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Disneyland Halloween Time is a guest favorite and for good reason. There is so much to do at Disneyland Resort, you are sure to have a spooktacular time with our tricks and treats!
Disneyland goes all out for Halloween Time so that guests can have a spooktacular time. From the extra ticketed Halloween Party – Oogie Boogie Bash, to Disney Villains roaming the parks, and the Main Street Pumpkin Festival there is plenty of fun to be had.
My family has been visiting Disneyland during the Halloween season for over a dozen years (minus the 2020 season during the closure). There is a reason we keep coming back for more. Disneyland Halloween is like no other!
In this guide, we will cover everything to know for your Halloween Time visit to Disneyland, including when it will be most crowded, special offerings, and more.
In This Article
When Is Disneyland Halloween Time And What Should I Know Before Booking?
If you have never visited the Disneyland Resort in California during the Halloween Season, you will want to know some of this important information before you book your trip.
When Is Halloween Time at Disneyland?
While exact dates have not been announced for 2023 at this time, based on the last two years, we can predict when Halloween will be celebrated this year.
Halloween Time at Disneyland will most likely kick off on September 1, 2023, and continue until October 31, 2023. We will update this as soon as an official announcement is made.
How Early Should I Plan My Disneyland Halloween Time Vacation?
Of course, Guests can get the most spooktacular deals on Disneyland tickets and hotels by booking through my partners at Get Away Today.
When Is The Best Time To Visit During Disneyland’s Halloween Season
I always say that anytime is a great time to visit Disneyland Resort, but my guess is that is not the answer you want. Most likely you are wondering when to go to avoid crowds.
I have you covered.
The lowest crowds during Halloween Time at Disneyland are after Labor Day through the end of September, specifically on weekdays. School has just started, and parents are hesitant to pull their kids out to go to the parks. Fall breaks are usually held for districts that offer them in October, so you will find much lower crowds in September.
What Is Oogie Boogie Bash? How Does It Affect My Disneyland Halloween Vacation?
This is a question we get a lot in my Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group (if you aren’t in the group you should definitely join).
Oogie Boogie Bash is a Halloween party that requires the purchase of a party ticket to attend. It takes place multiple times per week during the Halloween Season. These special events are held in Disney California Adventure Park.
This Disney Halloween party offers exclusive experiences, character meet and greets, treat trails, and more. As mentioned it is a separate ticket from your Disneyland Park tickets. The event tickets may only be purchased through Disney directly.
But should you add it to your Halloween time vacation?
There really is no right or wrong answer. It will all come down to budget, and personal preference. To help you decide, check out my complete Oogie Boogie Bash Guide.
If you hope to go to this party, you will want to plan ahead. Tickets do sell out early. So read the guide and make your decision as soon as possible.
Where Should I Stay For My Halloween Time Disneyland Vacation?
If you are looking for the best place to stay for your Halloween trip, there are a lot of options.
All three of the Disney Resort Properties tend to put up a few Halloween decorations.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa often has a giant sculpture made out of food in the lobby. While the other two hotels tend to have more subtle decorations.
I don’t think you need to stay on-site just for that though, as anybody can visit the hotel lobbies to check out the decorations. I would only stay on-site if I planned to utilize the Disneyland Resort Early Entry option available to guests of the three Disney hotels.
Hotels That Decorate For Halloween
Over the years, I have found a few of the area hotels that decorate for Halloween. If you are looking to keep the spooky fun going after you leave the parks, here are a few of my favorites.
- Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance takes the cake on the decorations. They go all out for Halloween outside the hotel and in the lobby. Read More: Review of the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance Across From Disneyland.
- Howard Johnson Anaheim is another favorite of mine. They put up a few decorations around the property. And while it isn’t Halloween related, if you are staying there on September 19th, they always do something fun for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
- The VIV hotel is a luxury hotel, a bit further away, that also puts up decorations. I stayed here last October and they had a Jack Skellington and Halloween Tree set up in their lobby.
Other Considerations When Choosing A Hotel
Here are a few other things you might want to think about when choosing a hotel.
