HalloweenTime at DLR Info and Photo Superthread #3

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by Sherry E, Jul 16, 2012.

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  1. sweethannah

    sweethannah Rebel Spy, 3 times in a row!

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    Hi :)

    The Halloween season starts on the 13 September but the parties don't start until the 30 September. HTH :)
     
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  3. scrawny

    scrawny Mouseketeer

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    Anyword on when tickets will go on sake yet??
     
  4. pigby

    pigby <font color=66CC33>This one might be a little more

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    Interesting that the first party is the 30th September as far as we know - I was thinking Disney would do similar dates to last year and have one on 27th Sept (Friday this year) and one of the Tuesday 1st - which we were hoping for.

    Hopefully the first party won't be too busy (as you say folks are back in work and school that day and next day)

    If the first one is on a Monday, I wonder what day they will have the second one - should think the Friday following - looks like we will have to do the first one as don't have a choice as we go home on the Thursday.
     
  5. Fiveisaparty

    Fiveisaparty Mouseketeer

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    First trip to DL this October 7-10. We have done WDW MNSSHP and didn't really think it was worth it because it was so crowded. Is the DL party really crowded too? I don't know that much about this party, so just trying to get a little info. TIA!
     
  6. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    GatorMomInNC --

    Welcome! I'm glad you joined the thread.

    Let me break down all of the Halloween fun for you!

    Disneyland's Halloween season is called Halloween Time. Halloween Time begins on Friday, 9/13 (this year) and ends on Thursday, October 31st. This means that whatever decorations are going to be up for the season (on Main Street and in Frontierland, basically) will be up by 9/13.

    Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy will be running by 9/13. SMGG will end after 10/31, but Haunted Mansion Holiday lasts all the way through the holiday season and ends in early January 2014. The "Carnival" (formerly known as the Halloween Round-Up), which is where the Conjure Up a Villain tent, assorted games and the various (wonderful) carved character pumpkins can be found, will be running on 9/13.

    For the last few years, most of the Halloween fun has been in Disneyland. California Adventure is sorely lacking signs of Halloween, with the exception of last year's Frankenweenie exhibits, etc. The 3 Disneyland Resort hotels are not decorated for Halloween at all, except on Halloween day/night they give out candy and I think the Grand Californian Hotel puts up a photo spot.

    Mickey's Halloween Party is the Disneyland Resort equivalent of WDW's MNSSHP. We call it the MHP. The MHP usually begins about 2 weeks into the Halloween Time season, and it will require a separate ticket. This year it appears to be starting on Mon., 9/30, according to the Annual Pass holders Backstage Pass magazine. The MHP usually takes place on 2 nights each week, which include a Friday and some other early weeknight day like Monday or Tuesday. There is always a party on Halloween as well (of course).

    The MHP includes party exclusives such as the awesome Halloween Screams fireworks and the Character Cavalcade, and some really interesting treat trails and stations where you can collect tons of candy. (The Golden Horseshoe trail is cool, as is the one in Pixie Hollow.)

    You cannot use your MHP ticket to enter California Adventure. You can only use the MHP ticket to enter the park in which the party will be held, which will be Disneyland.

    To enjoy the Halloween Time season in general you just need a regular ticket, Hopper, Annual Pass, etc. For the MHP, you will need a separate ticket and you can only use that ticket in one park.

    The MHP guests can enter Disneyland 3 hours early. On Fridays they can enter Disneyland at 4 p.m. On the earlier weeknights for the parties they can enter at 3 p.m. However, the non-party guests can also stay in the park for those 3 hours, so there is a bit of crowded overlap time before the non-party guests have to leave.



    Welcome back, TigerlilyAJ! It's good to see you here again!

    There actually is some evidence of the parks being more crowded during Halloween week -- Disney's hotel rates are higher and/or without any Fall discounts, and there are no MHP ticket discounts for any party that week. They do get more guests in that particular week.

    Crowds and "crowded," however, are largely a matter of perception -- what one group thinks is bearable and tolerable is what another group will think is crazy and unbearable!:rotfl2:


    GatorMomInNC --

    Whatever the cost of the MHP ticket (it may be different this year, so don't attach yourself to the $54 just yet!) -- which starts on September 30th (not on September 13) -- it will allow you to enter the park in which the party will be held at either 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., and there will be a Cavalcade, lots of candy and Halloween fireworks.



    scrawny -

    Not that I know of. As I said yesterday, unless something new has just come out that I missed, I don't think it has been announced. But we should know the sale dates very soon.

    pigby -

    According to the Annual Pass holders Backstage Pass magazine, the MHP start date is on Mon., 9/30. I think we were all a bit surprised by that as we expected 9/27 to be the date.

