Disneyland Resort in Anaheim - October 22, 2006 and October 31, 2006 trip reports

October 22, 2006

We met up with some friends and decided to head to Plaza Inn for lunch. Various fall/Halloween-related treats are available at various places in the park, and Plaza Inn had a pumpkin cheesecake that seemed much more pumpkin-y than the cheesecake I had seen at the Main Street Bakery (which had much more of the lighter cheesecake coloring as opposed to the darker color of the Plaza Inn pumpkin cheesecake), so I decided to splurge. Mmmm, great pumpkin cheesecake, with just the right mix of the two flavors.


Mmmmm, pumpkin cheesecake.


After lunch, we all wandered around and looked at the various shops on Main Street. There was already quite a bit of Christmas merchandise in the stores, including a new Santa Mickey and Reindeer Pluto big fig at Disneyana. They resemble the plush figures that were released in previous years.


A front view of the new big fig.


A back view of the new big fig that shows what/who Santa Mickey has in his sack.


Not a new big fig, but I hadn't paid much attention to it before, and apparently the Elvis Stitch big fig caught my eye this time.


A front view of the Elvis Stitch big fig.


A back view of the Elvis Stitch big fig.


The Market House next door to Disneyana also has cocoa in holiday flavors and festive Christmas packaging.


The tastes of candy canes, s'mores, cinnamon, and of course, chocolate.


The nearby China Closet has received its Christmas makeover, with the twelve days of Christmas represented in the decor throughout the store. They have also received quite a few new holiday items, including a new addition to the Disney Chrismas Village collection.


The Main Street Cinema has been added to the collection.


A view of the detailed back of the building.


Front and back view of the new snowglobe in the gingerbread collection.


Bagged chocolate presents for Christmas.


One of my favorite new items - each cookie is a magnet, and the plate itself is a magnet as well.


And the newest, holiday additions to the small roundie plush collection are available in several stores.


Santa Mickey, Elf Donald and Reindeer Pluto, all roundied for Christmas.


Our friends decided to head off to do some Billy Hilling, so we headed into DCA to do some browsing as well. At the gates to DCA, we noticed a sign informing visitors of DCA's early closing because of the Halloween event.


Making sure guests are kept informed.


Sourdough bread in the shape of Mickey's head is usually for sale at the Pacific Wharf Cafe. We noticed that the fruit/snack stand next to P.T. Flea's had a new holiday-themed sourdough.


Sourdough pumpkin (shaped, not tasting) bread.


After wandering around DCA a little, we headed out the side entrance and went into Acorns, the gift shop at the Grand Californian Hotel. There, we found even more Christmas merchandise. Last year, the Big Thunder Ranch area of Disneyland was converted into Santa's Reindeer Roundup where you can meet Santa, see a few of his reindeer, work on crafts, buy cookies to decorate, and there's a periodic show as well. The Roundup is expected to return this year, and they've apparently created merchandise to go along with it, though I guess we'll see if they're using the same logo for the Roundup itself as for the merchandise. Last year's roundup had a pretty generic logo.


The Reindeer Roundup logo behind the stage in 2005.


Long johns with the new full logo.


Pajama set with a slightly different version of the logo.


A closer look at the logo on the pocket.


The full logo on the kid's t-shirt.


Ornament with the full logo.


Mugs with the full logo.


The Christmas roundies were in abundance at Acorns. And Chip and Dale were otherwise represented.


Baskets of roundies.


Chip and Dale aren't roundies this time - just plush.


After wandering around Downtown Disney for a little while, we went back into Disneyland to meet back up with our friends at Town Square to wait for flag retreat. Each night, the flag in Town Square is retired for the evening in a ceremony. The time of the flag retreat varies, depending on the time of year, but you can go into City Hall to ask for the time of the ceremony that day. The Cast Member Guide that each CM has should also have that information, and the Disneyland website has also been including that information as of late. Depending on the time of year and any special occasions, the music is either provided live by the Disneyland Band or via a recording over the loudspeakers. The ceremony has also been recently changed to include tributes to specific moments in United States history as well as salutes to the various branches of the armed forces.


Part of the Disneyland Band, ready for flag retreat.


The honor guard waits behind the band.


The honor guard moves in front of the band and preps for the flag lowering.


The honor guard is ready.


"The Star Spangled Banner" is played during the lowering of the flag.


The flag of California arrives first.


The United States flag close to being fully lowered.


The flag just needs to be completely unclipped.


The United States flag being prepped for folding.


The honor guards carefully fold the flag.


Tucking in the last flap.


The honor guards folding the California flag.


Both flags fully folded, the honor guard in formation.


In preparation for the flag being presented.


Young children have been brought up and presented with the folded United States flag..


A closer view.


Disneyland Band drummer as the band prepares to exit.


Flag retreat is a ceremony that is not particularly well known. Some people do make it a point to attend periodically, but most are probably drawn by the announcements and/or happen to be in the area when the ceremony is being held. You don't need to be there very much ahead of time - perhaps 10 or 15 minutes. It's probably something that frequent visitors to the park are more likely to attend, but I definitely think it's 30 minutes or so that are worth it for any visitor to the park to spend the time to experience.



October 31, 2006

I spent a day at the resort with a friend to celebrate her birthday, and we arrived at the parking structure at about 12:30. There was very little traffic in the structure and very few people boarding trams. We stopped at Guest Relations so she could renew her annual pass.


A cautionary sign to inform guests before they board a tram.


The design on the back of the annual pass.


We stopped at the Emporium to do some shopping and noticed quite a number of additional Christmas merchandise had been set out.


Mickey and Minnie caroling plush.
They are each holding a caroling book, and a button on their hand triggers music to play.


Pluto as elf.


Elves Mickey and Minnie and Santa Goofy.


The identifier on the bottom of Mickey's foot.


Snowman Mickey.


Pooh and Eeyore plush.


Racks of Christmas merchandise.


Even more Christmas merchandise.


My favorite new thing - roundie Santa Mickey antenna topper.


And lest we skip over the next holiday, Thanksgiving, there are a few new items for that as well.


Pilgrim Pooh.


Eeyore dressed as a turkey.
At first glance, it looks like Eeyore is being eaten by the turkey...


Pilgrim Mickey with harvest antenna topper has been available for a little while.


We then went over to Showcase, which had been transformed from its Halloween incarnation into a Christmas store, and we found a few other new items there.


Christmas replaces Halloween.


Santa Jack is the newest addition to the small roundie holiday series.


A variety of Disney Christmas card designs are available.
There's Disney-themed wrapping paper as well.


The friend had not been on Pirates since its change over the summer, so we headed over for a ride. Because the park wasn't very crowded, it was only about a 10 minute wait. I had previously noticed the painting of Captain Jack Sparrow to the left inside the entrance, but I had not previously noticed that Captain Barbossa had been added to the wall of pirates as well.


Captain Jack Sparrow on the wall of pirates.


Captain Barbossa, to the right inside the entrance.


She enjoyed seeing Captain Jack Sparrow pop up at various parts of the ride.


Jack, not watching where his hands are.


Jack can't hide from the dog.


Jack and his plunder.


A different Jack shows off his musical talent.
(in the window next to Cafe Orleans across from the exit to Pirates)


We then headed over for a ride on Haunted Mansion Holiday.


Singing flowers.


Even a wreath can be scary.


After exiting the ride, we noticed that the merchandise cart right outside the exit had returned, and we went over to have a look, to discover another new item.


Big roundie Jack.


Small Santa Jack roundie on big Jack roundie.
(It almost looks like a Jack snowman.)


We made a trip to Critter Country, took a ride on Pooh, walked through the adjacent shop, and then headed back to New Orleans Square, which has been decorated for the holidays, though it's a little unclear exactly which holiday.


A tribute to the Country Bears on the Pooh ride.
(They're upright - the picture is just taken from an angle.)


Holiday decorations draped across the entrance to New Orleans Square.


A close-up of the wreath and its occupant.


Decorations inside/above New Orleans Square.


Has Mardi Gras been moved to November/December?


We popped into the former Le Bat en Rouge (the shop that's now an extension of Pieces of Eight, the Pirates shop), and I was very surprised to see a long-gone machine. It had an "out of order" sticker on it, but I'm happy to see the machine's return. Maybe it'll be fixed and stay working? (The machine was notorious for breaking down often.)


