Mickey's Halloween Treat - Disney's California Adventure - October 21, 2005
Mickey's Halloween Treat - Disney's California Adventure - October 21, 2005
In celebration of Halloween, Disney's California Adventure is host to Mickey's Halloween Treat, a special ticketed event that runs for 6 nights (October 21 and 22 and the 27th through the 30th). When the event was first announced, not much information was provided about what it would entail, but for a $15 ticket, we decided to see what it was like.
The special ticket needed to attend one of the event nights.
The event runs from 7:30pm to 10:30pm each night. After having dinner in Downtown Disney, we got to the bag check station at just about 7:30 - to discover a fairly large crowd of people trying to get through bag check. With only two bag check tents open, it took about 10 to 15 minutes to make it through. Two tents would probably suffice on a normal night, but given that they knew many people would be attending the event, I would have expected that they would have had more of the bag check tents open. Perhaps on subsequent nights, they might also open one or both of the other tents from about 7:15 to 8:00, when the majority of event attendees would be arriving, so as to cut down on the long wait time. If not, be prepared to be patient making it through the line.
From that line, we then joined the line to get into DCA. (Actually, it would be a night filled with waiting in lines.) Some people apparently didn't know about the special ticketed event because we saw two people who were at the turnstiles subsequently leave while putting their annual passes away. As we had walked towards DCA, we noticed that Chicken Little was looming above the hills to the left of the entrance gates, a promotion for the upcoming film. You can also see just a bit of the top of his shirt.
Chicken Little looks onto the esplanade between Disneyland and DCA.
At the turnstiles, there is a special map that indicates where all the various activities are being held. There are 13 trick-or-treating stations, 3 special character photo locations, 2 craft and face painting locations and 3 areas of live entertainment. The map also indicates all of the attractions and dining locations that are open. The only section of the park that's completely closed is the Grizzly River Run area.
This is a full-sized version of the left side of the map so that it can be more easily read, so be warned that the file is rather big and that if your browser automatically scales pictures to your screen size, you will have to manually make it bigger.
This is a full-sized version of the right side of the map so that it can be more easily read, so be warned that the file is rather big and that if your browser automatically scales pictures to your screen size, you will have to manually make it bigger.
At each treat station, you also get a sticker, and the back cover of the map has a handy guide to collect all of them. The thirteen stickers contain the following pictures: spider, candy corn, witch, caramel apple, moon, black cat, bat, ghost, mask, cauldron, jack o'lantern, scarecrow and "BOO!".
On Hollywood Boulevard right next to the Hyperion Theatre, there is a photo location with Disney villains. On the upper boardwalk of Paradise Pier (next to the Cove Bar), there is a photo location with Disney princesses. In the Pacific Wharf area near the former Lucky Fortune Cookery, there is a photo location with Mickey and Minnie. Other characters are also around at other locations. We noticed Chip and Dale and Donald and Daisy in the Sunshine Plaza, some of the Playhouse Disney characters and Sully in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Goofy in the Pacific Wharf area and Lilo and Stitch in Paradise Pier. We also saw Aladdin and Jasmine in the park. At the end of the evening (from about 10:15 to 10:30), many characters gather at the entrance plaza to bid farewell to everyone. As we were walking through that area at about 10:35 on our way out, we saw Mr. and Mrs. Incredible exiting the Sunshine Plaza.
Captain Hook and Lady Tremaine are two of the villains posing for pictures.
Princesses also like having their pictures taken.
Isn't Mickey dashing as Zorro?
These were in front of each picture station.
Chip (pictured) and Dale (not pictured) were both dressed the same.
Donald enjoying the evening.
Daisy doesn't seem to be wearing a costume.
Oh, it's not Daisy - it's Minnie dressed up as Daisy!
Goofy as a super hero.
There are two craft and face painting locations, one in the Pacific Wharf area in front of the stage and one in Bug's Land. They have Mickey masks as well as bat finger puppets that you can color.
