Fall at Disneyland means Halloween Time! It’s a season when the Park is transformed into the Pumpkin Festival complete with hundreds of glowing jack-o’ lanterns, rides that take on a Halloween twist and entertaining tricks and treats for all ages! Halloween Time at Disneyland begins on September 9th and runs through October 31, 2016. Halloween Time activities are included with your regular Disneyland Park admission.
Pumpkin Festival Decor
Guests will be greeted with Halloween décor even before they enter the Park! There are Halloween touches even at the Mickey & Friends Parking Area! Enormous pumpkin-inspired Disney characters sit atop the front gates, with whimsical vines winding around. A larger-than-life Mickey jack o’ lantern is a great first stop for a photo op. There are bright orange and yellow buntings and banners hanging all down Main Street U.S.A, along with hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins. There are special fall touches throughout the Park as well, including the glowing orange “Halloween Tree” that is dedicated to author Ray Bradbury in Frontierland.
Little Ones Can Dress Up
Children up to 12-years-old can dress in costume all day long at the Disneyland Parks. Feel free to have little ones dressed in costume (just keep it comfy and wear practical walking shoes). If you want to get into the Halloween spirit while in the Park, there are several fun options for kids. Children can get their face painted like a Day of the Dead sugar skull in the Zocalo Park area of Frontierland. The Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique gives kids the royal treatment, inside Sleeping Beauty Castle, no less! Kids up to 15-years-old can transform into their favorite Frozen characters at Anna & Elsa’s Boutique in the Downtown Disney District.
Big Kids Get Into the Spirit
Space Mountain takes a ghastly turn with the seasonal offering, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. My elementary-school aged kids rode this with their dad last year and said it was appropriately creepy for Halloween, with a devilish ghost that appears in lighting effect through the ride accompanied by dramatically intense music. Space Mountain is already a coaster that frightens some, with sharp twists and turns in the dark. Even if you child meets the height requirement (40”), if they tend to scare easily, you might want to skip this one.
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Frontierland with a customary skeleton display (located just in front of the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurant). This is a great photo location and face painting with a traditional sugar skulls design also takes place here.
Halloween Time’s Crown Jewel
Every year, the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square is taken over by Jack Skellington and his friends from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. It transforms delightfully into Haunted Mansion Holiday. Each year the entire attraction takes on a spooky new look, replete with coffin on the rooftop, glowing jack o’ lanterns and flickering candles. The inside of the ride is completely done over with Halloween scenes, featuring the characters from the movie. A grand new Halloween-themed gingerbread house is assembled and on display in the ballroom scene of the attraction. This is a can’t-miss attraction if you visit Disneyland during Halloween Time.
Special Treats and Tricks
Throughout the Disneyland Parks, seasonal treats are sold that will get you in the autumn spirit (even if the weather is anything but cool and crisp in Southern California!). Think cinnamon, caramel, apple and pumpkin spice flavored treats, including this pumpkin cupcake that is sweetly decorated with cream cheese frosting, edible glitter and chocolate wafer Mouse ears! Maurice’s Treats Snack Cart in the Fantasy Faire area also offers a seasonal pumpkin twist that is delicate and flaky deliciousness! Candy corn cotton candy is also a special sweet treat.
Extra Halloween Time Fun
Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place on select nights during the fall season. This separate ticketed event allows guests of all ages to dress in costume, trick-or-treat through the Park and still enjoy rides and attractions. There are even special dance parties and a fireworks show that only happen during this event. If you have more than just a day to spend at Disneyland, you should also consider taking Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour (additional cost, valid Park ticket also required). Regular Disneyland Park tickets can be purchased on ParkSavers for a discount (use code TM2 for an extra $2 off per ticket) but Mickey’s Halloween Party and tours must be booked via the Disneyland website.