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Old 11-11-2010, 07:29 PM   #91
SurfinTX
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Day2: Part 5 - So This is What Being Inside a Two Meter Exhaust Port Feels Like.

After enjoying the wonderful show Aladdin I exited the theater around 2:00 p.m. The next item on the plan was pretty obvious since it was just across the street.



With Fastpass ready I bypassed what looked like a 30 minute standby line and entered the lobby immediatly.







After the pre-show everything up to this point is pretty much the same as the WDW version. The line in the furnace room.





Spoilers Begin.

After another ten minutes I was seated in the elevator car in the back row. Our female CM was pretty funny as soon as everyone was seated she proceeded to act like an airline attendant. Pointing out the large holes in the cage near the front she told us...

"In case of elevator malfunction, those in the front row will be ejected automaticaly through these. As for the rest of you...<shrug>."

There was general laughter but you could tell there were a few nervous passengers aboard. The doors are closed and we moved back into the shaft. We move up smoothly for a bit and the doors open to a similar scene as the WDW ride looking into a hallway. Now if you remember, I'm still carrying my Mickey popcorn bucket with me and I had a sudden idea. In the WDW version of the ride you get an effect showing an image of the riders getting shocked before moving into the main elevator shaft. To be funny I pick up my mostly empty bucket to get it in the picture.

Well, needless to say I was a bit surprised...lets say massivly surprised, when the effect showed the actors at the end of the hallway standing in an elevator suddenly drop. One second later we drop...hard! We are already in the shaft! When I say hard I mean it exceeded free fall. We were lifted out of our seats and pressed hard into the seatbelts.

I had just enough wit at the moment to hang on the bucket but was dismayed to see the lid fly off nearly verticaly and was out of sight in an instant. Placing my hand on the top to keep the remaining popcorn from flying all over my companions I knew I was in for quite the ride. After that we were lifted to the top of the shaft from the very bottom. Every lift and drop was stronger than what you experience at WDW.

After all the screaming and lauging it was over and we moved back forward to an unloading area. The nice lady two seats down from me had found my lid and gave it back to me. I'm not sure if it had hit her or not so I apologized just in case.

Spoilers End.

So how does it match up with the WDW version? For ride special effects and theming the WDW version is better. As far as ride mechanics the DL version edges it out for thrill factor. So let's look at the ride photo hall we?



By this time I must have gotten over the shock of that first drop and had the popcorn covered with my hand. On this ride we have some zen masters and...what the duece? On the second row in front of me. Glennbo?!

Exiting the gift shop I had a long walk again to look forward to but I have one last fastpass to use before heading back to my hotel room. A picture on my way out of DCA. Han had waited near the entrance for me and we hooked back up for the walk over to the DL turnstiles.



Re-entering Disneyland I notice a show going on right in front of the firehouse on Main Street.



The firemen were playing some ragtime as Goofy grabbed kids to dance with him.



I only spent a moment here since the afternoon was wearing away and I really needed to get back to my room.

Taking a right turn at the hub it was finally time to ride...



That's right! Space Mountain with the Ghost Galaxy holiday overlay. Again the Fastpasses came through and I got to bypass at least an hour standby and walk right into a ten minute wait inside.

Spoilers Begin.

Having never rode the DL version of Space Mountain I will only have the Ghost Galaxy version to compare it with the WDW version.

The first major difference is the loading area. While walking through the corridors there are all kinds of spooky futuristic sound effects.



Here are the cars from above.



Already you can tell there is a major difference in the ride by the side by side seating in the cars. A few minutes after this picture me and Han were loaded aboard.

There are speakers aboard so you get nice music and sound effects as you are chased by Cosmic Spirits through the ride. There are all kinds of video effects as well where it looks like hands jump out at you as well. The coaster itself is faster and is much more thrilling than the WDW version. Proof of this can be seen in the ride photo.



Typical ride photos of the WDW version have maybe a few grins but not much in the way of screaming or scared people. At DL the ride just reaches an intensity to really make you yell out. It easily matches BTMRR without all the extra chain lifts.

