Halloween at Disneyland 2014

Disneyland again…hooray! Mickey’s Halloween Party is the only time adults are allowed to wear costumes in Disneyland, and for 2014 I really wanted to wear both of my Elsa costumes I painstakingly created that year, so I invited my Halloween Scream Team to go with me. Unfortunately Scary Jerry couldn’t come, but Ghoulish Glen and I had a great time!

Halloween at Disneyland!

27 October 2014

Disneyland again…hooray! Mickey’s Halloween Party is the only time adults are allowed to wear costumes in Disneyland, and this year I really wanted to wear both of my Elsa costumes I painstakingly created this year, so I invited my Halloween Scream Team to go with me. Unfortunately Scary Jerry couldn’t come, but Ghoulish Glen and I had a great time!

Bright & early on the road for Disneyland!Since Glen lives farther south than I do, I picked him up at 9:30am Monday morning, even though neither of us had more than 10 hours total sleep in the two days since our giant Halloween party on Saturday night. We took turns driving, only stopping for gas, and having some leftover pizza & party munchies in transit as our lunch. Glen had found out that there is a Halloween Tree at Disneyland based on Ray Bradbury’s novel, so we listened to the whole story on the drive, just finishing as we reached Anaheim around 3:30pm.

Sadly this doll set was the ONLY thing in the store showing Elsa's coronation dress!We checked in at Paradise Pier hotel, got lucky with a park view room, enjoyed the desk clerks fawning over all the costume stuff in my hands, then I promptly got into costume in my handmade coronation dress for my first round of Queen Elsa. Luckily the new Elsa & Anna Boutique was right at the corner where we entered Downtown Disney, so of course I needed to stop & take photos! Sadly the ONLY item inside the whole store that showed the coronation dress was this little figure set…hrmph! I was asked for a couple photos, and the cast members fawned over my outfit, so I told them I planned to come back later in the evening wearing the ice dress, complete with glowing snowflake cape. 😉

Queen Elsa & Mr. Incredible at Disneyland!Our Halloween party tickets allowed us entry into Disneyland 3 hours before the 6pm party start, so we got in around 5pm and got some great photos in the fading light in front of the castle, over at the special Frozen backdrops, and just after darkness fell. I love this one behind Queen Elsa at Sleeping Beauty's Castlethe castle with fantastic lighting, but there are a whole bunch of great photos in the full gallery below. Too hard to choose the best so you can see them all if you like. 😉

I wanted to make my costume change into the ice ensemble with glowing cape before it got too late, so we left about 7pm and headed back to the hotel, since I needed assistance getting out of the corset and into it again after I turned it inside out. I Quick hotel room selfie showing my teal Mickey earringsrestyled the wig, thankful I didn’t need much makeup touched up, remembered to put on my shoes BEFORE the bodice when I could still bend at the waist(!), laced up the corset with the ice shingles side out, attached the snowflake cape to the bodice, turned the cape batteries on, then we carefully walked back through Downtown Disney, stopping again of course at the Elsa & Anna Boutique for photos like before. One of the cast members saw me and said “Oh, you’re the one who was here before! My friend just HAS to see your outfit!” and Back at Anna & Elsa's Boutique, there was a constant flow of fan photos for almost half an hour!brought several cast members over to see my dress up close. Just as we started taking photos, my camera’s battery light started flashing, and I had forgotten the spare battery in our hotel room! To save my fragile handmade ice shoes from extra walking, Glen agreed to go back to fetch the battery while I waited in the boutique. As soon as he left, I started being asked for photos, and Last fan photo or we'll never get back to Disneyland! I loved her balloon sculpture Elsa!because I was standing in the corner by the front windows, more and more people kept coming in, so I had a photo line! Supposedly the Disney rule is no photos with guest costumes, but the boutique cast members never stopped me, so I had a ball posing with all sorts of smiling kids and their parents. Glen finally came back 25 minutes later, while I was still posing for more photos, and I told him it had been non-stop the whole time he was gone!

