I just got back from my first ever Disney Halloween experience at the O.G. park: Disneyland! This was my first trip back to the Happiest Place on Earth since 1997 and my first time EVER visiting the Disney California Adventure park.
Even though there are only two gates, there is still a TON to see and do, so I’ve rounded up my top 10, not to miss things to experience at the Disneyland Resort at Halloween Time.
Mickey’s Halloween Party
This is a not to miss party. First off it is the one time adults can dress is costume at a Disney park! Second, you get to trick or treat as much as you want throughout the night. Then there is the “Frightfully Fun” parade that has all our favorite Villains plus Micky and Minnie in their Halloween finest. Oh and the whole parade is kicked off by the headless horseman.
The whole park is turned into a spoopy wonderland. One of my favorites was the fog and lights on the Rivers of America. Since is is a hard ticket event, there are less people in the park which also means wait times on rides are really low. I don’t think I saw a wait time above 20-mins the whole night.
There are also lots of character meet & greets and photo opportunities, plus you get free PhotoPass downloads for the night.
Disney food in general is always a notch above normal theme park food but they tend to go overboard at the holidays, kicking it off with Halloween. Now you can watch my full Disney Food vlog here. Needless to say that the Jolly Holiday Bakery & Cafe is kinda one stop shop. Not only have you get a bomb grilled cheese & tomato soup combo, but they have the adorable Micky Mummy Macaron.
Okay so this isn’t really a Halloween only experience but it’s brand new and AMAZING. The theming is 100% on point, once you enter Pixar Pier you will not find any other IP’s bleed into the area. Even the under construction areas are themed to the Pixar universe.
The Halloween Tree
If you don’t know the history between Walt Disney and Ray Bradbury, I suggest you watch this video from FastPass Facts. They explain the history between the two and why The Halloween Tree exists in Disneyland. The tree is beautifully done and you can find it inside of Frontierland.
The Haunted Mansion Holiday
Since 2001 Disneyland swaps out the regular Haunted Mansion for The Haunted Mansion Holiday, which is a Nightmare Before Christmas themed overlay. Now we here at Cousins Who Disney LOVE the classic Haunted Mansion ride but we also love NBC, so this is a naturally pairing in to us.
The actual completed product is AMAZING. It’s so good, I actually went on it twice. There are still aspects of the classic ride like the Hat Box Ghost, and the ballroom dancing ghosts but overall you are transported into Jack Skellington’s world. Make sure to grab a fast-pass for this attraction, otherwise be prepared for an 1hr+ wait time.
The Blue Wall
Disney Walls are an IG staple these days and the most iconic wall in all of the Disneyland Resort is the Blue Wall over in DCA. You can find this Hollywood Land, pretty much opposite of the food truck.
Paint the Night Parade
Now I’m gonna warn you, I don’t know how much longer Disney will keep the Paint the Night parade at DCA. It was supposed to end with Pixar Fest back in September but they’ve kept it going. My guess is it’s due to the issues with the World of Color show.
That meaning said, if Paint the Night is still running during your visit, you 100% have to see it. I suggest getting there about an hour early to get a good spot on the parade route. This is a parade I’ve wanted to see for years and I’m still a little in shock that I got to experience it.
The Headless Horseman
Also over in DCA you can find the Headless Horseman statue and photo opportunity. I suggest getting your picture at night to really get the spooky effects.
Rope Drop aka park open is something I did by accident. I thought I had a magic morning hour (I was wrong) but that did allow me to get in line for Disneyland rope drop which is the ceremony like thing they do to open the Disneyland park.
Here is why you need to do it. In the span on a little over an hour I walked onto the following rides: Pirates of the Caribbean, Dumbo, Mr. Toads Wild Ride, Snow Whites Scary Adventures, Tea Party Tea Cups, Alice in Wonderland, and The Storybook Land Canals. That is 7 rides in total that we pretty much walked right onto.
Disney during any holiday is magical but all the fall and Halloween decorations blew me away. From the Oogie Boogie over DCA to the bats flying out of Carthay Circle to the Fab Five in pumpkin form greeting you was you enter Disneyland. Even the outside of the Haunted Mansion was themed perfectly.
Overall my trip to Disneyland Resort was one for the books. Well I cannot make it out to the west coast as often as I can to WDW, I hope to at least make it out there once a year.
What is your favorite time of the year at Disneyland? Let us know if the comments below.