Spoiler Ends.

With big grins on our faces and promises to ride Space Mountain again, Han and I proceeded out of the park to make our long walk back to the room. So far it had been an excellent day with only the hiccup at Toy Story Mania keeping it from being exactly as I planned. Yet it's only 3 p.m. What will the night have in store for us?

Stay tuned to find out!
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:13 PM   #92
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So how does it match up with the WDW version? For ride special effects and theming the WDW version is better. As far as ride mechanics the DL version edges it out for thrill factor. So let's look at the ride photo hall we?



By this time I must have gotten over the shock of that first drop and had the popcorn covered with my hand. On this ride we have some zen masters and...what the duece? On the second row in front of me. Glennbo?!
Now, that guy may have my moustache, but that's certainly waaay different hair! Oh wait, that's a lady. Well, the same can be said about the guy near the aisle.

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Proof of this can be seen in the ride photo.
I love how you (successfully) held up your popcorn bucket for this ride photo! And it looks like Han is enjoying himself too.

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Old 11-15-2010, 04:12 AM   #93
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Now, that guy may have my moustache, but that's certainly waaay different hair! Oh wait, that's a lady. Well, the same can be said about the guy near the aisle.

It wouldn't be a good ToT ride photo without something strange or unexpected in it.

I love how you (successfully) held up your popcorn bucket for this ride photo! And it looks like Han is enjoying himself too.
By this time the bucket was empty and I had figured out how to secure the top. I tried to find a good video of the Ghost Galaxy version of Space Mountian but most do not turn out. it is verrrrry dark with great special effects as you travel through it.

Han had been through asteroid fields and inside space worms so I'm guessing this didn't quite reach that excitement level for him.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #94
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Day 2: Part 6 - I Really Didn't Want This Much Attention!

It was time again to get my twenty minute walk out of the way and get back to my room. It was closing in on 3:00 p.m. and after only having some popcorn I really needed to find something to eat. Luckily there are many options along Harbor St. for just about any taste.
Needing a quick spot to eat that was close by I picked Carl's Jr. There are a few around Dallas and typically they have a very good selection of sandwiches. Also I saw a sign for $1 drinks of any size and that clinched the deal. I ordered a BBQ chicken sandwich and 44 oz. Dr. Pepper and quickly walked back to my room.

How was the sandwich? Let's take a look at the pictures.





As you can see they did provide a tasty wheat bun. However, the chicken was way overdone and had probably sat under a heater for way too long. Not a typical Carl's Jr. sandwich for me at all. I couldn't complain too much at a total cost of $3.50 with the drink.

My plan at this point was to get back earlier in the day so I could rest. With it now getting past 3:30 that wasn't going to happen. Still, I was pretty excited about the evenings plans so I started putting on my evening attire.
Which took about 45 minutes.

Han, after taking a look at me just smirked and said, "I've seen a lot of crazy things in my time."

Bidding him farewell it was time to turn around and head right back to Disneyland. My feet were getting quite the workout today and it was nowhere near over yet!

On the way over I got a lot of reactions. A few smiles. Honking of horns and shouting. Never before did a mile long trek feel so long. I bet you're wondering why this was happening. Continue on dear reader for tonight is Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland!

This is the first year (at least in quite some time) the Disneyland has hosted the Halloween Party. DCA had the event that included all of the trick or treating and several decorated areas. This year DCA was completely devoid of most Halloween theming. To make up for this Disneyland had added some special decorations for us party goers.

Next to the gate.



Disney also allows adults to get in costume during party nights. Usually this is not allowed due to the possibilty of children approaching guests thinking that it's a possible character greeting. Pulling out my ticket I recieve a wristband and map for the night. Also I am handed a small trick or treat bag with a few Cars and Toy Story characters on it. Heading in I notice that there are not many costumed people here yet as it was still 5:00 p.m.

As I approach the castle I find a few more decorations put up.



The crowds at this time are surging. Large groups of people are arriving for the party at this time. Meanwhile, the other guests do not have to leave until 7:00 pm. During the next two hours this was the busiest I had seen Disneyland for the entire trip. Stepping up to the castle I get my first good shot of it.



