Just a reminder that you have just little over a week to visit the Bountiful Valley Farm area in Disney California Adventure. After September 7th, Bountiful Valley Farm will close forever, and construction will begin for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. Carsland opens in 2012.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Fall and Halloween are starting to creep into Disneyland, which also means Mickey's Halloween Treat, now newly named Mickey's Halloween Party, is just around the corner.
I thought we would visit some of my favorite things during Halloween Time, and also go back 15 years to the first Mickey's Treat at Disneyland.
As soon as you set foot on Main Street, you can't help but notice all the hundreds of pumpkins decorated all over and the giant Mickey pumpkin sitting in the middle of Town Square. This is a must-stop place for a photo opt. You will also find many characters dressed in Halloween clothes. I think it's so fun to see them out of their normal clothes and into something a little more festive. Mickey and Minnie always look so cute.
If you ask me what my favorite part about Halloween Time is at Disneyland, I know without a doubt it's the pumpkin carving back at the Big Thunder Ranch. Each day they have someone come out and carve different Disney or Pixar characters into pumpkins. They work with all different sizes and shapes of pumpkins and gourds to create amazing and truly creative carved pumpkins. These aren't your average cut-out pumpkins but real pieces of art in some cases. One of my favorites last year was the UP pumpkins including Carl, Russell, and Dug, and another favorite of mine was Linguini and Remy from Ratatouille. They not only carved the pumpkins, but also accessorized them with yarn, hats, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, felt, fabric, paints, and more.
The one thing about the pumpkins though, is that most of them only last a few days before they rot so bad, and they have to get rid of them. This is pretty much the one area during Halloween Time that is always changing. You will never see the same pumpkin twice, except maybe in different variations, so make sure you visit the ranch every time you go to the park.
The Big Thunder Ranch also has a petting zoo, with all the goats wearing festive bandanas around their necks. In the past, there has also been an arts and crafts area for the kids to color and hang out with Woody and Jessie.
Another thing I love is the special food treats. I like to run around to every restaurant to see what each has to offer. Last year over at Plaza Inn, you could get a small ceramic pumpkin Mickey cup filled with pumpkin mousse. Over at the French Market in New Orleans Square, they had Nightmare Before Christmas themed desserts. My favorite was a little black coffin with red velvet madeleines, on a plate decorated with gel icing spider web and spider topped with a Jack Skellington head peeking out the coffin. Each madeleine was covered in chocolate with red and green sprinkles.
What I like about both of these treats is that you also get a take home souvenir with your dessert. Every once in a while, I would notice someone leaving their ceramic pumpkin Mickey cup behind because they thought they were just a dish to eat the mousse in. It's not, it's yours to take with you, so don't forget to grab it.
Disney does a really great job decorating the whole park for the season, but something I really enjoy is Mickey's Halloween Party. Who doesn't love a party right? FYI Disney… I miss those passholder parties you used to throw. For the last few years Mickey's Treat has been held over at California Adventure. What I like most is that I too can dress up for Halloween at the party. I really get a kick out of seeing all the people dressed up, and some in themed groups. I think sometimes people who don't come dressed with their kids are shocked at the amount of adults in costume. Last year I went twice. My first visit I dressed as Minnie and my son was Mickey. The second time, I was Ariel, my son Sebastian the crab, my husband Prince Eric, and my mother was Ursula. Themed costumes are always so much fun. In the past I've been The Corpse Bride and my husband was Victor, I've gone with a Harry Potter group, where I was Bellatrix, and I've gone with a Pirates of the Caribbean group as Maccus the Hammerhead Shark. Last year I saw a really great Pinocchio themed family, lots of Alice in Wonderland groups, and I saw two spectacular Ghost Busters costumes with full ghost catching gear. If you go, have fun with your costume and dress up! You won't regret it.
