Are you ready for bags full of Halloween candy in the Happiest Place on Earth?
Yep. Halloween in Disneyland is a thing!
One of the most popular things do in Disneyland so be sure to get in early to grab your tickets for the Disneyland Halloween Party as they do sell out quite quickly.
Word quickly spread around our party of 15 that Mickey’s Halloween Party was the best part of our 10 days in Disneyland.
Yeah, you heard that correctly – 10 days in Disneyland! There’s just so much to do!
We were fortunate to be visiting Disneyland in Anaheim with Craig’s family during the spooky season.
Thankfully, Craig’s sister is a major Disney fan and had done all her research, reminding us to get the tickets before they sold out- child meltdown avoided.
What is the Disneyland Halloween Party?
Disneyland Halloween Time is not like what you might find in theme parks like Universal Studios or SCarowinds at Carowinds theme park in North Carolina.
There are no haunted mazes or scary costumed characters jumping out to frighten you. Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party is a separate-admission Halloween-themed event held annually.
It’s just pure family-friendly costumed and Halloween treat fun.
During this Disney not so scary Halloween special event you are treated to 5 hours of shindig shenanigans–including special Halloween-themed attractions, special effects, costumes, and props, character greetings, fireworks, the Headless Horseman Rides Again (pre-parade) and much more.
What the kids will love most is the ridiculous amounts of candy they are given! I promise you, Disney Halloween is something they will never forget.
Typically the event runs from the middle of September until October 31. Last year (2018 when we visited, the event was every Monday and Wednesday, and either Friday or Saturday evening.
Get the Disney App
The Disney App is handy for checking wait times for rides, showtimes, and finding where the characters are located within the park – both Disneyland and California Adventure Park.
You can also link your tickets in the app, which is helpful for scanning for entry and rides, especially if you lose your paper ticket.
You can connect all professional photos taken to it (more on that below) and our favorite feature was the ability to order food through the app.
This saved us so much time lining up to order our food at busy dining places. Note – they’re always busy!
Disney Halloween Costumes
Get dressed up for Mickeys Halloween Party!
Our family of 13 (Nan and Pop stayed at home to rest) had a ball getting dressed up and into the Disneyland spirit.
Of course, you’ll see a lot of Disney princess and characters, but it’s Halloween so you can come as anything you like.
Kalyra came as Princess Jasmin and Savannah as Princess Belle. I think my niece stole the show with her cracker Harley Quinn outfit. But, everyone looked smashing really.
Part of the thrill of the evening is walking around seeing what costumes everyone is wearing. It gives the Disney Halloween Party a vibrant and diverse atmosphere.
There are a few rules with Disney Halloween costumes:
- Not be offensive or violent.
- Not reach or drag on the ground
- Layered costumes that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged
- Capes must be short
- No masks
Taking your photo with the giant Mickey Mouse pumpkin on the end of Main Street USA is very popular.
Go there first thing as by the end of the evening, the line is extremely long. We missed this photo opportunity.
I think it’s strange to line up for so long just for one snapshot, when you could spend that time experiencing moments in the park. Which will you remember more?
It’s one reason I don’t do lines very well. I can’t let two hours on a line be the reality of my existence.
Upon entering the park, be sure to pick up a map showing where all of the Disney characters for Halloween and trick-or-treat trails are set up around the park.
If there is one character you want to see, you may want to head over there fifteen minutes before the beginning of the party. This way you are in line and ready to meet them when the characters come out.
The regular Disney characters will be dressed in Halloween outfits.
The highlight of Kalyra’s time at Disneyland Resort in California was actually riding on the carousel beside the “real” Princess Jasmin. It was so sweet and they chatted the entire way.
The Princesses do come out every half an hour to ride on the carousel. It’s potluck who you get, but we had the inside scoop that Jasmin was going to be on it.
We had been waiting for some time to meet her, but she was taken out of the Royal Hall for her duties before we got to the end of the line.
The attendant told us to find her on the carousel so we raced over and made it in time to get on the carousel beside her.
Top Disney Character Photo Tip
Be sure to get as many professional photographs with the characters as you can. I didn’t realize it until the next day, but your Halloween Disney tickets entitles you to free downloads of these photos.
Only Disney PhotoPass photos captured during the event can be downloaded from your Disney account as many times as you want, for 45 days after capture.
On a normal Disney day you have to pay for these photos!
That’s a great deal, because the photos on Halloween night with all the costumed characters (and yourself ) are awesome.
Be sure to hand over your Disney app each time you get photos taken. They will scan the photos into the app for you.
Disney villains like Maleficent, Captain Hook, Cruella de Ville, and more have been spotted wandering Main Street U.S.A.
Jack Skellington and Sally are often out for meet and greet in New Orleans during Halloween.
Villains Square is at the front entrance of Disneyland Los Angeles at the start of Main Street USA. It’s where you’ll find some of your favorite villains, which apparently are harder to find on a normal Disney day.
Line up early for a bone chilling hug and photo. At the end of the night, there were several of them dancing on the steps to the train station.
Speak to Gaston if you can, he is hilarious!
You can keep an eye on appearance times through the Disney App. The villains are very popular so you may have a long wait.
Don’t leave it until the end of the night like we did as they close the lines off at 11 pm and you’ll have some unhappy children.
Disneyland Trick or Treat
Your ticket to the Disney Halloween Party gives you unlimited use of the many trick-or-treat trails throughout the entire park. (If you wanted to, you could walk away with an entire pillow case full.)
You can bring your own bag from home, but each guest receives a free bag upon entering the party.
Never fear parents, they do hand out carrots and apples amongst the endless and typical Disneyland Halloween food of candy and chocolate.
Check the map for where the trick-or-treat trails are. The trick or treat line moves quickly, so you may want to skip that to begin with and jump on the character lines as they get long fast and move slow.
Our favorite trails were in Toontown, through the eerie fog down by the New Orleans River, and through Pixie Hollow.
Our biggest Disneyland Halloween tip is to head straight to ToonTown for your first trick-or-treat experience.
Although the official time for Mickey’s Halloween Party kicks off at 6 or 7 pm, you can actually enter the park three hours before your start time. (So 3 pm or 4 pm)
An hour before the official kick off time, Halloween Toontown opens.
Get there early as there will be lines and you will need to show your Mickey’s Halloween Party bracelet IDs, which you get upon entering the park.
You can head straight to the trick or treats as soon as you enter. There are several here that wind through Minnie and Mickey’s house, which on a normal day will have crazy lines.
However, Mickey and Minnie weren’t present in the homes this time – just oodles of candy.
You can find Minnie, Mickey and all their friends out on the ToonTown streets dressed in Halloween costumes. They are are cute how they interact with each other.
Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse danced together and Donald proposed to Daisy Duck several times. He’s still waiting for a YES. You can watch the rejection in our video.
Halloween Treats and Decorations
Halloween time at Disneyland is magical, and one of the fun things to do at Disneyland Halloween is to sample the many special and unique Halloween treats.
From Pumpkin Cupcakes, to Bat Wing Raspberry Sundaes, there are plenty of spooky treats to keep your sugar levels high!
Our family loved the Mickey-Shaped Mummy Macaron – this is the Mickey Mouse Halloween party after all.
We all know Disney doesn’t do things half-heartedly, so you can expect to be wowed by the Halloween decorations throughout Disneyland and California Adventure Park.
Main Street USA is covered with pumpkins, giant ghosts, and the walls of the building have Halloween animations projected onto them.
Don’t miss the Rancho Del Zocalo in Frontierland. I loved the beautiful decorations here honoring Dia de Los Muertos, or day of the dead.
It’s also a tribute to Disney fan and author Ray Bradbury in the Halloween Tree.
His novel, “The Halloween Tree” inspired the orange glowing tree near the Golden Horseshoe Saloon.
The tree also has jack-o-lanterns hanging from its branches. It’s especially beautiful at night.
Halloween Rides at Disneyland
Can you believe we didn’t do one ride during Mickey’s Halloween Party? (Except for the carousel.)
Time goes so fast and we were just too busy chasing down characters and trick or treating. Apparently Space Mountain is a ghostly treat during the Disney Halloween party.
There is also the Haunted Mansion, which we experienced a few days earlier, and I thought was the most overrated ride in the park. It’s decked out with Halloween props from Tim Burton’s, The Nightmare Before Christmas, but I didn’t find it scary one bit.
I was expecting people to jump out and scare us, which is maybe where my disappointment with it came from. So don’t expect any spooky terror in there!
If you want to pop over to California Adventure Park, the Guardians of the Galaxy has a Monsters After Dark Halloween Overlay, which starts at 5 pm.
I liked it better than the daytime version.