I seem to be attracting a few stares. The helpful Photopass photographer (who breaks out in a big grin a second after this picture) volunteered to take a picture of me.



Johnny Depp eat your heart out!

Ok, maybe not. However I need to say that for the rest of this installment assume, if I'm not taking a picture or doing something a normal guest would do, then I'm being approached by someone to either get an autograph or a picture. This happened over a dozen times while it was still light out and there were not many people in costumes wandering around yet. As it got closer to 7:00 p.m. that pretty much stopped.

Walking through the castle I enter Fantasyland for the first time. Immediatly to my left is the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough.



Inside there is a winding corridore displaying scenes from the movie Sleeping Beauty.





A short video showing an effect right before you exit.



A close look at Sleeping Beauty's Castle from the back.



Continuing farther back into the park I happen to notice this stand.



This will become one of the treat hand out locations after the party starts.

Heading all the way to the back of the park I enter...



It was at this point I encountered a lot of Jack Sparrow fans as I crossed into Toontown and had several pictures taken. Just a bit later I was aproached by young boy who wanted an autograph. I had to tell him that I wasn't actually Jack Sparrow but was just here to trick or treat.

Looking around I had to admit the Disneyland's Toontown is more immersive than the Disneworld version. The buildings surround you and there are many places for children to explore.





After checking out the sights I finally made it over to my goal before the party started.



Mickey's House! Now I have to admit that DL has WDW beat hands down! The house portion is very similar. What sets it appart is the character greeting afterwards. At WDW you have to enter the Judge's Tent and typically wait in one hour or longer lines to meet Mickey and company. At DL you get to walk into a building that has a lot of posters and "props" from early Mickey films. The line then holds at a small film room showing previews of these movies. The wait is not bad at all at 15 minutes. A side door is opened and you are led into a room.





It's Mickey's dressing room. Everything is set up to look like Mickey is preparing for his next shoot...The Band Concert. Groups are led in about ten at a time and you get to joke around with the CMs as Mickey greets the children. One at a time or in groups you get your big chance with the mouse himself!



One of the CMs commented that this the best costume he had seen so far. I smiled and thanked him but I still walked out with a bit of an ego boost anyway.

Turning towards the Toontown exit I pause a moment to make sure I have everything in my bag still. While looking down I hear some squeals of excitement. Looking up I'm sure with a funny look of surprise on my face, several teenage girls come up and want their picture taken with me. I begin my speil that I'm not a Disney employee but they are not deterred. Posing quickly, we then move on our separate ways.

Shaking my head but with an ever growing grin on my face I leave the zany population of Toontown and re-enter Fantasyland. My timing couldn't have been better since I arrive just as Celebrate! A Street Party! arrives just in front of It's a Small World.







This location was a Celebration Zone where the floats stop and some of the particapants come forward to dance with the crowd. Standing well back I was safe from being selected to dance but I still didn't escape attention. A CM walks over to me and comments on my coat and asks what materials it's made out of. She turned out to be one of the people who handle the cleaning and repair of the costumes you see in the parks. I think I said something about how big of a job it was. She assured me that it takes a lot of man hours to stay ahead of the wear and tear.

The parade had moved along and we said our farewells. Looking at the pavement I did notice that the Celebration had left a considerable amount of confetti behind.



I was beginning to wonder what Disney does with all of this when the question was quickly answered.



With night settling in and the crowds heading out it was about time for the party to really begin!


Next Up: Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho! A Pirate's Life For Me!

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Old 11-15-2010, 11:42 AM   #95
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Great costume Tom! It's hard to believe it's you in there. I'll bet you did get a lot of attention. That must have been interesting getting asked to pose for pictures and being requested for autographs.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:12 PM   #96
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Arghhhhh! Awesome costume! I would have assumed you were a CM myself.

By the way, did you know the Jack Sparrow CM's get handed room key cards and phone numbers?!
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:28 PM   #97
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By the way, did you know the Jack Sparrow CM's get handed room key cards and phone numbers?!
Yeah, what about that Tom? Did you give full disclosure in this chapter?
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:09 PM   #98
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Yeah, what about that Tom? Did you give full disclosure in this chapter?



