If you’ve never visited a Disney theme park between August and October, you may not realize that Disneyland and Walt Disney World take this spooktacular holiday as seriously as they do Christmas. Oversized pumpkins decorate Main Street, USA, and certain rides are even overhauled to better fit the season.
It’s not just the ability to wear costumes and nab quick-to-sell-out seasonal merchandise that makes Disneyland and Walt Disney World worth visiting around Halloween. Both parks have spectacularly themed parties, which bring with them eerie entertainment and more Disney villains than you’ve ever seen in one night.
Whether or not you’re planning to attend the ticketed festivities — which, in our opinion, you should — here’s what spooks are in store from now until November at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
Related: How to Go to Disney’s ‘Halloweentown’ in Real Life
Celebrations that will outshine other park visits
Disney’s Halloween parties are five-hour spectacles with themed entertainment including meet-and-greets with rare Disney characters, haunted parades and performances, fireworks, and other spooky surprises you won’t find at Disneyland Park or the Magic Kingdom at any other time. There are no gruesome sights or haunted houses (besides The Haunted Mansion) to deter young ones, either. Instead, it’s all about the theme and embracing kid-friendly fun. The parks, too, are closed to daily guests during each party, allowing for an immersive experience with the added bonus of shorter wait times for popular attractions.
Party tickets and park tickets are not the same things.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park are special ticketed events offered on select evenings through November 1st. Party admission, which starts at $74 per person in Florida and $94 in California, increases gradually in price as dates get closer to Halloween night, which costs $115 at Walt Disney World and $120 at Disneyland. The charge may seem steep, but event ticket holders can enter the park three hours before the party begins to maximize their time — and at Disneyland Resort, party attendees can visit both Disneyland as well as Disney California Adventure prior to its start.
If you are visiting Disney in late August, September, or October, keep in mind that both California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Magic Kingdom close early on park nights to daily guests — i.e. no fireworks — and party admission is an entirely separate fee from multi-day ticket admission, so plan your vacation accordingly.
Even adults can wear costumes
Disney Parks famously don’t allow guests over the age of 14 to dress in costume, but an exception is made during Halloween Party nights at both Disneyland as well as Walt Disney World. Attendees of all ages are allowed to arrive as any character or princess they prefer, and families often attend Mickey’s Halloween Parties in elaborate Disney-themed costumes.
There are very specific rules on what can and cannot be worn, however, so be sure to check Disneyland and Walt Disney World websites for restrictions prior to arriving in that Cinderella ball gown, which better not touch the ground.
Trick-or-treating for Park Guests of All Ages
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World are known for their unlimited “treat trails,” which offload more sweets and surprises than you’ve ever gotten going door-to-door back home. Regular attendees know to bring their own bag (preferably pillow case sized or larger) because adults and children alike take home piles of chocolate, candy, and allergy-friendly snacks with the only limit to one’s haul being how much you can carry.