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Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

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  • Trip Report Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

    This is Halloween, this is Halloween. Time for another Disneyland visit with Ruston and Jacob.

    On a beautiful Sunday morning, T and I left the house, braved the crazy LA freeways and headed to Disneyland. The commute to Disneyland wasn't bad at all, taking only 40 minutes or so. But once we got close, it looked like everyone and their cousin had the same idea of going to DL today. The off-ramp from the freeway was completely backed up and no one was moving. It literally took us 25 minutes to get from the freeway into the Mickey and Friends parking structure. All the parking attendants were working the booths though so I don't know what Disney could have done different. There were just a lot of people getting to the park at the same time.

    But it's our first visit to the parks in a while, so it would take a lot more than that to put a damper on our day.

    To me, the Halloween decorations are second only to the Christmas decorations. I love all the giant pumpkins shaped like Disney characters.

    Even the Dapper Dans are getting into the Halloween spirit, changing from their regular colors to all orange. I love hearing them sing Grim Grinning Ghosts, especially when the vocalist who sings bass hits those low low notes.

    Today we're meeting Ruston and Jacob for lunch at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. This is one of our favorite places to eat at the parks when we're hungry. It's got entertainment, which some might not like, but I always enjoy.

    And how could you not like an endless bucket of meat?!? Along with the BBQ chicken and pork ribs, you get all you care to eat baked beans, corn bread, coleslaw and a drink for just $24 per person.

    Theresa catching me enjoying my ribs. While lunch is tasty, it just doesn't compare to dinner. With dinner you get another delicious meat option of sausage which is probably my favorite of the three different kinds. You also get corn-cob wheels, which is also my favorite side dish. If you have a choice, do dinner!

    It was a delicious meal and as always, there was good company.

    Since we're back here, lets go see the carved pumpkins! Besides the Haunted Mansion Holiday, they're our second favorite part of Halloweentime at Disneyland.

    Back at the Big Thunder Ranch Festival Arena, there are lots of special events,

    I love how creative the pumpkin carvers are. King Candy from Wreck It Ralph in his race car.

    I thought the Horned King from the Black Cauldron was really well done and very creative with the use of extra pumpkin stems for his horns.

    The Mad Hatter and Genie.

    I don't really know the series, but I'm thinking this is Sofia from the Disney Channel show Sofia the First.

    And Jake from Jake and the Never Land Pirates

    The Shadow Man, Doctor Facilier from The Princess and the Frog makes an appearance.

    And Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit are taking a trip down Splash Mountain.

    The Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    And this Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland was so realistic it was a little creepy.

    From the upcoming Disney computer animated movie Frozen...
    ... is Elsa the Snow Queen.

    Ursula with Flotsam and Jetsam.

    I really really liked this carving of Sir Hiss from Robin Hood. It made great use of the shape of the pumpkin and it's a pose directly out of the movie.

    Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

    Nathan Fillion and his character Johnny Worthington III from Monster University.

    Tinker Bell

    Of course the Pumpkin King lends himself well to a good carving.

    And a classic scene from The Nightmare Before Christmas

    Not exactly carved, but a beautiful painting of Sally.

    I like how a smaller pumpkin was used as Tinker Bell's bun. The Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.

    Another Jack and Sally going for a buggy ride.

    Stitch from Lilo & Stitch.

    Merida from Brave. I really wish they would have carved out her skin. In the movie, her skin is so pale and she has such a shock of red hair to contrast with it. With both the skin and hair the same, something seems like it's missing.
    Either way though, the carvers have done a great job this year and there's been lots of awesome pumpkins! I wish we could come back closer to Halloween to see what else they create between now and then!

    What else can we do? How about a little ring toss? There's no prizes, but at least you can have bragging rights with your friends.

    Jacob asked "I can aim for any of them?" and then reached forward and dropped the ring around the witch hat that was 1 foot away.

