Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland

Halloween Time at Disneyland occurs in 2015 from mid-September 12 until October 31, 2015. During HalloweenTime, the hard ticket Mickey’s Halloween Party will be held most Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays in October, and two dates in September. Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets range in price from $56 to $77, depending upon the night and whether you qualify for an Annual Passholder discount. Besides this party, entertainment during the Halloween Time at Disneyland season is included in the cost of regular theme park admission.

For those considering visiting during Halloween Time at Disneyland, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the standard offerings during the Halloween season in Disneyland are superior to those in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The decorations are better, the entertainment is superior, the seasonal snacks are more plentiful (and most are absolutely delicious), and there are two attractions at Disneyland that receive Halloween overlays (plus extra entertainment in Big Thunder Ranch), versus zero at Walt Disney World.

The bad news is that hard ticket Disneyland’s Mickey’s Halloween Party is inferior to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, crowds are not light (still better than summer) during Halloween Time at Disneyland like they are in the fall at Walt Disney World, and there are no other fall offerings justifying a visit to Disneyland Resort specifically during the Halloween season, versus Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, which is also a big draw during the fall at Walt Disney World.

With all of that said, we think Halloween Time at Disneyland is an incredible time to visit Disneyland. In fact, after Christmas at Disneyland, Halloween Time at Disneyland is our absolute favorite time of the year to visit. The only reason Christmas gets the edge is because all of its entertainment is included with the normal cost of admission, and Disney California Adventure gets into the fun during the Christmas season, too.

We attended the first weekend of Halloween Time at Disneyland 2014 (September 12-15) last year, and had an awesome time. We’ve updated this post with some new photos and thoughts from this year’s festivities, so let’s take a look at Halloween Time at Disneyland, sharing some of our tips and reviews for the various offerings…

Disneyland Resort Halloween Decorations

The bulk of the Halloween decorations at Disneyland Resort are in Disneyland (as always, this article distinguishes between the whole resort by referring to it as “Disneyland Resort” and Walt Disney’s original theme park as “Disneyland;” we don’t go for this “Disneyland Park” business that marketing tries to use to differentiate the two). Disney California Adventure has some decorations, but Disneyland goes all out.

This is apparent as soon as you approach Disneyland from the Esplanade, as the Fab Five are all above the turnstiles in pumpkin form. These just might be our favorite decorations, as they are clever and really set the tone from the beginning. These are probably also the easiest decorations to forget to photograph. It’s a waste of time to photograph them during the morning rush when you need to spend your time getting into Disneyland and efficiently hitting attractions, but consider leaving the park during the middle of the day to grab a few photos of them.

The decorations continue in front of the Main Street Train Station, and then throughout Main Street once you’re into the park. While other areas of Disneyland are decorated, Main Street definitely has the most decorations. Our favorite of these decorations is the large Mickey Mouse pumpkin photo op at the near end of the street. This is a popular photo op early in the day, but is less popular during the middle of the day (grab your first photo of it in mid-afternoon when the Southern California skies are most likely to be blue–after the coastal haze has burned off). It’s again popular on the way out of the park at the end of the night, unless you wait until the very end, which is when we recommend grabbing a second photo of it.

Much like Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Disneyland also has pumpkins adorning the ledges and windows on the second story of Main Street buildings. Some of the details of these pumpkins are great, and we highly recommend taking a few minutes to check out all of the pumpkins on Main Street at some point during the day. There are some clever references in there.

Partners also has many pumpkins around it in the flower bed there, making a great photo op, especially at night with Main Street in the background (the pumpkins are only in the rear 180 degrees of the flower bed).

Main Street has a lot of decorations, but Frontierland is the show-stealer when it comes to Halloween. Perhaps the coolest “decoration” of all is one that’s frequently overlooked, and that’s the Ray Bradbury Halloween Tree in Frontierland. This tree is modeled after Bradbury’s 1972 novel, titled The Halloween Tree, which is a story about 8 boys’ travels across time and space, with the Halloween Tree itself serving as a metaphor representing the confluence of cultural Halloween traditions. (This is per Wikipedia…you didn’t actually think we know what “confluence” means, did you?!) The Halloween Tree was introduced in 2007 with Ray Bradbury on-hand for its dedication.

As a Disney history fan, I really appreciate this tree. Ray Bradbury was a huge proponent of EPCOT Center. His role in developing the original script for Spaceship Earth is frequently noted, but there’s a good chance EPCOT Center wouldn’t have been the theme park it was at opening without Ray Bradbury so strongly advocating for it among other scholarly minds. His writings on the significance of Disney theme parks have given them an air of legitimacy to otherwise dismissive critics, too. Ray Bradbury is definitely deserving of this tribute, and I hope it continues on for decades to come. If you want to read and see more, read our The Halloween Tree at Disneyland post.

Also in Frontierland are plenty of Dia de los Muertos decor near Rancho del Zocalo. Although we aren’t familiar with the cultural traditions of the “Day of the Dead,” these decorations seem very culturally-specific to the event. Regardless of their authenticity, they are really well done, and a great change of pace from the normal pumpkins elsewhere.

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Continuing through Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch is fully decked out for Halloween as the Halloween Carnival. This includes the Scare-dy-Crow Shack as well as the absolute best Halloween attraction at Disneyland. More on this below. The decorations in Big Thunder Ranch are quite excellent, and we recommend devoting a good half hour to exploring this area. Not only are the decorations well done, but there are some clever creations back here, too.

There are also arts and crafts that kids can do back here, while adults can purchase some typical carnival snacks back while the kids have fun. This area reminded me of a local Halloween farm I used to visit in Michigan…except with significantly better art design and a much larger budget. The point is that it feels like a ranch you actually might visit in the country during the Halloween season, not a part of a busy theme park. It’s a great way to revisit these places of your youth, or expose your kids to a bygone era of good ole fashioned country fun. Maybe that’s just me, though.

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Billy Hill and the Hillbillies (who have been “retired” from Disneyland) have been replaced by the Mystic Magic Show, which features various illusions and tricks in a fun little show. There’s standard magic, plus juggling, fortune telling, and more. It’s a good show, but it’s not nearly the Halloween Hootenanny that our beloved Billy Hill and the Hillbillies provided.

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With the exception of some light decorations elsewhere in the park and a few sparse decorations here and there in elsewhere in the Resort, that covers the Disneyland Resort Halloween Time decorations. It’s virtually all in Disneyland (park). Plenty to see and photograph if you enjoy Halloween!

Halloween Time at Disneyland Attractions

Most fans will tell you that Disneyland has two Halloween attractions: Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This is flat out ignorant. Anyone with any sense knows that the flagship Halloween attraction at Disneyland is Big Thunder Ranch, where…drumroll…there are GOATS DRESSED FOR HALLOWEEN. Sometimes, this just means handkerchiefs around their necks. Other times, it means that plus witch hats. Other times, it means neither (as was the case for the first weekend of Halloween Time 2014, although we’re told they will have handkerchiefs later…in case you care!)

Goat jokes aside, Big Thunder Ranch, which is known as the Halloween Carnival during Halloween Time at Disneyland, is a Halloween “attraction” that is well worth your time. First, the area is located in a wooded area of the park that just screams “fall,” and the decorations here are beautiful. This sets the tone for the experience. There are a lot of crafts and other activities for kids plus character meet & greets that rarely have lines, and the Mystic Magic How, making this area is a nice respite for adults, too.

