Disneyland Halloween Time, with special themed attractions, delicious autumn food, and Disney Halloween park decorations, is one of the most fun times of year at Disneyland. The entire Disneyland Resort is decorated for Halloween including special park decorations and overlayed attractions with Disneyland Halloween themes which will take place early September through Halloween!
Disney California Adventure park has continued to expand their offerings to provide even more great Disneyland Halloween experiences. The decorations in both parks are impressive now that California Adventure has caught up with the Halloween fun with Cars Land and Buena Vista Street decked out in its spooky glory. Now, there are fantastic offerings in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park with the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween party taking place in California Adventure!
Check out my list of the top 13 Disneyland Halloween Experiences You Can't Miss and my review and photos of the new Disneyland Halloween in Disney California Adventure.
In the article below, I will break down all of the Disneyland Halloween festivities happening throughout the Disneyland Resort and provide advice on how to maximize your time during the Halloween season. Be sure to check the official Disneyland website for full information on Halloween at Disneyland.
When is Disneyland Halloween 2023?
The Disneyland Halloween 2023 season will run from September until October 31 at the Disneyland Resort.
Disney has also shared that that the Coco-themed Plaza de la Familia and Día de los Muertos will return from September through November 2. The area will provide festive entertainment and decor throughout the season. The music from Coco is some of my favorite from Pixar so I am thrilled to see this area this returning.
Disneyland Halloween Screams fireworks runs from September to October 31st to kick off the start of the Halloween season!
Disneyland's special Halloween event, the ticketed Oogie Boogie Bash ,takes place on select nights in Disney California Adventure.
Disneyland Halloween Crowds
If you're looking to avoid Halloween crowds at Disneyland, my best tip is to visit Disneyland in September instead of October. The month of October will see consistently larger crowds from guests visiting from out of town to locals coming out to see the Halloween experiences at the park. Make sure you're following our recently updated Disneyland Halloween strategy including tips on using Genie+ with high crowd levels!
Halloween at Disneyland now easily rivals the Christmas season in popularity at Disneyland. Disneyland offers the ticketed Halloween party Oogie Boogie Bash, a larger than life Mickey pumpkin on Main Street, U.S.A., Halloween fireworks, Halloween themed attractions plus top notch decorations in some of the most beloved areas of the parks. These popular additions also bring Disneyland Halloween crowds!
Halloween Screams Fireworks
Disneyland will only present their Halloween Screams show with fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights. All other nights of the week this show will be projections only. This has created a much larger demand for fireworks especially since the fireworks show being shown in such limited capacity is this popular Halloween themed show.
Halloween Screams is a can't miss experience which includes Zero, Jack Skellington's dog from the Nightmare Before Christmas, flying over Sleeping Beauty's Castle. This is easily in my top three favorite Disneyland fireworks shows. If you want a castle view for this fireworks show, you need to be prepared to line up at least two hours before it starts- if not earlier! You can read more about our best fireworks tips in our Disneyland fireworks viewing guide.
Disneyland Halloween Tips
Here are our best tips for handling Disneyland Halloween crowds:
- If you can, plan on visiting Disneyland in September to avoid the bulk of the Disneyland Halloween crowds. Most of the crowds will turn out in October making this month much more busy.
- Keep in mind that nights Oogie Boogie Bash is taking place at California Adventure will increase crowd levels in the evening at Disneyland as all those who don't have a ticket for the party will have to clear out by 6PM. You will see an increase in crowds in Disneyland and in Downtown Disney. Plan on making dining reservations ahead of time for dinner to avoid long waits!
- Oogie Boogie Bash is a must do event if you are visiting during Halloween. It sells out every year so make sure you plan on getting tickets! While I always recommend focusing on the characters and entertainment that make after hour events special, this is also a good time to hit one or two rides with limited wait times. My son managed to ride Incredicoaster twice in a row with no wait which crossed that ride off our to do list. At the end of the night, we walked right on to Toy Story Midway Mania five minutes before the party ended and rode after a 10 minute wait.
