It seems like the marketing level on Halloween has EXPLODED in the past 5 years and the theme parks are taking full advantage. We’ve visited both Disneyland and Legoland the past few years and I often get asked a ton of questions: Is it worth the money, what is included, would you recommend it? So, I figured we could cover it all here.
So, Disney actually has two events going on to celebrate Halloween. For starters they decorate both parks (Disneyland and CA Adventure) to showcase the holiday season. Think bright orange pumpkins EVERYWHERE!! I am not a huge Halloween person and I still love the decorations. Especially, strolling down Main Street, U.S.A., which is transformed into a Pumpkin Festival with hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins. The detail is impressive!
Disneyland Parks during Halloween Time
You will pay your normal entry ticket or you can use your annual pass. There are no additional tickets needed to check out the Halloween festivities.
Character Meet and Greets
My munchkins love taking pictures and visiting with the Disney characters and they are especially thrilled to see them in their Halloween costumes. They have new costumes every year and so my kids are always excited to see what they are dressed up as.
Big Thunder Ranch
Big Thunder Ranch is decorated and the back area is opened with Halloween themed games, character meet ups, cookie decorating, live shows, coloring stations & more!! Without fail I am always surprised at how much my kids love to spend time in this area. They color, play games and watch the shows. Usually, we buy a few sugar cookies for them to decorate too because it has become tradition. Check out this cute pic of Owen from like 7 years ago– some things never change 😉
There are two rides you can’t miss during Halloween time. They are Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion. Space Mountain is transformed into Ghost Galaxy with freaky phantasms coming out of the dark sky as you race around the roller coaster track. It is actually pretty scary so I wouldn’t take your child if they are easily frightened. My favorite is The Haunted Mansion. I actually ONLY ride this ride during the holidays when it is transformed into The Haunted Mansion Holiday featuring Jack Skellington, from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the residents of Halloween Town.
And, don’t forget to check out the Dia de los Muertos display in Frontierland too!
Is it Worth It?
If you are an annual passholder or if you are going to pay to get in the park anyways than this is a great time to go. You get to visit all the attractions as normal, the park is a little less crowded than it is in the summer and you get the additional Halloween inspired attractions on top of it! So, I would say YES!! It is worth it.
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park
On select nights in September and October Disney also offers the Mickey’s Halloween Party. This is a separate ticket priced event.
Ticket prices vary from about $60-$85 depending on if you are an annual passholder, buying in advance or day of. Children under 2 are free!
With your paid admission to this special event you do also receive FREE parking for one vehicle and entry into the parks up to 3 hours in advance to the start of the party. Kids can come in costume and will be able to trick or treat in Disneyland at the select trick or treat stations. There is a special Halloween themed fireworks display, treat stations with both candy treats & healthy snacks available, Paint the Night Parade, access to all the attractions including the Halloween themed rides, photo locations with characters and villians through out the park, dance parties & more!
Is it worth it?
We used to take the kids when we only had 2 and one was under the age of two so we only paid for the three of us to go. At that time we thought it was a fun activity. But, it seems like the only real difference is in the treat stations so we prefer to visit the park during regular hours throughout this season vs. paying the additional admission for the party. Younger kids usually do better during the day (not close to bedtimes anyway).
What’s the cost?
The full day package will cost you $65 where as the night time only package is only $35. *If you are a Smart Card Member is it only $15 to get in on the evening event!!! You receive entry into both Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium for the prices above.
Trick or Treat Stations
Just like Disney- Legoland has treat stations set up in a designated area beginning at 5pm. The kids get candy and coupons to San Diego restaurants & more. This year they expanded the Trick or Treat area and included two NEW stations in Sea Life Aquarium!! The line gets long as the stations are grouped together but it moves quickly. I actually prefer this set up over the random booths that are spread out in Disneyland because this way you can line up, do the trick or treating and then move on to rides. Sometimes at Disneyland my kids are SO obsessed with candy they don’t want to do anything else and so we are dragged all over the park looking for stations.
Dress Up in Costume
My kids enjoy dressing up in their costume and I enjoy getting my monies worth having them wear it more than just on Halloween 😉 You see some pretty creative costumes too because they offer several Costume Contests with categories of LEGO, Creative, and a NEW Group category that you can enter with family or friends!!
Halloween Themed Attractions
The Coast Cruise transforms into the Ghost Cruise, Heartlake City and Fun Town also have activities. And, there are 2 dance parties- the Hubble Bubble’s Dance Party at Legoland and Wanda’s Jelly Fish Disco in Sea Life Aquarium. The regular park attractions and games are all open as well!
Is it Worth It?
I vote YES!! Especially, if you are paying the $15 price from Smart Card. The event is local (Carlsbad), the evening hours is about all you need in that park, the trick or treat area is pretty cute and my kids always have a blast!!
What are your favorite places to visit during the