Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland California
Every year, Mickey Mouse gives a Halloween party for all his pals, and you're invited. It takes place in Disneyland Park. There's a similar party at Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida which is called Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but this is about the one that happens in Anaheim, California.
Reasons to go to Mickey's Halloween Party
The #1 reason to accept Mickey's invitation is that it's a lot of fun, with good old-fashioned Halloween spirit and none of the chainsaw-wielding, fake-blood-spattering gore of other southern California theme park events.
Or maybe the #1 reason to go is that Disneyland will be at its least crowded. Attendance is limited, all the rides are open, and lines are short. So short that you won't even need to get out your MaxPass.
If that wasn't enough, you will save money. A ticket for Mickey's party can be bought for the lowest price you'll pay for a Disneyland ticket all year long. The party lasts five hours. Ticket-holders can get in three hours before that. That gives you eight hours of Disneyland for less than the normal ticket price.
It's also the only time of year that adults and kids older than ten years old can wear a costume inside Disneyland. Costumes need to be kid-friendly, non-offensive and safe, though.
Besides all that, you watch a Halloween-themed parade and fireworks, and you can go trick-or-treating inside the park on "Treat Trails." You can dance until you drop and play until you're all tuckered out, too.
Dates for Mickey's Halloween Party
The party starts in mid-September and happens on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights through Halloween. Tickets are a little less expensive for the first few nights.
Tickets for Mickey's Halloween Party
Everyone three years old or older needs a ticket. The best place to get them is through the Disneyland website. It's best to buy in advance because you can save up to $10 per ticket - and just in case they sell out. Check out their website to buy tickets and get more information.
What Is Mickey's Halloween Party?
Only party ticket holders can attend the Halloween Party. Day guests will be asked to leave the park after the official party start time. After that, cast members and security may ask to see your wristband. That's how they know that you have a ticket for the event. The easiest way to avoid frequent questions is to make sure your band is visible, especially during the first couple of hours.
What's It Like?
Mickey's Halloween Party is a fun, family-friendly event, a good place to enjoy the holiday without seeing even one drop of fake blood. Or hearing one terrified scream. Everyone is in a festive mood and lines at the rides are much shorter than usual.
If you arrive at early entry time (three hours before the party starts), you can enjoy the holiday decorations while it's still daylight. You can also use those hours to have fun in California Adventure.
About a third of the adults and more than half the kids who go to Mickey's Halloween Party wear costumes. Many are clever, original ones that make you laugh and wonder how they thought up such a cute idea and the people-watching is the best of any time of year.
What Is There to Do?
Some annual pass holders go to Mickey's Halloween Party several times in the same year. That might sound like overdoing it, but in fact, there's so much going on that you might not be able to pack it all into a single night, either.
Besides enjoying all the rides, watching the Halloween parade and fireworks display, you can enjoy the holiday decorations and even go dancing.
Scattered around the park, you'll find clusters of "treat trails" where you can collect enough sweet goodies to provoke an unscheduled trip to the dentist. Even the adults have a hard time resisting the Halloween ritual, holding out their bags and saying at the same time: "I don't know what I'm going to do with this."
Tips for Mickey's Halloween Party
With strict attendance limits, the Halloween Party almost always sells out ahead of time. To make sure you can get in, buy tickets at least two weeks in advance. And if you want to go on a Friday or on October 31, do it as soon as they go on sale.
Adults can wear costumes (with some restrictions). Check the costume rules to be sure your attire meets the standards. For the 2018 party they include:
- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
- If your costume includes a fake weapon, it needs to look that way and not be easily mistaken for the real thing.
- No masks are allowed.
If you plan to go trick-or-treating, you'll get a bag when you enter, but bring a bigger one if you think you'll need it. The longest treat trails are at Innoventions and next to Rivers of America. The cutest one goes through Pixie Hollow.
Healthy treats are available (carrots, pretzels) if you don't want the sugary stuff.
The park closes to regular visitors when the party begins, and Main Street can get crowded as the day guests all try to get out at once. Take advantage of early entry and get in at least half an hour before the party's official start time.
Ride wait time apps stop working when the party officially begins and will show all the rides as closed. Lines will be so short that it won't matter, though. All the waits will be about 20 minutes or less shortly after the party starts.
Be realistic about your energy levels and how long the kids can have fun before they're too pooped to stay awake. Most adults and pre-teens can arrive three hours before the party and walk out just before midnight. It's a fun way to see and do as much as possible, but if you don't think you'll last that long, time your arrival and departure to maximize your enjoyment.
Ride lines cut off on the dot at the closing time, but the rides stay open to accommodate everyone who got in line before that. The shops also close quickly, especially the ones near attractions. Main Street shops stay open just a little longer.
Some people like to get a hotel room near the park for this event. It gives you somewhere to change into your costumes and a nearby place to crash once the party is over. If you're thinking of doing that, you're not the only one. Reserve your room a month or so in advance for the best selection.
Mickey's Frightfully Fun Parade
If you love a parade, Mickey put together a special version, just for the Halloween Party.
It starts when the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow appears. He rides a black horse and carries a flickering jack-o-lantern through the heart of Disneyland. That's as creepy as it gets.
After that, it's all fun and music. You'll see lots of characters dressed up in their best costumes. Mickey and Minnie ride in the big float that comes at the end.
Pick up a schedule at the front gate to be sure you don't miss it. The parade usually runs twice during the evening.
Halloween Screams Fireworks
The Disneyland fireworks show also gets a Halloween theme, Halloween Screams. It's exclusive to the Halloween Party and not shown during regular admission days even during the holiday season.
Instead of Tinkerbell, who flies in from the Matterhorn to set off the regular fireworks show, you'll see Zero (Jack Skellington’s dog from The Nightmare Before Christmas) flying around the castle to get things started.
Zero's owner, ghost host Jack Skellington himself is projected onto a large balloon near the castle. The rest of the show is a tribute to Disney's best-known villains, including the Ghosts from Haunted Mansion, Ursula (Little Mermaid), Cruella DeVil (101 Dalmatians), Captain Hook, Oogie Boogie (Nightmare Before Christmas) and Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty).
The Jolly Holiday Bakery is a good place to watch the pyrotechnics, get a rest and a meal all at the same time. Get there about 30 minutes before the fireworks start and choose your table carefully. If you can't see the castle from your table, you won't see the show either. Tables on the right as you enter the seating area are usually best.
Even the Castle Puts on a Costume
Sleeping Beauty's Castle gets a dressing of artificial snow, which will stay on until after New Year's. During the Halloween Party, colorful lights project spider web patterns on it. Space Mountain and the train station are also bathed in lighted projections.