This year Mickey's Halloween Party is moving back over to Disneyland because of the exciting construction happening at California Adventure. I say back over because it originally started there back in 1995 for a brief two year run. I was there both years. It seems so long ago, I was out of high school, and obsessed with Nightmare Before Christmas. I knew I had to go as Sally and my friend went as Jack. Back then, they didn't sell Sally costumes, so my whole costume was handmade. When I think back to the party I remember a pumpkin carver set up at the end of Main Street carving a HUGE pumpkin, characters that you never see out roaming around, and cut-outs to pose for pictures including a Nightmare Before Christmas one.
I can't wait to enjoy the newly named Mickey's Halloween Party back at Disneyland, and I will of course give a report on the night I go.
Are you a fan of Halloween Time too? Can't make it down to see the carved pumpkin? Don't worry, I got you covered!
Make sure you add me on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, and follow this page for more Disneyland updates, as it is not unusual for me to visit the park 3-4 times a week once Halloween Time official starts at Disneyland.
Now the details:
Halloween Time runs Sept 17- Oct 31.
Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy both return.
Mickey's Halloween Party is a separate-ticket event on these select dates:
October 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29, and 31.
Adults and children can both dress up in costume and trick-or-treat at the resort.
Tickets for most days are $49 if purchased in advance or $54 on the day of the event (if it is not already sold out).
On Halloween, Mickey's Halloween Party is $59.
Mickey's Halloween Party includes:
•Mickey's Hide-and-Go-Treat Trails
•Dance parties at Tomorrowland Terrace and The French Market
•Halloween Screams fireworks hosted by "Master of Scare-omonies" Jack Skellington (exclusive to the party this year only)
•Mickey's Costume Party cavalcade
•Character photo locations
•An early three hour entrance into Disneyland before the party begins.
For more information visit:
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Look what I found creeping into Disneyland yesterday...
Halloween is arriving!!
Daisy is ready too over at the Candy Palace.
I'm ready for it! Are you?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I'm always trying to find new things to do with my son. Right now he is really into playing with water. He has one of those water tables you can find at any Target or Toys R Us that you fill with water and they splash around in, and we visit Disney California Adventure at least once a week to play in the splash area over in A Bug's Land. The other night I was browsing through Yelp.com, and I typed in water park. Pioneer Road Park in Tustin came up, and I decided to take a look since it's not too far from where we live. There were no pictures, but the reviews that were on there said that the park had a water area that is free. Okay, water and free? This I had to check out.
So we headed over on Monday afternoon to not only find a splash area, but also a really neat and unique park.
This place is right down the street from Peter's Canyon, a place I have been to many times. How did I not know about this park?
The parking lot is quite small, but there is an upper lot with a short climb down stairs to the back side of the park.
Right away you walk through this arch with a silhouette of a riding cowboy, and are instantly greeted with three chuck wagons. Each wagon is made to climb and play on with different aspects to it. At first glance they look the same, but they are not because there is a different activity on each one. Only one has a slide attached to it.
Then off to the left is a separate play area with your typical park playground. I do think that maybe the slide is longer than most parks though. My son is too young for the really big slides, so we skipped it, but part of me did wish I could go down it. It just looked like fun.
Then around the corner you will find a small basketball court, which is really just a half court. This is where you can find the water area. A little path along the court takes you right to the water.
The water area is really simple, yet lots of fun.
There are three stick horse fountains that shoot out water, that you can move and aim at your friends or foes. My son, who is 17 months old, was too short to actually move them around, so this part is geared towards older kids.
Then there are little fountains all over that shoot water up into the air, some higher than others, and water shooting out the side of the wall. Here is the thing that is kind of neat, they don't all go off at once. It's a nice way to conserve water, but still have a working water park. So one minute you are shooting water from the stick horse, then that goes off, and you move to the water coming from the wall.
My son had fun running to each area, and if your children are old enough to walk around then they will do just fine exploring.
Even though he isn't old enough to play with everything, this is a nice little hidden park that we will be visiting many more times in the future.
Pioneer Road Park is located at: