Attraction Reviews

Disneyland Resort Halloween Guide

Halloween at Disney Parks gets longer every year and Disneyland is no exception. This year, Halloween season officially started on September 3rd and will last through October. There are a number of differences in the parks during these autumn months including decorations, ride overlays, entertainment and specialty food items. In this post, we’ll cover Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort.

Pumpkin Mickey orange flowers DL

Before getting into the specific offerings, I’ll start with a few broader thoughts on visiting Disneyland during this season. While there’s no beating Christmas season at the Disney Parks, Halloween Time has grown in popularity on both coasts. That makes sense, especially at Disneyland Resort. With a broad local base, guests are always looking for things out of the norm and Halloween Time offers plenty of that.

For the last decade, Disney Parks have offered more and more add-on events that people have to pay extra for. Credit to Disneyland Resort for offering nearly everything on this guide during normal park hours. There is the Oogie Boogie Bash at California Adventure, which is a hard ticket event, on select nights throughout September and October. We won’t cover that in this post, but the event does offer a parade, treat trails and special character meet & greets. On nights with the party, California Adventure closes at 6 PM to day guests and Disneyland is typically more crowded. With that in mind, we recommend Park Hopper tickets during this season!

DCA Carthay Circle Halloween

Overall, Disneyland during September and October is an excellent time to visit. There are extra things to see and do in both parks along with all of the classics. I’d put the changes made at this resort higher than any done at the Walt Disney World Parks. Let’s get to the specifics!

Decorations

The biggest difference in the resort that is impossible not to notice is all of the decorations throughout the parks. Starting in Disneyland, you’ll walk into the crown jewel of Halloween decorations – Pumpkin Mickey! He sits in the middle of Town Square on Main Street and is surprisingly large. There are orange flowers around the area to make him fit in even more! Don’t miss out on seeing Pumpkin Mickey at night when he’s lit up in all of his glory.

Pumpkin Mickey ground DL

There are pumpkins all down Main Street and more character pumpkins on Disneyland’s gate. This is the most decorated area in Disneyland with orange bunting and a number of jack-o-lanterns carved with different faces to make them fit into their respective storefronts. Spending some time in the area and enjoying the decorations is a lovely way to spend half an hour or so. There’s plenty of special Halloween merchandise available in those shops!

Elsewhere in Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion is decorated for its overlay which we will get to later in this post. Near Rancho del Zocalo, there’s a celebration of Dia de los Muertos with skeletons dressed up as a mariachi trio to go along with colorful flowers. It’s a nice area to explore and the colors are especially vibrant at night.

Mickey skeleton window DCA

In California Adventure, Buena Vista Street is decked out with purple lit trees, Oogie Boogie projections on Carthay Circle and Halloween inspired décor down the street. All of it is spookily beautiful, especially the trees. Don’t miss the windows going down the street depicting Mickey Mouse in some eerie situations.

Cars Land also gets into the fun with its Haul-O-Ween celebration. While the decorations are up during the day, they’re augmented by the usual nighttime neon. The cones have faces, there are car spiders and other visual treats throughout the land. All of those special decorations completely fit in with the goofy yet enveloping atmosphere that Cars Land already emits.

Flo's halloween decor night DCA

Finally, in Paradise Gardens Park there is the Plaza de la Familia. This area celebrates the Pixar film, Coco. This area has a number of decorations including the Tree of Life where guests can design their own paper alebrije masks of Dante and Pepita, spirit guides from Coco.

The giant bear at Grizzly River Run has a trick-or-treat bucket and that’s worthy of having its own paragraph.

Halloween Rafting Bear DCA Grizzly Peak

Downtown Disney also has a few decorations, including some trees with pumpkins in them. Compared to the parks, there isn’t a lot going on here but it’s nice for the festivities to continue even while outside the gates.

