Our readers know how much we love Halloween–and especially haunts. But you may not know how much we also love Disneyland. And how we sometimes fantasize about a true Halloween event at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Sure, Disneyland in California already has a Halloween event: Halloween Time. The park is decked out in orange flower arrangements, jack-o-lanterns, and purple lights. There’s even a Dia De Los Muertos display in Frontierland. The event’s main attractions are Haunted Mansion Holiday (a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay) and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.
There’s a separate ticketed event for the kiddies: Mickey’s Halloween Party, which includes the (previously free, now not so much) Halloween fireworks.
But is Disneyland missing something? Something scary?
Imagine what Disneyland could pull off if they really wanted to create a fully immersive, fully themed scary haunt.
We don’t have to imagine it. They already have a scary Halloween event–in Hong Kong.
Starting in late September, Hong Kong Disneyland rolls out the Halloween events, including the “Glow in the Park” Halloween parade, “Nightmare in the Sky” pyrotechnics show behind Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and the Inferno Dance Party, plus all the usual Halloween decorations and special treats.
But what makes Hong Kong Disneyland stand out is its inclusion of scary walk-through attractions with live scare-actors.
Hong Kong Disneyland: Walk-Through Attractons
The Main Street Haunted Hotel (Main Street)
The Main Street Haunted Hotel is described as follows: “the scary Victoria Maxwell has filled her hotel with all-new traps to capture new and returning victims. Along with hoards of undead hotel occupants, Guests should expect spine tingling scares everywhere they look.”
Featuring a specially created storyline, elaborate sets and scenes, guests will find themselves lost on this frightful journey through an outpost built on a burial ground. Along with creative technology, brave adventurers should expect to experience some hair-raising illusions while finding their way out.
Alien Invasion (Featured in 2009)
The (Alien Intelligence) Agency has reported that a gigantic spaceship has landed inside Hong Kong Disneyland with signs of alien life detected onboard.
Ghost Town (Main Street)
“Ghosts from a forgotten era will roam aimlessly up and down the street, haunting all who pass by.” (Of course, that would never work in Disneyland Anaheim, considering the original “Ghost Town” is just a few miles up the 91 freeway, at Knott’s Scary Farm.)
Tribal Burial Ground (Adventureland)
Could It Work In California?
Hong Kong Disneyland’s Halloween event is still young, and with only a few really scary attractions, it’s certainly not a full-fledged theme park haunt, at least not by American standards. There are a few reasons why a similar event will probably never come to Disneyland in California, and the most obvious is the fact that there is already a LOT of Halloween competition. Knott’s Berry Farm, the progenitor of the haunted attraction concept, is only a few miles away. There’s also Halloween Horror Nights and the Queen Mary’s event. Plus, smaller Halloween attractions are also nearby: Sinister Pointe, the Empty Grave, Coffin Creek, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, and the list goes on.
Disneyland in California also seems to have found its clever niche in the haunt market: the family-friendly Halloween event. With haunts getting more and more extreme every year, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a popular–and lucrative–seasonal offering that brings in the tourists and forces annual passholders to open their wallets for the separate ticket. And even if you don’t want to pay extra for the Halloween Party, you can experience Halloween Time at the regular ticket price. Right now, Ghost Galaxy (originating from Hong Kong Disneyland, naturally) is the only “scary” attraction in the park.
While a haunt might not work in Disneyland, we think there could be a possibility for mazes or even scare zone-like areas at Disney California Adventure (DCA). If you look at the success DCA has had with Glow Fest and ElecTRONica in the Hollywood section of the park, we could definitely imagine a “scarier” Halloween offering taking over that area in the fall. The park already has the spaces that could host a couple of mazes (the old Millionaire theater and the Hollywood & Dine building). Plus, the streets are laid out perfectly for a scare zone-type atmosphere. They could keep the bars and the DJs.
We–as devoted, tight-fisted annual passholders–might even open our wallets up for such an event.