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Disneyland Resort September 2015 - A Photo Trip Report
DisneyDan  Wednesday, September 30, 2015 2:46:45 PM
Hello everyone,

Last week Jon and I spent five days at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland in California. This was our third trip to the Disneyland Resort this year, and our final one this year until next year.

We went to (finally) see the 60th anniversary celebrations and celebrate Halloween Time. It had been four years since we had been at Disneyland Resort for Halloween Time, and so we were excited to go back. Unfortunately, we already knew that Disneyland had made many cutbacks to their Halloween season this year, but despite that, we were still looking forward to seeing the things that were spared.

I'll organise this report into themed groups so that we don't jump around all over the place. Let's start with the Halloween Time offerings, and meeting Mickey and friends on Main Street USA in their Halloween costumes.

Although we love meeting the characters in their Halloween outfits, I think that after all these years, they could come up with some new ones, especially since the parks outside of the US seem to get new costumes almost annually.

Meeting Chip 'n' Dale

Donald Duck

Mickey Mouse

Minnie Mouse

Goofy

Meeting Pluto

I saw this neat looking Halloween Maleficent treat in the Candy Palace, but we didn't try it.

Treats

On Main Street USA there were lots of pumpkins and other seasonal decorations. Some had been mixed in with the 60th anniversary decorations, creating this weird hybrid look that didn't sit well with me personally (blue and orange?!).

Around the main entrance

Around the main entrance

Around the main entrance

Around the main entrance

Around the main entrance

Main Street Station

Main Street Station

Halloween Time on Main Street USA

The Mad Hatter

Halloween Time on Main Street USA

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Over in Frontierland, the soon to be demolished Big Thunder Ranch was decorated for its final ever Halloween season, and Zocalo Park had its annual Día de Muertos festival set up. It's a real shame that the Big Thunder Ranch didn't get one final chance to have the arena area open for the season. Seeing as the entire area doesn't get permanently closed until 10th January, they could have had the arena open like in previous years.

Frontierland

Frontierland

Frontierland

Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Halloween Time in Frontierland

Over in Toontown there was one lonely nod to Halloween around the gazebo.

Toontown Halloween

Haunted Mansion Holiday was of course back for another season, and so we had to step inside its spooky halls to check it out. The Hatbox Ghost had been added since our last visit, so it was cool to finally see him.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy also returned this year, and again we tried it. I must say, I really love Ghost Galaxy. Space Mountain overall in California is superior to the other versions anyway, I think, but Ghost Galaxy really adds something to it. The music and the ghostly projections add to the tension and excitement as you race around in the dark.

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy

I want to mention at this point that we also attended the first Mickey's Halloween Party of the year, which I wrote my report for previously. You can read that by clicking here.

As well as Mickey and friends on Main Street in their Halloween outfits, some other characters were out around the park for Halloween, too. We managed to meet Frollo, Jafar, and Jack and Sally. We heard reports of Dr Facilier wandering around Frontierland, too, but unfortunately we didn't find him.

Jack and Sally

Meeting Frollo

Meeting Aladdin and Jafar

Mickey and friends met in their Halloween costumes from the morning until the late afternoon, then after they had starred in the parade (or thereabouts) they appeared on Main Street in their 60th anniversary outfits. Unfortunately, for some odd reason, it was nearly always just Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto. We saw Donald twice, but his line was closed both times when we arrived in Town Square sadly, and Chip, Dale and Daisy didn't appear at all. According to some character hosts, Chip, Dale and Daisy would not be appearing for greetings at all in their 60th outfits during the whole of Halloween Time, which I think is ridiculous.

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Meeting Goofy

Meeting Pluto

The Hook and Ladder Co show in Town Square regularly features Chip, Dale, Goofy and Cruella de Vil. For the 60th anniversary Chip, Dale and Goofy are in their 60th outfits. Luckily for us, one day the chipmunks were kind enough to stop for us and we got our photo with them, even though they weren't technically greeting.

Hook and Ladder Co.

Hook and Ladder Co.

Hook and Ladder Co.

This was a cute moment after the Hook and Ladder show had finished - Cruella walking hand in hand with Chip and Dale!

