Laura Gilbreath and Jason of disneygeek.com visited the parks on Friday, September 13, the first day of this year's Halloween Time celebration.
This post takes a look at the decorations, the holiday attractions, the Halloween Carnival, and some of the food offerings. There is a separate blog featuring the Unleash the Villains event.
The Disneyland entrance featured the usual giant character pumpkins.
Main Street is always festive with colorful Halloween banners.
There are jack o'lanterns everywhere - those on the Mad Hatter even wear hats.
The giant Mickey pumpkin has returned to Town Square.
There is a holiday photo backdrop at the Character Meet and Greet near the Mad Hatter.
Laura says: Since it was the first day of Halloween Time and Unleash the Villains day I wore my "Sinister Cats" t-shirt, and got lots of compliments on it. But no one (including me) could name the pink cat pictured on the lower left side next to Lucifer. I've since done some research and think I know who it is...do any of you know?
Onto Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree which features the Halloween Carnival.
The Pirate's League is back this year for a limited time, but has been moved from its small quarters in New Orleans Square to a larger area in the Jamboree. The available packages are Jake and the Never Land Pirates, $29.95, and the First Mate or Empress, $34.95. On the first day it was not very busy, and there appeared to be more adult pirates than kids!
There are free carnival games for kids (and adults).
The Cast a Spell game.
The characters in their Halloween costumes were out wandering around interacting with guests rather than standing in designated meet and greet spots, though they were still posing for photos and signing autographs.
Chip keeping the peace at the merchandise cart with a gun he borrowed from the display.
In the Conjure a Villain tent was a villain meet and greet. The line for this experience was fairly long.
Laura says: I did this earlier in the day when I arrived, and it was about a 20-minute wait to go into the tent. They took groups of about 25 into the tent, where we said some magic words to conjure our villain - Captain Hook for us. Then we formed another line to meet him, so we had to wait again. I was disappointed in this, since there was only one villain, and twice the wait. But at least the tent was air-conditioned.
There's a craft area - sometimes the characters will sit down and color with the kids.
There are masks to color which can also be used in the Mask-arade, held almost every hour.
The pumpkin carvers have returned though they are in the Jamboree rather than next to the shack near the Ranch entrance. There weren't too many pumpkins since they had just started.
Olaf from Frozen.
The outdoor vending cart is pushed to the side since the carvers took their normal spot.
Candy corn cotton candy. Can you say "sugar overload?"
The Haunted Hillbillies lead the Mask-arade, joined by some of the Disney characters and guests.
The area around the stage featured a variety of decorations.
A rope spider web.
The Billies performing the Devil Went Down to Georgia. They also did Ghost Riders in the Sky.
The scarecrows are back in the Scare-Dy-Crow Shack
The goats in the petting corral were dressed up.
A cast member with a cockatoo was near the entrance/exit to the ranch area. She (the bird) said hello to us.
Dia de Los Muertos displays in Zocalo park.
There are also a couple of stations where they do face-painting.
It's the 13th season for Haunted Mansion Holiday. They were not offering Fastpasses, so we waited in the 25-minute line, which filled the entire queue and spilled out into New Orleans Square.
Jack Skellington was nearby posing for pictures.
Celebrating 13 Frightfully Fun Seasons - and opening on Friday the 13 no less!
The most visible change this year is the stretching room. There is now a projection effect in place of the giant Jack head. Here is a video of it.. does not do it justice but will give you an idea.
Zero now makes an appearance in each of the portraits in the hall of portraits and flies from one to another.
In the ballroom, a large gingerbread house celebrates the 13th season by counting down to Halloween.
Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy has also returned for the season.
Laura rode this and says she didn't notice any differences on the ride, though the lighting in the launch bay seems different.
Around the two parks are a number of special Halloween treats. Harbour Galley featured this pumpkin cheesecake.
The Mint Julep Bar offers pumpkin beignets, pumpkin lattes, and zombie gingerbread cookies (the cookies are available in other locations around the park, also).
Laura says: I tried the beignets and the cookie. The beignets were not bad, though I prefer the gingerbread ones they have at Christmas. The cookie was good - soft and spicy.
The French Market was decorated with man-eating wreaths.
They are offering a Muffuletta sandwich for the season, served with handmade Cajun chips and fruit. $13.29
And a "coffin cake" dessert.
In Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure there are a variety of Halloween treats.
Laura says: Schmoozies and Pacific Wharf Cafe offer a pumpkin muffin. I tried this and it was very good - it even has roasted pumpkin seeds on the top.
Pacific Wharf Cafe has several other offerings, also, including a pumpkin-shaped loaf of sourdough bread and some desserts. This year Minnie is featured on the holiday demitasse cup.
In Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta there's an anti-vampire flatbread.
With chives or without...
They've added some Halloween touches to the decorations at the Mad T Party.
Laura says: Other than the T Party DCA doesn't show much Halloween "spirit". I miss Candy Corn Acres.
There's a variety of Halloween merchandise available in stores all over both parks.
Not Halloween related but something new that we experienced: At Soarin' Over California some of the Planes characters make appearances in the pre-flight video shown in the boarding area before the safety spiel. Here is a video of it to wrap up this update.
Hope you enjoyed this look at HalloweenTime at the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update Jason posted on his site, http://disneygeek.com
The previous post in this blog was Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013 - The Rest of the Weekend.
The next post in this blog is Disneyland Unleashes the Villains - 9/13/13.