Fall might just be my favorite time of year to visit Disneyland. The weather is usually mild and pleasant, crowds are reasonable (some of the time), and the Halloween decorations and treats are out in full force. Halloween Time, as the season is known at Disneyland Resort, has lots for everyone in the family.
There are special ride overlays, plenty of not-so-spooky decorations, and tons of seasonal treats. There is also a special after-hours ticketed party event every few nights – Oogie Boogie Bash – but the resort has numerous Halloween offerings outside of party times too.
If you haven’t been in several years, Disneyland has really expanded its Halloween Time offerings over the past few years (particularly in Disney California Adventure). And now that the theme parks are fully operational in 2023 again, this year’s offerings are quite robust.
My family and I have visited Disneyland during the Halloween season numerous times through the years. We’ll be returning again in fall 2023 this year to do it all again! So keep checking back here for even more updates as the season continues.
If you are planning a visit to Disneyland this fall to celebrate Halloween Time, here’s what you need to know, do, and see.
(Trips With Tykes uses affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through links in this post. See our full disclosure policy linked in the menu at the bottom of this site.)
Where to Book Your Disneyland Vacation & Save Money!
Save big on your Disneyland vacation with trusted Trips with Tykes partner, Get Away Today. Get Away Today sells park tickets at a discount, helps you find great deals at both on-property and off-property hotels, and provides expert customer service from representatives who visit Disneyland all the time.
For park tickets, don’t purchase direct from Disney and pay more! Book discounted Disneyland park tickets from Get Away Today here. Tickets purchased now are valid through January 12, 2025. Both park hopper and single park per day tickets are available, as well as tickets that include Genie+.
To take advantage of hotel and other package discounts from Get Away Today, explore and book Disneyland vacation packages here. Be sure to use code TYKES10 for $10 in additional savings.
Current Get Away Today Specials & Deals:
- Adults at Kids Prices Black Friday Special!: From November 20-29, 2023 purchase adult tickets of 3 days or longer and get them at the regular kids prices.
- Kids Special Ticket Offer!: For visits from January 8-March 10, 2024, kids ages 3-9 can visit for as low as $50 per day! Deal valid on 1, 2, or 3 day tickets (note: Get Away Today sells multi-day tickets only). Genie+ and/or park hopper option is available as well. No blockout dates but use is subject to theme park reservation availability.
- Extra Day Free Tickets: Get 5 days at Disneyland for the price of 4 with this extra day free special for longer vacations.
- 3rd or 4th Night Free: available at select Anaheim area hotels exclusively through Get Away Today bookings (can be combined with all ticket discounts).
Disneyland Halloween Time Basics
When: Halloween Time at Disneyland is longer than ever this year, running from September 1 to October 31, 2023. A few years ago, the holiday didn’t get underway until mid-September, but it now fully launches right before Labor Day. So you have a little more time to experience the season this year!
Note as well that some of the Dia de los Muertos offerings that are part of Halloween Time run a little longer – until November 2, 2022.
Where: The Halloween Time celebrations happen all over the Disneyland Resort. The bulk of the decorations, food, and fun are in the two parks, but Downtown Disney and the three hotels of the Disneyland Resort usually have some special touches as well.
Halloween Time in Disneyland Park
Disneyland park has been the home of most of the Halloween Time celebrations for many years. An iconic Mickey jack-o-lantern greets visitors as they enter Main Street USA. Characters in costume and villains hold meet and greets from the train station platform overlooking the square.
Orange decor and pumpkins set the mood everywhere. Farther down Main Street, the Walt and Mickey partners statue is surrounded by jack-o-lanterns. Look carefully to see how each is carved with a character face from each land in the park.
If it has been several years since your last Halloween Time visit, note the following changes at Disneyland park made a few years ago:
- The special ride overlay Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy was discontinued.
- Also gone is the specially ticketed Mickey’s Halloween Party, as it was re-themed and moved across the esplanade to Disney California Adventure as Oogie Boogie Bash in 2019 (more on that below).
But never fear, because the Halloween offerings in Disneyland park that remain are still extensive!
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Ever since 2001, Disneyland has offered a special holiday overlay to the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square in Disneyland park. Jack Skellington and his friends from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” overrun the mansion, decorating it with their rare brand of Halloween and Christmas mixed together. The theming makes it perfect for a run from September through the New Year, so there is plenty of time for Disneyland visitors to schedule a visit, either during Halloween Time or during the Disneyland Holidays.
What I love about Haunted Mansion Holiday is that the festive cartoonish overlay actually makes the ride less scary for little ones. Both of my children have ridden it many times through their toddler and preschool years and neither have been frightened (except for the opening scene in the elevator that may be scary just due to its loudness).
Haunted Mansion Holiday is family-friendly at its best with an extraordinarily popular theme that adults love too. There is always a new gingerbread house in the banquet room each year, so keep an eye out for this year’s new offering.
