Disneyland in October: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Halloween Decorations at Disneyland

Betsy Malloy Photography

It's Halloween all month at Disneyland and California Adventure in October, with holiday decorations strewn across the park and special shows on display nightly. On top of the festivities, October in Southern California is one of the most comfortable months of the year, well past the unpleasantly hot days of summer but still consistently sunny. And since most kids are back in school, October is also one of the least busy times of year to visit the park. Weekends at the park are always crowded, but the lines won't be nearly as long as they are during summer vacation or Thanksgiving break.

In October 2020, Disneyland and California Adventure parks are closed until further notice.

Disneyland Weather in October

Weather-wise, October is one of the best times of the year for visiting Disneyland. Expect sunny days and balmy daytime temperatures, perfect for walking around in a T-shirt and getting wet on a water ride—but without the stifling heat that you would experience two months earlier. In the evenings, temperatures do drop and it can feel chilly walking around the park after dark.

  • Average high: 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius)
  • Average low: 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius)
  • Average rain: 0.5 inches
  • Average daylight: 11 hours

California's famously good weather is on full display in October, and you're not likely to experience any rainy or overcast days. However, fall is the peak season for Santa Ana winds across the region, which often bring hot and dry gusts of wind during the day. These winds can also provoke regional wildfires and so much smoke that the air quality is dangerous, even if the fires themselves are far away. Be attentive to local news, especially if you have respiratory problems.

What To Pack

Walking on the asphalt around the park on a sunny day, it can often feel hotter than what the temperature reading suggests. You'll want to pack light clothing that you can walk around comfortably in, such as T-shirts, shorts, and pants. In case you get splashed on a water ride or at one of the shows, having an extra pair of socks stashed away in your daypack helps to keep your feet dry. Without a doubt, the most important item you need is comfortable walking shoes. If you bought some new shoes for your trip, walking around Disneyland is not the way to break them in.

Be sure to have some type of sun protection, such as a hat that covers your face and sunscreen. An umbrella is cumbersome to carry around and not likely to be necessary, but a light water-resistant jacket is ideal to have just in case it rains. Plus, you can use it at night when temperatures go down or throw it over your body as you barrel down the waterfall of Splash Mountain.

You'll likely be using your phone a lot to coordinate plans, take pictures with characters, and request FastPasses through the Disneyland app, so a portable battery pack to charge your phone can be a lifesaver.

October Events at Disneyland

The biggest event happening around Disneyland in October is Halloween festivities, which start in September and last through the end of October. Prepare to see Disney Villains, a new look at the Haunted Mansion, pumpkins everywhere, and more Halloween-themed activities in the park.

  • Oogie Boogie Bash: The park's biggest Halloween party is an after-hours event when the park closes at 6 p.m. It's hosted by all of your favorite Disney villains and includes a holiday parade, a modified World of Color show, and even trick-or-treating from the characters. And one of the best perks: a near-empty park and no long lines for the rides. Guests must purchase a special ticket to attend the Bash.
  • Anaheim's Gay Days: The city of Anaheim goes all out to support the LGBTQ+ community with special events and parties. Although it's an informal event, there are pool parties, mixers, live music, DJs, dancing, brunch, and other things going on in Downtown Disney and the resort hotels. You'll find it's traditional to wear a red shirt for Gay Days.

October Travel Tips

  • While October is generally shoulder season and there are fewer crowds than normal, there are peaks during the long weekend of Indigenous Peoples' Day and Halloween.
  • If you plan to attend an after-hours Halloween party, buy tickets as far ahead of time as possible. They often sell out weeks in advance.
  • The characters aren't the only ones in costumes. Kids and adults are both allowed to dress up throughout the month of October to get in the Halloween spirit.
  • October is a month when the Disney team is hard at work preparing many rides for the upcoming holiday season and it's likely at least some of them will be down for maintenance. You can check beforehand what rides are scheduled to be closed on the day of your visit.
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