Both September and October can have extremely hot temps. If you plan on swimming at all, choose one of the Disneyland Area Hotels With Amazing Pools.
If you plan on attending Oogie Boogie Bash I suggest staying at one of the hotels across from Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. This way you can avoid the long lines for the shuttles and trams after the party.
If you have a larger group and are having trouble finding a hotel that can sleep everyone, definitely check out my list of 60+ Disneyland Hotels For Large Families.
Disneyland Halloween Season – Spooktacular Offerings
Now that your vacation is booked, it is time to start planning out your Halloween Time visit. From Halloween Decorations to live entertainment and seasonal ride overlays, you will learn why this time of year is so popular among Disney fans.
Disneyland Halloween Entertainment
One of my favorite things about Halloween at Disneyland is that there are so many unique entertainment opportunities. Here is a brief overview of what entertainment you will find throughout Disneyland Park, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney District.
Disneyland’s Halloween Screams Fireworks
One of the best things to come of Oogie Boogie Bash replacing Mickey’s Halloween Party is that Halloween Screams, the season fireworks show is now available for all park guests to view.
Originally exclusively shown at the parties when they were held at Disneyland, Halloween Screams is one of my favorite shows ever.
The show is shown nightly with projections on Main Street USA, Sleeping Beauty Castle, and “it’s a small world”, with Fireworks added on select nights (mostly weekends and sometimes nightly during fall break).
Read More: Best Places To Watch Disneyland Fireworks
Halloween Character Calvacade at Disneyland Park
While you won’t get to view the Frightfully Fun Parade unless you attend Oogie Boogie Bash, you can see a short character parade that runs twice daily in Disneyland Park. Here, you will see Mickey and Minnie Mouse and friends in their Halloween Costumes, as well as other favorite Disneyland characters.
Día de los Muertos Entertainment at Plaza de la Familia
While two separate holidays, the celebration for Dia de los Muertos in California Adventure runs from early September until November 2nd, overlapping Halloween Time at the rest of the resort. Here guests can celebrate Mexican and Latin cultures and traditions surrounding the holiday.
A Musical Celebration of Coco
This is my favorite street performance of all time at Disneyland Resort. Multiple times daily, you can head to Paradise Gardens, in front of the entrance to Plaza de la Familia (near Goofy’s Sky School), and watch performers sing and dance as they do a retelling of the story of Coco. This is something you don’t want to miss.
The Mariachi Divas and Other Performances
You won’t want to miss the live music in Plaza de la Familia. From the grammy-award winning Mariachi Divas to other popular local groups, you can catch music celebrating Latin cultures.
Disneyland Halloween Ride Overlays
Another reason we love Disneyland at Halloween time is that some of our favorite rides get spooky overlays, making them an entirely new experience.
Haunted Mansion Holliday
Probably the most famous ride overlay during Halloween Time is when Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas takes over at The Haunted Mansion. Haunted Mansion Holiday is a spooky, but fun take on what happens when holidays collide.
The ride features Jack Skellington and his friends and includes many of your favorite characters from the cult classic movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Oogie Boogie even makes an appearance.
This offering doesn’t end when Halloween is over. Haunted Mansion Holiday is available through the holiday season at Disneyland as well.
Read More: Holidays at Disneyland Resort
Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark
Probably the most unique overlay Disneyland Resort has done for Halloween is the one on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT!
Instead of a full-time overlay, Disney has instead created a new ride experience that only takes place in the evening hours, leaving the traditional version of the ride operating during the day.
The Monsters After Dark version has all new special effects, a new song, and the story continues after the Mission BREAKOUT! version.
An Entire Land Overlay? Yep! They Did That
The most ambitious layover for Halloween Time is that Cars Land is made over. Radiator Springs becomes Radiator Screams. In true Cars fashion, the entire land is decked out in Halloween decorations made out of items related to vehicles. Tires, traffic cones, and more.
While spending time in Radiator Screams, you can view Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns, and Mummy Tractors, and take a picture inside Flo’s spider-car.
You will also get to see Lightning McQueen, Mater, Red, and Cruz Ramirez in their Halloween car-stumes.
