Every year all the theme parks across Southern California as well as across the nation, maybe the world, host an annual Halloween celebration. This celebration usually consists of haunted houses, haunted ride-throughs, and Halloween-themed merchandise.
Disneyland, being the hub of family-friendly entertainment, cannot do scary themed attractions. The majority of the Disneyland audience, as well as the reason for visiting the park, are children. So with Universal’s “Saw” maze, children would be scared out of their wits, and would not go to bed for six days.
Disneyland has undertaken a decidedly different approach to Halloween. Its Halloweentime celebration, which they’ve hosted for the last several years, has always been a hit with families, especially the kiddies.
This year’s Halloweentime celebration has not changed much. “Haunted Mansion Holiday” is back again for its ninth consecutive year, “Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy” also returns after the thrilling success of last year’s event, and Halloween gifts and goodies, along with decorations and character costumes, are all over the park for families to enjoy.
At Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, kids can decorate Halloween cookies while mom and dad relax and enjoy an all you can eat barbecue dinner. At Big Thunder Ranch, as well as at many other sit down restaurants around the park, be sure to try the pumpkin demi-tasse dessert – hazelnut tiramisu with pumpkin mousse served in a Mickey pumpkin cup. This will definitely be the highlight of your trip.
Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy uses the same track, the same lighting fixtures and the same vehicles as the traditional Space Mountain, but at Halloweentime it takes on a totally different feel, as though you are rocketing through a haunted galaxy, pursued by a relentless ghost, embodied in a nebula. To be honest, this really is a little scary. I screamed louder than anyone on the train, and in a higher octave than my little sister. This is not something for children of a young age, but anyone who can handle a little scare will definitely have a great time.
Also be sure to visit Haunted Mansion Holiday over in New Orleans Square. The annual transformation to Halloween/Christmas is made possible by Jack Skellington who came to “wreck the halls” at the Haunted Mansion as he did “making Christmas” for the residents of Halloweentown. We get to step in and experience this world, from “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas,” every holiday season from October through December. On a side note, the gingerbread house Haunted Mansion in the ballroom is a real gingerbread house cookie. You can smell it as your “Doom Buggy” glides
Disneyland’s Halloweentime celebration continues through the end of October. For more information, visit Disneyland.com.
I give this Halloween experience five out of five stars.