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A Guide to Disneyland at Halloween
Disneyland starts celebrating the holidays at Halloween, with lots of unique decorations and activities for Disney’s HalloweenTime. What was already a fun time to go is now even busier, but our tips for planning ahead will help you make the most of it. Not to be left out, the bakeries and eateries may also feature seasonal goodies.
If you plan to visit Disneyland during the Halloween season, check their calendar ahead of time to be sure you know what the hours are. On days when Mickey's Halloween Party is held, the park closes earlier than normal (unless you have a separate ticket for the party).
How to Plan Ahead for Disneyland at Halloween
For a few days after the decorations go up and on Halloween night, the place gets jam-packed. If you can, try to go on a Sunday or weekday, when crowds will be smaller.
The crowds are also more manageable if you plan ahead. These are some things to do:
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- If you're going for more than one day, buy your Disneyland tickets online in advance to avoid... standing in line for them.
- Use Ridemax to avoid standing in line at the rides.
- Reserve Disneyland tours such as the Happiest Haunts Tour or Walk in Walt's Footsteps a month in advance. Call 714-781-4585.
- Make reservations for Disneyland restaurants such as the Blue Bayou at least two weeks in advance at 714-781-3463 or reserve online.
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Halloween decorations appear everywhere in Disneyland, starting at the entrance gates. Town Square at the end of Main Street boasts a 16-foot tall Mickey-Mouse-shaped jack-o-lantern that's very popular for photographs, and Main Street is decked out in orange and yellow bunting, with more than 300 pumpkins peeping from its windows.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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The Character Halloween Costumes
Many of the Disney characters will be wearing their Halloween costumes as they greet guests. Young girls especially seem to enjoy wearing their Disney princess outfits while visiting the park, and if you buy them one for their visit, they can wear it for the holiday, too.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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The Haunted Mansion Holiday
Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, a tale of what happens when Halloween tries to create Christmas, is an annual Disneyland feature from early October through the end of the year.
The special Halloween decorations in Haunted Mansion Holiday, based on Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, are extensive and whimsical, with jack-o-lanterns replacing the hitchhiking ghosts. Haunted Mansion is Disneyland's best Halloween spot. You may want to ride it twice to take it all in, and be sure to stop by after dark when candles flicker outside.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy
Every year in the fall, a bunch of ghosts moves into Space Mountain, bringing along a soundtrack and special effects just for the holiday. The creepy, projected character that cast members call Dolores shows up during the ride, sometimes seeming so much in your face that you think she's going to get into the car with you. Outside, projections turn the roof into a morphing montage of textures and effects.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Mickey's Halloween Party
This event happens in October on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and Halloween night and requires a Fridays and Halloween night and requires a separate ticket purchase, which gives access to attractions, exclusive seating for the fireworks and other activities. Adults can wear costumes to the party; a privilege restricted to the under-ten set the rest of the year. Read more about it here.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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The Halloween Screams Fireworks
It's a fireworks show created just for the season, but it only happens during Mickey's Halloween Party.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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The Halloween Souvenirs and Treats
Disneyland comes up with sweet treats for every holiday and season. These candy apples were on sale in the candy shop window on Main Street USA.
You can also pick up a pretty inexpensive souvenir at Halloween, especially if you like popcorn. The bucket is different every year. In the past, it has featured Zero, who is Jack Skellington's faithful ghost dog in Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and a cute Cinderella's carriage.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Disney's Happiest Haunts Tour
A seasonal-themed version of the behind-the-scenes tour, visiting all the holiday attractions and with reserved seating for the fireworks. Call 714-781-4565 to reserve it, up to one month in advance. Read a detailed review of the tour at MousePlanet.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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California Adventure at Halloween
Most of the Halloween-themed rides are in Disneyland, but at California Adventure, Oogie Boogie from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas takes over with his twisted tale of a forever Halloween.
Cars Land gets a Haul-O-Ween makeover as the citizens of Radiator Springs don Halloween costumes and decorate their respective homes for the season. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree turns spooky as the Graveyard JamBOOree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters getting a seasonal twist to become Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of researching this story. While it has not influenced this article, TripSavvy believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.