    Yours truly was 2 for 2 and only missed the really far third one because a little bit of sun got in my eyes. Honest.

    Then we each got our fortunes from the Wheel of Fortunes.

    After telling us repeatedly spin it lightly, Jacob incurred the wrath of the cast member by spinning it too fast. Once I distracted him though, she grabbed the wheel and stopped it.

    The prize? A card with a witty saying on it.

    There were a few more pumpkins hidden in nooks and crannies over here. Another Jack Skellington and our first Mickey Mouse pumpkin.

    Jasmine was well done.

    And I like how they placed the Evil Queen next to an apple.

    Marie from the Aristocats.

    And I totally would have missed it if Theresa hadn't pointed it out. Hiding behind the Wheel of Fortunes was Jessica Rabbit!

    Who even had glitter in her red dress!

    Our last treat was some cotton candy layered to look like candy corn, or as Jacob and Ruston called it, Cotton Candy Corn.

    We'll continue our adventure at the Haunted Mansion Holiday with its Nightmare Before Christmas overlay! Stay tuned!
    Visit my blog at

    I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

  • #2
    Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

    Another great trip report so far, Joe! I've never had the chance to experience the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ at Disneyland before my AP expired, and now it seems like I'm regretting that decision. I'm salivating and getting hungry just looking at your photos! Thanks for the thorough walk through of the Festival Arena; the Halloween decorations look great! Looking forward to seeing the rest of your report!
    My Adventure Blog



    • #3
      Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

      Yay looks like it was fun! It makes me look forward to our trip on Saturday.
      “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.”


      • #4
        Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

        Thanks fro the report Joe. Now I'm craving a bucket of meat...
        I open a toy, review it and take mediocore pictures. Read all about it HERE!

        Originally posted by VintageMouse;n8463446

        You know best :-)


        • #5
          Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

          My first reaction upon seeing this was "Yay! Another Joe trip report!" I always love reading your reports. THis one was fun as always. Hope Theresa is feeling fine.

          No matter where you go, there you are.


          • #6
            Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

            Great report! Thank you for posting pumpkin pictures!! I can never get enough of them!!


            • #7
              Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

              Well done, thanks for sharing


              • #8
                Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                Another great report so far!

                Thank you Poisonedapples for my my my signature!!!


                • #9
                  Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                  Once again great trip report! Love seeing your trip report photos. Thank you for sharing.


                  • #10
                    Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                    Great TR, I'll second the notion of getting excited when seeing a new thread pop up with "Joe's TR....." in the title!


                    • #11
                      Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                      Great TR and I appreciate the pics!


                      • #12
                        Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                        I always enjoy your trip reports. Thanks for sharing!


                        • #13
                          Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                          Oooooh! I love this trip report. You and your friends seem very nice. And I just love seeing all your pictures. Thank you for always sharing. It's a joy and blessing to me.


                          • #14
                            Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                            I always enjoy reading your trip reports! Sunday was the CHOC walk before opening hours and the structure was pretty full from just that...Donald was the only level not used, so they could have been clearing out people or finding places for cars to park.

                            Can't wait to read the rest of your TR!
                            Follow me on Instagram: @disneylovingnurse :ap:


                            • #15
                              Re: Joe's Halloweentime visit to the Disneyland Resort

                              Seriously, thanks for all the love guys! I love doing all these trip reports and I love hearing that they're appreciated.

                              For those that are wondering, Theresa has been doing great! Nov 9th is Baby Boy Flowers' estimated due date but he's already weighing 6.5 pounds and could really come at any time! Now that's is going to be an adventure!

                              Ready for part 2?

                              Continuing from the first part of our visit, we headed over to the Haunted Mansion. While the regular Haunted Mansion is still a favorite, I enjoy the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay even better.

                              And apparently so do a lot of other people! Posted wait time was 85 minutes! The line wound all the way around New Orleans Square, but thankfully a cast member was at the very end of it with a "Haunted Mansion Line Starts Here" sign.

