Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall-Time at Disneyland

I'm honored to have Heather Nichols joining us as a regular contributor.  A dessert Princess from Phoenix, Arizona, when she was young Heather grew up a short distance from Disneyland and thought of it as her own park.   Master mega planner, DVC member, charter D23 member and AP holder; her guest post today is all about the joys of Autumn at Disneyland.  You can follow Heather on Twitter at @Disneybigsis
HalloweenTimeOne of my favorite times of year is fall, but since I live in Arizona now we don’t get much of a fall. Since moving here I’ve often joked that the only way I know what season it is, is by the candy being sold in the store. I miss seeing the leaves turn into lovely autumnal colors and feeling a snap of cold in the morning air. It’s no wonder that each year when we plan our Disney trips that we most always schedule a trip in the fall so I can enjoy all of the fall festivities at Disneyland.

No matter how many times I visit Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom I still get excited like a little kid to go through the entry gates. During the fall at Disneyland we are given a bit of extra magic with Mickey and friends- made of pumpkins greeting us while sitting upon the top of the gates. As I walk to get a PhotoPass picture (I never pass a PhotoPass photographer without getting a picture-you’ve been warned!) in front of the beautiful fall colored flowers below the train station I love seeing that the masked Mickey in the flowers is ready for Halloween.

When you enter Main Street you can’t help but notice that fall is in the air. There’s fall décor and bunting on the buildings and lampposts. There are jack-o-lanterns on the balconies and in the windows of several of the buildings. The horses even have fall colored ribbons in their tails. My favorite part of Main Street is the giant, grinning pumpkin across from the Emporium. It’s a great PhotoPass site. My family knows automatically to line up there and smile for pictures. I can’t help but grin every time I see it, and for me it means fall is finally here.

Cheshire Carved Pumpkin
Carved Pumpkin Evil Queen

One of the most popular attractions for the next few months is where “two holidays collide.” The Haunted Mansion is transformed into Jack Skellington’s Halloween Town-The Haunted Holiday Mansion. Inside you will find Jack, his friends, some of the usual residents- and the mouthwatering, six foot high, five hundred plus pound ginger-dread house. I always hope we get to pass by the ballroom slowly as to enjoy the scent of the ginger-dread house and all of the holiday extras. If you’re looking for more adventure you can check out the Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. The galaxy has added some big creepy ghosts with added sound effects and music track. With these additions it may be too intense for some ghost hunting galaxy travelers.

Jack ScarecrowHaunted Mansion Overlay

For me to continue feeling “Fall-ish” I need to head on over and say “Hey, howdy, hey!” to everyone at the Big Thunder Ranch where fall is in full swing. There’s a little something for most everyone back there from elaborative carved pumpkins at the Scare-dy-Crow Shack to decorated surreys. Some of my favorite carved pumpkins this year are: Cinderella, Evil Queen, Yoda and the Cheshire Cat. Inside the Scare-dy-Crow Shack you can get your picture taken with some pumpkin headed friends, but I wouldn’t play cards with them- they cheat. If you like you can also pet the sweet goats that live on the ranch. I always enjoy the opportunity of sitting back there and soaking up all of the fall ambiance. Sometimes when we are hungry for a good, down to earth barbeque, we enjoy the all you can eat dinner with Mickey’s friends Miss Chris, Sarsaparilla Sam and Tex Tumbleweed at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. When it’s time to leave to leave the ranch you can get a peek at the next holiday with “The Happiest Turkeys on Earth!”

Famm WagonTurkey
The last thing I need to feel completely “Fall-ish” is a tasty treat. Unfortunately in the last year or so I have developed some severe food allergies, but do have some very fond memories of the pumpkin muffins- mmmmm pumpkin…. cream cheese frosting, oh yum! This year I also saw nutty caramel apple cupcakes. These cupcakes could be purchased separately or in a super cute demitasse holiday Donald mug. For those who enjoy coffee there were pumpkin spice lattes, if coffee isn’t for you there was hot caramel apple cider. The one thing I did want to eat was pumpkin fudge, but I was there too early in the season to have some. If you are able to enjoy some pumpkin fudge this season think of me and enjoy it for the both of us.

Even though I wasn’t able to have a piece of pumpkin fudge I did leave Disneyland feeling full of the fall season. This desert princess was ready to go home and plan her next Disney trip!

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