Travel dates: 15-17 Oct, 2010
Travel method: Air, Super Shuttle
Accommodations: Camelot Inn and Suites
Accommodations: 2 Queen Beds
Ages Represented in Group: 46, 45, 16
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: Plenty; but this is our first Halloween trip
Comments: Totally missed the MP Meet and Greet, Ariels WOC, no Electronica
Fri 15 Oct The plan was to attend the Halloween party with an early dinner at Caf Orleans. Checked our son out of school at noon for our 2pm flight from Sacramento to Santa Ana. Carry-ons only so went straight to the shuttle and only had to wait a few minutes before departure. We were a little delayed getting into SNA and traffic didnt help much. Got to the hotel and quickly changed into our costumes. We were on the top floor and even had a pool view. Left the hotel at about 4:30, walked over to DL, got our wristbands and treat bags and then hightailed it to Caf O for our 4:50 dinner ADR. We were seated in the patio right next to the railing and enjoyed all the people walking by dressed up. My wife was dressed as Snow White and got plenty of stares from little girls. We asked if they could do a split order of beignets for dessert and the server said it was no problem. We had two gingerbread and three regular. The gingerbread ones werent as fluffy as the regular ones. Ralph Brennans are still the best but were thinking thats because they arent limited by trying to make a Mickey head like Caf O is. We were given two of the Haunted Mansion Holiday pewter figurines (same kind).
After dinner, we went to find our cowboy/rustler son a pistol and holster for his costume. We searched through the Mercantile by the shooting gallery and the Outpost by Indiana Jones. Settled on a set with a neon green and orange rifle and pistol. Not very western-looking, but he was happy. Thought about riding Haunted Mansion Holiday but the line was ridiculous so we went to Pirates to wait for the party to start. After POC, saw the lines starting to form for the Trick or Treating so we got in line at the Dock starting point with the Ghirardelli station and worked all the way down to Critter Country then turned around and came back to the Ghirardelli. I brought along a backpack to carry the loot in and after the three of us did the down and back line the backpack was nearly full. That was plenty of candy for us. The Cast Members made sure party wrist bands were visible. Oh, and we completely missed the MP meet and greet.
I really wanted to ride Space Mtn Ghost Galaxy so I hiked the troops over there to see what the wait was. Stopped at Mr Toad along the way but it was already closed for pre-fireworks. Space was posted as 25 min but I think it wasnt that long. I liked the GG overlay but not sure if I would want it year-round. I found myself looking for the effects and not enjoying the normal Space experience in the dark. I do recommend sitting in row 4 or 5 and being on the left side of the car for the full bang of the effects. My son said the ghost looked like one of the Bodies Revealed figures and I think that fits. After Space we found a spot for the fireworks. Loved flying Zero but couldnt really see the bubble. Afterwards, we went to see the villains by Small World and waited for the second cavalcade, then went back to HM to see Jack and the gang and then BTMRR. It is great in the dark, as always. My cowboy took shots at all the critters with his orange and green rifle. Finally, went back to Mr Toad and then headed to the hotel right around midnight.
Favorite costume of the night had to be the Redhead from Pirates. She was very authentic. Close second was the crocheted Dumbo and Timothy Mouse brother and sister. The costumes must have taken mom or grandma some time to hand make. There were at least two groups of Peter Pan, Tink, Wendy, Michael and John and Captain Hook. Liked the group of kids dressed as various Mario Brothers characters complete with POW box and the Tron family. There were several of the naughty/racy princesses but nothing inappropriate and I dont remember seeing anything scary except for the rather large man in the Tinker Bell dress. Yikes!
Saturday 16 Oct I was up at 7:30 and at the park a little after 8:00. Went straight to Space and got a Fastpass for later. Then rode Matterhorn while waiting to get a second Space FP for my sleeping family to use later. I rode Indy and Splash as a single rider, love those single rider lines. After I got off Splash I had a rumbly in my tumbly so went to get a Churro by HM. While in line I noticed my fingers were sticky. Had no idea why so I looked down and saw my thumb was bleeding. It was small and looked like a papercut but I have no idea how I got it. Left the churro line and went in search of first aid. Found them pretty easily at the end of Main Street behind the photo store. Got quizzed about the injury, where it happened and where I had been since it happened. The nurse was very nice, cleaned me up and put on a full thumbtip bandage. It was quite entertaining watching her try to wrap a bandaid around my thumb while trying to prevent it from sticking to her gloves. (Not as much fun though the next morning when tried to do it myself.) She gave me two extras, had me write down my info and sign their log book, and sent me on my way. Found another churro cart then went on Pinocchio, Snow White and Mr Toad.
