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October 7, 2016

Mickey's Halloween Party - 2016 Disneyland

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Mickey's Halloween Party

One of the special events during Halloween Time each year is Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland. The parties take place on select evenings in September and October. Party goers must purchase a ticket to the event, and they usually sell out, sometimes several weeks in advance. Attending a party is the only way to see the Halloween Screams fireworks show, which I think is one of the best fireworks shows at Disneyland.

This year Disney added something new: Mickey's Frightfully Fun Parade. And to make it even more intriguing, for the first time the Headless Horseman appears at Disneyland, in advance of the parade.

Lee and I had not attended one of the Halloween parties in a number of years, but with these new offerings I wanted to check it out this year.

Mickey's Halloween Party

Still, there were a couple of not-so-positive changes this year. The party ticket price went up $10-$15. And the ticket no longer includes parking as it has in the past - that's an $18 value these days. Not a factor for us since we have Annual Passes with parking, but makes it more expensive for families who come just for the party.

Second, the costume guidelines were much more restrictive this year. As I read them, my interpretation was that if you were over the age of 13 - don't wear a costume. While we did see adults in costume, it seemed as though there were fewer than in the past, and that the costumes were much less elaborate. Though part of that could have been because it was a warm afternoon and evening. I'd say I saw more "bounding" than actual costumes. Unfortunate. We chose not to wear costumes.

Mickey's Halloween Party

Ticket prices run from $72-$99, with most parties at $89. The $72 price was available to AP holders for some of the weeknight parties. The parties on October 29 and 31 are $99.

Party guests are allowed to enter Disneyland three hours before the party starts. So for guests who don't have annual passes, it's potentially 8 hours of park time for less than the price of a regular one-day passport.

At the park entrance there are separate turnstiles dedicated to party guests. Upon entry we were given our party wristbands. We had e-tickets, and after those were scanned we were given regular one day park tickets, which allowed us to use the Fastpass machines during regular park hours, and would also have allowed us to exit and re-enter Disneyland (handstamp also required).

If you're already in the park, there are some locations within the park you can visit to get your wristband. These locations will also sell same-day party tickets if any are still available.

Just inside the entrance was a location to pick up our trick-or-treat bags. We noticed lots of people had brought their own much larger bags. Later we learned why: we didn't even do that much trick-or-treating and our bags were almost full - for those who visited a lot of the Treat Stations they would've needed those larger bags!

Mickey's Halloween Party

At the entrance, and at other locations around the park, were Mickey's Halloween Party park maps. The maps had the times of the events and showed the locations of Treat Trails, character greetings, dance parties, open restaurants, etc.

Mickey's Halloween Party

We arrived a little before 5:00. The party we attended was sold out, and already there were lots of party attendees in the parks as well as lots of day guests. A lot of the party decoration pieces were up or going up.

Mickey's Halloween Party

But the preparations for the party meant that some of the restaurants were already shut down, since they were sites for party events. Rancho del Zocalo, Village Haus, and Harbour Galley all shut down early.

Mickey's Halloween Party

There was early trick-or-treating going on in Toon Town, from 6:00 to 8:00. Treat stations plus some Disney characters. We never made it back there during the party, though.

Mickey's Halloween Party

There were some more extensive decorations in Frontierland at Pirate Wharf, which was one of the character locations.

Mickey's Halloween Party

About 6:30 we started hearing park-wide announcements that the park was closing at 7:00 to regular day guests, who were to start making their way out of Disneyland. And at 7:00 the announcement that they really needed to leave. :-) We started seeing security and other cast members going around and checking wristbands, and that continued for a while.

Mickey's Halloween Party

There are a few blow-up ghost and pumpkin figures, but most of the party "decorations" are in the form of projections on buildings or walkways. So the darker it gets, the more festive it seems.

Mickey's Halloween Party

By far the most impressive projections are those on Main Street, "it's a small world" and Sleeping Beauty Castle, which make excellent use of the projectors installed in those areas for the Disneyland Forever fireworks show.

Mickey's Halloween Party

Each location has custom projections that have been choreographed to the Halloween-themed music that plays throughout the park. The music has always been one of my favorite things about the Halloween Party. It's a lot of fun to listen to "Monster Mash", "Skeleton Dance", "Bump in the Night", "Grim Grinning Ghosts", etc., and I thought the projections that went with them were clever and entertaining to watch. Really enhanced the party experience for us.

