Halloween at the Disney Parks
Halloween at Disney is an exciting time! It’s one of the best seasons at Walt Disney World & Disneyland, and we have several posts with tips & tricks for making the most of Halloween time in the parks, at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and also Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Each of the parks around the world does something special for Halloween, and they all have their own variations on the holiday (with the same fundamental idea) that make them all unique. It’s really cool to see what they’re doing even if you won’t be visiting yourself.
With the official kick-off of Halloween Time at Disneyland tomorrow, which we are rope dropping (for the first time in a looooong time), we thought it might be fun and useful to compile some of our best Disney Parks Halloween posts all in one convenient location.
We’ll start with Walt Disney World…
Walt Disney World – Aside from Magic Kingdom Halloween decorations, the big thing at Walt Disney World is the hard ticket party, and we have a lengthy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tips post that covers everything from whether it’s worth the money to a step-by-step itinerary for the party to costume ideas and more. This post is updated pretty regularly and will receive more updates once we do Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year.
Also in terms of the Halloween party, our Best Dates for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party covers when you should go to avoid larger crowds. This does make a difference, as some busy dates can be really crowded. Finally, although not Halloween-specific, we also have a Guide to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival that offers some tips for that event (since it runs alongside the Halloween season at Walt Disney World).
Disneyland – Jetting over to the West Coast, we have our Ultimate Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland. This covers everything for the Halloween season, from the attraction overlays to Mickey’s Halloween Party to the Happiest Haunts tour. It’s already been updated for this year, but will be updated again over the weekend.
Additionally, we are pumpkin junkies, consuming everything pumpkin on the seasonal menus, so we’ve put together a Halloween Snacks at Disneyland post offering some of our recommendations. If you’re into Disney history, you also might want to check out my Halloween Tree at Disneyland post.
This year I will also be attending Mickey’s Halloween Party, so look for a post previewing that soon, which will be updated with my review later.
Hong Kong Disneyland – From Disneyland we head to LAX and take the long flight to Hong Kong Disneyland, where Halloween is not about cool costumes and candy, but legitimate scares. This is the only Disney Park that has haunted houses (think Univeral’s Halloween Horror Nights) and this is largely not kid friendly. Check it out in our Haunted Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland post.
Even if you don’t plan on doing Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland this year–or ever–that post is worth a read simply because it’s fascinating as to how they do things so differently there. I’m not exaggerating about those haunted houses. We were actually scared on multiple occasions.
Tokyo Disney Resort – It’s a relatively short trip to Japan from Hong Kong, and there we have the interesting and unique festivities and Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Of all the Disney Parks we have visited for Halloween, these do decorations the best. Our Halloween at Tokyo Disneyland and Halloween at Tokyo DisneySea posts offer glimpses of the cool decorations, awesome parade, and beautifully costumed stage shows these parks put on during the Halloween season.
Tokyo Disney fans love their holidays–from Easter to Christmas, and Halloween there does not disappoint. It’s also nice that arguably the best Halloween parade and awesome stage shows are included with regular theme park admission. No hard ticket event here!
Disneyland Paris – Sorry, France, we don’t have enough money to book a flight to you in this tour! While we have not yet visited Disneyland Paris for “Disney’s Halloween Festival,” judging by the photos, the decorations are pretty awesome. Check out these posts by DL Today that cover Halloween in Disneyland Paris. Here’s hoping we get a chance to see this in person next year!
Just writing this is getting me hyped for riding Haunted Mansion Holiday & Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, seeing the new stage show at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and–most importantly–eating a dangerous quantity of pumpkin snacks. We already have our Halloween costumes for this year (well, one of our costumes…we have a lot of ideas for the other potential costume–maybe a post on that is in order?) and are pretty excited to wear them to the parties.
As mentioned earlier, this weekend we will have a new post (or two) on this year’s Halloween Time at Disneyland, so check back Saturday or Sunday for that!
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Are you a fan of the Halloween season in the Disney Parks? What’s your favorite thing about Halloween? Are you doing Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (Walt Disney World) or Mickey’s Halloween Party (Disneyland) this year? Have a sick costume idea? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts on these questions, or anything else, in the comments!
We will be visiting Disneyland and DCA from Thursday Sept 6-Wednesday Oct 2. We are planning on purchasing 5 day tickets…debating between park hopper or non-hopper. There are 4 of us travelling and the cost difference between the pass types is a total of $250 Canadian dollars through westjet vacations. I am leaning towards the hopper tickets as I am concerned with crowds and flow in the parks related to the Oogie Boogie Halloween Party…any advice or experience with this? I figure if we do park hopper we can do DCA on a party day and then migrate over to DL for the evening. Thanks!!!
My friends and I are planning to be Flora, Fauna and Merriweather and attend Mickeys Halloween Party! We are really looking forward to it…last year was my first time ever (I’m 69) and I really enjoyed the whole experience. I read your newletter whether I am planning on a trip to DL or not, because it is almost…I stress almost like being there through your eyes! Keep up the good tips, etc. those are gold!!
Thanks or the post! Is there still decorations in Disneyland diamond anniversary or is it all Halloween? Looking forward to our 1st DL Halloween visit but really hoping to stoll enjoy going for the diamond anniversary as well. Thanks!
It’s been 7 years since we’ve done Disneyland Paris, but both times we’ve been have been in the week before the Halloween events start. So at the start of our holiday the park was normal, and each morning there were more and more decorations. At the end of our 4-5 day stay it was completely transformed. It really was so much fun to experience that transformation even if we missed the festivities. Their Haloween decorations were awesome.
Heading to WDW in November for the start of the MVMCP. Wish we could have timed it a week earlier to take in both events, but I’ve always wanted to do WDW at Christmas so it’s a lifelong dream come true.
