Updated July 14, 2019
As new information regarding the season is announced by Disney, I’ll be sharing on social media first and then updating this post. To get immediate updates, follow me here:
A few quick dates for reference:
September 6 – October 31, 2019 – Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort
April 23, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets went on sale for qualifying guests
April 30, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets go on sale for the general public
Now, follow me for all things Halloween!
In this article
- Discounted Theme Park Tickets
- The Basics of Halloween Time
- Attractions that Transform for Halloween Time
- Details for Halloween Time
- Strategies for Park Touring During Halloween Time
- Shopping, Food and Novelty Items for Halloween Time
- Disneyland Resort Hotel Decor
- Cars Land
- My 2018 Park Visits
- Dia de los Muertos
- Oogie Boogie Bash Ticket Info
- Included in the Oogie Boogie Bash (and all new for 2019)
- California Adventure at Halloween Time
- World of Color Dining Package
- The Frightfully Fun Parade and Headless Horseman
- Maps of the Halloween Party
- What You Will Find that is Exclusive to the Oogie Boogie Bash
- Costume Guidelines
- Advice on Finding a Party Ticket When Your Date is Sold Out
- Characters during Halloween Time
- My Suggestions on Making the Best Use of your time at the Oogie Boogie Bash
- If You’re Not Planning to Attend the Oogie Boogie Bash
- Additional Info
- What I Learned at the First Party of 2019
Discounted Theme Park Tickets
Halloween Time can get pricey if you’re planning on adding a party ticket to your vacation. Take a look at how you can save on your Disneyland Resort Theme Park tickets to help with costs.
I share year round discounted ticket info, along with seasonal specials, within this post.
The Basics of Halloween Time
Halloween Time at Disneyland is a special way to enjoy the parks and if you’re a fan of fall and orange and pumpkins, you’ll be in heaven. The park, as always, is decorated to perfection and it keeps getting better every year. Halloween Time occurs from September 6 – October 31, 2019.
Halloween Time is a general term given for how both Disneyland and California Adventure celebrate the fall season. There is no additional fee to enjoy the parks at this time. (The ticketed Halloween event includes an additional fee. More on that later.)
On days that include a Halloween event that evening, California Adventure is open to all guests just like any other day. When it’s time for the party to begin, guests without a party ticket will kindly be escorted out. At that time, you may walk over to Disneyland park to continue the fun if you have a park hopper ticket. Otherwise, visit Downtown Disney to shop or dine.
Attractions that Transform for Halloween Time
The Haunted Mansion is turned into a celebration of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Jack Skellington can often be found around the attraction for autographs and photos. Sally is usually with him for the meet-n-greet. Bring your camera and an autograph book for this. This transformation takes 2-3 weeks, so account for that timing during your trip planning. Classic Haunted Mansion will be closed the second part of August in preparation for this overlay, which begins 9.6.2019.
Guardians of the Galaxy – MISSION: Breakout! transforms into “Monsters After Dark” each day at 5:00pm. Any FASTPASS that you pull with a return window starting at 5:00pm or after will allow you to enjoy the Monsters After Dark version of the attraction. FASTPASSES with return windows that start prior to 5:00pm will allow you to enjoy the regular attraction.
Details for Halloween Time
- Pumpkins adorn every nook and cranny of Main Street and they’re all carved to perfection, with no two alike!
- Disney villains can be found throughout the park, as well. Jack Skellington and Sally can often be found around the Haunted Mansion. Cruella de Vil, Dr. Facilier (from The Princess and the Frog), and the Evil Queen will often wander Main Street, too. There are no specifics provided on where and when to find them. Ask a cast member upon entering the park if they have any tips for the day you are visiting. Use the Disneyland app to locate them, too. Visit my character post for how to find the ones you want to see, also, before visiting.
- Pumpkin infused and Halloween designed treats can be found all around the park and in Downtown Disney, too. Check out Marceline’s Confectionery in DTD, Candy Palace on Main Street in Disneyland or Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street at California Adventure. Pooh’s Corner in Critter Country will have treats, too!
- Flavored beignets can be found at The Mint Julep in New Orleans Square and are divine!
- Dia de los Muertos celebrations will be held in Frontierland. They’re so colorful and fun.
- Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tours became available in 2016, in addition to your theme park ticket. The tour focused primarily on the Haunted Mansion, with details about its development and design. Check out my review on that experience, which will give you an overview of what a seasonal tour entails. This year’s tour looks a little different. Find more info on that on the Disneyland website.
- The Halloween Tree can be found in Frontierland and it’s a site to see. Check out my Facebook post for more details on it and miscellaneous Halloween fun.
Strategies for Park Touring During Halloween Time
Coming soon! I’ll be at the first party on September 17, 2019.
