It may still only be September, but the spooky season is at full swing at Disneyland Resort. Considering that last Halloween the park wasn’t even open, Disneyland has a lot to make up for this year. By all accounts, the special ticketed event, the Oogie Boogie Bash, is absolutely the Halloween party to be at. The problem is that all the tickets for the bash sold out almost instantly, so if you want to go now, you’re basically out of luck.
The good news is that while you may not be able to attend the Oogie Boogie Bash this year, there’s still plenty of Halloween Time fun to be had at the Disneyland Resort. Not everything cool requires that additional ticket price. Even a standard Disneyland ticket will get you access to some great Halloween experiences. Here are some you won’t want to miss.
There’s no better way to end an evening at the Disneyland Resort than with a nighttime spectacular. Such shows were off the books even after the theme parks reopened, but Disney brought some of them back this summer, and that means we all get to enjoy a spooky nighttime Halloween show.
Disneyland’s Halloween Screams isn’t a “fireworks show,” as there are no actual fireworks. Instead, the focus is on projection effects, both on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and all down Main Street U.S.A., combined with a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed story with lights and music. Since the Oogie Boogie Bash is over at DCA, and this show is at Disneyland, it’s open to anybody who has to limit themselves to the one park while the ticketed event is going on, as well as on nights when the party isn't happening.
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is a “must do” attraction any time of the year, but obviously at Halloween that would be even more the case. While the popular ride is just as silly as it is scary, it’s about as close as Disney gets to anything that’s truly frightening. Except that at Halloween, the Haunted Mansion actually gets a little less terrifying, though no less fun.
Every Halloween, and running through Christmas, the Haunted Mansion gets a Nightmare Before Christmas makeover in the form of Haunted Mansion Holiday. While not everybody loves the Jack Skellington-infused overlay, it gives the attraction a fresh look and usually each year includes something new to check out. If nothing else, there’s the gingerbread house that changes every year, and this year celebrates the 20th year of Haunted Mansion Holiday.
Halloween Themed Menu
Is there anything better than theme park food? Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or just a sweet treat, there’s always something that will tempt your taste buds. There are a number of delicious things that only come around Disneyland at Halloween, as well as a few new things to try that are entirely new this season.
Does a pepper jack cheese stick that’s been deep fried like a corn dog sound good? How about a glass of caramel apple cold brew? At just about any place where you can find food at Disneyland Resort, there is something new for Halloween. Many of the items are only available in one place, so it’s worth checking everywhere so you don't miss something delicious.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark
If you’re one of the people that dislikes the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay at Disneyland, then maybe you’ll have better luck with an attraction over at Disney California Adventure that only comes around at Halloween Time. It’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark, and it may be the scariest attraction at all of Disneyland Resort.
Monsters After Dark is an especially limited ride because it’s only available during the Halloween season, and even then, only in the evenings. During the day, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission - Breakout is its normal self, but later in the day, it transitions and becomes a sequel to itself. The Collector’s creatures have gotten loose and guests need to help rescue Baby Groot. The soundtrack absolutely blasts and the monsters are huge and loud. In every way, this ride rocks.
The Sights And Sounds Of Disneyland Resort At Night
All other things being equal, I’m not sure there’s any place I’d rather be than inside a theme park at night. The various worlds they create can be amazing during the day, but they become absolutely breathtaking when the sun goes down and the lights come on. This is only more true at Halloween, as the spooky season makes the parks feel that much more haunted.
On nights when Oogie Boogie Bash isn’t happening and Disney California Adventure stays open late, the lights and the music of the land, especially around Buena Vista Street, still look and sound the way that they do during the event, so you can get a small taste of the party that way. Over at Disneyland Resort, make sure to stop by the Frontierland Halloween Tree, an ode to the great Ray Bradbury, friend to Walt Disney himself.
The Grand Californian’s Incredible Rice Crispy Treat Sculpture
As mentioned, the Haunted Mansion Holiday has an incredible gingerbread house on display, but come Christmastime, you’ll want to swing by the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, because you’ll find a second, equally impressive gingerbread creation in the lobby there as well. But right now, Disneyland Resort’s flagship hotel has perhaps an even more impressive construction on display: a massive Oogie Boogie rice crispy treat.
On first inspection, one might think this is simply one of the many Halloween-themed decorations you’ll find all over the resort right now. But no, this is a baked good made of cereal (220 pounds worth) and marshmallow, which is just as amazing a culinary creation as it is an impressive piece of art.
If you weren’t able to score tickets to the Oogie Boogie Bash, (and I’m with you, neither did I), there’s always next year. But whether you were unable to get into the after hours event or you simply decided not to, there’s still plenty to enjoy about Disneyland Resort that will get you in the Halloween spirit.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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