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Everything to See and Do at Halloween Time at Disneylandnightmare before christmas

Everything to See and Do at Halloween Time at Disneyland

If the magic of Disney captures the heart of your family like it does mine, then you’re probably planning a trip out to Happiest Place on Earth this Halloween! For the Schaffer six, any time of year is the right time for a trip to Disneyland, and if we could, we’d be there 365 days a year! But with minimal crowds, cool weather, and so many new things to see and do, Halloween Time at Disneyland is magical, with just the right amount of fright and fun!

Disneyland first opened in Anaheim, California on July 17, 1955, with only 18 attractions.

disneyland halloween halloween time disneyland

My kids love Halloween Time at Disneyland, and we go each year to see the Mickey Mouse-shaped pumpkins, ride “The Nightmare Before Christmas”-themed Haunted Mansion and eat all the pumpkin-flavored treats we can! With all the magic of Disney and just a touch of spooky delights, Disneyland is a must-do for your family during Halloween!

Both Steve Martin and Michelle Pfeiffer used to work at Disneyland before making it big in Hollywood. Pfeiffer was Alice in Wonderland and Martin was a magician.

haunted mansion disneyland

disneyland entrance

Feast Your Eyes on the Spooky Decor

Disneyland Resort is always decked out in fun decorations and thematic additions from Cars Land to Toontown. But at Halloween Time, kids will find a giant, creepy-crawly Oogie Boogie looming over the entrance of California Adventure, almost beckoning your family into the spooky sights within. Along Buena Vista, you’ll find the Headless Horseman statue haunting the street and Main Street turns into a Mickey-themed pumpkin patch with hundreds of carved jack o’ lanterns. It’s just the right amount of horror and magic. And secretly, a part of me wonders how they get all these decorations up overnight—I need to hire some Disney decorators for our next birthday party!

Over 84 million Mickey Mouse ears have been sold since Disneyland opened, making the ears the most popular Disneyland souvenir of all time.

disneyland nightmare before christmas

disney halloween display

Make Time to See Halloween Screams

If your kids love Disney Villains, then make sure to get a seat early for Halloween Screams! The show used to be exclusive to Mickey’s Halloween Party, but this year is playing in Disneyland Park for everyone! No extra tickets necessary! The 10-minute show is a spectacle of fireworks, projections and spooky songs that will have your whole family singing along! Even if your kids aren’t big on parades or shows, and are mostly there for the rides (hello, teenagers), this is still one to see. Jack Skellington and Zero take you on a nightmare ride with ghosts, ghouls and Disney’s scariest villains. But check the schedule before you go, as the fireworks don’t go off every night.

There’s a small basketball court inside of Disneyland’s Matterhorn. It’s only for employees to use though.

mother and child

Find Your Favorite Characters

I’ll be honest, my kids love to meet Disney characters when we head to Disneyland. And with four littles I can’t even count the number of hours we’ve stood in line just to see a princess or get Mickey’s autography. But during Halloween Time, it’s worth the wait to get a snap with your favorite characters since they’re all dressed in spooky costumes! Except for Jack Skellington and Sally—they’re creepy enough on their own.

There are around 200 feral cats that roam the park — mostly at night — which help to get rid of rodents. You can see them during the day in Frontierland if you keep an eye out!

happy kids

happy toddler

Cars Land Makes Its Own Magic

Since my kids are obsessed with “Cars,” we head straight to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure when we visit, but during Halloween Time the whole area turns into “Radiator Screams.” Rides have been reimagined for the holiday so Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters is now Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween where your kids can jump in a car that bumps along to Halloween-themed music. After, we hop aboard a tractor and twirl around Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree to spooky songs like “Monster Trunk Smash.” Between rides keep an eye out—cars are dressed up as super heroes, vampires, pirates—see if your kids can recognize their favorites!

Nearly 3.6 million people visited Disneyland in its first year. Today, the park serves roughly 16 million people each year. 

halloween decorations

haunted mansion disneyland

haunted mansion disneyland

Try the Halloween-Themed Rides

Cars Land attractions aren’t the only rides to get a fun makeover, and if your kids are tall enough, jump on Guardians of the Galaxy–Monsters After Dark. You’ll get the same drops and scares of the original ride but with a Halloween twist. And don’t forget to ride through the Haunted Mansion! It’s always decorated from top to bottom with characters, critters and decor from “The Nightmare Before Christmas!”

A time capsule was buried in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle on July 17th, 1995, for the park’s 40th anniversary. The time capsule will be opened 50 years from when it was buried — on July 17th, 2045.

nightmare before christmas haunted mansion disneyland

haunted mansion disneyland

Take A Tour Through Haunted Disneyland

If you want to try something totally new—which can be hard to do if you’re frequent Disney-goers—book an afternoon with Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour. This 2.5 hour guided tour takes you through the park to find all the spookiest haunts, characters and creatures that make the park so spooky at Halloween. Your guide will even tell you ghost stories and the kids can have an encounter with a spooky spirit from the Haunted Mansion!

Walt Disney had his own private apartment above the fire department on Main Street.

colorful pumpkins disneyland

disneyland snacks

colorful pumpkins disneyland

disneyland halloween food

Take a Bite of Something Scary

During Halloween Time, even the snacks are scary! Monster Halloween Cake at Plaza Inn, Oogie’s Worms & Dirt Funnel Cake Fries at Award Weiners and Mummy Donuts at Schmoozies make for some really fun and delicious snacks. There’s a lot of yummy (but sugar-packed) treats, so we like to pick one each and then share them so we can taste a little of everything without the sugar rush. Plus there are fun food souvenirs to take home like Mickey’s pumpkin popcorn bucket and the Queen’s poison apple mug.

More than 40 species of flowers and 700 exotic trees grow along the Jungle Cruise ride. And the iconic Mickey-head topiary out front contains 10,000 flowers—replanted six times a year.

oogie boogie plush nightmare before christmas toy

nightmare before christmas toy

Show Off Your Halloween Spirit

If you’re family is like ours then there’s no getting out of the park without buying a few toys or matching sets of Mickey ears. During Halloween you can find something spooky in almost every store—ears, backpacks, t-shirts, stuffed animals, pins—you can even grab a few things in housewares to make your home more festive! Some favorites you’ll find year after year, but many pieces are exclusive for this year so if you love it, or the kids can’t live without it, don’t wait!

On July 18, 1955, Roy O. Disney, Walt’s brother, purchased the park’s very first ticket for only one dollar.

disneyland toys

disneyland halloween

disneyland halloween

disneyland halloween entrance

There are tons of things to see and do during Halloween Time at Disneyland and every year it just gets better and better! If you and your family love this spooky holiday then visit Disneyland before it’s over on October 31!



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