Disclosure: Thanks to the Disneyland Parks Resort for taking us on the Happiest Haunts Tour so we could experience what it was all about. All opinions, annual pass and giddy Halloweentime Disney glee are my own.
Last week my family attended Mickey’s Halloween Party and took the “Happiest Haunts” Tour as part of the total Disneyland Halloweentime experience. Disneyland at Halloween is my absolute favorite. It’s the most magical time of the entire year and the decorations, treats, and ride enhancements are not to be missed. There’s so much to see that it is difficult to do in one evening… without a guide.
The Happiest Haunts tour is a ticketed event of its own, and costs an additional fee, but it’s worth every penny. You won’t regret your decision to book this one. Particularly for out of towners and those who have only one night in the park, this is literally the ticket to a spectacular memory that you will cherish for life!
You will hit every highlight of Halloweentime in Disneyland and California Adventure in VIP style as you take the Happiest Haunts tour, and will avoid the lines on the most popular rides, several of which are specially enhanced and decorated for the holidays. The tour lasts a little over two and a half hours and is a delight all the way through. At the end you will know exactly where to go to Trick or Treat during Mickey’s Halloween Party and which attraction is worth a second pass for your crew.
There are both tricks and treats on this tour, as well as several behind the scenes stories that you can only get from a knowledgable park guide. Pay attention and you’ll learn all sorts of important things, including where to look for “Zero the dog” in the Haunted Mansion. He’s flying around in there and if you don’t know where to look – you just might miss him! (Note: Answer in the slide show!)
There’s a lot about this tour that I just cannot reveal, it would ruin the surprise – but I will say that it was both happy and haunted, as promised!
The Happiest Haunted Tour You’ll Ever Take 1 of 16
Are We Happy Yet? 2 of 16
I'm not saying these kids are spoiled. Just that they were anxious to GO ON RIDES when they arrived at Disneyland. They really had no idea what was in store for them with the Happiest Haunts Tour.
Getting There 3 of 16
Our first tour stop was the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It's a spooky ride all year round but also a perfect place to drop into the Halloween Spirit. That's my five year old in the upper right corner. He'd never been on the ride before. He insisted on going. He LOVED it. I was worried the tour might be a little scary for the littlest member of our family. For about five seconds...
Feeling Treated 4 of 16
These marshmallows covered in caramel and dark chocolate and non pareils were one of the treats we were treated to. There were also tricks. See that "Ghost Relations" badge? Tour participants got those as well as a souvenir key pin and more treats.
Feeling Haunted 5 of 16
We weren't sure if this photo was going to work. That's all I am saying... I've been sworn to ghost secrecy.
Doing a Swing by Dia De Los Meurtos 6 of 16
Our tour guide took us to see many of the special holiday decor installations in both Disneyland and California Adventure. My fave was this trio of Dia De Los Muertos entertainers in Frontierland.
Characters Everywhere 7 of 16
As we toured the park we happened on many many characters and clever costumes - check out this adorable Pinocchio!
Clever Costumes Abound! 8 of 16
And this lit up jellyfish! Where can I get a clear umbrella.
Pointing out Where to Get Candy 9 of 16
Our guide gave us a map of all the places to get our swag on. There are several trick or treat trails throughout the park where kids can get candy.
Yes We Dressed Up! 10 of 16
And in case you are wondering... yes we ALL dressed up. Even me. I was a psychic gypsy. Which is how I knew we'd have such a great time.
Our Awesome Tour Guide 11 of 16
Our tour guide Pippa was such a great sport. Even when the spirits intervened with our tour. Note: What is that ghostly Mickey in the photo next to Pippa's shoulder? I swear it was not there when I snapped the shot!
The Halloween Tree 12 of 16
The spectacular Halloween tree in Frontierland is not to be missed! It is a park tradition. Somehow, I've always managed to miss it prior to this tour.
Jack’s in the House 13 of 16
The Haunted Mansion is so much more fun when Jack's in the house and even more fun on a private tour.
Don’t Blink if You Want to See Zero! 14 of 16
Ok I promised to tell you where Zero is hiding. Don't blink when you tour the Haunted Mansion. New this year is an animated ghost dog that flits through the portraits in the long hallway leading up to the cars. Thanks to Pippa for pointing this out or I never would have seen it. He's pretty fast! I caught him in the corner though.
Hundred’s of Jack o Lanterns 15 of 16
After taking this tour I realize it may be more than the Jack o Lanterns staring back at me in the Haunted Mansion. You'll just have to take the tour yourself to learn a little more!
A Teen Pleasing Good Time 16 of 16
End of the tour results = VERY HAPPY teens. Not only were we able to ride all their favorite rides in one fell swoop, we were treated to terrific stories and treats and entertained all the way through. At the end we still had plenty of time to trick or treat, eat dinner and catch the best fireworks show of the year.
Photos Credit: Ciaran Blumenfeld