A few readers have emailed and asked if Disneyland Halloween Time is too scary for little kids. I understand the concern: I've been to a lot of theme parks and they tend to get a little creepy this time of year! Some go all out with zombies and scare houses. Disneyland Halloween Time is totally different, and it's actually one of our favorite times of year to go.
8 Things you should know about Disneyland Halloween Time
Disneyland Halloween Time celebrations are fun, not frightening.
I love that they keep the Disneyland experience still very magical and Disney-esque, while infusing different parts of the park with decorations, specialty food items and tons of meet-and-greet opportunities to help you get geared up for all the Halloween make-believe.
Disney goes all out with decor.
The most-decorated areas are Radiator Springs and New Orleans Square. You definitely don't want to miss the dressed-up cars at Radiator Springs, as well as the cones and Luigi's pile of tires that look like jack-o-lanterns. It's crazy what those cars manage to do with some spare parts! New Orleans Square has more traditional decor that's elegant and feels like fall. I even got some ideas for decorating my own home. If you have a chance, hop on over to the lobby of the Grand California Hotel to check out their awesome Oogie Boogie pumpkin. The giant pumpkin on Main Street is a must-see, too! All of Main Street is absolutely magical, so definitely set some time aside to explore there as well.
Treats are Maleficently marvelous.
Sweets and treats and carbs, oh my! There is so much good ghoulish stuff to nosh on, I can't even begin to list it all here. Check out Disneyland's blog for the whole rundown. Don't miss the Candy Cone Pie at Flo's V8 Cafe, Mickey Bread with Fangs at Boudin, or the Halloween-Themed Dessert Trio at French Market. There are also a ton of themed churros with flavors like pumpkin spice, sour apple and s'mores.
You can kick back and relax – really!
The crowds at Disneyland slow down quite a bit in early October as compared to the summer, making it a great time to meander around a bit, take it all in, and enjoy those treats. It's a great idea to use a crowd tracker like Is It Packed to check on how busy the parks are on the day you play to go (obviously, it slows significantly right after the kids head back to school, and builds up again as Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party gets under way). While you're taking it easy and taking in the decorations, take advantage of the Baby Care Center. In Disneyland it's next to First Aid at the end of Main Street, and in Disney California Adventure Park it's next to Ghirardelli by the Bakery Tour. They have high chairs, nursing stations, toddler potties, extra supplies including bottles and binkies – anything you could possibly need. The weather is also perfect this time of year to have some outdoor fun at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail on the Disney California Adventure Park side or Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island on the Disneyland side.
Small rides are a great way to get little ones excited about Halloween.
A lot of people hit up the parks at Disneyland Halloween Time and go straight to the most hoppin' Halloween areas. There is still tons of make-believe and pretend play fun to be had in the less-decorated areas of the park! Don't miss out on meeting Mickey and Minnie in Mickey's Toontown, and playing around in Chip ‘ Dale's Treehouse, Goofy's Playhouse and Donald's Boat.
Over in Fantasyland, you can meet Disney Princesses and hear a Royal Theatre Storytelling at Fantasy Faire, which is a great way to get little ones stoked about their princess-y costumes. Get your Mad Hatter on at Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Tea Party, do like Dumbo on Casey Jr.'s Circus Train and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and soar with Peter Pan's Flight. Don't miss the Storybook Land Canal Boats while you're in the area, and take a whirl on King Arthur's Carousel before trying to pull his sword out of the stone. The Jungle Cruise over in Adventureland is a good way to get kids excited about their animal or explorer costumes, and everybody loves The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh over in Critter Country.
Over at Disney California Adventure Park, our little dudes always love The Little Mermaid, Toy Story Midway Mania, Pixar Pal-A-Round, Luigi’s Honkin Haul-o-ween (usually Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters) and Mater's Graveyard Jam-BOO-ree (usually Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree).
The Haunted House isn't so haunted.
I'll be totally honest here: most of the year, my kids are not about that Haunted House life. They say it's “creepy.” However, during Disneyland Halloween Time, the Haunted House gets totally taken over by Jack Skellington! If your kiddos like The Nightmare Before Christmas, they'll be stoked to see Oogie Boogie, Sally, Zero and the rest of the gang in this ride which has no height minimum so it's great for big families who have little ones or even babies in arms.
Little kids love the shows.
Fantasmic over in Disneyland and Paint the Night in Disney California Adventure Park are great fun any time of year! There are also a ton of fun activities, shows and parties throughout Hollywood Land that are perfect for little kids, including Turtle Talke with Crush, Animation Academy and the Disney Junior Dance Party!
There are limited edition toys and trinkets.
You can't go home without a souvenir, afterall! Get an Oogie Boogie popcorn bucket, a creepy candy apple cup, or some Minnie and Mickey plushes in-costume.
Have you ever been to Disneyland Halloween Time with little kids?