The ride is very popular during the Halloween Time season, so be prepared to wait unless you plan to rope drop the attraction.
And now that Disneyland has unveiled Disney Genie+, you can also shortcut the line by booking a Lightning Lane return time to ride if you pay the additional charge for this service. Expect return times to go more quickly this time of year than they do during the regular Haunted Mansion run. (See my guide to Disney Genie+ at Disneyland to get all the tips and tricks.)
Dia de los Muertos in Frontierland
Adding to the festive decor around Halloween Time are traditional decorations for the Mexican Day of the Dead. Appropriately located in Frontierland around Rancho del Zocalo restaurant, the decorations include skeletons and bright colored flowers. The decorations are exquisite and a great place for some amazing photo opportunities. Look for characters to make special appearances in this area too.
Halloween Screams Fireworks
Halloween Screams is a nighttime show hosted by Jack Skellington that was traditionally only shown during the special ticketed Mickey’s Halloween Party. With the party now permanently in DCA, the Halloween Screams show now happens nightly in Disneyland and is watchable by everyone with a regular park ticket.
The show includes fireworks on select nights (usually Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). The fireworks can always be cancelled due to weather, but the rest of the show can run regardless. Even when the fireworks aren’t running, the show is still worth a watch for the music and projections.
While the fireworks happen over Sleeping Beauty Castle, the show is watchable from several vantage points. You can see special projections on the storefronts of Main Street USA, on the facade of it’s a small world, and on the Rivers of America. These secondary locations often have lower crowds and won’t require you to camp out as long before show time.
In 2023, there are also new special effects if you are wearing a Disney MagicBand+ on your wrist. These bands light up in sync with features of Disney’s nighttime spectaculars. This year is the first Halloween season that the bands have been available at the Disneyland Resort.
Halloween Time in Disney California Adventure
For many years, Disneyland park was the only place to have most of the Halloween fun. But the celebration of the holiday has really expanded. Disney California Adventure’s decorations and entertainment offerings now rival (and maybe even exceed) those in Disneyland park. Look for decor like Oogie Boogie adorning the entrance to DCA and the Headless Horsemen standing outside Carthay Circle.
Returning in 2023 (it’s fourth year since its 2019 debut) is the event formerly known as Mickey’s Halloween Party. Now called “Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party,” it has found a new permanent home over in California Adventure.
Here’s what to look for in DCA in 2023 during the Halloween season.
Haul-O-Ween in Cars Land
One of the most immersive transformations within DCA can be found over in Cars Land. During September and October, Cars Land gets a major overhaul for “Haul-O-Ween” (pun intended). Radiator Springs becomes Radiator Screams, and the Cars characters are in costume.
In previous years, Lightning McQueen showed up as a super hero and Mater as a vampire, posing for photo opportunities in front of the Cozy Cone Motel. For the first time in 2023, new “car-acter” Guido will greet guests at Casa Della Tires wearing a ghoulish “car-stume.”
Returning for another year, there are two Halloween ride overlays in Cars Land. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween with spooky Italian-inspired music. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is similarly transformed into Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree, where riders spin around the graveyard to haunted tunes.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark
Another popular Halloween Time attraction in Disney California Adventure is a special ride overlay of the highly popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! ride.
Every evening during the Halloween Time season, the ride changes into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. Riders are tasked to save Groot who has been left behind after the Guardians escape the Collector’s Fortress. There is a special intro from everyone’s favorite raccoon, Rocket, as well as a heavy metal-inspired song for the ride.
This is the third year the attraction assumes its rightful place as part of Avengers Campus, so be sure to check out the new offerings there if you haven’t been to Disneyland since the new land opened!
Plaza de la Familia
Returning for another year are the celebrations of Día de los Muertos in Paradise Gardens in DCA. The area is transformed into the Plaza de la Familia. Crafts, photo opportunities, and seasonal decor highlight the holiday with plenty of touches inspired by the Pixar hit movie Coco.
Kids will especially love decorating their own paper alebrije (spirit guide) mask featuring either Pepita or Dante from Coco. And families can add their notes of remembrance to a memory wall in front of the Mexican Tree of Life.
“A Musical Celebration of Coco,” featuring the Mariachi Divas, has been a wildly successful entertainment offering in the area. A troupe of singers and authentic dancers are joined by a life-size puppet Miguel inspired by Mexican folk art.
Plaza de la Familia is a fantastic place to take a break or eat a meal. There is plenty of spacious covered outdoor seating with shade. And performance groups take over the bandstand regularly for live entertainment.
Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party
Last but certainly not least is Oogie Boogie Bash which is returning again to DCA! During Halloween Time, Disneyland has always offered a special and separately ticketed event on select nights in September in October called Mickey’s Halloween Party. In 2019, that party got a new name (Oogie Boogie Bash), a new location, and a ton of new offerings.
