The fall season at Disneyland is a magical treat (no tricks!). From giant pumpkins, costumed Characters and special Halloween delights, there’s a lot for you and your family to love. Here are a few practical tips for navigating the Parks with your little one during the fall season.
Know When to Go
Halloween Time at Disneyland begins in early September and runs through the end of October. Fall décor, Halloween ride overlays, and not-too-spooky entertainment will be available during this time period.
Expect Halloween Décor Galore
Guests are greeted at the front gates by enormous pumpkin-inspired Disney characters. Hundreds of glowing jack-o’ lanterns light up Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Park in honor of their Pumpkin Festival.
New this year will be Halloween decorations at Disney’s California Adventure park, specifically on Buena Vista Street and in Cars Land.
Plan a Weekday Visit for Best Crowds
Local schools will be back in session, so plan your Park days accordingly. Mid-week visits when kids are in school will offer you lighter crowds.
Note that Mickey’s Halloween Party is offered on some weekdays. Morning and daytime crowds will be light. However crowd levels will increase several hours before the party begins as guests begin to arrive. Also park hours will be limited since only special event ticket holders will be able to stay for the party. Check the entertainment schedule online before planning your visit.
Don’t Miss the Special Photo Ops
There are several fantastic fall photo locations throughout the Parks during Halloween time. The larger-than-life Mickey jack-o’ lantern at the hub on Main Street U.S.A. should be your first stop!
The glowing orange “Halloween Tree” in Frontierland is decorated with dozens of funny faced pumpkins. My little ones love to point out their favorites!
Also in Frontierland, colorful flags, flowers and sugar skulls are on display for Dia de los Muertos.
You’ll also definitely want a snapshot in the Cars Land area when it’s decorated for Haul-O-Ween! Kids particularly love this area at night, when the neon in Radiator Springs is lit.
Dress Baby in Costume
Children under 12 years old are permitted to dress in costume when visiting the Disney Parks. Bring your own outfit from home or choose one from the shops – costumes will be in stock for kids of all sizes! Keep comfort in mind and always have walkers wear practical shoes. Check the Disneyland website for costume guidelines.
Keep in Mind That It’ll Be Hotter Than Summer
September and October are often the hottest months of the year. Plan plenty of downtime in your Disneyland schedule for rest and cooling off. We usually like to take a mid-day break for swimming at the hotel pool. Or take that time to stroll in the shade with Baby for a much needed nap!
Seek air conditioning inside with a ride on the Haunted Mansion Holiday. The Haunted Mansion has been decorated in a mash-up of Halloween and Christmas themes. It’s a colorful overlay that I find less frightening than the traditional attraction. Babies may enjoy the whimsical glowing features inside and the lively music.
Be Sure to See the Characters in Costume
Yes, even the Disney characters get into the Halloween mood! Many characters will be dressed in their Halloween costumes during the fall season. We found Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald in the Main Street U.S.A hub throughout the day.
Many villains will be out and about to meet with guests and pose for photos as well.
Discover the Seasonal Treats and Eats
Mmmm, the scent of cinnamon, apple and pumpkin spice fill the air at Disneyland during the fall! Shops and snack carts throughout the Parks will have special seasonal treats available for purchase. We love the seasonal pumpkin twist at Maurice’s in Fantasyland. The flaky and delicious pastry is fine for sharing with Baby. Candy corn cotton candy and elaborately decorated candied apples are more sweet treats available for the season.
Enjoy Mickey’s Halloween Party
This separate ticketed event allows guests of all ages to dress in costume and trick-or-treat through the Park. Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place on select nights during the months of September and October. Special character greetings and certain rides and attractions will be open during the event. Dance parties and an exclusive fireworks show round out the night. Everyone from babies to grown ups can wear costumes to this event (check the Disneyland website for guidelines).