Character fun

Like the Hook and Ladder Co show, the Disneyland Band also regularly feature characters with them, and for the 60th anniversary, again, they wear their special 60th costumes. The Dapper Dans also join the show when it is in Town Square.

The Disneyland Band with Mickey and Friends

The Disneyland Band with Mickey and Friends

Let's take a look at Sleeping Beauty Castle dressed up for the 60th anniversary. I am not a fan of these kinds over overlays for the castles, and this one is definitely not my favourite look. Christmas lights are fine, anything else I find is too much and detracts from the majesty of the castle.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

The Mark Twain had some decorations for the 60th, too. They don't look too out of place on the boat, unlike the castle.

Mark Twain

In the Candy Palace there was some diamond anniversary treats, we didn't try any of them though.

Treats

The Disney Gallery and the Disneyland Story were showcasing special diamond anniversary items. In the Disneyland Story were some sketches from the early days of Disneyland, in an exhibit called "Drawing Disneyland - The Early Years".

Drawing Disneyland The Early Years

Drawing Disneyland The Early Years

Drawing Disneyland The Early Years

One of the highlights of the 60th anniversary has been the reintroduction of a nighttime parade into Disneyland, in the form of (the epically long named) Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade. I'm not sure how well the Disney part sits with me, not being possessive, but that's a minor thing. As for the parade itself, I have mixed feelings about it, if I'm honest. It was certainly good to get back a night parade in the park, and there are some really cool elements to it, but it doesn't seem "memorable" to me. To me, it won't become a classic. It could lose any part of itself and replace it with something else, and it wouldn't bother me. If the parade eventually goes to Walt Disney World, as is rumored, again, I wouldn't feel bad about it for Disneyland. It didn't give me the same emotional attachment that the Main Street Electrical Parade has, or the sorely missed SpectroMagic at the Magic Kingdom. There was also one thing that really struck me as odd about this parade. There seemed to be no real storytelling involved. When it starts we have the fairies, then Peter Pan. Who is painting the night? Why? What with? Then we get to the end and just four characters have paint brushes - after the rest of the parade already went past. It didn't make a lot of sense to me. I feel that Mickey should have been at the front, leading the way with his brush, literally painting as he goes. Then, if other characters or performers had paint brushes throughout the parade, it would make more sense. With all that said, I don't want to be overly critical, and it is a good parade.

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Disney Paint the Night Electrical Parade

The other new nighttime spectacular to launch for the 60th anniversary is the Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular. We watched the show twice, once from Main Street and once from "it's a small world". I think that given the hype, and that this is a brand new show, I was expecting more from it. I didn't really, personally, feel the projections on Main Street added too much to my enjoyment of the show. Main Street has a lot of trees, is very crowded, and doesn't have the best view of the castle across the trees and slight rise of Central Plaza. I had a hard time trying to work out what some of the projections were meant to be, and in the end I wish I had just paid more attention to the fireworks themselves. While Nemo is a cute idea, I personally was in love with Dumbo from the Magical fireworks that proceeded these. Nemo doesn't have the same emotional attachment for me. I also don't feel the fireworks have much to do with Disneyland, and are just a showcase of various Disney movies. I liked how the Matterhorn became the volcano for the Nemo sequence, and the projections on "it's a small world" are significantly clearer and easier to watch than Main Street's. The only down side of watching there is that you miss Nemo and Tinker Bell flying.

Poster

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular

Well, that's all the 60th stuff for Disneyland Park. Before we take a look at Disney California Adventure, I wanted to mention just a couple more things that were non-60th related. We met Peter Pan, Suzy, Perla, and Aladdin (with Jafar who was out for Halloween Time, and unfortunately I only have a side photo of Aladdin), Captain America, Thor and Cruella de Vil. We also briefly stopped by to see the musical chairs at Refreshment Corner, and the Straw Hatters on Main Street.

Meeting Suzy and Perla

Meeting Aladdin and Jafar

Meeting Peter Pan

Cruella de Vil

Meeting Captain America

Meeting Thor

Musical Chairs at Refreshment Corner

The Straw Hatters

The Esplanade between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure had some 60th anniversary banners and signs up, so of course I took some photos.