- Use our morning strategy for Disneyland and our morning strategy for California Adventure which includes plans for small kids and big kids/adults. Arriving to the parks with a set plan is a must for visiting Disneyland anytime the parks are busy!
- If you're not morning people or if you can handle an early morning plus staying late… I recommend staying until the park closes! During the peak Halloween season Disneyland will stay open until 12AM. Even on the most crowded days the parks will begin to empty out by 10:30PM and you will be able to walk right on to rides that may have had extreme wait times throughout the day. We were able to walk on to Haunted Mansion Holiday at 11:30PM our last two nights when during the afternoon the standby wait time for this ride hovered around 120 minutes throughout the day.
- Be familiar with how mobile ordering works and plan on mobile ordering your snacks early on in the day! This is especially a must for the Mint Julep Bar which easily had the longest lines all day and ran out of mobile order return times the quickest. I mobile ordered my beignets at 8AM when we entered the park for later in the day around 2PM. I was happy I did because when we came to get my mobile order, the line for standby for the Mint Julep Bar was nearly all the way back to the Haunted Mansion entrance.
- Wait times can sometimes be inflated especially at the end of the day. We rode Guardians with a posted wait time of 90 minutes and were able to get on in 50 minutes which is a 40 minute difference. End of the day wait times are notoriously inflated and we saw many rides post wait times of 20 minutes when they were in fact walk ons. Even Haunted Mansion Holiday posted a wait time of 30 minutes at 11:30PM on our last night and we waited barely 10 minutes.
- Take some time to decompress from the crowds whether you take a break back at your hotel, enjoy a sit down meal or take a ride on the Main Street vehicles. Just take some time to get some personal space and relax!
- The Mickey pumpkin at the beginning of Main Street, U.S.A. will always have a long line for photos. Always. No matter what time of day. Just plan on waiting in the line for your photo at the time of day that works best for you! We saved this wait for the evening when the pumpkin would be lit up and after we had dinner so that way the wait wouldn't be too unbearable! We did stay past closing after 12PM some nights and there was a much shorter line to get a picture at the pumpkin but you won't have PhotoPass photographers available for that!
- Looking for characters? Hang out around Main Street by the pumpkin and watch the cast member entrance/exit to the left of Great Moments with Lincoln. This is where the characters will make their entrance. Grab a popcorn and spend some time of here. Just be ready to hop in line when they make an appearance! We saw Mickey, Goofy and Donald out throughout the day in their Halloween costumes in this area.
Disneyland Halloween 2023 Rides and Entertainment
The Haunted Mansion becomes the Haunted Mansion Holiday for the Halloween and Disneyland Christmas seasons. This special holiday edition features the story of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and characters from the film including Jack Skellington, Zero the Ghost Dog, and Sally. The attraction is fun regardless of whether you know the story of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or not. Explained simply, the story goes something like this: the king of Halloween takes over the celebration of Christmas and we get to witness what happens when “two holidays collide.”
The one disappointment with the overlay is that because the Haunted Mansion Holiday runs from September-January, the classic Haunted Mansion attraction is only available for six months out of the year– which is bemoaned by some Disney fans.
When the Haunted Mansion Holiday rolls into town, the lines balloon to have multi-hour waits so prioritize heading to this ride first thing in the morning or using Genie+ to grab a return time for this ride. You cannot miss the Haunted Mansion Holiday- the overlay for this attraction is fantastic even if you're not a big fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas. The details that go into this overlay extend from the exterior of the mansion throughout every step of the attraction.
Every year the mansion also includes a giant themed Haunted Mansion gingerbread house which changes themes every year!
Haunted Mansion Holiday Video
Disneyland Halloween Screams Fireworks 2023
All guests visiting Disneyland can see a version of the popular yearly Halloween Screams projection and special effects show. In previous years guests had to have a ticket to the Halloween party at Disneyland to see this special show.
