10 Reasons to Visit Disneyland during Halloween Time

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Ready for some frightfully fiendish fun? Every fall (generally September through October 31st), Disneyland celebrates Halloween Time with happy hauntings, spooktacular decor, and dreadfully delightful activities throughout the entire resort. We definitely think this season is one of the BEST times to visit Disneyland! So, if you’re considering a Disneyland vacation, read on to find out all the awesome things to do and reasons to plan a trip to Disneyland during Halloween Time! Disney's Halloween TimeOver the years, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Disneyland during Halloween Time quite a few times. The first for us as a family was back in 2014 (when we dressed as Jake & the Never Land Pirates for Mickey’s Halloween Party). And, it probably comes as no surprise to hear that we loved it! It’s always SO much fun! Back then, most of the festivities and decor was just in Disneyland Park. But now, the festivities are resort wide and it’s fiendishly fabulous!

In fact, we just got back from our most recent Halloween Time trip to Disneyland and everyone loved it even more! The boys hadn’t seen all the amazing Halloween Time additions to Disney California Adventure yet and we got to attend the all-new in 2019 Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party (thanks to tickets I won at the Disney Social Media Celebration “On the Road” Conference). So, I have all the fun details of everything to check out during your Halloween Time trip! First up, let’s talk all the basic info about Disneyland Halloween Time – what it is, where it is, when it is, etc.

About Disneyland Halloween Time 

Halloween Time is a seasonal Halloween/fall celebration at Disneyland, complete with seasonal decor, special food offerings, ride overlays, unique character meeting opportunities, a special Halloween Party now called the Oogie Boogie Bash (requiring a separate ticket), and more! Where is it?: You’ll find special happenings throughout the entire Disneyland Resort, including both parks, the Downtown Disney District, and all three Disneyland Resort Hotels. Although the majority of fun is definitely to be had in the parks, we were impressed with the decor, food offerings, and activities in Downtown Disney and the hotels as well.

When is it?: This year, Halloween Time at Disneyland is September 6-October 31, 2019. And this is the longest it’s ever run (normally it kicks off in mid-September). Yay for that seasonal magic lasting a little longer this year! GetAwayToday Disney Coupon

So, who’s ready to visit Disneyland at Halloween Time? You definitely should add it to your family’s fall vacation list…

Why You Should Visit Disneyland During Halloween Time

Disneyland at Halloween

1. Festive Halloween Decór & Ambiance Resort Wide

Let’s be real, I always love the ambiance at Disneyland. But, this time of year is especially festive. And I really love that all the frightfully fun festivities are now clearly available resort wide. Between all the special Fall & Halloween decorations, the pumpkins, the special merchandise, the delicious seasonal food offerings, etc – the ambiance throughout the entire resort is just perfect for Halloween!In Downtown Disney, you’ll find cute candy & fall themed decor. There’s pumpkins throughout, fun Halloween merchandise, and on select nights (check the app for up-to-date times), you’ll find the SCAREolers – some grim grinning ghosts singing up some dreadfully delightful tunes! Guests at the hotels are also treated to some fun decor and offerings! In fact, during the month of October, guests staying at any of the 3 resort hotels can have some complementary Halloween fun on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays (from 2-4pm). We also found fun Halloween decor in the hotels – like the giant Ursula inside the entrance of the Paradise Pier Hotel. Also, don’t miss the huge EDIBLE Oogie Boogie display inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel! It’s amazing!!

All the decor and Halloween Time offerings at Disney California Adventure are fabulous too, plus it’s the home of the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party this year!  Cars Land just absolutely cannot be missed during this season! Radiator Springs becomes Radiator Screams with a major “Haul-O-Ween” overhaul and it’s simply spooktacular! Oogie Boogie at Night California Adventure

2. Pumpkin Festival  on Main Street U.S.A

You’ll find the Pumpkin Festival on Main Street, with hundreds of pumpkins on display, no two of them the same! Seriously, we couldn’t believe the number of pumpkins – from the front entrance of Disneyland all the way down Main Street U.S.A to the castle! The largest of which is the enormous Mickey head pumpkin, perfect for a Halloween Time photo opp (be prepared for a line though)! So linger a little longer as you walk down Main Street, checking out all the pumpkin fun and be sure to look for fun character carvings! Large Disneyland Mickey pumpkin at night