Although to be honest, the thrill of that ride had nothing to do with the animations and everything to do with the ride and the reactions of everyone in the elevator!
The crowds will be less than a regular Disney day so take advantage of shorter lines for all the rides and attractions.
Cadaver Dan’s Singing Quartet
Do not miss seeing the ethereal zombie-fied barbershop quartet rising through the fog to perform a host of spook-tacular hits on the river during Halloween night.
We almost missed seeing the Cadaver Dan’s Singing Quartet waiting around for the first parade at 9pm.
Due to the crazy crowds we decided to wait for the later one and walked down to the river to see them. It was spectacular and one of my favorite things to do in Mickey’s Halloween Party.
There is a Trick or Treat trail along the riverfront here as well.
The Halloween Screams Fireworks
You’ll want to arrive outside the Disneyland castle quite early to ensure good views during the Disneyland Halloween Fireworks. They are spectacular.
It’s not just the fireworks, but the Halloween light display on the castle walls which is why views of this is pretty important.
There’d be ghosts and pumpkins and spider webs and all things spooky. as well as characters flying above the castle and Booga boo….it’s super crowded though.
The light show kicks off with an eerie greeting from your “Master of Scare-o-monies” Jack Skellington and his ghostly dog Zero—spirits from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The show will wow you with soaring flames, projections of rising ghosts and classic Disney Villains perfectly matched to Halloween-inspired songs.
The fireworks are a total showstopper.
Frightfully Fun Halloween Parade
Seated on a majestic black stallion, an eerie Halloween spirit holds a flickering jack-o-lantern to light his way—in search of a new head to call his own.
Rows of children lined up along his pathway in anticipation refuse to give them their own, but watch intensely for his next silent move.
The Headless Horseman does ride again and kicks off the Frightfully Fun Halloween Parade in a spooky, yet fun kinda way.
Mickey and Minnie soon follow to kick off the Disney Trickster parade.
You’ll find fiendish friends from Halloween Town as they pave the way for Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (a huge hit with the kids).
Soon the scheming Dr. Facilier and his Shadow Men (my favorite) arrive, captivating audiences with bayou music from the “other side.”
The Grim Grinning Ghosts add to the fun and the parade ends with a very special surprise—Vampirina, the ghoulishly cool star of Disney Junior’s hit show.
Top Halloween Parade Tip
Watch the Halloween fireworks at 9:35 pm then the 10:30 pm Halloween parade straight after it rather than before it. It will be less popular.
Head straight up the pathway towards It’s a Small World, which is where the parade will end.
If you move fast, you should be able to grab some seats right at the edge of the parade route – no crowds.
As we were all so tired and foot weary, we were stoked to jag these seats that had prime view of the parade coming down from the Disney gates.
The earlier parade goes in the other direction, which meant our views would not have been so good.
Craig did see the earlier parade on Main Street, which did look spectacular as it was so lit up. You can see the difference in our video.
Disneyland Halloween Party Tickets
- Your Disneyland Halloween tickets let you enjoy Disneyland Park for up to 3 hours before Mickey’s Halloween Party begins, which lasts for five hours.
- For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday dates, the party hours are 6:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday hours are 7:00 p.m. to midnight.
- The ticket also gives you access to California Adventure Park, so you could use those extra few hours to pop over there to see the Halloween decorations.
- Ticket prices range from $95- $130 and usually go on sale in June. Be sure to check in case prices have changed in the year you visit. The more expensive days on the list above have historically been the more crowded ones. Avoid those days if you can.
- Once you enter the park, you’ll be given a Halloween party wristband. Don’t take it off otherwise you’ll be mistaken for a regular Disney guest and be ushered out of the park.
- As the Disney Halloween tickets are quite expensive, I’d recommend not purchasing a park ticket for the day “non-Halloween party” time. Make that a day to relax at your hotel or explore Downtown Disney.
- Use a normal park ticket for another full non-Halloween party day.
If you have tickets for just Disneyland, be sure you know the nights Mickey’s Halloween Party are held because you will be kicked out of the park at 6 pm if you didn’t have Halloween tickets.
That means you’ve lost a few extra hours that you’d get in the park if you visited on a non-Halloween night.
So be sure to plan your trip to Disneyland carefully!
How can you experience Halloween in Disneyland without buying tickets to the party?
You don’t have to go to get Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets to experience Halloween at Disneyland.