Ride Overlays

Jack Skellington Haunted Mansion Holiday DL

One of the most exciting aspects of Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort are the ride overlays! There are four in total, with one at Disneyland and three in Disney California Adventure. The best of these, in my humble opinion, is Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Holiday. While we adore the classic Haunted Mansion, this overlay puts the characters from Nightmare Before Christmas inside of the hallowed walls. The entire ride is a romp and an absolute blast to go on. The colors are more vibrant than the usual attraction and who doesn’t want to see Jack Skellington, Oogie Boogie and the rest of the gang hanging out with some pumpkin ghosts. I don’t want to give too much away but this is the best ride overlay Disney has ever done, making it a favorite among locals.

Moving over to DCA, Cars Land sees two attractions transformed for Halloween. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is transformed to Mater’s Graveyard Jamboree. The décor is the main thing to change around the ride but there’s also a Halloween song sung by the lovable character himself! Similarly, Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween changes out its song and adds some special décor. No, these aren’t big changes but a nice change of pace. Also, if you were expecting something crazy from Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters then you need to get your priorities checked.

Honkin Hauloween Luigi's Rollickin Roadster DCA

Lastly, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is transformed every night into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. This overlay has guests helping the Guardians rescuing Groot from crazed creatures. Unlike the other overlays, this one is only available in the evening. It appears to start at 3 PM every day in California Adventure with the regular attraction going before that.

Character Meets & Entertainment

As 2021 has always been a little bit strange, the character meet & greets as well as the entertainment is a little bit limited. Special characters will be out but guests will be meeting them at a distance. Personally, I prefer this as it allows for more interesting interactions but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The real downside is that the only special characters out and about are Jack Skellington and Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas), meeting guests from the second level of the Haunted Mansion. They do look great up there! Over in DCA, Miguel (Coco) is meeting guests in the Plaza de la Familia.

Other typical characters are out and about but wearing their own Halloween costumes! So far, we’ve noticed all of the Fab Five in Disneyland wearing costumes on Main Street. Donald is especially looking good! In California Adventure, Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater are in their own Halloween gear. All in all, these make for some fun character greetings!

Green fireworks Halloween Screams DL

While we don’t have as much entertainment as usual, both parks are offering a special show. In Disneyland, that’s Halloween Screams, a nighttime spectacular that’s played on and above the castle at night. The pyro only happens on the weekends but the projections alone are worth seeing if you don’t end up there on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Back in DCA’s Plaza de la Familia, A Musical Celebration of Coco is performed multiple times a day and is exactly what the name says it is! Both entertainment options are well worth checking out!

Food

There’s a number of specialty food items offered throughout Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. In fact, there’s so much that we can’t even make a dent in all that’s offered. We’ll try to update the post as we try some items but, for now, have a look at everything offered and make the choice for yourself! We’ll start with Disneyland before moving to DCA and then Downtown Disney. Warning: This is a lengthy list!

Scary Cozy Cones Halloween DCA

Alien Pizza Planet (mobile order available)

  • Deconstructed Lasagna – Campanelle pasta tossed in ricotta cream sauce topped with Bolognese sauce and bread crumbs
  • Supernova Special – Spiced marinara sauce topped with sausage, salami, assorted cheeses, onions, olives, and tomatoes drizzled with pesto
  • Halloween Alien Macaron filled with blackberry buttercream and lemon curd

Café Orleans

  • Chocolate-Praline Mousse Cake – Decadent praline mousse, dark chocolate brownie, vanilla creme anglaise, and ganache

Candy Palace (mobile order available)

  • Jack Skellington Apple
  • Poison Skull Apple
  • Mummy Marshmallow Wand
  • Jack Skellington Cake Pop
  • Minnie Witch Crispy
  • Spider Web Crispy
  • Pumpkin Brittle (available Oct. 1-31)
  • Pumpkin Fudge

Carnation Café (opening Sept. 16)

  • Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich – Sriracha-glazed fried chicken breast on a brioche bun with spicy sandwich spread, pepper jack cheese, creamy mustard slaw, and cilantro served with fries

French Market (mobile order available)

  • Haunted Mansion Holiday Wreath Cookie (limited offering available while supplies last)
  • Chocolate Cherry Cake – Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, sour cherries, and cream cheese filling finished with a splatter of cherry sauce

Galactic Grill (mobile order available)

  • Blood Orange Slush – Blood orange slush with a swirl of raspberry sauce and a glow cube
  • Loaded BBQ Pork Fries – Crisscut fries topped with slow-cooked BBQ pork, cheddar, chipotle ranch, and spicy slaw
  • Chocolate & Red Velvet Parfait – Layers of red velvet cake, ganache, cookies, dark chocolate ​mousse, and chocolate cake topped with chocolate flakes, a chocolate Darth Vader helmet, and a mini chocolate lightsaber​

Gibson Girl (mobile order available)

  • Halloween Candy Sundae – Two sundaes in one: sour gummy ice cream with raspberry sauce, gummy treats, and fruit candies; and chocolate ice cream with hot fudge and pieces of chocolate candy bars

Hungry Bear (mobile order available)

  • Honey Cream Cold Brew – cold brew coffee and honey-flavored cream poured over ice
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Funnel Cake – Pumpkin cheesecake filling and vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream
  • Loaded French Fries – French fries topped with a creamy cheese sauce, crispy bacon, and green onions
  • Loaded Onion Rings – Onion rings topped with a creamy cheese sauce, crispy bacon, and green onions
  • Loaded Bowl – Choice of french fries or crispy onion rings topped with a creamy cheesy sauce, crispy bacon, and green onions in a Zero Dog Bowl

Hunny Spot at Pooh’s Corner (mobile order available starting Sept. 2)

  • Jack Skellington Apple
  • Poison Skull Apple
  • Mummy Marshmallow Wand
  • Jack Skellington Cake Pop
  • Minnie Witch Crispy
  • Spider Web Crispy
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday Wreath Crispy (available Oct. 1)
  • Pumpkin Brittle (available Oct. 1-31)
  • Pumpkin Fudge

Jolly Holiday Bakery Café (mobile order available)

  • Toasted Salsa Roja Chicken Sandwich – Salsa roja shredded chicken on rustic bread with jack and cotija cheeses served with tortilla soup
  • Pumpkin Muffin
  • Dark & White Chocolate Mousse Brownie – Chocolate brownie with black and white chocolate mousse
  • Cookie & Cream Macaron – Mummy mickey macaron shell with a cookies and cream filling
  • Bat Cookie – Shortbread bat cookie dipped in dark chocolate with a Vampire Mickey face
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake – Classic pumpkin cheesecake decorated with a chocolate spider web and a Halloween decoration

Market House

  • Bat Cookie – Shortbread bat cookie dipped in dark chocolate with a Vampire Mickey face

Mint Julep Bar (mobile order available)

  • Mickey-shaped Strawberry Chocolate Beignets topped with strawberry-chocolate powdered sugar (3 and 6 Packs)

Plaza Inn

  • Halloween Cake – Chocolate cake with multi-colored mousse, green buttercream, royal icing, and Halloween sprinkles

Rancho del Zocalo

  • Milk Mamey – Vibrant tropical mamey fruit with flavors of persimmon, sweet potato, stone fruit, and vanilla served over ice
  • Creamy Horchata – Sweet creamy cinnamon rice and milk beverage served over ice

Red Rose Taverne (mobile order available)

  • Halloween Grey Stuff – Traditional Grey Stuff with tombstone cookie and holiday sprinkles
  • Candy Apple Cold Brew – Cold brew coffee, apple syrup, whipped cream, and caramel sauce

Refreshment Corner (mobile order available)