HAUL-O-WEEN also has some ride overlays in Cars Land as well.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree Becomes Mater’s Graveyard Jambooree
Mater’s Junkyard gets a BOOtiful makeover. While the ride really doesn’t change, you will get new Halloween-themed music on the ride during Halloween Season.
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Transforms to Luigi’s Honkin Haul-O-Ween
Another minor ride overlay, Luigi’s also gets some new music for Halloween. Hop in a car as Luigi’s family and friends dance to a fun, Halloween-themed song.
Will Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy Ever Return?
In previous years, Space Mountain would receive a ride layover as Ghost Galaxy. Ever since Mickey’s Halloween Party was replaced by Oogie Boogie Bash, this overlay seems to have been quietly retired. That said, you never know when Disneyland may bring back an overlay or attraction.
Disneyland Halloween Food Offerings
Every year at Halloween we see several themed food offerings throughout the resort. Some of the most popular items return year after year, while others may be exclusive offerings for just one year.
Here are some Halloween treats we hope to see this year at Disneyland Resort for Halloween Time
This cute Mickey Mummy Macaron is always a hit. You can pick it up at the Jolly Holiday Bakery.
Spooky and Fun Candied Apples
From a Mickey Pumpkin candied to ones themed as a poisoned apple to a Jack Skellington version, Halloween time delivers on unique candied apple offerings. You can find these at various locations throughout Disneyland Resort.
Halloween Churros at Disneyland
You can’t talk about Disneyland food without mentioning churros. Disneyland loves to put out themed and limited-time flavors for their churros. Back in the day, my family used to do Churro Challenges where my family would try every specialty churro offered.
You can check out our Halloween 2019 Churro Challenge in the video below.
Mickey Zombie Gingerbread Cookie
One item that was super popular last year that we hope returns is the Mickey Zombie Gingerbread Cookie. This was available for purchase at select locations and was a fast fan favorite.
Pizza Planet’s Alien Macaron
This is another favorite that has come back year after year. You can mobile order this treat from Pizza Planet.
This year’s Foodie Guide will come out towards the end of August. We will be sure to share more once it is released.
Disneyland Halloween Decorations
Wondering where you can find that giant Mickey pumpkin? Or maybe you have questions about what decorations you will find throughout the entire Disneyland Resort. Let’s take a look at what you can expect during your visit.
Halloween Decorations at the Main Gates Of the Two Parks
Before you even scan into the park, you will get to see Halloween decor setting the scene for the feel of each park. Above the main gate to Disneyland park are pumpkin versions of the Fab Five. While across the esplanade Oogie Boogie looms over the California Adventure park gates.
Check Out The Pumpkin Festival On Main Street USA in Disneyland Park
One of the most recognizable Halloween decorations at Disneyland is the Mickey Jack-O-Lantern, affectionately nicknamed Blinky. The giant pumpkin based on Mickey Mouse is located in the town square near the flag pole.
The nickname Blinky comes from the fact that as you enter the park, the side facing you is a typical, smiling jack-o-lantern. As you exit the park however, the Mickey pumpkin is winking.
Nearby, you will find a variety of other pumpkins resting on the window ledges of the Main Street buildings.
The Mickey Pumpkins on the lampposts are designed after Blinky… yes even to the detail of winking at guests walking out of the park.
At the park hub, surrounding the Walt and Mickey Statue are jack-o-lanterns with your favorite characters carved in them.
Haunted Mansion Holiday Gives an Eerie Touch to New Orleans Square
I personally think the Haunted Mansion Holiday is the best form of decoration in all of the park. While you will be able to see many of the Christmas seasons touches during the day, at night, the Halloween decorations shine. It is truly a sight to behold.
Did You Know About This Insider Halloween Decoration?
One of the Halloween decorations that many casual guests may not know about is the Halloween Tree located in Frontierland, near the Golden Horseshoe.
The tree is decorated in orange lights and hanging pumpkins in honor of Ray Bradbury’s book “The Halloween Tree.”