Since the Halloween party takes place at California Adventure -Oogie Boogie Bash, all guests visiting Disneyland can see Halloween Screams without having to purchase a party ticket! Fireworks will enhance this projection show on weekends.
NEW: Halloween Screams Dining Package at Plaza Inn
New this year you can reserve your viewing area for the Halloween Screams fireworks on the northern edge of the Plaza Inn patio with a Halloween Screams dining package.
- Dining Time: 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
- An assortment of sweet and savory treats
- One specialty beverage
- One lanyard and specialized credential
- Reserved space for fireworks viewing
$55 per Guest (ages 3+)
Reserve a dining time between 7:30 PM and 9:00 PM to pick up your treats.
Adult Dining Package Menu
- Chef’s selection of cured meats, cheeses, artisanal breads and condiments
- Berry cheesecake
- Forbidden apple tart
- Specialty villain-themed beverage with a pineapple glow cube
- Choice of beverage: 20-ounce fountain beverage, 20-ounce Dasani water, hot chocolate or coffee
Child Dining Package Menu
- Pepperoni and cheese pinwheels
- Berry cheesecake
- Forbidden apple tart
- Specialty hot chocolate with a Halloween-themed stainless-steel tumbler
- Choice of beverage: Small Dasani water or small low-fat milk
Based on reports from others that enjoyed this package, the view isn't the best and you won't have a great view of the projections. If you're looking for a place to watch the fireworks that gives you some personal space though this can be a good option. But just be warned you won't have a straight on view and the projections will be difficult to see. Since this fireworks show is projection heavy and features a lot of action in front of the castle, you may want to consider spending the time lining up in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle instead if a good view is important to you.
You can also read our full guide to fireworks at Disneyland for our best tips on viewing the fireworks!
Disneyland Halloween Characters
As for specific Disneyland Halloween characters, over by the Haunted Mansion Holiday, Jack Skellington and Sally are often out for a special holiday meet and greet in New Orleans Square. This line will be one of the longest character meet and greets since they only come out for the holiday seasons! I would recommend just hopping in this line whenever you see it at its shortest. We noticed it was the shortest usually around lunch time when everyone was off eating and this provided a good chance to get a good picture. Disney will usually have a PhotoPass photographer stationed here for this meet and greet.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse often wear their Halloween costumes the entire day along with Donald Duck and Goofy. You can find them rotating on Main Street, U.S.A. Grab some popcorn, churro or other snack and spend some time hanging out in this area to catch them all.
Beyond these characters, you never know which Halloween specific people you will see wandering the parks. In the past popular Disney villains like Maleficent, Captain Hook, Cruella de Ville, and more have been spotted wandering the parks.
You can find specific information on characters each day in the official Disneyland app. Plus a new Halloween character cavalcade that will travel down Main Street, U.S.A. to the other end of the park by its a small world. We noticed many guests treating this cavalcade with the same level of excitement as a parade but we were easily able to catch it in passing without needing to line up in advance. I wouldn't say saving a spot is necessary, just hang out around the parade route to catch it as its rather short.
Halloween Rides and Entertainment at California Adventure
In Disney California Adventure the Halloween entertainment and ride overlays have increased more and more each year. Cars Land is easily the most detailed with its Halloween decor stretching to every inch of the land. Save some time to view the land during the night too as the lights really bring the Halloween spirit alive in Cars Land! Pay attention to the details- there's moving decorations and sounds coming from many hidden corners!
Over in Cars Land, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree transforms into Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree keeping the same general spirit of the ride but with a Halloween flair and plenty of spooky themed jokes.
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters changes into Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween featuring Halloween inspired tunes to cruise around to. This ride tends to have longer waits than Mater's Junkyard Jamboree so I recommend riding this either earlier in the morning or later in the day.
Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout! becomes Guardians of the Galaxy-Monsters After Dark starting at 3PM everyday. This special Halloween version of the attraction is a scarier version that does not include the popular song soundtrack of the regular version of the attraction. Genie+ reservations for this ride will run out so I recommend grabbing a return time for this ride as soon as you're able to as we saw the standby line for this attraction reach over two hours often during our trip. Although we did have one positive experience of the wait time being inflated with a posted wait time of 90 minutes and then we only waited 50 minutes!
Monsters After Dark picks up where the main Mission: Breakout story leaves off. The attraction centers around your car serving as bait to distract the monsters–which have inconveniently been released from their cages–from eating Baby Groot.
See the intro video for the full story:
You can find more entertainment options like Plaza de la Familia in the Paradise Gardens Park- a celebration inspired by Día de los Muertos including a festive experience celebrating the film “Coco” with live entertainment, craft making, food, and merchandise.
Guests can enjoy a Musical Celebration of Coco several times a day when Miguel joins the storytellers of Plaza de la Familia and the Mariachi Divas. There is also a place in the Plaza de la Familia to write down the name and honor any loved ones you have lost.
You can also find a plenty of favorite characters, like the Fab Five, wearing their Halloween costumes and ready to do meet and greets on Buena Vista Street. Make sure you're using the Disneyland app to track down your favorites.
Save Money on Disneyland Halloween
The popularity of the Halloween season at Disneyland has only increased. Each year, more and more people schedule vacations during this time period. This has taken this time period, which was once an off season, and created another time period with incredibly high room rates.
But, I am here to help…
I set up an exclusive deal with one of Disneyland's longest travel partners to provide my readers (that's you) the lowest priced Disneyland tickets anywhere on the web. Also, I pushed them to give me special prices on Disneyland packages for the September and October Halloween months. Check out the special Disneyland packages and ticket prices for more information on how to save during your Disneyland Halloween vacation.
For more information on all of these savings provided, you need to join our FREE Disney deals email. I send out information on limited time deals and vacation planning. You need to get these emails. Join now>
Halloween Time at Disneyland Decorations
Upon first entering Disneyland park, huge Disney character pumpkins adorn the ticket booths and greet you as you step into Disneyland Park. The large Mickey Mouse floral arrangement will be completely done in a darker Halloween theme.
Then, once you arrive on Main Street U.S.A. you'll see pumpkins and orange bunting adorning every building. It seems that every pumpkin is unique in shape and size. This really adds to the fall feeling in the park.
The Main Street decorations are capped off by a huge Mickey Mouse pumpkin that is perfect for photos. There are long lines for a photo at the beginning and end of the day when mass amounts of people are coming and going. Take your picture with the Mickey Mouse pumpkin head sometime in the late morning or afternoon. A perfect time is when you are crossing between parks using your Disneyland Park Hopper ticket (discounted here).
In Frontierland, the decorations feel much more unique and provide a very special charm and three dimensional level of detail I expect in anything Disneyland does.
When you first enter the land, next door to the Golden Horseshoe you can find The Halloween Tree, dedicated to Ray Bradbury and his book with the same title. Ray Bradbury has an important place in Disney history because of his work on EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, his friendship with Walt Disney, and insightful observations on Disneyland.
Ray Bradbury's writings on Disneyland are extremely prolific and a quote from his work even serves as the forward into my book on Disneyland Secrets.
Further into Frontierland near one of my favorite Disneyland Restaurants, Rancho Del Zocalo, are beautiful decorations honoring Dia de Los Muertos, or day of the dead.
Halloween Decorations at California Adventure
Cars Land celebrates “Haul-O-Ween” with awesome overlays and decorations everywhere. You can see photos from Cars Land at Halloween here.
From “Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns and Flo’s Spider-Car to Witchy Miss Lizzie’s shop” each and every location will transform Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams.
Buena Vista Street and the entrance has Halloween decor inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas film.
Oogie Boogie has taken over Disney California Adventure as his oversized silhouette beckons guests down the street and a swarm of bats swirl around Carthay Circle Theater.
The Headless Horseman sits at the top of Buena Vista Street serving as an ominous beacon and fantastic photo location.