If you are visiting during normal days and attending a party:
If you are only attending a party and want to visit Disneyland before the party starts:
If you are only attending a party and want to visit DCA before the party starts:
If you want to see the parade and World of Color:
If you want to meet the villains:
Shopping, Food and Novelty Items for Halloween Time
***This section will be updated with similar posts as what’s below, but for 2019, as soon as Disney releases them.
August 8, 2018: Disney shared this link on highlighting novelty items like popcorn buckets and glow cubes that will be available this season.
August 13, 2018: Halloween merchandise starts trickling into the parks mid-August every year. On August 18, 2018, I shared photos of everything available for the 2018 season at this link.
August 23, 2018: Disney shared this post detailing all of the fun food set up for the season.
September 19, 2018: New seasonal popcorn buckets arrive. Visit this link for details.
Disneyland Resort Hotel Decor
Don’t miss visiting the Disney hotels during your Halloween trip. I share all about what you can expect at each location in this link.
Easily one of the best themed lands in any Disney Park, Cars Land is super impressive during Halloween Time. Don’t miss it.
This link takes you through a tour of what you’ll see.
My 2018 Park Visits
Visit the following links for all of my Halloween Time related posts on Facebook:
9.22.2018 – Haunted Mansion character meet ups
9.22.2018 – Frightfully Fun Parade
9.22.2018 – Halloween Screams Fireworks
9.8.2018 – new photo op in DCA
9.8.2018 – Vampirina
9.8.2018 – misc detail including:
- Halloween photo ops
- Dia de los Muertos at Disneyland and California Adventure
- Oogie Boogie popcorn buckets
- Halloween ears
- Pumpkin spice beignets
- Seasonal treats around the resort
- Downtown Disney
- Grand Californian Hotel treats
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark
- Plaza de la Familia
9.24.2018 – Disneyland Resort Hotel tour
9.28.2018 – strategy day at Disneyland (see how I completed every FASTPASS attraction within the first 3 hours of the day)
10.19.2018 – Cars Land tour
Dia de los Muertos
Find all about how you can celebrate at both Disneyland and California Adventure from September 7, 2018 until November 2, 2018 at this link.
Oogie Boogie Bash Ticket Info
Oogie Boogie Bash is a separate event from Halloween Time and requires an extra ticket. Ticket prices vary per date.
April 23, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets went on sale for qualifying guests
April 30, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets go on sale for the general public
Visit this link to see ticket pricing per date.
You may use this link to purchase or may call to buy tickets, also. You must be signed into your account, showing you’re an annual passholder, for that link above to allow you to purchase during the time allotted for annual passholders.
***I bought my tickets online just after midnight PST on the day I was eligible.
714.781.4400 is the number to call if you want to purchase on the phone with a discount. Disney Visa Chase Card Holders and DVC members must use the phone number listed above to purchase during the pre-sale.
Tickets do sell out for the parties, so if you’re interested, buy soon.
Adults and kids pay the same price for party tickets.
Dates for the Oogie Boogie Bash include (from the Disneyland website):
Sept. 17, Sept. 19, Sept. 22, Sept. 24, Sept. 26, Sept. 29, Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 6, Oct. 8, Oct. 10, Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Oct. 17, Oct. 20, Oct. 22, Oct. 24, Oct. 27, Oct. 29 and Oct. 31
****Because your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket allows you in 3 hours prior to party time, I recommend not buying a day’s ticket for the day you are attending the party. You will see and do plenty during the 3 hours prior to and during the party.
****Your Halloween Party ticket does not allow you entry into the park for the entire day. You must purchase a day’s admission ticket to enter the park at opening.
****If you have a regular theme park ticket for a day that includes a Halloween Party that evening, you will be escorted out at 6:00pm or 7:00pm, depending on which day you’re there. You may visit Disneyland at this point if you have a park hopper ticket. If you do not have a park hopper ticket, I recommend enjoying Downtown Disney. Get Away Today has fantastic ticket sales for park hopper tickets in both September and October. Visit this link to purchase.
****If you are in the park the day of a party and you are attending that party, you don’t have to leave and return. There are stations throughout the park set up so that you can show your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket (or confirmation) and get your wrist band there.
Included in the Oogie Boogie Bash (and all new for 2019)
“Villainous!”, a new World of Color show, will run during the party.
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail will transform.
Immersive Treat Trails will be set up around the park.
The popular Frightfully Fun Parade will run at DCA for the first time.
Mickey’s Trick and Treat show will play at the Disney Theater.
California Adventure at Halloween Time
In 2018, DCA included lots of new Halloween decor and fun. I’m so excited to see DCA this year, again, in its Halloween glory!
Oogie Boogie plays a big part in the fun at DCA. Check this out, from the Disneyland website:
- Demanding that Halloween lasts forever, Oogie Boogie’s oversized silhouette beckons Guests through the Main Entrance as thousands of bats cover the night sky.