    Maybe Disney has something else in store for 9/27 -- we won't know until they reveal details!

    I think there will always be parties on Fridays in October. Maybe they just didn't want to start the party on Friday this time around because they are doing the Villains Dance Party/13th hour/Limited Time Magic thing on Friday, 9/13 -- there is only so much $$$ in the Halloween Time budget to go around, after all!:rotfl2:



    Fiveisaparty -

    Welcome!

    I found the party to be much more crowded than I would like it to be for a private party. It doesn't feel very "exclusive" to me. Disney sells too many party tickets, I think.

    That is not to say that the MHP is too crowded to enjoy or that the crowds are unbearable, but when I have to deal with stroller-pushing people banging into the backs of my ankles in line for candy because there is not enough space between us, I consider it to be more crowded than I would like!

    As for the non-party Halloween Time days in general...both Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy can build up some really long lines at times. There are also assorted school breaks and things that make crowds a bit bigger. Not outrageously so, though.
     
  7. thepoohguy

    thepoohguy Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for all the info. My DW and I are also WDW veterans. We went to DLR once about 8 years ago, and tried to do both parks in one day, skipping those things that are the same between both places. However, my DW is turning 40 in October, so we are doing a coast to coast trip going to DLR and then WDW.

    We are hoping to do the party in both locations. Already have our tickets for MNSSHP. Now, just waiting for these tickets to go on sale.

    The hardest part of being a WDW vet planning a trip to DLR is that we are so used to planning 6 months ahead of time, or more.
     
  8. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    I posted this (below) a couple of weeks ago but for those who are brand new to the thread, here are a few links to info about some of the yummy Halloween/Fall goodies that can be found around DLR during Halloween Time.

    The Call-In Show/Podcast that I mention/link has a lot of good tips and discussion on all things Halloween Time, including where to stand for the Halloween Screams fireworks during the MHP, making sure to pick up your free samples of pumpkin chocolate at Ghirardelli in California Adventure, etc.



     
  9. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Welcome, thepoohguy! I'm glad you joined us!

    I will warn you in advance, since you are a WDW/MNSSHP vet -- our Halloween Screams fireworks are great, but our Character Cavalcade will probably pale in comparison to the WDW Boo to You spectacular! Be prepared!

    However, we do have the fantastic (and controversial) Haunted Mansion Holiday (some people adore it; some people detest it), and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy to make up for our lack of a proper Halloween parade!:rotfl2:

    This will be an amazing Halloween season for you and your wife (not to mention a great 40th birthday) -- to visit both WDW and DLR! How fun!

    Your comment about being used to planning things 6 months in advance is what so many WDW vets say. I think that is the most common 'adjustment' that has to be made when WDW vets take on a DLR trip. The fact that DLR is usually so slow in releasing dates and pertinent information throws all of our WDW visitors off-kilter!

    The mere fact that Disney actually revealed its holiday season start date 6 months before the season begins in November was amazing. We normally would not find out the holiday dates until July-ish.
     
  10. DisneyFan3113

    DisneyFan3113 Professional author, England-born, Disney fanatic!

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    Loving all the info about parties on here!! I'm sooo excited now for our trip this October. We went once b4, in September, and though we got a small taste of the Halloween festivities it wasn't much (didn't get a chance to ride SMGG, or get to go to one of the parties, unfortunately). Glad this time we'll know more of what we're doing so we can make the most of our trip, lol... :cool1: Anyways, I did have one question about MHP. I was wondering if the characters are easy to avoid, or if they're everywhere? My kids usually love the characters, but on our last trip in April our youngest DD seemed to have developed a fear of them... :confused3 I'm hoping they're easy enough to steer clear from, so that we can ALL enjoy the party... :)
     
  11. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    DisneyFan3113 --

    Was it last year that you went in September? Did you at least have the chance to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday? The bulk of the Halloween Time festivities are really focused on Main Street (even the store window displays are Halloween-ish) and in Frontierland (where the Carnival, the Dia de los Muertos display and the Ray Bradbury Halloween tree can be found). New Orleans Square has some little touches here and there too.