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The talented pumpkin carvers back here are also fun for guests of all ages to watch, and some of their designs are really cool. They work relatively quickly so it’s not equivalent to watching grass grow, either.

If you’re into character meet & greets, this is also the best place for that. The villains meet & greet generally has a long line, but Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip & Dale, and Donald Duck all regularly roam the area in their halloween costumes, and the waits to meet them are rarely long. We highly recommend heading back on an afternoon (weekdays are lightest) to quickly meet these characters.

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Finally, there are carnival games and some other diversions that you can spend plenty of time doing. Thanks to its location, Big Thunder Ranch is never really busy, but it does draw crowds for the dedicated villains meet & greets. There’s really no need to prioritize this Carnival in your touring unless you want to meet the villains. Of course, a villains meet & greet could be set up at a sketchy hotel on the wrong end of Harbor Boulevard at 2 am and it would probably still draw long lines. People love those villains!

People also love goats…and you can never go wrong with talking to them for a few hours of your day! In fact, we love these goats so much that we suggest Disney add another Halloween themed attraction to Tomorrowland, called “Goat Galaxy.” The attraction would consist of moving the Big Thunder Ranch to the Captain EO theater at night, and just letting them roam around in there. The goats would add another layer to the experience, and would be another great in-theater effect. Plus, Captain EO is so bizarre and creepy that it’s basically already a Halloween attraction. Okay, it’s not really a good (or serious) idea, but it would make Captain EO more tolerable!

Since we don’t ever anticipate this happening, we highly encourage you to use the hashtag #goatgalaxy on Instagram or Twitter when you take a selfie with the goats. Oh, you will be taking selfies with the goats! 😉

Most of you aren’t quite as enamored with goats as we are (fools), so let’s move on to the big two. Haunted Mansion Holiday is the flagship attraction during the holiday seasons (both Halloween and Christmas) at Disneyland, and we absolutely love it. We think it’s brilliant how the attraction is totally transformed into something different, and how it changes each year to keep the locals coming back to see those changes.

Some traditionalist Disneyland fans don’t care for it, and if you’ve never seen regular Haunted Mansion, you might be disappointed by seeing the overlay instead of that, but for everyone else, this is great fun. We have an entire page dedicated to an overview of Haunted Mansion Holiday, which includes a ride-through video and numerous photos, so if you want to know more about the substance of Haunted Mansion Holiday, check that out.

Disneyland ResortDisneyland (park)Haunted Mansion HolidaySpin Oogie's (saw) Wheel for Holiday Tricks and Treats!For more tips, information, and photos of Disneyland, visit my blog:

In terms of when we recommend doing Haunted Mansion Holiday, early morning is your best bet. Normally, Haunted Mansion is a low-wait attraction, but since the overlay is a big draw for Annual Passholders, the line for Haunted Mansion Holiday gets longer and longer as the day goes on. By nighttime, it’s often one of the longer lines in the park, and it’s now running without FastPass. We typically do the super-headliners like Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, Star Tours, Peter Pan’s Flight and Fantasyland dark rides, and then hit Haunted Mansion Holiday before noon. Although it’s not specific to Halloween Time, read our Ideal 1-Day Disneyland Park Itinerary to get an idea of more strategy for the park.

We usually do it a few times in a row, and then don’t do it again unless we note an uncommonly short line in the afternoon (which does happen from time to time). Definitely don’t wait until night to experience it. The ambiance at night in the queue is better, but that can be seen without getting in line for the attraction. Since the entire ride is indoors, there’s no benefit to actually waiting in line and doing Haunted Mansion Holiday at night.

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is the other Halloween attraction. The overlay for Ghost Galaxy basically consists of some projections, music, and different lighting at night. It’s more of a change in tone to Space Mountain than a change in substance like Haunted Mansion Holiday. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is a little cheesy with its ghost projections, but we absolutely love it. It’s cheesy in the way many Halloween movies are cheesy, and is very fun as a result. Plus, the soundtrack is excellent, and turning your head to “follow” the ghosts around the ride actually creates the illusion that the ride is more intense. Note that while it’s corny for adults, some younger riders might actually be scared by it (there are signs up informing guests of the scare-factor).

Space Mountain always has some of the longest lines at Disneyland, and the same is true of Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. We recommend making this the first attraction you experience when you first arrive at the park in the morning, and we also recommend grabbing a FastPass for it later that will be valid after sundown. There is cool lighting and projections on the exterior of Space Mountain at night, and this is best seen when in line for Space Mountain due to the elevated queue. The substance of the attraction is the same during the day versus during the night, but Space Mountain has FastPass, there’s no harm in doing it at night, since you won’t have to wait in a long line for it like you’d have to do with Haunted Mansion Holiday, which lacks FastPass.

Actually, in terms of the quality of the experience, both Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday are best during the daylight hours. This is because your eyes will have adjusted to darkness better at night, and will allow you to see some things in both attractions that spoil the illusion a bit. Not a huge deal, but something to consider.

Over at Disney California Adventure, there’s only one Halloween “attraction,” and that’s the special Halloween version of Mad T Party. I’m not exactly a Mad T Party fan, but I thought the differences were slight, at best. Basically, there are a few Halloween-ish decorations around the stages.

Halloween Time at Disneyland Food

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When it comes to Halloween dining and snacks, Disneyland absolutely trounces Walt Disney World. This is likely because these seasonal snacks can be marketed to Disneyland Annual Passholders, many of whom actually might make a special trip to the parks to try some of them. Disney routinely posts articles concerning seasonal snacks at Disneyland Resort on the official Disney Parks Blog, so it would seem like this is the case. Whatever the reason, this is great for guests, especially pumpkin fanatics like us. Perhaps that needs a little more emphasis. WE ARE PUMPKIN FANATICS!!!!!1!!!

Our fridge is currently stocked with pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin macaroons, and pumpkin cheesecake. We have pumpkin coffee and pumpkin candles. The only reason we don’t have more “pumpkin stuff” on hand is because we eat it almost as soon as we buy it. We mention this not because we feel you all will care about these intimate details about our everyday lives, but because Disneyland Resort Halloween snacks are heavily skewed toward pumpkin lovers like us. If you don’t love pumpkin foods, you’re far less inclined to be as smitten over Disneyland’s Halloween snacks as we are, but there’s still plenty for you.

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We normally eat our weight in food each day we visit the Disney theme parks, and fortunately there are so many Halloween snacks that we can do exactly that. Here’s just a partial list of which special snacks and foods we’ve tried during Halloween Time at Disneyland: Pumpkin Minnie Demitasse, Banana Fritters, Pumpkin Fritters, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Pumpkin Mickey Beignets. Last year, our favorite snack was the pumpkin cupcake from Jolly Holiday Bakery pictured at the top of this section. We’re pretty much “over” the Disney cupcake craze, but this cupcake was exceptional and is highly recommended.

To us, this is one of the biggest draws of visiting during the Halloween season, and we enjoyed these snacks so much that it’s a tough call for us whether we’d rather do a day snacking around Disneyland during Halloween Time, or snacking around the World Showcase during Food & Wine Festival. There’s more variety in the snacks at Food & Wine Festival, but the lines are shorter and the weather is better at Disneyland!

The topic of these snacks is really deserving of its own post, so check out our Halloween Time at Disneyland Snacks post for some of our favorites.