  • BBQ Bacon Dog – All-beef, foot-long hot dog with bacon slices, BBQ sauce, fried onions, jack and cheddar cheese, and chives served with choice of sliced apples or small bag of chips

River Belle Terrace

  • Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread
  • Chicken & Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Brisket grilled cheese, hot chicken, and pickled pepper relish

Stage Door Café (mobile order available)

  • Spicy Corn Dog – Spicy beef frank hand-dipped and fried, drizzled with cheese sauce and crushed spicy chips served with fries
  • Chocolate-Hazelnut Funnel Cake with Halloween Sprinkles – House-made funnel cake  topped with chocolate-hazelnut spread and whipped cream dusted with chocolate- espresso powder

Churros

  • Churro Cart near Casey Jr. Circus Train
    • Churros with Pumpkin Dipping Sauce
  • Critter Country Fruit Cart
    • Chocolate Dusted Churro – Classic churro dressed in a duo of dark and milk chocolate
  • New Orleans Churro Cart
    • White Chocolate Churro – Elegantly dressed churro in a bouquet of vanilla and sugar
  • Tomorrowland Churro Cart
    • Pumpkin Spice Churro – Chocolate churro rolled in pumpkin spice sugar with brown butter cream cheese dipping sauce
  • Town Square Churro and Churro Cart near Sleeping Beauty Castle
    • Chocolate Cookie Churro – Churro covered with chocolate cookie crumbles blended with colored sugar

Disney California Adventure Park 

Award Weiners (mobile order available)

  • Halloween Candy Funnel Cake Fries – Dusted in crushed chocolate cream-filled cookies with cream cheese sauce, cookie pieces, gummy candies, chocolate-coated candies, and whipped cream
  • Halloween Candy Funnel Cake Fries in Mickey Ear Hat Bowl

Bing Bongs

  • Jack Skellington Apple
  • Poison Skull Apple
  • Mummy Marshmallow Wand
  • Minnie Witch Crispy
  • Oogie Boogie Crispy
  • Pumpkin Fudge

Boudin Bakery/Boudin Bread Cart

  • Vampire Mickey-shaped Sourdough

Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (mobile order available)

  • Cookies & Candy Sundae – Scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, chocolate cookie crumbles, and gummy candies in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone
  • Halloween Ice Cream Bar – Ice cream bar dipped in chocolate with chocolate accents and sprinkles
  • Spiked Hard Apple Float – Hard apple cider and apple sorbet drizzled with caramel sauce

Corn Dog Castle (mobile order available)

  • Pepper-Jack Cheese Stick – Pepper jack cheese stick dipped in corn dog batter and topped with raspberry sauce

Cozy Cone Motel (mobile order available)

  • Fruity Sugar Churro – Churro tossed in fruity cereal sugar topped with a purple and green glaze
  • Spicy Mac & Cheese Cone – Pasta with spicy red pepper-cheese sauce topped with crushed chile-cheese puffs served in a bread cone
  • Cozy Cone Macaron filled with peanut butter cream and pretzels

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café

  • Oogie Boogie Macaron – Black macaron filled with green apple buttercream, caramel, brownies, cookie crumb dust, and gummy candy

Flo’s V-8 Café (mobile order available)

  • Spicy Chicken & Fries – Steak fries drizzled with ranch dressing topped with chicken tenders tossed in mango-habanero sauce and finished with green onions
  • Loaded Buffalo Chicken Fries – Steak fries topped with cheddar cheese, chicken tenders tossed in buffalo sauce, and celery bits drizzled with ranch (available at Oogie Boogie Bash)
  • Loaded Gravy Fries – Steak fries topped with chicken tenders, jack cheese, and smothered in gravy (available at Oogie Boogie Bash)
  • Loaded Chili Fries – Steak fries topped with cheddar cheese, Walt’s Chili, diced onions, and sour cream (available at Oogie Boogie Bash)

Hollywood Lounge (mobile order available)

