Complete Guide for Celebrating Halloween at Disneyland with Kids

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Have you ever been to Disneyland during the fall season? I think it’s my favorite time to visit (but then, it’s always a good time to go to Disneyland!) With Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos events, amazing Autumn-themed decor and special tricks and treats, celebrating Halloween at Disneyland with kids is wonderful. Here’s what to do when visiting Disneyland at Halloween Time!

Halloween pumpkins around Walt statue at Disneyland

Tricks and Treats – Halloween at Disneyland with Kids

There are so many magical reasons to visit Disneyland in fall. And so many wonderful things to experience. This year will prove to be the best ever, with the addition of many new treats! Disney California Adventure park will be getting into the spirit, with their Mickey’s Halloween Party replacement, Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party. Keep reading for the new attractions, decorations and fun coming for Halloween at Disneyland.

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Disney's Halloween Time decorations on lamp post

Halloween at Disneyland – FAQ

When does Disneyland decorate for Halloween?

Fall decorations generally start September 6th, 2019 at the Disneyland parks and they come down promptly on the night of October 31st (when they are quickly replaced with Christmas decor).

Can you dress in a costume at Disneyland?

Yes, and no. Children 14 and under can dress up in costume anytime inside the Disneyland parks. However adults may only wear costumes when attending Oogie Boogie Bash- Disney Halloween Party. And of course there are guidelines to what costumes can be worn, so be sure to check the Disneyland official website.

Oogie Boogie entrance to Disney California Adventure at night

What’s the difference between Halloween Time at Disneyland and the Disney Halloween Party?

Halloween Time refers to the season when fall decor is up in the parks, when Halloween-themed ride overlays are operating and when special events like A Musical Celebration of Coco take place inside the parks. All of these festivities are included with your regular park ticket.

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is a special ticketed event that happens on select nights during the fall season. There is trick-or-treating, special character greetings and parade during the party, held only inside Disney California Adventure park. Only guests with this special event ticket may attend the party. The Ooogie Boogie Bash replaces the popular Mickey’s Halloween Party in 2019. I have tons of tips about doing Oogie Boogie Bash with kids.

Note that the California Adventure park hours are shorter on the nights when Oogie Boogie Bash takes place. Guests who do not hold the extra Halloween Party ticket will have to leave the park. But if your regular park ticket is a Park Hopper, you may move over the Disneyland for the remainder of the evening!

One benefit of being in Disneyland, is watching Halloween Screams, which returns in 2019! Some evenings are projections and lights. Fireworks are added to the show on select Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Planning a vacation for Halloween at Disneyland with kids? This is the ULTIMATE fall guide with all the most helpful tips on what to see, fall treats, favorite characters dressed up for autumn, limited-time seasonal ride overlays and special events just for Halloween Time! | Disneyland Halloween | HalloweenTime | Disney Vacation | Vacation Planning | Halloween Travel | #Disneyland #Halloween


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Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party 2019 at Disney California Adventure Park

On designated days in September and October (including Halloween night!) the Disneyland Resort sells party tickets to an exclusive Halloween party event called Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party (formerly called Mickey’s Halloween Party). The cost is slightly less than a regular day ticket and the party lasts five hours but you can get into the park three hours earlier, so that’s eight hours of Disney fun.

Adults and kids can dress in costume and trick or treat throughout the park. There are also dance parties and lots of character photo ops. There’s a special evening show and parade in addition to enjoying almost all the regular attractions.

Oogie Boogie Immersive treat trail aat Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween party

  • Souvenir Disney PhotoPass photos can be taken during the event, with unlimited PhotoPass downloads to enjoy later
  • This event sells out pretty quickly so get your tickets and start planning out your costumes. Halloween party tickets can only be purchased on the Disneyland website and app. Only Annual Passholders will receive a discount and tickets are not available through third-party retailers.

NEED DISNEY HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS?

Giant Disney pumpkins decorate entrance to Disneyland


Disneyland Weather in Fall

The weather is almost always still very warm in SoCal during the fall months. It doesn’t give you much of the “autumn” feel but it’s great for enjoying the park and you can swim in the resort pools without the summer crowds. On one day of my visit during October it drizzled most of the day and a few days later, temperatures were back up to 90! You just never know, so check the weather forecast pre-trip. The temperature usually drops in the evenings, so definitely bring a light sweater or jacket just in case.

READ MORE: What to Do at Disneyland When it’s Hot

Disneyland entrance during Halloween Time

Disneyland Fall Crowds

In the past, crowds were usually a little bit smaller in fall than in the summer. This trend isn’t always true however because fall weekends can be jam-packed. Annual passholders that were blocked out all summer will be returning to the Parks and this brings in plenty of crowds.

Even week days can be extremely busy. I recently visited on a Wednesday as well as over a weekend. The Wednesday was just as busy as the Saturday (45-120 minute waits for popular attractions). Crowds were slightly less packed on Sunday.

