When Is Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort?
I know that school has just started, but let’s talk about Halloween! I’m so excited that my family will be experiencing Disneyland’s Halloween extravaganza next month! Because of that, I’ve been researching like crazy and partnered with Disneyland on this post all about Disneyland Halloween activities, fall treats, rides and more! May contain affiliate links.
For 2018, Halloween time at the Disneyland Resort is celebrated from September 7 through October 31. That means there are more days than previous years for spooky family fun!
And, if you go closer to Halloween, Disneyland will also be transitioning to their Holiday decor. What better way to get the best of both worlds?
Disneyland Halloween Food
Since I’ve never been to Disneyland at Halloween time, I’m really excited to enjoy their signature Disney treats plus the new ones they are unveiling.
I’m most looking forward to trying their Spoke-y Cone Macaron filled with marshmallow buttercream and candy corn. I mean, doesn’t that sound incredible?
And that’s just one of the many Halloween-themed food and beverage items. There’s also cake pops, flavored churros, Bat Wing raspberry sundaes at Clarabelles Hand Scooped Ice Cream, and Mickey-shaped pumpkin spice (!) beignets at the Mint Julep Bar.
But, it’s not all just sweet stuff. There’s also some savory items. You can grab specialty soups and sandwiches, including the Haunted Firehouse chicken sandwich at Carnation Cafe.
And I know our family will pick up the Mickey Bread with Fangs at Pacific Wharf Cafe to share!
Disneyland Dia de los Muertos
The Disneyland Halloween festivities I’m most looking forward to experiencing all revolve around Dia de los Muertos. From the bright colors to the powerful reminder of cherishing loved ones who have passed on, Disneyland has a lot in store this Halloween season!
Head over to Frontierland in Disneyland for a Day of the Dead exhibit that features a trio of skeleton musicians, colorful flowers and other Dia de los Muertos decorative items.
And don’t forget to take your time at Cars Land in Disney California Adventure Park. At Ramone’s House of Body Art, there is an ofrenda for Doc Hudson. That part of the movie always makes me teary-eyed so I’m hoping I can hold it together (but I make no promises!)
There’s actually a lot of Coco-related stuff at Paradise Gardens including a photo op at the Tree of Life. We will definitely be taking a family photo there!
Because the Day of the Dead occurs right after Halloween, these festivities are available through November 2, 2018.
I found this blog post from the Disney Parks Blog to be the most comprehensive guide to Dia de los Muertos at the Disneyland Resort.
Cars Land at Halloween
If you’ve read any of my other Disneyland posts, you know that I think Cars Land is one of the most magical places at Disneyland Resort.
It’s also a major reason we’re visiting Disneyland at Halloween time. Radiator Springs transforms into Radiator Screams with a “Haul-O-Ween” makeover! Be on the lookout for all the details on the buildings and around town!
Not only do they go all out with the Halloween decorations in Radiator Springs, but the characters also dress up! We can’t wait to take photos will Lightening McQueen, Mater, Cruz Ramirez, Red, and DJ in their “car-stumes!”
Plus, the attractions in Cars Land also get a Halloween makeover. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree, and (our favorite) Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters gets a festive twist as it transforms into Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween.
Finally, don’t forget to come back at nighttime for a completely different experience! Radiator Springs really comes to life with its neon glow and I can’t wait to see what it’s like with the additional Halloween lights!
Vampirina is New for 2018 Disneyland Halloween Time
Whether you’ve been visiting the Disneyland Resort during Halloween time every year or this is your first time (like me!) it’s always fun to see what’s new.
Vampirina, from the Disney Junior hit series Vampirina will arrive at Disneyland Resort for the first time on September 7. She’ll be available for meet and greets at Disney California Adventure Park. And families can see her during the Frightfully Fun Parade at Mickey’s Halloween Party.
I know my preschooler is very excited to meet her! He doesn’t normally like vampires, but he thinks Vampirina is pretty cool!
Disneyland Rides for Halloween
One thing that I love about Disney is that when they do something, they go all out! Not only do the decorate key areas of the Parks, but they also change up the attractions!
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – MONSTERS AFTER DARK
My husband is really excited to experience this nightly transformation of Guardians of the Galaxy– Mission: BREAKOUT!
According to Disney, “As the sun sets, the attraction’s exterior goes dark and then suddenly powers back up with lighting effects, a signal that something has gone awry. The Guardians have successfully escaped The Collector’s Fortress, but have accidentally left Groot behind. Guests help Rocket distract the creatures that have been released so he can rescue Groot in this exciting seasonal overlay.”
HAUNTED MANSION HOLIDAY
When I think of Halloween at Disneyland Resort, I always think about Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
I’ve heard this is the only time of year where guests can meet Jack Skellington in person!
Regardless, visitors can enjoy Halloween thrills when the Haunted Mansion transforms into Haunted Mansion Holiday! It’s a fun combination of Halloween and Christmas featuring Jack Skellington and his unusual take on the holidays.
SPACE MOUNTAIN GHOST GALAXY
This one sounds pretty scary for my little ones (and me, I admit!) but I bet it would be amazing for thrill-seekers!