During the Halloween season, both Disneyland and California Adventure Park have Disney Halloween decorations and experiences on offer! So you can still experience it as a regular visitor.
Here are some of the special Halloween Disney experiences to look out for:
- Halloween treats, including pumpkin Mickey beignets, Mickey-Shaped Mummy Macaron, Bat Wing Raspberry Sundae
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark Halloween Overlay
- Haunted Mansion Holiday themed to Nightmare Before Christmas
- Look up when entering through the Disneyland gates as sitting on top are some of your favorite Disney characters carved out of pumpkins.
- Cars Land has Haul-o-Ween decorations up and the Cars characters are dressed in Halloween costumes. It’s especially pretty at night.
- Plentiful Pumpkins: There are hundreds of pumpkins on Main Street USA, including the giant pumpkin with the never-ending line for photos.
- Oogie Boogie’s oversized silhouette entices guests into Disney California Adventure
Bonus Disneyland Halloween Video
Plan Your Trip to Disneyland
Buy your Disneyland tickets through our trusted affiliate partner Undercover Tourist who sell authentic theme park tickets at discounted prices. Buy online and go straight to the park entrance gate – no exchange necessary!
We recommend park hopper tickets so you can hop between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park:
- 2 day park hopper tickets
- 3 day park hopper tickets
- 4 day park hopper tickets
- 5 day park hopper tickets
When you purchase a 3-day, 4-day or 5-day ticket you can enjoy one Magic Morning early admission!
Magic Morning admission allows early admission into select attractions at Disneyland Park for 1 hour prior to the park opening to the general public on select days!
Where to Stay in Disneyland
Stay at the Disneyland Hotel
We stayed at the Disneyland® Hotel for one night as guests of the hotel.
We spent the day hanging out at the pool, and going on all the water slides. Which was pretty fun. Except for one part when a kid peed in the main pool. Yummy. not.
The coolest thing about our hotel room, was that on a wall on top of the beds was the Castle, and if you flick a switch, the lights come on and music plays. That part was cool.
It was also fun to see characters in the lobby, out the front of the hotel, and around the pool area.
We danced with Goofy out the front of the hotel, and playing with kids around the pool. We also walked around the lobby with chip and dale, and met Minnie at her kitchen.
Hotels near Disneyland, Anaheim
Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel can be a very expensive way to experience Disneyland. To reduce your Disneyland costs, consider staying at a hotel near Disneyland.
You can find hotels within walking, or shuttle bus distance.
We also recommend renting a Disneyland vacation home. We rented one that slept 9 people and was only a 10 minute walk from Downtown Disney.
It was awesome and the best way to experience Disneyland with comfort, space and a cheaper price.
Here are a few of our Disneyland accommodation posts to help you decide:
- 15 Best hotels near Disneyland
- Hyatt Regency Orange County: A Disney Good Neighbor Hotel
- Why You Should Consider a Disneyland Vacation Rental vs. Hotel
- Check out these Disneyland accommodation and ticket packages
- Radisson Blu Anaheim: The Stylish Family Vacation Resort
Getting Around Disneyland
Parking at Disneyland® is expensive!
If you have your own car, or fly into LAX and book a rental car, on average you’re looking at $15 per day to park your car at most Anaheim hotels on top of your accommodation costs.
That adds up and is something to factor into your budget.
Get to Disneyland® from your hotel via the ART shuttle
Another option for getting to Disneyland® from your hotel is to ride the ART shuttle (Anaheim Resort Transportation).
This shuttle connects you to the theme parks, hotels, restaurants, and shopping within the Anaheim area.
Service typically begins at 7 AM and continues through midnight
Walk to Disneyland® from your hotel
However, your best option for getting from your hotel to Disneyland® could be to walk.
I’ve also been told that by the time you wait for the shuttle, and the time it takes the shuttle to stop off at each hotel and pick up point, you could have walked there by then.
Airport Transfers to Anaheim
John Wayne airport, which is about a 15 – 20 minute ride, depending on traffic.
You can take a super shuttle for only $13 per person one way. Ubers/Lyft will be cheaper for large parties, or even a private shuttle transfer.
Helpful posts on Southern California:
- 10 Day Itinerary – Best Places to Visit in Southern California (beyond Disneyland)
- 16 Exciting Things to do in San Diego With Kids (This Place Is Me!)
- 15 Memorable Things to do in Orange County with Kids
- Knott’s Berry Farm – a great alternative, or addition to, Disneyland.