Elsa is ready for the special Halloween fireworks!We finally got back into Disneyland about 15 minutes before the fireworks show started, so I got a Mickey pretzel while Glen had a turkey leg, and found a good spot for the special Halloween fireworks show. That was impressive, with a giant globe projection ball (hey – we just Jack Skellington's face proected inside the giant globe on top of the castle, with Zero flying aroundprojected inside a globe ourselves for my Halloween party!), giant flame effects, Zero flying in from the sky, and fireworks of course, with even more photos below in the full gallery. Fantastic show!

After the fireworks were finished, we went back to the Frozen backdrops of course, since they were perfect for my ice dress ensemble, with frozen drops on tree branches, and glowing icy Possibly my favorite photo of the whole amazing day!backgrounds, and then posed anywhere else we could think of, like the waterfall behind the Matterhorn, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle of course, and even down by the docks along the river, which might be my absolute favorite photo of the evening. See all of those photos in the full gallery below!

Mission Complete! Mr. Incredible and Elsa the Snow Queen at Haunted Mansion Holiday! :DWe knew we had three more full days for rides, so my costume evening was all photo opportunities wherever we could see a good shot, and we got several really awesome ones thanks to my photographer Mr. Incredible! When I finally thought we had enough photos, it was just enough time before closing to try one ride, so of course it had to be Haunted Mansion Holiday, Is Elsa scared of Haunted Mansion Holiday?the ride of the season! It was Glen’s first full trip to Disneyland, and his first ever Haunted Mansion Holiday, so I was pointing out the overlays and what was new since my last visit in 2012. I should have just taken video the whole ride, since my attempts at snapping Of course Elsa loved the ice angels in the graveyard!pix of myself as Elsa during the ride didn’t turn out very well (I really really wanted Elsa with the fabulous ice angels in the graveyard!), but we do have “scared” Elsa at the opening montage getting onto the Doombuggies. :)

Since neither of us had much sleep and had both driven all day, we were exhausted when the park closed at 11pm, so we crashed at the hotel and were very glad for the sleep for 3 more full days at the parks! Check out all the photos from Day 1 below, then continue reading Halloween at Disneyland – Day 2


Halloween at Disneyland – Day 2

28 October 2014

Sunrise over California Adventure from our room at Paradise PierWe saw the lobby sign that the extra Magic Hour was Disneyland Tuesday morning at 9am, so we thought we’d try for that. I’d never been able to get up early enough for extra Magic Hour before, but this time I made it! Here is proof with the sunrise view of California Adventure from our room! We got to ride Star Tours and Space Mountain before official opening, so that was two big rides already accomplished before breakfast. :) We had great ride luck both Tuesday and Wednesday with lines so short that Space Mountain before breakfast!Fast Passes weren’t even needed. I think the most we stood in line was maybe 25 minutes, usually only 10-15 minutes. Of course I was checking Facebook when we were in lines, and someone had asked if I got a lot of attention in costume. I replied, “I heard shouts of ELSA all night for both costumes! I loved it! Today in my tee & jeans Glen said, ‘Now you are back to being invisible like the rest of us.’ ” Haha!

On the Columbia ship for Rivers of AmericaGlen had been to DisneyWorld several times, but he had only been to Disneyland for a quick work event many years ago, not as vacation to see everything, so my mission was to show him what was different about Disneyland. I still think the Indiana Jones ride is one of the best overall experiences in the park that is not also in Orlando, and even that line was short! I can’t believe that ride is now twenty years old…I was there the summer it was brand-new and the lines were sooo long! Neither of us had been on the Columbia ship for the Rivers of America ride, and we didn’t know that below decks had so much cool actual antique equipment and accessories on display. The Matterhorn is the oldest coaster in Disneyland, and even though they have updated the bobsleds (I remember straddling friends with the single seatbelt per car!), it is still such a rough ride that we were both feeling it in our bones and backs…ouch!

Stopped inside the Haunted Mansion

Something else not in Orlando is the Blue Bayou restaurant inside the Pirates ride, and now you can book Disney Dining reservations online up to 60 days before your trip. I would have loved to dine there Ushered out of the Haunted Mansion through the secret exit!as Elsa but the restaurant was closed for the Halloween nights, so Tuesday was our dinner at the Blue Bayou. Before dinner we were waiting for the Haunted Mansion since it’s so close to the Blue Bayou, but sadly the ride broke so badly that they ushered us out of line through the undecorated backstage area, with missing floor tiles Dinner at the Blue Bayou inside the Pirates ride& plain white walls, then past the sunken crypts below the pumpkin hill…now THAT was something I had never seen before at Disneyland! Thankfully we still made it to dinner in plenty of time, and Glen was impressed at the good quality food and spicy jambalaya.