Thanks for an awesome blog. Hubby and I have been glued to it for days.
It’s always cool to see those transformations. The decorations there look awesome–I’d love to see them in person sometime!
I would love to know how you treat the parks now that you’re a local. Interested in if you ever do full days, your favorite times to go, how long you typically spend when you know you can head back at any time, when you avoid it due to crowds, etc. Has the luster worn off at all? For many Disney fans who aren’t local, these are just questions that I think many who wish they were locals wonder about.
Ooh – seconding this! It would be a great post to hear about what has changed for you Disney wise since the move.
We are going to the party on Thursday, October 1 and I am hoping that will be a good night, not too crowded. I’d like to try to cross some rides off the list during the party and am wondering if doing so will mean missing a lot of good stuff. We are going with a 4 and 7 year old and I thought hitting Winnie the Pooh, it’s a small world, and maybe a couple other kid rides during the party would mean smaller lines. Can we safely do that, or should we, when there is so much entertainment going on? I’ve been reading your blog for months, ever since we started planning the trip, and it has been so helpful, informative, and enjoyable. Thanks!
We are doing MNSSHP for the second time this year. We actually leave next Saturday and are doing the party on the 22nd. We had a blast last year!
I’m so excited! Can’t wait to read your updated Disneyland’s Mickey’s Halloween Party guide! Mom and I will attend on October 22. It’s our first time buying tickets for the party! Yay!
I’m not sure if I should go with a costum on, tho. What if I am the only one? D:
Our first trip to Disneyland last year was during Halloweentime and we loved it! Didn’t go to the party, but we got to see the Haunted Mansion and Ghost Galaxy overlays, and the decorations over at Big Thunder Ranch were awesome. This year we’re going to WDW in October for the first time so I’m excited to see the decorations there this time, plus food and wine. I’ve seen Disney at Christmas so many times, while I love it, it’s fun to see it decorated for another season for a change.
Side note, at DCA, there was a special fall smoothie at Schmoozies’ s made with apples and caramel, might be the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I’ve tried recreating it myself at home and it just isn’t quite the same.
LOVE the blog, pics are amazing and you and Sara are just the cutest…I’m a frequent visitor to your site as of Feb this year, when me and my BFF decided to go to Disneyland to celebrate 20 yrs of friendship! (Met when we were sophomores in High School) We will be going Oct 13-16 & this will be our 3rd trip together (in 98 we put together our school choir trip for Magic Music Days, what a BLAST…got to see a TON of behind the scenes stuff) any who…I’m SUPER looking forward to the Halloween Party update as we are really on the fence about it. As one is NEVER too old for Disney, it seems just a little more kid oriented, and sadly we are not bringing her 3yr old this time (she wants her to be able to go on ALL the rides and really enjoy her time, so they are going to wait a few years)
I do have a question, and maybe this needs to be directed to another post, but we are also on the fence about The Big Thunder BBQ. Now I’ve read that Big Thunder Ranch is closing Jan 2016, would it be worth it to go to the BBQ, seeing as it is all you can eat… or will the counter service be sufficient? When I went with family in 97 I recall it being delicious, but times have changed and we are going low budget anywhere we can…
Also, looking at park hours for DL and DCA, if DCA closes at 9, and World of Color is supposed to start at 9, will that mean the will show it or no? Same with Paint the Night at DL, on our Tuesday it shows the park closing at 11, but that show is set for 10:45. And just one more quick question, we’ve both seen Fantasmic before, would it be worth seeing one last time before it’s over (I think I read it’s on it’s way out) or would you focus more on DL Forever and Paint the Night.
Thanks so much, your blog has really been a wonderful resource!
Well, I won’t say definitively as I haven’t been yet, but there is a reason that it’s only me going to Mickey’s Halloween Party, whereas both of us will be going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I wouldn’t go *at all* but for this blog, and my thought that I actually need to say I’ve done it to speak with authority about it.
We love Big Thunder Ranch and will be making one last visit there before it closes. I can’t really answer whether it’s worth it or if counter service will be enough–depends upon your appetites.
On nights when entertainment is scheduled near or at park closing, that just means as soon as it’s over, they pretty much start steering you towards the exit. Fantasmic is definitely *not* on its way out at Disneyland. It is so popular that I suspect it has another 10-15 years in it.
That’s wonderful to hear about Fantasmic and thanks for the reply! (I feel kinda special, like I met a celebrity, well an Internet celebrity to me at least…I tell ya, I just get lost in your amazing pictures!) I’m SUPER excited to see World of Color as I’m a big Star Wars fan, so it’s nice to know it will show at 9pm…my BFF and I are on a mission…to have the most efficient, fun, magical and cost effective vacation ever, and your blog has helped!
Thanks so much again and have a wonderful time with all the Haloween fun that awaits!
Headed to Disneyland October 13-17, and going to the party the 14th. Super exited!
Have a costume picked out yet? One thing to remember if you’re normally a Walt Disney World park goer is that SoCal evenings can be pretty cool, so you can often go with a heavier costume without sweating bullets. Have fun!
So exciting!! Can’t wait to read your post after Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland. This year will be our first time to attend – we have tickets for October 25th. I hope you’re going before then, so I can read all your fabulous tips and tricks to make the event even better!! Enjoy …
I’ll probably do a post in the next week or so, as I have some “preview” type thoughts on it that apply now. Will probably go to an early-October party. Definitely before October 25.
Great – looking forward to that post! Already have my costume planned out – a Dole Whip – in the abstract sense. Pineapple sunglasses and all!
I was checking party dates today and was surprised (and sad) to see that Sunday, October 25th is sold out. I had just convinced my sister to join us and buy tickets! I didn’t think that Sunday would be a popular date.