Thursday, September 30, 2010

It may be a month away on the calendar, but it's Halloween at Disneyland

Since September 17, Disneyland has been doused in Halloween directions, giving anyone who visits between now and October 31 a completely different Disneyland experience than if they had visited any other time of year.

From the Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy night time light show to the Haunted Mansion Holiday, there's a new Halloween experience around every corner.

The question is, is this a good thing?

I remember going to Disneyland a couple of years ago and hopping on Haunted Mansion Holiday, which is when, for those of you who don't know, the Haunted Mansion gets taken over by the characters from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. The transformation of the ride is amazing, especially since it only lasts for two months. But amazing doesn't necessarily mean entertaining.

I was left missing the old Haunted Mansion, and thinking about those who will only go to Disneyland once or twice in their life, and how if this is the Haunted Mansion experience they get, they are being let down and left out. And that's leaving out all the people who visited between late August and mid-September who didn't even get to ride the Haunted Mansion since it was closed to put in the ride overlay.

It's a great addition that really sends home the Halloween theme, but it's taking a classic ride and turning it into a less exciting dark-ride that relies too heavily on the black light effect.

I have not been during the Halloween season since they added a second ride overlay at Space Mountain. According to the DIS Unplugged, the overlay "transforms the ride into Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. On the inside of Space Mountain the soundtrack changes and many of the visuals change. The launch sequence is very different and the ghost follows you throughout the ride."

The installation of Space Mountain's overlay only closes what is arguably Disneyland's most popular ride for five days, which is much better than the month or so it takes to transform The Haunted Mansion into a nightmare.

What do you think about the Halloween ride overlays? Are they a great addition or do you miss the original?

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