Tuesday, October 19, 2010

13 Days of Halloween - Mickey's Halloween Party

It's that time of year again, my little Monsters and Ghouls; time for my countdown to Halloween!  If you'd like to read my previous Halloween posts, just click here.  To kick off the thirteen days, I'm going to start by talking about Halloween in Disneyland.  Yes, you read that right: Halloween and Disneyland, two of my all-time favorite things together in one place!  My husband recently treated me to a surprise trip to Disneyland to celebrate our anniversary.  Back in the day, my husband and I honeymooned there, so not only was this trip filled with Halloween festivities and Disneyland but it was also full of nostalgic, romantic warm fuzzies.

As an aside, those of you who know of my love for Halloween and all things Fall probably won't be surprised to know that I was married in October. In fact, I really wanted to get married on Halloween, but my mother was already so freaked out about the whole thing, I decided to save her sanity (and mine) by not pushing the "wedding tradition" envelope.

Starting near the end of September and running through the month of October, Disneyland decorates the park with Halloween and Fall decorations, and they have special Halloween festivities.  Additionally, the Haunted Mansion (my favorite ride) is converted over with a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay, which they leave up through December, since it combines both holidays.  (Are you doing the math? Halloween + Disneyland + Tim Burton = FUN!)
Disneyland is perfection, down to the last little detail, and their Halloween decorations were no exception to that rule.  Jack-o-lanterns were perched everywhere on Main Street, the bakery had bat shaped cookies and pumpkin muffins, the flowers and landscaping were done in Fall colors.  Frontierland had a pumpkin patch and scarecrows and Día de los Muertos decorations near the Mexican restaurant, while the French Quarter was decorated in classy, black decorations that matched the mood of the Haunted Mansion.  I wanted to take pictures of everything!  In fact, there's so much to see at Disneyland (whether it's at a holiday time or not), that I think I take pictures of different things each time I go.  There's so much detail to see, I always notice something new and different on each visit.  Even the costumed characters were dressed in their Halloween finest.  Minnie Mouse had the cutest orange and purple witch costume on, I wish I'd gotten a picture of it.

It was my first time going through the Haunted Mansion ride with its holiday overlay, and all I can say is, "WOW."  I'm not even sure how to explain it, except to say it was like actually being in the Nightmare Before Christmas movie.  My mouth hung open in awe for the majority of the ride.  The narration is different and the music is replaced with songs from the movie.  They even pipe in the smell of gingerbread in the ballroom to further enhance the experience of being in Jack's version of Christmastown.  We went through it twice in the short time we were there.  Space Mountain also gets a Halloween upgrade and becomes Ghost Mountain. It still looks like you're flying through space, but now there's a galactic ghost that chases you and pops out at you at different points throughout the ride. It was fun, but it didn't add much to the original ride experience.

On Friday nights in the month of October, the park closes at 7:00 PM and hosts Mickey's Halloween Party for those who want to attend.  When my darling husband was making the travel arrangements and found this out he said, "Well, of course we have to do that!" (I just love him!) Guests arrive dressed in costume and are given trick-or-treat bags. There are candy stations all around the park on a trick-or-treat walk/path.  Everywhere was spooky lighting and fun Halloween themed music was played through all the speakers throughout the park.  There were also little scenes with characters, such as a talking scarecrow.  The castle was lit in ominous colors and the Rivers of America was covered in fog for a very spooky effect.  There was a Halloween parade and then a Halloween themed fireworks show, complete with a flying Zero and talking Jack head that loomed over us, all set to the classic Halloween songs. Just check out this brief video of the night and the fireworks show.

I didn't want to leave and, in fact, asked my husband if there was any way we could live there.  Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth, and when they are celebrating a holiday, it just increases the fun. (I've been there during the Christmas holiday and it's magic to the tenth power. But that's another blog post for another time.) I'm so thankful that I was able to experience Disneyland while they were celebrating my favorite holiday. I'm even more thankful that I got to enjoy this magical, spooky time with my husband. Thanks sweetie, for such a special gift.  You made my Disneyland-dreaming, Halloween-loving heart happy!

To read my other posts about the magic of Disneyland and why I love it so much, just click here.


Laura said...

I love Disney too. Nothing is done half way... it's all the way or NOT AT ALL!

I am so glad you were able to experience The Nightmare Before Christmas ride, it is absolutely one of my favorite Disneyland memories. As you say, it is like being *in* the movie. And, Henry Selick being one of my favorite directors, that movie is one I really wanted to be in! And, by the way, thank you to Tim Burton, for making movies for kids and adults to enjoy!

I think you and I will need to make another Disneyland journey soon... Christmas is just around the corner...

I certainly agree, Shawn went above and beyond to make this anniversary one to remember. Kudos, Shawn!

chandy said...

Ah, Disneyland... There's just something about that place!

And I love reading about other people's experiences there. It seems like everyone sees something different, and there really is something there for everyone. (That's one thing I love about watching my kids there. Each of them are so different from me and each other, that watching them in the park causes me to stop and discover something new each time I visit!)

Gayla Lindsay said...

Now I want to go back! I've only been during "normal" Disneyland decorations and that was pretty magical.

I look forward to seeing a picture of your costume this year, Davina. Happy Halloween!


Anonymous said...

Yay for Halloween! I liked this post and I liked all the pictures. I think Lili's first trip there will have to be during the Halloween season. To all this I say "boo!" but in a good way. Heh. - Chad

D.L. White said...

@Laura - "Nothing is done half way - it's all the way or NOT AT ALL!" Exactly! That's definitely part of the Disney magic! They give 110%!

And I like the idea of visiting Disneyland again at Christmas... Boy, am I getting spoiled!

@Chandra - We loved watching the little kids in line with us or on the rides with us, especially if they were experiencing it for the first time. I was cracking up at the kids behind us in the Buzz Lightyear ride. They definitely were taking on the challenge of saving us from the Evil Emperor Zurg seriously!

@Gayla - I've actually been quite stumped for my costume idea this year... it's a first. Hopefully I'll have something thrown together by Halloween. :)

@Chad - Lili and Kallen are gonna love it! :)