Keep a sharp eye as you leave the Mickey and Friends parking garage, and you'll find some Halloween-themed scenes along the way toward the park:
The park's entrance sports its traditional Halloween decor:
And Main Street remains decked out for the season, with a massive Mickey Jack O'Lantern greeting visitors:
Frankly, outside Main Street, not much of the park is decorated for Halloween. Fantasyland and Adventureland remain the same as they ever were, and with one big exception, Tomorrowland is, as well. But you will find plenty of Halloween decor at the Big Thunder Ranch:
Disney offers an after-hours, hard-ticket Halloween event on selected evenings across the plaza, at Disney's California Adventure. That's where you'll find the character flood and trick-or-treating. The highlights of Disneyland's HalloweenTime are its two holiday-themed attraction overlays.
Haunted Mansion Holiday's been playing for years...
...But it still impresses with its seamless adaptation of the "Nightmare Before Christmas" story into the Mansion ride.
The new attraction this year is an overlay of Space Mountain, "Ghost Galaxy."
To be clear, the ride's the same - Disney didn't make any track or train changes. But there's a fresh soundtrack and video effects.
Remember that flaming ghost from the attraction entrance? You'll see him again, throughout the ride, as he chases your spaceship across the galaxy. The new soundtrack, with its "Carmina Burana" overtones, adds to the suspense... and the fun.
I found "Ghost Galaxy" an engaging twist on Space Mountain, one that added a welcome narrative element ("get away from the ghost!") and some sweet visual near-misses throughout. Space Mountain's all about twists and turns, and the pursuing ghost heightened the thrills. Heck, I preferred this version to the regular Space Mountain, though I could see how the extra cheese factor might get a little too filling if it ran longer than one month a year.
In addition to Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday, Disneyland is presenting a special Halloween-themed fireworks show in the evenings. (Which I didn't stay for on this short day trip.) HalloweenTime continues at Disneyland through November 1.Tweet
Maybe next week you can check out how the DCA work is progressing first hand and give us your thoughts. Every time I see pictures of all that construction work all I can think is that the park must feel absolutely claustrophobic these days!
If only Disney World put more effort into its Halloween celebration. The Magic Kingdom could bring back Alien Encounter once a year, Epcot's World Showcase could be given a Halloween makeover with the ghost folklore and cultures of each country, The Great Movie ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios could be re-themed with classic horror movies, and Disney's Animal Kingdom could showcase exotic and creepy animals.
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