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

Disneyland ResortDisneyland (park)Haunted Mansion HolidaySo much detail outside Haunted Mansion Holiday. The clock, candles, and

We have yet to do Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland, so we can’t offer a fair review of it. Let’s instead call this a preview with some insight as to why we haven’t done it based on our extensive research into whether we should do it. The main reason why we haven’t done Disneyland’s Halloween Party yet is because it doesn’t look like it offers very good value for money. I’m sure someday we will do Mickey’s Halloween Party someday just to cross it off our list, but for now we’re holding out.

Let’s start with some background info: Mickey’s Halloween Party runs at Disneyland (park) from either 6 pm until 11 pm or 7 pm until midnight on each of the 13 nights that it’s held. It operates very much like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween, so if you’ve been to that, you should more or less understand how this party works. Just in case you haven’t, this is a separately ticketed event that occurs after Disneyland closes to day guests using normal park tickets. If you need regular park tickets, check out our Guide to Buying Discount Disneyland Tickets to save money!

You do not need to purchase normal Disneyland tickets AND the party tickets to attend the party. You can’t use your party ticket for normal daytime admission to Disneyland, and you can’t use your normal day ticket for admission to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. Tickets are sometimes available on the day of the event, but if you really want to go, your best bet is purchasing tickets in advance, as many nights do sell out (and day of tickets are more expensive, anyway).

We recommend doing something else in the morning of Mickey’s Halloween Party and only visiting Disneyland in the evening on a party night and saving your regular park tickets for other days. While the party itself only runs for 5 hours, guests may enter Disneyland 3 hours before the party starts, which means 8 hours of entertainment total. In an ideal world, we’d recommend getting a 3-day Park Hopper ticket and spending at least 4 days at Disneyland Resort, with the morning of the Halloween Party spent doing the Goofy’s Kitchen character breakfast at Disneyland Hotel followed by a couple of hours in Downtown Disney, before heading in the park that afternoon and using only your Mickey’s Halloween Party ticket that day. It’s a good way to stretch your vacation dollars and make the cost of the Halloween Party a little more palatable.

Although the parties are often more crowded than a normal day at Disneyland, the wait times for rides are generally lower. If you don’t care about the Halloween Party, that may be a way to experience attractions more efficiently (if you’re going for the Halloween entertainment and ambiance, we do not recommend doing any rides during any hard ticket parties).

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes to Mickey’s Halloween Party, but costumes aren’t required. As for what’s allowed and prohibited, use common sense. I know sometimes common sense isn’t so common, so here are some baselines: don’t wear anything offensive or grotesque (I’d love to paint “Captain EO SUCKS!” on my chest in war paint and carrying around Hooter’s head on a spear a la Lord of the Flies, but that wouldn’t fly). Don’t wear anything that completely obscures your face. Don’t form a line signing autographs and taking photos with other guests if you’re dressed as a Disney character. Although not a rule, per se, when planning your costume, keep in mind that Disneyland Resort is located in SoCal. A full body ALF costume would be totally rad, but it will also be totally hot (it would also break the rules, but we assume Disneyland Cast Members would make an exception for something so awesome).

Trick or treating is popular during Mickey’s Halloween Party. If you have kids, this might be exactly what you’ll end up doing because kids really like trick or treating. However, if you’re going without kids, we’d strongly suggest thinking this through before spending your entire night chasing “free” candy. An entire bag of Halloween candy costs, what, $3 at Target? The party tickets purchased in order to get that “free” candy are significantly more than $3. If this is how you have fun, more power to you, but it’s probably not the best use of your time. If you plan on doing character meet & greets, you definitely will not be able to get everything done at the party even if you don’t do any trick or treating. We know this based on our experiences at Walt Disney World’s Halloween party. The time it takes to complete meet & greets is deceptively long.

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland doesn’t seem like a great value to us because it lacks a full parade and the other entertainment that is offered at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World. Instead, the main draw here is the HalloScreams fireworks. Granted, with Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle during those fireworks, it sounds like an awesome show, but that’s not enough to convince us to drop $60+ each on Mickey’s Halloween Party. (The upside to this not being a “free” seasonal show is that the amazing “Remember… Dreams Come True” fireworks are shown on non-party nights!)

The other entertainment generally consists of character meet & greets and a twice-nightly character cavalcade. (Seriously, Disneyland, this party has been running for several years and still no full parade? It’s time to step up your game.) I love photography, so the special, moody lighting set-up throughout Disneyland during Mickey’s Halloween Party would also appeal to me, but not enough to justify the cost of the party. There’s also a different ambiance to Mickey’s Halloween Party, as many guests dress up, making it really feel like a Halloween experience in Disneyland. We know that this same ambiance really makes a difference during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World, so the same likely holds true at Disneyland’s Mickey’s Halloween Party.

The other selling points of the party, including some of the meet and greets, occur during normal operating hours. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday can be experienced without tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party, so we don’t think those attractions can fairly be counted as Halloween Party benefits.

Several people who we trust have indicated to us that Mickey’s Halloween Party isn’t worth the money. Friend of the site Guy Selga wrote an excellent report on it, and we recommend you check that out if you’re considering attending Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. If you’re a fan of character meet & greets or really want to attend a fun Halloween party, it very well might be worth the money to you. As stated from the outset, this is more of a preview than anything else–we can’t fairly say one way or the other whether it’s worth the money. If attending Mickey’s Halloween Party would stretch your budget, you might think twice about going. If money is no concern, you might as well go and have a good time without worrying whether you’re getting sufficient value out of the cost of the party tickets.

Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour

We have not done the Happiest Haunts Tour at Disneyland. Consensus on it seems to be that it’s less informative than the Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour, and more about adventure and the charisma of the tour guide. Everyone seems to gush over the Christmas tour and we really didn’t think it was all that great, so we opted not to do this tour (which still generally gets positive reviews, but slightly less positive reviews than the Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour).

Although the exact nature of this tour varies from guide to guide and year to year, it’s generally a scavenger hunt/adventure through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that takes guests on a number of “spooky” attractions (roughly 6) with front of the line access. The scavenger hunt is tied together as a story that the tour guide tells along the way and supposedly has a surprise ending. You’ll probably know based upon the description whether this tour will appeal to you. It doesn’t really appeal to us, but your mileage may vary.

Here is a review, and another, and another, and another of the Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour in case you want to read more about it.

Overall, Halloween Time at Disneyland is a ton of fun, and a great time to visit both in terms of offerings and park atmosphere. September and October are great times of year to visit Disneyland, generally, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed with a fall trip to Disneyland, even if you aren’t a Halloween fan. While Halloween doesn’t top Christmas in terms of best times of year to visit, it does have a lot to offer that’s different from the “normal” Disneyland entertainment, and the Halloween offerings are far more than some light decorations, even if you opt not to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party.

As for figuring out the rest of your Disneyland trip, including what to pack, whether you should stay off-site or on-site in a Disney hotel, where to dine, and a number of other things, check out our comprehensive Disneyland trip planning guide!

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Your Thoughts…

Do you enjoy Halloween Time at Disneyland? Which seasonal event at Disneyland is your favorite? Hearing from you is half the fun, so if you have additional Halloween tips or questions, please share them in the comments!

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121 Responses to “Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland”

  1. maarch says:

    I’m going to Disneyland for the first time, so your guide to Disneyland come at a great time. I will have to add some of those pumpkin treats on my to do list.

