What You Shouldn’t Miss at Disneyland Resort During Halloween

If you didn’t know already, let me fill you in real quick – I am obsessed with Disneyland, especially Disneyland during Halloween time. The season started on September 7th and goes until October 31st, so you still have time to go see Disneyland Resort during its very best time of year.

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We go a lot during the year, but we always make sure we go during Halloween Time for sure. Seriously, its the best. I wouldn’t lie to you. Because I’m getting antsy waiting for our trip to Disneyland coming up and its still just the beginning of the season, I wanted to share with you my five can’t miss list of things you have to do/see while you’re in Disneyland Resort for Halloween.

Mickey’s Halloween Party – Just so you know, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separate ticket event. Meaning you have to buy another ticket for this party. Yes, its an added expense, but its worth every buck. When you attend Mickey’s Halloween Party you get to dress up in your Halloween Costume (all ages can do this! – but its not required, if thats not your cup of tea), and you can trick-or-treat around the park! Oh, and they do not skimp on the candy (but there are also some healthier options). There is also a special parade for Halloween which is…I don’t even know the appropriate words to describe this parade. Its phenomenal. I highly, highly recommend you watch it if you choose to go to the Party. There is also a special firework show! There are extra characters out and about in their adorable Halloween costumes, lots of villains, fun photo backdrops and ops all over.

Typically this party happens in Disneyland in the evening. Disneyland closes for everyone else and just people with tickets to this event are allowed in Disneyland. As for everyone else, they get to go hang out in California Adventure!

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Photo Ops – The photo ops aren’t just during Mickey’s Halloween Party. There are also so, so many cute holiday-themed spots to take your picture throughout both parks and Downtown Disney that aren’t special for the Halloween Party. My favorites are the giant pumpkin at the top of Main Street, all of Cars Land with their Haul-O-Ween overlay and the outside of Haunted Mansion, which is Haunted Mansion Holiday during September through December, which brings me to the next can’t miss thing…

Haunted Mansion Holiday – Through the Halloween and Christmas Seasons in Disneyland, Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas takes over Haunted Mansion, making it Haunted Mansion Holiday and its so much fun! The original Haunted Mansion is my very favorite attraction in Disneyland, but I’m ok with it not being its original spookiness for a few months because when Jack takes over, he does a great job! Its a perfect mix of Halloween and Christmas and its something that just can’t be missed.

All the Food – Meals, snacks and treats at Disneyland are undoubtably some of my favorite things about Disneyland Resort, and Disney really ups their game when it comes to holiday food. I’m contemplating doing a separate post all about the treats in Disneyland Resort during Halloween because they are phenomenal. They taste great and look magical.

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Cars Land/Haul-O-Ween – I still can’t get over how incredible the Cars Land overlay is. Haul-O-Ween in Radiator Screams is everything we never knew we needed. The attention to detail is ridiculous. You could spend hours in this land just oogling over all the decor. Lightning McQueen and some of his friends even come out to visit for pictures and are dressed up in their own Halloween costumes! Make sure you also check Radiator Screams out at night. The lighting is so cool. Lets face it, everything about Cars Land is cool at all times of the year, but especially September and October.

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The Halloween Time @ DLR Pump Up Post

Just in case you needed it, here is a post to get you pumped up for Halloween Time starting at Disneyland Resort! (disclaimer: a good chunk of these pictures are from Cars Land because I still can’t get over how awesome the overlay is there)

Halloween Season officially begins in Disneyland Resort today, September 7th, though decor, etc has been popping up for the last couple weeks. How excited are you? On a scale from 1-10, I’m definitely at a solid 100. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is the very best time to go to that magical park. I promise.

I’ve gathered several of my favorite Halloween Disneyland pictures for this post to get you all excited for your upcoming trip, or give you some motivation to get there. Or, if you can’t make it, then hopefully this can help fill that Disney void for you!

*Most of these are taken by my dad – he does such a good job.

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A Bugs Land

You guys, I’m just sad about this. Today, A Bugs Land in California Adventure closes down for good to make way for a new, Marvel-themed area. Don’t get me wrong, I am really excited to see what this ‘Marvel Land’ (thats not what it will be named) will look like and entail, but I’m pretty devastated that it comes with such a high cost. A Bugs Land is adorable. The theming in that area is some of Disney’s best, if you ask me. Its such a great place to take kids as well. With this gone, I feel like options for little kids in California Adventure are so much smaller. Its a bummer.

A Bugs Land opened in California Adventure on October 7th, 2002 and consists of several child friendly rides which are, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, Fliks Flyers, Francis’ Ladybug Boogie and Tuck’n’Rolls Drive ‘Em Buggies. There is also Princess Dot’s Puddle Park (a splash pad, essentially) and the best a 3D show called, Its Tough to be a Bug.