Crayons are available for coloring in the mask.
Finger puppet or mask for a very small person.
In the Sunshine Plaza is the Monster Mash Bash with a live band. In Bug's Land is the Hokey Pokey Hoedown with a DJ and a "crazy collection of clowns". We stayed away from that area because clowns are creepy as it is. In the Pacific Wharf is a DJ that plays good music. In front of Bug's Land are also two talking scarecrows that interact with the guests.
Here is a list of attractions and dining locations that are open during the event. Some of the shops are open as well.
Hollywood Pictures Backlot attractions
Tower of Terror
Disney Animation Building
Hollywood Pictures Backlot dining
Bug's Land attractions
Francis' Ladybug Boogie
Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies
Paradise Pier attractions
King Triton's Carousel
Games of the Boardwalk
Paradise Pier dining
Pizza Oom Mow Mow
Golden State attractions
Soarin' Over California
Golden State dining
Taste Pilots' Grill
After you go through the turnstiles, a cast member hands you a treat bag. The treat bag has an advertisement for "Chicken Little" on one side and an ad for "The Chronicles of Narnia" on the other. The treat bag is similar to the one given out for the Downtown Disney trick-or-treating in 2003 that had "Haunted Mansion" on one side and "Brother Bear" on the other. One note of warning - during the course of the evening, we witnessed a few of the bags breaking at the bottom seam, spilling candy onto the ground. A number of people had their own trick-or-treating containers, so you can either do that or be mindful of how heavy/full your bag is getting and maybe transfer the treats into a sturdier bag.
There was music playing in the entrance plaza as well as the rest of the park, with the music themed to the occasion. Some of the songs included in the music loop were "This is Halloween" from "The Nightmare Before Christmas", different versions of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" from the Haunted Mansion attraction, "Heffalumps and Woozles" from Winnie the Pooh, "Night on Bald Mountain" from "Fantasia" and "Elephants on Parade" from "Dumbo".
We first headed for the Hollywood Backlot but quickly discovered that the lines for the two treat stations there were incredibly long. We then decided to head to the further back part of the park, hoping the lines would be shorter. That seems to have been the better way to go as there weren't nearly as many people there. We spent our evening making our way through the park, going from treat station to treat station. Sometimes, we would skip a treat station if the line was too long and then come back to it at a later time. We ended up making our way around the park twice and eventually hit each station and collected all the stickers. It was fun talking to the CMs who were giving out candy and stickers, and they all seemed fairly upbeat. Most of the stations had basically the same candy to give out, though things like the wrapped "eyeballs" only seemed to be available at the Tower of Terror location. You do get quite a bit of candy during the course of the evening. We went to all the stations but ended up not getting candy at two stations (one had run out when we got there and at another, we had gotten the sticker but the line was too long, so we decided to opt out of the candy).
Each treat door has a picture that corresponds to the sticker given out at that station.
The sticker quest is complete.
Here's a list of the different candy that we received, with all of the candy in miniature or fun sizes unless otherwise indicated: Skittles, M&M peanuts, M&M milk chocolate, Twix, Starburst, Butterfinger, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Nestle Crunch White (the only one we don't like - anyone want ours?), Hershey's Krackel, Smarties (regular size rolls), Wonka Laffy Taffy Chocolate, Now and Later, Charms Blow Pop (regular size), Tootsie Pops, chocolate in assorted wrappings (mummy, Frankenstein, spider, "spooky", pumpkin, vampire) and my favorite wrapping, peanut butter candy wrapped in an "eyeball" covering.
The spoils of the evening.
