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Heading to Disneyland this fall? There is a lot of fun to be had. If you are heading to Disneyland with Kids in fall 2022, you will be treated to special events, activities, food, and more. This guide has everything to know about visiting Disneyland in the fall with Kids.
Fall is one of my favorite times to go to Disneyland. Between the Halloween decorations, ride overlays, and lower crowd levels (depending on when you go), it is a great time to visit Disneyland Resort. It is an especially great time to visit with kids.
The Halloween decorations are fun, and not overly spooky, and kids love seeing all of their favorite characters in their own Halloween costumes. Plus, if you are able to go during September, the crowds can be quite low.
Everything to Know About Visiting Disneyland in The Fall with Kids
Before we get going, if you are not a member of the Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group, you definitely will want to join. Over there, I and 3 other Disneyland experts are able to give you tips and answer questions. Plus we have thousands of members always willing to help each other out. We even have locked in some special deals only available to our group members.
If you are heading to Disneyland in the fall, here is everything you need to know.
What Is The Weather Like In Disneyland In The Fall
Even though many areas are breaking out sweaters and scarves, Southern California can still be quite hot, and a heat wave is not uncommon, bringing temps to summer-like highs.
Even though the days can be hot, the evenings and nights can be cool, so be sure to bring layers if you will be staying late at the parks.
What Are The Crowds Like In Fall At Disneyland
Fall crowds can be amazing! If you are able to visit in September, after Labor Day, and through the first week of October, you can enjoy low crowds. (Check out my year-round Disneyland crowd estimates for more information on crowd levels.)
October brings fall breaks for many schools in the Western United States, and you will see crowds increase from the second week in October through the end of the month.
Don’t let the crowds scare you. With a little planning, and the help of Genie+ you will still have a great vacation, even with the crowds.
What Holidays Does Disneyland Celebrate In The Fall
Disneyland celebrates multiple holidays throughout the year, and that includes in the fall.
During September and October, Disneyland celebrates two different holidays in the parks and has decorations, theming, merchandise, food, and entertainment for both.
Halloween Time At Disneyland
Halloween Time at Disneyland runs from September 2, 2022 – October 31, 2022 and is celebrated at both parks, and the Downtown Disney District.
Celebrations include decorations, specialty foods, ride-overlays, Halloween Screams fireworks, and Oogie Boogie Bash – A Halloween Party. Oogie Boogie Bash is a separate, ticketed event held after park closing at California Adventure Park.
Dia de Los Muertos
Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated from September 2, 2022 – November 2, 2022
Disneyland celebrates this holiday to honor the Mexican culture, which is prevalent in Southern California.
Dia de Los Muertos is a day to honor our family members that have passed, and with this, a majority of the festivities for this holiday are located at the Plaza de la Familia in California Adventure Park. Other festivities, including information about the history of this holiday, are located in Frontierland near Rancho del Zocalo.
The celebration includes A Musical Celebration of Coco (MY FAVORITE!!!), arts and crafts, a wall of remembrance, and more.
Special Events At Disneyland In Fall – Oogie Boogie Bash
During Halloween Time, Disneyland fun abounds, but for those who want even more Halloween fun, Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party, is a must do event.
Tickets for this event are sold out, but always keep an eye out in case more become available after the first few parties.
The party includes specialty foods, treat trails, Frightfully Fun Parade, and Mickey’s Trick and Treat show. You will also see special characters, enjoy lower crowds, and more.
Must Do Fall Activities At Disneyland With Kids
One of my favorite parts of fall at Disneyland is that there are so many amazing activities to do during your visit. From scavenger hunts, to meet and greets, to trying new foods, you will have plenty of excitement during your vacation.
Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit
Looking for something fun to do on your arrival day, or maybe on a non-park day in the middle of your vacation?
Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit is a Disneyland with Kids Favorite.
This activity is a scavenger hunt through Downtown Disney, where you are rewarded with a prize! Find all of the pumpkins hidden throughout the area. Everyone can play, and everyone who plays gets a prize.
There is a cost for the cards, which gets you the prize. But the price is usually minimal (I will update this with the price once it starts this year), and the prize more than makes it worthwhile.
Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit is available September 9 – October 31, 2022- while supplies last.
Character Meet and Greets
What is a trip to Disneyland without meeting your favorite characters? Kids especially love meeting their favorites, from Mickey Mouse to the princesses, and everyone in between.
During Halloween, Mickey and his pals will be out in their own costumes. This year they are sporting all new costumes that are inspired by the homemade costumes we all love.
Also- it is my goal this year to get a picture with Donald when I am wearing my Candy Corn Dress.
During Halloween Time at Disneyland, you will also see a lot more of your favorite Villains around the parks. From Jafar to the Queen of Hearts, and beyond. These are the characters we love to hate, and you will see a lot more of them during the fall.
What trip to Disneyland is complete without checking out some of the food offerings? No matter when you visit, Disneyland always has special food offerings, and fall is no different.