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Old 11-15-2010, 09:02 PM   #99
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Great costume Tom! It's hard to believe it's you in there. I'll bet you did get a lot of attention. That must have been interesting getting asked to pose for pictures and being requested for autographs.
Thanks Glennbo! Not too shabby for having to pack it all in a carry-on with three days worth of clothes as well! Yeah. I was feeling a bit self conscious after arriving at Disneyland and not seeing many costumed adults yet. Don't get me wrong because I was flattered at all of the attention but it just felt a bit wierd at the same time.

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Arghhhhh! Awesome costume! I would have assumed you were a CM myself.

By the way, did you know the Jack Sparrow CM's get handed room key cards and phone numbers?!
Thanks but I tried to not act like Jack Sparrow when I was walking from place to place. I would pose or wave if a kid was yelling at me but that was about it. No. I didn't know about that but I should have known better.

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Yeah, what about that Tom? Did you give full disclosure in this chapter?
Yeah. I could see how if I was really turning on the charm I could have had all the ladies chasing after me. Oh! Hi Dianna! Looking at my trip report, when I have been waiting in lines it seems that moms with children in other locations have been striking up conversations with me so far.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:51 AM   #100
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Thanks for the Toontown tour! I now understand why I am always wondering at WDW about Mickey's House. I always seem to miss something without really knowing what. I guess I got DL and WDW mixed up in my head... Same happens with park layouts. It is still a Magic Kingdon type park, but it is different as well. Disneyland Paris is even more confusing because they switched Adventureland and Frontierland...

Your costume is great! At first I thought that there was some photoshopping going on in the picture, but then realized that this is really you! Wow!
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:33 AM   #101
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Oh, the Matterhorn! This was the first roller coaster I really loved! My sister and I were highly amused by the CM costumes there which are modelled after Bavarian traditional clothes and we are from Bavaria.
The Matterhorn is one of my all time favorites at any of the US parks. I was so disappointed the last time I got to visit DL and it was closed for refurb!!!
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Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post
Stepping up to the castle I get my first good shot of it.

Cool, a PP of a PPP! She didn't look happy. I'm assuming you had just informed her the cost if she wanted a DVD of your work as a keepsake of her day at DL.......
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I seem to be attracting a few stares. The helpful Photopass photographer (who breaks out in a big grin a second after this picture) volunteered to take a picture of me.

Very nice costume!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post
I need to say that for the rest of this installment assume, if I'm not taking a picture or doing something a normal guest would do, then I'm being approached by someone to either get an autograph or a picture. This happened over a dozen times while it was still light out and there were not many people in costumes wandering around yet.
I probably would have just gone with the flow and acted the part and let people have their pictures and autograph. Would have been much easier than trying to explain over and over...... I don't think I would have had to worry though. I would have been trying to explain why Capt. Jack had gained so much weight since the last movie..........
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Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post
Looking around I had to admit the Disneyland's Toontown is more immersive than the Disneworld version. The buildings surround you and there are many places for children to explore.
To be honest, I'm not sure I ever went in Toontown at DL. The first trip it was DW and I, and the second time was solo so no kids to entertain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post
Mickey's House! Now I have to admit that DL has WDW beat hands down! The house portion is very similar. What sets it appart is the character greeting afterwards. At WDW you have to enter the Judge's Tent and typically wait in one hour or longer lines to meet Mickey and company. At DL you get to walk into a building that has a lot of posters and "props" from early Mickey films. The line then holds at a small film room showing previews of these movies. The wait is not bad at all at 15 minutes. A side door is opened and you are led into a room. It's Mickey's dressing room. Everything is set up to look like Mickey is preparing for his next shoot...The Band Concert. Groups are led in about ten at a time and you get to joke around with the CMs as Mickey greets the children. One at a time or in groups you get your big chance with the mouse himself!
Actually, it used to be very similar at MK until they added the Judge's Tent.
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The parade had moved along and we said our farewells. Looking at the pavement I did notice that the Celebration had left a considerable amount of confetti behind.
I think I would have had to snag some of that as a souvie!
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Thanks for the Toontown tour! I now understand why I am always wondering at WDW about Mickey's House. I always seem to miss something without really knowing what. I guess I got DL and WDW mixed up in my head...
Actually, you aren't confusing it at all. When we took oldest DS for the first time in 1992, you did pretty much the same thing at MK. Instead of watching films, there was a stage show that had the Rescue Rangers and other characters, including of course MM. After the show, you exited out and stood in a line to be led into Mickey's dressing room in small groups for the same greet and meet/photo op. You learned very quickly to pick a row and sit as far to the left of the stage as possible for the quick exit ahead of the crowd to shorten your wait!
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:03 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Thanks for the Toontown tour! I now understand why I am always wondering at WDW about Mickey's House. I always seem to miss something without really knowing what. I guess I got DL and WDW mixed up in my head... Same happens with park layouts. It is still a Magic Kingdon type park, but it is different as well. Disneyland Paris is even more confusing because they switched Adventureland and Frontierland...