3. Haunted Mansion Holiday

One of the BIG draws to Disneyland during Halloween Time is Haunted Mansion Holiday. Every year at this time, Jack Skellington returns to Disneyland to take over the Haunted Mansion and brings Haunted Mansion Holiday back to New Orleans Square.  The ride gets completely transformed with with a mix of Halloween spookiness and Christmas cheer, inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” It’s also extra special because this is NOT available at Walt Disney World. So, Jack Skellington fans have to come to Disneyland to see this one! Nightmare Before Christmas at DisneylandThis is an absolutely incredible transformation!!! The attention to detail is insane, with something new to notice each time you ride! And, some of the details change every year, like the original gingerbread designs each year since Haunted Mansion Holiday debuted in 2001. With the “merrier” feel to the ride, it’s an especially great ride for families. If you have little ones and have been unsure about Haunted Mansion in the past, Haunted Mansion Holiday is a great time for the 1st ride!

Haunted Mansion Holiday Tips: 

  • This is probably THE most popular ride in BOTH parks during Halloween Time, especially so in 2019 with Haunted Mansion celebrating its 50th Anniversary. As such, the standby wait line soared up to 120 minutes while we were there. So, be sure to get a fast pass for this ride earlier in the day (as all available fast passes were gone by the middle of the afternoon).
  • Ride twice if you can. Consider doing the ride in the morning (when wait times are lower or get a fast pass. Then get a fast pass for sometime at night). The ride queue is great in the day, but is also looks so fabulous all lit up at night.

This year, guests can enjoy Haunted Mansion Holiday from September 6, 2019 – January 6, 2020! Fun throughout the ENTIRE holiday season!

4. Día de los Muertos in Frontierland 

Frontierland hosts a very special tribute to Día de los Muertos as part of the Halloween Time festivities at the resort! As shown in Disney’s Coco, Día de los Muertos is a holiday to remember loved ones that have passed. And the Día de los Muertos display here in Frontierland is beautiful!  Skeletons at Dia De Los Muertos DisneylandThis festive display can be found at El Zócalo Park (right outside the Rancho del Zócalo Restaurante), featuring a musical trio of iconic skeleton figurines called calacas. You know I especially loved the marimba player! 😉 I also loved all the brightly colored flowers. So be sure to do a walk through here – maybe on your way to get some of the delicious Disneyland Halloween food!

5. Fun Fall Treats

Special treats at Disneyland are always a must. But, at Halloween Time you can find some extra-special treats liked Halloween-themed caramel apples, cupcakes, krispies treats, churros, and more! I mean, how cute is this Jack Skellington Cookie (found at Candy Palace on Main Street)?! Jack Skellington Cookie DisneylandIn fact, the Halloween Time treats are SO fun and are SO numerous, that they deserve their own blog post (coming soon). In the meantime, you can check out Disneyland’s complete Halloween Time foodie guide for the full list. And if you aren’t able to make the Disneyland Halloween Trip, you can always make some Disney Halloween themed treats at home too like these: Disney Inspired Halloween Treat Recipes

6. Halloween Screams Fireworks

In the past, the Halloween Screams show was only available during Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. BUT, this year the party has moved over to Disney California Adventure, so guests get to enjoy Halloween Screams EVERY night at Disneyland! No special ticket required. Do note though that fireworks are only included on select nights (mostly weekend nights). But, the projects, pyrotechnics, and lasers are AWESOME even without the fireworks! Halloween Screams Disneyland CastleIn addition to the castle, you can catch the projections on Main Street U.S.A. and the facade of “Small World”. But for the best views (and to catch a glimpse of flying Zero), it’s best to be somewhere in the hub (the area right around the castle). It’s worth your 10-12 minutes! We LOVE this show!

7. Characters in Costume 

Did you know that the characters like dressing up in costume for Halloween too? On Main Street in Disneyland and Buena Vista Street in California Adventure, be on the lookout for some adorable costumed characters! Our favorites in Disneyland were Pumpkin Donald and Skeleton Goofy! Goofy dressed in a skeleton costumeAnd over at Disney California Adventure, you’ll find all your favorite Cars characters dressed in costume! LOVE it! We especially were fond of “Vampire Mater” as my boys called him! And we were able to take pictures with costumed Mater while WE were in costume during the Oogie Boogie Bash!! So fun! Mater Dressed as a Vampire at Disneyland

8. Chillin’ with the Villains

Another fun thing about characters during Halloween Time is that you have the chance to meet some more “unique” characters, especially the villains!!! You never know who you might run into. Some notable villains that we saw personally (or saw others get photos with) were Jack Skellington & Sally, The Evil Queen, Maleficent, The Queen of Hearts, and Dr. Facilier (aka”The Shadow Man”). 

