Our Frog Family loves going to Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort. It's one of the best times of the year to visit! Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are outfitted with decorations, banners, lighting, characters in Halloween costumes, spooky sounds and other treats (plus, ask for some Halloween Magic Shots from the PhotoPass photographers for some extra special surprises!). This year there is a new Disney Villains Dance Party at Disneyland!
Overview of Disneyland Halloween Time
Halloween Time typically runs early September through Halloween every year. In 2022, Halloween Time runs from Sept. 2 through Oct. 31! In other good news, the Oogie Boogie Bash — A Disneyland Halloween Party returns to Disney California Adventure returns for select nights, Sept. 6 through Oct. 31, 2022! Tickets went on sale June 30, 2022, for the general public (or June 28 for Magic Key holders) and sold out in days! This year, D23 members have an exclusive party night on Sept. 10. The Oogie Boogie Bash party is a separately ticketed event that runs during Disneyland Halloween Time. It's one of our Frog Family-favorite events of the year! But even if you don't attend the party, there is so much Halloween fun to be had during Halloween Time.
September and October are generally better times of the year to visit Disneyland, but Halloween Time brings in visitors, especially on weekends. Visit early in September and on a weekday, if you can. The earlier you go in the season, the lighter the crowds seem to be. Expect early October through Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day and Halloween weekend to be the most crowded. That being said two September events will affect crowds and make reservations fill up more quickly than usual. The D23 Expo is Sept. 9 to 11 and Gay Days are Sept. 16 to 18, 2022, so that could make the parks a little busier than normal mid-September. You'll want to reserve early those weekends. So, what can you expect at Halloween Time at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney?
Halloween Time at Disneyland Park
Disneyland explodes with Halloween decorations, including fall colors of yellow and orange and pumpkins aplenty, especially on Main Street. As you stroll down Main Street, you will find hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins, which are lit at night. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and Chip 'n' Dale greet guests in their Halloween costumes. The villains may be stalking about in Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasy Faire and Fantasyland.
In Frontierland, you will find a traditional Día de los Muertos skeleton display and an homage to Disney fan and author Ray Bradbury in the Halloween Tree. The tree, near the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, was inspired by Bradbury's novel, "The Halloween Tree," and features orange glowing lights and jack-o-lanterns hanging from its branches. It's especially beautiful at night!
You can see decorated skeletons for Día de los Muertos in front of the Rancho del Zocalo Mexican restaurant in Frontierland, which hoppens to be one of our favorite quick-service restaurants.
Halloween Screams Projection Show
At Disneyland Park, all guests can enjoy the nightly Halloween Screams projection show! Fireworks are included on select nights (usually weekends and maybe holidays). Check the calendar to see show times and if fireworks are included during your visit. Hop over to find out the best places to view Disneyland fireworks. Halloween Screams is a Frog Family must-see! It's definitely worth waiting near the castle to see this show up close due to all of the special effects at the castle.
Disneyland Halloween Time Ride Layover
One of the most popular rides during Halloween Time at Disneyland is Haunted Mansion Holiday. Haunted Mansion is converted to Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The layover lasts through Halloween Time and Holiday Time, converting back to the traditional Haunted Mansion in early January. The Mansion lights up at night — try to be there for the lighting. There is no specific time but if you are in the area (or in line) between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. the Ghost Host will give you a treat by lighting the mansion.
Wait times for Haunted Mansion Holiday are significantly longer than at other times of the year, so we recommend you make this one of your priorities before 10 a.m. The ballroom always has a large gingerbread house on the table (with yummy gingerbread smells wafting up).
Characters in Disneyland Park During Halloween Time
You can meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale and more friends dressed in their Halloween outfits in Town Square. Jack and Sally can be found in New Orleans Square near the Royal Street Veranda. In 2021, they were greeting guests from the balcony of the Haunted Mansion or from the balcony above Pirates. It will be interesting to see if they return to their Royal Street location in 2022.