We had ridden all the big rides and most of our essentials, including Pirates a second time, and the Haunted Mansion was running again for our last ride of the evening (hooray 2 days in a row!), but both parks closed at 8pm, so we headed along Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Flaming cocktail the Uh-Oa inside Trader Sam's Tiki Bar at the Disneyland HotelHotel in search of Trader Sam’s, the tiki bar I’d never visited. It’s a tiny place so we had to wait a bit for some seats to open at the bar, but it has fun decor like the Tiki Room but no talking walls. Every so often the bartenders do a chant and it rains inside with thunder and lightning, especially when someone orders the Tasty, but with such long straws, why can't the flames stay lit? hrmph!Uh-Oa flaming drink like we did! It was a whole production of course, with a big souvenir bowl instead of a glass. I did not know that powdered cinnamon is flammable, so duly noted for future edible art effects. 😉 We were disappointed we weren’t allowed to keep the flames going while drinking it. Why the long straws then? *shrug* It was tasty enough, then we were tired enough from our early start and long day of walking to give up for the evening so we could enjoy California Adventure on Wednesday…

Keep scrolling to see all the photos from Day 2, including a bunch of Dia de los Muertos, Halloween Tree, and Haunted Mansion decor, and click to keep reading Halloween at Disneyland – Day 3!


Halloween at Disneyland – Day 3

29 October 2014

Radiator Springs Racers was more fun than expected!We had planned Wednesday as our California Adventure day since the evening was another Halloween party night at Disneyland for which we didn’t pay the extra $70. We got into the park at 8am opening via our hotel-exclusive entrance (no lines!) and headed straight for Radiator Springs Racers, new to both of us, and when it was new on my 2012 visit, lines were On the Tow Mater ride in Cars Landsuper-long and Fast Passes would be gone for the day before noon. We got lucky that the standby line was only 15 minutes or so! That was much more awesome than we expected! We had a hearty healthy breakfast at Flo’s Diner, then rode the other Cars Land rides, Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc on the way to Tower of Terror, always showing a 13-minute wait even when it’s shorter…haha!

Tower of Terror was as scary and fun as usualSpeaking of lines, Disney has become very clever about the line waiting areas in the past twenty years (I remember it starting with Indy), so that sometimes the details in line are some of my favorite parts. Blowing through the lines so quickly was actually disappointing for Indy and especially Monsters Inc, since there was no time to read all the hilarious signs! From my DisneyWorld trip, I was really looking forward to Toy Story Mania mostly for the line area before the ride itself, but the Disneyland version had barely anything, nothing like the large room built of giant Scrabble boards, Tinkertoys, a talking Mr. Potato Head with projection screen eyes, and other games and toys in Orlando.

Racers again but no teal car - darn!We rode the Racers again, still not getting a teal car (darn!) but we got the other track that time. Brilliant idea to randomize the cars so even the same ride isn’t always the exact same experience. We didn’t bother with the ferris wheel and other midway rides, just the California Screamin coaster, so it was time for lunch. Classic-style coaster California Screamin'I got to know Glen at Margarita Fridays, so I kept joking we should have a Disney margarita, but the margarita stand was closed every time we walked by. There were three employees standing in front so we asked them what was wrong. They parroted the same script as for the rides “currently experiencing technical difficulties”…technical difficulties for margaritas?!? Hahahaha! We still had Mexican food for our lunch, but I had a sangria instead, and the margaritas never opened the entire day.

Haunted Mansion again of course!We had already almost exhausted all the rides in California Adventure, so we watched the Aladdin stage show, thankfully with the flying carpet actually working this visit. The Genie was fantastic, and he was even telling very current jokes that were hilarious. Fun show and a nice break to sit down for a while in the cool air. After hearing that Glen had never seen The Little Mermaid but we were having lunch at Ariel’s Grotto the next day, I made him ride the Little Mermaid ride so he would at least have context. Since we knew we had to come back for the evening, we headed over to It was warm enough that Splash Mountain was refreshing!Disneyland for the afternoon, and continued my mission of riding the Haunted Mansion at least once each day. 😉 Thankfully it was warm enough that Splash Mountain was refreshing, another short line too, and another ride on Indy. The short lines really made it easy to crank through a ton of rides!