9. Special Halloween Park Merchandise

Along with the treats, costumed characters, and frightfully festive attractions, you’ll also find a whole bunch of unique Halloween-themed merchandise! And it seems like the selections get bigger and better each year. With the 50th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion this year, there was some fantastic Haunted Mansion merchandise. We also found sections specifically dedicated to The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Descendants. How fun are those poison apple candle holders?! Disneyland Halloween ProductsI also LOVE all the Pumpkin Mickey items! Isn’t it all SO cute?! We happen to have a couple of those adorable Mickey Jack O’Lanterns now at home and I LOVE them! Disney Halloween Merchandise

10. Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party

Last but certainly NOT least is the Oogie Boogie Bash! We highly recommend planning to attend this event as part of your Disneyland Halloween Time Trip. For years, the special Halloween Party was called Mickey’s Halloween Party and it was held at Disneyland. But, things got revamped this year with a new location, new name, and new offerings.

*Click here to read our Oogie Boogie Bash Disney Halloween Party Guide, with our list of tips to help you get the most from your experience!* Oogie Boogie Treat Trail

While the event is already sold out for 2019, make your plans to attend in 2020! Based on previous years, Halloween Party tickets will likely go on sale in the spring (sometime in the April-May range if I had to guess). The more popular nights (like Halloween and those around school holidays) sell out more quickly. This year, some nights were sold out by July.  So, plan ahead and be ready to book by the summer! Also, plan ahead by getting your Disney themed group costumes planned before you go!

Starting at $110 per ticket (this year), we think the party is worth the price of admission. With the popularity of the Oogie Boogie Bash this year and the high praise it’s received from most who have attended this year, I have a feeling this party will be around for some time. The whole ambiance of the park during the Oogie Boogie Bash was just spectacular and the kids are already asking if we can go next year! 

And if all of that isn’t enough to keep you busy during your Halloween Time visit, you could also try the Happiest Haunts TourOn this special walking tour (requiring a separate ticket), you’ll  join a Disneyland Tour Guide and “Ghost Host” for a night of happy haunts and spooktacular sightings at Disneyland Park! While I haven’t taken this tour, I can’t speak to it directly in terms of any kind of review. But, if it’s anything like the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour, then you are sure to have an amazing time!

Save on Your Disneyland Halloween Trip!

If you’re planning a Disney Halloween trip and would like to save some money, consider booking through Get Away Today! That’s who we use to book our trips and so we’re thrilled to partner with them as an affiliate! They really make the whole Disneyland booking experience easy & are great about getting you the best deal! They even have Layaway plans available for just $125 down (and you have up until 2 weeks before you go to make final payment)! Plus,you can save an additional $10 on any Southern California vacation package when you use our exclusive Get Away Today coupon code: MOMENDEAVORS.


Disclosure: Over the years, my family has been provided with complimentary admission, as well as other Disney fun surprises during Halloween Time at Disneyland. However, all opinions & love of Disneyland are entirely our own! We loved Disneyland long before we had the pleasure of partnering with them & regularly do Disneyland trips completely on our own expense as well. Pumpkin Festival Main Street U.S.A. photo above used with permission from Disney. All other photos are my own.

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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5 Responses

  1. We went 2 years ago and it was so magical with all the autumn touches. I can’t wait to take the kids back when they are older and can enjoy the spooky stuff too!

  2. Disneyland is great any time of year but I REALLY love it during any of the holidays that they go all out for. Halloween would be SO fun! We are totally going to have to try to check it out this year!

  3. I’ve been to Disneyland many times during the Halloween time. I LOVE IT! It comes in a VERY close 2nd to Christmas time at Disneyland. I’m actually going tomorrow. Weeeee! I however have never done the Mickey’s Halloween Party. That’s on my bucket list, so hopefully I get to do the Halloween party soon.

  4. OH MY GOSH! I’ve never been but have always seen so much on social. But your post has MADE ME want to go! We’re looking into heading out there next week! I think the boys will love it so much, definitely calling about the Pirates League!

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