I’m going to miss A Bugs Land. I really am. I have some awesome memories there. H’s very first ride in a Disney Park was in A Bugs Land (Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train). We would always laugh when we rode Ladybug Boogie because it seemed to spin just a little too fast and would whip us around. I’ve never felt fully prepared for the part in Its Tough to be a Bug when the bugs leave the theater under your seat or when you get stung in the back (if you’ve been you know what I’m talking about). We have a really funny story with Wild Man’s family on the Drive ‘Em Buggies. The shade there is unbeatable. I know I’ve already said this, but the theming is spectacular. The popsicle stick benches, the huge 3 (and 4)  leaf clovers  up above you and the fact that when you enter Bugs Land you really do feel as if you’ve shrunken down to the size of a little bug. I can’t say enough just how cool it felt to be there. It was certainly overlooked by many people who entered California Adventure, but it wasn’t by me or my family. We love it and we’ll miss it.

bye. A Bugs Land! Thanks for the memories.

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The Great Disney Stroller Debate

A lot of the time when people are asking me about advice on their upcoming Disney trip, they ask me what kind of stroller they should bring. Do you bring your big one you use at home that is significantly bigger? Or do you bring an umbrella stroller thats much smaller?

My vote?

The big stroller.

And heres my top five reasons why:

  • You really won’t move through crowds that much faster if you have a small stroller such as an umbrella stroller. I hate to break it to you, but if you have a stroller (of any size), you’re just not going to be zipping through the park as quickly as you would sans stroller. IMG_5508
  • The storage is beautiful. Our stroller has a big pouch in the bottom and we utilize that space so dang much on our Disney vacations. We stick our sweatshirts down there, souvenirs, bags, blankets, leftover food, water bottles, etc. You don’t get that luxury with a teeny stroller. IMG_1274.jpg
  • Your little one is more comfortable in a big stroller. I love that when my boys fall asleep, I can recline them a bit, or know they have a little more wiggle room so their sleep is a little deeper (and heavens knows that little ones need those naps while in Disneyland!). IMG_8596.jpg
  • The cupholder/top storage. Ok, this is just assuming your big stroller has a cupholder and a little extra space to store things up top. I’d lose my mind without that. Thats where we keep drinks (obvs), Fast Passes (when you still needed the paper ticket), easy-to-reach snacks, pins, cel phones, sunglasses, etc. Half the time what I wear to the parks don’t have pockets, so this is something especially important to me. IMG_5162.jpg
  • A bigger stroller often times can also become a double + stroller. Its so nice to have it all just in one spot. When everyones loaded, its great to have everything we need (mainly our children) right there in one stroller – one spot. I especially love our stroller because we have a little connector piece that we bought that a third child can stand on called a glider board! (H loves to switch from his seat to the glider).

I don’t know guys. If you ask me, you just can’t go wrong with a big ol’ stroller. You know what the say – go big or go home!

Also, if you’re interested in the stroller we have, you can find it here. I LOVE it. Yes, its a pretty penny, but its absolutely worth it.

63 Years of Disneyland

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Sixty-three years ago today, Disneyland opened its magical gates for the first time. If you ask me, that day changed the world. Can you even imagine a world without Disney magic? I’m so glad that Walt Disney stuck to his dream and didn’t let the naysayers convince him that he should give up on this big, magical idea.

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I’ve been a Disney-addict since birth (thanks, mom). I really, truly cannot imagine my life without the influence of Disney.

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A lot of times I get asked which I like more, Disneyland or Disney World and 95% of the time I respond with Disneyland. “Why? Disney World is bigger!” Yes, but Disneyland is Walt’s baby. Disneyland is what Walt Disney envisioned as he sat on a park bench and watched his daughters on a carousel. Disneyland is what Walt Disney saw when others only saw an orange grove. Disneyland is Walt Disney’s creation and though it is ever changing, there are still so, so many pieces of him in that magical park.

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I love Disneyland because it really is a getaway unlike any other. When you enter its gates, you leave the world behind as you enter a new, magical world of fantasy. Its a place to temporarily forget about the worldly things and let yourself have fun and immerse in the magic. Its  place to get closer to family and an incredible place to make memories you’ll remember throughout your whole life.

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Seeing the magic through my own kids eyes has been a new way for me to experience Disney recently and its better than I could have ever imagined it to be. Walt Disney is right, its a place for children of all ages! Barely born to 110 years old, its for everyone. There is something there for everyone.

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Happy Birthday, Disneyland. Thank you for the endless magic. Thank you for being my happy place and my safe haven. Thank you for being my lifestyle. Thank you for the countless memories and for the memories I haven’t yet made within your walls. Thanks to my friend (yes, i do consider us friends, thank you very much), Walt Disney for dreaming this land up and for making it a reality and a place for the world to enjoy.

Gosh, I just really love Disneyland.

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“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” -Walt Disney

Another Trip to Disneyland!

Last week I took my boys and together with my mom, the four of us went to Disneyland. It was exhausting, magical, exciting and tiring all at the same time – and it was very special and different. Leaving behind my family and Wild Man was weird, and they were all very missed, but we still had an amazing time. We decided to go at H’s speed. We did what he wanted, when he wanted to. We were pretty slow moving and sort of all over the place, but it was perfect for H. E was just happy to tag along and take in all the sights and sounds – seriously he was an angel baby, an absolute dream.

