Updated 9/16/18. 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!
For the 2017 season, Disneyland expanded their Halloween offerings into Disney California Adventure park taking over Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. This year, 2018, they have added even more great Halloween decorations to the resort.
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
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.
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:
- Disneyland Halloween: Tips, Tricks, Ultimate Guide
- Disneyland Christmas Tips and Tricks Guide
- 7 Best Hotels Near Disneyland
- Mickey’s Halloween Party Guide
- Save Money With Discount Disneyland Tickets
- What’s New at Disneyland Halloween This Year
For current showtimes and information, be sure to visit the official Disneyland website.