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It's the most WONDERFUL time of the year. Halloween is in full swing and the MiceChat boards are ablaze with discussion. Join us as we discuss Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland, the supposed decline in quality at the Orlando parks and the wonderful time had by all who attended the Behind the Screams tour at Knott's Scary Farm. Also Al answers a reader question about Cars Land shopping and dining. - Fishbulb

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Knott's Halloween Haunt 2010
offers a wonderfully detailed report on the recent Knott's Scary Farm Behind the Screams tour of Halloween Haunt. Join him as he gives a play by play of the fun that was had at this amazing event.

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Q. I know all of the great attractions that will be in Cars Land (Radiator Spring Racers, Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Roamin' Tires), but I'm afraid that's all I know about it. Any talk about restaurants, eateries, shops? I know there was talk about a restaurant similar to WDW's Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, but I seem to recall that plan was axed. So besides the rides, what else will Cars Land have? -- Hayden

A. While Cars Land may have a name that still feels temporary and clunky to many Disney fans online, the basics of this big expansion area have all been locked in for the grand opening planned for early June, 2012. As this 12 acre expansion is taking up nearly half the 1.2 Billion dollar budget for DCA's extreme makeover, there will be quite a bit more than just the big E Ticket Radiator Springs Racers and the two rather lavishly themed C Ticket spinner and flying saucer rides nearby. When Cars Land opens it will have three dining locations, two shops, and a few empty facades and expansion areas prepped for future growth.

Barring any last minute or sudden changes, the roster of Cars Land shops and restaurants in June, 2012 is currently planned to be as follows -- listed in the same order below as you would find them while walking in to Cars Land along the Radiator Springs main street;

1. Fillmore's Taste-In: A psychedelic geodesic dome structure themed perfectly to the hippy VW Minibus from the movie. This will be a basic snack bar serving up themed fruit smoothies and healthy snacks.

2. Sarge's Surplus Hut: This is planned to be a gift shop owned by Sarge and set up in an old quonset hut. While it will be fully themed and dressed up on its exterior, the interior will remain vacant on opening day, for reasons explained below. Both Fillmore's and Sarge's sit across the street from Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree spinner ride.

Car mall

3. Cozy Cone Motel: Set up caddy-corner from Sarge's Surplus Hut, this will be a faithful recreation of Sally's kitschy motel from the movie. Inside each cone will be a different snack bar of sorts, setting up a food court style facility offering quick snacks, light meals, and drinks. Nearly every food item for sale will be a play on words using "cone" in the title; Chili Cone Carne, Cone On The Cob, Popcone, etc.

4. Flo's V8 Cafe: With the decision to hold off on building the drive-in movie restaurant back in '08, Flo's has moved to the forefront as the largest food facility in Cars Land for opening day. Consider this the Tomorrowland Terrace of DCA, with a sprawling outdoor dining area and a large kitchen with heavy-duty capacity to pump out thousands of hamburgers and standard fast food offerings. The menu will also offer traditional American drive-in desserts like milkshakes, root beer floats and malteds. The heavy duty use of neon on this icon restaurant taking up a prime corner in Cars Land should be quite impressive at night. A corner bandstand is on the wish list from TDA's Entertainment department, to offer a spot for bands and nightly dancing under the neon.

5. Radiator Springs Curios: On the opposite corner from Flo's, Lizzy's store will be the main gift shop for Cars Land, and Disneyland's merchandising department has been tasked by John Lasseter to come up with some truly eclectic and funky offerings for sale in this funky roadside store. You must remember that John Lasseter, is a huge Disneyland fan and he remembers well the genteel and unique collections for sale in the old One-Of-A-Kind shop in New Orleans Square. The Curios shop should have a similar vibe, but themed to roadside Americana. The wild success of the elaborately themed and unique merchandise in the new Harry Potter area of Universal's Islands of Adventure has not been lost on the Disneyland merchandise planners, and John Lasseter wants this shop to be an attraction in itself.

6. Ramone's House of Body Art: This is the second merchandise location for Cars Land, but this one will actually act as the exit gift shop for the Radiator Springs Racers ride. You can expect generic Cars merchandise here, as well as Cars Land and Radiator Springs Racers attraction-specific souvenirs on sale here. The obligatory on-ride photo stand will take up residence here as well.

7. The Courthouse: This is the structure that sits at the very end of the street, and while it won't have a shop or restaurant inside, it will act as the marquee and entrance of sorts for Radiator Springs Racers.

