Our Frog Family loves going to Halloween Time at Disneyland. It's one of the best times of the year to visit! Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure are outfitted with decorations, banners, lighting, characters in Halloween costumes, spooky sounds and other treats. Be sure to ask for some Halloween Magic Shots from the PhotoPass photographers for some extra special surprises. Halloween Time typically runs mid-September through Halloween every year. For 2019, Disneyland Halloween Time runs Sept. 6 through Oct. 31.
This year, there are big changes afoot! On select nights, all Disneyland guests can enjoy the Halloween Screams fireworks show! (Hop over to find out the best places to view Disneyland fireworks.) Another big change is that Mickey's Halloween Party has been replaced by the Oogie Boogie Bash. The new party, a separately ticketed event that runs on select nights during Disneyland Halloween Time, will be hoppening over in Disney California Adventure. We've got a separate post with the Oogie Boogie Bash details, but this one focuses on all of the Halloween fun to be found in both parks!
Overview of Disneyland Halloween Time 2019
September and October are generally better times of the year to visit Disneyland, but Halloween Time brings 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 the weekend preceding Columbus Day, the following week and the weekend before Halloween to be the most crowded. So, what can you expect?
Disneyland will be exploding with Halloween decorations. Fall colors of yellow and orange abound, with 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 will be greeting guests in their Halloween costumes. The villains may be stalking about Main Street and Fantasyland.
In Frontierland, you will find a traditional Dia 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 Dia de los Muertos in front of the Rancho del Zocalo Mexican restaurant in Frontierland, one of the our favorite quick-service restaurants. As you move toward New Orleans Square, you can meet Jack Skellington and Sally before moving to the Haunted Mansion Holiday, a ride overlay that runs through both Halloween and the holiday season.
The bewitching Disneyland Halloween Time treats and food accessories available during Disneyland Halloween Time will have you drooling like a ghoul. You can dig in to festive caramel apples, Mickey mummy macarons, special churros and themed treats such as cookies and cupcakes and cake pops. Carry your food in style with premium popcorn buckets, poison apple steins and glow cubes. There are special savory snacks on the restaurant menus, too. OK, is anyone else’s mouth watering? Definitely pick up a Food Guide in the park so you can find all the tasty treats.
For the first time in nearly a decade, the Halloween Screams fireworks show is viewable for all Disneyland guests. For several years, the show has been available to just party guests. But now that the party has hopped over to Disney California Adventure, everyone can enjoy this spectacular show at Disneyland! There is a slight change. Fireworks enhance the show on select nights (mostly Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a few exceptions, so check the calendar). The supernatural projections and special effects show takes place nightly during Halloween Time!
Halloween at Disney California Adventure
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. 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 and sounds of the horse or of Oogie Boogie himself. The Disney characters are happily showing off their Halloween costumes. Last year, Disney Junior star Vampirina greeted guests during Halloween Time in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure. We hope she'll be back — we promise she won’t bite! She is now a regular part of the Disney Jr. Dance Party, so you can enjoy “Vee” year-round!
Prepare for Cars Land to roll into the Halloween spirit with holiday decor, music and characters dressed in fun “car-tumes.” Muffle your screams on Luigi’s Rollickin' Roadsters and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree as they put a new spin on Halloween Time. Be sure to 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 treat!
Any "Coco" fans out there? You won't want to miss visiting the Plaza de la Familia at Paradise Gardens Park. This year, 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 Dia de los Muertos, enjoy mariachi music, sample Mexican food or catch a showing of A Musical Celebration of Coco show — Miguel makes an appearance with his guitar. The Plaza de la Familia may be open for a few days into November.
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!
It’s tricky to figure out how to get a FASTPASS. It requires vigilantly checking return times being distributed for the daytime. Each day, the ride line closes for one hour to switch over from the daytime version to the Monsters After Dark version. On nights with an Oogie Boogie Party, the ride closes at 3 p.m. and reopens at 4 p.m. On all other nights, the ride shuts down at 4 p.m. and reopens at 5 p.m. The FASTPASS will still say Guardians of the Galaxy, but if it is for after 4 or 5 p.m. (depending on the night), it's for the Monsters after Dark version. Return times disappear as if being chased by a monster, so keep your eye on this by checking the Disneyland app to see distribution times starting in the morning. You can acquire a paper FASTPASS or use MaxPass to reserve.
You can meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale and more friends dressed in their Halloween outfits in both parks. Jack and Sally have the same location as the past few years in New Orleans Square near the Royal Street Veranda. The best time to arrive is in the morning before they start greeting about 9 am. During the evening, some spirits may materialize in that location. Specifically the temporarily displaced hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion, Constance Hatchaway (the bride with the hatchet in the Haunted Mansion attic) and Sally Slater, the tightrope walker from the stretching room.
Jack is awesome — really engaging and a great personality — definitely a must-do if you can time it right!
You might spot other villains around Adventureland, Fantasyland and Main Street U.S.A, especially as the season progresses. The characters tend to make more appearances as Halloween gets closer. Cruella de Vil, Queen of Hearts, Jafar and others sometimes stomp around near the entrance to the park and Main Street. Maleficent, who used to only make appearances at the Halloween parties, is now making appearances near Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Queen is also lurking nearby. For the most villain sightings, visit the new Halloween party at Disney California Adventure, the Oogie Boogie Bash.
Disney Villains Dance Party
New for 2019, there is a new Disney Villains Dance Party in Tomorrowland on select nights (mostly Fridays through Sundays) from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. This is a toadally cool way to conjure up some fun with the villains. You'll also pick up some crazy new dance moves when the villains join you on the dance floor. We did The Time Warp with Captain Hook and Mr. Smee!
Rides at Disneyland Halloween Time 2019
There are special changes to certain rides during Disney Halloween Time. We already mentioned Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark at Disney California Adventure. One of the most popular rides is Haunted Mansion, which is converted to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. 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. or get a FASTPASS. The ballroom always has a large gingerbread house on the table (with yummy gingerbread smalls wafting up). The Haunted Mansion celebrated 50 years this year, so there is a large 50 adorning the gingerbread model of the Haunted Mansion itself this year!
On most years, Tad finds Space Mountain’s Ghost Galaxy especially thrilling. Ghost Galaxy will not be returning in 2019, however. The Hyperspace Mountain overlay will be zooming on through Oct. 31. Tad can't complain. He loves Hyperspace Mountain too!
In “Radiator Screams,” Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters are parading as Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree has been transformed into Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree. Both rides have several Halloween-themed songs and decorations throughout the Halloween season.
Oogie Boogie Bash — A Disney Halloween Party
There is so much to look forward to during Disneyland Halloween 2019, with the biggest trick-or-treat being the change of Mickey’s Halloween Party moving to the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure. Hop over to our Oogie Boogie Bash Disneyland Halloween Party post for the full scoop and all the scary details.
This after-hours party runs on select nights Sept. 17 to Oct. 31 and requires a separate ticket. Tickets are selling out in a scary fast way, so hop to it before they are gone. 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!
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 comments below!
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Related: Guide to Oogie Boogie Bash