Related: See my complete guide to Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland, with lots of tips and even more detail.
Attending Oogie Boogie Bash requires a special additional ticket, priced between $134-189 per person for guests ages 3+.
The parties all start at 6pm and take place this year on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Park guests get access to California Adventure three hours before the party start time. That means you can enter the parks at 3pm with a party ticket. DCA park closes to all other guests at 6pm on nights when the party is celebrated. Plan accordingly!
What makes Oogie Boogie Bash worth a visit? There are quite a few attractions and entertainment offerings exclusive to the event. It’s a chance to trick-or-treat in the park and for everyone (adults included) to wear costumes. We’ve gone with family Halloween costumes whenever possible – one year we went as Alice in Wonderland characters with my daughter as Alice, my husband as the King of Hearts, my son (reluctantly) as Tweedle Dee and me as the Cheshire Cat. In 2019, we went with a Toy Story theme.
So what is there to do at Oogie Boogie Bash? Entertainment offerings of note at the party include:
- Mickey’s Trick and Treat Show: For guests with younger kids, the best entertainment offering is the new Mickey’s Trick and Treat Show. Set in the familiar environs of the Disney Junior Dance Party theater, the show has plenty of Fab 5 and even a couple of candy treats.
- Frightfully Fun Parade: Led by The Headless Horseman, this parade runs twice a night during Oogie Boogie Bash. Dessert parties and dining packages are available to secure viewing areas, but my experience is that the DCA parade route is long enough that you don’t need to camp out too far in advance to find a decent spot.
- Character Meet and Greets: The Halloween party always features plenty of unique Disney characters, both good and evil, and Oogie Boogie Bash is no exception. Familiar standbys like Mickey, Minnie, Chip ‘n’ Dale all make appearances but you can also snag some rarer character photos. Each year, Disney unveils new villains so watch this space for the 2023 news!
- Villains Grove: Set in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, the area features multiple dream-like scenes inspired by villains with lights and special effects.
- Immersive Treat Trails: Probably the highlight of Oogie Boogie Bash for kids is the immersive treat trails. Candy + live action villains like the Mad Hatter, Oogie Boogie, or Maleficent are the perfect combination!
Note that the Halloween party always sells out, and indeed sold out faster than ever in 2023 – in under 24 hours after tickets were released to the general public. If you missed the boat in 2023, be sure to plan early in 2024! (Historically, Halloween night and the latest scheduled least expensive party days have been some of the ones to sell out first.)
Halloween Time Outside the Parks: Hotels and Downtown Disney
Even if you aren’t headed into the parks, you can still celebrate Halloween elsewhere at the Disneyland Resort. Traditionally, the on-property hotels and a number of locations within Downtown Disney celebrate the season too with special decor and some unique activities.
Our family’s favorite Halloween activity in Downtown Disney the last couple of years has been Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit – a scavenger hunt of sorts that is a lot of fun for kids. Disney hides small pumpkins painted to look like Disney characters in nooks and crannies around the shops and restaurants of Downtown Disney.
To participate, purchase a map at one of the locations on either end of the district. Mark off pumpkins as you find them, and return the completed map for a prize. In 2023, Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit will be offered from September 8 to November 1.
Last but certainly not least, new in 2023 is a special character meal at Goofy’s Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel, offered September 21 through October 31, 2023. Characters appear in costumes and the buffet has special seasonal foods in addition to the usual offerings. The meal pricing is higher than normal breakfast, brunch, and dinner at Goofy’s the rest of the year, so budget accordingly!
Halloween Time Food & Merchandise
Holidays never go unnoticed by the Disney restaurants and stores, and Halloween is definitely a time when the Disney gets creative. Be on the lookout for lots of Halloween-themed treats and merchandise during Halloween Time – both in and out of the parks.
Historically, all of the Halloween Time food offerings are available all of the time – none are limited to Oogie Boogie Bash. So assuming the same tradition holds in 2023, that’s great news if you aren’t able to snag a party ticket.
Disneyland’s always releases a complete Halloween Time foodie guide on the Disney Parks Blog which is a great way to plan out your meals and treats (see the 2023 foodie guide for more).
Also be sure to check out these recommendations for the 11 best Disneyland Halloween treats, several of which are sure to be back in subsequent years. I always find the seasonal food is far too much for me to sample in a single trip, but Britni at Play Party Plan commits to trying an impressive number of food options on her Disney trips and returns annually, so I trust her guidance.
The merchandise refreshes in passing year too. Look for seasonal spirit jerseys, multiple ear headbands, and much more.
Still Looking for More Disney & Halloween Information?
- For tips for a very Disney Halloween on the other coast, check out tips for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World.
Disclosure: Disneyland has hosted my family on some of our trips to HalloweenTime and Mickey’s Halloween Party/Oogie Boogie Bash. My family and I regularly visit Disneyland other times at our own expense. All opinions are my own.