Mickey's Halloween Party

There are lots of different activities going on during the party. Of course one of the most popular is the Trick or Treating. Most areas have been arranged into trails featuring multiple treat stations rather than individual standalone locations. The lines could be long to get into the trails, but they moved fairly quickly.

Mickey's Halloween Party

There were lots of different kinds of candy, including candy bars, M&Ms, Starburst, Laffy Taffy, and SweeTarts. Many of the treat stations offered an unsweetened (though still not necessarily healthy) option such as bags of white cheddar popcorn, whole-grain Cheezit crackers, Goldfish crackers, or fruit chips. We even received small bags of carrots at one location. We had to ask for the "healthy" alternative, otherwise we got candy instead.

Mickey's Halloween Party

Mickey's Halloween Party

We visited four of the nine treat trails, yet our bags were still pretty full (admittedly the bagged treats take up a lot more room).

Mickey's Halloween Party

I think this was new this year - three sessions of Jedi Training Academy - Trials of the Temple were offered during the party. We didn't see any of them, but I'm sure they were well-attended - I saw many kids dressed in Star Wars attire. Rey and Princess Leia seemed especially popular this year. Advance signup for the Academy was available in Tomorrowland starting at 5:00.

There were character greeting spots ALL over Disneyland - ten of them. Some locations had multiple characters. We didn't visit any of them, so I can't say how long the lines were. In the final hour of the party the lines for the two villain characters in front of the train station weren't too bad, but the line for Mickey and Minnie in Town Square was still long.

Mickey's Halloween Party

And there were a couple of wisecracking scarecrows "hanging around" in Frontierland. I remembered seeing them at parties we attended in the past.

Mickey's Halloween Party

We ate before the party started. As I mentioned, several of the counter service locations shut down early, but there were still a lot of dining opportunities available. There were special Halloween offerings at most locations, though nothing that was exclusive to the party itself. This year Blue Bayou and Carnation Cafe were open for dinner during the party - or at least during the early hours of the party. Blue Bayou offered a special dining package that included access to a viewing area for the parade and fireworks.

There was some special party merchandise available at locations throughout the park.

Mickey's Halloween Party

Mickey's Halloween Party

Mickey's Halloween Party

The Cadaver Dans performed several times that evening from a raft on the Rivers of America. Unfortunately our timing was off, and we just missed both of their last two shows. The Rivers of America area had some spooky lighting and fog that looked good.

Mickey's Halloween Party

Most attractions were open, though Toon Town closed at 8:00. Lines for Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy were long all evening. We went on several other attractions after the fireworks show and had only short waits, though.

Of course the main reason that we decided to go to the Halloween Party this year was the new Frightfully Fun Parade, especially since it is preceded by the arrival of the Headless Horseman - the first time he has appeared at Disneyland.

We saw the first parade, which started at 8:30. (Second parade at 10:30.) I wanted to make sure we had a good spot, so we waited quite a long time. The parade runs from "small world" to Town Square for the first performance, and the opposite direction for the second performance.

The Horseman came out about 10 minutes before the parade. Shortly before he arrived there were some spooky sound effects and a voice telling us to: "Gather round, friends, and hear my tale. That started long ago, on the Sleepy Hollow Trail." Nice little rhyme. "With a glowing pumpkin to light the way, he's lurking to find his perfect prey. He's the bringer of Halloween fear. Beware, the Headless Horseman is here!"

Mickey's Halloween Party

Unlike his appearances at Magic Kingdom, he moved at a slow walk down the parade route. Which gave us much more time to look at him. When he reached the end of Main Street he stopped and his horse turned a full circle before going down Main Street. Very effective. It was really terrific to see him.

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I was happy to see Disneyland finally get a real Halloween parade. There's still not very much to it - only three floats - but there's more going on in between the floats now - we finally got gravediggers with shovels, too! Though I was surprised that Mickey, Minnie, and the gang are not part of the parade at all - it's much more focused on the villains and the spookier characters.

Here's the full parade, including the Headless Horseman.

The opening unit.