Before the trip Glen had found some articles online about the seasonal pumpkin food, so he was on a mission to find & taste it all. :) The pumpkin beignets at the Mint Julep Bar in the back Mickey pumpkin beignet, raspberry magnolia lemonade with a glowing ice cube, and super-cool Maleficent dragon sipper bottle! Score!corner of New Orleans Square were very tasty and even Mickey-shaped, unlike the normal beignets. It was also one of the two places in both parks that was still selling the super-cool dragon-shaped Maleficent sipper bottles, so I couldn’t resist. There was supposedly pumpkin sourdough bread at The seasonal pumpkin twists from Maurice's Treats were the fall favoriteBoudin Bakery in California Adventure, but when we didn’t see it on the menu or in the case, we asked and found out they make a pumpkin-SHAPED sourdough loaf, not pumpkin flavor…darn! The pumpkin cheesecake at the Jolly Holiday Cafe on Main Street was tasty and a nice small portion to share. However, the Seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake from the Jolly Holiday Cafepumpkin twists at Maurice’s Treats by the castle entrance were tasty enough to have twice in two days…and Glen liked the Main Street candy store pumpkin fudge so much, he bought a couple pounds to take home when we left the parks!

For the Halloween nights, all other guests without the special party wristband are ushered out of Disneyland by 6pm, so there was more line to get into California Adventure. We saw Soarin over California, still cool but the filmstock is aging to bluish now and it’s exactly the same as in Orlando, and Muppets 3D, still some of the best 3D even though it’s so old, then while waiting for Glen's Animation Academy Lessonthe next Animation Academy drawing lesson, we discussed how many front projectors vs. rear projectors they must have in the main hall to avoid casting shadows. 😉 Neither of us know who Phineas & Ferb are, but Glen did a pretty good job drawing them from the animation seminar!

World of Color is an awesome show!We had been told to FastPass the World of Color show first thing in the morning to get closer to the water, but we still had to stand and squeeze into a spot long enough before showtime that my feet were aching by the end of the show. How come it’s always much easier to keep walking than to stand in one spot? At least the show is really amazing, with firepots, fountains, lasers, and projections on a huge water screen, and integrated with lights on the big roller coaster! Definitely worth watching!

The park technically closed at 8pm with the show at 8:30pm, so our only choice was to leave after the show was over so we went back to our hotel. There was supposed to be a pool bar at Paradise Pier, but the whole pool & separate bar building were already closed. However, as we Disneyland Halloween fireworks from the Paradise Pier hotel pool deckwere just about to leave, the Disneyland Halloween fireworks started, so we stayed and watched! We couldn’t see any of the castle so none of the projection effects or anything, but the fireworks were still cool to see from such a different angle. I was teased about checking Facebook on my phone while I was watching the fireworks…hey I can do both! 😉

We were tired again after another early start and very full day, so we hooked up my laptop to our room TV to watch some of the Photo Chapeau GoPro hatcam Halloween party footage, and we laughed a lot until I heard Glen snoring… 😉

Keep scrolling to see all the photos from Day 3, and click to read all about our last day, Halloween at Disneyland – Day 4


Halloween at Disneyland – Day 4

30 October 2014

That's just the line to GET FastPass tickets for Radiator Springs Racers?!?Even though the parks didn’t open until 10am, which gave us time to pack our car & check out before using our exclusive hotel entrance with no lines, we thought we might ride Radiator Springs Racers right at park opening like Wednesday. Even the line for getting a Fast Pass looped around into the main path! The standby line went all the way through Cars Land and was over 2 hours! They even had several cast members and supervisors doing line control since it was so long, so we asked if it was a Thursday thing or why such a difference in one day? Not much answer, so we got our FastPass for later then only had an hour until our Ariel’s Grotto reservation, so we Even Glen consented to a photo with Princess Ariel ;)headed to Disneyland instead for animatronic Mr. Lincoln, also a Disneyland exclusive not in Orlando, and made it through the main line back into California Britta & BelleAdventure in perfect timing for our early lunch.

