I’m a Disneyland freak. Let’s just get that out there. I’d rather dye my own hair in the sink, and wait to see films on video, than give up our annual passes for our not-so-small clan of six. Hardcore.
Side note: My hair looks ok, no?
People are often surprised to hear that about me because I’m not one to wear a Tinkerbell sweatshirt or go gaga over a Grumpy mug. I’m not a wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve Disney fan. I’m like one of those locals that nods at the tourists that come and go. I don’t need the tee. I live here, people.
We do have a pretty amazing Vinylmation collection though. Those critters are adorbs.
Part of why I love Disneyland so much is that it is the one thing we can all do as a big family, with kids of many ages and all have fun. Together. Every single time. We’ve never had a bad time at Disneyland. Which is nothing short of a miracle given that we’ve been passholders on and off (mostly on) for almost a decade. We’re lucky to live close by and because we can, we go early and we go often. We go in the rain and in the crowds. We go for the fireworks or just to ride one ride and catch the parade sometimes. This is a luxury and a privilege. I don’t take it for granted.
When I meet with local moms and fellow Disneyphiles we often debate the best day and time to hit the park, the best places to stake a view of the fireworks and parades and the best place and time to grab dinner. We compare apps for line wait time, and we rehash which of our kids are tall enough to ride the big kid rides. Finally!
But the one thing that puts a special glow in everyone’s eyes, and makes my family most giddy, it is the promise of Halloweentime in the park. Disneyland is our pumpkin patch.
This time of year is our favorite. The parties, the decorations, the fireworks shows… It’s not too crowded and the weather is near perfect. So many people think that the Winter Holidays are the best at Disney, and to be sure I completely enjoy the Christmas Decor and finery and the snow. When they make-over “Small World” for the Holidays, it always brings a tear to my eye. But if you ask me to pick the best time of year to visit Disneyland, I would have to say October. Always October. I like the slightly salty wicked/dark edge that tempers the sweet. I love the sight of grown adults in costume and not just silly hats.
If you are Disney freak, your flag flies super high at Halloween. Here, for me, are the reasons why Disneyland rocks a little radder at Halloween time.
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10 Reasons Why I Love Halloween at Disneyland 1 of 11
California Fall FTW! 2 of 11Summer and winter breaks are when the crowds descend but these are also the hottest and wettest months. October is the perfect time to visit.
Come as you Aren’t 3 of 11Lots of kids wear Disney Costumes to the park all year round. But at Halloween time, the costumes get kicked up a notch
Not Just for the Kids 4 of 11Mickey's Halloween Party - a ticketed special event that costs between $50- $70 is the only time that adults can wear costumes in the park. People out do themselves - out princessing the princesses and out pirate-ing the pirates. It's tricky to tell the cast members from the crowds and even if costumes are not your thing, the people watching is unparalleled.
Get a Makeover 5 of 11Parents and kids can get a pirate makeover in New Orleans Square at The Pirate's League. It costs about $35 and comes with a pirate moniker should you choose to enter the pirate protection program. photo credit: Disney Parks
Characters in Costumes 6 of 11Try and twist your mind around this: A person in a Minnie costume, in a witch costume. It's the doubling that makes it all the more awesome. I keep hoping I will see Maleficent dressed as Goofy. One of these days... photo credit: Disney Parks
The Haunted Mansion Transformation 7 of 11The Haunted Mansion was cool to begin with but what amazes me, every year, is how utterly different it gets when Jack Skellington takes up residence for the holidays. It's like when your inlaws arrive and completely redecorate. Whose house is this again? It's never the same twice. photo credit: Disney Parks
Look at the Size of that Pumpkin! 8 of 11It doesn't matter how wacky of a face your kid makes or whether they blink. There is no such thing as a bad photo standing in front of a pumpkin that large. Photo op heaven.
Wait… There’s Candy? 9 of 11This is a "but wait... there's more" moment. At Mickey's Halloween Party you can actually trick or treat *in* Disneyland. I know people who live abroad who come here this time of year just to have that experience. Who can blame them?
Creepy Treats 10 of 11There's something so wrong about Mickey's smiling face on a bat that it's so right. This pretty much sums up what I love about Halloween here. It's not too goody goody. Bat Mickey can laugh at himself. You can sink your fangs into him. photo credit: Kelly Lewis
The Best Fireworks of All 11 of 11Mickey's Halloween Spooktacular Fireworks show is arguably the best fireworks show of the year. It's our family's favorite for sure. The projected images and giant balloons, the smoke and colored lights... they pull out all the stops on this one and it always leaves us breathless.
These, of course, are just MY favorite things. You can find out more about Disneyland’s Halloweentime offerings on the Disneyland site.
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Disclosure: My husband and sons were the guests of Disney at Mickey’s Halloween Party last weekend, as part of a local group of bloggers attending the opening event. This is not a compensated post and all opinions are my own, and I have the annual passes to prove it – though not the Tink sweatshirt or Grumpy mug.