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Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is my favorite time to visit. Well, honestly anytime at the Disneyland Resort theme parks is a good time. However, if I can combine Disneyland with my favorite holiday(Halloween), I’m a happy girl! The decorations, festive foods, entertainment and overall atmosphere are incredible! I love everything about this time of year and making a visit to Disneyland makes it all the more magical!
There are so many events to enjoy at Halloween Time at Disneyland. You won’t want to miss anything! I’ve put together a complete guide to Disneyland Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort to help you. Here’s what you can expect if you’re visiting Disneyland from early September – to October 31st.
I’ve got some free Halloween foodie guide printables at the end of the article. Don’t miss them!
Check out my podcast all about the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay!
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Today I’m talking about the Haunted Mansion Holiday Overlay featuring Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas! All hail the Pumpkin King! I’m discussing the history behind this popular holiday favorite along with lots of fun info and behind the scenes knowledge. Get ready for some holiday fun!
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In This Post
Here’s what you can expect to find at the Disneyland park during the Halloween season.
What could be better than the characters at Disneyland? Characters wearing their Halloween costumes of course! Many of the classic characters will be out and about in their Halloween attire and they couldn’t be cuter! Make sure you stop by and say “hello!” to Mickey Mouse and his friend Minnie Mouse!
You’ll see all sorts of villains out mingling with guests and you can even see the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington and his good friend Sally from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. You’re sure to spot your favorite characters! Have your camera ready because they’re ready and willing to pose with you for pictures!
On certain nights you may be able to meet the Hitch Hiking Ghosts or Constance Hatchaway, the bride from the Haunted Mansion on New Orleans Square. I love seeing these rare characters in the parks! Check the app or ask a cast member about meeting them!
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Jack Skellington has taken over the Haunted Mansion and has redecorated with festive touches inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Although I prefer the original, Tim Burton fans will love this holiday overlay. I also find it to be less spooky than the original and may not be as frightening for small children as the original version can be.
Notice the giant gingerbread house on the table in the ballroom scene! That’s an actual gingerbread house that’s created each year for the Disneyland Halloween festivities. Make sure you take a deep breath when you pass the ballroom to smell the gingerbread! You can find the Haunted Mansion Holiday in New Orleans Square.
Main Street Pumpkin Festival
Take a delightful stroll down Main Street U.S.A. to check out all of the hand-carved pumpkins! The display is pretty amazing. It’s one of my favorite things about Halloween Time at Disneyland. You’ll find pumpkins all over Main street! Each one is different. Take some time enjoying them as you stroll down Main Street U.S.A. They really are very fun and add so much to the Halloween spirit!
Make sure you have your picture taken by the giant pumpkin. One side has a smiling face, the other side has a winking face. Probably you should take a picture on both sides for good measure. Ask your photographer to do a magic shot for you for an extra dose of holiday fun! Remember, photo pass is included with Genie plus!
A frightfully fun Halloween show hosted by Jack Skellington and his ghosty dog, Zero. This 10-minute show is filled with visions of villains and haunting tunes! It’s followed by fireworks on select nights. Many people choose to skip the night time entertainment, but I always recommend people watch it if they have time.
The shows are so well done and really get you into the spirit of the season! It’s Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort at it’s very best! You can see it on the facade of the castle, the shops on main street, or on the facade of it’s a small world. Check the Disneyland app for showtimes.
I Recommend arriving at least 2 hours early if you’re trying to get a view near the castle. 90 minutes early if you’re watching them from Main Street and 45minutess early if you’re going to watch it near “it’s a small world”. I prefer to view the show from “it’s a small world” because it’s much less crowded and you don’t have to arrive as early to get a spot.
Dia De Los Muertos
You can join in the festivities in Frontierland during this special tribute that honors loved ones that have passed. El Zócalo Park will feature iconic skeleton figurines called calacas—depicting a trio of mariachi musicians—as well as brightly colored flowers and other decorative items seen in traditional ofrendas on the Day of the Dead.
While you’re in the area, check out one of my favorite quick-service restaurants, Rancho del Zocalo. They always have a few seasonal offerings and their cinnamon chips are so good! You can find my other recommendations for quick-service restaurants here.
The Halloween Tree
Stop by the Halloween Tree in Frontierland on your visit. This oak tree is filled with jack- o lanterns and orange lights to celebrate the season. You can find the tree near the Golden Horseshoe.
The tree is inspired by the book “The Halloween Tree” by Ray Bradbury. In the story, eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween.
Disney California Adventure Park
California Adventure is bursting with Halloween fun! Here are some things I recommend checking out!
Halloween Time Decor
You’ll find festive Halloween decor around the entire park starting with Oogie Boogie’s grand marque at the entrance. Notice the black bats swarming Carthay Circle Theatre’s bell tower and the Headless Horseman statue. The Headless Horseman statue lights up at night and makes a great photo opp. Make sure you stop by for a picture! There’s so much Halloween fun on Buena Vista Street! Even the windows are decorated for the season!
Radiator Scream in Cars Land
Stop by Radiator Springs in Cars Land this Haul-O-Ween, which transforms into Radiator Screams for the season. You might even catch a glimpse of Lightning McQueen or Mater in their Halloween costumes! There’s so much Halloween magic everywhere!
Make sure to ride Luigi’s Honkin Haul-O-Ween. Check out Mater’s junkyard jamboree. It’s been transformed into Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree for the Halloween celebration! The attractions even have new soundtracks for the Halloween season that take the Halloween overlays to the next level!
Carsland is arguably the cutest themed land in any of the Disney parks worldwide. Disney really goes all out to decorate it for Halloween Time at Disneyland. It’s a must-see for sure! I recommend visiting during the day, but also again in the evening. Carsland has a whole different vibe at night that you won’t want to miss!
