13 Frightening Facts of Haunted Mansion Holiday

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It’s that time of year again!  Disneyland’s Halloween Time 2014 marks the 14th time that Jack Skellington has visited the 999 Happy Haunts who dwell in the Haunted Mansion, transforming this attraction into Haunted Mansion Holiday. Each year, Jack dresses up as “Sandy Claws” as he and his ghost dog Zero bring ghoulish delights from Halloween Town to visit Disneyland.

One of Jack’s holiday traditions is leaving a special treat for the ghosts who dance around the Haunted Mansion’s Grand Hall. The annual centerpiece for this “waltz of the weird” is always a huge, creepy gingerbread creation. Jack delivers new and thrilling surprises every year.

The Ghost Host of Haunted Mansion Holiday always says, “even a gingerbread house can be scary,” and this year’s design definitely lives up to the “scary” definition. Of course, the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house adds a little whimsy with a hapless gingerbread zombie trapped inside – and those frightening spikes are very sharp, red-and-white candy canes. The gingerbread house also will feature opening and closing doors and special lights.

A team of five pastry chefs created this year’s Gingerbread Mansion. Three of them have been part of the Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House team since the annual holiday transformation began 13 years ago.

13 Frightfully Fun Facts about Haunted Mansion Holiday

  • Supernatural Sweets – Every year, a new ghoulish concept for the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house is created for the celebration scene in the mansion’s Grand Hall. This strange and wonderful treat is almost always “supernatural.”
  • The Eerie Exterior – More than 400 flickering candles create a ghostly glow on the façade of the Haunted Mansion.  Each night, more than 100 jack-o-lanterns shine their ghoulish light.
  • The Haunted Elevator – Jack Skellington and his ghost dog Zero appear in a fully animated sequence on the ceiling of the “stretching” room, which transports guests into the depths of the mansion.
  • The Portrait Gallery – Ghost dog Zero makes a surprise appearance among the spooky, transforming portraits in the gallery corridor.
  • The Graveyard – The graveyard inside Haunted Mansion Holiday is covered with nearly 7,500 square feet of snow. More than 20 gallons of UV (ultra-violet) paint is used to enhance the snow’s eerie glow.  Nearly 1,000 tiny, orange lights decorate the trees.
  • Graveyard Ice Angels – The iconic Graveyard Ice Angels are designed with a jagged, ice-carved look. Their ethereal wings and snow-glow colors shine with a more ghoulish luster than ever this year.
  • Deck the Halls – Each season, thousands of feet of “Black Gnarly” garland is draped and hung inside and outside Haunted Mansion Holiday.  Jack’s faithful dog Zero gathered more than 200 bones to use as décor, garland and presents.
  • “Come Out to Socialize” - More than two dozen additional animated figures “materialize” inside the mansion whenever Jack brings his Haunted Mansion Holiday around.  From man-eating wreaths to vampire teddy bears, they wait all year to join in the holiday spirit.
  • Home Creepy Home - Creepy cobwebs are artistically kept (not swept!) year-round to make Jack Skellington and the 999 Happy Haunts feel right at home.
  • Seasonal Séance Room - Madame Leota’s “13 Days of Christmas” are featured in 13 spinning fortune cards that tell of the Christmas gifts which, as she proclaims, “My ghoul love gave to me…”
    • Kim Irvine, daughter of the original Madame Leota – For this seasonal attraction, Imagineer Kim Irvine gives a spirited performance as the Haunted Mansion’s favorite psychic, floating inside the Haunted Mansion’s Crystal Ball in the Séance Room. Her mother Leota Toombs, Disney Legend and long-time Imagineer, first gave life to the floating head.

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  • Haunting Gingerbread Smells - The haunting scent of tasty gingerbread wafts throughout the Grand Hall, tempting Happy Haunts and guests alike.
  • ‘Hurry Back!’ – New for 2014, a more “animated” Sally bids farewell to “Sandy Claws” Jack Skellington as he, and Haunted Mansion Holiday guests, depart from the Mansion.

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Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Returns September 27

Today in “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet” news, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Returns September 27!

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While rumored that the subs would close forever last winter, we here at The DisGeek Podcast have since day one maintained that it would return. We don’t have an inside contact. We just used common sense. I do feel that one day the subs WILL close but today is not that day.

Another complaint from those who claim to know everything but don’t is that Disney is evil for reopening the Subs. After all California is in its worst drought ever and Disney is wasting millions of gallons of water refilling the lagoon. Wrong again..

In any event here is what the Disney Parks blog had to say about it:

Quite a bit of work has been done over the course of this year to renew this favorite attraction. Many of the attraction’s scenes, rockwork and coral have been refreshed and repainted; as a result, guests will see a more colorful and vibrant underwater experience than ever before.

To accomplish this work, 5 million gallons of water had to be drained from the lagoon and later replaced. The Disneyland Resort began working with the Orange County Water District (OCWD) in 2009, when Paradise Bay in Disney California Adventure park was drained to prepare for “World of Color.” This partnership allows the water we drain to be treated and stored, instead of being released to the ocean through storm drains. Now, every time we must drain a large body of water, it is sent to the OCWD’s Groundwater Replenishment System, where it is purified and added to Orange County’s underground water supply. The water is then refilled at the Disneyland Resort from the same system. This process works so well, the Disneyland Resort was recognized in 2009 with the state of California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for this and other earth-friendly efforts.

