wait time is negligible. It turned out to be a much longer wait, probably more than half an hour, because the line moved very slowly. They were only running the library on the right, and they were only loading the bottom section of the shafts in the middle and the right. But it was still a lot of fun. One thing to note is that if you have an open container to hold your candy, be sure to close it or put your hand over it on the ride. I had my hand over the opening of my container, and as we'd drop, I could feel the candy rising to touch my hand. If my hand hadn't been there, there would have been candy all over the place.
In previous years, there's been a small show with the characters in the Sun Plaza at the very end of the night. This year, for the first time, there's a cavalcade, so at about 10:15, we found an empty table with seats in front of the Burbank ice cream store and waited. The cavalcade consists of one lead sign that announces the title as the "Mickey's Trick or Treat on the Street", and there's one float on which sit Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, all dressed for Halloween. There are two individual huge Mickey pumpkin trick or treat containers that are being pushed along and then a closing title sign. There are also a lot of witch dancers accompanying the group. They all stop and sing a couple of different songs, and on some of the songs, kids are invited onto the street to participate. The signs and floats are all decked out with candy corn, and even Pluto sports a collar that's studded with candy corn. The showstop lasts maybe 10 minutes and is pretty cute. There's also a song written specifically for the cavalcade, but the song really didn't do anything for me.
The event officially ended at 11:30, but after the cavalcade ended at about 11pm, we decided we were done and headed over to Disneyland for a little bit. Remember that if you're an adult who wore a costume to Halloween Treat, you won't be permitted into Disneyland while still wearing that costume.