If you’re looking for spooky, creepy, but “not so scary,” then Halloween at Disney is a perfect option for you! Over the years I’ve been able to experience a number of Holidays at Disney Parks and Resorts, and Halloween at Disney World, Disneyland, and even the Disney Cruise Line is growing in popularity -- for good reason!
First let’s talk about the one people aren’t as familiar with - Disneyland. Although the spooktacular fun doesn’t last as long (select dates in September-October 2019, compared to Walt Disney World starting the party in August and running through November 1, 2019 this year) it is still packed with mischievous fun for the whole family to enjoy!
Any The Nightmare Before Christmas fans? Oogie Boogie takes over to throw the most epic Halloween party at Disney’s California Adventure Park that guests have ever seen, complete with trick-or-treating, a dance party, festive treats, a parade, and of course, villains amok. The park is transformed by decorations, spooky sounds, and haunted trails, plus a few characters that you won’t typically get to see at the Disney parks except for these special ticketed events.
One of my favorite things about the park in California is the World of Color night show spectacular. In place of traditional evening fireworks, Disney has created a mesmerizing display of projection, music, and storytelling on a magnificent water feature. During this special Halloween party event, you’ll get to see a special villian version of the World of Color spectacular with Mister Oogie Boogie as your frightful host.
Some of your favorite attractions also receive a spooky transformation, including Guardians of the Galaxy - Monsters After Dark, and for our younger trick-or-treaters, Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-o-ween and Mater’s Graveyard Jamboree. This is just one example of the variety of hauntings for all ages when you celebrate Halloween at Disney!
On the other side of the country is a very special celebration, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (or MNSSHP as we call it!) This celebration has continued to evolve and improve over the years and 2019 is no different! Disney is going above and beyond this year by revamping the entire fireworks spectacular for MNSSHP 2019. A show that was already spooktacular will now be hosted by Jack Skellington and feature new technologies with projections, lights, and amazing fireworks. The show will make its debut August 16, 2019 and from the behind-the-scenes previews I’ve seen, it is awesome! I’m always a little sad when Disney retires a really good fireworks show (#RIPwishes) but they have always outdone themselves when they debut the new one and I imagine Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular will be no different!
Some of the amazing things you can look forward to at MNSSHP is of course adorable decorations (nothing says Halloween at Disney more than Mickey pumpkins), special Halloween treats and beverages, and characters dressed in their Halloween costumes for adorable photo-ops in your Halloween costumes.
I always recommend picking up an event map because it will show you where all the trick-or-treating spots are throughout the parks so you make sure to maximize your time and your candy intake! Also check the times guide to find out when special events are happening that are unique to the party, such as the “Boo to You” parade (one of my favorites), Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular, and the previously mentioned Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular fireworks show. Agent Tip: Catch the 2nd parade viewing as it will be less crowded!
For our younger guests that prefer the not so scary part of the Not So Scary Halloween Party, there are plenty of treats to be had, including a Disney Junior Dance party with some of your kiddos’ favorites like Vampirina. Plus there will be lots of trick or treating and fun characters to take photos with. Many of the classic attractions will still be open for the party as well, such as Dumbo, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and Haunted Mansion.
There are still more enchanting extras you can add on to make you feel like a VIP at the party! Reserve a table at a villainous dinner hosted by Cruella De Vil at Tony’s Town Square, which also includes reserved seating for the parade. Have a more private viewing of the fireworks with admittance to one of the two buffet dessert parties -- reserved seating at both Tomorrowland Terrace and Plaza Garden.
MNSSHP is an extra ticketed event, but you don’t need to purchase a regular park ticket the same day. You are able to enter Magic Kingdom park starting at 4pm, even though the party officially starts at 6pm. I’ve had many families utilize the afternoon as a pool/rest day, then party until midnight! Agent Tip: Make FastPass reservations from 4pm-5pm and 5pm-6pm with your MNSSHP ticket.
While most people think of celebrating the Halloween holiday at the Disney Parks, let’s not forget about Halloween on the High Seas aboard the Disney Cruise Line! These hauntingly good celebrations are available on most itineraries departing late September through Halloween. Some of the activities you can expect in addition to the characters in costume and festive decor (are you sensing a theme here?) are:
Mickey's Mouse-querade Party with ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, and plenty of character photo ops and dancing!
On board fun like mask making and pumpkin carving
Haunted tales of the high seas
While the Disney Cruise Line website always states that some activities may vary by sailing, please contact the best travel agents specializing in Disney Destinations for specific 2019 and 2020 itineraries and details!
Around every turn is no shortage of Disney magic and spooky fun that is sure to get you in the Halloween spirit! The hardest question isn’t IF you’re going it’s what will you dress up as when you celebrate Halloween at Disney!
If you’re interested in visiting a Disney Destination for the 2019 or 2020 Halloween season, contact us today for your free vacation quote!
One of our amazing agents can help you plan the perfect itinerary for you and/or your family! As always, our vacation planning services are complementary to you when you book your vacation through Spirit of Adventure Travel.