With over 2 weeks to go until the season begins (and over 6 weeks until Halloween itself), two of the most major Halloween props have already arrived. First, the Giant Pumpkin on Central Plaza was completed just a few days ago. The huge temporary structure is home to the festival’s face painting workshops and has been a key icon of the season since 2003.
Over in Frontierland (or should that be “Halloweenland” already?), there’s an unexpected return for a controversial landmark – the huge paint mining tower. Despite being strongly rumoured not to return due to the Big Thunder Mountain refurbishment and supposed dislike from the new management, the towering metal structure is already in place, though not complete. Introduced in 2004, the “Téléfreak” (a pun on the french work for chairlift/cableway, téléphérique) is a large prop consisting of a moving cableway between the steel tower and the “Pumpkin Paint Mine” of Big Thunder Mountain. A large paint pot also connects to the tower with a pipe, to supposedly collect the orange paint being mined.
Many suggest it is unlikely the full system will return, since the large scale refurbishment at Big Thunder would make the cableway hard to install. It therefore seems likely that simply the mining tower and giant paint pot will return for 2006.
Thanks to Poppy the Monkey at magicforum for the 2006 installation photo.