home > Columns > Geekspeaks >
9/12/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort and the Halloween Time festivities.
 The Geek Speaks:

Welcome to the disneygeek.com Geek Speaks section. In this section I will post my comments on trips to the parks or other Disney related events.

9/12/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort and the Halloween Time festivities.

Hello everyone,

Halloween Time officially kicked off at the Disneyland Resort on Friday and was met with a heat wave. Temperatures topped out in the upper 90s at the Disneyland Resort. Crowds at the parks were typical for a Friday. Light in the afternoon and then getting substantially more crowded as the sun set. Wait times were light for most attractions throughout the afternoon. For example when I walked through DCA after 6pm Tower of Terror was 13 minutes, Luigis and Maters were walk ons and Radiator Springs Racers had a 45 min stand by posted. Over at Disneyland most attractions had waits well under half an hour. Including Big Thunder which I saw at 10 minutes several times. The long waits were for Splash Mountain and Ghost Galaxy (Space Mountain). Haunted Mansion Holiday had a healthy 30-45 minute wait the couple of times I checked too.


Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park Miles section.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Halloween Time Started. Overall the decorations and offerings mirrored previous years.
    • Main Street USA has a Pumpkin Festival - Nothing new jumped out to me. Looked to be the same decorations around the buildings. As far as I could tell there were no activities on Main Street again this year. Several years ago they had Main Street citizens come out to celebrate the festival, I thought that was a nice addition, but they only lasted a year or two.
    • Halloween Carnival at the Big Thunder Ranch -
      • The Carnival has taken over the Jamboree area again. The highlight for me is the pumpkin carving. I always enjoying seeing the latest creations and talking to the talented cast members as they work on them.
      • The Characters in their Halloween costumes are also a favorite. I especially like that they are keeping to the tradition of roaming around and not letting lines form. I think this interaction is much more enjoyable and memorable for everyone than a line with a quick picture and autograph. If you have not visited the ranch area and enjoy interacting with the Disney Characters I highly recommend it.
      • Conjure a Villain has returned, the line moves slower than you can image and it had little shade so I opted not to go inside. From what I hear it is more or less the same as last year. A brief show and photo op with a villain.
      • This year the Hillbillies are gone and in their place is a Magician. Overall he was ok. He was somewhat funny and his tricks were decent. I am not a huge magician fan so for me not sure the repeatability is there. I saw two shows and they were the same. Also I enjoy live music and really enjoyed the Billies so for me it is a big loss. I did find it interesting they wrapped up the show with Sorcerer Mickey but he did not stick around for pictures. Just walked through the audience and headed backstage.
      • The Pirates League returned to the Carnival area. Friday it was a ghost town. There were quite a few cast members on hand to transform you into a pirate but no guests.. guess it is too early still? Or just too hot? Or are pirates loosing their appeal to kids? Or the cost to their parents?
      • The Disney Times Guide says there is live music but I did not see or experience any on my couple trips through. I think they re-used last years description... just as they re-used some of the signage around the area.. for example the Haunted Hillbillies were still on a banner. Speaking of the Times Guide I wish they would put the show times in there vs having to hike all the way out to the Jamboree to find them out.
    • Over at DCA there is not much going on for Halloween Time. There are some special food offerings and the Mad T Party has some decorations and adds one Halloween song a set. Friday they did This is Halloween at both the first and second set. I did not stick around but guessing they added Thriller as the finale to the last set again. Anyone catch it to confirm?
    • When I walked by the projections and audio for outside of Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy were not on. The area was quiet (no background music at all) and regular show lighting on the building.

    • Frontierland has the same offerings as last year with the park decorated and the Halloween tree. Interesting they are working on the facade behind the tree.. timing is everything. This renovation work also displaced the telegraph location for the Legends of Frontierland game.
    • Haunted Mansion Holiday returned Friday. No major changes this year. Only change that jumped out to me is the new gingerbread house in the ballroom scene. This year the gingerbread house has a lot of animation and looks great as usual. It appears there will be no FastPass again this year.
    • Around the parks there are special food offerings, pop corn buckets, travel mugs, and sippers for the season. I posted pictures of most of these offerings in my picture set posted yesterday.

  • Since my last visit the price to eat at many locations around the two parks has gone up. I will be updating the pictures in our dining section of the menus this week, so check back. In general most entrées went up between 30 cents and a dollar. For example a burger and fries cost me $9.17 (after discount and tax) instead of $8.72.

  • Friday was also Dapper Day. This year there seemed to be quite a few guests participating. Everywhere you went there were groups of Dapper guests. It made the background and crowd shots a little more interesting. Those participating really seemed to be having a great time. I felt bad for many that had elaborate outfits that included multiple layers of clothing and given the heat they looked to be dying. It did give many a reason to have a dapper umbrella though!

  • Found a spot for Fantasmic and was disappointed that the Dragon did not appear. Also with the Mark Twain in dry dock the characters are all just on the stage. So keep that in mind if you plan on visiting. Also note the ramp at the far side near Fowlers Harbour across from the Haunted Mansion is currently walled off so you have to use the stairs and it looked more crowded than usual when I walked by.

  • Remember Dreams Come True fireworks have returned. It is being performed weekend nights when there is no Halloween Party until the Christmas season. On the whole this is one of my favorite shows. The e-ticket in the sky segment I think is a perfect way to end a day at Disneyland. The Wishes portion bothers me, not sure why but it does. Rumor is this may be the last off season for the show. In the spring they may run a different show as they prepare for a new 60th anniversary show next summer.

  • If you plan on visiting the parks in the coming weeks be sure to check the website and/or times guide for operating hours. I just took a look and there are 5 different sets of hours for the next 7 days. Interesting to note the longest hours are for Sunday.. a non block out day for all passes.

  • Video featuring my pictures:

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:

Be sure to check out the picture update that goes with this Geekspeak column, it can be found in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Stop by the Geek's Forum to discuss this and other Disney topics.. click here

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

Back to previous page


Quick Note

Check out the geek speaks archive for past updates.


Interested in Helping out?

If you are a fellow disneygeek and interested in sharing your insights, pictures, thoughts drop us an email here we are always looking for contributors.