Disneyland at Halloween Time is my absolute favorite! We go every year and it totally gets me in the Halloween spirit! I always love going during their special seasonal times because of the beautiful decorations. Halloween just happens to be one of my favorite holidays, in case you didn’t know. It’s definitely Harper’s favorite because she loves playing dress-up and eating sweets.
During Halloween Time at Disneyland, the entire park gets a spooky makeover. It’s completely transformed with pumpkins, cobwebs, and all things creepy. Main Street is littered with hundreds of festive jack-o-lanterns. All of the rides take on the Halloween theme with creepy new details.
Experiencing Disneyland during Halloween Time is awesome because it feels like you’re in a brand new park. The spooky season this year runs from Sept 7 to Oct 31st, but it’s different every year so be sure to look it up beforehand if you want to enjoy the incredible decorations!
For this trip we stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which is beautiful. They just refurbished the rooms!
The hotel has three pools- the Redwood Pool featuring a 90 foot long waterslide, the Fountain Pool, and the relaxing Mariposa Pool. Private cabanas are available for full day or half day rentals!
Of course they also feature a character breakfast in the Storyteller’s Cafe, which we take advantage of every visit! The kids love getting up close and personal with their favorite Disney characters.
It’s right outside the park located in Downtown Disney, so it’s a short walk which is the most convenient thing ever for traveling with kids. Having the resort as a central hub to come back to and take breaks is a life-saver!
When we first got to the park, we of course bought Halloween themed ears to wear. Matching the special seasonal decor is one of the best things about visiting Disney during special times like Halloween. Getting in the spirit is what makes it so fun and memorable!
This trip was a quick one, as we only stayed one night. We got a late start on Sunday, but it was okay because we knew we had the full day on Monday. It was such an amazing time, and we did everything we wanted to do!
After buying our glittery ears, we headed to Fantasyland for It’s A Small World. This ride is one of Harper’s favorites! She sings the song all the time in the car because we listen to Disney playlists while I drive. She always impresses me with her knowledge of what movie they’re from. She knows her stuff!
Before we left Fantasyland, we went on Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride which spins like a carousel but takes you up in the air- like you’re flying on Dumbo. This one is so much fun and we always take cute pictures on it because it’s not too fast.
Next we headed to Frontierland, home to my favorite restaurant in all of Disneyland, Rancho del Zócalo Restaurante. Their half chicken is absolutely AMAZING. I always order pico de gallo and guacamole on the side, and Harper shares it with me. It’s heaven on a plate!
Disneyland is celebrating Dia de los Muertos big time this year with a gorgeous set up in between Rancho del Zócalo Restaurante and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Colorful flower arrangements anchor an absolutely gorgeous display. Papel picado and colorful lights dangle from above. A trio of skeleton musicians, inspired by works of traditional Mexican folk art, don sombreros. You might also spot a sarape or two. An ofrenda, adorned with sugar skulls known as “calaveras,” sits at the heart of Zócalo Park.
This area is not to be missed!
Then we went to Adventureland for Jungle Cruise which is one of Grayson’s favorites. It’s a river boat ride where you get to see crocodiles, gorillas, lions, elephants, and so many more. You follow along with your cast member safari guide as they share a thrilling adventure. We do it every time we visit because the kids just love riding on the boat!
We ate dinner in New Orleans Square because my husband and I are doing Whole 30, and we saw some healthy options there while we were passing through. However I have to admit, my husband couldn’t help but try the Pumpkin Spice Beignets from Mint Julep Cafe though. He only had one bite, okay? He said it was soo yummy!!
Disneyland has over 75 Halloween inspired sweet treats right now. How can you resist? The Jolly Holiday Bakery Café on Main Street is home to most of them, and they’re absolutely adorable.
Some of my favorite snacks I tasted, or just saw from a distance and wished I tried are the S’mores Churro, Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake Fries, Bat Wing Raspberry Sundae, and the Mickey Mouse Mummy Macaron I’ve seen all over Instagram!
I love pumpkin spice anything, and the Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake Fries were out of this world. They’re drizzled in a pumpkin spice sauce, loaded up with pumpkin spice whipped cream, and then dusted with a pumpkin spice sugar. That’s a lot of pumpkin spice!! They’re $7.99 in California Adventure.
The S’mores Churro is a graham cracker churro with chocolate and marshmallow dipping sauce. It’s messy, but so so worth it. It’s a sweet tooth’s dream come true for an easy handheld snack.
Before the night ended, we got to see Fantasmic which is a huge show featuring jaw dropping special effects, music, lights, and of course pyrotechnics. The kids were in awe the entire time. I always look forward to seeing these shows because it’s in those moments that I realize how much I love Disney and how it’s such a magical place. You can’t really explain it unless you’re there.
On Day 2 we had our Character Breakfast I mentioned earlier, and the kids got to chat with their favorite characters and princesses. Gray wasn’t as shy this time around! It’s a Safari themed breakfast so the characters aren’t dressed in Halloween costumes, but that’s totally not a big deal when you’re eating Mickey shaped waffles.
Afterwards, we went to California Adventure for some really fun Halloween activities. In Car’s Land, Lightning McQueen and all his friends are dressed up in silly Halloween costumes, it’s hilarious! Every character you bump into during Halloween Time is outfitted in Halloween-themed attire, which is so cool! There are even some villains walking around, so you better keep an eye out.
Hollywood Land features a Disney Junior Dance Party where kids get to dance with characters like Mickey Mouse, Doc McStuffins, Timon, and Vampirina! Grayson and Harper love Vampirina right now. Harper even has a Vampirina costume that she wears around the house all the time.
We also rode on Mike & Sully To The Rescue which takes you on a wild taxi ride through the Monster’s Inc world inhabited by monsters and Boo, the girl from the movie. We love any of these little indoor adventure rides.
And of course, we had to visit The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Harper loves her princesses! It tells the story of Ariel and Prince Eric while riding on a little boat.
Finally, we saved the best for last. We had a special opportunity to meet Vampirina herself!! We love all of Disneyland’s meet & greets, but this one was really special since it was Halloween themed.
At Disneyland Resort, Vampirina can be found in Hollywood Land (near Disney Junior Dance Party!) in Disney California Adventure park for character encounters! She is also part of the Frightfully Fun Parade at Mickey’s Halloween Party, offered on select nights.
At Walt Disney World, Vampirina can be found at the Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam, presented at Magic Kingdom on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights. Starting September 30, she will be part of Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine, a character breakfast experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. She’ll be available for character encounters in Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this fall.
After the kids recovered from being super starstruck, we watched the Paint the Night Parade. My husband and I love Pixar movies so this parade was really awesome!! Everything is lit up with incredible bright lights, with characters from The Incredibles 2, Tinker Bell, Toy Story, and more. Harper and Grayson always try to guess which character is going to be on the next float before it drives by.
Once again, we had an amazing trip to Disneyland. Going during Halloween Time just makes it even more special. We’ll be returning for Mickey’s Halloween Party soon! If you haven’t already checked that out, you definitely should.
It runs until October 31st and it includes fun events, spooky parades, and trick-or-treating. The adult guests are even allowed to dress up! Spots fill up really quickly though so don’t wait, book it soon!
Let me know what your favorite thing about Disneyland during Halloween Time is!