Disneyland is advertising its annual Halloween fright fest and, as usual, I'm confused. The theme park is scary year-round as far as I'm concerned. So, what happens in October? It gets even scarier?
Halloween Time, which continues at the park through the end of the month, features a specially decorated Main Street, retooled rides like "Haunted Mansion Holiday" and "Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy," and such special events as "Villain Meet & Greet" and "Mickey's Halloween Party."
Like I said, they don't need to go to any trouble for me. Disneyland always has been the Scariest Place on Earth. That's my opinion.
First of all, it's the only amusement park around that is dedicated to rats.
OK, mice. Mickey is a mouse. And so is his girlfriend Minnie.
But there is a very thin line between mice and rats.
Most people, if they find a mouse in the house, will call the exterminator or run to the hardware store for bait and traps and poison. They want that mouse gone.
But then they will run down to Disneyland and squeal with joy when they see a giant 5-foot-tall mouse with huge black ears coming up to greet them and hug them and pat their kids on the head.
I've been going to Disneyland, scary as it is, since it opened in 1955. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.
My first terrifying Disneyland memory is of spinning round and round in the teacups on that Mad Tea Party ride, then promptly throwing up when it was over.
With the wisdom of youth, I decided that more research was necessary, so I went on it again. And threw up again.
With the blessing of old age, I no longer can recall how many times I may have repeated the experiment before declaring, probably out loud, that I would never go on that ride again.
I'm sure the park custodians cheered and waved their mops in jubilation.
Now, I think I went on the Small World ride only once or twice. It's supposed to be a celebration of children around the world, and I was a child, so I should have loved it. Instead, it creeped me out.
Robot dolls, with their fixed expressions and lifeless eyes, are no better than clowns, in my book. They're spooky, is what they are. And that maddening endless song, "It's a Small World After All," is better suited for a torture chamber than an amusement park ride. Once that melody gets into your head, it squirms around like a brain-eating worm and it won't let up for days.
But the very scariest thing at Disneyland, for me, was always the "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" attraction near the main entrance.
I'm not sure it's still there. Maybe it was destroyed long ago by a mob of terrified villagers carrying firebrands and pitchforks.
What I remember about "Mr. Lincoln" is that you went into a dark room and this mechanical dead guy with a beard and tall hat stood up from his chair and started making jerky movements and whirring noises.
I think I was too scared to scream.
I know what you're thinking. I'm being unfair. These are old memories. It's time for an update. I should pay another visit, refresh my memory, give the park another chance.
I have to tell you, I just checked the newspaper ads to see how much Disneyland tickets are costing these days, and cold waves of terror made my hair stand on end.