Is Disneyland crowded on halloween? This is a question we get asked often. In this guide we will look at how busy Disneyland is on Halloween and how rowed Disneyland is around Halloween to help you choose the best time to go to the park as well as give you our best tips for beating the crowds at Disneyland for Halloween.
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Is Disneyland Crowded on Halloween?
There is good and bad news about Disneyland on Halloween. The bad news is that Disneyland is VERY crowded on Halloween. However the good news is that even with the crowds Halloween is a superb time to visit Disneyland because of the amazing Halloween decorations, the special shows and character meet and greets and of course the Disneyland classic characters dressed up in their favorite Halloween costumes.
But is it just actually Halloween that is busy at Disneyland or is
Is Disneyland busy around Halloween?
Disneyland is busy around Halloween not just on the day itself. That is because the Halloween Season at Disneyland runs from September 2nd 2022 to 31st October 2022.
You can expect Halloween season to be busy throughout but you can expect even higher levels of crowds at weekends and also on the October public holidays such as Indigenous People’s Day (Columbus Day in some areas).
For information on other crowded days at Disneyland check out the below posts:
For tips on reducing your queue wait time check out our guide to Disneyland singer rider lines and for more information on the best day of the week to visit Disneyland check out this post.
What happens in Disneyland on Halloween?
During the Halloween Season at Disneyland there are many special events and things to do.
Halloween Season at Disneyland has:
- special Halloween decoration – the whole of Main Street and around the park will be decorated with Pumpkins and Jack O Lanterns to get you in the Halloween spirit.My personal favorite decorations at Disneyland at Halloween are the hand carved pumpkins that you can find on Main Street and which are lit up at evening. It adds great atmosphere and it is fun to spot all the different designs. Be sure to also check out the Dia de los Muertos day decorations around Frontierland. The best spot is around Rancho del Zocalo the Mexican restaurant and one of my favourite places to dine in Frontier land.
- Classic Disney Characters in their Halloween costumes – if you love meeting classic characters at Disney you will love going at Halloween. The characters aren’t in their usual costumes but are dressed up for Halloween which makes these meetings extras special.
- Special Halloween CAlvacade – new in 2021 but people are hopping it returns for 2022.
- Meets and Greets with different characters such as Jack Skellington and other Disney villains that aren’t usually out and about as meet and greets in the park normally. Wondering if the Descendants will be at Disney? Check out this post.
- The screams illuminations on the castle followed by fireworks (only available on some nights for fireworks usually on weekends and public holidays).
- Special overlays on certain rides in both parks including Haunted Mansion which has a nightmare before Christmas overlay and is only available during the Halloween and Christmas season and several attractions in cars land.
Does Disneyland close early on Halloween?
The answer to does Disneyland close early on Halloween in yes and no. Firstly it depends whether you are at Disneyland or California Adventure and whether you have tickets to the Oogie Boogie Bash.
Firstly only California Adventure closes early on Halloween. Disneyland does not close early on Halloween. This is because the Halloween party at Disney, otherwise known as the Oogie Boogie Bash is only held at California Adventure. Because of this the park closes early to guests who do not have tickets to the Oogie Boogie Bash.
By comparison Disneyland opening hours on Halloween are regular park hours.
California Adventure usually closes of Party days at 6pm for guests without party tickets. However the daytime guests and party guests will be in the park together from around 3pm making the park super crowded.
If you aren’t going to the Oogie Boogie Bash I would recommend not going to California Adventure on the same day as the party due to the crowds. If you are visiting California Adventure in the rain check out this guide.
Is there are difference between Disneyland and California Adventure on Halloween
Yes there is a difference between Disneyland and California Adventure on Halloween. That is because only California Adventure hosts the Oogie Boogie Bash. Therefore the parks closes at 6pm to day time guests.
At Disneyland however the park does not close early to daytime guests.
Enjoying Disneyland at Halloween Tips
Book Tickets for the Oogie Boogie Bash
If you decide you want to attend the Oogie Boogie Bash be aware the tickets run out fast. And by fast I mean EXTREMELY FAST.
In 2022, the tickets went on sale on June 30th 2022 and sold out almost instantly.
There are some added bonus to visiting Disneyland for the Oggie Boogie Bash an they are
- shorter ride times
- character meet and greets
- trick and treating
- Halloween food
to name just a few benefits. For more benefits of attending the Oogie Boogie Bash click here.
Make Dining Reservations Early
If you plan on having one of the table service meals at Disneyland during Halloween my biggest top is to book it early as you are unlikely to get any walk in availability.
Booking windows usually open around 60 days before you travel, though there is some confusion over what time exactly the reservation window opens.
Keep checking when reservations open and keep trying if you aren’t lucky in nabbing a booking straight off. Sometimes people make too many bookings or can’t attend due to ill health / change of plans so you might get lucky in snagging a reservation even after the 60 day window opens but it is far from guaranteed.
Note: it may be worth bringing your own snacks to Disneyland on Halloween to save you queues.
If you are going to the Oogie Boogie Bash this is your one chance to dress up at Disney. As normally this is against Disneyland Dress code rules and costumes are firmly on the what not to wear to Disneyland list. Just be sure to check the rules for costumes at Oogie Boogie Bash before you go.
Prioritise unusual Meet and Greets
I love meet and greets at any time of year but Halloween is one of the best times to do meet and greets. The Classic Characters – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy are usually out in the Halloween outfits which makes meeting them extra special at this time. (If you are meeting these characters be sure to check out our what to ask Disney Characters post to have the best meet and greet possible).
On top of that Jack and Sally from Nightmare before Christmas are usually out for Meet and Greets. Pre Covid there spots was in New Orleans Square but do check on arrival to make sure they are back here for their meet and greets in 2022.
On top of that many of the Disney villains are out. You know know which ones will be out but Maleficient, the Evil Queen and Cruella are all good bets to see out and about.
Ride the Disneyland rides with Halloween overlays
The Rides at Disneyland with Halloween overlays are
- Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters which becomes Luigi’s Honkin Haul-o-ween
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (one of the best California adventure rides for toddlers in our opinion) becomes Mater’s Graveyard Jamboree
Also if you are there in the evening you can go on a special Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout ride which sees Rocket save Groot on a scarier mission than the day time ride with a Heavy metal soundtrack instead of the usual disco one.
The Haunted Mansion is one of the best rides at Disneyland no matter the time of year you visit. However the best time to ride Haunted Mansion is during the Halloween and Christmas season because during this time it gets a special Nightmare before Christmas overlay.
However be warned the waiting times for this ride are much longer at this time of year than any other because of the special theming. Be sure to rope drop or plan your ride time to lessen your wait time.
Join the Disney Villain Dance Party
An all new experience held at weekends in Tomorrowland. It’s a great way to boogie down with your favourite Disney villains.
Have you been to Disneyland on Halloween? Did you find it crowded? Let us know in the comments