So enjoy this sparkling, like-new guest favorite when Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage reopens September 27

And to my complete amusement one of the first comments from the blog post is saying, “I guess the Ewok Village is not happening.” ::sigh::

New Menu at Flo’s V8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure

In episode 88 we discussed a little bit about the new menu at Flo’s V8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure. While we are disappointed at the removal of the Pork Loin and the Roast Beef, that doesn’t mean what the new offerings are bad. They are in fact very good and I can personally attest to the BBQ Ribs plate.

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When you look at the new menu you may be under the impression that you are stuck with the side dishes. But you are not. You can substitute with any side dish you want. Here is a slideshow of some of the new food offerings:

Here is what the Disney Parks Blog has to say:

We’ve always been big fans of the Veggie-Tater Bake and any of Flo’s pies, but now there are new favorites vying for top spot on the menu.

Fall-off-the-bone barbecued pork ribs, with house-made Coca-Cola barbecue sauce replace the pork loin, served with creamy mashed potatoes and a side of crisp slaw. Also new is a hearty sandwich with shaved roast beef and cheddar on a garlic-chive bun topped with sweet, caramelized onions and kicky horseradish aioli, slaw on the side. The turkey dip also debuts on a potato grinder roll, with provolone cheese and turkey au jus for dipping and a side of pasta salad.

Ah, another pie joins the sweet line-up: coconut cream, making it tough to decide how to end the meal – maybe share that and the chocolate mud pie (or maybe the strawberry-rhubarb) with a friend.

Flo’s also adds Grand Am Beer on tap, joining the Racer 5 Pale Ale IPA.

Staying on the menu are the crowd-pleasing rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies, ditto for the Citrus Turkey Salad, but with a twist: it’s now lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and Craisins (those delightful dried cranberries) and a kicky citrus-tarragon dressing. And our favorite Veggie-Tater Bake is still there, a riff on shepherd’s pie made with bulgur wheat, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and Cheddar cheese.

Overall the food looks good. Maybe if there is demand our old favorites will return, and Flo’s will return to it’s comfort food roots.

Episode 88 – What the Fairy!?

In this we look back at the Summer of 2014. Was it a good summer? Bad Summer? Or a little in between? We also Visit the Main Street Newsstand.
[Read more...]

Frozen Attraction to Replace ‘Maelstrom’ at Epcot at Walt Disney World

A new Frozen attraction is being planned for Epcot at Walt Disney World. The attraction will replace Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion.

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According to the Disney Parks Blog the new attraction, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location where Anna and Elsa can meet our guests.

“We think these Frozen elements are great complements to the Norway Pavilion, which showcases the country and region that inspired the film.” Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said. “Frozen’s popular characters will also have a bigger presence at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. In addition to the ongoing character appearances, Queen Elsa will use her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace every night starting in early November. And Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-goers can see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

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This is a controversial move as many feel that Frozen is out of place in Norway since Arendelle is a fictional setting. But with Frozen currently the 5th most popular movie in the world right now, it only makes sense that they do this.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

While Halloween Time is getting ready, Disney announced today that Holidays at the Disneyland Resort will be returning!

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“Holidays at the Disneyland Resort” as they are calling it is set to return November 13 and will continue through January 6, 2015. It should be noted that this announcement didn’t include anything about a Frozen Holiday makeover at DCA as rumors suguested. Looks like there will be an “Frozen” Ice Rink in Downtown Disney. So if that is the case then why do they need to build one inside DCA when people can skate at Downtown Disney? However it’s possible that it could still happen. Also noticed no mention of Jingle Cruise. Also according to a twitter post I saw from Erin Glover, Disneyland Resort Social Media Director, Winter Dreams will not have the virtual choir as they did last year.

Here is a list of the returning favorites:

Disney California Adventure
World of Color – Winter Dreams
Disney ¡Viva Navidad! (featuring Three Kings Day, January 4-6, 2015)

Disneyland
“A Christmas Fantasy” parade
“it’s a small world” Holiday
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle
“Believe… in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular

Downtown Disney District
Downtown Disney Winter Village
Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink

Disneyland Resort Celebrates Halloween Time 2014

Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is chilling, family friendly fun. From Friday, Sept. 12, through Friday, Oct. 31, guests will explore their spooky Disney Side with special Halloween transformations of Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. Disney villains conjured by a magic cauldron; dance to the Mad T Party band and meet Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes. [Read more...]

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is heading to California Adventure

It’s official!  Oswald is heading to DCA September 14th.  Oswald made his first appearances over in Japan and I’m happy to report that he’s finally heading here.   [Read more...]

Episode 87 – Frozen T Party

This episode the guys takes a look at the latest Disneyland Rumours. Frozen Christmas stuff in DCA? Marvel Rockin Roller Coaster? Star Wars destroying Toon Town Alderaan style? We discuss it! Plus we our bi-weekly visit to the Main Street Newsstand. [Read more...]

Episode 86 – When Hinges Creak

In this episode we have a special presentation of, “When Hinges Creak.” A panel from Scare LA that celebrates the Haunted Mansion’s 45th Anniversary. This panel features Bob Gurr, Alice Davis, and Jeff Baham from Doombuggies.com. Be sure to listen with the images below to see the artwork and photography they are talking about. Just click the first image and it will turn into a slideshow.

[Read more...]