  • Fanta Spooky Spirit – Fanta Piña Colada with white rum and melon liqueur
  • Worms, Dice & Everything Nice – Midori, peach schnapps, crème de menthe, orange juice, and pineapple juice topped with gummy worms and Oogie Boogie dice glow cubes
  • PBJ & W – PB & raspberry jam hard cider with peanut butter whiskey
  • Howl-o-Ween Concoction – Pineapple michelada with white tequila and pineapple chamoy topped with spicy candy
  • My Bugs! My Bugs! – Limeade with grenadine float and gummy worms
  • Orange Cream Fanta-sy – Fanta Orange infused with vanilla topped with whipped cream and black sprinkles
  • Various refreshing bottled Micheladas

Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums

  • Shortbread Halloween Cookie

Lamplight Lounge – Boardwalk Dining

  • Ghost Pepper Nachos – House-made green tortilla chips, ghost pepper cheese sauce, ghost pepper-marinated steak, refried black beans, tomatillo avocado salsa, tomato, and cilantro
  • Specialty Cocktail – Añejo tequila, mezcal, agave, hibiscus, and lemon juice

Mortimer’s Market

  • Mickey Bat Sourdough Bread

Pacific Wharf Café (mobile order available)

  • Vampire Mickey-shaped Sourdough

Paradise Garden Grill (mobile order available)

Plaza de la Familia – Celebrate the everlasting bonds of family and the spirit of Día de los Muertos from September 3 to November 2, 2021

  • Pollo Verde Wet Burrito – Chicken cooked in grilled salsa verde, golden rice, black beans, and crema
  • Traditional Tamale Plate – Red chile pork tamales with golden rice and black beans
  • Tacos with Estilo Callejero – Trio of sirloin beef tacos with pickled vegetables, golden rice, and black beans
  • Tortitas de Papa – Plant-based crispy potato cakes with sautéed spinach, ranchero salsa, golden rice, and pickled onion salsa
  • Ensalada de Frutas – Jicama, watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, and mango with chili-lime salt and chamoy
  • Kid’s Offerings –  Cheese Quesadilla or Street-style Taco
  • Coco Cake – Layers of vanilla cake filled with a cinnamon “churro” flavored mousse and covered in sweet cream cheese frosting
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate – Cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate topped with whipped cream
  • Aqua de Jamaica Slush – Sweet hibiscus tea slush

Schmoozie’s Smoothies (mobile order available)

  • Mint-Chocolate Cookie Shake with whipped cream and chocolate cream-filled cookie ears
  • Chocolate Chip Shake topped with whipped cream and a chocolate cookie stick

Smokejumpers Grill (mobile order available)

  • Green Apple Lemonade with sour green apple syrup, cherry pearls, and raspberry sauce
  • Jalapeño Bacon Cheeseburger – Angus beef patty, pickled jalapeños, bacon, pepper jack, beer-battered onion rings, jalapeño popper, jalapeño chips, and chipotle mayo

Studio Catering Truck (mobile order available)

  • Hawaiian BBQ Chicken with Fanta pineapple-infused fried rice and soy-ginger glaze
  • Ghost Pepper Potato Bites – Potato bites, ghost pepper cheese sauce, smoky bacon, and pickled jalapeños
  • The Backlot Carnitas Nachos with house-made tortilla chips, red pepper cheese sauce, chipotle crema, and green onions
  • Plant-based Backlot Nachos – Soy chorizo with house-made tortilla chips, dairy-free cheese, and crema topped with green onions

Trolley Treats (mobile order available)

  • Jack Skellington Apple
  • Poison Skull Apple
  • Mummy Marshmallow Wand
  • Jack Skellington Cake Pop
  • Minnie Witch Crispy
  • Oogie Boogie Crispy
  • Pumpkin Brittle (available Oct. 1-31)
  • Pumpkin Fudge

