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9/03/21 - My first look at Halloween Time 2021
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9/03/21 - My first look at Halloween Time 2021

Hello Everyone!

I ventured down to the Disneyland Resort again Friday for my second visit this year. This time I had a large group with me including my two nephews (ages 2.5 and almost 5). My goal for the day was to see some of the Halloween Time offerings around the parks. Theirs was to visit attractions since this was their first visit since the reopening so there was some give and take. Overall the crowd levels were moderate most of the day with the wait times creeping up as the sun set. We lasted about 12 hours arriving for park opening and leaving around 8pm. The Halloween Time festivities were on par with 2019. I do like the way the character interactions are done right now, it is much easier to see the characters without the lines and crowds around them.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • This week I arrived a few minutes after 7am at the Mickey and Friends parking structure. I was again greeted by a minimal wait of only 2 cars in front of me. This time I was directed into a space on the 5th floor in the first aisle of the Finding Nemo section. The most annoying thing about this was they first 1/3 or so of the aisle was blocked off for preferred parking which had no cars so I had to walk quite a bit further. There was no real wait at security, which was nice. Same at the park entrance. I arrived on Main Street near the hub 10 minutes prior to park opening. The process and walk still take a good amount of time.
  • There was a fairly healthy crowd waiting at rope drop to head to the west side of the park. Unfortunately only a small percentage stopped for Indiana Jones. Most continued on to New Orleans Square for the opening of Haunted Mansion Holiday, just like we were doing. Since we opted to not get in the middle of the crowd and just follow along behind we were quite a ways back in the queue. The queue grew quickly behind us as it circled Cafe Orleans. Cast members were directing guests to turn toward onto the walkway toward the Pirates exit to find the end of the line. It took about 45 minutes from when we entered the queue until we were exiting the Mansion (about 30 to enter it).
  • This was my first visit to the Haunted Mansion since it returned from renovation. The new props before you board the Doom Buggies are a nice plus and the graveyard looks great. The holiday overlay is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The gingerbread house pays tribute to all the previous ones. Overall the attraction looked good and the gingerbread house was fun to see. We stopped with a view of it for a minute or so which was a nice treat, especially since I usually get stopped with a view of a black wall or something uninteresting like that.
  • The hot item at the parks was a Mickey Mouse Mummy popcorn bucket. At park opening the one or two carts that had them had really long lines. Noticed as the day went on more and more locations had them so the lines spread out but they were still healthy.
  • There is construction work along the Rivers of America from Harbour Galley down to almost the Tom Sawyer Island Rafts. They are creating a new space called Pelican's Landing. Internet reporting says this will be additional seating space for the dining location.
  • Went for a cruise on Pirates of the Caribbean. Nothing new to report but it was just nice to sit back and enjoy the experience. Also the wait was a near walk on, had to wait 2 or 3 boats only.
  • Checked the wait times in the app and it showed almost everything in Fantasyland with an under 15 minute wait so headed that way. By the time we arrived it was closer to 20 minutes for just about everything with some like Peter Pan and Dumbo more.
  • Out in Toontown we had bad luck in terms of character encounters. Only Chip n Dale were out, no one else in sight. I did see the support frames for the new skyline facade for the Runaway Railway show building have been installed. So the Toontown views should be improving sooner rather than later. No real visible progress on the new entry building or on the walkway to Fantasyland.
  • Boarded the Disneyland Railroad in Toontown, it was nearly 15 minutes between trains. Guessing only two were in operation.
  • Ate an early lunch at the Stage Door Cafe. Managed to find a table with some shade and mobile order worked great. Ordered, walked over and picked it up with no wait at all.
  • After lunch for a cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat since it was in port and boarding when we walked by. It was a nice relaxing trip around the Rivers of America with very few guests on board.
  • Today we drew group 80 for Rise of the Resistance. Throughout the morning we checked on the progress. The attraction opened late and stopped calling groups several times. Finally around 12:20 our group was called. We made sure to be in the area and hopped in line soon after. Unfortunately they started to empty the queue almost as soon as we entered the line. So we did not have our pass scanned. The problem now was do we wait for Rise to reopen or cancel and try for a WEB Slingers boarding group. The kids really wanted to ride Spider-Man and were not overly interested in Rise of the Resistance (they went on it in January at WDW). So we opted to cancel and join the other queue. Seems if the attraction is down there should be an exception to the single virtual queue rule.
  • A Magic Key Lounge has opened in Tomorrowland in the former Starcade space. Entrance is through a virtual queue but not one in the app. You have to scan a QR code then fill out a web form to receive a text message to return. I stopped by and the wait was over 70 groups. Since we were heading to DCA I skipped it this visit and will try again next time.
  • The characters on Main Street and Buena Vista Street are wearing their Halloween costumes. It was great to see them out and be able to get some unobstructed pictures. The way the character interactions are happening right now have some great advantages. Also my youngest nephew (2.5 years old) really enjoyed being able to choose his distance, watch and wave to the characters. The couple times we passed them and they were close to us he was really unsure but from the safe viewing distance he had a much more enjoyable experience.
  • The Musical Celebration of Coco has returned. There were no posted show times on Friday though and when I asked a couple cast members they said nothing was "set" but to try around a certain time. The two times I received were 1:30 and 2:30 when I asked around 1:25. Hopefully the show makes it onto a schedule to make it easier to find soon. The show itself is the same as it has been in years past, which is good. There were no real noticeable changes and it was entertaining as expected.
  • Speaking of the kids, one of their favorite experiences of the day was the Amazing Spider-Man show. They really enjoyed watching him fly through the air and tumble around. So much so we had to go see it a second time. It was great while we were waiting for the second show the 2 year was explaining to us where Spider-Man would be and what he was going to do.
  • The Dapper Dans of Disneyland returned to the park Friday for the first time since the closure. They were sporting their Halloween orange and performing sets with Halloween music. I was able to catch one performance and it drew a very healthy crowd. It was great to see them back in the park.
  • Our WEB Slingers group was called around 6:40pm and when we approached the attraction there was only a minimal wait in the queue. The kids were really excited for this attraction since they had seen videos on YouTube. I kept warning them of the loud nature of it and more intense scenes compared to other attractions but they really wanted to ride. The experience was mixed. The older one did sling some webs but spend a portion of the ride hid behind my arm. The younger one was very unsure of the experience. Not sure if either will want to ride again any time soon. It is one thing to see it on a TV screen and another to be in the ride vehicle. For me the second ride seemed slightly better since I knew a little bit more. I still scored poorly but was able to enjoy the experience slightly more. Still not a big fan of the attraction though.
  • I was passing through Cars Land right around the time the lights were to go on so I hung out on Route 66 and waited. I am still not a huge fan of the Halloween moment. Not sure why but the sound track just does work for me.
  • It was nearing 8pm and the group was starting to run on empty after 12 hours in the park and after leaving the house just after 5am to make it to Anaheim for park opening. We joined a fairly constant flow of guests heading back to the parking structures. Once again I was directed out to Magic Way and had to sit through all the three lights which means a long delay in reaching the freeway. I really wish they gave you the option to swing through the Mickey and Friends structure to use the overpass. .

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