    As for the Halloween Party I will be able to tell you if it’s worth it. We arrive in L-A early afternoon, therefore the price of the party made sense for us and we get to experience it.

    To bad you weren’t going on October 11 instead of last week, I could have met you once again ( I was the crazy guy in his honeymoon this summer when you were taking a picture of TomorrowLand at night ).

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Absolutely makes sense for you to do the Halloween Party, then. Like I mentioned, we’ll do it someday, just not yet. I’m really hoping they add to the Halloween cavalcade and turn it into a full parade. I can’t believe they haven’t done that yet.

      Great meeting you in Tomorrowland back in July!

      • Gregory Anderson says:

        Hi Tom, my family and I are thinking of going to Disneyland on Saturday, November 1st 2014 and possibly Sunday too. I was wondering if, from your experience, how busy it might be? We’d like to do California Adventure as well and are not sure if we should get the 2-day hopper or just 2 park passes – or not bother at all if it’s going to be crazy busy. Any feedback you have would be gratefully appreciated.

      • Ireneadela says:

        Hi Tom, When does the DL Halloween Special Event Tickets go for SALE? Its my families first time going this year and I dont know when to lookout for the passes. Please HELP!

  2. Megs says:

    Goat are awesome. Nough’ said.

  3. Adrian says:

    You’re absolutely right on the hard ticket party. I have kids so it was somewhat fun for them to dress up and trick-or-treat in Disneyland. However, the only other draw is the Halloween Screams fireworks. Admittedly that show is AWESOME, probably the most amazing fireworks display I’ve ever seen, but not quite worth the price of admission.

  4. Christiana says:

    I was there the same time that you were. Definitely enjoyed a lot of the Halloween decorations and I wish I had spent time at Big Thunder Ranch! My family and I decided not to do the Halloween party, and it sounds like we didn’t really miss anything–except for a chance to use that money in gift shops instead!
    Are you going to do a Trip Report for this most recent trip to Disneyland? Would love to read it.

    • Ireneadela says:

      When does the DL Halloween Special Event Tickets go for SALE? Its my families first time going this year and I dont know when to lookout for the passes. Please HELP!

  5. Amanda Grimm says:

    Great, with 14 days left to go until our Halloween DL trip I am now so tunnel-visioned and over excited that I can’t do anything else! Oh, and for the record I am totally the person that dropped the $$ on the Halloween party tickets just to see the fireworks show. :-)

    • Ireneadela says:

      When do the special event tickets go for sale? Its my familuies first time and I dont want to miss out. Please help!

  6. David says:

    Going tonight for the first time. Very excited to try nighttime photography using your recent tips.

  7. Leslie says:

    There actually is a parade during Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. I was there last year and there definitely was a parade going on, complete with giant pumpkins decorated in costumes rolling down the street. It’s called Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade. :)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      The cavalcade is discussed in the article–it’s not a full parade. That’s why they call it “Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade” and not “Mickey’s Costume Party Parade.”

  8. Cory says:

    I’m confused. I bought tickets to the Halloween party. Does this only get us into the party at night and not the park during the day? Or do we get into the park early and then the Halloween party? We are only coming in for a quick overnight and am bringing our 4 year old grandson. I would hate to show up in the morning and they not let us in until night time. We’re leaving on October 10th for the party on the 11th. Thank you.

    • Christian says:

      Your tickets will allow you to enter Disneyland 3 hours before the start time of the party (4pm, & the party starts at 7pm). It’s a good oppurtunityto get on some rides before the party starts. At 6pm Mickeys Toontown will open up for pre-party tick or treating (with 19 treat spots in this area) so you can get a head start on the trick or treating fun.

  9. ColoradoWindswept says:

    I’m a big fan of your postings both here (on your own blog) as well as following your posts on other Disney fan sites. I absolutely love your photo work!

    Similar to maarch’s comment earlier, our travel plans typically put us in Anaheim or Orlando in the early afternoons (we live in the middle of the Great American Desert). So, our choices are to “burn” a day on our multi-day park tickets for a few hours before the Halloween Party tosses us out of the park or just get the Halloween ticket. We did just that in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed the party in Anaheim. While our older kids and the Grandparents were content to shop DTD, my wife, daughter and I decided to bring costumes and try out Mickey’s Halloween party. We only did meet-and-greets as well as trick-or-treating but we all thought it was well worth the price. This was the first time I have ever had the chance to get photos with the villains. Even though the Halloween parade was smaller than the typical Main Street Parades, it was still quite entertaining and one of the girls my daughter was talking with while standing in line for the princess meet-and-greet was selected to ride in the parade as one of the Honorary Party Guests. It was really neat to see someone you know in the parade waving back at you!!

    Anyway, after I worked through all the bills for the trip, the MHP was cheaper than what the rest of the family spent in DTD that night!! I’m sorry to say that the recent comments on the other Disney fan sites lead me to believe that the great time I had that Friday night in 2011 (with fairly light crowds and reasonable access to the Villain’s and Princesses) may be a thing of the past. Hopefully, Disney management will manage to dial-in the right amount of promotion and capacity planning to keep the Halloween parties a viable option for families. When we left the park at midnight, the CMs at the exit turnstiles gave us each a mostly filled box of candy to take to our room. I figured we scored between 10 and 11 pounds of chocolate on that evening, more than enough to keep our whole family in a chocolate haze for the next few days at the parks.
    We are headed back to the Disneyland Resort next month, during the early part of Thanksgiving week, for our first experience with Disney at Christmas time. We will see how well we can handle the crowds but hope that the early week will be no worse than what we have dealt with in the mid-summer time.

    Thanks again for your work, and I look forward to your first book(s)!

    • ColoradoWindswept says:

      Well- I’m embarrassed. I just took a look at and you already have a couple of books out. I’ll have to get those!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I think Disney used to sell fewer tickets to all of these hard ticket events (WDW included), but has since seen the opportunity to make more money by selling more tickets.

      At least that’s how it feels to us. Perhaps you just went on a lighter night the first time?

  10. Mrs. L says:

    Love all the tips, thanks so much! As a couple of adults this will be our first time during any holiday so the information is helpful. We are doing the Haunted Tour one night and we decided to fork over the money for Mickeys Halloween Party. Not for the candy or anything, but we really didn’t want to leave the park at 7! We read that a lot of the rides may not have long lines while all kids are trick or treating so we are hoping that is the case. If not, we figure we’ll find something to do. We too are going in costume, should be easy to find us, we’re going as Disney tourists (insert cheeky grin here).

  11. DRToohey says:

    Goats in witch hats!!!!

    I was underwhelmed by Halloween MTP a few weeks ago, but I was there last night and it was epic. All Halloween-esque songs, characters done up like zombies, Tweedle Dee and Dum came onstage to dance the Timewarp, and the cards did an awesome Thriller Dance. They may have been finailizing the routine last weekend.

  12. Sabrina says:

    Well now i’m hoping we haven’t made an error in our trip planning. My family will be visiting Disney for the first time in a few short weeks, and were planning two days, thurs and friday, parkhopping. We have no intention of going to the Halloween evening party, and didn’t budget it in.. am I correct in interpreting that we will need to leave the park early?? If so, giant BOO!!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Since you have Park Hopper tickets, why not just go over to Disney California Adventure when the Halloween Party starts in Disneyland?