Family was finally in DCA so I headed over there about 10:30. We went to Tower after getting the Electronica briefing near the soon-to-be gone sunwheel. I hope they keep the Bugs Land Side entrance as a permanent entry to the backlot area. Pretty sure I saw the "Happiest Bachlorette Party" group in line for Tower. Then went and got Soarin FPs. Off to the Wharf for lunch at the Mexican place. (Good enough but not great.) The margarita was very good but not a great choice on a misty overcast day because it was too cold to carry for the wife. Took one for the team and finished it off for her. It was almost time to get our Southwest seat assignments so we headed toward the Grand and got Wifi at the nook right across from the Grizzly store. While they did the seats, I went down to the Soarin popcorn stand to get a Mickey Ghost Bucket. They CM there must work part-time on the Jungle Cruise because she had some pretty bad jokes. She did give those of us in line the full demo for how to open the bucket for cleaning and how to put his ears back on. I loved reaching through his head and eating Mickeys popcorn brains and insides. Yum! Then rode Screamin and waited in a long TSMM line. Got top row for Soarin!
The teenager son then went to do some shopping for his girlfriend and mom, so mom and I went over to DL. We used the Space FPs because we figured they wouldnt want to use them after WOC. Space had a 100-minute standby wait with the line wrapped around to the FP line side and all the way down the ramp. Wow! After Space we helped Buzz defeat Zurg. It was very crowded in Dland so we just looked around and took pictures. Saw Goofy in a Skeleton costume on our way out at 6:00pm for our Ariels WOC dinner at 6:30. Decided on the veggie appetizer which was really good, I had the redfish, wife had the tri-tip and son had the pasta. The pasta was a very large portion and made up for the veggie tray that he didnt care for. The dessert platter was good but not great. I really liked the passion fruit treats but the lava cake was basically a round brownie. Nobody left dinner hungry. We were given our WOC FPs and came out to a sea of humanity at about 7:45. We debated whether to go see some of the Electronica stuff or just stand in line for WOC. Since this was our first WOC experience and not knowing how crowded it would be once we got into the Preferred Dining section we decided to wade into the human sea. The areas opened up about 8pm and we made our way to the next-to-lowest level and had a seat to wait it out. The CM was very nice about allowing for a bathroom trip before the show started and just handed back a dining FP to get back in. If there was any kind of pre-show, I did not see it. WOC was very good and as a Chernabog fan, I loved it when he set the place on fire. We were very impressed with the use of footage from Fantasia 2000. I also like the feeling of being under water and in outer space with the various lighting and water spray effects. The ending could have had some more oomph to it.
After WOC, we eventually found our way to Electronica. Looked around only a little bit before we got in line for the movie preview. By the time that ended Electronica was over. Here lies my only complaint. With doing a dinner package and then waiting for the WOC show, there was no time to experience the Tron stuff. Im glad the Laserman video got posted because we would have never seen it live. We even had three game token passes to use at Flynns arcade but didnt get to since everything was shut down at 10pm.
We stopped at the candy shop inside Greetings from California to get a giant Mickey-head cookie for a coworker. Picked the peanut butter one and waited in line to pay. They wrapped it in extra wax paper for the trip home and slipped it into a bag. As I was paying for it, my wife said it was broken. Upon further inspection, clearly the cookie had crumbled. We explained it was a gift and asked the CM if we could exchange it for another. She allowed us to select a chocolate chip one in place of another peanut butter since the choc chip ones were more solid and movement-friendly. It survived the plane ride and delighted my coworker. Crashed back at the hotel.
Sun 17 Oct Woke up around 8am, got ready and headed out to Downtown Disney to get breakfast beignets at Ralph Brennans while the other two got ready. Totally forgot about CHOC walk until I hit the lines waiting to get into Dland and saw the walking teams. Made my way through and got to Brennans and then felt like a salmon going upstream to go back through the walkers to get back to the hotel. Those beignets are well worth the effort. The Super Shuttle was a little delayed picking us up, I guess from the walkers leaving the area. We flew out of Ontario, which was a nice small airport. Passed the time waiting with football on the many monitors and Ipods. Flight home was full but uneventful.
Would we do the trick or treat party again? Yes, with a little more discussion first about prioritization for rides vs candy, possibly even splitting up so each can do their own thing. You can certainly get a lot done even in the just the party time if you dont hunt for candy. An even better idea is to wait to get your candy until the end of the evening when there are no lines. A bigger, more elaborate parade would be nice, too, including bringing the headless horseman to us (Please). The whole party fits DL much better than DCA. I would try to avoid UEA and CHOC weekend, too. WOC was nice and I would get the dining package again, just not get in line so early and waste 90 minutes waiting. We could show up at 8:30 and still get a reasonable viewing spot in the dining package area. Would like to see more of Electronica and if we go back to DLR before its gone well do the second WOC viewing so we can see more Tron. Prefer the Camelot over Carousel for less parking lot noise and not hearing the neighbors. And yes, the wife is thinking about a Christmas week trip.