- Heed the Headless Horseman statue… its menacing presence on Buena Vista Street is simply spine-chilling.
- Hold onto your hats as swarms of black bats coil ‘round Carthay Circle’s Bell Tower
- Get revved as Radiator Springs transforms into Radiator Screams with a happy Hallo-theme all over Cars Land!
- Bump into your fave Cars’ characters as they strike a pose in hilarious Halloween cars-tumes—see super hero Lightning, van-pire Mater and more!
- Go for a spellbinding spin on Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree—both are decked out with new howliday-themed music and décor!
Also! Guardians of the Galaxy will transform into “Monsters After Dark”. Check that out in this post from Disney.
Disney has shares info on how DCA transforms at the following links:
World of Color Dining Package
There’s no word now on if the World of Color show will include a dining package. I’ll update this section if Disney releases information on this.
The Frightfully Fun Parade and Headless Horseman
Both the Headless Horseman and the Frightfully Fun Parade are back. This parade is only shown on party nights, so you can’t see it unless you buy a Oogie Boogie Bash ticket. Check your party date at this link to confirm times for the parades. There are two during each party. (Typically 8:50pm and 10:30pm.)
I recommend setting up camp about 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the parade you wish to see. One hour will do if you’re die hard and want front row (but I wouldn’t waste my party time setting up this early).
Viewing can be found along the usual parade route and performers do a good job of showing attention to both sides of the route equally, so I wouldn’t recommend one side over the other.
The Headless Horseman rides through before the parade and then about 20 minutes later – maybe longer – the parade finally arrives. The parade lasts about 15 minutes total. I don’t think the parade is “scary”, but it’s definitely a departure from the usual happy, life-is-perfect shows. Watch the video below to determine if it’s a fit for your family. It’s NOTHING like Knotts Berry Farm or such (no disrespect – I love their Halloween celebrations), but it’s a little spooky.
The Headless Horseman was awesome for me to see because as a kid, my brother tormented me with stories of Ichabod Crane. For many – especially young children – this part will likely prove uneventful. He does not make a mad dash through the park. It’s a slow trot, so have your camera ready for photos.
Here is the parade recorded by Inside the Magic:
Maps of the Halloween Party
Coming asap for 2019.
What You Will Find that is Exclusive to the Oogie Boogie Bash
- Entry into California Adventure up to 3 hours prior to your party time. As you enter, grab a map (as shared above) so you can locate trick-or-treat stations around DCA if you wish. Also, grab a treat bag if you didn’t bring one of your own. (Most people use the park’s free bag.)
- Parking is not included with your ticket. Parking is $20 per car. If you have an annual pass that includes parking, this will suffice for the party, regardless of what time you arrive to the parks.
- Trick-or-treating at dozens of stations throughout the park. Bring your cute plastic pumpkin or bag to collect the candy. (Healthy options are available, too….like apple slices and dried fruit.) If you don’t bring your own bag, one will be given to you. Lines for each of these stations can be quick (lasting just a few minutes) or up to 20 minutes.
- I don’t recommend using your party time to trick-or-treat. Buy candy for your kids (or self) outside of DCA. Focus on what else the party has to offer. If you insist on trick-or-treating – or if your children do – wait until the end of the evening because the lines are much more manageable then and the cast members typically hand out more candy at the end of the night. If that won’t work with your kids, I recommend setting a goal of going to one station an hour. Do whatever works for your group. But, in my opinion, the trick-or-treat trails are not a good use of party time. There’s so much to see and do.
- The Ride of the Headless Horseman, which is fairly new to Disneyland Resort and previously exclusive to WDW. Love this addition!
- The Frightfully Fun Parade.
- Cadaver Dans, a spooky version of our beloved Dapper Dans, who sing and perform throughout the party.
- Disney Villains will take over Villains Square during the party, allowing you to meet several at once. Great photo ops here! Maleficent, The Evil Queen, Queen of Hearts and Cruella are typically out. These lines are LONG – 30-45 minutes each. Prepare to wait and know that whomever you see in line when you get in line may not be who you meet once you arrive to the front. The villains are not out to terrify young children. If you don’t want to encounter them, simply don’t get in line. The villains are not out to see guests during the parade or fireworks.
- A “Pre-Party” begins an hour prior to official party start time and you can kick off your night there by trick-or-treating at a few stations or by meeting Mickey and Minnie if they’re out. Once the party time officially arrives, all trick-or-treat stations should be open.
- Lower lines for all attractions with most open for the party. Use the time during the first parade to tackle attractions. Then, watch the second parade instead. Little ones eventually tire, and more families will focus on the first parade, making attraction lines lower.
- PhotoPass+ in use at DCA only, at official party start (6pm or 7pm, depending on when you’re attending the party). Just like all PhotoPass images, you’ll have 45 days to download your photos.