      • Sabrina says:

        Yah, that’s what we’ll end up doing. Dang it! BOO!! And it’s all sold out now, too!! No evening fireworks pics with the family. I’m so bummed! Gah. This is what I get for only looking at the park hours calendar on the Disney website, and not surfing around first! You’d think they would note the earlier general public end time??!!

      • Trent says:

        We have been here all week and have asked several times about party tickets. They said they were sold out everytime so my sister finally went into City Hall and was able to score some tickets for tonight.

      • Tom Bricker says:

        Good to hear that you were able to go. It sounds like the party at Disneyland is getting more and more popular, so buying in advance is definitely a good idea. Thanks for sharing your experience! :)

  13. Sandra says:

    We went to the Halloween Party in 2011 and took our one year old. They only sell about 1/2 the park’s capacity so there are virtually NO LINES on any of the ‘big’ attractions – Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, etc. We didn’t get to go on any because our babysitters fell through :(

    We are going again (only to the Halloween Party) this Friday and can’t wait…we’re leaving the kiddos at home! A friend went last Friday and said they walked on to almost everything and the longest lines were generally for food. They did have to wait about 20 minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean but that was about it.

    I’m new to your blog but was really surprised about the unfavorable comments. It may make more sense to compare the value with how many attractions you can ride for the price versus time in the park. Just my two cents…

  14. Angela says:

    I am so curious as to why you say there isn’t a parade. When we went in 2011 there was a parade. It ran through Fantasyland I think (right past Alice in Wonderland). Maybe it was a fluke… but they set up ropes and such for it.

  15. Max says:

    Disneyland is our “home” park. Would I recommend someone travel across the country specifically to attend the Halloween Party, as we traveled from So Cal to Florida for the Epcot Flower & Garden Show? No way. It’s not that major an event. That said, we LOVE the Halloween Party and never miss it. The Costume Cavalcade is a fun mini parade and the fireworks are, I think, really special and different than at other seasons. Lines for rides are short, “costume watching” is crazy amusing, and a little trick-or-treat candy never hurts. I love feeling how the whole vibe of the park changes with this event. Talk about feeling like a 10-year-old-again! So my vote is if in Rome, by all means do as the Romans do. Well worth the ticket price.

    • Ireneadela says:

      When does the DL Halloween Special Event Tickets go for SALE? Its my families first time going this year and I dont know when to lookout for the passes. Please HELP!

  16. michelle says:

    Thanks for everyone’s comments, Im really glad I stumbled on here. So im giving my 9year daughter tickets to DL for her birthday this month but im thinking Halloween would be a wonderful time to go. When is the best 5-6 days to make actual plans?? Should we be there on Halloween night or does it really matter? Is the weather decent (we are from oregon) and is there a chance of running into rides be closed?? Thank you again,

  17. Timm says:

    I’ve been doing the Disneyland Halloween party for 7 years now. Yes, there was a time when there were virtually no crowds. Now, the event tends to sell out. Get your tickets EARLY and don’t get shut out of this fun event. The trick or treating is good after the initial frenzy, but don’t wait in line for your treats. After a while, the lines just become almost empty and end up being part of your journey to the next attraction. I’ve learned to take a much larger bag than the small one that they offer. The treats fill up FAST, and this is good candy. The Halloween Screams fireworks is one not to be missed. It is AWESOME in every way. But then again, I am a Disney FREAK.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks for the tips! Would you say the Halloween Party has improved over the years? It seems like it has started out small and gotten (a bit) bigger, but it would still be nice if Disneyland would do a full-scale Halloween parade like Walt Disney World does!

    • Ireneadela says:

      When does the DL Halloween Special Event Tickets go for SALE? Its my families first time going this year and I dont know when to lookout for the passes. Please HELP!

  18. Mom of 4 says:

    Planning our first family trip to Disneyland in Oct 2014. Should we take our 4 kids to the Halloween party? Is it worth it? We are doing a 3 day hopper pass. When is the best days of the week to go. Is the fireworks every night. Thank you
    -Excited Mom

    • California resident says:

      Hi! I’ve been both a single ticket disneyland visitor, an annual passholder, and a Halloween party goer. I loved, loved, LOVE the Halloween party! I had a hard time justifying added cost when I was a passholder in 2012, so went in 2013. Parking is included (normally about $15). Lines are ridiculously short. Admission 3 hrs before event start. Candy galore (wait til night to get ur goodies, there’s no lines & plenty of candy stock). Costumes watching is fun too! I went in costume & it was great! I wouldn’t do the party AND a day ticket or if I had an annual pass…but it is such a different experience! The fireworks show is more WOW and I love that there’s villains you never see out. The mini parade is cute with all the characters in their costumes.

      • Ireneadela says:

        When does the DL Halloween Special Event Tickets go for SALE? Its my families first time going this year and I dont know when to lookout for the passes. Please HELP!

    • California resident says:

      Oh, if your wondering, there’s ALOT of people in costume. Adults just as much as kids. I think I remember over 70% of the crowd being in costume.

  19. Lindsay says:

    I don’t know anything about Disney. If I am already at the park that day, do I need to pay extra for the Halloween party?

  20. Paulina says:

    Hi I was just wondering, I wanted to take my sister and brother for this event, although I am a pass holder, they are not… would we have to purchase a general admission ticket into Disneyland AND the Halloween party time ticket?
    Or will the Halloween party time ticket be enough for them to get into the park? Please help!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      If they want to enter Disneyland before the party starts, you will need both the Mickey’s Halloween Party ticket and a regular park ticket. If they only want to attend during Mickey’s Halloween Party hours, they will only need that ticket. Hope that helps!

  21. Lindsey Randle says:

    Thanks for the information. Thinking of going to the Disneyland Halloween party this year (2014) and I thought they did have a parade during this party. I saw a video from someone that attended last year on You Tube that looked like a parade. Did they recently change something?

  22. Rosita says:

    Love the article! It really was the main reason we chose to go during Halloween, that and my birthday is the 25th : ) I have bought us 3 day park hopper tickets for Saturday the 25th, Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th. So my dilemma is this, should I buy the Halloween ticket on Friday the 24th and have 3 1/2 days or buy it for Monday and have the whole morning plus the night? BTW it will be my daughters’ first vacation EVER!

  23. anjanette zepeda says:

    Hi,i am really interested in taking my son this year, we are annual pass holders and since my son doesn’t require a pass since hes 2yrs old,will i need to purchase a ticket for him for mickeys Halloween party ?

  24. Kim S says:

    “The attraction would consist of moving the Big Thunder Ranch to the Captain EO theater at night, and just letting them roam around in there.”

    I LOL’ed.

    So jazzed for my September trip now!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      What bad could come of releasing goats in a theater?! I can only imagine glorious hi-jinks and good times! 😉

  25. Michelle says:

    We are considering going to Mickey’s Halloween Party on Halloween day. However, I am concerned about the crowd level. Since Halloween is on a Friday this year, I am assuming the crowd will be heavier than in past years. I’m wondering your thoughts on how crowded you expect this year to be. I have two children….five and three, and I’m just concerned that the crowd level will be too overwhelming. What are your thoughts?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Although they (supposedly) limit the number of tickets sold to these parties, that “limit” is pretty high. I would expect the parties close to Halloween to be incredibly crowded.

