Last update October 6th 2017 Disneyland Halloween is already in full swing at the Disneyland Resort. The special Halloween in Disneyland celebration runs daily through October 31. You don’t want to miss this amazing time of year at Disneyland!
Below I have shared what I believe are the top thirteen things you can’t miss during your Disneyland Halloween trip. I didn’t include any information on the separate ticket Disneyland Mickey’s Halloween Party events.
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1. Disneyland Halloween decorations in Cars Land at night
Disneyland has decorated Cars Land in incredible fashion for Halloween this year. The decorations are oozing from everywhere in this special celebration they are calling Haul-O-Ween. The setup is something that could only be created in a world inhabited by cars.
Both Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters received Halloween overlays as well to become Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree and Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween. They both received special Disneyland Halloween soundtracks and decorations.
Make sure that you walk through the land after dark so that you can see all of the fantastic decorations with their lighting effects.
2. Special Halloween Food in Cars Land
Throughout Cars Land there are special Halloween treats on the menu. Checkout the Cozy Cone Inn for a variety of options like the Slow Burnin’ Mac and Cheese Cone served in a black cauldron cone or the Spoke-y Cone Macaron with marshmallow buttercream and candy corn. Also take a look at Flo’s V-8 Café for their Car-achnid Pot Pie with dried cranberries and butter-crust spider or Mini Candy Cone Pie with vanilla, butterscotch, and white chocolate pudding. There are tons of great Halloween food options throughout Disneyland shared here.
3. Photos with characters in Cars Land
The character meet and greets are stellar for Cars Land during the Halloween season. Each car is wearing their own Halloween costume and looks fantastic.
4. Buena Vista Street Halloween Decorations at Night
You don’t want to miss the Halloween decorations they added in Buena Vista Street. The are especially worth seeing after dark. There are beautiful purple lights in all of the trees and the Headless Horseman statue is covered in a blanket of eerie fog.
5. Photos of Disney characters on both Main Street USA and Buena Vista Street
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Chip, Dale, and Pluto all regularly make rounds on both Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure and Main Street USA in Disneyland. The Halloween costume for each character is different in each park. The characters on Buena Vista Street have a more homemade 20s style costume and the characters on Main Street USA are wearing more classic Halloween costumes.
6. Photo with Giant Pumpkin on Main Street USA
The Disneyland Giant Pumpkin is truly the icon of the Disneyland Halloween season. The lines are sometimes long for photos at the beginning and end of the day when the majority of the people are coming into and leaving the park. If you are on Main Street anytime in the middle of the day, grab your photo with this Halloween icon as the lines are typically shorter.
7. Count the pumpkins on Main Street. I dare you.
There are hundreds of pumpkins on Main Street USA with unique designs spread throughout stuck into each little crack and crevice. There are no two pumpkins that are the same. They call this section of Disneyland Halloween decorations the Main Street Pumpkin Festival.
8. Guardians of the Galaxy- Monsters After Dark Halloween Overlay
Disney has transformed the new Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout! attraction into a special Halloween experience that features a new storyline that picks up at the end of the storyline from the regular Guardians attraction. Baby Groot is missing inside the tower and Rocket needs your help to distract the monsters that are roaming free from attacking him. The attraction features a monster from the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok movie. This is a totally fun thrilling drop ride!
9. Haunted Mansion Holiday themed to Nightmare Before Christmas
For both the Halloween and Disneyland Christmas season (see our Disneyland Christmas guide here) Disney transforms the Haunted Mansion in the Haunted Mansion Holiday with characters from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas film. They add decorations throughout the entire mansion and change the storyline.
10. Don’t miss the gingerbread house inside the Haunted Mansion Holiday
Every year the Disneyland Culinary team creates a custom gingerbread house to serve as the centerpiece for the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion. These gingerbread houses are gargantuan and highly detailed with fantastic designs and moving elements.
The massive Disneyland Halloween gingerbread house takes over 200 hours of work from the culinary team, 200 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of powdered sugar, and over 50 pounds of fondant. The design varies every year and only seems to be get better every time.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled when you are riding the Haunted Mansion Holiday so that you don’t miss this awesome addition.
11. Space Mountain becomes Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy
The regular Space Mountain becomes inhabited by ghosts and ghouls as the attraction become Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy. The ride features awesome projection effects and eerie music throughout.
While I enjoy the classic Space Mountain score, you really do have to check out this awesome overlay addition to Disneyland Halloween.
12. Disneyland Halloween has Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree
There is an oak tree in Frontierland that is decorated during Disneyland Halloween to be themed to Ray Bradbury’s 1972 Halloween Tree novel. Bradbury was a longtime personal friend of Walt Disney’s and contributor to the theme parks–most notably for the creation of Epcot in Walt Disney World. I actually quoted him in the introduction to my best selling Disneyland Secrets book. The tree was dedicated in Bradbury on Halloween night in 2007, the 35th anniversary of the release of the book.
On the night of the dedication Bradbury shared: “I belong here in Disneyland, ever since I came here 50 years ago. I’m glad I’m going to be a permanent part of the spirit of Halloween at Disneyland.” Be sure to check out this cool piece of Disneyland history.
13. Coco Plaza de La Familia
Jumping back to Disney California Adventure, there was a brand new area launched this year as part of the promotion for the upcoming film Coco. The new Plaza de La Familia is a fantastic tribute to the new film and the celebration of Dia de Los Muertos.
The highlight of the new area is the fantastic “A Musical Celebration of Coco” show that performs throughout the day featuring the fantastic Mariachi Divas and music from the new film. You can see video of the show in the Facebook post embedded above.
