What could be happier than the Happiest Place on Earth? The Happiest Place on Earth at Halloween!! Disneyland at Halloween is our family’s FAVORITE time to visit! Disney and Halloween=magic! (Note this post was from 2015 and there have been a number of changes to Disney’s Halloween Celebration, but the fun is still the same).
MICKEY’S HALLOWEEN PARTY
So what is Mickey’s Halloween Party and is it worth it? It’s the main reason we go at Halloween and YES, it is worth it! It is a special Halloween Party held inside the Disneyland Park from about the last week of September to October 31st. It requires a separate ticket from your regular Disney park tickets. All guests of the party are given a special wristband and park officials close the party to all other guests (if you don’t have a wristband, you will have to leave the Disneyland park. Note: California Adventure remains open for those who aren’t attending the party. And yes, they really check to make sure that only those with wristbands are in the park.) Tickets typically go on sale in July and usually sell out. Tickets prices range from $72-$99 per person. Weekday tickets are usually less expensive than weekend tickets. Hours vary, but typically weekday hours are from 6 to 11 p.m. and weekend ticket hours are from 7 p.m. to Midnight. Disney opens the gates to party guests 3 hours before the party starts (3 or 4 p.m.) That’s another reason we go on a weekday–with young kids we feel we get the most bang for our buck going as early as possible. We also don’t try to overdo it by going to the park that day with our regular tickets. We sleep in, take our time getting ready (costumes are a must for adults and children!) and show up an hour before they open the gates for Halloween Party guests (about 2 pm). That way we are well-rested and ready to play!
There are lots of spook-tacular activities including:
1- Frightfully Fun Parade
This parade includes some favorite Disney villains as well as Minnie and Mickey and pals all decked out for Halloween. Disney usually does at least 2 showings of this parade– one earlier in the evening and one later. TIP: If attending with little kids, it’s great to attend the earlier one, usually around 6 or 7 p.m., before they get too tired. Look for the parade times in your special Halloween Map when you enter the park. The parade was updated in 2016 and if it’s even possible, is better than before! Although we are huge fans of the original Halloween Parade. And yes, you can only see this parade during the party! It is not the same parade that runs during the day.
2- Special trick-or-treat stations
The trick-or-treat station provide candy and healthy goodies. Be sure to bring your own bags- we’ve yet to make it to every station, and our reusable grocery bags are nearly full every time! They have everything from name-brand candy to sliced apples, raisins, baby carrots, etc. We like to get a mix of both! TIP: We always schedule the Halloween Party at the beginning of our Disney trip (Monday or Tuesday) and then the rest of the week we have lots of snacks leftover from the trick-or-treating to eat while waiting in line for rides, walking around, for the drive home, etc.
3- Halloween Screams
This boo-tiful fireworks show, is presented exclusively for Mickey’s Halloween Party Guests, weather permitting.
4- Virtually NO lines for all attractions, including Halloween-themed attractions
Access to nearly all attractions, including Halloween-themed attractions like Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. And the rides have nearly NO wait time during the party as everybody is trick or treating or doing other festivities. We love taking advantage of this and spend much of our time on rides.
Image credit: Disney Parks Blog
5- Special Disney Halloween Food!
Disney often has special holiday treats only available during the Halloween season. From super yummy mummy caramel marshmallow sticks, pumpkin beignets, to the most adorable caramel apples you will ever see- they almost look too good to eat. Almost. These treats are available for purchase anytime, not just during the Halloween Party.
Here are some of the special food Disneyland has offered over the past few years:
- Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue
Sugar Cookie Bake dusted with powdered sugar and a cinnamon-orange mulling spice, topped with vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce
- Café Orleans
Flat Iron Steak with Peppercorn and Cognac Sauce served with garlic mashed potatoes, butternut squash and green beans
Pumpkin Beignets served with vanilla crème Anglaise (SOOOOOO good!!)
Grilled Flat Iron Steak – Served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, haricots vert, peppercorn cognac sauce
- Carnation Café
Mickey’s Frightfully Spicy Chicken Sandwich – Fried chicken served with pepper jack cheese, spicy Sriracha sauce, coleslaw and breaded and fried jalapenos served on a brioche bun with a side of French fries
Blackened Spicy Chicken Sandwich
- French Market Restaurant
Haunted Mansion Cake
Traditional Shrimp Po’Boy – Deep fried popcorn shrimp, lettuce, tomato, vinegar dressing and Cajun remoulade sauce on a toasted potato roll
Cookies & Cream Mousse Coffin Cake
- Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
Halloween Premium Cone
- The Golden Horseshoe
Ice Cream Nachos
- Hungry Bear Restaurant
Apple Pie Funnel Cake
Pulled Pork Hot Dog – Topped with citrus slaw, fried jalapenos and fresh cilantro
- Jolly Holiday Bakery Café
Bat Mickey Cookie
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pie
Maple Creme Brulee
Spiced Bundt Cake
Chocolate Hazelnut Mickey-Shaped French Macaron
Corn Chowder Soup
Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Maurice’s Treats
Mint Julep Bar
- Plaza Inn
- Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante
Pork Tamale and Cheese Enchilada
Orange Pumpkin Flan
- Royal Street Veranda
Banana Fritters with crème Anglaise
And throughout Disney you can find:
Candy Corn Cotton Candy (Our kids loved this!)
Poison Apple Stein – Served with fruit, beverages or ice cream sundae (yummy! It’s often still hot in California in October and this was a refreshing drink!)
Vampire Mickey Popcorn Bucket (And we still have our bucket!)
Zero Popcorn Bucket
Halloween Hot Mug
Are you hungry now? Haha- nothing quite like Disney goodness. For all food Disney, visit their Blog for the latest tastiest treats.
Images credit: Disney Park Blog
6- Halloween photos with your favorite characters
Photo locations with popular Disney Pals and legendary Disney Villains, often dressed up in their Halloween costumes. These characters are spread throughout the park, but typically the villains are on Main Street USA. Check your map for more details. These lines can be very long, especially early on. We waited nearly an hour to see Winnie the Pooh and friends, which, at the time, was super important to our two young daughters. TIP: Try greeting the characters later in the evening (7:30 or later) when the lines seem to die down.
7- Spooktacular In-Room Surprises
When you stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel room, you’ll be treated to Spooktacular in-room surprises. Can you imagine how magical this would be?!
If you’re visiting during Mickey’s Halloween Party, you can make your stay in a Disneyland Resort hotel an even more magical with a personalized Halloween In-Room Celebration, Mickey’s Spooktacular Halloween Celebration.
Imagine walking up to your hotel room to discover a spooky door banner indicating something special took place inside. As you step into the room, a host of personalized surprises, goodies, and treats make you feel like Mickey himself has visited.
For more, including costume guidelines, visit Disneyland’s official Halloween website.
Any one else been to Disneyland during Halloween? What are your Halloween tips and tricks for Disneyland? We’d love to know!