    There are a lot of characters at Mickey's Halloween Party -- and even in the daytime hours you will see some Halloween costume-clad characters at the Carnival/Round-Up area. At the actual Party, there are various character photo spots set up around Disneyland. You will find anyone from Jack Sparrow, to Jack Skellington, to Storm Troopers, to Buzz Lightyear, to a few rare Villains, to Mickey and Minnie, Pooh & friends, etc., etc. posing for photos with long lines of people.

    It is easy to avoid the character photo lines. I don't think you'll have a problem with avoiding the characters in general. There are a lot of people dressed in costume (about half in costume; half not in costume), however, so you may run into some costumed guests who look very much like certain characters!
     
  12. DisneyFan3113

    DisneyFan3113 Professional author, England-born, Disney fanatic!

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    We went in September of 2011, I think, around the 18th. I wasn't expecting too much Halloween-wise, since it was fairly early in the season, but the kids were slightly disappointed since they'd seen all the fun-looking adverts on TV for the Halloween season. In retrospect, we probably should've waited until October so we could fully experience everything there was to offer---with MHP and all... BUT, live and learn, I guess! Thanks for the costume run-down, that will definitely come in handy. I'm sure we'll be able to avoid the majority of characters. We went last year during the Christmas season and had a blast. Even though the decorations are (noticeably) less with Halloween, I think it'll still be a lot of fun this time around, and we'll be sure to do all the special themed rides in DL unlike last time. ;) (BTW, one thing we did make time for during our September trip was the Halloween tour, which I highly recommend to any first-timers... we all thought it was so much fun, we're doing it again this year!)
     
  13. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    When you went on or around the 18th of September 2 years ago, Halloween Time had already officially started. So everything was going on at that point except for the actual party and party exclusives. But all of the decor was up, and the 2 ride overlays were in effect. In fact, at that point the Villains were still out for their photo spot in the daytime, whereas last year they were a little more exclusive.

    Did you ride Haunted Mansion Holiday during the Christmas season, or did you miss it then too?

    You are not kidding that the Halloween decorations are noticeably less than they are during the holiday season! This is why I always tell people (who have already done the holiday season first and are venturing to DLR for their first Halloween Time season) that they will not get the Halloween equivalent of the holiday season in terms of overall merriment and festivity. The holiday decorations are extensive, detailed and thorough -- and they carry over to the hotels and everywhere. Halloween basically stays in Disneyland, in a couple of concentrated areas, and occasionally makes a "guest appearance" in California Adventure!

    I think that true fans of Halloween as a holiday in general will enjoy the Disneyland fun, but it is definitely on a different level than the holiday season because Disney doesn't do as much with it.

    The Happiest Haunts tour is very popular -- and it can even be combined into an "Ultimate" package with the MHP. Didn't the Happiest Haunts tour include Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy? And you still didn't go on them?

    There are only 2 themed rides for Halloween Time -- SMGG and HMH -- just as there are 2 themed rides for the holiday season (Haunted Mansion Holiday works with both seasons, but SMGG is replaced by It's a Small World Holiday!).
     
  14. Fiveisaparty

    Fiveisaparty Mouseketeer

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    I TOTALLY AGREE! I am having such a hard time not planning for this trip. Although this was a "last minute" (in Disney terms) trip so I suppose it is working to my advantage because I am sure that all the ADRs and rooms would be booked if I was trying to do WDW.



    Thank you for all of the info Sherry! Is the SMGG and HMH something that they have in the parks on non party nights or is it exclusive to the party?
     
  15. DisneyFan3113

    DisneyFan3113 Professional author, England-born, Disney fanatic!

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    Yes, the tour does include access to both those rides, however, SMGG was closed due to some sort of issue during our tour and we were unable to ride it. It was open before our tour, but we decided to wait since the line was too long and then it was closed, so... we DID go on HMH though. I guess I'm one of those people that likes it more when its not decorated, so it wasn't a huge deal for me, but the kids thought it was great. I'm really hoping this year they add some Halloween stuff to DCA---Cars Land and BVS would look amazing! I loved the holiday decorations they used on them. *crosses fingers hopefully* ::yes::
     
  16. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Fiveisaparty -

    You're very welcome!:goodvibes

    Thankfully, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday run every day, all day, all Halloween Time season long, with or without the actual party. The lines can get very long for both.

    Haunted Mansion Holiday has an extra-long run, from September until early January. SMGG closes after 10/31.