                              A Pumpkin King scarecrow greets us at the entrance.

                              This year, Jack is celebrating his 13th year taking over the Mansion for Halloween.
                              Behold the Mansion of ghosts and frights,
                              Each room is gifted with delights!
                              13 fun and fiendish sights!

                              When you spy them, scream with glee!
                              Count them all and think of ME!
                              Hee hee hee Hee hee hee hee!
                              Jack Sandy Claws

                              Did you know that during Halloweentime there is an extra animal in the Pet Cemetery? Back in February Ruston organized a private tour of the Haunted Mansion with a former cast member lead and we got to hear the story.

                              During the first year of the Haunted Mansion overlay, the attic was home to 20 cymbal clanging monkeys. Only problem was that these were just regular off the shelf toys and they were constantly breaking! As a tribute to all the monkeys that died in the attic scene, every Halloween they have a cymbal monkey gravestone. Keep an eye out for it next time you're in line!
                              Also paying tribute to the original cymbal monkeys in the attic is a cymbal clanging Oogie Boogie which we'll see later on.

                              Even though the posted wait time was 85 minutes, we were inside the door after 30 minutes. I had read a little bit about the new surprises in store for us and I was excited to see the new projections in the stretching room. As soon as we entered, Theresa pointed out the hidden Mickey in the stained glass wreath on the ceiling.

                              It was pretty cool seeing Jack Skellington come to life above our heads. I really liked it better than the static Jack

                              Compare the above to what was there last year. This year is so much better!

                              I thought it was interesting that after Jack disappeared, we then see a projection of the Ghost Host dangling from the noose.

                              Ruston trying to act like a scary Haunted Mansion butler.

                              Scary Teddy welcoming us to the mansion as a spider dangles down to offer us a present.

                              Zero's gift this year was a bowl of 13 bones.

                              We always look forward to seeing what they've got for us in the ballroom scene. Every year, they do a new gingerbread house centerpiece and this year they went huge! It's easily the biggest gingerbread house I've seen here. I couldn't even get the whole thing in the frame in this first shot.

                              The whole house is an advent calendar counting down the weeks to Christmas. The weeks that have already passed have Jack's face coming out the doors.

                              Time to enter the attic. It's always nice to see that I'm on the nice list. I never do see Theresa though...

                              The Oogie Boogie tribute to the cymbal monkeys.

                              And there's special #13 wrapping paper decorating many of the gifts here. Unlike last year though, I didn't see any gifts for Joe. I'll have to look harder next time. I know I should have one there somewhere.

                              The Pumpkin King himself Jack Skellington meets us in the cemetery along with his ghost dog Zero.

                              One of the last #13s pops up when Lock, Shock and Barrel jump out to scare you at the end.

                              Since we're already so close, you know we're heading back to Theresa's favorite ride. When we got there though, we were befuddled. Why in the world does Winnie the Pooh have a 35 minute wait?
                              T said, "We can still do what we always do afterwards right?"

                              Yes Theresa, we can still go get a treat.

                              The cake pops looked really good. The Mickey mummy pop looked really well done as was the spider cake pop behind it. But Theresa has already learned her lesson and isn't into trying anything new back here. She's happy with the chocolate and caramel covered marshmallows and won't be changing any time soon.

                              We took our treats over to the Hungry Bear patio and sat by the water, enjoying the ambiance, waving at the trains as they passed, and just chatting with each other for over an hour.

                              In less than 5 weeks, our whole group is going to change! Baby Boy Flowers will be here before we know it!

                              We love you Baby Boy!

                              A word of warning though...
                              I BITE!

                              On the way out, Theresa and I stopped by the Mad Hatter to pick up Baby Boy's very first pair of mouse ears!

                              He's going to be a cute one!

                              To finish the night, we headed over to Jacob's house to have dinner and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. A perfect end to a fun day at the parks!
                              Visit my blog at

                              I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
                              Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report