Your costume is great! At first I thought that there was some photoshopping going on in the picture, but then realized that this is really you! Wow!
Yeah, DL and DW are similar but there are key differences. When walking around you find a similar landmark but right next to it is something completely different. Toontown being all the way in the back instead of off to the right side being one of them.

No photoshop this time. I'm letting the inner pirate in me out.

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The Matterhorn is one of my all time favorites at any of the US parks. I was so disappointed the last time I got to visit DL and it was closed for refurb!!!
Yeah. This time it was Star Tours down for the rehab. I can't complain since Toy Story Mania and Aladin had just come back while I was there so a pretty good trade-off.

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Cool, a PP of a PPP! She didn't look happy. I'm assuming you had just informed her the cost if she wanted a DVD of your work as a keepsake of her day at DL.......
When I took the picture she had just turned around and was getting a look at me. You might notice I had several glances at me in that picture as well.

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Very nice costume!!!
Why thanks!

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I probably would have just gone with the flow and acted the part and let people have their pictures and autograph. Would have been much easier than trying to explain over and over...... I don't think I would have had to worry though. I would have been trying to explain why Capt. Jack had gained so much weight since the last movie..........
I just felt cautious around kids. I knew about the rule to not act like your a CM if your in a costume and I didn't feel like taking a risk before the party started. If the kids didn't care then I was fine with it as well.

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To be honest, I'm not sure I ever went in Toontown at DL. The first trip it was DW and I, and the second time was solo so no kids to entertain.
It was worth checking out, at least for me. I didn't ride anything back there but it was pretty cool seeing the differences.

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Originally Posted by marvali View Post
Actually, it used to be very similar at MK until they added the Judge's Tent.
I think I would have had to snag some of that as a souvie!
Actually, you aren't confusing it at all. When we took oldest DS for the first time in 1992, you did pretty much the same thing at MK. Instead of watching films, there was a stage show that had the Rescue Rangers and other characters, including of course MM. After the show, you exited out and stood in a line to be led into Mickey's dressing room in small groups for the same greet and meet/photo op. You learned very quickly to pick a row and sit as far to the left of the stage as possible for the quick exit ahead of the crowd to shorten your wait!
I have a big Disney Park gap from the 1989 to 2007. Things like Toontown and Indiana Jones are all new to me. Still, the internet is always great to find out the history of all of these parks. I purposefully went in with as little information as possible to prevent spoiling myself for this trip.

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Old 11-16-2010, 01:45 PM   #103
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I remember that in your trip report. You had all kinds of problems with Keith's foot as well that day.
Yes, he had lots and lots of issues with his foot. It just made the Epcot day not the great day I had planned!

Tower of Terror looks like so much fun! It is one of my top 3 at WDW!

The Aladdin show pictures were great! That looks like a wonderful show! Aladdin is one of my favorites too!

Toontown was so cool! I want to go there!! I love Toontown in WDW and will be sad to see it go....it would be cool if they could redo it somewhere else and follow DL's lead!