If you are interested in deep diving into the history of this tree, and Ray Bradbury’s relationship with the Walt Disney Company, D23 has an excellent article you can check out.
Other Small Touches Of Halloween in Disneyland Park
While the rest of Disneyland Park doesn’t officially decorate for Halloween, you may always find a few random decorations pop up as a pleasant surprise. Whether houses on Storybook Land Canal Boats have decorations up or a Villan Dance Party takes place in Tomorrowland, you may be able to spot some unexpected Disneyland Halloween fun.
Halloween Decorations on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure
As I mentioned above, Oogie Boogie sets the tone for the Halloween Spirit at California Adventure. As you walk down Buena Vista street you will find decorations of dark purple and black, with bats to accent.
Carthay Circle has bats flying from the tower during this spooky season, while across the way a statue of the Headless Horseman has an eerie glow at night.
Grizzly Peak Decorations For Halloween Time
During the day, Grizzly Peak seems pretty normal. Other than a temporary wall with murals of the villains found in Villain’s Grove during Oogie Boogie Bash, you probably wouldn’t realize there were any decorations at all.
In the evening, however, the tall Redwood trees reveal they have orange lights strung in their branches.
The giant bear by Grizzly River Run also holds a trick-or-treat bucket.
Cars Land Halloween Decorations
I touched on it above, but Cars Land is the most themed area in the parks. From a slug bug dressed as a witch to spooky faces above the main strip made of tires, chains, and traffic cones, the details in the land are amazing.
Halloween Decor and Fun in the Downtown Disney District
While you need a Disneyland Resort Park Ticket to enjoy everything happening inside of the gates, Downtown Disney is open to the general public. And there is Halloween fun to be had there as well.
READ MORE: Downtown Disney Parking Info
Halloween Decorations in Downtown Disney District
Downtown Disney usually puts their decorations up a little later in the season. Once they are up, guests will find pumpkins painted and stacked to look like their favorite Disney characters like Donald Duck and Goofy.
Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit – A Halloween Scavenger Hunt
While in Downtown Disney, guests can participate in Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit. Guests purchase a game board with stickers on one side and a map with locations on the other.
Using the map, guests look for hidden pumpkins at each location. Once they find the pumpkin, they place one of their stickers on the game board to indicate that they found it. Collect all of the pumpkins to be declared a winner!
When they’re finished, they can turn in their game board at select locations around Downtown Disney and receive a special prize.
NOTE: The prize is available whether or not you finish the pursuit, and can be picked up when you purchase or after you complete the game board.
How Long Are Halloween Decorations Up?
As soon as the parks close on Halloween Night, Disneyland begins removing the decorations. While Haunted Mansion Holiday will remain up, everything else must come down quickly for them to be able to decorate for the Christmas season and holidays.
In fact, you may begin to see snow appear on Sleeping Beauty Castle in the days leading up to Halloween. Last year, I visited in mid-October and there was already snow on the castle, and holiday decor popping up in higher, less notable locations in the parks.
Insider Tips for Disneyland Halloween Visitors
Now that you are super excited about your Halloween Time visit, I am bringing you my insider tips to make the most of your vacation.
California Adventure Closes Early On Party Nights
On nights when Oogie Boogie Bash is taking place, California Adventure will close at 6 pm. At that time, only party guests with wristbands will have access to rides, dining, and eventually, the entire park.
Don’t Avoid Going To California Adventure These Days
Now, this insider tip is one I swear by. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works. Readers who have read this advice said they will never go back. Here it is:
On days when there is a party – start the day in the park hosting the party. This goes for all after-dark events, but especially for Oogie Boogie Bash.
Because most people think like you probably are… “I am going to be kicked out early so why would I choose to go to that park?” Especially guests without Disneyland Parkhopper Tickets.
This thinking means fewer people will be in that park, and you will be able to get a lot done.
And then on non-party days, many people will choose to go to California Adventure those days, making Disneyland less crowded.
NOTE: There will still be crowds. There are always crowds. But it will be more manageable for sure.
Disneyland Park Gets EXTREMELY Crowded During The Party
I have found that for me and my family, we prefer to call it an early night on party nights where we are not attending Oogie Boogie Bash.
