SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love HALLOWEEN at the Disneyland Resort

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Halloween at the Disneyland Resort! Here at the SATURDAY SIX HQ we are suckers for Mickey’s Not Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. Boo-To-You is one of our favorite parades, Happy HalloWishes is one of our all time favorite fireworks spectaculars, and – no matter how absurd it may technically be to “waste” your time doing it – picking up candy at the treat stations is a blast. This week though we are going across the country to see some of the Halloween offerings in Disneyland. With fun decorations, exclusive treats, and one of the most amazing top-to-bottom overlays of a land ever done, Disneyland truly brought it’s “A-game” this year and we’ll look at our favorite parts starting with…

# 6 – Haunted Mansion Holiday

In September, The Haunted Mansion began its annual transformation into Haunted Mansion Holiday. Inspired by Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion musical The Nightmare Before Christmas, this soup-to-nuts overlay features characters such as Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie cavorting among our favorite mansion haunts to music from Danny Elfman’s memorable score. Everything, and we mean EVERYTHING, at the Mansion has been tweaked for this special holiday version. The outside facade, the signage, the stretch room pre-show, and the entire ride is decked out with the Nightmare Before Christmas story, making it a completely different experience than the original attraction.

Jack Skellington welcomes guests to Haunted Mansion Holiday. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Haunted Mansion Holiday. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Haunted Mansion Holiday. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Haunted Mansion Holiday. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Haunted Mansion Holiday. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Haunted Mansion Holiday. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Haunted Mansion Holiday. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

# 5 – Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark

No one saw this coming. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! – a ride which made its debut in Disney California Adventure just this past summer – already has a seasonal overlay with Monsters After Dark. Each night Mission BREAKOUT! switches over to Monsters After Dark with new lighting (both outside and inside the attraction,) a new storyline, and a new song created exclusively for this experience.

Monsters After Dark. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Monsters After Dark. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Monsters After Dark. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

# 4 – The Snacks

We may have a “blessing of size” here in Florida, but in Disneyland they have a blessing of snacks. Disneyland’s every day snack game is strong, but the resort takes it up a notch with seasonal versions of popular snacks along with making a bunch of tasty options for special occasions (like the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade.) For Halloween season Disneyland put the pedal to the metal and went all out in putting out a ton of unique snack items across both parks. Our resident Disneyland Foodie Guy Selga made a list of his favorite items this year including the chicken pot pie at Flo’s V-8 Cafe, S’mores Churro in Critter Country, and the Bat Wing Sundae at Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream. Disneyland also outpaced their Disney World counter part in snack related items such as pumpkin drink toppers, skull glow cubes, and a next level bananas Headless Horsemen straw. I didn’t even know I needed a themed straw in my life until seeing it and now I can’t live without one!

Bat Wing Raspberry Sundae (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Oogie Boogie cupcake. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Dreamsicle Beignets. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Spider Silk Ice Cream Sandwich. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Slow Burnin’ Mac & Cheese Cone. (photo by Guy Selga)
Cozy Cone Motel Soft Serve Ice Cream with Orange Sprinkles. (photo by Guy Selga)
Car-achnid Pot Pie. (photo by Guy Selga)
Oogie Boogie popcorn bucket. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Straw holder~! (photo by Brian Pinsky)

# 3 – Ghoulish details abound in both parks

Both Disneyland’s Main Street USA and DCA’s Buena Vista Street are loaded up with Halloween decorations to get guests immediately in the spirit of the season when they pass through the turnstiles. From the Headless Horseman statue in DCA, to seemingly hundreds of themed pumpkins throughout Disneyland’s Main Street USA, to the Day of the Dead celebration in Zocalo park, there is a whole bunch of Halloween theming to enjoy. For those guests who like getting pics with characters, some of your favorites including Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy are dressed in cute outfits.