Around the main entrance

Around the main entrance

The Carthay Circle Theatre on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure had some decorations for the 60th anniversary. It didn't look too bad at night.

Carthay Circle Theater

The Red Car Trolley News Boys show got a slight rework for the 60th, and includes some new songs at the end, as well as a very brief appearance by Minnie Mouse in her special Buena Vista Street outfit.

Red Car Trolley News Boys

Red Car Trolley News Boys

Directly after the show, Minnie went to greet fans on Buena Vista Street, so of course we had to visit her. We love this outfit for Minnie!

Meeting Minnie Mouse

In Hollywood Land the Mad T Party is back for the 60th, and has some new props. We didn't stay to watch Mad T itself, as it isn't really our thing, but I'm glad the park has something back again that was ridiculously popular. The Frozen Freeze the Night stuff really didn't cut it, even for us.

Mad T Party

Mad T Party

With Disneyland getting new fireworks and a new nighttime parade, of course Disney California Adventure's nighttime show got an overhaul. World of Color is now World of Color - Celebrate!, and features Neil Patrick Harris as its host. I'll be brutally honest and say that I have never been a fan of World of Color. It was probably my least favourite nighttime spectacular of all the parks, especially when you look at things like Disney Dreams! at Disneyland Paris. So, with that, I didn't go into the new Celebrate! version with too much pinned on my liking it. The problem before was that World of Color always seemed to be a slapdash mess of things thrown together with no real cohesive story. Disney has always been excellent at storytelling, and World of Color just didn't do that. However, the new World of Color does, and it is amazing! I really loved the new World of Color, which really surprised me, because I never thought I could like it. I think World of Color - Celebrate! is the best nighttime offering Disneyland Resort has right now, and I would much rather watch this than either Paint the Night or Disneyland Forever.

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

World of Color - Celebrate!

Outside of the 60th offerings at DCA, we also met Anna, Elsa and Olaf - all of whom had no wait whatsoever, which I find odd, especially compared to how crazy Florida gets over Frozen. I also caught Stitch and Daisy wandering back and forward from the Visa meet 'n' greet, but the line was long so we didn't go to meet them.

Meeting Anna and Elsa

Meeting Olaf

Daisy Duck

Stitch

Since our last visit earlier in the year, Condor Flats has now been absorbed into the Grizzly Peak area of the park, and has been re-themed accordingly.

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Pluto now meets at the airplane in the area, where Minnie used to meet. I love Pluto as much as the next person, but moving him from Buena Vista Street to here, and having Minnie on Buena Vista Street means that overall we lost a unique outfit. We went from Buena Vista Pluto and aviator Minnie, to regular Pluto and Buena Vista Minnie. Of course, I'm not complaining about Minnie finally wearing her other outfit though, as it is amazing! I just feel perhaps they could have given poor Pluto some goggles or something.

Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Meeting Pluto

There wasn't really an appropriate place for me to say this before, so I'll write it here. Across both the parks for the 60th there are special photo locations that, when captured from the correct position, look as though you are doing some fun and wacky things. We weren't too fussed about getting our photo in the locations, but I did take some photos of them, for reference.

60th backdrop

60th backdrop

60th backdrop

60th backdrop

60th backdrop

60th backdrop

Finally, we had breakfast one morning at Goofy's Kitchen, as we had yet to see Goofy and friends in their new outfits. While the new outfits are really nice, it's a bit of a sore point, since this restaurant used to have lots of random characters appear, and now just has a set five. Of course, despite cutbacks, the price keeps going up, too. I don't think that nearly $80 for two people for breakfast was anywhere near worth it, and represents extremely poor value. I'm glad we got the new outfits, but we won't rush back.

Goofy's Kitchen

Goofy's Kitchen

Goofy's Kitchen

Goofy's Kitchen

Goofy's Kitchen

Goofy's Kitchen

So that's everything! I hope you enjoyed reliving our memories with us. Remember, I also wrote a report for Mickey's Halloween Party, which you can find here.

Have a great week everyone,

Dan.
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