I have something to confess: I’m a diehard Halloween enthusiast. Every year, I transform our apartment with giant spider webs, flying bats, and skulls of all shapes and sizes. I place my (growing) collection of Styrofoam gravestones next to our front door (I’m sure the neighbors are thrilled), and put black candles in our candleholders.
So needless to say, I was beyond thrilled to finally make it to Halloween Time at Disneyland!
To be honest it was not our best trip due to the insane crowds. It was hard to ignore the giant masses of people, which seemed to only multiply at night. Props though to Disneyland workers who were directing the crowds with glow sticks to try to maneuver guests around in the best way possible.
Despite the crowds though we still had fun, because it’s hard to go wrong with Disneyland AND Halloween.
So without further ado, here are some highlights from the Spookiest Place on Earth…
The Haunted Mansion
This ride is one of the most popular attractions during Halloween, where the entire attraction is transformed with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. As a gal who loves the regular version, I liked seeing the changes, but honesty prefer the original better. Maybe if you’re a Nightmare Before Christmas fan this will be your jam, but I just felt like the animation took away from the scare factor.
Friendly PSA: Make sure to get a FASTPASS for this ride early on, since we got one around noon for a 6:50-7:50 slot no joke.
Main Street U.S.A. Decorations
The best decorations are right when you enter the park, with large orange streamers across a majority of the buildings, and a giant Mickey pumpkin at the entrance. The glowing, carved pumpkins representing each of the lands at the foot of the Walt Disney statue are also worth checking out.
Tucked away in Frontierland, some of the best decorations await. First, there’s The Halloween Tree (based off of the 1972 fantasy novel by Ray Bradbury), which is an illuminated tree with mini pumpkins hanging from the branches. My favorite seasonal decorations were for Dia De Los Muertos, which was a nice nod to Mexican heritage and a large part of Southern California’s population. It was good to see Disney being more inclusive in general, and I noticed that the announcements for rides are now in both English and Spanish, which is awesome.
Disney definitely does not disappoint when it comes to seasonal treats. The ever-popular churros were dusted in orange and black sugar, carmel apples, and frosted rice crispy treats were a personal favorite (though I’m not sure eating an entire one in a single sitting was the best idea for my blood sugar).
Other Halloween Highlights
I didn’t go on Space Mountain’s Ghost Galaxy, because I’m not crazy about roller coasters in the dark, but I hear the ghostly projections are worth it for those who are.
The other major attraction is Mickey’s Halloween Party, which requires a separate ticket. The park is closed to normal guests on the 13 nights that it’s held on. The highlights include the Frightfully Fun Parade, HalloScreams fireworks, costumes (though not mandatory), and trick or treating for the kiddos.
Know before you go:
The crowds at Halloween are a lot higher than normal, try to avoid the weekends if at all possible.
Check the schedule for Mickey’s Halloween Party, which causes the park to close down early for those who don’t have a separate ticket.
Get in the spirit and wear a costume if you want. There were plenty of people (and whole families) that get dressed up.