This trip was saying goodbye to A Bugs Land and hello to Pixar Fest. Bugs Land closes sometime in late summer and we aren’t 100% sure we’ll be back by then, so just in case I made sure we spent some quality time with our bug friends so if that was our last time I can rest assured that we gave it a good farewell. My mom had already seen Pixar Fest, but I hadn’t yet and I was especially excited about seeing all the Pixar themed goodness in both Disneyland and California Adventure and lets not forget all the special food! It was incredible. I’m actually planning on doing a couple posts with a little more detail about Pixar Fest in the future, so if you care, keep an eye out for those.

Some of my highlights from this magical getaway were:

  • Fantasmic, as usual. I will never tire of that show. Seeing it through H’s eyes has made it even more incredible and adds a whole new layer of magic.
  • The Pixar Play Parade in Disneyland was great. I loved the added floats. Its a water parade now and shoots water kind of unexpectedly throughout the parade. Unfortunately the first float to go by drenched my mom and E and he was heartbroken about it – but thankfully he’s a happy kid and perked back up fairly quickly and went back to enjoying the show.
  • H in the Disney Junior Show was the best. He is turning out to be a very shy little guy, but you can tell he so, so wants to be brave. In this show there is a lot of dancing and moving encouraged by little ones. I really didn’t think H would participate and would just hide in my lap but he totally got involved and danced his little heart out, pulling moves out I’ve never seen before! #magic We also got to sit in VIP seating!
  • We had a lot of awesome Cast Member interactions this trip. When a Cast Member makes my children feel special, there is nothing else like it.
  • H was map obsessed. He memorized where most his favorite rides were and he learned so many new words from the map that he’ll actually use frequently now! I should have known that Disneyland Resort would be a great form of speech therapy!
  • My boys were great. There were so many opportunities for them to be difficult, but they were phenomenal and I’m so proud of them. They make my heart happy.

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Halloween at Disneyland Info!

I get asked a lot of questions about Disneyland and I’m trying to figure out the most efficient way to answer people’s questions. So I’ve decided that on topics that I will likely get asked frequently about, I’ll write up quick blog posts to relay some information!

There is no secret my very favorite time to visit Disneyland Resort is during Halloween time. The decorations, the overlays, the characters in costumes, the food, the attractions that get fun changes for the season – it’s just my favorite and adds extra magic. If there was only one time in the year you could visit Disneyland, I would highly recommend going during Halloween time.

Disneyland just released this information about this wonderful time at the parks!

Halloween time will begin at DLR September 7th – October 31st!

Tickets for Mickeys Halloween Party go on sale June 5th for Annual Pass Holders and June 12th for those without passes. If you are wanting to go to this amazing party, I recommend buying your tickets soon as possible! These events tend to sell out quickly.

Now I’m switching gears, mostly to try and convince you all of how badly you need to go to Mickeys Halloween Party.

Yes. It is a separate ticket event, meaning you have to purchase tickets separate from your general admission tickets to go to this party but it’s so worth every single penny, I promise. Here’s why..

  • You get to dress up (all ages are permitted and there are only a few costume restrictions) and trick or treat around Disneyland and they don’t skimp on candy!
  • There is a special parade and firework show only available to those who are going to the event.
  • There are added photo spots that are so fun and turn into some of the best Disneyland pictures you’ll have in your collection.
  • Have you ever ridden a ride in Disneyland while in a Halloween costume? There is something really neat about it – I’ve thought this since I was a little girl.
  • The Dapper Dans become the Cadaver Dans and sing on a raft in the Rivers of America. It is entertaining and something so unique and special to Mickeys Halloween Party. You won’t want to miss it!

I hope that convinced you. If you need more convincing send me a message. I will be more than happy to continue the bullet points.

Now for some last little facts to add in hopes of answering more questions I may receive.

  • Mickeys Halloween Party is not every night during September 7 and October 31. It is only select nights (I believe there are 15 days?) that you can view when purchasing your ticket.
  • There are Halloween decorations and overlays in both Disneyland and California Adventure.
  • Like last year, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT will become Monsters After Dark again! Space Mountain will become Ghost Galaxy and of course, Haunted Mansion will transform into Haunted Mansion Holiday.
  • Cars Land will once again become Haul-o-Ween!
  • There is incredible Halloween merchandise sold during this time that you most definitely need to check out.
  • Oogie Boogie is taking over California Adventure this year as well!
  • The Headless Horseman will start the parade riding through the route on his horse (this is so cool).
  • Extra villains will be seen throughout the park to celebrate the holiday.

I can’t say enough just how magical Disneyland is during this spooky season. I’m getting so excited for it now just thinking about it and it’s only May! I hope I was able to answer some of your questions – if you have any more let me know! You know I’m happy to chat Disney with you all day long.

Have a magical day!