Mickey’s Halloween Party

Mickey’s Halloween Party is easily our favorite time of the year to visit Disneyland. This year (2017) the party will be held on select evenings from September 20th to October 31st, with the highest ticket prices on the most popular nights, including Halloween.

Tickets go on sale July 17, 2017, for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, and Disney Visa Cardholders; and July 24, 2017, for the general public. Tickets are limited, and you should expect that every party will sell out. The more popular nights, like Halloween, will sell out first. But my favorite time to go is the first week of October.

Tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party are less expensive than a day ticket to the park, and with entry available up to three hours prior to the party, there is more than enough time to spend what amounts to an entire day in the park. So, for families on a budget, this is a fantastic time to not only save a few dollars but also to have a special and different experience at Disneyland.

Of course, the park is decorated for Halloween. As it is all day for the Halloween season. But there special soundtracks and lighting for areas like Main Street USA during the party which adds a little extra “creep” to the night. And there is Trick-or-Treating available all over the park. That’s right, FREE CANDY!

Exclusive to Mickey’s Halloween Party is the “Frightfully Fun Parade,” which kicks off with an ominous warning by The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. Then, friends and fiends from Halloween Town announce the arrival of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Soon, Dr. Facilier and his Shadow Men will captivate with their bayou music. And don’t miss the Grim Grinning Ghosts who have come out to socialize!

“Master of Scare-emonies” Jack Skellington and his ghostly dog Zero will entertain you with soaring flames, projections of rising ghosts and classic Disney villains like Maleficent and Ursula the Sea Witch—all set to a medley of Halloween-inspired songs in the “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, another Halloween Party exclusive.

Kids and adults can wear costumes, and since Disney PhotoPass is now included in the price of your Halloween Party ticket it’s a great way to have some really special pictures taken with the Villians of Disney.

Of course, with so many special activities happening in the park, very few people find the time to ride the rides. Ten-minute wait times on the popular attractions like Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Holiday Mansion are commonplace. So, if the rides are your thing, this is a fantastic time to just ride the rides all night long.

New this year, Oogie Boogie has risen from the shadows to take over Disney’s California Adventure park with his oversized silhouette beckoning guests through the main entrance as a swarm of bats encircles Carthay Circle Theatre. This is the first year that Disney’s California Adventure has participated in the party. Entry to Disney’s California Adventure is also available up to three hours before the party starts, making the Halloween Party the least expensive Park Hopper ticket you can purchase.

Lastly, this is a great time to stay at a Disneyland Hotel. I pretty much always recommend the hotels across the street, an easy 5-min walk away. But imagine instead, walking up to your hotel room to discover a spooky door banner indicating something special took place inside. As you step into the room, a host of personalized surprises, goodies, and treats make you feel like Mickey himself has visited. This little bit of extra magic is only available at the Disneyland hotels.

Disney California Adventure

It’s no secret that you can do DCA in about half a day, but what you might not know is how you can do it really, really well on a budget of about half a day.


You want to arrive early, at least 30-minutes before the park opens, and get yourself as close to the front of the line as possible. As the gates open, a new crowd will form inside the park on Beuna Vista Street where park employees will have a rope strung across the street to hold you there until the park formally opens.

People are typically going one of about three places from this crowd: Radiator Springs and/or Radiator Springs Fastpass, Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout, or Toy Story Midway Mania. So most of the people in this crowd are going to crowd to the left. If you are traveling with smaller children, this might be your plan as well. But adults and those traveling with older children should work their way to the right-hand side of the crowd. We have a different plan.

When the park opens, head straight back and to the right. Go all the way back to Goofy’s Flying School. We were the only one’s on it when we visited, and we were able to ride it three times back-to-back without even getting off the ride because no one else was in line. We could have ridden it more, but we wanted to enjoy the rest of this back corner of the park in a similar fashion.

If you want to waste 90-seconds of your life that you are never going to get back, you can go ride the Golden Zephyr. Or you could just skip it. Either way, from there go hit the Silly Symphony Swings. You’ll likely walk right on, and might even ride it by yourselves. We did.

From the swings, we walked right on to King Triton’s Carousel; and then onto California Screamin with only about a 10-minute wait.

By now, the long line for FastPasses should have diminished and you should start collecting them. Collect a FastPass for Radiator Springs on the way to ride Soarin’ around the World, and then either stand in line for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout or collect a FastPass for it as well. If you choose the Fastpass option, you’re on break to do as you please until it’s time to return to your rides that you have FastPasses for. In fact, now is a great time to relax a bit and enjoy some food down on the wharf – or wherever you like to relax.

This plan is somewhat general in nature, doesn’t allow for customization, and was created and utilized on a Value Day, meaning off-season and lower than normal crowds. Peak-season mileage may vary, and the best way to maximize your time in any Disney Park is to use RideMax. In fact, we highly recommend it.