Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween Time at Disneyland Made Me Less Cranky and I'll Tell You Why

A few days ago I updated my Facebook status with, "I hate Halloween" and with the responses I got you would have thought I'd just stepped on a kitten. But in my defense, it's not Halloween I hate - it's the preparation leading up to the day. Years of having to scrounge for pieces to put together girl ninja and evil fairy costumes have really taken their toll. Oh, and then there was that time I had to go to five different Disney stores to find a Jessie costume, or the time I stayed up until 4am making pumpkin-shaped PBJ sandwiches. Not to mention stringing up all that fake spider web - I'm getting cranky just thinking about it.

But what I do like about Halloween is seeing how excited my girls are about it, and luckily there is a way to get into the spirit of Halloween without feeling like I want to gouge my eyes out. Last week we were guests of Disneyland at a special preview of their Halloween Time, an event to showcase all that they've got going on at Disneyland and California Adventure for the season. My family and I got all the benefits of Halloween, and I didn't have to spend two hours scrounging around in the costume department of Target or make a single sandwich. I might just have to change my Facebook status after all.

Here's what we saw:

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy

This is Space Mountain revamped for Halloween and let me just say THIS SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME. But really, in a good way. Space Mountain is one of my favorite rides (besides the parking tram) and when I heard they were spicing it up I figured they'd insert a ghost or two, add in some howling noises and then end the whole thing with a big whirling candy corn. WRONG. Let's just say it's Alien meets Disney, and it's a blast.

Haunted Mansion

If you've been to Disneyland around this time of year, you've probably seen the Mansion decked out with the Nightmare Before Christmas characters. I've seen it before, but I never get tired of it and neither do my kids. In fact, I feel like I see something different everytime I ride through. Is it an evil spirit at work? Or just too much Diet Coke and churros?

(We also did something we'd never done before, and that was have dinner at the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. Our hosts treated us to an all-you-can-eat family style dinner with chicken, ribs, sausage and all the fixins, which I highly recommend. I say there's no way you can have a bad time when there's unlimited buckets of meat coming across your table. Also note: My 13yr old is a vegetarian, and they offer a grilled tofu and vegetable kebab.)


You've probably seen Fantasmic, the crazy incredible show that takes place over the Rivers of America. But have you seen THE DRAGON? I didn't think so. It's an impressive, towering creature that seemingly appears out of nowhere and will scare the bejesus out of you if you happen to be checking email on your iPhone at the time. Not that I was doing that. But go see it - you won't be disappointed. Your email can wait.

Halloween Screams Fireworks Show

Disneyland has, hands down, the best fireworks show I've ever seen. And everytime I think they can't top themselves (what could be cooler than Dumbo flying around the castle?) they do. This time it's with a giant Jack Skellington that appears above the castle and Jack's dog Zero flying around. This is the best fireworks show I think I've seen there yet. I dare you to top this one, Disneyland!

So, thanks to Disneyland for making me a little less cranky as Halloween approaches. But Christmas is on its way...

Halloween Time runs at Disneyland through November 1.

Also, don't miss Mickey's Trick-or-Treat party at California Adventure. We've done this the past couple of years, and it's become a tradition.

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Compensation: No; Product Received: Four park passes, hotel accommodations for one night. Opinions and remarks contained in this review are the author’s. The content of the review is determined by the author, and there is no agreement between parties that a review, if written, will be a positive one.
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NorCal Sistah said...

Nice! My favorite portion is where you wrote about the Fantasmic experience -- you made me LOL! Wish I could have joined you guys.

Oh ... and in case you are wondering Space Mountain is my favorite ride as well!

Anonymous said...

I love Disneyland, but I wish it wasnt so expensive. With three kids it costs a lot of money to buy tickets, plus buying food and drink and all those souvenirs :)

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