Posts Tagged ‘Haunted Mansion’

Five Disneyland Holiday Favorites

by on December 24, 2013

Disneyland holiday five favorites

Photos by Seth Kubersky

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (at least according to that ubiquitous song) and there’s no holiday season quite like a Disneyland holiday. In the past, I’ve experienced Disneyland it all its seasonal splendor during Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Fourth of July. But until last week, I’d never visited the Happiest Place On Earth during Christmas time, and as an Orlando resident I was blown away by the quantity and quality of seasonal celebrations. As we enter the final weeks of the peak holiday season, here’s my personal top five favorite aspects of Disneyland’s 2013 special offerings to distract you from the epic E-ticket queues.

Seasonal Sweets and Treats

Christmas is no time to go to Disneyland on a diet, as I discovered an insatiable need to sample the limited-time seasonal snacks offered and nearly every quick-service counter.

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Observations at the Magic Kingdom: October 1

by on October 4, 2013

As October rolls into Central Florida, the Halloween season (because after all, it is a season here) is in full swing. And while there’s never a bad time to visit the Magic Kingdom, the changes taking place lately have made it particularly exciting. I started my evening at the Polynesian to take a few pictures and get a look at the new runDisney running path markers that are now in place at the Poly, Grand Floridian, Art of Animation, and Epcot Resorts. The signs give you route maps and distances, most helpful if you’re training for, say, the Tower of Terror 10-miler?

DSC_0290

With construction slated to begin soon on the newly announced Disney Vacation Club villas at the Poly, I wanted to get some photos around the resort just in case there were changes to my favorite sights. Depth testing has already begun out in the lagoon and construction walls are up near the beach at Sunset Pointe.

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SATURDAY SIX: Top Six Reasons We Loved the 2013 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

by on September 21, 2013

The Saturday Six is a weekly look at the most interesting, most fun, and sometimes even the most outrageous things within the theme park world that we all love so much. Whether it’s the top six “secrets” of Marvel Superhero Island, a look a the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, or even the craziest food items at Universal, the Saturday Six will be your personal guide to experiencing the very best Orlando has to offer.

This week’s Saturday Six looks at the Top Six Reasons We Loved Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2013.

Madame Carlotta MNSSHP

Madame Carlotta in front of the Haunted Mansion

# 6 – Characters Who Only Come Out During the Party

If you are a fan of rarely seen characters (and judging by the success of Limited Time Magic’s Long Lost Friends week both in WDW and Disneyland, most of you reading this are) MNSSHP is going to satisfy you and then some. The Dapper Dans are out and about as the Cadaver Dans, complete with creepy make-up. Madame Carlotta can be seen in front of the Haunted Mansion, interacting with passers by. Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas have a special (and popular) meet-and-greet. All your favorite characters, like Mickey Mouse and Minnie, are dressed up in their Halloween costumes.

Seven Dwarves MNSSHP

The Seven Dwarves (photo courtesy of Michelle Myers)

The MNSSHP will also be your chance to get your picture taken with all of Seven Dwarfs at the same time. This unique photo op is one of the most popular things every year at the party, and the line starts to form around 5:30 PM, well before MNSSHP officially begins. If meeting the Seven Dwarfs is on your character bucket list, it’s recommended you just bite the bullet and get in line around 6 PM so that you give up as little party time as possible. If standing in lines for character photos is your thing, then you’re in luck, because MNSSHP has princesses and their princes (such as Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder) meeting guests together, along with villains such as Dr. Facilier, Maleficent, and the Queen of Hearts, that you never run into during a normal day at the park.

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Southern California’s Top Five Dark Ride Illusions

by on September 17, 2013

Images copyright Disney

Recently, Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure was unexpectedly upgraded with digital projection mapping effects that bring the opening scene’s Mara statue to life in a dynamic new way. The “plussing” of the attraction was somewhat controversial online due to the replacement of the original accompanying audio track (which was never voiced by James Earl Jones, contrary to urban legend), but the Internet buzz shouldn’t overshadow how welcome it is that Imagineering is still improving an eighteen year old E-Ticket.

That brings up the importance of the special effect, or “illusion,” in the art of the dark ride. (For the purposes of this post, “dark ride” refers to attractions where guests travel in a vehicle through a series of largely indoor environments that feature scenery and visual effects.) Dark rides predate Disneyland but were perfected by the Mouse; while a few competitors can now go toe-to-toe with Disney’s attractions in the awe-inspiring technology department, the Anaheim resort still houses the world’s greatest collection of ride-through theatrical illusions, featuring some “wow” moments that still draw gasps generations after their invention.

