Saturday, September 16, 2017

Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort

It's Halloween Time!
Actually it's still the middle of September, but at the Disneyland Resort, Halloween is in full swing, having officially kicked off the season on September 15th.
It's always fun to have something new to do at Disneyland and both kids were really excited to be celebrating Halloween already.

We didn't quite make rope drop today. The park opened at 8am, with Disneyland opening at 7am for Extra Magic Hours. It was 8:30am when we parked, and following our usual strategy, we started in the park that did not have Extra Magic Hours.

DCA has transformed for Halloween! I love the entrance! I'm always happy to see more Nightmare Before Christmas in the parks. And there was a Photopass Photographer at the entrance taking pictures for guests too.

Before we start doing rides, I wanted to make sure we do a few of the special Halloween specific things. Cars Land has been totally transformed and looks amazing. The Imagineers certainly are creative in how they make Halloween decorations out of car parts and tools.

Lightning McQueen is wearing his Halloween Car-stume.

Looking good in your super hero costume Lightning.

Dracula Mater had the kids wondering why Mater was purple.

Tow Mater's Graveyard Jambooree is new too!

The kids petting the blue-eyed baby tractor that's dressed like a mummy.

My kids love the music from the original Junkyard Jamboree. So much so that they want me to play it at home while they're running around the front yard acting crazy. Needless to say, I've heard these songs a lot.

I was very happy to hear that for the Halloween version of the ride, Mater has recorded some new songs! Hopefully someone records those too!

At first, I wasn't sure about MaxPass. Why pay to get fastpass on my phone when I can just walk to the ride entrance and get it? Well for one, I can get a fastpass as soon as I enter the park. And second, as soon as I scan it, I can get another one without getting out of line! We were able to ride Toy Story Midway Mania 3 times in a row with only a 10-15 minute wait in between!

I'm really happy this ride has a fastpass now too. Before, we'd never wait in a 40 minute line to ride it. Now it's one of the kids' favorites and we go every time!

I've always wondered why Alli wears her glasses upside down. Turns out that they slip off a lot easier if they're on correctly. By flipping them upside down, they actually stay on.

Ooh. That's a really nice Halloween popcorn bucket.

I'm not sure what the appeal is for the Jumping Jellyfish, but Ian likes to ride it. It's so tame though compared to some of the other rides he likes.

While T took the kids on Ariel, Jacob and I enjoyed breaking out of Guardians of the Galaxy.

It's lunchtime! Instead of just offering a couple special things for Halloween Time, Disney has dozens of special treats available this year.
The Disney Blog listed so many that Jacob made a spreadsheet so we can check things off as we try them.
After enjoying the tacos from the Studio Catering Company truck last week, I was happy to see yet another type of taco available.

  • Studio Catering Co.: In celebration of Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, Dragon’s Breath Tacos – Pork belly tacos, Korean barbecue sauce, kimchi slaw and Sriracha aioli

I wasn't sure what that "Monsters After Dark" line meant. Turns out, the special tacos are only available after 6pm. No tacos today.

Instead, lunch would be the delicious Bacon Cheddar Ale soup.

It's delicious, but I always wish there was more soup and less bread. Still, I'd order this one again.

While Ian rode Tuck and Roll's Drive Em Buggies, Alli, Jacob, and I headed to Heimlich.

Alli loves calling out the foods as we pass by them. Carrots! Apple! Watermelon! Cookies! Heimlich loves candy corn! And so does Alli! Thank you Mommy for having some ready for her when we got back to the stroller.

Next on the treat list was this Monstermallow Donut. We'd planned on getting the ice cream sandwich, but after seeing how small it was and considering the price we skipped it.
Someone in front of us got the Caramel Apple smoothie. I asked how she liked it and after a few sips, she said it was pretty good. Like an apple pie with ice cream on top. Sounds good to me. Perhaps next time.

The "flaky donut" means cronut. It was pretty tasty and very rich. Nice to be able to split it four ways.   I wouldn't get it again, but I was happy to try it once.

I think the kids just like green icing.

Boy those popcorn buckets are really popular. The line for this stand stretched all the way to the Storytellers statue. Crazy.

Let's go over to Disneyland!

Ooh. There's a really cute popcorn bucket over here too.

When I told Jacob we were all wearing hats today and he picked my Jack Skellington hat, I told him I had the gloves to go with it too. The gloves haven't made an appearance yet, but now that we're at Disneyland and in anticipation for this next ride, they came out.

Ride lines weren't too bad today, with a couple exceptions. Yikes! Over 2 hours to wait for the amazing Haunted Mansion Holiday with the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay.

Good thing we were able to get a fastpass while we were still in DCA. But even the fastpass line stretched far outside the Mansion gates. We wound around the New Orleans fountain before finally making it to the entrance.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some shade in the Mansion queue. Despite being September, standing in the direct sun in this section of the line has always been miserable.

Times like this I miss not taking my real camera and just having my iPhone. Bleh.

Of all the treats available for Halloween Time, this one was what I was looking forward to most.
  • Stage Door CafĂ©
    • Campfire S’Mores Funnel Cake with chocolate-chile ganache and toasted marshmallow sauce, garnished with graham cracker crumbs and crushed peanut butter candy

Both Ian and Alli liked picking off the marshmallows.

I had really high hopes for this one. I think everyone in our group did.
But every single one of us ended up being disappointed in it. First the funnel cake was overcooked. Way too crispy. And it could have done without the peanut butter candy (crushed Butterfingers maybe?). Regular s'mores don't have peanut butter. Unless someone else posts a rave review and I just got a bad one, I won't be getting this again.

Now that Ian is tall enough, Splash Mountain has become a must-do each visit. Thankfully we've found that sitting side-by-side in the back, you don't get too wet... Except for today.

Our log must have been loaded just right. At least twice after going down the hills, a big wave of water came up over the side and landed in my lap. My whole left side and both shoes were soaked.

Hmm. Look at him being all dry and smiling while my shoes are squishing with every step I take.

Time to go find everyone who decided to stay dry. They're in Fantasyland riding Casey and the Storybook boats. While they did that, Ian and I stopped by the Carrousel, happening upon Mary Poppins, Burt, and the Pearly Street Band.

And then we'd end up riding ourselves.

There's just one more thing we have to do! Come on!
The line to get a picture in front of the giant Mickey pumpkin was pretty long, but it was still a must. Because now I have the perfect picture for my phone's background!

Lookout! A monster!

We said our goodbyes to Jacob and as per the usual walked through Downtown Disney to get to the Mickey and Friends parking structure instead of taking the tram. Really happy we did too! Downtown Disney is overflowing with pumpkins! And not just the tiny ones. Lots of the big expensive ones too. Nice.

Once we got home, Oogie Boogie had one more surprise in store for us. He glows in the dark?!? How awesome is that.

There's so much more to see at Disneyland for Halloween. The kids are both asking when we're going back! We'll just have to see... But I'm sure it won't be too long. Until next time.

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