Make the most of Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneylandby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Mickey's Halloween Party begins its 2015 season this weekend, and we have some tips and tricks to make the most of your experience at this popular annual event.
Party hours and early entry
While the actual party does not begin until 6 or 7 p.m. (depending on the night you go), your event ticket gets you into Disneyland a full three hours before that. With tickets going for as much as $84 this year, it makes sense to enjoy every minute you've paid for. Take advantage of the early admission period to enjoy some of the 60th anniversary decorations, grab a bite to eat before the main events begin, ride some attractions, or attend the Toontown Treat pre-party.
Toontown Treat pre-party
Returning this year is the Toontown Treat pre-party. Toontown closes to day guests at 4:30 p.m. (5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), and reopen at 5:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) exclusively for event guests with wristbands. This special pre-party gives event guests exclusive access to 17 trick-or-treat stations in Toontown for two hours until Mickey's Halloween Party officially begins. An exclusive photo location is also open in Toontown during the pre-party.
Because Toontown is very small, this pre-party is not listed on the official event guide, and is open only to guests with the event wristband. If you're spending the day in the park and have tickets to that night's party, be sure to collect your wristband and trick-or-treat bag as soon as the early admission period opens—4:00 p.m. for Friday night events, and 3:00 p.m. for all other events. There's no need to go all the way back to the main entrance to collect these items—a distribution center is located at the entrance to Frontierland and is open until the official start time. If available, tickets to that evening's party will also be sold at this location.
Note: Toontown closes for the evening at the end of the pre-party, so this is your only chance of the event to ride Gadget's Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin.
Because this is a frequently asked question—and often debated subject—we thought it best to quote the official Disney policy on costumes here:
"On all Mickey's Halloween Party days, Guests of all ages are permitted to wear costumes in either Disneyland Resort theme park, regardless of whether they have event tickets."
The rules are nice and simple this year, so there should be no confusion about where and when visitors of what age can wear a costume. However, if you (and/or your child) chooses to wear a costume, note the following policies:
• Costumes should be child-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, or violent.
• Guests may wear masks. However, masks must not obstruct vision, and eyes must be visible at all times.
• Guests who dress like Disney characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
• Costumes should not drag on the ground.
• Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
• Costumes should not contain any weapons which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
Trick or Treat trails
Disneyland added four new trick-or-treat trails for the 2015 event. There are now 14 trails, with 47 "treat trail troughs," spread throughout the park. Gluten-free and sugar-free candy is available at the first (door) station of each trail. Some of the trails are sponsored—look for Werther's Original products in Tomorrowland, and Peeps treats along the Rivers of America.
Passholder Treat Station
Disneyland Resort annual passholders again have exclusive access to a Treat Station Main Street Opera House during Mickey's Halloween Party nights. All you have to do is show your event wristband and annual pass.
The Passholder Treat Station is open from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. during Sunday through Thursday events, and from 6:00 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday events.
Most of the entertainment schedule is the same for all events, regardless of night. There is only one parade scheduled each night this year, as compared to two per night in previous years, so you only have one chance to see Paint the Night during the event.
- Paint the Night parade – 8:50 p.m.
- Halloween Screams – A Villainous Surprise in the Skies Fireworks – 9:30 p.m.
- Monsters U Dance Party at Tomorrowland Terrace – event hours.
- Disney Villains in Town Square – event hours.
- Cadaver Dans on the Rivers of America:
- 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights
- 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m., 10:45 p.m. on Sunday – Thursday nights
There are quite a few character locations during this event, each staffed with PhotoPass photographers to help capture (and sell you a photo of) the moment:
- Disney Villains – Town Square
- Disney Princesses – Fantasy Faire
- Monsters University – Tomorrowland Terrace
- Captain America – Tomorrowland
- Jack Skellington and Sally – Haunted Mansion
- Mickey & Minnie – Big Thunder Trail
- Toy Story Pals – Big Thunder Trail
- Disney Pirate Pals – Pirate Wharf (Frontierland Dock)
- Friends from Aladdin – Aladdin's Oasis
- Winnie the Pooh and Friends – Critter Country
Most rides are open during the event, though the following are scheduled to be closed during certain parties:
- Pirates of the Caribbean – closed for all events prior to October 2.
- "it's a small world" – closed for all events after October 19.
- Toontown – closed during all events.
Official event merchandise is available at the Main Street Emporium and The Star Trader in Tomorrowland.
Additional Halloween merchandise is available at these locations:
- 20th Century Music Company
- Candy Palace
- China Closet
- The Main Street Mad Hatter
- Pieces of Eight
- Pioneer Mercantile
- Pooh Corner
- Port Royal
There is no event-specific food for Mickey's Halloween Party this year, but all seasonal offerings will be sold during the event. Most park restaurants are open during the party, with some closing earlier than others. Our advice is not to waste precious event time with a long sit-down meal during party hours, but enjoy some of the seasonal treats from counter-service locations. Here are some of the highlights:
- Apple Pie Funnel Cake from Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country
- Pleasure Island Fiery Chicken Flatbread at the Village Haus in Fantasyland
- Pork Tamale and Cheese Enchilada at Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland
- Orange Pumpkin Flan at Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland
- Pumpkin Beignets from the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square
- Shrimp Po' Boy at the French Market in New Orleans Square
As of publication, more than half of the 2015 events are sold out, and the remaining events will likely sell out before the end of September.
Sold out: September 25; October 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 25, and 31
Available: September 28, 30; October 22, 27, and 29
Tickets are available via Disneyland.com and at Disneyland ticket booths.
Before you turn to Craigslist, StubHub or eBay (all of which bring with them the very high risk of being defrauded), here are official ways you may still be able to buy legitimate party tickets directly from Disney:
- Call Disneyland and order tickets by phone – A limited number of tickets may be available by phone for events that are sold out online. Call (714) 781-4636 to purchase by phone. Expect to wait on hold for at least 10 minutes.
- Visit Disneyland and purchase tickets in person – A limited number of tickets may be available at the Disneyland ticket booths for events that are sold out online. However, if you tried to purchase tickets by phone and the night you wanted was sold out, they will not be available at the ticket booths.
- Disneyland Resort Hotels – If you are a guest staying at one of the three Disney-owned hotels (Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel, or Grand Californian Hotel), check with your hotel desk the morning of the event to see if they have tickets available for purchase. Last year, MousePlanet Community Leader Angela told us that a small number of tickets were reserved for Disneyland Resort Hotel guests, and were released for sale at 5:30 a.m. the morning of each party. Officially these tickets are intended only for concierge-level guests, but we've heard conflicting stories about that, and it seems some guests in standard rooms have been allowed to buy the tickets as well. If you're already staying on property, it does not hurt to ask. Angela warns that these tickets sell out very quickly, so don't wait until the party starts to try to make your purchase.
- Friends or family – If friends/family already have tickets, they may be able to purchase additional tickets the day of the party. Again, a small number of tickets are reserved for same-day sales to help accommodate ticket holders who may have miscounted how many they need, or who had friends/family unexpectedly join them. As with the tickets reserved for hotel guests, these are very limited, and go on sale as soon as the ticket booths open in the morning. If at all possible, get there first thing in the morning to increase your chance of getting tickets. You must have the other event tickets with you—the cast member needs to see them, and cannot just trust your word that "so-and-so already has tickets."
One final note
As in past years, the entire Halloween Party is a no-smoking event. All smoking locations inside Disneyland park are closed during the event. Smoking—including e-cigarettes—is permitted only in the main entrance plaza.