Churros

  • Cozy Cones
    • Fruity Sugar Churro – Churro tossed in fruity cereal sugar topped with a purple and green glaze
  • Grizzly Peak Churro Cart
    • Caramel Apple Churro – Churro rolled in green apple flavored sugar topped with a caramel drizzle
  • Hollywood Churro
    • Chocolate-Marshmallow Churro – Classic churro rolled in crushed chocolate cookies and “mummified” in marshmallow icing “bandages”
  • Willie’s Churros (Buena Vista)
    • Chocolate & Matcha Churro – Churro rolled in chocolate cookie crumbs and drizzled with a matcha cream cheese buttercream and strawberry sauce

Downtown Disney District

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes

  • Halloween CrazyShake – Chocolate shake with a vanilla frosted rim with candy corn topped with a “spider-web” chocolate cupcake, orange and white twisty pop, orange rock candy, whipped cream, orange sprinkles, and a chocolate drizzle (available Oct. 28-31)

Ballast Point Brewing Co.

  • Victory at Sea Braised Short Rib – Slow braised short rib in Victory at Sea, cheddar grits, and bacon greens

Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs

  • Cheddar Pickle Dog – Kosher pickled corn dog rolled in a cheddar cheese blend

Jamba

  • Pumpkin Smash – Made with our original pumpkin spice blend with your choice of either classic or plant-based

Kayla’s Cake

  • Mummy Macarons with cookies and cream buttercream (available Sept. 9-Oct. 31)
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Macarons with white chocolate pumpkin ganache (available Sept. 9-Oct. 31)

Marceline’s Confectionery (mobile order available starting Sept. 9

  • Minnie Witch Apple
  • Jack Skellington Apple
  • Poison Skull Apple
  • Mummy Marshmallow Wand
  • Jack Skellington Cake Pop
  • Minnie Witch Crispy
  • Oogie Boogie Crispy
  • Pumpkin Brittle (available Oct. 1-31)
  • Pumpkin Fudge

Naples Ristorante e Bar

  • Spookaccino – Cappuccino with edible scary paper spiders and insects

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

  • Crouching Dragon Sushi Roll – fresh tempura shrimp, asparagus and creamy avocado. Before serving, the roll is topped with a spicy krab mix and drizzled with eel sauce, spicy mayo, and sriracha

Sprinkles Cupcakes

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – Chocolate cake filled (and topped) with peanut butter frosting dipped in chocolate ganache and finished off with mounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (available Oct. 4-10)
  • Double Stuffed OREO – Orange vanilla buttercream filled chocolate cake lined with Halloween orange OREO cookie crust topped with orange vanilla buttercream frosting, OREO crumble rim, and black bat (available Oct. 18-31)
  • Bewitched – Signature Red Velvet is rolled in our exclusive Halloween inspired decorations by fancy sprinkles (available Oct. 26-31)

Uva Bar & Cafe

  • Trick or Treat – A spooky cocktail with bourbon, pumpkin spice syrup, lemon juice, and soda water

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

GCH Craftsman Grill (mobile order available)

  • Mickey-shaped Pumpkin Cupcake
  • Mickey-shaped Pumpkin Donut
  • Mickey-shaped Mummy Donut

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Holiday Cart

  • Jack Skellington Cookie
  • Mickey-shaped Monster Cookie
  • Minnie-shaped Halloween Cookie
  • Oogie Boogie Cupcake Treat
  • Oogie Boogie Cupcake Trick
  • Mickey-shaped Whoopie Pie
  • Skull-faced Cookie
  • Oogie Boogie Crispy Treat
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot Glass with Milk
Pumpkin side Haunted Mansion Holiday DL

We highly recommend Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort, it’s an excellent time to visit with some very exciting and fun additions to the park!

Have you been to Disneyland Resort during Halloween season? Let us know your thoughts, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! If you are planning a trip to Disneyland, then check out our planning guide. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages.  You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email.  You can do all of that on the right side of this page.  Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!

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