Entrance to Disney California Adventure. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Bats flying out of the top of the Carthay Circle restaurant.(photo by Brian Pinsky)
Headless Horseman statue on Buena Vista Street. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Mickey. (photo by Guy Selga)
Minnie Mouse. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Mickey and Minnie. (photo by Guy Selga)
Goofy. (photo by Guy Selga)
Donald Duck. (photo by Guy Selga)
Buena Vista Street. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Abraham Lincoln pumpkin in the Opera House window. (photo by Guy Selga)
Tarzan pumpkin. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Roger Rabbit pumpkin. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Main St. USA pumpkins. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
More Main St. USA pumpkins. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Pumpkins hanging in Zocalo park. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Skeletons in Zocalo park. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Sleeping Beauty Castle. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

# 2 – Mickey’s Halloween Party

Mickey’s Halloween Party is a hard ticket event held in Disneyland which – like WDW’s Not So Scary party – has trick or treating, photo ops with characters not normally in the parks,  a Halloween themed parade, and a special fireworks spectacular. Many guests get dressed up, some with extremely creative costumes. Hard ticket parties can be a hot topic in the WDW fan community, with some believing they aren’t worth the high price tag for the limited amount of hours you get in the parks. To that I say Nay Nay, as the combination of unique show elements along with the ability to have shorter waits for rides make for a fun evening in the parks. Disneyland fans get it, as every single night of Mickey’s Halloween Party sold out before the season started. Incredible.

The Cadaver Dans. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Halloween Screams Fireworks. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Frightfully Fun Parade. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Frightfully Fun Parade. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Frightfully Fun Parade. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Frightfully Fun Parade. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Ursula in the Frightfully Fun Parade. (photo by Guy Selga)

 

# 1 – Cars Land Haul-O-Ween

With Haul-O-Ween at Cars Land we now have the gold standard for seasonal overlays in a theme park land. From top to bottom the entire land – which already is one of the best in any American theme park – was re-themed to what Halloween would be like in a universe populated by cars. There are so many truly amazing details everywhere you look, including faux movie posters (which have multiple layers of references), Cars characters dressed in costumes, and even zombie cars. The new food options, including the pot pie at Flo’s V-8 Cafe and the Spoke-y Cone Macaron from the Cozy Cone Motel, are brilliantly themed AND taste great. At night, the Radiator Springs mountain rage takes on a whole new color scheme with green, purple, and orange providing the perfect atmosphere. An E-Ticket overlay.

Haul-O-Ween. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Horror movie posters in the Cars universe. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Great references to Disney’s Hocus Pocus. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Haul-O-Ween. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Haul-O-Ween. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Spider car. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Brakes Hotel. How great is that?! (photo by Guy Selga)
Lightning McQueen. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Mater. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
A Mummy tractor. (photo by Guy Selga)
Horn-O-Plenty. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Even the Cars cone cups come with stickers so that you can make them Halloween themed. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Cadillac Mountain Range with new lighting package. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Honorable Mention – Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy

While not nearly as beloved as the Star Wars themed Hyperspace Mountain overlay, Disneyland’s Space Mountain does have a “spooky” Halloween version with Ghost Galaxy. While the warnings outside make you think you are about to enter a Halloween Horror Nights maze, outside of the soundtrack, some mood lighting, and projections, there’s not much actually “scary” about this ride. However, it is another unique overlay that we in Florida do not have, so be sure to treasure it you spoiled rotten blessed Disneylanders!

Ghost Galaxy. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Ghost Galaxy. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Ghost Galaxy. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

So there you have it: Six Reasons We LOVE Halloween at the Disneyland Resort! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

Just two crazy kids taking a waterside
stroll in Disneyland. (photo by Guy Selga)

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:

Top 10 Disneyland Resort Halloween Food Items

6 Reasons This WDW Annual Passholder LOVES DisneyLAND

6 Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try (including Matterhorn Macaroon)

6 Reasons We Love Universal’s TOOTHSOME Chocolate Emporium

6 Reasons We Love Disney’s BOARDWALK 

Disneyland PREVIEW: Week of October 14, 2017

Special Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, Captain EO Superfan Guy Selga, California photo wizard Brian Pinsky, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with goofballs co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde , while fellow Potterheads may enjoy Meg’s work on the Central Florida Slug Club.

FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2017 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!

“You are all WEIRDOES!” – Sam the Eagle

One thought on “SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love HALLOWEEN at the Disneyland Resort

  • October 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Great rundown! One quick nitpick, the “More Main St. USA pumpkins” photo is actually the display along the parking tram route.

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