Every year, from mid-September through October, Disneyland transforms into a Halloween celebration filled with pumpkins, specialty treats, and lots of detailed decorations. Not only do the lands take on orange and black accents, but some of the rides undergo special Halloween transformations as well. The following is a breakdown of all the fall/Halloween features, décor, and special events you can find in the park during the Halloween season.
Each of the lands in Disneyland and California Adventure have added touches of fall and Halloween décor, but the most significant changes occur on Main Street USA, Buena Vista Street, New Orleans Square, and Frontierland. Main Street USA showcases a massive Mickey pumpkin at the front end of the street, and every flagpole, lamp post, and window is covered in fall colors, jack-o-lanterns, and eerie details. Similarly, Buena Vista Street lines its windows with Halloween display, and both streets feature subtle orange and black color schemes for the duration of the Halloween season.
New Orleans Square is perhaps the most spirited place in Disneyland during Halloween. All of the antique shops grow elaborate cobwebs, and you can find skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, and other spooky décor. Though Disneyland is not at all scary during Halloween, New Orleans Square is the closest the park gets to a creepy spot in the park.
Frontierland’s Big Thunder Ranch undergoes a Halloween transformation every year as well, inviting guests to join in the festivities. Some years, the ranch becomes a “Dia de los Muertos” festival, and other years, it hosts a Halloween carnival. During the Halloween season, Big Thunder Ranch always has tons of entertainment, activities, and delicious specialty snacks and beverages for guests to enjoy. You can find more information about this year’s festivities here.
Haunted Mansion – From Halloween through New Years, the Haunted Mansion transforms into a “Nightmare Before Christmas” wonderland. Instead of eerie chills and mysterious ghosts, guests encounter Jack Skellington and his Halloweentown friends as they embark on a journey through Christmastown. The music in this version of the ride is very upbeat, the characters are friendly and enthusiastic, and there isn’t much haunting happening in the Haunted Mansion. Visiting the Haunted Mansion from September through December is a completely different experience than the rest of the year, as the ride bears little resemblance to its normal spooky personality.
Space Mountain – During the Halloween season, Space Mountain becomes “Ghost Galaxy”. The ride is virtually the same, with one major difference: ghosts! As riders fly through the cosmos, they encounter a number of ghosts rushing past their ships, growling and shrieking as they disappear into the dark.
Note: The only downside to “Ghost Galaxy” is that because the ghosts are projected into the sky, the interior of Space Mountain is a little brighter, and at times you can see the track. It somewhat takes away from the sensation of floating through space, but it’s still a fun seasonal treat.
SPECIAL SHOWS, EVENTS, AND PARADES
The parades and shows remain the same during the Halloween season, with the exception of one major event: Mickey’s Halloween Party. Mickey’s Halloween party includes special villain meet and greets, a spooky parade, trick-or-treating, and a dance party.
You can find more information about Halloween activities in Disneyland here.