Villains are out for Halloween! Cruella de Vil, Queen of Hearts, Jafar and others sometimes stomp around near the entrance to the park by the train station or the area next to the Mad Hatter in Town Square. We have caught sight of Frollo, Governor Ratcliffe and others in past years. You never know which villains may appear during Halloween Time! Maleficent and the Evil Queen tend to lurk around Fantasyland and Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of Disneyland Halloween Time last year was the Halloween character cavalcade. This mini-parade is short, sweet and toadally fun! You can see Mickey, Minnie and pals, princesses, other characters and villains. You can hear it coming, so listen for a Halloween music change to let you know it's on its way. Hopfully, it returns for 2022!
Disney Villains Dance Party (New!)
And last but not least, there is a a new Disney Villains Dance Party at Disneyland. It kicks off the season on Friday, Saturdays and Sunday nights (and holidays) in Tomorrowland. You can join villains and learn the Monster Mash between 7 and 11 p.m. Lily really loves these character dance parties and can't wait to "boo"gie down this Halloween season!
Halloween at Disney California Adventure Park
Disney California Adventure offers a few grim grinning ghouls and ghosts of its own. Oogie Boogie's oversized shadow haunts the main entrance of Disney California Adventure. Listen for his voice to speak out to you from time to time. Head over to the Headless Horseman statue on Buena Vista Street. Boo-tiful purple lights are aglow, and you can hear the faint clip-clop sounds of the horse or Oogie Boogie himself. Cars Land is breathtaking at night in all it's purple and green spooky splendor. "Radiator Screams" lights up each night around sunset, with a special lighting song at Halloween Time. Keep an eye out for Oogie Boogie Bash dates when you make your theme park reservations. Disney California Adventure closes early for day guests those nights.
Oogie Boogie Bash
The Oogie Boogie Bash is a separately ticketed Halloween party that takes place on select nights Sept. 6 to Oct. 31 at Disney California Adventure. This after-hours party requires a separate ticket but needs no reservation. Hop over to our Oogie Boogie Bash Disneyland Halloween Party post for the full scoop and all of the scary details.
Tickets sell out at a freakishly fast pace each year, so hop to it when tickets go on sale June 30, 2022! You can purchase tickets at the Disneyland site.
If you are having trouble deciding if the Oogie Boogie Bash is right for your family or want to see more, watch our YouTube video on the Oogie Boogie Bash from 2021. Keep in mind some experiences could be different in 2022, especially now that character meet and greets are back.
The party is one of the rare times guests 14 and up can wear costumes to Disneyland. Guests of all ages can go trick-or-treating and enjoy special entertainment, dance parties and unique character meet-and-greets with classic Disney characters in costumes and many Disney villains. The ride wait times tend to be shorter during the Disneyland Halloween Parties — what a treat!
If you're not attending Oogie Boogie Bash, visit Disney California Adventure on a non-event night to catch this park all aglow for Halloween Time. Seeing Disney California Adventure at night during Halloween Time is a must. Be sure to check the dates of the Oogie Boogie Bash before you book your park reservations when visiting Disney California Adventure Park this season, and reserve a day without a party so you can stay in the park after dark. The park closes to daytime guests at 6 p.m. on party nights (mostly Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but also a few Saturdays and Oct. 31 this year). Party guests mix in beginning at 3 p.m., making that park more crowded in the afternoons and unavailable to guests without a party ticket during the evenings after 6 p.m.
Plaza de la Familia at Disney California Adventure
Any "Coco" fans out there? You won't want to miss visiting the Plaza de la Familia at Paradise Gardens Park. You can meet puppet Miguel!
Take part in activities such as free crafts, including coloring a mask or recording a family memory. Other fun things to do include trying out the special colorful wing photo walls and Tree of Life photo locations. Learn about Día de los Muertos, enjoy mariachi music, sample Mexican dishes or catch a showing of the "A Musical Celebration of Coco" show — Miguel makes an appearance with his guitar. This show usually takes place about hourly in the afternoon. The last showing was 5 p.m. the day we visited. The Plaza de la Familia is open until November 2.
Halloween Ride Overlays ay Disney California Adventure
Prepare for Cars Land to roll into the Halloween spirit with holiday decor, music, ride overlays and characters dressed in fun "car-tumes." The rides put a new spin on Halloween Time with Halloween overlays. Muffle your screams when Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters changes to Luigi's Honkin' Haul-O-Ween and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree beaomes Mater's Graveyard JamBOOree. Visit "Radiator Screams" at night to take in the "gourd-geous" Halloween scenery, special lighting and backdrop of hills in bewitching Halloween colors. It's quite a family-friendly treat!
