Disneyland at Halloweentime

Last weekend we made our annual trip to Disneyland. I’d advocated that we go sometime other than our usual December trip so that we can see the park when it’s not decked out for Christmas.

Of course, it was decked out for Halloween instead, but that’s actually less of a change than Christmas. I was a little disappointed that the Haunted Mansion had already switched to the decor for The Nightmare Before Christmas as I’d looked forward to seeing the base Mansion for a change, but oh well. Even more disappointing was the “Ghost Galaxy” decor for Space Mountain, which has terrible music and ridiculous imagery – Space Mountain is a fine roller coaster, but this decor was so awful we decided only to ride it once. I hope they rethink this in future years.

The trip was a little bittersweet because one of the couples we went with got ill and had to bow out on Monday, while the other is buying a house in southern California and left on Monday to deal with that. So we were on our own on Monday. On the other hand, it is generally easier for two people to make decisions about what to do in the park than six people, but still, it wasn’t what we’d planned.

We did get optimal weather on Monday, though: Rain in the morning to scare away the locals, and then warm and sunny the rest of the day!

We did a few things I’d never done before: Saw Great Moments with Mister Lincoln, which is shorter and lighter than I’d expected (though the animatronics are impressive). It made me want to watch Ken Burns’ The Civil War sometime (since I don’t think I’m up for reading actual books about the event). We also went to Tom Sawyer Island; I hadn’t realize just how much stuff there is over there, lots of little tunnels and ladders to follow, it’s probably great fun for kids.

The renovation of California Adventure continues. The metal structures for Cars Land are going up, the World of Color is live (it’s pretty good, but really just a higher-tech Fantasmic without a storyline), and Mulholland Madness is being redressed as a Goofy character ride. I’ll be sad when all the northern California bits have been ripped out and replaced with character bits, but as long as they still have California Screamin’ I won’t complain too much. (We rode it 3 times.)

We ended up hitching a ride home on Tuesday with a different friend due to the one couple getting ill, but it was fun to spend some time with him (and that way he didn’t have to drive back alone). We had a good time overall, even though things didn’t really go as planned.