And finally....GREAT costume!! You had me laughing out loud at the teen girls! I could see Madison doing that!
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #104
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Day 2: Part 7 - Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho! A Pirate's Life for Me!

A Little Mood Music

Last time I left you night was beginning to fall and I had just finished watching the Celebrate! A Dance Party! wrap up in Fanatasyland. Walking back towards the hub I noticed all of the decorative lights come on. More party guests had arrived in costume and I started become less of the center of attention I had been earlier. Arriving back at the front of the castle I came upon this group.



I bet it was like hearding cats, er...dogs getting all of that set up!

Occasional reminders were announced that the party was about to begin and several groups began to gather and mingle in the hub area. There was an amazing group of Ghostbusters that I didn't get a good picture of until later. During this time there are a lot of photos taken and people greeting each other. 7:00 p.m. rolls around and the area in front of the castle is roped off for it's use by some VIPs and Photopass photography.





A picture of me taken by a very friendly Belle and Beast (I'll have a picture of them later).



Soon all eyes are drawn to the castle as music and lighting effects make the area a bit spookier. On top of that a slight mist had started again with a nearly full moon just peeping out from time to time to complete the effect.

Here is a video of the castle just after it started.

Note: Stop the background music before loading. Also, if you don't want to be spoiled and be surprised about events at the party like I was then I really don't recommend opening any of the videos.

Extra screaming effects brought to you by unhappy party attendee.



After filming that for a minute I was feeling pretty hungry. That BBQ sandwhich I had earlier just wasn't satisfying enough. Thinking about my options I head back over to...



and find Bengal BBQ.



With almost no wait I pick up the

Chieftain Chicken Skewer - In a Polynesian Sauce $3.79

After picking up my order i look around and find a couple of tables where people can stand together and eat. Seeing no one in costumes I sidle up to one of the tables and ask all of the adults in my most winning Johnny Depp if I could join them. A few double takes and guffaws later we get introduced. I discover that they had traveled from Washington state and had come just for the party.

Hitting it off we find out that we have the same destination next so we walk together to Pirates of the Carribean. On the way I see that the Treat Stations had opened up so in New Orleans Square I pick up some candy. The selection they were handing out was quite nice. Twix, Snickers, Butterfinger, Blow Pops and other kid favorites were in abundance.

Reaching POTC we find that it is a walk on. Nearly all of the crowd seems to be doing something else at the moment which didn't bother me a bit.



Stepping aboard our ship we notice that there was no one in front or behind us. One look at each other and immediatly the flashes came on.

Blue Bayou



Aaaaargh?











Ooof! Sometimes you don't want to have the flash on. Jack Sparrow is really sweating? and hispanic?

Unloading me and my new acquaintances talk a bit more and go on our seperate ways. They were heading back to the hub to catch the parade. Moving through New Orleans Square near the Rivers of America I find a few more treat stations and increase my booty. I find a few good spots to grab some pictures of the lighting and fog effects in the area.





A quick video of the fog.



The fog effect was very nice! It also helped that the night was already foggy and misty anyway.

That loud music you here was coming from here.



Club Skellington! This place is a mix of character interaction and dance club in the theme of Nightmare Before Christmas. At the moment Jack was doing some photos and his line was increadibly long. Skipping that I went directly inside.







It looked like great fun if you had a partner but being a solo traveler there really wasn't much for me to do here. I really started to miss Dianna at this point and wished she was around with me to enjoy this.

Still, do not feel too sorry for me. I'm in the middle of Disneyland with a huge array of party opportunities available. Hang in there to see where I go next!


Next Up: This is Halloween!

Last edited by SurfinTX; 11-18-2010 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:15 PM   #105
glennbo123
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That group of Dalmatians looks awesome! I'll bet they had fun.

How cool that you had made friends with your PotC companions and could take some flash pictures. Sounds like that was just a non-verbal communication, or did you say, "Mind if I flash?"

Also, I thought the "eye in the sky" would yell at you if you took flash pictures...that's not the case?
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