  26. Beth says:

    My boyfriend and I are planning to go to Disneyland Monday Sept 29th- Wed Oct 1st. I know the Halloween party is scheduled for Tues, Sept 30th, but we did the Halloween party at WDW last Oct and while it was fun, we don’t see the need to spend the money again at Disneyland. Does anyone know if there will be other fireworks that week? The Sept schedule I’ve looked at seems like things slow down, the parks close earlier and the fireworks are only shown at the weekend. Do things become busy again for Halloween and do they add the fireworks/fantastmic again during the week? Thsnk you!

  27. Cathy says:

    I’ve been to Mickeys Halloween Party twice now and I enjoyed it greatly each time. While the Calvacade may be a shorten parade ,it’s plenty of parade for me. Love the guests dressed up, the spooky atmosphere,and of course the fireworks at the end of the night. Espically love the river flooded with fog and the cadaver Dans floating on a raft while performing. Don’t really care for the trick or treating but my teen loves it.You’re right about the character lines. They are a huge time sucker . All in all ,this is just a really fun Halloween event that doesn’t include someone jumping out of a maze screaming at you.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      The fog on the Rivers of America during the Halloween party does look really awesome. The ambiance of the party alone might make it worthwhile–thanks for sharing your experience! :)

      • Kelly says:

        Do the Cadaver Dans perform on non-party nights? Also, would Fantasmic run on party nights?

        I just emailed Disneyland and they don’t release party dates until 6 weeks before the first party. UGH! We need to book our airfare now to make a trip in late Sept or Oct. With the Diamond 60th celebration I don’t know if we should book for Halloween or not, and Disneyland isn’t releasing any info yet :(

    • Gina says:

      Cathy wrote: “…a really fun Halloween event that doesn’t include someone jumping out of a maze screaming at you.”

      RIGHT, Cathy?!?! I can’t stand that!!

      Honestly, I never watch the parades – too much Broadway cheese for me, so I’m glad the Cavalcade is short. Don’t miss Fantasmic, though. It’s the BEST show Disney puts on (I’ve probably seen it 100 times over the years, having worked at the park on and off since ’87.) And I’ll admit, Disney fireworks have spoiled me silly; I can’t sit through anyone else’s firework show.

      My 10 year-old and I are going to Mickey’s Halloween Party for the first time. We’re so excited you’d think I was 10, as well. 😉

      Thank you for this blog, Tom ~ I shall visit often!

  28. ivette says:

    Hi just stumbled upon youre blog. I am curious itll my 3rd year attendimg mickeys not so scary halloween, ive heard mny people talk about halloween treats. But i just dont know where to go. As a annual pass holder its embarrassing not knowing these things. Is it a buffet or something private. And where do you go.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      You mean like trick or treating? There are lines throughout the park. As for Halloween snacks you can purchase, they are also sold throughout the park at restaurants–you’ll see little signs up.

  29. Erin Hopkins says:

    If we have tickets to both the park for the day and the party at night, do they make you exit the park and then re-enter with the Halloween Party ticket or can you just stay in the park?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      No, they don’t make you exit and re-enter. It’s a ‘soft’ clear of the park, not a hard one.

      • Mel says:

        So you could choose not to leave the park and still get to see the fireworks and parade?

      • Mag says:

        We went last year on a Tuesday and a Friday night. The Disney cast members were out in full force checking arm bands (you trade them in for your tickets) and particularly on the Friday night they acted like a huge human barrier as they closed in on the gates, kicking out people without the right wrist bands. We must have had ours checked at least 10 times during the evening – on rides, by photographers and by random cast members. At 9.00 when we were having photos with villains at the main street train station, there were 2 people being escorted out.
        It was so much fun. Can’t wait to go this year! 5 weeks to go. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is just the best!

  30. Yin says:

    If we want to have the Halloween experience at Disneyland, but not actually going to the Mickey’s Party, would it be worth to go on September 20?

  31. alphastarz says:

    Hoping you all can help out a Disneyland Newbie. We are planning on going to the party Oct. 2014 (2nd trip to DL ever!) and I can’t seem to figure what the general schedule will be for the calvacade and fireworks etc. The party tickets I have say 6pm -11pm, and entrance up to 3 hours before, but does that mean fireworks will be at 11pm, or what? Any other tips for a newbie on what to prioritize during the party, the typical guidebooks etc. don’t really cover or give a sense how much is reasonable to do at special events.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      The event schedule isn’t out yet, but you should be able to find an image of last year’s map (with times) via Google. Expect roughly the same time for events this year. Have fun!

    • Karen says:

      we are going on the 10th(friday) and they told me the calvacade is at 8:30 and 9:30 is the firework show

  32. Katie says:

    Our family is going to Disneyland the week of October 19th. We’re going to purchase the 5 day park hopper passes purchase the Halloween Party tickets for the 22nd so we can have 5 1/2 days in the park. Soooooooo excited and can’t wait to go! So glad I found your blog for all the great info and tips!

  33. Ryan says:

    Hey Tom, Love your website. It has been very informative for planning.

    We are surprising our 2 and 3 year boys with a trip to Disneyland for Halloween. We are spending Thursday, Friday and Sat at the parks and have the Halloween passes for the Oct 31 party.

    Specific to the party, where (and how do you get) the best viewing area for the fireworks show & parade? With two young kids, standing around in one spot an hour before the show isn’t an option. I am also looking at booking the world of color dining package in California adventure while we are there to get good seating. Not sure if there is a similar option in the disneyland park.

    Also, a more general question, our 2 year old isn’t quite 40″, so we are planning on skipping most of the roller coasters. We’ll probably split up and take the 3 year old on a few of the bigger rides. I haven’t been to Disneyland since 2008 and have never been with small children. Are there any ‘can’t miss’ recommendations? The kids obviously lack stamina to ‘do it all’ and spend all day and night at the park so we want to make sure and make the most of our time in the park between naps and time at the pool.

  34. Combatdre says:


    I really enjoyed reading your blog, mainly because I’m a pumpkin everything type person as well… Lol…
    As far as my experience goes, I have been going to Mickey’s Halloween Party for the past five years and will be attending again this year, I am definitely both a halloween and disney buff so any opportunity I get to celebrate, its fair game.

    As far as crowds go, in the first years of the party the crowds where low but so was the lack of parties, photo ops, entertainment, rides open, candy stations, etc. Over the years the crowds have gotten larger but they have also expanded pretty much every aspect of the party, they have the cadaver dans floating in the river singing halloween songs, the villains have their own area and musical show, there are a lot of characters meet and greets ( I never get through all of them so I usually go for the family favorites), now most of the rides are open (not all but the most popular ones are up and running) and there are plenty of candy stations around. So even though the crowds are bigger there is way more stuff to do other than see awesome costumes ( please note that bigger crowds does not mean a full park, there are way less people than during the day… Way, way less and did I mention in awesome costumes??). I guess I should write a walkthrough/advice for those who haven’t been, are going, etc.

    So here’s a quick walkthrough, make sure you get to the park 4 hours before the party starts, people will look at you weird because they have no idea why an adult is in costume (warning, people will take photos of you so don’t freak out). You will pick up your bracelet and small candy bag at the entrance then you can either go yo too town and start trick or treating and taking photos with costumed characters or you can walk around the park. I recommend bringing a large halloween candy bag, we always take them and fill them up there’s no limit to how much candy you can get.