    I think there would be a mutiny on Disneyland if the powers that be decided to close those 2 rides during the day and make them party exclusives!:rotfl2:


    DisneyFan3113 -

    You're certainly not alone in preferring Haunted Mansion in its original form, Personally, I love Haunted Mansion Holiday -- and I love that during the holiday season there is an extra hidden Mickey that appears in the ballroom scene that is not there during Halloween Time.

    But, that said, I know that there are many, many folks on this board who want nothing to do with HMH and wish that it were not in DL at all!

    I keep wanting to believe that the only reason Disney scaled back the Halloween decor in DCA (from what it used to be circa 2007-2009-ish) is because of all the construction that was going on for a while, and because last year was the first year of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street and they wanted to keep those lands in their original states until the holiday season began.

    However, Cars Land is wildly imaginative and whimsical -- and I can picture many different ways in which the Cars characters could celebrate Halloween...if Disneyland would let them celebrate it!

    They could use various oil cans or other types of buckets/cans for jack-o-lanterns in each location (just like there were different Christmas trees in each place in Cars Land last year). They could set up trick-or-treat spots for wrenches and other tools or small car parts. Mater and McQueen could ride up and down the streets wearing "masks" or Halloween hats of some kind. The Cozy Cone "office" could feature an elaborate Halloween display on the table inside. They could turn orange pylons/cones into witch hats or into appropriately Halloween-colored decorations near the Cozy Cone.

    I would think that the old, giant candy corn from the former Candy Corn Acres could be used in Cars Land somewhere too, but that seems to have vanished forever.

    Buena Vista Street could easily work with a retro/vintage Halloween theme, like the decorations that are featured in the Scare-Dy-Crow Shack at the Round-Up/Carnival.

    All they need to do is spend the money! Since we have not heard any "whisperings" (rumors) of a grand Halloween decorations package in DCA this year, I suspect there will be none. I think the lion's share of Halloween fun will be in Disneyland.

    At this rate, I am actually wondering which of the Christmas/holiday decorations in CL and on BVS will return this year. Since last year was their test run, chances are that this year something will have been removed from or added into the decorations packages.
     
  17. dnamertz

    dnamertz DIS Veteran

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    When DL does release the MHP dates (and start selling tickets), will they also release the times DL and DCA will be open on those party dates? I'd like to know the park hours to determine which day to go to the party during the week we will be there.
     
  18. pigby

    pigby <font color=66CC33>This one might be a little more

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    Thanks -Just glad we are going to be there for the start of the parties - I had an awful feeling that we were going to be coming away from DLR a day too early and that they might decide to start them Friday 4th:headache: but thankfully not:banana:

    Missed the thing about Villains Dance party - that sounds great - more info please? Is it something included with a regular park hopper?
     
  19. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    dnamertz --

    When the MHP dates are officially announced, only the times/dates involved with the actual party will be released. Whatever the start and end times are for the parties will be indicated. And with all party tickets you can either get into Disneyland at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. -- depending on which day of the week it is (an early weeknight or a Friday, respectively).

    As far as just the regular/general September and October park hours and schedules, I don't anticipate that Disneyland will release those now. They are usually on the slow side when it comes to releasing park hours and entertainment, and often don't put that info up on their site until 6 weeks ahead of time.

    The September hours/park entertainment info from 2012 is here.

    The October hours/park entertainment schedule from 2012 is here.

    Maybe last year's hours/schedule will give you a good idea of what to expect for this year.



    pigby --

    I keep thinking that there may be something else in store for 9/27 -- maybe DLR will add a party on that night after all -- but the only thing that throws that belief off course is the fact that the Villains/13th Hour/Dance Party thing is happening on 9/13. Maybe DLR would have had 11 party nights this year, and/or would have started the party on 9/27, if not for this Limited Time Magic Villains thing. That LTM event could be taking the place of what would have been an 11th party or a party on 9/27.

    The Villains event on 9/13 has been mentioned a lot, but it is sort of a mystery. We don't know much about it other than it is part of the year-long Limited Time Magic theme, it is kicking off the Halloween Time season and it is in celebration of Friday the 13th (and probably the 13th year of Haunted Mansion Holiday too). Supposedly there will be a dance party involved. Disneyland will stay open until 1:00 a.m. There will be special limited edition merchandise. That's all we know. I am guessing it will be part of the regular Hopper/ticket/AP admission, with no special ticket -- but who knows? This is the first time they've done this Villains thing, so your guess is as good as mine!