Make sure you notice the music playing while you’re visiting. Many of the songs have words changed slightly to fit the Halloween/cars theme. It’s such a fun touch!
Plaza de la familia
Celebrate the everlasting bonds of the family at this Dia de Los Muertos celebration! You can enjoy a Musical Celebration of Coco, meet and create special memories with the film’s main character, Miguel, and post personal messages to your loved ones on the Memory Wall.
Don’t forget to sample delicious Mexican dishes from the special event menu at Paradise Garden Grill and enjoy the live entertainment when you’re visiting!
There’s also a section set up for kids to enjoy free crafts! Make sure you check that out. Your kids will love it!
Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark
This is possibly my favorite part of Halloween time at California Adventure! If you arrive after 3:00 PM you will experience Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. During the Guardians of the Galaxy’s rescue attempt, Groot got left behind and you must help save him! The only problem is, the tower is overrun with monsters! Can you distract the monsters long enough for Rocket to save Groot?
If you’re using Genie plus, watch the time and grab a lightning lane for this attraction after 3 pm so you can experience it with a shorter wait time! Find more info on Genie Plus here.
Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour
Need even more Halloween fun? During Halloween Time at Disneyland, there’s a fun, festive tour called Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour! I had the opportunity to enjoy this 2.5-hour tour that goes between both parks a couple of years ago. I loved every minute of it! You can read about it here. It doesn’t look like it’s available this year, but put it on your list for a future visit! It’s pretty cool.
Oogie Boogie Bash
Each year Disneyland hosts the Oogie Boogie Bash at California Adventure. This is my favorite of all the special events hosted by Disney! What could be better than a Disney Halloween party? If you’re visiting for Halloween Time at Disneyland, you really should consider it.
It’s a separately ticketed event full of Disney characters in their costumes, and special effects, there’s trick or treating on an immersive treat trail and a fun parade!
Many guests choose to dress up for the Oogie Boogie Bash! It’s so fun to see everyone’s costumes. Many people really go all out! Checking out the creativity and variety of all the guest’s costumes is one of my favorite parts of the Oogie Boogie Bash.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is transformed into Villains Grove for the party. You just might spot your favorite Disney villains. It’s an amazingly immersive experience that guests of all ages will love! Follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss the ticket sale date announcement! Tickets will sell out. If you’d like to attend the party, you’ll need to be prepared to purchase tickets on the day they go on sale.
I have a whole post about the Oogie Boogie bash with tons of helpful information. You can read my tips and recommended schedule here.
Halloween Time Food & Beverage
Anyone else get excited about the food at Disneyland? At Halloween time, Disney brings out some of the very best food! The sweet treats are legendary! Halloween time at Disneyland is full of amazing seasonal options. You can find a full guide to all the Halloween food offerings here. I get so excited about the treats at Halloween time, that I’ve compiled a free printable foodie bucket list so you can check off your favorites along the way! This way, you won’t miss anything!
Find the free printable foodie guides here:
Halloween Time At Downtown Disney
There is lots of Halloween fun to be had at Downtown Disney and you don’t even need a park ticket! You’ll find tons of Disney Halloween merchandise in the World of Disney and the other Disney shops.
Plus, there are lots of seasonal food offerings at Downtown Disney too! Make sure you stop by Salt and Straw to check out their seasonal flavors. One year they had ice cream with actual dried bugs in it! I opted to for my favorite, Sea Salt Caramel. But, my husband tried it and said it wasn’t bad!
Downtown Disney will also be decorated for Halloween time, although they won’t have the same level of decorations that you’ll find in the parks.
We enjoy visiting Downtown Disney on our arrival day. We’ll usually spend a few hours there exploring the shops and eating dinner before heading back to our hotel for the night.
Tips For Visiting Disneyland During Halloween time
Halloween Time at the Disneyland resort is very popular. It draws large crowds because it’s so much fun! Don’t be stressed about the crowds. Here’s a few tips that will really help you have a great time even when it’s crowded.
- Rope drop. If you’re able, rope drop in the morning. This will get you on some of the bigger attractions first thing in the morning and save you time later in the day. You can find out more info about rope dropping here.
- Use Genie Plus. Genie plus is the new system at Disneyland that’s replaced the old fast pass system. It costs $20 per person per day and includes photo pass. This really is a time saver, but can add up if you have a large family. Here’s more information on Genie plus to help you decide if it’s right for you you.
- Be prepared. Make sure you have what you need at the park! I have a whole list of things I have with me in the parks at all times here. I also have a list of things to buy on Amazon before your visit. This will save you lots of money!
- Halloween Time at Disneyland can be really hot. September/October are often the hottest months of the year at Disneyland. Here’s a guide to beating the heat at Disneyland!
- If you’re looking to save money, packing in some food to the parks is a great way to do it! I’ve got a complete list of foods that are allowed inside Disneyland here.
- Take advantage of Rider Switch if you have young children who are too small to ride the bigger rides. You can find more info about Rider Switch and height requirements here.
- What to wear to Disneyland. Here’s some packing list suggestions that might be helpful!
I hope this guide to Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort was helpful for you! Visiting the happiest place on earth during the spooky season is the best time to visit! Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help! I know you’re going to have the best time visiting during Halloween Time at Disneyland!
Are you visiting during Halloween Time at Disneyland? Need help planning? I have so much info on my website to help you. Start with my complete guide to planning for Disneyland here.
Make sure you check out my downloadable touring plans if you’d like a step-by-step guide to the parks! You can check out my custom planning packages here.
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