    After the initial entry, they will start kicking normal day visitors out, it gets hectic because people coming to the party have to push their way through the people getting out, which is why showing up early is a great idea. Moving on, by 7:00 or 6:00 pm depending which night you go, the party is in full swing. They decorate the park with light shows, they bring decorations you don’t see during the day, the halloween music starts bumping up, the villains come out to hang out, the dance parties start, the river is filled with fog with the cadaver dans singing on a raft… You get the gist, the atmosphere is full blown halloween awesomeness!! Now here is where you decide what you want to do for the night, wether it is trick or treating, photo ops, dance parties for little ones, or rides. We are usually in elaborate costumes so rides are out of the question, however, there is practically never a long wait for a ride (except ghost galaxy) if you are there to ride, go there first. As far as photo ops go, the wait lines are not that big usually about 10-15 minutes, sometimes none with the exception of Mickey and Minnie and of course Jack Skellington for them be prepared to wait a while. We usually leave them for last, they are there until closing so the lines at the end of the night are very short. As far as the parade goes, it has definitely become bigger over the years but it is still small, it is a great way to take a break from trick or treating and walking around in general. If your costumes are good, you might be asked to join in a special car ( we got asked!!), you get a free photo they take in the back lot and you get to interact with the people involved (it’s awesome!!). Continuing, there are two parade times, during these times the candy stations are almost empty so go get some candy. However, there’s practically a candy station on every corner so as you walk around the park, you are getting it by the dozen. Lastly, the fireworks show, it is usually around 10 PM, do not miss it, it is great and unique. As far as my experience goes, we’ve gotten there early and late. On both occasions We had a great view of the show, of course if you want premium front row seats then get there about 45 minutes early. Please note that is never too crowded where you only see partial fireworks. After the fireworks, surprisingly most people leave the park. This is when most of crowded rides and photo ops are half empty and the best time to do it, also the candy stations will be empty in case you want more candy or “healthy snacks” also known as baby carrots. Oh and don’t miss the closing villain show at the end of the night, I had no idea it existed and stumbled upon it accidentally half way through, it’s on my list this year. Hope this helps out some skeptics and noobs.

  35. Stephanie says:


    I have a question that I can’t seem to find an answer to anywhere on the internet. XD

    I’m an annual passholder, but I’ve never attended the Halloween party. I would like to, on one day, visit the park in the morning and stay through the party. I have no qualms paying for the extra ticket. My question really is on the costumes. If I wanted to wear a costume to the Halloween party, would you by chance know if I could also wear it during the regular park hours, or if I would have to exit, change, and re-enter the park once the Halloween party hours started.

    See, I want to wear my Sora (kingdom hearts) cosplay, and I feel like it would be cool to go in the morning to get pictures with characters like Peter Pan–that won’t necessarily be at the Halloween party. But I also don’t want to be not allowed in without a change of clothing.

    Thanks much!


    • Tom Bricker says:

      Technically, you aren’t allowed to wear a cosplay costume on a “normal” day in the park, so you’d have to wear normal clothes, and then change for the party. With that said, you might be able to get lucky and not have anyone say anything. I wouldn’t chance it, though!

    • Susan says:

      There are a ton of characters at the party.

  36. BJ Washington says:

    Tom found your blog by accident. Thank you for such an informative blog. I have gone to the Halloween Party twice. Both times in late September. The first time it was amazing! I loved the ambiance of the Halloween Decorations. Halloween at Disney is so much fun. I enjoyed the people in costumes and meeting all the villains and taking pictures, I loved the trick or treating and the Mickey Disco party. I am a senior citizen(early sixties) but I turn into a ten year old at these events. I recommend everyone do the party at least once. The second time was the first night and it was so crowded that my husband and I decided never again, but my niece and her husband are going and when she told me I got so excited for her. I want to do the Haunted tour now, but can’t seem to find enough information on it. Does anyone have info on this tour and whether it is worth the $80.00 they charge? P.S. the Villains at the end of the night doing their routine was just fabulous!

  37. Pat says:

    I am so excited just bought tickets for our family to go Oct 18th. Our kids are 10, 12 & 14 and while they know we’re going to California to go on a cruise, I’ve decided to keep this part of the trip a surprise! Did I say how excited I am??!
    Anyway, any recommendations about where to watch the fireworks from? Is it best to get spots by a certain time? My husband loves fireworks and I want the whole trip to be perfect. :-)

  38. Tammy says:

    Did I miss something? I thought Billy Hill & the Hillbillies had been retired?

  39. Jennifer S says:

    Love is not love without a violin playing goat.

  40. Kelly M says:

    I was there last Friday and I am very disappointed not to have spotted you! I’m from the UK and didnt have data switched on on my phone so couldnt check twitter etc… Mew.
    And also we totally missed Big Thunder Ranch, we headed over about 6pm and was told it closed at 5.30 – epic fail! (I was way too distracted by a Ghirardelli run to DCA).
    I really enjoyed getting to see Halloween on my first visit to the West Coast. Really did enjoy Ghost Galaxy, and I think Space Mountain is better there anyway than MK.
    Agree that fab 5 pumpkins at the entrance are awesome – took a few shots of them at both night and day but my night shots are not great.

  41. Eddie says:

    I am taking my wife and 14 month baby girl to Mickey’s Halloween party for the First time and I’m curious to know if the ticket can also be used to go into California Adventure or is the party only inside Disneyland? And does anyone know if parking is complimentary for those attending Mickey’s Halloween party?

  42. Abby R says:

    We will be going to Disneyland in about 13 days. One of the days we are going (Monday the 6th) is a day they close early for the Halloween Party. Curious to know how crowds are during the day before the Halloween Party? We are not attending any Halloween parties.. just the normal Disneyland Resort. Should we plan California Adventure only on Monday? Or enjoy less crowds at Disneyland that day and hop over to California Adventure after they close for the party?

  43. Susan says:

    I was in the park on one of your days and would’ve loved to see you – I could’ve done the whole fan-girl thing! We love the goats so much – I can’t wait to tell my daughters about your Goat Galaxy idea! As for the Halloween party, we love it. We go on the actual Halloween night – it’s very fun and festive with almost everyone dressed up. Fall is my favorite time at DLR!

    • Hillary says:

      How is the park on Halloween day? We weren’t able to get tickets for the Party (sold out) but we are still going that day.

  44. Jennifer says:

    We are taking our kids for the first time the week of Oct 19th and my husband and kids are huge Nightmare before Christmas fans. I was wondering if Jack and Sally only do meet & greets during Mickey’s Halloween Party or if there around all day during normal park hours? It will be my deciding factor if I will buy the tickets to the party.

    • Susan says:

      I’m not sure about Sally, but I saw Jack posing for photos during regular park hours last week. He was sort of in between the Haunted Mansion and the New Orleans Square train station. The line was pretty short!

      • Lauren says:

        I saw both of them out today and yesterday in the same spot, between the mansion and train station. They came out around 10am, but I don’t see it listed in the times guide.

  45. Dave says:

    Amazing places.

  46. Nanci LaVelle says:

    Just wanted to complement you on your photos. They are consistently the most beautiful images of Disneyland I think I have ever seen. Thanks for your amazing work.

  47. Hillary says:

    I just decided to take my 6 year old daughter to Disneyland on Halloween. The Halloween Party is sold out, so, we’ll probably head over to California Adventure. Has anyone gone on Halloween day? Will she still have Halloween fun? How are the crowds?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      DCA doesn’t do anything for Halloween, unfortunately. I’d recommend starting the day at Disneyland and then heading to DCA at night (this means buying a Park Hopper ticket). Disneyland has a lot of fun Halloween stuff included in the normal cost of admission.