    I'm sure the Parks Blog will do an article about 9/13 fairly soon.

    What's interesting is that a MiceChat member posted in one of their threads recently that her Backstage Pass magazine did not mention Mickey's Halloween Party at all. I don't see how she and I could have received different versions of the same BP magazine, and I tend to think she just didn't look in the correct date box to find the MHP reference, but in my Backstage Pass, in the box for September 30th, it clearly says "Mickey's Halloween Party events begin."

    That doesn't mean that the plan can't be changed and a party can't be added on 9/27, but there is a reference to the MHP in the BP magazine, so I'm not sure how someone else wouldn't see that reference in their BP magazine if they looked at September.
     
  20. TigerlilyAJ

    TigerlilyAJ DIS Veteran

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    You know, besides the problem of the overlap hours when regular park visitors AND the MHP ticket holders are sharing the park, I think the issue of the crowds at MHPs gets into how you frame what you want to do at the MHP. You can think of there being two types of party-goers:
    1) Locals who did not come for a whole day at the park, and just showed up for the party, so that the party hours are both their time for Halloween magic AND regular park time. These are the people who are gung-ho about getting on rides as much as anything that is exclusive to the MHP event. This is why Star Tours, Indy, et al have massive lines during the party.
    and
    2) People who are visiting from out of town for at *least* three days in the park, one of which includes the MHP. They have other opportunities to ride those popular rides.
    I assume that most people who come to this thread and are considering attending an MHP are in category (2). So if you are, my advice would be to use regular park times to do rides (especially Haunted Mansion, because the line is so insane during the party) and focus on the party-only offerings during the party, like the villains who perhaps were not out during the day, the parade (or cavalcade, if you prefer), the AMAZEBALLS fireworks (which, it felt like, *every* single last person at DL came to see, so just come prepared to deal with a total crushing crunch of people that dissipates all too slowly afterwards), people and costume watching, and, of course, trick-or-treating!
    Now, my family did the Ultimate Experience, where we took the Happiest Haunts tour before joining the MHP already in progress. So that did get us on five big rides (Matterhorn, HM, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, Thunder Mountain, and Tower of Terror), which probably helped us feel we had gotten our ride fix before we dove into the party, meeting villains, and letting the kids go crazy running through the treat trails. (We ended up filling to the brim one of those very large reusable grocery bags along with the modest bags provided.) But I don't think it is at all necessary. Just party at the party, coming after a rest if you can so you can easily stay to the very end, when some of the locals have left so the lines do get a little better if you want to catch a last ride or two. (Again, not HM, ST, or Indy.) Hmm, although the locals leaving might more be for weekday parties than Friday ones. Worked for us on Wednesday, Oct 31, so maybe this year's Thursday Halloween will work similarly.
    I wonder if most party-goers are in category (1), making the price of the MHP ticket more akin to a "twilight" ticket, where you're just paying for half of a day's attendance (although surely many of the local attendees are also AP holders, who have effectively paid for an entire park day when they bought their AP), rather than those in category (2), who have to pay for the party as an extra on top of their regular admission and who therefore want it to be more like a private, exclusive party with fewer people. :confused3

    What do you think, Sherry? You seem like someone who goes to both H'ween and Holiday time more to soak up the ambiance rather than thrill ride, and as a local AP holder, have other opportunities to come and seek out rides.
     
  21. DisneyFan3113

    DisneyFan3113 Professional author, England-born, Disney fanatic!

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    With you 100% on the Halloween decoration ideas, Sherry! :goodvibes Basically, the possibilities for both CL and BVS seem pretty endless to me in that department, and since they did such a good job on the Christmas themes in both areas, I can only imagine the fun they could bring to them at Halloween... :scratchin I wish I could've gone to MHP back when it was at DCA, before CL and BVS. As fun as the DL version sounds, the idea of the party happening in DCA pre-remodel I find kind of interesting. Of course, I'm sure the DL MHP will definitely be cool (DL is still my favorite park, even if DCA at nighttime is pretty magnificent). Anywho, I did have a question I was hoping someone could answer about the fireworks? I was wondering where's the best spot to view the show. Hopefully someone knows a "secluded" (using the word lightly, of course, being that we're talking about DL and all...) part with a nice view? We usually see the fireworks from the concierge at the DLH, so this is a little new to us. :confused3
     
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