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|Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor|
|It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like.... Halloween - 8/30/01|
The Disneyland Resort recently earned the distinction of being the only Disney theme park to skip past Halloween completely.
Both Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland both have wonderful, month- long celebrations, while Walt Disney World hosts "Mickey's Not- So- Scary Halloween Party." Unless you count the "Little Monsters on Main Street" event for cast members only, Disneyland seems to leap straight from October 30 to November 1. I even recall walking into the park on Halloween two years ago, and finding a Christmas tree standing in the middle of Main Street!
However, the purpose of this column is not to lament the lack of Halloween- themed events at the Disneyland Resort, because first, that's enough of a discussion for a column of its own, and second, I am certain that the Powers That Be have heard all about it before now. It would appear that they have even begun to consider the potential for a Disneyland Resort Halloween season. After all, we are getting a new attraction this year, with the "Nightmare-ization" of the Haunted Mansion. If this proves to be a success, perhaps we might see a return of Mickey's Halloween Treat? One can certainly hope!
While the park itself isn't dripping in Halloween spirit, some of the stores at the resort have certainly gotten into the mood. I took an afternoon to see what treats I could find around the parks. Department 56, the Downtown Disney store that is best known for Christmas decorations, has a stunning array of trinkets for Halloween. According to Unity Marketing, Halloween home decor is the fastest-growing segment of the seasonal decorations category in the giftware industry, growing 53 percent between 1999 and 2000. It only takes a few minutes to see why - this stuff is adorable!
Department 56 has more Halloween items than I could possibly mention in one column, so here are some of my favorite items. The pumpkin man, shown in the title photo, stands a little under 3 feet tall, and just begs to be placed on your front porch to welcome trick-or-treaters. These smiling pumpkin candles look almost too cute to burn, but never fear - they burn down the center, and glow from within.
These little buckets are made from papier-mÅchÚ, and are modeled after containers popular in the 1940s. Dozens of styles are available-these look like carved vegetables. A salesperson at Department 56 said that many customers have been buying complete sets of these container, because they remind them so much of their childhood.
More traditional versions feature skulls, owls, and black cats. Some of the containers have coordinating votive holders, which flicker with a eerie light when a candle is placed inside.
Department 56 is best known for its houses and villages, so it should be no surprise that there are some houses decorated for Halloween. In fact, there are six buildings in the Halloween collection - enough for an entire haunted town. While the buildings themselves are a treat, I love the creative way they are displayed in the store. Someone dropped Grimsly Manor on a witch, leaving nothing but the legs visible.
With the Harry Potter movie due out this fall, some people are choosing to use the Hogwarts characters to carry out the Halloween theme. The items above are just a small sample of the goodies Department 56 has for Halloween. If you would like to see more of the ornaments, light strings, candles and accessories Department 56 offers, check out its special Halloween site.
My next stop on the Halloween tour was Marcelines, the Disney- owned candy shop in Downtown Disney. It made sense to me-Halloween, candy - there's a theme there, right? Unfortunately, the cast members did not know if there would be any special Halloween treats, and could not tell me when the divine pumpkin pie fudge would be making its annual reappearance. I was about to leave when I spotted something yummy in the case...
"Apple pie on a stick" - a fresh apple, covered in white chocolate, rolled in cinnamon and dipped in crushed graham crackers. Why not? Candy apples, cinnamon apples; it all works! I resisted the urge to get one, and now I'm sorry - I think I will go back this weekend. Instead, I headed to my next stop, the World of Disney store.
Two months from now, your street will be overrun with tiny trick- or- treaters, wearing a stunning array of costumes and disguises. To avoid the embarrassment of asking the furry blue child on your porch, "And who are you supposed to be?" allow me to introduce to you the newest Disney costumes to hit the market:
That furry, mottled- blue creature, and the toothy, green alien next to him, would be Sulley and Mike, from the upcoming movie Monsters, Inc. Even though the movie does not release until November 2, the costumes are widely available.
Other than these two guys, this year's costume assortment is similar to last year's selection, with just a few notable additions. Five years of futile searching came to an end when I found this adult- sized Snow White costume on display. If you have been looking for a princess costume for your daughter, consider spending a little more for one of the park versions. They are usually much nicer than you find in other stores, with pretty fabrics instead of that icky nylon stuff, and even finished seams!
Since this is the year of the Disney Nightmare, it seems only fitting that Jack Skellington should be a popular adult costume. See those cute, smiling containers here, and on the table above? Yep, you guessed it - they are the larger siblings of the buckets from Department 56. Disney bought a whole slew of them to liven up the Halloween display at the World of Disney store.
Inside the parks, there are several stores that have become temporary costume outlets. The Pioneer Mercantile is the best-dressed of them all, sporting an arts- and- crafts motif perfectly at home in Frontierland.
Inside, you find the same collection of costumes and accessories. The hat store next door is a good place to get the finishing touch for your costume, like a Sorcerer Mickey hat to go with your new robes, or a pointy princess hat.
With so many cute costumes, isn't it a shame that you cannot take your child to Disneyland to show them off?
Oooops - I did promise not to get into that, didn't I? Well, I'm sure Adrienne Krock will have a list of local haunts to take your little monsters and princesses to this year. Maybe next year, we can celebrate the return of Mickey's Halloween Treat to California! I even have the perfect dress to wear now...
You knew it had to happen someday, right? The Monopoly Disney Edition was released this summer, and has appeared at the resort just in time for the holiday shopping season. According to the press blurb, this edition "combines the traditional board game with the magical world of Disney." The object of the game is to collect classic Disney films to build monopolies and acquire "Disney dollars." Classic Monopoly rules apply, but Hasbro said this edition will include a special game-play feature.
What the game also includes are eight collectable game pieces, featuring Disney characters like Alice and Mowgli. The unique title cards are taken from familiar Disney places: for example you can buy Pride Rock. To improve on your property, you build White Rabbit Cottages, or Cinderella's Castles. The Chance and Community Chest cards have even been replaced by Magic Moments and Show Time cards.
Soap Star photos
Al has asked me to run the last batch of photos taken of the soap actors who have been appearing at California Adventure these past August Fridays. Below are the folks who appeared on August 24th at the Soap Opera Bistro, concluding the promotion. (Thanks to Disneyland Publicity for providing the shots).
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Adrienne here.
Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix is the super-shopper behind MouseShoppe, your personal and unofficial shopping service for the Disneyland Resort, and the owner of CharmingShoppe, a Disney collectibles store located in Anaheim.
In addition to scouring the park to find you the latest and greatest merchandise, she keeps you updated on all of the merchandise events happening in the parks.
If you want to talk to her about this column, merchandise, or events, contact her here.
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