Carthay Circle will feature a variety of projections throughout the night plus a display of bats flying out of the top tower of the theater inspired restaurant.
Disneyland Halloween Snacks and Foods
Just like the decorations and ride overlays, the snack offerings during the Halloween season are transformed. The Disney culinary team outdoes itself every year as they work out new sweet treats to be sold throughout the resort.
If you can dream up a bakery good, you can probably buy that good in pumpkin flavor at Disneyland during Halloween Time. If you are looking for these sweet treats, look specifically at the Pooh's Corner shop in Critter Country, Candy Palace on Main Street, Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure, and if you are outside the parks you can find treats at Marceline's Confectionery in Downtown Disney.
One of my favorite treats at any time of the year are the New Orleans Square Mickey Beignets. Well, during the Halloween season there is a special flavor in….you guessed it…pumpkin. As my younger sister says, these will really make you go “ben-YAY.”
There are so many treats that is hard to provide up to date information on these important addition to the Disneyland Halloween celebration. When you visit, be sure to look at all of the selection for seasonal dessert as not to miss one of the new Halloween specific creations. Make sure to read all about Halloween themed treats in our yearly updated guide to Halloween food at Disneyland.
Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party
Oogie Boogie Bash replaced the previous Mickey Halloween Party and takes place in California Adventure as a separate-ticket party event featuring Halloween entertainment, an interactive dance party, stage shows with Mickey, and Disney villains walk-through experiences. The party is even better than the previous Mickey's Halloween Party experience. Read all about this new party, information on ticket dates and prices, and our review of the party from last year in our guide to Disney California Adventure Oogie Boogie Bash 2023.
Oogie Boogie Bash will take place throughout the run of Halloween at Disneyland.
All of the dates, prices, and hours for the Oogie Boogie Bash can be seen in the list of party dates in our guide linked above.
- The Halloween party runs from September through October 31, 2023
- Party 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM
- Disney California Adventure Park mix-in begins at 3:00 PM
Tickets will likely go on sale in June 2023- keep checking back for more info!
Entry to Disney California Adventure park before the party is included with an Oogie Boogie Bash ticket. The after-hours party begins at 6 p.m. PT and you will have the opportunity to play in the park for three hours before the event starts.
All of the tickets to the Halloween Party must be purchased directly from Disneyland, as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714-781-4636. There are no available discounts for Halloween party ticketed events .Online and mobile purchases are not available the day of the event and parking is not included in the ticket price. Children two years of age and under don't require a ticket.
This is an important point for all guests visiting during September and October: If you don't have a park hopper ticket then you will be forced to leave California Adventure early in the evening and have nowhere to go but back to your hotel or home.
Downtown Disney Halloween
Downtown Disney has been given the Halloween treatment! You will notice that Disney's Horticulture and Resort Enhancement teams have been busy bringing in more than 5,000 plants across 14 planters in rich autumnal colors of russet red and harvest orange. You can also find plenty of Halloween merchandise and Halloween treats in the shops and restaurants. Read through our Disneyland Halloween Foodie Guide to see all the treats you can find!
Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit has returned to Downtown Disney! This scavenger hunt features a quest to find 13 hand-painted pumpkins hidden throughout Downtown Disney, each inspired by a different Disney character. After you complete your map (you don't have to though, you can just redeem your prize either way!) go return your map and reedem it for one the four mini pumpkin pails.
You can purchase a map and stickers for $9.99 at these locations:
- Acorns Gifts & Goods (Located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)
- Disney Home
- Disney’s Fantasia Shop (Located at the Disneyland Hotel)
- Disney’s Pin Traders
- The Disney Dress Shop
- Wonderground Gallery
- World of Disney
Pick up your prize here:
Limit 5 game board purchases per Guest. One surprise per game board.
Make sure to look up for the pumpkins! They're located by their storefronts on the map but to make them out of reach they're all in high places. Your map will also show you the corresponding pumpkin colors and the you match it with the store,
The SCAREolers are a Haunted Mansion inspired cappella group said to be six of the 999 Happy Haunts. This ghostly club sings Halloween songs from “I Put a Spell on You” to tributes to favorite Disney Villains.