When you look at that list, it's actually quite impressive that they've balanced Cars Land as well as they have with three major attractions and not even a half dozen shops or restaurants.

The huge mistake that DCA's original planners and executives made (most of whom have since left Disney and are not on the invite list for any of the DCA grand opening ceremonies in 2011 and 2012) back when the park was in final design and construction in 1998-2001 are still fresh in people's minds. After TDA took a second look at the plans, WDI purposely scaled back the dining and merchandise from Phase One of Cars Land. Sarge's Surplus Hut, for instance, will sit empty on opening day, and the walkways leading in and out of Cars Land are designed to lead to future park expansion pads.

Only once TDA sees Cars Land in action through the end of 2012, and they can run the numbers on the spending patterns of the folks pouring in to DCA to see it, will they possibly greenlight the completion of the interior of Sarge's Surplus Hut and open it up as the third gift shop in Cars Land. If Cars Land drives attendance primarily from Annual Passholders, who spend the least amount of money per visit of any theme park demographic, then expansion will probably remain in a holding pattern. But if Cars Land drives big numbers of foreign or domestic multi-day tourists, or even non-AP local day trippers, those demographic segments always spend much more per day than the average AP and it wouldn't be out of the question to see Sarge's fast-tracked for a 2013 opening to capture more of those big spending tourists.

The decision on if and when to go ahead with the drive-in movie restaurant on the southeast corner of Cars Land will wait at least as long, and they'll really be looking at how the restaurants throughout all of DCA will be performing. Like the merchandise, it will be the tourists vs. the AP's for that decision, with AP's usually having just a light meal or a snack on each short visit and tourists eating at least two full meals per day inside the park. However, what is already helping the case for going ahead with the drive-in restaurant is the wild success they've had this past summer with the World of Color dining packages. But when you consider all of the different restaurants they've closed down in DCA without replacement in the past decade, you can understand TDA's reluctance to greenlight yet another big sit-down restaurant for that park. - Al

Got a question for Al or any of the MiceAge columnists?
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ElecTRONica, the successor to DCA’s Glowfest, premiered, and introduced us to Laserman and Flynn’s Arcade. We also have several Disneyland Halloween and Gay Days trip reports! ~ Aladdin


MartyMcFly88 traveled to Disneyland for the recent Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom Event, and has a terrific trip report, along with wonderful Halloweentime Photos from around the resort! Look here!

10/6 Parent's 30th Anniversary Trip!
10/6 and his family travel to Disneyland and celebrate their parent's 30th Anniversary!

HD video of ElecTRONica - Opening Night - Partial steadicam
asianbma has a video from the opening of ElecTRONica, and captures the atmosphere with the music, all the special lighting, the arcade and LaserMan!

ElecTRONica Opening Night Photos and Video
Be sure to look at these photos from the opening of ElecTRONica in DCA!

Halloween and Gay Days 2010 Trip Report
Zeitzeuge and friends travel to the Happiest Place on Earth for Gay Days. Take a look at their journeys here!

2010-10-08 Captain Jack Sparrow Day At The Park
WatchYourHeadNStep has photos from a gathering of Captain Jack Sparrow impersonators at Disneyland's Halloween Party!

Halloween Party Tips, Tricks, Pics, Vid, and Trip Report
KB24 tells us about their experience at Disneyland's Halloween Party, and has a few pictures and video, too!

Sir D's 'Yes, It's *Another* ElecTRONica Thread' Video Post
Sir Didymus also has a few videos showing the sights and sounds of ElecTRONica in DCA.

Flynn's at DCA - The Games
Skunkwerx inside Flynn's Arcade, in the old Hollywood and Dine location, where they have brought to life this 1980's fictional movie set.

Which attractions from yesterland would you like to see return?
Of all yesterland attractions, which ones would you like to see return? Vote in this poll and then let us know if there are any others you would like back!

Original Swiss Family Tree Located!!!
Before the Swiss Family Robinson had a home in Adventureland, they had a real treehouse that was used in the filming of the movie. 50 Years after the movie was released, Disney Artist Kevin has an update on the original tree, complete with current photos! Look here!

Walt Disney World

First Trip Report (an attempt)...Ever
Steve2wdw offers his very first trip report and documents the wild weather and lovely scenery. There is also a trip to Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party.

