Just returned from three park days at Disneyland and WOW – the Halloween stuff was incredible. This was just the “regular” stuff that everyone can experience - we went too early in the month to take in the party.
Just a few highlights -
-There are decorations all over both parks, and beautiful Day of the Dead displays, too
-Every restaurant had special food, drink or souvenirs (cups, straws, buckets). All the things we tried were awesome (get the pumpkin beignets!).
-Carsland is totally transformed, from tree lighting to ride signs to costumed cars and giant “spiders” made out of car parts. Everywhere you look there’s another detail, including on both the Luigi and Mater rides.
-Lots of treats in the candy stores and even the bread from the Boudin Bakery are ‘spooky’ - The Mickey bread is a vampire!
-Haunted Mansion Holiday is super cool - in my opinion the outside even outdoes the inside.
-Didn’t love Space Mountain - Ghost Galaxy; mostly just Halloween sound effects and ghost projections, but the ride is still great and I appreciate the effort to make it different.
-Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark was SO COOL. The cast members were super into it, including wearing safety vests over their usual costumes that had unique ‘blood smears’ on them. The effects and new storyline went from the lobby to the ride and even afterward! Not to give too much away, but when we got off the elevator, a CM jumped out of the corner with a cage to show us that he had caught the “creature.” It was like a whole new experience.
If you love Halloween (and probably even if you don’t) you will enjoy the parks for sure! Go if you can!
Right??? Last year I was blown away & we didn’t even have the cool details of the CMs that you did. Sounds like they upped their game even more for this year!
Question for you on the Monsters After Dark version: Did you do a FP or Maxpass for it? And if so, did they start distributing at about 3pm like they did last year? And if so, did you happen to see if the line was CRAZY for the physical Fastpass???
Thanks in advance for the answers! And thanks for the overall review of Halloween time. They really have made DCA a Halloween destination now that they expanded the decor over there!
We did Maxpass and just kept checking the app until a window opened for after 6 because I had read that’s when the change took effect. I don’t know if that’s even true, I just know that we went at 6:30 and it was changed by then. I didn’t notice lines at the FP kiosks, but I’m guessing FPs were probably gone by the time we rode.
Don’t know if you’re considering it, but for us the $10 for MaxPass was more than worth it. They charge $5 for a bottle of Coke, for goodness sake… for the time the MP saves plus the picture downloads? Do it even if it’s only for one day. Extra aside – the ride photo also had “Monsters After Dark” stamped on it and a monster over the top of the elevator, so that is an extra cool souvenir.
Thanks for the quick response! Last year we bought MaxPasss for the first time just to be able to get this FPs as last year lines started forming at 1pm (for a 3pm start of distribution) for the After Dark FP version & I didn’t want to mess with that line when I knew we would be wanting a midday break at around that time.
I was hoping maybe this year to avoid the expense -as great as MaxPass is, $10/person a day adds up for a family. And the more times that we talk about adding it here & there I think we should just add it to our passes, but that’s a nice chunk of change too for a family. But we may still add it on just for this as it is really, really, really super cool & so well done.
How long has Disneyland been doing this kind of thing? I’m worried it will end up coming to Magic Kingdom in the future as well. If it does, it would be unfortunate since it is during the time period we would MOST likely go. We’d have to switch our visits to another time of year, I guess.
We were there (MK) two years ago on a day they were doing MNSSHP but didn’t mind since it didn’t feel like Halloween in the park, since the decor was more autumn in nature.
But then, perhaps Disney has no intention to replicate the Disneyland Halloween experience at MK.
I’ve been told that if you add on MaxPass at the park you can just do it for one day (although it still has to be everyone in your party). That might save a little and still get you a ride on the big attractions.
Disneyland has been doing fall decorating for many years. Haunted Mansion Holiday goes all the way back to 2001, and when we visited in 2003 there were tons of decorations (mostly candy corns and harvest / fall type stuff). I think “Ghost Galaxy” is relatively new, and Guardians was new last year. For WDW it seems like the decorations are just in the main entrance area and when we were there last year we didn’t notice any overlays for rides at all.
I have a feeling Disneyland does this more because so many of the guests are locals and they need to change it up to keep people coming back.
Disneyland & Halloween have a history, so I don’t think you need to worry about it migrating too much, if it hasn’t already. In addition to the Haunted Mansion Holiday, Disneyland also has a Halloween Tree which is a neat little history tidbit. Although, I probably walked past it hundreds of times before I specifically knew anything was different about it.
They are making a big push to put a lot of new Halloween in DCA as they need to be able to spread out crowds from Disneyland with the coming of Star Wars next year. There was a rumor that last year would be the final year of Halloween Parties at Disneyland & that they would move to DCA this year (with a Halloween themed World of Color instead of fireworks). That didn’t come to fruition but they have continued to increase Halloween presence in DCA while keeping it the same in Disneyland & I wouldn’t be surprised if next year when Star Wars land is open they do move the party to DCA & make it so that to see any of the cool new Halloween stuff in DCA you have to pay for a party ticket.
But anyway, all this to say, that I think your autumn Magic Kingdom is very likely to remain as autumny as ever.
Yeah, we’ve purchased MaxPass for the day 2 different times so it can be done. But since we are fortunate to go often and for now have a 1 yr old that we need to rider switch with for a lot of the FastPass stuff anyway, it just isn’t worth it to spend the money on MaxPass. I’d rather buy the kids snacks/souvenirs, for now.
One of the days we did MaxPass just for my son & I (we were doing the Parkeology challenge to ride every ride in a day). When I went to purchase it for just us for the day, the app totally let me untick my husband & daughter (who had a day with the baby eating all the snacks & meeting characters which they all love, so it worked out). When selecting the party for FPs, if I accidentally ticked either of their names, the app would just prompt me to buy MaxPass for that party member but once I unticked them from the party getting FPs, it worked just fine for just me & my son. So it’s really neat, I do love it & one day we’ll buy into it, I’m sure. Once we have kids all tall enough to ride.