It’s October, so it’s Halloween Time at Disneyland! The park is decked out in yellow and orange and there are pumpkins aplenty. There was no sign of Mickey Mouse when I was there on Monday, but I did see Captain Hook, Cruella De Vil, Ursula and the Evil Queen from Snow White. (She was probably promoting the latest release of “Snow White,” now available in a DVD and Blu-Ray combo pack. If you want a single format, you’ll have to wait until Nov. 24.)
Halloween is big business in SoCal, so Disneyland decided to get in on the action in 2006. From the looks of the park, you’d think they’d been doing this for years. As you can see from the photos, the Haunted Mansion was especially impressive. The decorations were inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and are also used for the park’s Christmas celebration. (By the way, the Christmas celebration leaves Halloween in the dust.) Call me Scrooge, but I think the Haunted Mansion’s original décor is much more appropriate for Halloween. Plus, there’s something special knowing that Walt Disney had a hand in the original.
Speaking of the original, it seems that Disneyland has tweaked It’s A Small World. Disney characters from several animated films are now sprinkled throughout the so-called multi-cultural experience, and I have to say that all stood out like sore thumbs. I wasn’t expecting to see Peter Pan and Wendy in London, and I was even more surprised to see Pinocchio in Italy. I was fuming by the time I saw Lilo and Stitch in Hawaii and Ariel and Flounder in another tropical location.
On one hand, this seems like an easy way for Disney to promote its stable of films. On the other, Disney is tinkering with a classic. When I step into one of the Small World boats, I like knowing that I will see the same attraction that I saw when I was 10. And again when I was 21. And again when I was 27. Enough things change at the Disney parks. (Where is the Country Bear Jamboree?!?!?! Bring back Captain Eo! NOW!!!!) Can’t they leave just one ride for us to experience the way Walt intended? I guess I am a Disney purist.
I seem to be ranting a bit here. The great thing is that Disney now has a forum for its park devotees. You can read up on events at the parks on a new Disney Parks Blog where you can post comments and learn about upcoming events. The Orange County Register an unofficial blog, which has a lot of great “unofficial” information. (Unofficial = better in newspaper jargon) Check out both blogs, especially if you are planning a trip!