Maybe the pirates craze is good for one thing, at least.


Imprint your own doubloon.


We then headed over to Big Thunder Ranch so I could show her Woody's Halloween Roundup. We watched the in-progress show for a bit, and then when it ended, we headed over to where the Mr. Potato Head cakes could be purchased. I looked at the samples display and noticed they were very different than when I'd been there at the start of Halloweentime, and the CM told me that for Halloween, there were special spooky parts rather than the regular Mr. Potato Head parts.


Concession stand.


Make your own...um...monster?


Night of the living dead potato cakes.


Make a monster kit.


I had also forgotten that the pumpkin carvings were done in real life, so that meant they'd probably have different carvings this time, and it was fun to see what they'd created recently.


A trio of princesses.


A trio of ...non-princesses.




Jack and Sally.


Stitch required more than one pumpkin.


The Incredibles kids. (I especially love Jack Jack.)
(What's with all the Jacks in the park right now?)


We continued our way around the park and then headed back down Main Street (stopping at City Hall to get her birthday button, which I'd forgotten to do when we'd first arrived) and out of the park and into Downtown Disney to make our 5pm dinner reservation. Rather than a grab-and-go meal, we had wanted to have a nice dinner before attending Mickey's Halloween Treat that evening, the last for the year, and we wanted to not have to rush through dinner.


For a review of our dinner at Catal Restaurant, please click here.


As it was, we enjoyed our dinner so much that we lingered a bit, and we ended up going into DCA at about 7:15 for the event that started at 6:30. We ended up going on a few rides during the evening, including "Monsters, Inc." (Coincidentally, on the tram ride back to the car later in the evening, the family in front of us was a little girl dressed as Boo, dad with a lime green baseball hat and a lime green t-shirt with Mike on the front, and mom with a purple swirl t-shirt. Very cool!)


Love the octopus sushi chef.


Some of the things that are impossible to read while on the ride.


Boo determinedly taking batting practice on Randall.


Some observations versus when I went on the 13th:

1. It really does seem to make a difference being there when the event starts as opposed to a little later. We ran into crowds pretty much everywhere. At first, I just thought it was more crowded, but I think it was just that last time, we were pretty much far in front of most everyone else.

2. They seemed skimpier on the most part with the candy than on the 13th. Candy was pretty much the same. I saw the carrots and green apples again, but I didn't see any red apples, and one station had fruit snacks in a Toy Story wrapping, but I didn't get any.

3. We stood in line for a while at the Mickey and Minnie photo op, but the line was so incredibly slow, and then Mickey and Minnie went on a break, so we decided to forego it.

4. The midway games were extremely crowded. The CMs seemed a little harried by all the people.

5. They still had adult t-shirts and sweatshirts for the event, as well as both keychains and the Mickey plush, but at the Paradise Pier store, I didn't see the kid's t-shirt or the picture frame.

6. The lines weren't too bad. We went on Monsters and Soarin'. However, the line for Jumpin' Jellyfish at one point was really, really long, which surprised me.

7. Most of the CMs said Happy Birthday to my friend when they saw her birthday button, but only a few CMs gave her an extra piece of candy.

8. We ended up hitting two treat stations at the very end of the event. One was a Snickers station. The CM gave each of us a handful of about 5 or 6 pieces. The last station was a mixed candy station, and I got a handful, and when they saw my friend's birthday button, she got a huge handful.

9. Best costume of the night, though it seemed a little cumbersome, was a girl (10 or so?) dressed as Alice, and she had a house that she wore with her arms and legs sticking out, and you could see her face. We ended up in line right behind them on Soarin', so I was able to look at the house (which she had taken off and Dad was carrying) a bit - it looks like they made it themselves, and the workmanship and details was excellent. vFor the thatching on the roof, it looked like they used the beige plastic grass skirts. Ingenious.


All in all, it was a fun day at the resort, and while I'm sad to see the Halloween decorations go away (they should most certainly return next year), I'm excited as the park is transformed into its holiday finest.


Say goodbye to the candy corn "A".



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