Mickey's Halloween Party

The Mayor.

Mickey's Halloween Party

The parade is hosted by Jack and Sally who are on the first float.

Mickey's Halloween Party

I think my favorite was the Haunted Mansion unit. Ghostly ballroom dancers preceded a float of the Haunted Mansion with the hitchhiking ghosts standing in front.

Mickey's Halloween Party

And following that the aforementioned gravediggers. Love the sparks from their shovels!

Mickey's Halloween Party

The next float included Dr. Facilier and his friends from the other side.

Mickey's Halloween Party

The final parade unit featured a veritable pantheon of Disney villains, from the Queen of Hearts, Governor Ratcliffe, and Captain Hook, to the Tremaines, Hades, Evil Queen, Jafar, Frollo, and Cruella deVil.

Mickey's Halloween Party

I enjoyed the music, as well - "It's Halloween", "This is Halloween", "Friends From the Other Side", and "Night on Bald Mountain".

The parade is still pretty short - only about 10 minutes long.

At 9:30, the Halloween Screams fireworks show starts. I really like this show, but as I mentioned earlier the only way you can see it now is to attend one of the Halloween parties. It features Jack Skellington as the "Master of Scare-emonies" - his face is projected on a big pumpkin head that appears on the left side of Sleeping Beauty Castle. One of the other really cool things about this show is that Zero flies around the castle! He makes a couple of circuits early in the show, then returns again later.

Mickey's Halloween Party

There's fireworks, music, projections, flames - everything you could want in a Halloween-themed fireworks show.


I had fun at the party this year and I enjoyed seeing the new additions. At a price of $89 I'm not sure this is something I'd want to do EVERY year...as an Annual Passholder I don't get the value out of the 8 hours of park time that non-passholders do. But there are certainly plenty of things to do at the party, there were a number of activities that we didn't get to do, since we were concentrating on the parade and fireworks.

Mickey's Halloween Party







July 15, 2016

2016 Mickey's Halloween Party Information and Updates

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Mickey's Halloween Party

Disneyland (finally) announced details for this year's Mickey's Halloween Party events...and there are a number of changes.

There will be seventeen different parties this year: September 23, 26, 28, 30 and October 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 29, 31.

The most interesting to me is the announcement that The Headless Horseman will appear on Main Street prior to the "character cavalcade." That's the first time that I know of that we've seen the Horseman on the left coast. He'll ride a black stallion and carry his jack-o-lantern head. From the parade route posted on the Halloween Party page it appears that he will enter Main Street next to the fire station, go around Town Square, up Main Street, around the hub, and then back down Main Street and exit next to the fire station. I may have to go to the party this year just to see that!

But there's a hefty price increase this year. The cheapest ticket is $72 for Annual Passholders for advance purchase of tickets to seven different week night parties. It's not clear if there is a discount for DVC members or Visa card holders. The advance purchase price for the general public for those parties is $79, and the same day price is $89. There is no discount at all for the other ten parties, and in fact the parties on October 29 and 31 are $99! Last year an AP ticket was $63, advance purchase was $69, and the same day price was $77. The October 29 and 31 parties were priced at $84 - so they received a $15 increase this year. That's almost 18% higher.

And also factor in that this year parking is NOT included with the ticket - essentially raising the price another $18 for many guests. At least they did not take away the early entry feature, and as in previous years party guests will be allowed to enter Disneyland three hours before the party starts.

Ticket sales open on July 21 for Annual Passholders, DVC members, and Disney Visa cardholders, and for July 28 to the general public.

A significant change this year: While in the past all guests have been "welcome to dress in costume" - this year there's not the same level of encouragement for adult guests. There are many more costume guidelines this time - and they will be very familiar to those of you who have participated in recent runDisney events.

From Disneyland's web site:

While we encourage creativity, we also value safety and good judgement. Please take a moment to read over our latest rules and regulations:
-- Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
-- Guests who dress like characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
-- Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
-- Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
-- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
-- Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground. (e.g. full-length Princess dresses).

For Guests Ages 13 and Under: Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.

For Guests Ages 14 and Older
-- Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.

-- Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts and hats are acceptable.

-- Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.

-- Masks of any kind may not be worn.

Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.

