Friday, September 29, 2017

Halloween Time at Disneyland

Disneyland is the king for creating an environment that can pull you right in.  The holiday season is one of my most favorite times to visit the Happiest Place on Earth.  The only times I like better are when the crowds are magically missing.  Halloween Time is in full swing at the parks so we took a quick trip down to see how the mouse decorated his house this year.  

In true Disney style the magic started even before you entered the park.  We parked in the Mickey and Friends parking lot where we always do unless we are staying at one of their amazing hotels.  As you pull away be ready to look to your right.  After you turn the first bend Mickey, Minnie and Donald are all dressed up for Halloween fun.  Soon after that turn to your left hand side and Goofy and Pluto will greet you with a ghostly scene. 

After you get off the tram you will be in Downtown Disney.  We made the walk to the park gates to be greeted with these giant pumpkin tributes to the Disneyland tribe.  They sit above the entrance gates for you to study while you are waiting your turn to go inside.  

As soon as you get through those gates you have a really cool photo opportunity.  The photo pass people are there waiting to help you get the perfect shot of this floral mickey with the background of the railroad behind it.  This is classic Disneyland memory magic.  

When you enter Main Street you will be in the middle of a Disney style pumpkin festival.  Along the entire stretch of Main Street you can see hundreds of one of a kind jack-o-lanterns peeking down at you.  The colors of fall are everywhere and in the center is a huge Mickey Mouse jack-o-lantern which is also a perfect photo opportunity.  The park is scattered with your favorite characters in their costumes and even quite a few villains running around.  You will know where to find them when you see the lines.  Seriously, have you got the idea that Halloween Time is a good time to get a million pictures because it is. 
At the end of Main Street surrounding the Partners Statue you can see special pumpkins carved to look like their favorite Disney buddies.  
You cant talk about Halloween time with out mentioning the Haunted Mansion.  Jack Skellington has decked it out with his haunted style of holiday cheer.  Now through January of 2018 you can see the Haunted Mansion decked out in the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas. For sure this is a cant miss event.  Space Mountain is also changed over for the Halloween season to Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.  These two rides bring in big crowds just to see them.  Plan on making good use of the FastPass system since both rides have it available.  

In addition to all the fun decorations there is also a huge variety of ways to spend your money on Disney Halloween gear.  From orange Mickey ears to light up home decor you can find so many things you will need to have.  It takes a lot of self control to not load it all up and take it home.  

We have a strong honesty policy here.  I am going to say something that might not be very popular but I stand by it.  Disneyland also does something incredible on select nights.  Mickey's Halloween Party has a Headless Horseman, the best Trick-or-treating you can ever experience and that is for the adults too, special fireworks, Cadaver Dans singing their stopped hearts out, Villains Square and a Frightfully Fun Parade.  In true Disney style they go all out for this sold out event.  We looked at tickets and we have been before but we are not going this year.  When you buy tickets to this event you will get into the parks three hours before the event and spend 5 hours partying away for the cost of $120 a person.  We have done this before.  It was the most candy ever.  We paid $59 for our experience years ago and it was pretty cool.  The kiddos loved the heaps of candy.  Tricky part was getting them to not eat it before you went on a stomach churning ride.  This event brings in big crowds and if you are a people watcher, a person who loves to seek autographs or a person who has unlimited patience for waiting in lines you might love it.  We chose to save the $440 it would cost our family.  I think that the price of $120 a person for a partial day at the park with guaranteed crowds isn't worth it.  FYI- if you are at the park on a day that the event takes place know that you will not be spending the whole day at the park.  Don't get me wrong.  I love Disneyland.  I gladly spend the money on annual passes so I can come and go as I please.  For now we live just a few hours from the park and we go often.  Before we were living in SoCal we still had annual passes because Disneyland is Magical and I think it has its value.  That value is lost on me a little bit when its me and a million friends all jockeying for the same piece of real-estate.  

Eek.  I feel like I have said terrible things here.  The Halloween experience in the park is cool.  If you even like Halloween you will love this event.  We have experienced it once and I feel like that might have been enough. I love Halloween but I don't love how the crowds have exploded at the park.  Eight hours sounds like a long time but its not if you are waiting in 90 minute lines.  

Am I wrong?  Like I said, its been a long time since we have tried the event.  Maybe I have no idea how well Disneyland has streamlined this event.  Maybe they have limited the number of tickets better so that the crowds aren't as massive.  I definitely don't feel like an expert here.  

Overall take on this post.  Disneyland does really cool things.  If you choose to go to the Halloween Party I am excited for you and I would love to hear all about it.  If you choose not to go to the Halloween Party, it is still very worth it to go see what has been done on a day that the party wont be going on.  Either way Disneyland is a Magical place and you will love it. 

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