Costumes are encouraged for the Halloween Party within Disney’s guidelines here:
“While we encourage creativity, we also value safety and good judgement. Please take a moment to read over our latest rules and regulations:
- All Guests may dress as their favorite character, but may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
- Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
- Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
- Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
- Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground (e.g., full-length Princess dresses)
For Guests Ages 13 and Under
Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.
For Guests Ages 14 and Older
- Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
- Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts and hats are acceptable.
- Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus.
- Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
- Masks of any kind may not be worn, except for medical purposes.
- Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, the event, unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.”
Advice on Finding a Party Ticket When Your Date is Sold Out
Every party night in 2019 will likely sell out, so you can’t just go online to grab a ticket at any time. If you are interested in attending the party, but don’t have a ticket, you have a few options to try out:
- Try the ticket booth the day of. (My husband joined me one year at the last minute and I found his ticket at the regular ticket booth.)
- If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, ask the front desk if they have any available. Typically, they hold party tickets for those guests staying onsite. Don’t have a reservation? Contact Get Away Today to book a room.
Characters during Halloween Time
Characters can be found throughout Disneyland Resort in full Halloween gear during the day and at the parties, too. As always, your best option is to use the free Disneyland app to locate characters. Find out more on the app, how to use it, which cast members to find for help, and more before you visit for Halloween Time or The Halloween Party.
Here is what the characters look like in their Halloween gear from previous years. I’ll share more as 2019 unfolds.
Jack and Sally can be found in New Orleans Square next to Pieces of Eight (the pirate store):
Cruella can be spotted harassing guests all around Town Square. She despises me and I respect that about her.
The characters are fun year round, but I totally enjoy them in their Halloween attire.
Rare characters seen throughout Disneyland during Halloween Time include:
Queen of Hearts
Chip ‘n’ Dale in police uniforms
My Suggestions on Making the Best Use of your time at the Oogie Boogie Bash
- Put less effort into trick-or-treating if lines are long. As I always tell my children, you can buy candy outside of the park. Don’t spend lots of time in these lines. About an hour before the party ends is the best time to trick-or-treat if you insist on gathering candy.
- Take advantage of low lines for attractions and ride, ride, ride. The crowds are lower and it’s a nice time to get a lot done.
- Don’t miss the World of Color show. Select one person to sit on a sheet or blanket an hour or so prior to save your spot.
- Don’t lose your bracelet. Party guests will be given a bracelet upon entry to the park and those without bracelets will be ushered out at party time.
- If you don’t want to bring in your own candy bag, one will be provided for you and it’s a cute little souvenir to take home.
- Attend the parties in September for less crowds. The closer we get to Halloween, the more crowded the parties become.
- Most children are in costume, but it’s not necessary to participate.
If You’re Not Planning to Attend the Oogie Boogie Bash
Here are some things to think about if you choose not to attend the party. My kids haven’t been in years. It’s not in our budget. But, they love Halloween Time, regardless.
- Consider visiting the parks on a day that the Oogie Boogie Bash is not happening. If you do not have a ticket for the party, you will be ushered out at 6pm or 7pm (depending on when the party begins that evening) and that’s a tough walk down Buena Vista Street, watching the others brimming with excitement for their night ahead. I’ve done it. It’s not fun.
- However, the day of the Halloween event usually includes lower attendance at the parks due to people not wanting to leave at Halloween event time. So, check the calendar for closing times at Disneyland and consider visiting during the daytime and leaving DCA for Disneyland at party time.
- Disneyland will be more crowded than usual due to those leaving DCA for it when the party starts, however, you can still enjoy the park if you utilize what I suggest doing when the parks are crowded.
- You can still enjoy a wonderful Halloween experience at Disneyland Resort without the party. Decor is up, characters are in Halloween gear and there’s an overall fun spirit at the park during this time. Don’t fret if you don’t want to spend the extra money on the ticket. Enjoy the decor and the park itself. Halloween Time is magical, with or without the party.
For any show or parade, consider packing a sheet or blanket to reserve your spot. As previously mentioned in this post, I recommend asking one person in your group to secure your viewing space for the fireworks show about an hour prior to showtime. The Matador blanket is an awesome purchase for your visit and to use elsewhere. It folds up to pocket size, but can seat up to 4 people.
People often lose their manners during shows and parades and will sit anywhere to get a good view. Having a sheet or blanket to block off your spot might give you a bit of peace. You cannot leave it unattended, however, because cast members will remove it if you do.
One of my favorite parts of Halloween Time is the Halloween Tree in Frontierland, which was dedicated to the park by Ray Bradbury, who wrote The Halloween Tree book. Find out how to make your own tree, tips on preparing pumpkins at home and more.
FASTPASSES are typically not offered during parties and special events due to lower crowds.
What I Learned at the First Party of 2019