Takes a lot of the fun away for the adults, I think. I get it, but it's still disappointing.

But back to the positives:

New this year is Villains Square - Town Square will become the Disney villains meet and greet location. According to the web site, the villain appearance times will be available on the Disneyland app.

The Cadaver Dans will be back, and will perform their sepulchral hits and melancholy melodies in Frontierland.

As in past years, attending a Halloween Party is the only way to see the spooktacular Halloween Screams fireworks show. I still think it's one of the best firework shows ever at Disneyland.

The usual trick-or-treat stops and meet-and-greets with Disney characters in costume will return, as well as a dance party at the Tomorrowland Terrace.

The Character Cavalcade will also be back this year (last year the Paint the Night parade ran instead). I keep hoping that Disney will make this more of a real parade, but I'm not very optimistic.

I was a little surprised to read that the resort-wide Halloween Time celebration has been moved forward another week, and starts on September 9. Just barely after Labor Day! But it is very popular - in fact I have a friend who says she enjoys it more than the holiday season.

This year will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the incredibly popular Haunted Mansion Holiday. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is also returning, so I guess that means we will say goodbye to Hyperspace Mountain later this summer. No official word yet on whether that means we'll see a turning of the Season of the Force. (Just how long ARE the seasons in that galaxy far, far away?)

What do you think of the changes to Mickey's Halloween Party? Does any of it affect your decision on whether (or not) to attend this year?

Lee and I haven't been to the party since 2010, I think, but I'm interested in going back this year - I'd really like to see the Headless Horseman. And I really enjoy the Halloween Screams fireworks.

More information:

Mickey's Halloween Party

Halloween Time Returns to the Disneyland Resort







August 18, 2010

Disneyland Upcoming Events

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Just thought I'd post a list of some upcoming events at Disneyland:

September 3-5 - Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Events include the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday, the Family Fun Run 5K and Kids Races on Saturday, and then the Half Marathon on Sunday. All Ears Team members Deb Wills, Cathy Bock, and Lee and I will all be participating in the half marathon. There will be a meet and greet on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. - see http://allears.net/btp/teammeets.htm for more information - hope to see you there!

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September 17 to October 31, 2010 - Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. I have to say this is one of my favorite times of year - the parks are really festive with lots of pumpkins and decor in autumn colors. New this year, the hard-ticketed Halloween party moves from DCA to Disneyland, where it also gets a new name: Mickey's Halloween Party. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday return to Disneyland, and at DCA's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror guests might encounter some new "phantom patrons" of the hotel.

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September 24-26 - D23's Destination D Event and Scavenger Hunt - Destination D takes place Friday and Saturday at the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center. And the Scavenger Hunt on Sunday? Who knows! Sounds like it'll take us all over the resort! Deb Wills, Jeanine Yamanaka, Lee and I will comprise the All Ears Team for that event. There will be two Meet and Greets - one on Thursday afternoon and one on Saturday morning. Again, see the see All Ears Team Meets page for more information.

October 15 - Rapunzel, from the upcoming animated feature Tangled, will begin greetings guests in the Fantasyland location formerly occupied by Gepetto's Sweet Shoppe.

November 12-January 2 - Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, including all of the perennial favorites: Holiday "it's a small world", A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Santa's Reindeer Roundup, Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle, and the magical Believe...in Holiday Magic fireworks show. And it's also fun to see what special holiday food treats the Disneyland chefs will come up with!

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April 29 - June 11, 2011 - Disney's California Food and Wine Festival returns for the sixth annual festival. (Another of my favorite events!) If you're a DVC member like me and want to stay in the Villas at the Grand Californian during your visit to the Festival, starting thinking about your booking dates!

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Also coming up next year, we have the opening of Star Tours - The Adventures Continue at Disneyland, and The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure, at DCA.

This isn't specifically Disneyland, but the Disney Wonder will move to its new home at the port of Los Angeles in January, where it will be be sailing to the Mexican Riviera, and later to Alaska. A number of All Ears Team Members and readers will be on the Inaugural Alaska cruise which begins on May 3 in Vancouver. If you'd like to join us, there's more information HERE.

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About Mickey's Halloween Party

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Mickey's Halloween Party category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Christmas Holidays is the previous category.

Season of the Force is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.