You may experience lighter crowds on the days of Oogie Boogie Bash. But take note that the operating hours at Disney California Adventure are shorter to compensate. So while you won’t wait in astronomical lines for the most part, you also won’t be spending as much time in the park as you might in the summer. There also may be some ride closures so check the Disney Parks schedule before you go.


Halloween Souvenirs at Disneyland

Don’t have anything autumnal to wear on your Disney vacation? No worries because the souvenir shops at the Disneyland Resort are filled with a huge variety of Halloween and fall-themed items to clothe you top to bottom. From sequined Mouse Ear headbands, tees and sweatshirts, hats and necklaces that glow, you can bedeck yourself with Disney Halloween goodness!

Halloween souvenirs in shop at Disney California Adventure

Halloween themed Mouse Ears at Disneyland

In addition to the Halloween clothing options at Disneyland, you’ll also find Halloween-themed plush, coffee mugs and home goods, all with a Disney twist, of course! I saw a large variety of Nightmare Before Christmas items featuring Jack Skellington and Sally available in both parks. Even if you don’t shop inside the parks themselves, you’ll still find some items in a kiosk in the esplanade, inside World of Disney (or the other shops) at Downtown Disney District and even in the gift shops at the Disneyland Resort hotels.

Souvenir stand at Disneyland with Halloween light up toys

Fall Decorations for Halloween at Disneyland & California Adventure

The Disneyland decorations for fall are fantastic! Disney is known for their detail, of course. All over the park you will find decor to put you in the seasonal mood (even if the warm weather tells you otherwise!). There will be lots of places for photo ops, including a Pumpkin Festival on Main Street.

Don’t miss taking your photo in front of the enormous Mickey jack o’ lantern. And take time to admire the hundreds of one-of-a-kind hand carved pumpkins lining the street.

Mickey jack o' lantern pumpkin at entrance to Disneyland

Oogie Boogie entrance at Disney California Adventure park
Front entrance to Disney California Adventure park
  • Oogie Boogie’s over-sized silhouette beckons guests through the main entrance of the Disney California Adventure park.
  • Headless Horseman statue offers a menacing presence on Buena Vista Street that’s simply spine-chilling.
  • Hold onto your hats as swarms of black bats coil ‘round Carthay Circle’s Bell Tower
  • Haul-O-Ween hits Cars Land and turns Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams! Scary the Scarecar will stand guard over the entrance to Route 66, a preview to the Haul-O-Ween transformation awaiting guests in Cars Land. With Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns, the web spun over Flo’s by a Spider-Car, and the Cozy Cone dressed up in car-stumes.

Headless Horseman statue at Disney California Adventure with guidemap

Slightly Spooky Rides & Attractions

The “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed Haunted Mansion Holiday is a can’t miss! It gets more elaborate year after year. Haunted Mansion Holiday is also a completely different experience from the usual Haunted Mansion attraction. The annual Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house, presents a new design each year. 

There is also a tour (additional cost) that celebrates the spooky, Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour.

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland during Halloween Time

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy takes over Space Mountain at Disneyland in fall. I finally had the chance to ride it this year and it’s fantastic! Just the right amount of spooky and the ride seemed darker and faster than usual. If you’re traveling with adults or older kids, consider the “Single Rider” line option. There’s signage at the exit of this ride and I was able to ride alone with a wait time of about 3 minutes, versus the 60+ minute wait that was posted for the regular queue. (editor’s note) Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy – Not available for 2019 

Disneyland Ghost Galaxy sign at Disneyland

Seasonal Ride Overlays at Disney California Adventure

Ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! during the day, then return at dusk, when the attraction transforms into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, the seasonal edition of popular attraction.

In Cars Land, the entire area is made over in a fantastic Halloween theme! Radiator Springs becomes Radiator Screams for the “Haul-O-Ween” season, with the mountain range lit up at night in purple and green. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree are also both be decorated for Halloween with themed music and décor! These attractions will transform with Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree turning spooky as the Graveyard JamBOOree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters to become Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween.

Planning a vacation for Halloween at Disneyland with kids? This is the BEST fall guide with all the most helpful tips on what to see, the decorations throughout the parks (including Cars Land!), how to see your favorite characters dressed up for autumn, limited-time seasonal ride overlays and special events just for Halloween Time! | Disneyland Halloween | HalloweenTime | Disney Vacation | Vacation Planning | Halloween Travel | #Disneyland #Halloween


Dia de Los Muertos at Disneyland & California Adventure

Disneyland offers its traditional Día de los Muertos display at Zócalo Park in Frontierland. The colorful display features marigolds and paper flags, along with a traditional “ofrenda” and sugar skulls.

Dia de los Muertos decorations at Disneyland during Halloween

Dia de los Muertos ofrenda at Disneyland

Make time in your Disneyland vacation planning for a visit to Plaza de la Familia in Disney California Adventure park. This immersive celebration of Dia de Los Muertos includes folklórico dancers, mariachi music and a craft area inspired by the “Coco” film. Do not miss A Musical Celebration of Coco, when Miguel from the movie dances and plays his guitar. This show takes place several times a day, so check your Times Guide.

