If you’ve never been to Disneyworld or Disneyland in October, you should really consider it for your next Disney trip because it’s a fantastic time to be at the park. Not only is it less-crowded than the summer months, it’s a little cooler and there are plenty of Halloween activities to take part in. This year ‘Halloween Time’ at the park will be a little more special, and there will be a new celebration at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, with an all-new chance to “drop in” like never before. Disneyland is also debuting the “Frightfully Fun Parade” at Mickey’s Halloween Party. The Halloween Party is a separate-ticket event but you can find exact details below. The parade features some popular Disney villains and a procession of grim, grinning ghosts, while The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow appears for the first time at Mickey’s Halloween Party.
Those seasonal-events add to the already popular Halloween attractions and spooky decor that make Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort so wonderful. The season runs from Friday, Sept. 9, through Monday, Oct. 31, offering the popular Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy attractions. There are also themed foods and merchandise, plus spirited decor that features a giant Mickey Mouse jack-‘o-lantern on Main Street, U.S.A.
This year the Tower will begin its final “check-out” celebration, this will run throughout Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. This will be the final chance for guests to check in at the spooky attraction for Halloween, with the final day landing on Jan. 2, 2017, at Disney California Adventure Park. So with the Hollywood Tower Hotel approaching its final check-out date, Disney is hosting a special tribute to salute the haunted hotel’s eerie story and exciting adventure. During the celebration, guests who arrive after twilight will enjoy a “Late Check-Out,” with a chance to venture beyond the fifth dimension into complete darkness. It’s something guests have never experienced before and includes free-falling in the attraction’s haunted elevator shaft with all the lights out.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror celebration also includes special musical performances, commemorative merchandise and specialty food and beverage items. Performing at the Hollywood Tower Hotel are the Silver Lake Sisters, characters from the story of this famous hotel who once performed at its rooftop lounge. The sisters make their return to the Hollywood Hotel during Halloween season.
Throughout the Halloween season, guests will find special treats and the Haunted Mansion Holiday will return to celebrate the collision between Halloween and Christmas. All of the familiar guests will move into the Mansion, living with Jack Skellington from the Walt Disney Pictures classic “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Jack Skellington brings a unique spark to the season and, for the first time, his friend Sally joins him in the Mansion graveyard.
The annual Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house will also come back this year, with a new theme. This year’s version appears to have been stitched together from pieces of other gingerbread houses and treats. In fact, the ghoulish architect has stitched himself inside the house, and one green arm still may be spotted, sewing the walls together around him.
Another Halloween favorite is Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, a Halloween-themed reimagining of the popular thrill ride in Tomorrowland, at Disneyland. Guests on board the speeding Space Mountain vehicles are thrust into a ghostly galaxy where they are bombarded with eerie screams, sound effects and music. Spirits pop out of the darkness, appearing to reach out to menace the space travelers that dare disturb them.
The traditional Mexican celebration, “Dia de los Muertos,” is observed with a skeleton display in Frontierland, near Rancho del Zocalo restaurant. As a special, after-dark treat during the Halloween season, guests visiting Disneyland on select nights will enjoy the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks spectacular. During the day, the dynamic “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” marches down Main Street, U.S.A., throughout Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.
New this year at Mickey’s Halloween Party is the premiere of the “Frightfully Fun Parade,” seen exclusively on the 17 nights of this separately ticketed event at Disneyland. The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow (from the Disney animated classic “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad”) brings a warning to guests, riding through the park on his ghostly black steed with a flickering jack-‘o-lantern. Shortly afterward, the parade begins with greetings from Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Grim, grinning (and hitchhiking) ghosts follow along in the procession, joined by other spirits from the iconic Haunted Mansion attraction.
Inspired by Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” the creepy Dr. Facilier calls on mystical powers, summoning his Shadow Men from the bayou to loom large over his strange and twisted Voodoo parlor. Mischievous Disney villains appear out of the darkness, ready to stir up some trouble, and their wicked gathering includes the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella. Mickey’s Halloween Party guests are invited to visit in costume and trick-or-treat throughout Disneyland for candy and healthy snacks. An extra special treat is the “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, presented exclusively for guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party and hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington.
Tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party may be purchased online and on mobile devices at Disneyland.com/party, as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate
It was announced this year that the Tower of Terror would be taken down to make way for a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” attraction, you can find out what Disney is building for that event here.
If you can’t make it, November is another great month to visit the park. You get the beginnings of the holiday season (and insider tip, if you go through Thanksgiving into the following week, park attendance is almost at an all-year low). You can find information on Disney World’s “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween” event and other events at the park at disneyworld.disney.go.com.