Ariel’s Grotto lunch is definitely the best way to meet princesses! Very tasty food too and our Costco travel package included premium character dining for free, since I wouldn’t have paid extra. Too bad I couldn’t be in Elsa costume along with the other beautiful princess dresses! Glen consented to one photo with Ariel and me as we entered, then played photographer again through lunch while I posed with each princess who came to our table. I asked for full length Clever wig anchoring for Rapunzel's giant braidphotos so I would have good dress research to reference later. I love how they manage Rapunzel’s wig! There is a big velcro patch that holds a big loop behind her shoulder, then it still hangs down front. Even with the shoulder support that has to be one heavy wig! Unsurprisingly all the Snow White insisted we both do HER pose ;)princesses are shorter than me, especially tiny little Snow White, who insisted on me doing the same pose as her. 😉 Belle and Cinderella were lovely too…what a fun job that would be!

We walked the back way in hopes of using our FastPasses for the Racers, but they were broken! Waah! Okay, we’ll do our Haunted Mansion for the day…wait it’s closed too? WHAT?!? Glen declared this was no longer the Happiest Place on Earth! IronMan GlenOkay, we hadn’t seen all the Marvel stuff in Tomorrowland, so that was our next stop since we had heard Thor was there and we both wanted photos with him. Thor had just gone “back to Asgard” for his lunch break so we had time for other stuff before we could be first in line when he IronBritta!was back. Glen posed by all the Iron Man suits but declined to don the virtual suit despite my encouragement, especially since he was Tony Stark for Halloween 2011. I wanted to wear the suit, and as it was finally my turn, the cast member said “Come on, Pepper, let’s see what you’ve got!” haha! We stood in a short line to Thumbs Up with Captain Americameet Captain America (sorry, but he wasn’t anywhere near as cute as Chris Evans!), then it was time for Thor to return. That’s not just a line for a photo, but a line to get into a room where they open the Bifrost with some fog & flashing light effects, then Thor gets a whole golden throne room with Meeting the Mighty Thorgiant doors! He does a little Sword in the Stone trick with a kid trying to lift Mjolnir, then everyone gets their chance for a photo. At least I wasn’t taller than Thor, but if I was in heels I might have been! 😉

Radiator Springs Racers one last time!Since we were already there, we caught the live Honda robot show, then headed back to the info kiosk to find that Haunted Mansion was STILL broken…argh! But they called for us and Radiator Springs Racers was finally back up! We practically ran across to California Adventure again to get in line. Of course since no one had been able to use their FastPasses the whole time it was broken, even Moodier Haunted Mansionthat line was 30 minutes long, but still a great ride. As we left we stopped in one of the Cars Land shops and said we were told that any store could call to check ride status, so they called and Haunted Mansion was finally back up…woohoo! Talk about park hopping…this was the SIXTH time that day our tickets were I've always loved the pumpkinhead ice angels inside Haunted Mansion Holiday!scanned by a park entrance! We decided to try the seasonal pumpkin cheesecake at Jolly Holiday Cafe on our way down Main Street again. There were clouds this day, so I retook all my outside Haunted Mansion photos with much spookier & moodier lighting, and I took more photos inside the ride, like my beloved pumpkinhead ice angels!

Ghost Host Glen = new fan of Dole pineapple whip!It was already getting late, and I had shopping to do at World of Disney on the way back to the car before we fought traffic to get to The House at Haunted Hill in Woodland Hills as a detour along our long drive back up north…but since Glen is a new fan of Dole pineapple whip, we grabbed one for our final walk out of Disneyland! You can see all the photos from our last day in the full gallery below. Bye bye Disney! We had a blast!

You can see our full report of the fantastic home haunt The House at Haunted Hill on Britta Blvd soon as part of Halloween 2014. We really enjoyed seeing it in person and were back on the road by 9pm, but there was construction that closed down I-5 from 4 lanes to a single lane just north of the Grapevine, causing at least an hour extra of barely crawling along. After dropping Glen at his house, I got home at 4:45am…ugh! At least the trip was fun enough to be worth sacrificing so much sleep! :)