Throwback Thursday: How Disney California Adventure Used to Celebrate Halloween

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How California Adventure used to celebrate Halloween

California Adventure looked completely different 10 years ago, before some of the major transformations. One big contrast is how the theme park used to decorate for and observe Halloween and autumn. Let’s dial up our Disney-branded time machine and jump back to 2009 to see how California Adventure used to celebrate Halloween.


How California Adventure used to celebrate Halloween

Most wouldn’t recognize the DCA 1.0 entrance, which featured a replica Golden Gate bridge that the monorail traveled over. Each fall, Disney strung oversize candy corn to spell out “Halloween Time” near the front of the California-themed park. Up ahead, you’ll see the park’s main seasonal decorations.

How California Adventure used to celebrate Halloween

What is now Carthay Circle had a large golden sun, and in the fall, it was joined by another enormous candy corn. Mickey and Minnie Mouse met out front, dressed in colorful harvest farmer costumes.

The same area, after construction turned it into Carthay Circle Restaurant

The giant candy corn made a perfect place for Heimlich from the movie “a bug’s life” to hide and pop out every few minutes. Anyone else missing Heimlich’s Chew-Chew Train and the rest of “a bug’s land,” now closed to make room for the Avengers Campus?

Mickey’s horticulture department scared up some sweet vegetables for his garden, including this rarely-cultivated desert plant.

Candy corn cactus!

California Adventure also used to host Mickey’s Trick-or-Treat party. I found some archival information for 2009. The party ran for just 12 days in October and cost $32 to purchase ahead. The next year, with major construction underway to overhaul California Adventure, the Halloween bash moved across the esplanade and became Mickey’s Halloween Party.


And now things have come full-moon circle! California Adventure is once again the host of the hard-ticket Halloween party, now known as the Oogie Boogie Bash. Tickets for all nights in September and October sold out before the first party even started! The park also has season-long ride overlays for two attractions in Cars Land and turns Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout into Monsters After Dark each evening. New for this year is a special Halloween World of Color — “Villainous.”

What do you remember about how California Adventure used to celebrate Halloween? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter!

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