More Disneyland Halloween Planning Tips
There are so many more good reasons to visit Disneyland during Halloween Time. Above I just included details on the offerings that are available during any regular visit to Disneyland during Halloween and didn’t include any of the awesome offerings for the separate ticketed event of Mickey’s Halloween Party.
You can find out more about planning your Disneyland Halloween trip at these links:
Last update October 3rd 2017 In 2017, the Disneyland Resort launched Halloween in Disney California Adventure adding tons of new decorations to both Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. They also added a special Halloween overlay for the new Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout! attraction. These brand new additions to Disneyland Halloween expand the offerings of the Halloween season and give you even more of a reason to get out to the resort this year to see it all!
Disneyland Halloween runs from September 15-October 31. In addition to all of the incredible decorations that can be seen by purchasing a Disneyland ticket, there are special event nights throughout the Halloween season called Mickey’s Halloween party. That special party takes place inside Disneyland Park meaning that park closes to regular guests at 6 pm or 7 pm on party nights and Disney California Adventure stays open. Now with these awesome new Halloween decorations in Disney California Adventure you can stay in the Halloween spirit even if you don’t purchase a ticket to the special event.
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Buena Vista Street Halloween Decorations
The new decorations are kicked off immediately right before you enter the park with a huge Oogie Boogie character…
This was nearly impossible to photograph well, so I had to borrow a photo. (Photo Drew A. Kelley, OC Register)
All of Buena Vista Street has been decorated with purple bunting and bat cutouts.
The desserts during the Halloween season are fantastic as well. They have very fun Jack Skellington chocolate cake pops and lots of other great options that can be purchased in the Trolley Treats shop or over in Disneyland at the Candy Palace.
The Carthay Circle Theater has awesome lighting effects at night that make the bats coming out of the parapet look incredible. In fact, the entire Buena Vista Street area looks 10x better with all of the Halloween decorations. All of the trees have bright purple lights in them and the Headless Horseman statue is lit up eerily. The music in the area is spooky and the voice of Oogie Boogie echoes from all corners of the area.
The Headless Horseman looks good during the day and even better during the evening hours of Disneyland Halloween.
You can see a full nighttime walk through of the Buena Vista Street Disneyland Halloween decorations in my video below:
Pro Tip: The decorations in Disney California Adventure look good during the day, but truly come to life in an incredible way once the sunsets. The lighting effects make these decorations look incredible. If you are going to look closely at the decorations in Cars Land and Buena Vista Street once, make sure that it is at night time.
Disneyland Cars Land Haul-O-Ween Decorations
The other part of Disney California Adventure decorated for Halloween is Cars Land. They are calling this area Haul-O-Ween. This land themed to the Disney-Pixar film Cars looks incredible as practically every inch has been decked out with Halloween decorations. This is already the must see area of Disney California Adventure, and the decorations only make it better.
Both Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree have been decorated for Halloween with new decorations and Halloween soundtracks.
The Junkyard Jamboree became Mater’s Graveyard Jamboree which features my favorite new song, the “Monster Truck Smash” as sung by Mater.
They decorated the car outside the attraction with Mummy Gauze–another fantastic Haul-O-Ween photo spot.
Ramone’s Body Art shop has been decorated on the outside in preparation for Dia de Los Muertos. Even the car hoods in the windows have been changed out and decorated for Halloween.
The Radiator Springs Curio shop is also decked out in cobwebs.
There’s a spider car in the middle of Flo’s V8 Cafe sitting area. This car appears to be an old Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride attraction vehicle.
There are special Halloween themed snacks in the cones of the Cozy Cone Inn.
All of the cars characters in Cars Land received special Halloween costumes. Here are Lightning McQueen and Mater in their Disneyland Halloween costumes.
There were fun posters spoofing classic Halloween films with Cars Land Haul-o-Ween car versions. “Hocus Spokus” will be a classic for years to come.
Coco: Celebration of Family
There is also a nice addition in the Paradise Gardens area of the park featuring Dia de Los Muertos and the new Disney-Pixar film Coco. The area includes exhibits sharing details about the new film and a very fun live show with music by the Grammy Award winning Mariachi Divas.
You can see video of the show and a tour of the new area here.
Guardians of the Galaxy-Monsters After Dark
Finally, there is a special Halloween version of the Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout! attraction that is open daily from 6 pm until closing. This new attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy-Monsters After Dark, picks up where the story of the day time attraction leaves off. The Guardians have lost Groot and need our help to distract the monsters that have been released so they can find him. The experience also features the monster from the new Thor movie.
This attraction is a fun high speed thrilling drop attraction that is much more similar to the Tower of Terror in tone than to the daytime version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of the randomized drops in the more intense environment. The entire ride experience is transformed with different lighting throughout the queue and special new intro. Even the Cast Members get new costumes during the nighttime Halloween experience.
There is a really fun intro to the attraction (with a Stan Lee cameo) that we shared.
The Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: Breakout! attraction closes down daily at 5 pm to transform into the nighttime Monsters After Dark experience which begins nightly at 6 pm. You can get a FastPass for the new experience starting at 3 pm in person or by using the Disneyland MaxPass app. If you plan on getting a FastPass in person I suggest getting in line by 2:30 pm so that they don’t run out. There was a huge line the first couple of days, but this may die down later into the Halloween season.
Plan Your Disneyland Halloween Vacation
Well, that’s my look at the new Halloween decorations in Disney California Adventure. All these decorations are just a small addition to the already awesome Disneyland Halloween decorations! See our full guide to Disneyland Halloween for more information on all of the offerings and special discounts for your experience.
And checkout our other Disneyland planning guides…
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