Braver souls should get ready to #SaveGroot at Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark. The Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction gets into the Halloween spirit during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. Each evening, the attraction transforms into a new experience that continues the story of the daytime ride, but now guests need to help Rocket Raccoon save Groot. It's a lot scarier than the daytime ride with a heavy metal soundtrack, so consider that if you have tadpoles who are just tall enough to ride the daytime version. They might find Monsters After Dark to be too much.
This is a very popular ride with long wait times! You can check hours on the Disneyland site. Now that Genie+ is here, Lightning Lane selections may disappear scary fast. Hop back for details once the season is underway.
In 2021, the Monsters After Dark version kicked off at 3 p.m. daily. Each afternoon (party or not), the regular version of the ride closes at 2 p.m. and reopens by 3 p.m. for Monsters After Dark. So if you are park hopping from Disneyland and want to ride the OG Guardians of the Galaxy, hop over at 1 p.m. and head straight to Guardians to ride before 2 p.m. Then you can hop back later for the Monsters After Dark version. If you are riding on party nights and do not have a ticket, you'll have from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to ride this version. If you have a party ticket, you'll have all night to ride Monsters After Dark, but will not have access to the normal version of the ride. Got all that? It's a real headbanger.
Here's the schedule:
- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT!
- 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. — Closed to switch over
- 3 p.m. to park close — Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark (on select nights the park closes at 6 p.m. for the Oogie Boogie Bash)
Characters at Disney California Adventure During Halloween Time
You can meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale and more friends dressed in their Halloween outfits on Buena Vista Street and around the Cathay Circle Fountain area. Their costumes differ from the ones they wear in Disneyland Park. They also differ from their Oogie Boogie Bash costumes!
Disney Junior star Vampirina may greet guests during Halloween Time in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure. We hope she'll be back — we promise she won't bite! For the most unusual villain sightings, visit the new Halloween party, the Oogie Boogie Bash, at Disney California Adventure. The villains are delightfully bad and so much fun.
The Cars Land characters dress up in "cartumes" for Halloween.
Halloween Fun at Downtown Disney
You don't need to enter a theme park to get in on the Halloween fun! Pluto's Pumpkin Pursuit returns to Downtown Disney Sept. 9 through Oct. 31, 2022. You may have heard of the Egg-stravaganza egg hunt in springtime at Disneyland Resort. Well, this is a decorated pumpkin hunt! You can purchase a game board and stickers ($9.99) at select merchandise locations. Have fun hunting for Disney character-themed pumpkins and placing the corresponding stickers on your game board. Return the game board to the redemption location at World of Disney or Disney's Pin Traders for a spooky surprise (we think it's the best prize yet)!
Don't miss the SCAREolers in Downtown Disney. The ghostly a cappella group emerges from the grave on Friday through Sunday evenings to perform haunting Halloween and spooky Disney tunes.
Celebrate with Halloween treats from Marceline's Confectionery and Halloween merchandise at various shopping locations.
Halloween Food and Merchandise at Disneyland Resort
The bewitching Disneyland Halloween Time treats and food accessories available during Disneyland Halloween Time will have you drooling like a ghoul. You can dig into festive caramel apples, Mickey mummy macarons, special churros and themed treats, such as cookies, cupcakes and cake pops.
Carry your food in style with premium popcorn buckets, poison apple steins and glow cubes. The new bucket is a Mickey Mummy! There are special savory snacks on the restaurant menus too.
There's a ton of Halloween merchandise, from spirit jerseys to flannels, to bags and headwear. We are loving the Minnie candy corn witch hat ears. You can find these items in either theme park and in Downtown Disney.
There's so much to do and see during Disneyland Halloween Time! It's really one of our favorite times to visit! Have a question about Halloween Time or the Oogie Boogie Bash? Let us know in the comments below!
Related: Best Time to Visit Disneyland
Related: Guide to Oogie Boogie Bash