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Disneyland’s Long-Lost Hatbox Ghost Reappears at D23

by on August 9, 2013

Disneyland’s original Hatbox Ghost (photo courtesy Doombuggies)

There haven’t been any blockbuster surprise announcements out of this weekend’s D23 Disney fan expo yet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gems to discover inside the Anaheim Convention Center. The “Journey into Imagineering” pavilion, hidden behind a facade recreating WDI Glendale offices, holds one of D23′s most ghoulish delights — a modern Audio Animatronic reincarnating a favorite attraction’s most infamous former resident.

The Hatbox Ghost was one of the original inhabitants of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, but was removed from the ride’s attic scene shortly after opening because of technical problems with his disappearing head effect (not, as the urban legend claims, because he scared a guest to death). Lost to theme-park lore for decades, he’s seen a merchandise revival in recent years, but this is the first time Imagineering has revealed an operating animatronic — based on the same AA100 architecture as PoTC’s Auctioneer and Mr. Lincoln — of the fabled figure.

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (9/2/2012 – 9/8/2012)

by on September 10, 2012

All photos copyright Disney

September has arrived, bringing with it cooler temperatures, smaller crowds, and lengthy rehabs for numerous attractions at Disneyland.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Sunday 9/2 was a 7 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 7.9 and Disneyland Park at 5.7.

Busiest Day: Tuesday 9/4 through Thursday 9/6 was a 1 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 1.1 and Disneyland Park at 1.1.

Subscribe to the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (8/26/2012 – 9/1/2012)

by on September 3, 2012

All photos copyright Disney

The end of August equals the start of the slow September season at Disneyland. Crowds should be minimal for the next couple weeks, at least until the special Halloween events kick off on the 14th.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Tuesday 8/28 was a 2 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 2.7 and Disneyland Park at only 1.2.

Busiest Day: Saturday 9/1 was a 5 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 3 and Disneyland Park at 5.

Subscribe to the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

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This Month at Disneyland Resort: September 2012

by on September 1, 2012

All photos copyright Disney.

The summer tourists have gone home, and the local kids are back in school, making September a spectacular time to visit the Disneyland Resort if you desire short lines. Mid-week visitors can expect the smallest crowds seen since before the June relaunch of Disney California Adventure. Beware, however, that seasonal installations and long-delayed refurbishments will result in several favorite Disneyland attractions being declared off-limits over the next month. Be sure to check the refurbishment list when planning a visit to the parks, so that you aren’t unpleasantly surprised upon arrival.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Most Mondays through Thursdays this month sport wait times in the bottom third of the year. The day after Labor Day is traditionally dead quiet, with Tuesday 8/30 predicted at only 1.1 out of 10 at Disneyland, and 1.8 at DCA.

Busiest Day: Saturdays and Sundays will be moderately busy once the Halloween decor is in full effect. Saturday 9/22 should hit a predicted peak of 6.3 out of 10 in Disneyland, and 6.6 at DCA.

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (8/19/2012 -8/25/2012)

by on August 27, 2012

All photos copyright Disney

The masses of annual Passholders that were anticipated to invade the Anaheim attractions after blackout dates were lifted last week didn't quite materialize. So if you've been avoiding Disneyland all summer, now is a great time to visit as preparations begin for the Halloween season.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Friday 8/17 was a 5 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 4.7 and Disneyland Park at only 3.1.

Busiest Day: Sunday 8/19 was an 8 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 8.9 and Disneyland Park at 5.7.

Subscribe to the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

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This Month at Disneyland Resort: August 2012

by on August 1, 2012

Pixar in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl (photo by Disney/Pixar)

As we enter the final month of Cars Land's blockbuster first summer season, Disneyland Resort has survived some of the largest crowds in its history. Fear not; there's still plenty of activity predicted before the peak season crowds taper off towards the end of this month. And if you can hold out for a few more weeks, near-optimal touring conditions are on the horizon.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: By the last week of the month, crowds should slow considerably, with Thursday 8/30 predicted at only 2.2 out of 10 at Disneyland, and 4.7 at DCA.

Busiest Day: Sunday 8/19 is the last day of Summer Break season, so crowds should top out 10 out of 10 in Disneyland, and 9.7 at DCA.

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

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