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The Ultimate Guide to Disneyland at Halloween

For a lighthearted spin on the fall holiday, enjoy some Disney magic and themed events this October.

U.S. News & World Report

The Ultimate Guide to Disneyland at Halloween

Main Street Halloween, Disneyland
Credit

(Paul Hiffmeyer/Courtesy of Disneyland)

Get into the holiday spirit with themed soirees, festive decorations and decked-out characters.

While Disneyland is known for its ornate celebration of Christmas and the winter holidays, its take on Halloween is also elaborate. Disneyland Resort's Halloween Time celebration each October brings spooks and frights at every turn, jack-o'-lanterns galore and Jack Skellington and his crew from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" in a complete redecoration of the parks. From revamped rides to seasonally themed foods, Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure is well worth a trip this October.

Haunted Mansion Holiday
Credit

(Paul Hiffmeyer/Courtesy of Disneyland)

Embrace the Haunted Mansion Holiday.

From October to December, the Haunted Mansion gets an entirely new look themed around Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas." This impressive spectacle features Jack Skellington, Oogie Boogie and other movie characters, giving the classic ride a fun holiday twist. From jack-o'-lanterns in the graveyard of the New Orleans-style mansion to the dancing ghost scene now with Jack Skellington and friends, the Haunted Mansion Holiday is nothing less than you'd expect from the creative engineers at Disney Imagineering.

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Get into the holiday spirit with themed soirees, festive decorations and decked-out characters.

While Disneyland is known for its ornate celebration of Christmas and the winter holidays, its take on Halloween is also elaborate. Disneyland Resort's Halloween Time celebration each October brings spooks and frights at every turn, jack-o'-lanterns galore and Jack Skellington and his crew from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" in a complete redecoration of the parks. From revamped rides to seasonally themed foods, Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure is well worth a trip this October.

Embrace the Haunted Mansion Holiday.

From October to December, the Haunted Mansion gets an entirely new look themed around Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas." This impressive spectacle features Jack Skellington, Oogie Boogie and other movie characters, giving the classic ride a fun holiday twist. From jack-o'-lanterns in the graveyard of the New Orleans-style mansion to the dancing ghost scene now with Jack Skellington and friends, the Haunted Mansion Holiday is nothing less than you'd expect from the creative engineers at Disney Imagineering.

Check out Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.

Disneyland's version of Space Mountain is a bit different than Walt Disney World, with larger cars and improved special effects. Instead of watching scenes from outer space projected on screens as you zip around the dark on this roller coaster, you'll encounter ghosts and monsters that seemingly pop out of nowhere for extra thrills. Plus, the ride is set to an eerie soundtrack, complete with screams, haunting music and other spooky sound effects for a more chilling effect.

Visit Disney California Adventure to join in on the fun.

For the first time, Disney California Adventure will also be decorated as part of Halloween Time at the resort. Radiator Springs will transform into "Radiator Screams" in Cars Land, with all of the characters dressed in "cars-tumes" for "trunk-or-treat." For Halloween, there's Luigi's Honkin' Haul-O-Ween bash with music and dancing. The new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! ride at will also get a Halloween makeover each night where guests can help save Groot from a fortress of monsters. Plus, there's a new story line for the attraction at night, along with special events, songs and more.

Attend Mickey's Halloween Party.

For an extra cost, you can continue the thrills – with a bit of trick-or-treating – at Mickey's Halloween Party. Collect treats and goodies at candy stations around the park in between riding attractions that stay open late for the party at both Disneyland parks. Other special events include the Frightfully Fun Parade down Main Street, the Halloween Screams fireworks show and plenty of Disney villains hanging out in the parks for photo ops.

Use your Disneyland FastPasses wisely.

Halloween is one of the most popular times of the year at Disneyland, translating to long attraction lines, so you'll want to be sure you understand – and maximize – their FastPass system. At Disneyland, machines near each attraction print FastPasses, or you can purchase Disney MaxPass for $10 per person per day to reserve FastPasses from within the Disneyland app. Disney recommends checking availability for rides on the app before purchasing. Keep in mind, you will not be able to get a new FastPass until the time stated on the app or your printed FastPass.

Stay at Disneyland hotels.

Disneyland offers several accommodation options, however, they tend to fill quickly during busy times. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, designed in California's classic arts and crafts architectural style, opens directly into Disney California Adventure for the convenience of guests. The Disneyland Hotel is a short walk through the downtown area to the parks and features classic Disney design elements, along with a monorail-themed pool area. Meanwhile, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel leaves you feeling that you're staying at one of the state's classic boardwalks. Other highlights include a rooftop pool deck and a direct view of the Disneyland fireworks from the third-floor pool area.

Invest in the right ticket options.

You can purchase tickets to the parks directly from Disney, but the Southern California CityPass is another option if you want to see more theme parks in the area. The pass gives each person a three-day park hopper pass for Disneyland Resort parks, as well as one Magic Morning to enter the parks an hour ahead of the regular opening time. You also get a ticket to SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland California, both in the San Diego area, which is about 95 miles south of Anaheim. The passes save more than $150 per person compared with buying each theme park ticket separately.

Get the most out of your time in Anaheim, California.

Anaheim, home of Disneyland, has more to offer than just the parks. Located in California's Orange County, Anaheim is home to two professional sports teams and offers a range of shops and craft breweries. In downtown Anaheim's Packing District, the Packing House hosts 20 artisan eateries and live music each weekend. In addition to Disneyland Resort hotels, there are plenty of other accommodation options, including the Anaheim Marriott with spacious guest rooms and views of Disneyland fireworks, as well as the Hilton Anaheim, with a Disney Desk for all Disney-related questions, as well as a food court, Starbucks and fine dining establishments.

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