Disneyland Park just gets TOO CROWDED once the party starts. You will have all those people that chose to start at Disneyland, and now all those coming over after California Adventure closes early.
We usually choose to either enjoy dinner in Downtown Disney or head back to our hotel to relax.
Utilize Genie+ To Ride the Haunted Mansion Holiday
Haunted Mansion Holiday is EXTREMELY popular. Especially during Halloween Time. If you want to ride this attraction without the wait, I suggest purchasing Disney Genie+ to access the Lightning Lane for this attraction.
Be sure to grab a return time in the Disneyland App in the morning as they tend to run out later in the day during Halloween Season.
Mobile Order Those Halloween Treats
If you are a foodie and want to get your hands on some of those Halloween treats, be sure to check which locations offer them via mobile order.
You can place your mobile order beginning around 7 am in the Disneyland app for a pickup time later that day.
Since quantities of many of these treats are limited, this is a great way to make sure you have one held for you.
Hold Up On Those Halloween Costumes
Even though it is Halloween season, the Disneyland costume guidelines still apply. Guests aged 14 and over are not allowed to wear costumes, and guests under the age of 14 must follow the costume guidelines on the Disneyland website.
How To Dress For Disneyland During Halloween
You might think that the parks will be cooler because it is fall. Don’t be fooled, I have been in mid-October with temperatures in the triple digits before. While the norm will be closer to the upper 80s.
While the days can be hot, the nights cool down quite a bit.
Because of this, plan on dressing in layers, with a hoodie or jacket for the evening. Be sure to check the Anaheim forecast in the days leading up to your trip as well.
Read More: Tips For Staying Cool at Disneyland
If This Is Your First Time Going To Disneyland
Understand that if this is your first time going to Disneyland, and you are visiting during Halloween Time, you will have all of the ride overlays and decorations up. That means you may not get the traditional photos, but don’t worry, you will still have a ton of fun.
Explore Dia de los Muertos in Both Parks
While we touched on the fact that Dia de los Muertos is a separate holiday that is celebrated in California Adventure, you can also find decorations and learn about the holiday in Frontierland, near Rancho del Zocalo.
Disney Villains Are Out And About
You will see Disney Villains out and about more in the parks during Halloween at Disneyland. A lot of times they are roaming characters, meaning they are not stationed in a spot, will walk around, interact with guests, maybe pose for a picture or give an autograph, then keep moving.
Another thing to know ahead of time is the villains play their part. They will be “villainy” (I think I made that word up) and this can be a shock to some children if they have already had several character meet and greets with non-villains.
Don’t Miss The Dapper Dans During Halloween
While the Dapper Dans may sing some of their traditional numbers, at Halloween Time they are also more likely to add in some spookier hits. I love when they perform Grim Grinning Ghosts.
Visiting on Halloween Night, But Missed Out On Oogie Boogie Bash Tickets?
If you are going to be going over Halloween, but either choose not to or miss out on attending Oogie Boogie Bash, if you stay at one of the Harbor Blvd Hotels between Howard Johnson Anaheim and Castle Inn and Suite you can still trick-or-treat.
The Harbor Walk Hotels offer Trick or Treating for their guests. Go to each of the participating hotels and show your hotel room key to participate.
Save The Most On Disneyland Halloween Time Vacations
Want to save the most on your Southern California vacation for Halloween time? My partners at Get Away Today offer discounted tickets, hotel deals, and more. They also offer discounted tickets to other Southern California Theme Parks (many also have Halloween offerings).
Disneyland’s Halloween Season is the perfect time to visit the parks (of course I feel any time is the perfect time), so save more by booking your vacation early.
Get Away Today also offers a low-price guarantee, so if you find a lower price elsewhere, just reach out to them for an adjustment.
Plus, Get Away Today offers promo codes! Use code ThisCrazy10 when booking a vacation of 2 nights or more to get additional savings. It’s that easy. So don’t wait – start planning your Disneyland Halloween family vacation today. You’ll be glad you did.