Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween at Disneyland - 1996 (or "Farewell to Tomorrowland")

Well, it's Halloween Time again at the Disneyland Resort! Last year I did a Vintage Disneyland Trip Report from 1995, the very first year that the park decorated for Halloween. Today, I have a few pics from the following year, but not really enough pics to warrant a full blown vintage trip report. So, how about a mini trip report to Disneyland in the Fall of 1996?

Once again, the Maleficent balloon that was originally used to promote Fantasmic in 1992 was resurrected in the fabulous Disneyland Parking Lot. The banner for "Mickey's Halloween Treat" is actually covering the original Fantasmic promo. Artist, blogger, and former DL employee Kevin Kidney coordinated the construction of this mega-Maleficent!

I wonder what happened to this inflatable? Is she being used somewhere to sell cars? (I know... Disney wouldn't allow that!)

This particular year, the floral portrait of Mickey had been reworked and given a "face mask". And look, the Kalamazoo Handcar is parked out in front of the train!

The flowers at the entrance to Tomorrowland were also changed to more of a Fall-ish color palette. (In today's Tomorrowland, the flowers have been replaced with brown concrete rocks.) Yay, the Rocket Jets are exactly where they should be in this picture! Notice the construction wall off in the distance. Work had already begun on converting the wonderful 1967 Carousel Theater building into.....well, nothing.

If we pan just a little to the left, we see that there was a special Hunchback of Notre Dame display set up just for Halloween. The Disney animated film had been released earlier that year. (For the previous Halloween, a Goofy topiary stood in one of the Tomorrowland planters.)

Note the crane on top of the Matterhorn in the photo below. In the nineties, the Matterhorn was undergoing a major renovation that took place every Winter over the course of several years. it still shutting down every Winter for major refurbishment?

Hey, there's Phoebus signing an autograph for a fan!

He must have been heading for a break, since it looks like he's signing "on the run."

Coming Soon: A Very Brown Tomorrowland. This sign was located underneath the PeopleMover track at the entrance to Tomorrowland. It turned out to be a very cruel joke, however. The sign should have read "Tomorrowland - Lack of Imagination and Beyond! - The Future Ends Spring 1998" I know, not too clever but hey I'm a little bitter.....YOU DESTROYED MY FAVORITE LAND, DISNEY!!! Okay, I feel better and I'm over it....for right now, anyway.

That's it for the 1996 Halloween pics. The park's Halloween decor was not yet at the level that it is today. It would still be a couple more years before the Haunted Mansion would get it's first holiday overlay and another thirteen years until Space Mountain's "Ghost Galaxy."


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Awesome post, feels great to visit 1996! OMG I remember that cruel joke of a sign, I had no idea how it bad it would be - I had visions of an updated America Sings, New Skyway Buckets and a modern PeopleMover, the joke was on us huh!!!

Those bonus brown Tomorrowland pics really show how terrible it looked, it actually looks a lot better (not as bad?) now...

P.s. Mickeys "face mask" makes him look like a rat!

Dan Alexander said...

I'm loving the Gargoyles in that Hunchback display, and that spiffy Maleficent!

There used to be a company (it may still be around) that bought up unsold merchandise from Disney parks and set up a temporary storefront in shopping centers around the country. I went to one such location in Kentucky many years ago. One item was a "New Tomorrowland" photo magnet--yes, I have a green and gold Space Mountain on my fridge! It seemed to me that they were trying to make the land more like Discoveryland in Paris. I guess it didn't work.

Connie Moreno said...

Great post! And where was I that I don't remember any of that????

Major Pepperidge said...

Neat pix! Love that Malificent balloon. You are "preaching to the choir" regarding Tomorrowland - it's amazing how much has changed just since '96.

... But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

That New Tomorrowland sign picture is one of the worst things ever.

Jullie Smith said...
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