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Daffy Does Disney – This is Halloween!


Every year, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom hosts a series of Halloween parties that feature trick or treating, special fireworks, parade, and unique merchandise. This is the one time in the year when adults are allowed to wear costumes into any of the parks (with some specific rules). The party is ticketed separately from your regular park tickets. In order to facilitate these events, the Magic Kingdom closes to non-party guests at 7pm and Halloween partiers are allowed to enter the park at about 4pm, which creates what is approximately an 8 hour park day–just starting on the late side and lasting past midnight if you have the endurance.

The first time I went to the Halloween party I found that the crowds were low and so were wait times for the attractions. Since then, the parties have become gradually more popular, resulting in heavier crowds and an increase in the number of party nights. This second step was necessary, but it can be argued that these parties reduce the value of a regular park ticket during September and October.

After our very full day at the Food & Wine festival in Epcot which was capped by a quick park hop over to the Magic Kingdom so we could say we were there on the day of its 45th anniversary and maybe pick over whatever celebratory merchandise was left, Sunday morning was a time to sleep in and relax. Any initial thoughts of touring the monorail resorts or going to Disney Springs that day before our late afternoon party start fell away for me when I began to experience some data storage issues connected with all of the video I was shooting. So I spent most of that day in the cabin chatting convivially with my bunkmates and working out a solution in order to be able to continue shooting material for these videos. It was valuable down time though, and the cabin was well suited to the task.

Join us about a half hour before the start of the party and let’s see where the night took us!

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Let’s take a Halloween tour of the Haunted Mansion!


It’s that time of year again, when the spooky and unsettling get just a little more attention and we recognize the value of embracing everybody’s bad end. While there are plenty of people who don’t like the horror genre at all and there are others who are fascinated by any terror more extreme than the last, I tend to err to somewhere in the middle. I love the mysterious and romantic aesthetics that come with that little prickle of suspense. Add a little humor and you’ve hit my sweet spot.

Disney’s classic Haunted Mansion theme park attraction has done a great job of immersing guests in light-hearted Victorian age creepiness since its original version opened in Disneyland in August of 1969, making use of era-appropriate stage magic and up to date ride vehicle technology along the way. The Haunted Mansion has attracted a large and faithful fan base and has become a “must” for inclusion in each primary Disney park that has been built, with each version being either just a little different (Tokyo Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is almost identical to the Orlando version of thirty years ago), or changed significantly to appeal to the locals (as was done with Disneyland Paris’ Phantom Manor). The version of the Haunted Mansion we’ll be touring today will be the one which I’ve visited the most often, which opened with the Magic Kingdom in Florida in 1971 (pictured below).

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Disneyland with Daffystardust! (Part Two)


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After spending most of our first full day in Anaheim in Disney’s California Adventure, day 2 was earmarked for a full-out assault on Walt’s original park, Disneyland! Having seen the crazy crowds from the night before, I was braced for extraordinarily long lines and some mildly claustrophobic conditions, but I was definitely excited about spending significant time in Disneyland for the first time since I was in preschool.
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A Sort of Homecoming: Daffystardust is going to Disneyland!


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While readers here at Le Blog have seen me report extensively on visits to the Universal, Busch Gardens, and Walt Disney World theme parks, the first theme park I can remember attending is Walt’s original in Anaheim, California. When I was a kid living in San Diego with my family, the above sign was our cue for excitement because we were finally at Disneyland!

While the sign was changed back in 1989, I am happy to report with similar excitement that after about a 40 year gap, I will be returning to Disneyland with family in June of 2015! There have been a multitude of changes over that time span, in fact, including a whole second park to anticipate.
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Traveling Solo with Daffystardust in the Magic kingdom


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I’ve visited Disney parks in a variety of ways. I’ve met creepy pigs in Disneyland as a little kid. I’ve watched singing food in Epcot as a teenager. I’ve ingested tiny dried crabs at Animal Kingdom as a full-grown adult. Last October I spent a long weekend at Walt Disney World with friends. I regularly join family there. But there’s one way I choose to experience the parks at times that seems odd to some folks.

I also really enjoy touring the parks on my own.
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Disney World Trip Report 2012 Part 4


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When we left off, we had finished our first night at Epcot.  All in all, it was a pretty perfect first day.  The next morning, we got up early for our first full day at the Magic Kingdom.

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Disney World Trip Countdown: 9 Days


Down to single digits!  Yesterday, I counted down the top 10 New Experiences I am looking forward to on our trip.  Today, I’ll cover the Top 10 Old Favorites I am looking forward to revisiting.

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Disney World Trip Countdown: 42 Days


As I count down the 42 days remaining until my family’s Disney World trip, I am I walking through the agenda step by step.  Once the trip is done, we’ll see how well the plan was executed.  Because there’s no way everything goes according to plan.  It never does.

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Haunted Mansion Pics!


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Just thought I’d share a few pics from our night at the Magic Kingdom last October.

Largely based on Lebeau’s recommendation, we added an evening at “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” to our trip to Orlando and were very glad that we did. As 2 adults without children in tow, we found that the price of the 4PM to Midnight tickets ($60 last year) were a pretty good value. While the crowds were big enough to retain the excitement of being at Disney World, they were also small enough that we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes in any queue. We got a lot done in one night in a great environment!

The above photo is a fun atmospheric shot Lynn took of the pet cemetery.

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Video: Another look at those new Haunted Mansion effects


Yesterday, I posted a first look at the new mirror effects in the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.  Here’s anew video which I believe is higher quality:

Video: New Haunted Mansion Mirror Effects


The Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom recently received a new interactive queue.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg.  The ride itself has gotten an update in the form of new effects during the famous mirror sequence.

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Haunted Mansion’s New Effects


After months of speculation, the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World finally got a new queue complete with interactive effects to make the wait in line less painful.  Disney is expected to do a lot of this in the near future.  So fans are looking to the Haunted Mansion as a sign of things to come.

Below is a video that reveals all of the new effects.  If you want to be surprised, read no further.  But if you want a taste of things to come, step right this way…

Wow.  I’ll be almost disappointed if I don’t get to spend some time waiting in line.

Update: Check out this new video direct from Disney:

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