WDW - Quality - Poll
It's a question that has been asked for some time here on MiceChat. Is the quality at WDW declining? Barbaraann posts an interesting poll that offers five options. Let us know what you think.

Did TDO miss the boat when it comes to ElecTronica?
Has Team Disney Orlando missed an opportunity to bring ElecTRONica to Disney Hollywood Studios? Or was it something that was planned all along.

Here's to the Future and You
Dapper Dan asks a very good question. "Should Tomorrowland Have aliens?". What follows the poll is a smart essay that poses the question.

Off Shore Parks
For the past few weeks now, that state of Disneyland Paris has been getting a lot of buzz. I am happy to report that the decapitated White Rabbit has been fixed and has a fresh coat of paint! - pineapplewhipaddict

Malin's Disneyland Paris September 2010 Trip Report
Malin recently visited the Disneyland Paris Resort and has a trip report for us. Read on!

What attractions are still in a great condition in DLP?
TimmyTimmyTimmy wants to focus on the positive at Disneyland Paris. He wants to know what is currently looking good at Disneyland Paris! Talk about it here.

Masquerade Dance & more..
TDLFAN has a photo-filled trip report for us from Tokyo Disney Resort, which includes the Masquerade Dance Show! Take a look!

Ocean Park Halloween vs HKDL Halloween

dman383 visited both Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland and has made a trip report to compare and contrast them in their Halloween offerings. Read on!

The Shanghai Sinkhole, how will this effect DL?
10/6 poses an interesting question about the future of the Shanghai Disney Park. Shanghai has been sinking rapidly for many years...is it really wise to build a Disney Park here? Read on, and comment, here.


Grover's Smell Like a Monster
Barbossa shares this hilarious Sesame Street video that is a parody of the Old Spice commercials.

Celebrating a life well lived - RIP my beloved Sachako
A beloved pet passed recently and Dustysage celebrates the life of this amazing animal.

Happy Thanksgiving Canuck MiceChatters!
Again, Barbossa, wishes all Canadian MiceChatters a happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

Walt Disney World

Sir Clinksalot's 2010 Knott's Scary Farm Video
SirClinksalot presents his annual video of the amazing Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt. Come enjoy the scary fun.

T&T Apple Picking at Los Rio Rancho
TechSkip writes, "As a small child I have fond memories of picking apples in the fall. I would go out with my grandparents, off to some far away orchard, and pick as many apples as my small frame could reach. When I couldn't reach it, grandpa would pick me up! I always wanted to take my own kids to a place like that. Last season we missed it. This season we set aside a day to do it. In a strange twist of fate my grandma was out here visiting that week (grandpa died over a decade ago). I asked her if she remembered where we went apple picking. "Los Rio Rancho at Oak Glen" was her immediate reply. "The place has been there since the 1900's, look it up it's probably still there!". So not only did we go picking apples, we went to the same orchard I was at when I was a child! "

Knotts Scary Farm 2010 Review
The Forbidden Eye offers his take on this years Knott's Scary Farm event. Do you agree with his viewpoint? Find out and click here.

Mice Age

Kevin Yee: Scare Scale
Charging more, offering less... Discuss Kevin's article here

Sue Kruse: Trick or Treat?
Sue reviews the highly debated Mickey's Halloween Party and asks whether or not it is worth the money they charge.

Werner Weiss: The Games People Played
With names like Angles in the Outfield, Cal Shore Shot and San Joaquin Volley, it's amazing these games didn't last longer. Good thing Werner has documented them.

Dateline Disneyland: ElecTRONica boots up, California construction and demolition, Hotel work, +much more!
Hello! We're back from vacation and ready to bring you the latest news and info from the Disneyland Resort! California Adventure has unveiled its latest nighttime dance party as park-goers wind their way through construction and refurbishment walls in both parks.

Weekend Update: ElecTRONica Opening Night; Disneyland Photos; Universal Singapore; Canary Islands
We're thrilled to bring you photos and video from opening night at ElecTRONica at Disney California Adventure. CaptPhoebus braved the crowds (which he described as "congested") to bring you photos and video. Denise nbodyhome Preskitt came west for the Destination Disneyland event, so we're privileged to have her photos from the Disneyland Resort this week. TDLFAN continues his very popular series on Universal Studos Singapore.

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The MiceEars Crew and MiceChat News Club put a lot of time and effort into making these Round-Ups happen. Here are the members:

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2010 Dusty Sage/MiceChat