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  49. Lana says:

    Great article and pictures….always love to look at your fantastic photos!! :-) Quick question: do you know if Disneyland is similar to WDW in that all the decorations come down during the night after the last Halloween party? Won’t be rolling in until later on November 1 (and may not even get into the parks until the 2nd), so wondering if I will miss all the great Fall/Halloween decorations. Thanks!

  50. Kellie says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I have spent the last year planning a birthday trip for my 4 year old, and you blog has helped so much. I can’t believe we will be there in less than a month. We decided to do the Halloween Party, because what 4 year old (or adult) wouldn’t want to trick or treat in Disney. As for the costumes we opted for the t-shirt superheroes w/detachable capes and eye masks. I thought it would be cooler and less cumbersome for our trip. Again just wanted to say thanks for all the information.

    • Carlee C says:

      I’m planning the same for my will be 4 y.o. this October. How’d your trip go? Any tips or advice? I was debating Halloween (since his bday is October) or Christmas time.

  51. Tinkgrrrbell says:

    I’ve been told adults can wear costumes to Disneyland during normal park hours on Halloween day (oct 31st) even if they aren’t attending Mickey’s Party. But now I can’t find any info on this….am I correct? Do you guys know if you can wear costumes to DCA on Halloween Day only as well?

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  53. Kevin says:

    A few years back (almost 7!) we went around this time and the Orleans Cafe had these cool coins you got when you ate dinner there. I remember the one we got was Jack Skellington, do you know are they doing that? or was that just a super lucky thing we happened upon?

  54. Jayn says:

    We just got back from Mickey’s Halloween Party and absolutely loved it! It was totally worth the cost! The best part of Mickey’s NSSHP is the characters – and that’s what is so great about MHP! Minnie/Mickey/Donald/Goofy/Chip & Dale are available during park hours in one set of Halloween costumes – but they have a different set at MHP – actually Mickey and Minnie each meet in two different Halloween costumes at the party! We spent several days going to the Conjure a Villain tent during park hours and only met Snow White’s Queen, Cruella and Hook. At the party there’s so many more – including villains who wouldn’t do autographs at Mickey’s NSSHP but would sign during Mickey’s HP. And Donald/Goofy/Chip & Dale have pirate costumes. It took three parties at MNSSHP to meet all the characters and two parties at Mickey’s HP to meet them all. The only thing we noticed that was different was that not many people wore costumes to Mickey’s HP – whereas everyone was in costumes at Mickey’s NSSHP. If you like characters, Mickey’s HP is totally worth it! We had an absolute blast and would love to do it again next year!

  55. Kelly says:

    I just got back from the Disneyland Halloween Party last week. It is worth the money! I have a 2 1/2 year old so he was free but I would of paid for him to! I would not pay for a ticket into Disneyland the same day since the halloween ticket allows you to enter at 4pm. It was a waste of moeny since my son wanted to take a nap beforehand and I recommend it since the park satys open until midnight. I happened to lose my wallet this night and some very nice person turned it in with everything in it! The night could of been ruined….Anyway, here are my tips!
    -Go to the Monsters University party in Tomorrowland if your child likes the movie.
    -Start your trick or treat trails the farthest away from the entrance and work your way to the front. It is so packed in the beginning! The trails are awesome because I thought it was just one stand when it was really a trail. There are alot of them and you can go through as many times as you want. They are not stingy with there candy!
    -Adults can trick or treat to so come with a big bag to keep refilling!
    – Hit the trails when the parade or fireworks are going on. It was less crowded.
    -The trails do not just have candy. They offer either popcorn, carrots or apples to.
    -Dress up no matter how old you are! Everyone was dressed up it seemed like except for us!
    -If you want one of those cool Halloween balloons that light up, be prepared to spend $15.
    All in all, I would do this again in a couple of years and my con loved it. We created a memory for him that he talks about daily! He loved all the candy!

  56. Brittany says:

    Hi! We went to Mickey’s Halloween Party last week. There were a few songs that were playing that I regret not Shazam-ing. I’ve searched online and the closest thing I’ve found so far is a playlist from 4 years ago. I’m sure it’s changed some since then. Can you or anyone help?

  57. Courtney says:

    Thanks for all the insider tips! My family is beyond stoked to go for our second year! This year as a family of 5 we are dressing up as the Alice in Wonderland crew. We did some pretty cool stuff to our costumes and last year when we went as sleeping beauty, prince phillip and the three fairies the park staff actually told us to enjoy our “Shift” so this year should be even better! Love DISNEY!! woohooooooooo!!!

  58. Lewis says:

    Got a question, we are taking our 1 year old to Disneyland next week. Should we do the regular park entry or just do an evening with the Halloween party? Afraid she will need a nap in the afternoon so we might miss half the day with a day pass, but she likes to stay up late so maybe the party with 3 hour early entry is enough. Any advice?

  59. Mel says:

    Hello! Were planning on going in September 2015 in the middle of the month. Do you know if the Haunted Mansion is open with Nightmare before christmas? It seems as per history that it usually opens around the 12th.

  60. Peyton says:

    My family is taking a trip to Disneyland the weekend of Oct. 24-26 this year and I’m already starting to plan!!! I used your blog to help plan our Disney World this past December and we had a wonderful time. I can’t wait to continue to get more information on how to make this trip the best one yet!

  61. britt says:

    Love all of your tips. We are planning a trip mid oct 2015. I was planning on 3 day hopper pass since we cant beat military discount. However i just realized the park closes early 2 of the 3 nights and unless we buy extra tickets thats it. Question is California adventure still open would we be able to hop over there when we get kicked out of disney for the party?

    • Amber says:

      Hello, we are also planning a trip oct 2015 and wanted to know the days the park closes early for the Halloween parties as we won’t be attending those…where did you find the Halloween party schedule??

      • Ireneadela says:

        Hi, I’m also trying to find out the info for the Special Event tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party. My family is going from Oct. 7th-12th. I’d love the know more info about the event and make sure I can get the tickets in advance. Thx

  62. Veronica McLoughlin says:

    Hi there
    We are heading to Disneyland in October and our day coincides with the Halloween Party. Given that we are there for just one day should we do the park during the day then go to the Party? Or should we just hit the park at 3.00pm just for the party? We have 4 kids aged 12 – 17. We would appreciate any advice!

  63. Corinne Hayes says:


    I agree totally that the Halloween party is not worth it. It is the first time I have been a bit disappointed at Disneyland. The place was way too crowded and while the trick or treating was cool for us Aussies some people bought suitcases to collect the treats! People it is only candy and not even that great. They tried giving us carrot sticks but we were to cluey for that caper.

    Halloween time at Disneyland is great, just not the Halloween party.
    Thanks for the blog Tom, we love it.

  64. Kelly says:

    We always like getting ornaments each year at WDW. Do you know if Disneyland has an ornament store like “Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe?” We are planning to visit Sept or Oct 2015

  65. Kelly says:

    Does Anyone know when Disneyland will release it’s schedule and tickets for he Halloween Party? Wanting to plan a trip but I’m a little worried about how DL will incorporate halloween this year with the Diamond Celebration. (Magic Kingdom had had their dates out for a while, making me wonder what the fate of Halloween is this year at DL)

    Also – can anyone who has previously attended speak to which villains are about during Halloween? I am crossing my fingers for someone we haven’t seen at MNSSHP like Hades!

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