Celebrating Halloween-Disneyland Style
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Ack! I've been away for a few days and missed the fact that your TR had started! I'm all caught up now.
Sounds like you're having a great trip so far. Sorry about the delayed flight and POC being closed for refurb. But glad you enjoyed so many of the other rides and attractions. Oh, and I think it's Mickey's Fun Wheel. Did you ride in the swinging or non-swinging gondola? We've always wanted to ride in the swinging ones, but the wait is always too long.
I'm sorry, what part of the duck did you say we're going to eat? Find out in A Foodie Celebrates 40-Updated 12/27
Can it be this long since I posted this. I'm stuck in my basement with severe storm warnings, so why not catch up with friends...
Quite honestly, we were disappointed in the Halloween Party. Besides getting more candy that a person should EVER eat, I personally would not do this one again. The parade was very small, and NO headless horesman. (though since then I've learned that WDW is the only place he shows up.) Several of the rides were down, and there were not as many characters out as I'd expected. Along with BIG crowds...so I was not impressed. Fantasmic wasn't showing, so DH didn't get to see the changes, but the fireworks--something else again! I don't know why, but no matter how disappointed in Disney I get, pull out the fireworks, and I'm overwhelmed again. They were awesome.
We stayed until the end and headed back to the room, crawled into bed and knew Saturday would mean DCA... sweet dreams all.
We're not big Halloween people anyway, so it wasn't a HUGE problem. I'm always willing to give Disney programming a chance. I'd like to try the one at Disneyworld. We'll see if we make that when we're there this fall, though I may skip it and do EMH at Hollywood Studios.
After rereading my post, I realized that I didn't provide too many details about the Halloween Party, just that I was "disappointed". So here goes--
First, I made reservations for Cafe Orleans for dinner at 5:00pm. With Halloween tickets we could enter DLR at 4:00pm, but we also had our park passes, so we were good to go! MAKE DINNER RESERVATIONS!!! Even with our reservations, we waited quite a while to get in for dinner and there were many that were turned away! The park was crazy with people! This party is a BIG THING here!
Before traveling we'd talked about costumes, look-a-like shirts, no costumes and then finally decided we'd all just buy a crazy hat and call it good. DD had her Goofy hat from a previous trip, DH bought a pilot's hat and I bought a painter's cap, but DD would have none of it--not crazy enough. So she and her dad went and picked out a hat for me while I stood in line waiting to hear our name called for dinner. They came back with Minnie's witch's hat. Totally ME!!!!
DD & I split a Monte Cristo for dinner. DH had gumbo. Both yummy! This was two weeks before I was to start my "diet", so I was enjoying myself! Dessert--beignets of course. By the time we finished supper, the party was starting-so we took off!
Our plan was to circumnavigate the park, hitting our fav rides and the trick or treat stands, the plan was to be at the front of the park for the fireworks and parade. So we headed toward Critter Country. The first TorT stand had a fairly short line. And at the beginning of the night, the CM's handed out a couple of pieces of candy/person. Then DH & I hit Splash (DD won't ride that one!) And we avoided getting too wet. With fireworks at nine, it was already 8:15, so we headed toward BTM and it was not running. So, we did a U-Turn and headed back toward Main Street. Indie was down at that time and POC was under refurb, so we walked through all the TorT lines. The longest was by POC as there was the entire que for CM's to use. The lines went fairly fast, but each line took 10 minutes so it really eats up the time.
By the time we were back at Main Street we had about 15 minutes before the fireworks. We grabbed something to drink and found a place to stand. And the fireworks were awesome. Disney always does BIG well! Once the show was over, we headed toward Tomorrowland and SM, Buzz, and Star Tours--along with the TorT lines there. There was music in Tomorrowland, so we listened for a couple of minutes. Then off to find the illusive Princesses as I'd promised my niece I would get a picture of Cinderella for her birthday. And of course, she wanted Rapunzel to know that she was growing her hair out just like Rapunzel. We waited in line for 40 minutes for the Princesses as there was some snafu ahead of us. At that point, I decided I would not look for any other characters, though we did see the villains later in the evening. Our touring put us between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland when the parade came through.
Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention, but there only seemed to be about 5 floats. I was so excited to see the headless horseman that when he didn't start the parade, I sort of lost interest. (Not good reporting on my part, but it happens.) By the time we'd finished the parade, I looked down at my "unofficial" bag--oh yes, bring a BIGGER bag--it was full! I'm guessing we carted away 30 pounds of candy between the three of us!
By this time it was getting close to 11 pm and we'd done everything we'd wanted to do and the park was starting to thin out. So I had to walk through the stores to see the special merchandise. I don't remember that I bought anything that was exclusive to Halloween, but DH bought a ghost head--you'd have to see it. It's kinda fun. We hung it in the window for Halloween. Oh, I bought a ghost popcorn bucket--yes, full of popcorn. And a cupcake in a Donald pumpkin mug. Just something fun! We then picked up our breakfast and headed out. On the way, CM's were handing out even MORE candy. And yes it was the good stuff!
The bad news--we had to carry the candy home as it weighed so much it would have made our checked luggage over weight. The good news--I didn't buy ANY candy for Halloween trick or treaters and both DH and I took a bowl full to the office. That was just our share of the loot!
Saturday was DCA day, sort of! We started the morning late by walking over to the DVC showrooms for Aulani! DS will be honeymooning there in June, so I wanted to get pictures to show he and his bride. Very impressive! I can't wait to go to Aulani on our 35th anniversary. Beautiful!
From there we walked through the Disneyland Hotel and took a good look at the renovation projects there. The monorail pool area looks fantastic. Now I want to stay there as well. Something else for my bucket list!
We then ambled over to DCA just in time to grab lunch along the Pier. Crowds were pretty heavy that day, so we didn't get a lot of rides in, but we did get to our favorite activities--Crush and the Animation Studio. We also took some time to REALLY LOOK at the displays. Fun!!! Not a lot of shops were open along Buena Vista St. In fact, I would say none of them were open, except for the shops directly connected to attractions. Of course, we had to take the opportunity to stand in line for TSMM again--and yes, it was a good hour +! But once in a while, I'll do it. Then TOT, which DD WILL NOT ride! She met us in the gift shop. Funny! She'll buy the goodies, but not ride the ride. Well, maybe someday!
Dinner was, well, I'm trying to remember...we picked up an early supper around Pacific Wharf. Each of us picking what we wanted to eat and sat and listened to the Mariachi band. DD LOVE the soup in a bread bowl. DH went for Mexican and I went Asian. All was good. And all was fun. I even got some of DD's bread bowl. Yum! Since many of our favorite shops were closed, DD * I decided to go to World of Disney for some shopping. Yes!!!
We were a little tired from the night before so we decided we'd call a rather early evening and watch World of Color from the viewing point in DCA. Not the best location. Then back to the room for a night cap and bed. Sunday is our last day and we've filled it with House of Blue Gospel Brunch and the Happy Haunts tour.
Last Day-House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch and Happy Haunts Tour
Wow! Can we pack in the last day or what???
First-Review of the House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch--OUTSTANDING! The brunch began at 12:00 noon. There were four stations of food--everything you can imagine. Good quality and I literally rolled out after the show. The music was awesome. It really was the best show we'd seen in a while. Would we do it again--YES!!!
Second--Review of Happy Haunts Tour--in short, we'll skip it the next time. I started this by going into detail about the tour and the problems, but that isn't necessary. In retrospect it was probably the most amateurish thing I've seen at Disney. It broke many of the Disney rules of conduct--insulting participants, snide comments and poor planning.
When we got home, I called Disney and emailed them about my disappointment. In short, Disney became Disney, reviewed my concerns, looked at the other participants reviews and the comments made by the tour guide, and then refunded our money. So, though the last evening fizzled a little, Disney made it right. Which makes Disney, well, Disney. And that is why we go back time and again. There will always be a bump in the road every once in a while. It's how we fix the bump.
Our trip was over. I thought it would be two years before I came back to DLR. I wanted to wait until Carsland was open and the changes were made in Disneyland. Besides, we had a cruise and a Christmas trip planned for 2012. That's enough Disney for anyone, right? WRONG! There would be two more trips to Disney in 2012--a magical weekend back at DLR where I get to spend 2 entire days alone at enjoying the land. And again in October for Food and Wine. That's a big wow!!!