Disneyland’s consistent commitment to storytelling is part of what makes a visit to the resort so magical. If you have ever visited the Disneyland Resort during Halloween Time, you might remember Haunted Mansion’s holiday transformation, which celebrates the collision between Halloween and Christmas. Inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” the attraction showcases Jack Skellington’s take on the holidays, including the annual Haunted Mansion Holiday Gingerbread House. A visit to the Haunted Mansion has become a tradition in our family, and this year, Oogie Boogie (the Bogeyman from the film) takes the form of a 7-foot-tall cookie as he peels back the roof of the gingerbread Haunted Mansion, uncovering gummy bugs and worms. In an exciting new twist, Oogie Boogie’s ghostly presence also extends beyond the Haunted Mansion into Disney California Adventure Park this year. Here is our Guide to Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure Park.
Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure Park
As guests enter Disney California Adventure Park, Oogie Boogie’s silhouette draws guests in through the main entrance. Each night, he will also cast a spell over Buena Vista Street as a swarm of bats is unleashed, flying down towards Hollywood Land, Cars Land and the entirety of the park.
Continue down Buena Vista Street to Carthay Circle and you will encounter a 10-foot-tall statue of the Headless Horseman as he holds his jack-o-lantern head to the sky. You might recall that the Headless Horseman is the main villain in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and one of the few Disney Villains to triumph.
Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure Park is the perfect fusion of classic Disney stories, Halloween, and your favorite Disney characters. It is spooky enough to be thrilling while still appealing to families with children of all ages. While on Buena Vista Street, be sure to catch Mickey Mouse in his bat costume, Goofy in his ghost costume, and Daisy Duck in her witch costume.
Haul-O-Ween at Cars Land
When we first walked into Cars Land 5 years ago, I immediately felt like I stepped into the film. The rides, shops, and restaurants are all situated in the fictional town of Radiator Springs, which has been transformed into Radiator Screams for the holiday.
As you walk into Radiator Screams, be sure to snap a photo with Scary the “Scare-car” at the entrance of Route 66. As you continue to walk down Route 66, be sure to take note of Fillmore’s Jack-Oil-Lanterns and ghostly folk art, Sarge’s “pump-kins,” and a Spider-Car spinning webs over the outside of Flo’s V8 Café.
Listen to creepy new songs and haunted twists to classics during Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree including Monster Truck Smash and Welcome to Radiator Screams. At Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween, Luige and Guido entertain the cousins to Terror-antella and The Chop Top of Carsoli, haunted twists to traditional Italian festival songs.
Your favorite Cars characters will also be donning their Halloween “car-stumes” as they great guests preparing to go “trunk-or-treating.” Mater dons his “van-pire” outfit, Lightning McQueen is dressed as a super hero, Cruz Ramirez dresses up as a pirate, Red the Fire Truck dresses up as a clown and DJ dresses up as a punk rocker.
Everything Disney does is purposeful, designed to immerse families in a unique experience that feels new and familiar all at the same time. From Fillmore’s “jack-oil-lanterns” to Sarge’s “pump-kin” patch, here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Haul-O-Ween at Cars Land.
- During Haul-O-Ween, Cars Land is overtaken by supernatural spirits each night for a haunting Sha-BOO. Sherrif’s voice arrives on the scene to return the town to order, welcoming guests to Radiator Screams
- Over at the old courthouse, a mad scientist has hooked up jumper cables, giving the building new life, complete with moving eyes in the window).
- As you walk through Cars Land, take note of the 30 car-achnids (spiders) lurking around Radiator Screams
- As you trunk-or-treat around Cars Land, take note of the new lineup of Halloween-inspired songs
- Stop by the Brake’s Motel, where Sally has created a themed miniature model of the Cozy Cone Motel out of seasonal candy. (located in the lobby of the Cozy Cone Motel).
- In front of Lizzie’s Radiator Springs Curios is a “zombie car” with an undead battery that refuses to “rust in peace.”
- One Haul-O-Ween Night in 1936, a mysterious artifact was unearthed. Each year, the residents of Radiator Screams bring back this Horn-O-Plenty to its home along with seasonal gifts.
- Look up to see Witchy Miss Lizzie flying over Cadillac Range. Her curiosity shop specializes in Haul-O-Ween Boo-veniers.
- Over Flo’s V8Cafe, Spider-car is spinning a web of mayhem. Interestingly enough, designers repurposed “Toadmobile” from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for this experience.
- Ramone celebrates Day of the Dead at his House of Body Art. Outside, you’ll find newly painted hoods, marigolds and a “Sugar” car. Inside the detailing shop, Ramone has built an ofrenda to celebrate the life of his friend Doc Hudson.
Plaza de la Familia, A Celebration of “Coco”
This Fall, Pixar will release a brand new animated musical film inspired by Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The Mexican holiday runs October 31st through November 2nd and focuses on remembering those loved ones who have died. In Coco, 12-year-old Miguel sets off a chain of events related to a century-old myth, which leads to an extraordinary family reunion.
In anticipation of the film, Disneyland will immerse guests in a celebration that includes enchanted storytelling, live entertainment with folklórico dancers and mariachi musicians, interactive experiences and a new menu of inspired Mexican dishes. The activities are also inspired by Día de los Muertos traditions that celebrate those who have passed while honoring the enduring family bonds.
- A Musical Celebration of Coco is a live show that features dance and musical performances by the Storytellers of Plaza de la Familia. This troupe of singers and folklórico dancers will introduce families to the story of Coco. (daily at Disney California Adventure).
- At the Paradise Gardens Bandstand, guests can listing to a repertoire of classic Mexican songs, bringing to life this celebration of family.
- The World of Coco exhibit will introduce guests to the characters and locations of the film. Framed animation images reveal the Land of the Living and Land of the Dead. The three-dimensional “ofrenda” is also inspired by the remembrance alter seen in Coco.
- Take a photo in front of the Árbol de la Vida (Mexican Tree of Life) and share memories and stories of loved ones.
- Enjoy complimentary face painting to celebrate the spirit of Plaza de la Familia. (Face painting is also available at Cars Land near Ramone’s House of Body Art.
- Fuel up with the new Mexican menu at Paradise Garden Grill which includes Pan de Muerto, Mole Verde con Pollo, Elote (street-style corn) and a Tres Leches Parfait.
Mickey’s Halloween Party Mix-In at Disney California Adventure
Families who plan to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party can enter the either park up to 3 hours prior to the start of the party. This is the first time that Disney California Adventure is part of the pre-party mix-in. While trick-or-treating still occurs at Disneyland, the 3 hours leading up to the start of the party are ideal for experiencing Haul-O-Ween at Cars Land, Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, and Plaza de la Familia, A Celebration of “Coco”.
Halloween Time at the Disneyland resort runs through October 31, 2017. For additional information, visit Disneyland.com. You can also view my Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland 2017 and my Guide to Dining at Disneyland During Halloween.