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2024 Spooktacular Disneyland Halloween Guide + Insider Tips

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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 Halloween Quick Info:

  • Halloween Time at Disneyland in 2024 kicks off August 23 and continues through October 31st.
  • Oogie Boogie Bash takes place select nights in California Adventure during these dates.
  • Spooktacular treats will be offered during this season.

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!

Donald, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy in Halloween costumes on the steps to the Main Street U.S.A. Train station at Disneyland.
Mickey and friends in their 2022 Halloween Costumes, Photo: Disneyland Resort

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?

Halloween Time at Disneyland in 2-24 will kick off on August 23, 2024, and continue until October 31, 2024. We will update this as soon as an official announcement is made.

How Early Should I Plan My Disneyland Halloween Time Vacation?

You should look into booking your vacation as soon as you have dates in mind. If you are feeling overwhelmed you can use my Plan a Disneyland Vacation in 7 Easy Steps Guide.

Booking now will help you lock in the best ticket prices and hotel deals for your vacation. Plus it will give you a headstart on planning your Disneyland trip to get the most out of your 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 any time 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.

Disneyland Kids Ticket Deal for Early 2024

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 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.

Just one of the many Halloween Time decorations at Courtyard
  • 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.

Halloween Projections display on Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland.
Photo: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

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.

Donald, Goofy, Mickey and Minnie in Halloween Costumes on a Parade Float at Disneyland.

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 August 23 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.

Dancers in bright yellow and green dresses for Dios De Los Muertos dancing in front of the Plaza de la Familia at Disney's California Adventure.

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

Mummy Macaron

This cute Mickey Mummy Macaron is always a hit. You can pick it up at the Jolly Holiday Bakery.

Mummy Macaroon in front of the Jolly Holiday Restaurant at Disneyland.

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.

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.

Becca, dressed in a blank, orange and yellow dress with pumpkin Mickey ears in front of the Mickey Pumpkin on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland.

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.

Becca smiling next to a Car witch in Car's Land at Disney's California Adventure.

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!

Sign for Pluto's Pumpkin Pursuit in Downtown Disney at Disneyland with child in front with a filled out card.
Photo Courtesy Leslie Harvey, Trips with Tykes

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.

WHY?

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.

Disneyland Kids Ticket Deal for Early 2024

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.

DCA on a Party afternoon before Oogie Boogie Bash guests arrive. Cars Land is mostly empty.

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.

Read More: Complete Guide To Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Disneyland

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.

12 thoughts on “2024 Spooktacular Disneyland Halloween Guide + Insider Tips”

    • I have heard from others it is crowded, but of course “crowded” is an opinion, so it is hard to tell. I have not gone on actual Halloween before. I think the parties are not crowded, but others often say they feel they still have big crowds.

      Reply
    • It usually says that every year because after October 31st it is technically part of the holidays at Disneyland. I will be keeping an eye on it to make sure, but that is how they worded it last year but it went through the Holidays.

      Reply
  1. Can adults wear costume when they get into the Halloween party 3 hours early with the Halloween tickets or do you have to wait till the actual start to be

    Reply
    • Adults can wear costumes the 3 hours before, but not any earlier (like if you go using a normal park ticket in the morning). I tested this last year.

      Reply
  2. Are adults able to wear a costume to Disneyland during the month of October? Or is it just to the Oogie Boogie Bash event at California Adventures?

    Reply

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