Disneyland during the Halloween season

Reviewing how Disneyland celebrates the spooky season of Halloween.

A picture of the front area of Disneyland, also known as Main Street U.S.A, decorated for the Halloween season.


A picture of the front area of Disneyland, also known as Main Street U.S.A, decorated for the Halloween season.

Leah Maupin, Staff Writer

How does Disneyland ⎯ said to be the “Happiest Place on Earth” ⎯ decorate and cater to people of all ages during Halloween? Let’s find out.

As soon as you walk through the first gates to get into Disneyland, you are greeted with all of the signs changing to a more scary font than usual, and the music playing everywhere is always in Halloween theme. From songs featured in different Disney scary movies, to creepy noises and melodies playing.

That was just the beginning; once you are actually in the park, the classic Disneyland sign displayed above the main entrance is changed to a different font, and is surrounded by pumpkins, bats, and other Halloween decorations. 

Everything you see as you walk down mainstreet is covered in Halloween decorations. All of the light poles are covered in fall-colored fabric with a sign saying “Halloween Time.”  Buildings also have fall-colored fabric borders, and Halloween-themed music is playing from every corner of the park.

Food-wise, Disney has many options of new Halloween themed treats, with at least every restaurant or snack stand having limited edition Halloween snacks. As well as all of the stores scattered throughout Disneyland having new Halloween merchandise ⎯ from sweatshirts, hats, and toys. 

I really liked how everything was set up – all the Halloween decorations perfectly fit in the kid-friendly, but still scary-type, and the music playing was the icing on the cake to really set the tone for Halloween.

Disney really goes all out for this holiday, because they even changed the theme of the attraction, “The Haunted Mansion.”  Throughout the first half of the year, the attraction is in its original theme; a kid-friendly haunted house filled with dancing ghosts and creepy monsters. 

However, during Halloween and Christmas times, Disney changes its theme to “Nightmare Before Christmas.” A rare brand of Halloween and Christmas mixed together in one Disney movie, making it the perfect theme for the new “Haunted Mansion” to run from September to New Years.

This change was made in 2001, and since then has been a main reason people go to Disneyland during these times. 

The outside of the attraction gets decorated with characters and things from the movie. The inside gets a complete remodel to fit the movie’s theme. 

The attraction gets more popular during Halloween and Christmas time because of its new look, making this attraction always a one-  to two-hour wait throughout duration since the new attraction first opens to when it closes for the last time. 

Many other attractions get a spooky new makeover for the Halloween season, such as Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween with spooky Italian-inspired music, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is similarly transformed into Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree.

Disneyland also offers a new event that only occurs during the Halloween season called the “Oogie-Boogie Bash,” which is a limited-time event in California Adventure park. 

Every Tuesday and Thursday, California Adventure hosts the “Oogie-Boogie Bash,” and people who bought tickets come dressed up in their Halloween costumes and get to experience trick-or-treating in the park, a villains themed parade, and different exclusive things that only happen during the “Oogie-Boogie Bash.” For example, “Villains Grove” and character meet and greets.

This event is very popular and tickets sell out fast; most people have to get tickets months before the event even starts if they want a chance to get in. 

Adding to the festive decor around Halloween time are traditional decorations for the Mexican Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, located in Disneyland’s Frontierland.

California Adventure has the “Plaza de la Familia” which also helps celebrate Dia de los Muertos. There’s crafts, photo opportunities, and seasonal decor which highlight the holiday with plenty of touches inspired by the Pixar hit movie “Coco.” 

Disneyland did not disappoint when it came to Halloween, as there are lots of activities, events, and new attractions for kids and parents of all ages, as well as fun treats and Halloween merchandise for everyone to enjoy. Disneyland during Halloween is a sure bucket-list item.