From specialty churros to drinks, pretzels to spicy dishes… you will not be able to try it all in one visit, but you are more than welcome to try.
Check out the full Foodie Guide from Disney Parks Blog
My family’s personal favorite is to do a Churro Challenge, where we purchase and try every specialty churro available during the fall. If you give it a shot this year, let me know.
Entertainment at Disneyland in Fall
Fall Entertainment at Disneyland will have you grinning from ear to ear. Both parks have entertainment options you will not want to miss.
In Disneyland Park
Some of my favorites in Disneyland Park are
- Dapper Dans singing fun Halloween tunes
- Disneyland Band
- Halloween Screams Projections (with Fireworks on weekends)
I personally think the Halloween Screams Fireworks show is one of the best ones Disneyland has ever done.
In Disney California Adventure Park
My favorites in California Adventure include:
- Five and Dime performing near Carthay Circle
- Guardians of the Galaxy Dance Off
- A Musical Celebration of Coco (this is my absolute favorite street show Disneyland has, all year round)
Ride Overlays at Disneyland in Fall
During the fall, Disneyland Resort has a couple of rides that transform to celebrate the Halloween celebrations. You will want to check these attractions out during your visit.
Haunted Mansion Holiday – Disneyland Park
The Haunted Mansion transforms into Haunted Mansion Holiday. Jack Skellington and his Nightmare Before Christmas friends are decking the halls. Of course, Jack, being from Halloweentown, is giving his own ghoulish twist to the Christmas holiday.
This overlay runs through the Holidays at Disneyland, and definitely has a great balance of Halloween and Christmas to it.
The most anticipated piece of this ride is the giant gingerbread house in the ballroom scene. The house is new each year, and in 2022, it features Oogie Boogie’s boys – Lock, Stock, and Barrel.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark – California Adventure
The storyline from Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! continues with Monsters After Dark. This ride is available nightly, but does not happen until… you guessed it… after dark (or at least late afternoon).
From park opening until 2 in the afternoon, you can experience the traditional ride. At that time, the ride will close for a short time and reopen around 3 or 4 in the afternoon as the Monsters After Dark version.
This version features an original song and is in the heavier rock/metal genre.
Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree – California Adventure
In Cars Land, Mater is having a haunting good time, where Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is transformed into Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree. The overlay is mostly a change in music and the signage, but you can find a tractor dressed as a mummy near the ride as well.
Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween – California Adventure
Just down the strip from Mater’s you will find Luigi’s is also joining the Haul-O-Ween fun. Once again, this overlay is mostly a change in music, but with the cars dancing to some new tunes, you may experience the ride in a whole new way.
Top Tips For Your Fall Visit to Disneyland with Kids
With so much fun to be had during the fall at Disneyland, here are some tips to make sure you make the most of your trip.
1. Booking You Vacation
Be sure to book your Disneyland vacation ASAP! I suggest booking through my partners at Get Away Today. They have amazing hotel deals, discount tickets, and more.
Once you book your vacation, be sure you have park reservations. Reservations are required and can be made up to 120 days in advance. While the reservations have been pretty open, they can fill up so do not wait.
2. Tips to beat the Crowds and Lines – Genie+ and Beyond
If you are planning to head to Disneyland during fall break, you will want to make sure to plan ahead to beat the crowds.
The best way to make the most of your Disneyland visit is by purchasing Genie+. Genie+ gets you access to shorter Lightning Lanes, and it also includes digital downloads of all your photopass and ride photos for the day.
In addition to Genie+, be sure to get to the parks early to maximize the first few hours when wait times and crowds are the lowest.
If you are staying at one of the Disney-owned hotels, you also have access to Early Entry, which is an amazing way to get a lot done to start your Disneyland day.
3. Utilizing the Disneyland App
The Disneyland App is a great tool for your Disneyland vacation. Not only is it where you will utilize Genie+ but you can also access ride wait times, mobile order food, find characters, and so much more.
I personally suggest downloading the app well in advance, and even practicing using it. You can check out the Disneyland App episode of the Disneyland with Kids Podcast for even more tips.
4. Weather and Packing
When it comes to packing for your vacation, I suggest watching the weather forecast in the days leading up to your trip. Plan to pack layers of clothing so that you are prepared if the weather forecast changes, or for a hot day turning into a cool night.
Be sure to check out my packing list for more park-must-haves you won’t want to forget.
5. Make a Plan
The biggest tip I can give you for your fall Disneyland vacation is to make sure you have a plan… a flexible plan, but still a plan.
To help make your plan you can follow me on Instagram, catch up on Disneyland with Kids podcast episodes, read the Disneyland with Kids digital magazine, or join the Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group.
Your plan should include:
- what are your must-do rides, entertainment, etc are
- plans to get to and from the parks
- dining reservations you may want to make
Ready to book your vacation?
Don’t forget that when you book through my partners at Get Away Today, you can use code CrazyAdventure on vacations of 2 nights or longer to save even more. This is in addition to their discounted tickets, free hotel nights, and other offers.