The park was nicely decorated for the event, with little touches here and there. There was a banner on the Golden Gate Bridge and searchlights behind the big sun in Sunshine Plaza, and you could see the rotating beams before you entered the park. During the course of the evening, they were shining from behind the big sun, and they had rotating colors, so it was a cool effect. It looked really cool from Disneyland's Main Street as well, which we discovered much later that evening. The green and yellow lights are particularly impressive that way. There were other projected touches in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot and Golden State areas and even on California Screamin', and the Sunshine Plaza was decorated with pumpkins and jack o'lanterns. Throughout the park, they also had the event logo on cylindrical bases which blow air straight up, making a wavy attention-getter. On the cylindrical bases were also imprints of each of the pictures on the 13 stickers.
On the Palace of Fine Arts.
Watching a Screamin' train go through the pumpkined Mickey head was fun.
Pumpkins and jack o'lanterns contribute to the atmosphere in Sunshine Plaza.
What a cute logo.
These came in many colors.
The only disappointment for the evening for me was that there was no event-related merchandise available as a souvenir to commemorate the evening. I would have loved to have gotten a t-shirt or sweatshirt or magnet with the event logo, which I really like. Perhaps Disney didn't know how well-attended the event would be, and by the time they figured it out from ticket sales, there wasn't enough time to get merchandise made. Whatever the reason, the lack of event merchandise was definitely a missed opportunity. Some of the cast members were in costumes and some had on a purple sweatshirt with the event logo, and I would love to have been able to buy the sweatshirt, but I was told by a manager that even the cast members couldn't keep the sweatshirts - they'd have to give them back when they were done with them.
What they wouldn't let me buy.
We were pretty much done at about 10:10 but decided to hang out near Tower of Terror just to rest a bit, and we headed out of the park just after 10:30. We decided to make a quick visit to Disneyland, and as I was about to mention a point to my husband, I noticed that Disney had thought of the same thing. While costumed adults and children were permitted at the event, costumed adults are not allowed into Disneyland, and there was a sign reminding people of that policy. If you plan to visit Disneyland either before or after your night at the event, keep that in mind if you're planning to wear a costume. You'd have to bring a change of regular clothes in that case.
The sign neglects to mention that it pertains to adults only.
There seems to be no information released about how many people are permitted to attend each night, but each night is sold out. Heading for the Paradise Pier area as the farthest away from the main entrance would seem to be the best idea. For some reason, the lines for the treat stations in the Pacific Wharf area and in the walkways right outside Bug's Land and in the Golden State area seemed to be the longest for most of the evening. As might be expected, the photo line for Mickey and Minnie was fairly long, so that might also be a good place to start. There seemed to be plenty of candy at each location, so no worries about them running out. At the one station we encountered where they had run out temporarily, we noticed later that they had gotten more supplies and were again giving out candy. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you'll be spending much of the evening in various lines, so be prepared for that.
The weather was fairly nice out, though it did get foggy later in the evening. It had been a little chilly for me earlier, so I had brought a jacket since we'd be outdoors the whole time, but I had neglected to consider that we'd be walking around the park almost the entire time. The lockers at the entrance plaza were available for rent, and many people seemed to be have taken advantage of their convenience. I don't know how the event would go if there was any kind of rain at all since everything pretty much happens outside.
All in all, we had a fun time. We ran into various people we knew during the course of the evening, but otherwise, it was just two of us adults going from place to place. The idea of getting free candy seems to have lost the appeal it had for me when I was a child, but I liked the interaction with the cast members and seeing the costumes that people were wearing, some of which were pretty elaborate. Most of the children and adolescents were in costume, and a good percentage of the adults were also in costume. The attendees ranged in age from very small babies to children in strollers to adolescents to young adults to parents to grandparents, so it was nice to see everyone having a good time together. I would figure that children would especially enjoy the evening since they get to trick-or-treat in a safe environment, inside a Disney park no less, and they get to see Disney characters. The lines for the attractions were understandably short, so it would have also been a good opportunity for taking advantage of the lack of lines. The $15 ticket price seemed reasonable to me for what was offered, and it will be interesting to see what they might change for next year's event, which is bound to happen.
Even adults can wear costumes to the event.
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