By Jennifer Stuart
The fall season means Halloweentime at Disneyland. This year the Halloween season runs from September 6 to October 31, 2019. This year there are significant changes to how Halloween is organized and what is happening at the Disneyland resort. Read on to find out all the details from decorations to food and ride overlays.
We have broken down what to expect this Halloween at Disneyland by park and then further in to categories to make it easier to find the information you are looking for.
Halloween ride overlays at Disneyland are of course headlined by the fantastic Nightmare Before Christmas overlay of the Haunted Mansion. Every year the Haunted Mansion is closed for several weeks in order to add this incredibly detailed overlay which turns the experience into a whole new ride. Jack Skellington as Sandy Claus and his friends from Nightmare Before Christmas take over the Haunted Mansion and turn it into Haunted Mansion Holiday. This overlay will last for both the Halloween and Holiday seasons, returning to the original Haunted Mansion in January.
Insider Tip: Look for the gingerbread house in the ballroom scene - it changes every year.
Usually Space Mountain receives an overlay for Halloween that switches it to Ghost Galaxy, this year it is keeping it's Hyperspace Mountain overlay instead.
Disneyland does a great job of decorating for Halloweentime and there are several areas where you can expect to see seasonal decorations.
Insider Tip: Make sure to peer into the windows as you walk down Main Street to see all the great seasonal details inside. Also take the time to ride the Omnibus. Sit on the top floor and you can get a great view of the jack o' lanterns that decorate the upper levels of the shops.
Dia de los Muertos
Halloween Fireworks were previously only for Halloween Party guests, but since the Halloween Party has moved across the esplanade to Disney California Adventure. These fireworks may be similar to the Previous Halloween Screams fireworks but are being billed as Halloween Screams with Fireworks and are select nights only (usually weekends). Other nights expect a Halloween Screams projection show on Main Street and the Castle without fireworks. As always check the Entertainment Schedule on the Disneyland website for more details.
Fall treats at Disneyland tend to fall heavily into the pumpkin friendly category. This is fine with us as we love pumpkin and spice flavoured treats! The pumpkin cheesecake has been one of our favourites and seems to have been on the menu for several years now. Other solid choices are the specialty cupcakes at French Market. Disneyland is famous for its caramel apples and there are some great Halloween or villain-inspired ones that appear at Halloweentime. Look for seasonal treats throughout the parks but notable locations include Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe on Main Street, French Market in New Orleans Square, Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland and the Candy Palace on Main Street or Pooh Corner in Critter Country.
Every year new treats are released for the season. Look for us to post updates to Facebook as well. Consider following our Facebook page for the latest Disneyland information.
Disney California Adventure
Halloween in Carsland is more than just a ride overlay, the entire land gets a Halloween makeover. Look for ride overlays on the smaller rides. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree turns into Mater's Graveyard JamBOOree and Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters turns into Luigi's Honkin' Haul - O - Ween. This area is a lot of fun at Halloweentime and really anchors the Halloween offers at Disney California Adventure.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark is an overlay of Guardians of the Galaxy where everything is in chaos and you need to go back to rescue Groot. This is the second year that this ride is run during Halloweentime.
There was a big shift in Halloween decorations last year as California Adventure went from very lightly decorated to full Halloween Mode overseen by a large Oogie Boogie over the main entrance. Look for decorations on Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle. Carsland is very heavily decorated and a delight to visit. Look for the cute photo op with the little car at the Carsland sign.
Seasonal food will also be available throughout Disney California Adventure. Look for specialty churros, caramel apples and cake pops again this year. Lots of Halloween treats will be available at Trolley Treats, the Cozy Cone and other locations. We have also heard that the popular caramel apple smoothie will be returning again this year.
Oogie Boogie Bash
The biggest change to Halloweentime at Disneyland is that the hard ticketed Halloween Party has moved to Disney California Adventure from Disneyland. This change has also resulted in a name change. Mickey's Halloween Party has now changed to Oogie Boogie's Halloween Bash. (note: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is at Disney WORLD and is substantially different).
Oogie Boogie Bash is a hard ticketed event on select nights at Disney California Adventure. This party will occur on select nights between Sept 17 and Oct 31. It is spooky but definitely a family friendly version of spooky. For more information about the Oogie Boogie Bash you can check the Disneyland website here. Look for more information, tips and our full review after our party night Sept. 20.
I am a sucker for meeting characters, especially when they are wearing special outfits. What can I say -- it just makes me happy. Look for Mickey and friends to appear in Halloween costumes. Jack Skellington and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas usually meet guests near the Haunted Mansion. Also at this time it is more common to find famous villains. Consult the Disneyland App for when and where you can meet characters on the day of your visit or ask a cast member for information at City Hall or one of the information kiosks. You may be interested in reading our post about why we think you should download the Disneyland App before you visit here. As part of the Halloween re-theming of Carsland look for your favourite Cars characters in Halloween costumes. (Mater dressed up as a vampire last year was priceless!)
Disney produces lots of fun seasonal merchandise in the fall for Halloweentime. These items have started hitting shelves already at Disneyland, although some items will only be available once the Halloween Season officially starts. Look for popular seasonal mugs, steins, popcorn buckets and more.
Other special items this fall
If you haven't visited Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in awhile you may not have seen the latest changes to Pixar Pier (the re-themed Paradise Pier). Jessie's Critter Carousel (re-themed from Triton's Carousel) and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind (re-themed from Flik's Flyers) are the latest rides to re-open this summer.
Of course the big news at Disneyland this summer was the opening of Galaxy's Edge. Although the Rise of the Resistance ride is now not scheduled to open until January, there is still plenty to see and do in Galaxy's Edge.
If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in some of our other Disneyland posts.
Photos by Jennifer Stuart and Kim Stuart
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