Get Park Wise – Celebrating Halloween at the Disney Parks

Written by Jessica Ma'ilo. Posted in Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features, Park Wise, Walt Disney World

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on October 31, 2013 at 3:00 am with 6 Comments

While Disney fairytales might evoke images of flying elephants and sparkle-clad princesses, there’s no shortage of creepy fun to be had when visiting the parks. Here are a few fun ways to celebrate one of my favorite holidays, Disney-style!


Haunted Mansion

A Disney classic so popular it’s a hit on both coasts, the Haunted Mansion is a must-do if you’re touring the parks in October.  While the happy haunts are always fun to visit, Halloween scares up even more ghoulish grins.  Jack Skellington and his crew bring their Nightmare Before Christmas flair to Disneyland during Haunted Mansion Holiday, which lasts through the Christmas season, too.  If you’re visiting the East coast ghosts, keep an eye out for the chance to have your picture taken with those famous hitchhikers or a phantom carriage driver and his “horse.”


Get Park Wise: Take a few extra minutes to go through the interactive queue at Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion.  The refurbishment has proved to be a fun one full of games and great photo ops.

Tower of Terror

No trip to either West or East coast Disney would be complete without checking into the Hollywood Tower Hotel.  Another offering seen on both sides of the country, the Tower of Terror is a great way to scream in the season.  Even if you’re not too keen on the thirteen story plummet, take a walk through the queue and opt to take the chicken elevator back down to the safety of ground level.  Disney’s version of Rod Serling’s iconic intro to the Twilight Zone episodes is worth it on its own, but the queues are fantastic and really show off Disney’s attention to detail.


Halloween Parties

Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World offer special hard ticket parties during the Halloween season.  With the purchase of a separate ticket, you can join in on the evening events featuring special parades, fireworks, shows and more!  This is also one of the rare opportunities where adults can don their favorite costume to a Disney park, so go all out and trick-or-treat!


Tickets to these events are limited and do sell out, so if you have a particular evening in mind, it’s a good idea to pre-purchase your tickets.  As a bonus, there’s often a pre-purchase discount.  Check out possible advanced purchase discounts for annual passholders, military and Disney Vacation Club members, too.

ŸGet Park Wise: Unofficially, party ticket holders can get in to the park about three hour prior to the official start of the party, so use that time to grab dinner and a few rides so you can spend your party time on special events.

Fun at the Resorts

Halloween party sold out on Halloween night?  This happens often, but you’re not out of luck!  Some Disney resort hotels offer All Hallow’s Eve fun, too!  Check out your resort recreation guide or with the hotel concierge for more information.


Not Going to the Parks?

Bring a little Disney magic to your home!  Both Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror have campy, slightly terrible movies to get you in the spirit.  Our family blasts Boo to You and Hallowishes tunes as we pass out candy to trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood.  One of my favorite ways to get into the spooky state of mind?  Google “Disney ghost stories” and see if some of your favorite Disney locales have seen any visitors from beyond.


How do you do Halloween at the Disney Parks? Have any great Disney Parks ghost stories or favorite urban legends?  Share with us, and have a Happy Halloween!

About Jessica Ma'ilo

Jessica is a special education teacher by day and blogger and Fairy Godmother Travel agent by evening. When not supervising play dates or sleepovers, she can be found creating, sewing or singing. She loves hitting the Disney Parks, and she and her family escape to the World and Land as often as they can. She can be contacted at [email protected], and you can also check out her family blog, Magic, Memories, Mayhem.

Browse Archived Articles by

  • Thank you Jessica!

    Certainly, the Halloween Parties have taken on a life of their own. And I can see how families would want a safe spot for their kids to celebrate the holidays.

    I’m a huge Haunted Mansion fan and always find it strange to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday on Halloween (too Christmas). But Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion is just perfect for Halloween!

    • BradyNBradleysMom

      I don’t like the Nightmare overlay at Disneyland. I keep hoping they build a Halloweentown in DCA and have a permanent Nightmare area. It could be really cute. Like Hogsmeade…a little Halloween village over at DCA.

      • DobbysCloset

        I’m neutral regarding Nightmare, but I like the idea of a Halloween village, especially from the $$$ perspective being that I am a souvenir connoisseur.

  • Skimbob

    I would love to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday on Halloween. It combines my two favorite holidays of the year. Thanks for the pictures since I won’t get to see it this year.

    The party was a lot more mellow this year at WDW than it was at DL last year.

  • amyuilani

    I think it’s fun to interact with the Cast Members who love to get ino the spirit of Halloween. Sometimes that little spark of spirit makes you feel like a kid again.

  • DobbysCloset

    Every day at Disney is a holiday, but as Halloween has shifted from being a neighborhood event to being a party event, even for grownups, it makes sense to celebrate at the Parks.