The SCAREolers perform Friday through Sunday evenings. Halloween carolers can also be heard roaming on select afternoons in October at the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Disneyland Hotels Halloween Festivities
The lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa features the Halloween annual confectionery masterpiece of Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas. Oogie Boogie is made from Disney's pastry shop requiring this lengthy list of ingredients:
- 160 pounds of powdered sugar
- 180 eggs
- 110 pounds of rice cereal
- 95 pounds of marshmallow
- 80 pounds of butter
- 120 pounds of dark chocolate
- 80 pounds of white chocolate
- 480 pounds of fondant
- 370 hours of planning and hands-on work
- 13 hidden Mickeys!
Take the time to grab some snacks from the holiday cart in the lobby located right next to the gingerbread creation. This is my absolute favorite spot to grab gingerbread cookies which they serve up at Halloween and Christmas!
Disneyland hotel guests can also watch a professional pumpkin carver etch works on art of real pumpkins during the last week of October.
Overnight guests staying at any of the Disneyland property hotels are invited to enjoy complimentary trick-or-treating. Each hotel will have a treat map of locations so guests can visit all three hotels. Hotel guests are encouraged to sign up at any Disneyland Resort Hotel Front Desk. On Halloween night, Oct. 31, take part in a costume contest and movie night on the Adventure Lawn at the Disneyland Hotel. Visit the Front Desk for the latest hotel activities guide.
Disneyland Halloween Happiest Haunts Tour
This tour did not return in 2022, it is unclear if it will return in 2023.
During Halloween Time at Disneyland, a specific “Happiest Haunts Tour” is held that focuses around the specific Halloween attractions and story of certain Halloween elements in the park. Last year, the tour centered around a Halloween quest to find Aladdin's missing magic lamp. Over the course of the search, the tour guide took guests on six attractions throughout the entire park.
Tour benefits can change year to year, but in the past these Halloween tours have included front of the line access to the two Halloween themed attractions, plus some of the other top attractions throughout the park. Also, in previous years the tour has included two Halloween desserts and an exclusive pin.
This tour, not to be confused with the Disneyland VIP tour guides, provides a nice fun way to see all of the Halloween offerings and a fun interactive story that kids will really enjoy.
The tour is pricey, costing $99 in addition to purchasing theme park admission. You can find out more information on the Disneyland Halloween Happiest Haunts Tour on the official website.
Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy
Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy did not return in 2022, it is unsure if it is planned to be returning for 2023.
Space Mountain becomes Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy during Halloween Time. This overlay is created using new projection effects and a spooky soundtrack onboard the roller coaster. The rides regular feeling of optimistic space exploration transforms to focus on a darker and more menacing theme. Plenty of people come out screaming from this more intense ghost infested space rollercoaster. While the ride is fantastic for teens and up, this may not be the time to bring young children on Space Mountain, especially if it is their first time riding.
Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy Video
The same way that we always recommend enjoying Space Mountain first in our Disneyland touring advice, you should really be rushing to Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy. Even during regular season, this is one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland. Imagine what making the attraction one of the headlining pieces of the Disneyland Halloween season does.
Tips for Visiting Disneyland Even When It's Not Halloween
For a complete help planning your entire Disneyland vacation, be sure to subscribe to our FREE Disneyland Deals newsletter. Here you will receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disneyland tickets anywhere. Subscribe for FREE>
Click the links below for more planning information beyond Disneyland Halloween.
- Best Times of Year to Visit Disneyland
- Where to Find Discount Disneyland Tickets Information
- Top 12 Disneyland Christmas Must-Sees
- Universal Studios Hollywood Tips and Tricks
- Best Places to Eat Disneyland
- Disneyland Christmas Guide
You can find all of the most current official information on the Disneyland Halloween season on the Halloween Time at Disneyland page on the Disneyland website.
Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.