Mickey Mouse and friends welcome boys, girls and ghouls to Disneyland Resort
The giant Mickey Mouse pumpkin is back on Main Street as Disneyland gets back into the Halloween spirit.
This month, the happiest place on Earth also became the spookiest (but in a funny way). The Haunted Mansion has once again received its annual makeover for the “Nightmare Before Christmas,” with Jack Skellington welcoming ghouls, girls and boys.
Not to be missed in the Haunted Mansion is the big ballroom, which, along with the usual ghostly images, has the annual giant gingerbread house prepared by Disney’s culinary staff.
Elsewhere, Madame Leota (who’s modeled after a Disney Imagineer, by the way) is in a floating crystal ball. Jack Skellington greets fans in the big graveyard portion of the ride, and Oogie Boogie and Sally are there as you exit.
At neighboring Disney California Adventure, a headless horseman rides again on Buena Vista Street.
It’s a statue, but with the right lighting at night, it seems to come “alive,” so to speak.
And up the road, the Day of the Dead is being celebrated at Plaza de la Familia.
In Cars Land, autos get decked out in costumes and go cruising. And Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween is a mischievous ride with what Disney calls “ghastly good tunes and decorations.”
Mater’s fun ride has become Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree for the season.
And bats are flying like crazy out of the tower at Carthay Circle Restaurant, Disney California Adventure’s replica of the Hollywood theater where “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the first feature-length cartoon, made its debut in 1937.
Meanwhile, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission — Breakout!, the former Tower of Terror attraction known for its big drops from great heights, gets a special Halloween treatment when things turn dark outside. Talk about a bump in the night!
The attraction at night is known as Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark.
In the evening, Disney California Adventure is featuring the Oogie Boogie Bash, a Halloween party on select nights this month and in October. Highlights of the party vary from Villains Grove to Treat Trails. You can also enjoy Mickey’s Trick & Treat party and the Frightfully Fun Parade.
In the esplanade between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, two different kinds of entrances await fans. Disneyland has pumpkins carved to look like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, etc., and DCA greets everyone with — there he is again! — Oogie Boogie.
The Disneyland Resort is also showing its spirit with food and merchandise.
Goodies vary from a spooky Mickey Mouse macaron, a tradition at the parks, to a poisoned (but delicious) apple.
And if you walk around the parks, you’ll see characters in Halloween costumes. Mickey and his friends are continuing to get their photos taken with fans, but during the pandemic, they typically stand more than 6 feet from kids of all ages. The distance doesn’t stop fans from smiling.
And the giant Mickey Mouse pumpkin, which looks best at night, is greeting visitors on Main Street. But keep your eyes out for hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins.
At night time, Disneyland’s fireworks get a scary (but again, fun) touch. “Halloween Screams” includes villainous visions and haunting tunes.
While Disney is having fun with the Halloween celebrations, one attraction has been made less scary. Snow White’s Scary Adventures is now Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. And now, for the first time since the dark ride was established in 1955, there’s a real happy ending. It doesn’t simply end with the witch getting kicked off the cliff by the dwarfs, and the more joyful ending is comparable to the version that used to be at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
Another ride that has been transformed is the Jungle Cruise. Fear not, the back side of water is still there, along with all the skipper’s puns and fan favorites such as the elephants you can photograph because they’re still wearing their trunks. But women have joined the Audio-Animatronic adventurers, and a boat full of primates now sails. Trader Sam, the man, has been replaced by Trader Sam’s shop with jungle animals outside.
If you haven’t yet, check out Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure and Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland. The latter, based in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, will make you feel like you’re in a “Star Wars” movie, complete with interaction with cast members playing characters and a mix of simulators.
The tricky part, though, is figuring out the virtual queue on the Disney app. Be sure to ask when the ride stops taking passengers.
One thing’s for sure. Disney has come a long way from the original Star Tours.