Hop on speeding Space Mountain vehicles to explore a ghostly galaxy full of menacing spirits! If you like eerie screams, creepy music, and spine-chilling surprises, this will be right up your alley!
Mickey’s Halloween Party
Something that is separate from all the rest of the regular Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort festivities is Mickey’s Halloween Party.
This is where you can meet Disney characters in their Halloween costumes, trick or treat throughout Disneyland Park, enjoy Disney attractions at night, and dress up as a family!
This is a ticketed event on select nights for after-hours fun. Here’s what else you should know:
What’s cool about Mickey’s Halloween Party is that you don’t need Disneyland tickets to attend. So, if you are in the Los Angeles area, you can pop over just for the event without spending an entire day at Disneyland.
MICKEY’S HALLOWEEN PARTY HACK
Your ticket for Mickey’s Halloween Party actually gives you admission to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks up to three hours prior to the party’s start time.
So, this is an awesome way to kick off a Disneyland vacation without paying for park tickets on your arrival day. Or, it makes a great “rest” day during your Disney vacation.
Are you always on the hunt for photo ops with Disney villains? Guests attending Mickey’s Halloween Party may also visit Villains Square for a chance to encounter and take photos with Disney villains.
Attendees have access to unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital downloads of photos taken during the event! That makes it easier than ever to capture memories during Mickey’s Halloween Party.
With so many Disney characters dressed in Halloween attire throughout the park, you may have a ton of photos!
SPECIAL FIREWORKS SHOW
Another exclusive activity is “Halloween Screams,” a supernatural firework show. It’s another opportunity to see Jack Skellington, as he’s the “Master of Scare-omonies!”
DISNEYLAND HALLOWEEN PARADE
The “Frightfully Fun Parade” is something only Mickey’s Halloween Party guests can experience. It’s led by The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. He rides down Main Street, U.S.A., on his black horse while shining a flickering jack-o’-lantern.
The Disneyland Halloween parade also features Vampirina, Jack Skellington, and tons of ghosts from the iconic Haunted Mansion attraction.
ADULTS CAN WEAR COSTUMES
The really big thing, though, is that EVERYONE is encouraged to dress up in costumes! Normally, only kids can wear costumes at Disney Parks. So this is a unique opportunity for teens and adults to go all out in their Disney costumes.
Disney Family Costume Ideas
If you are attending Mickey’s Halloween Party, you’ll definitely want to plan out your family’s costume. Personally, I think the obvious choice is to pick a favorite Disney movie as your theme. But, it could be really cute to dress us as Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse and put a costume on top of that!
This is the one I’m lobbying for in our family. Not only is it one of my favorite PIXAR movies, but it fits perfectly with the Dia de los Muertos celebrations at Disneyland.
If you just want a little touch of Coco, pick up a pair of the coveted Coco Dia de los Muertos Minnie Ears at the Parks. They are a hot item, so grab one if you can! It’s the one souvenir I’m definitely planning on getting next month!
The Incredibles is another awesome choice. You can dress up as members of the family (including Baby Jack-Jack!) or choose another Super character.
I’m pretty obsessed with designer extraordinaire Edna Mode, so that would be my top pick. Plus, she’d an Edna Disneybound would be pretty easy. You’d just need her iconic glasses and to wear a fabulous black outfit.
With the opening of the new Pixar Pier at Disneyland, there are so many cool Toy Story photo ops! Poultry Palace and Senor Buzz Churros are just a few of the places that would be cute to pose in a costume!
What I love most about using Toy Story for a family costume is there are SO many characters to choose from!
With Disneyland gearing up for Star Wars Land in 2019, this is another fun choice. Plus, your kids could wear their costumes again when it actually opens.
My 4 year old is a HUGE Star Wars fan. Well, he’s only a fan of the bad guys. He wants to dress up as Kylo Ren and have the rest of us be his stormtroopers.
I’m going to buy Star Wars costumes for them regardless because they have fun dressing up at home and using their imaginations!
What to Bring to Disneyland During Halloween
I know I always recommend families bring glowsticks on their Disney vacations, but it’s even more fitting during Halloween! Pick up some bright orange glowsticks or these fun glowsticks with bats and spiders.
Just in case costumes don’t fit Disneyland’s dress code/guidelines, bring extra clothes. This is also helpful if you think your kids won’t want to be in their costumes all day long at Disneyland.
I think these Mickey Mouse Halloween jammies would be super cute to change kids into after dinner!
Yes, I know I just said to bring extra clothes, but this is for another purpose. October can get a little chilly, even in SoCal. So, pack a sweatshirt or jacket for everyone in your family.
If you are attending Mickey’s Halloween Party AND you are very motivated to take advantage of all the treats available, you might want to bring your own empty bag.
OR, you can fill your own Halloween-themed treat bags to give to your kids throughout the day at Disneyland Resort. For mine, I’m thinking of packing this Mickey Halloween book and these Mickey Mouse Trick or Treat supplies.
Thanks to Disneyland for providing media tickets for my family. All opinions are my own.
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