Plaza de la Familia Coco celebration at Halloween Disneyland

Paradise Garden Grill will feature traditional Mexican dishes including chicken tamales steamed in banana leaves, sirloin beef tacos with pickled vegetables, and conchita, a traditional Mexican sweet bread. Layers of sponge cake with cinnamon “churro” mousse and sweet cream cheese frosting – This version comes with a decorative topping in the shape of Miguel from “Coco”!

Entertainment sign during Coco celebration at Disney California Adventure Halloween

Mariachi musicians at Coco Celebration at Disney California Adventure during Halloween

Planning a vacation for Halloween at Disneyland with kids? This is the ULTIMATE fall guide with all the most helpful tips on what to see, fall treats, where to experience Dia de Los Muertos, limited-time seasonal ride overlays and special events just for Halloween Time! | Disneyland Halloween | HalloweenTime | Disney Vacation | Vacation Planning | Halloween Travel | #Disneyland #DiadeLosMuertos

Characters in Costume

One of the best things about Halloween at Disneyland is how the characters dress in costume! It really makes that meet & greet extra special when the characters are wearing fun outfits. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto wear their Halloween costumes along Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.

Mater dressed up like a vampire at Disney California Adventure Radiator Springs

Cars Land in Disney California Adventure will again be decorated for Halloween, err Haul-O-Ween. Citizens of Radiator Springs will wear their Halloween costumes and decorate their respective homes for the season. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Red and DJ will be all dressed up–as a super hero, a “van-pire,” a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker, ready to go “trunk-or-treating.”

The very popular Jack Skellington and Sally appear in New Orleans Square near the Haunted Mansion. You can also find many Disney villains throughout the park during the Halloween Time season. New in 2019, characters from the Haunted Mansion meet n’ greet (including the Hitchhiking Ghosts!).

Donald Duck dressed up like a Halloween pumpkin

Halloween at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

I had the opportunity to stay at both the Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel during the 2018 Halloween Time season. We also walked through Disney’s Grand Californian to check out their Halloween decor. You do not need to be a hotel guest to explore inside the lobbies! Inside the front entrance of the Disneyland Hotel was a photo backdrop, with another just in front of the pool.

Halloween photo op at Disneyland hotel
Halloween photo-op at the Disneyland Hotel, near the pool entrance.

All common areas at the Paradise Pier Hotel have been made over in an elaborate pirate theme (“Pirate’s Pier”). There are tons of photo ops at every corner! And inside the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian, you can’t miss the huge gingerbread decor. The smell of ginger and royal icing is strong!

Pirate decorations in Paradise Pier Disneyland hotel lobby

Disneyland Halloween Food

In addition to the return of popular Halloween Time foods like pumpkin spice beignets, the Disneyland Resort chefs have come up with a spooky number of delightful dishes to please every palate this fall! There are tons of new treats and an inspiring number of different varieties of churros this year. This colorful layer cake was delightful (and surprisingly not overly sweet).

Other sweet Halloween treats include, Frozen Abuelita horchata from Rancho del Zocalo, Sweet potato hand pie from Jolly Holiday Bakery or the Sleepy Hollow cupcake (red velvet cupcake with Headless Horseman chocolate piece) at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café. Only 40 of these purple-colored Poison Apple Cake Pops are made each day, so be on the watch for these limited treats!

Poison apple cake pop at Disneyland

Maleficent crispy treats at Disneyland
Maleficent crispy treats

Lest you think it’s all about the desserts, there are options for savory, Autumn-inspired main dishes as well. Those include the Crab and corn chowder at Café Orleans, Haunted Firehouse Chicken Sandwich at Carnation Café and Oktoberfest dog (kielbasa sausage topped with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, Oktoberfest beer cheese with green onions) from Award Weiners.

HALLOWEEN AT DISNEYLAND TIP:

Skip the lines at select dining locations by using the new mobile ordering feature on the Disneyland app. I used it several times on my visit (for lunch as well as to get an ice cream cone!) and it truly saved me at least 45 minutes that would have been spent waiting in line to order.

Disneyland Halloween map at the entrance of the park

Disneyland in Fall – Dapper Day

Dress to impress in your retro best on Dapper Day in the Disneyland park. Thousands of other guests turn out for this event, “dappered” up in their Sunday attire. The date is Nov 3rd, 2019 for the annual Disneyland Dapper Day.

READ MORE: Put together your own Dapper Day Outfit Ideas to step out in style!

Find out all the details on Halloween at Disneyland, including what rides and attractions have Halloween overlay, fall foods, decor, Dia de Los Muertos and Mickey's Halloween Party! #Disneyland #California #Anaheim #Halloween #HalloweenTime #FallTravel #TravelwithKids

READ MORE: Learn about Disneyland’s Halloween Time from a first time visitor’s perspective by my friend Jill at Ripped Jeans & Bifocals.

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