Disneyland (finally) announced details for this year’s Mickey’s Halloween Party events…and there are a number of changes.
There will be seventeen different parties this year: September 23, 26, 28, 30 and October 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 29, 31.
The most interesting to me is the announcement that The Headless Horseman will appear on Main Street prior to the “character cavalcade.” That’s the first time that I know of that we’ve seen the Horseman on the left coast. He’ll ride a black stallion and carry his jack-o-lantern head. From the parade route posted on the Halloween Party page it appears that he will enter Main Street next to the fire station, go around Town Square, up Main Street, around the hub, and then back down Main Street and exit next to the fire station. I may have to go to the party this year just to see that!
But there’s a hefty price increase this year. The cheapest ticket is $72 for Annual Passholders for advance purchase of tickets to seven different week night parties. It’s not clear if there is a discount for DVC members or Visa card holders. The advance purchase price for the general public for those parties is $79, and the same day price is $89. There is no discount at all for the other ten parties, and in fact the parties on October 29 and 31 are $99! Last year an AP ticket was $63, advance purchase was $69, and the same day price was $77. The October 29 and 31 parties were priced at $84 – so they received a $15 increase this year. That’s almost 18% higher.
And also factor in that this year parking is NOT included with the ticket – essentially raising the price another $18 for many guests. At least they did not take away the early entry feature, and as in previous years party guests will be allowed to enter Disneyland three hours before the party starts.
Ticket sales open on July 21 for Annual Passholders, DVC members, and Disney Visa cardholders, and for July 28 to the general public.
A significant change this year: While in the past all guests have been “welcome to dress in costume” – this year there’s not the same level of encouragement for adult guests. There are many more costume guidelines this time – and they will be very familiar to those of you who have participated in recent runDisney events.
From Disneyland’s web site:
— Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
— Guests who dress like characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
— Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
— Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
— Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
— Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground. (e.g. full-length Princess dresses).
For Guests Ages 13 and Under: Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.
For Guests Ages 14 and Older
— Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
— Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts and hats are acceptable.
— Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
— Masks of any kind may not be worn.
Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.
Takes a lot of the fun away for the adults, I think. I get it, but it’s still disappointing.
But back to the positives:
New this year is Villains Square – Town Square will become the Disney villains meet and greet location. According to the web site, the villain appearance times will be available on the Disneyland app.
The Cadaver Dans will be back, and will perform their sepulchral hits and melancholy melodies in Frontierland.
As in past years, attending a Halloween Party is the only way to see the spooktacular Halloween Screams fireworks show. I still think it’s one of the best firework shows ever at Disneyland.
The usual trick-or-treat stops and meet-and-greets with Disney characters in costume will return, as well as a dance party at the Tomorrowland Terrace.
The Character Cavalcade will also be back this year (last year the Paint the Night parade ran instead). I keep hoping that Disney will make this more of a real parade, but I’m not very optimistic.
I was a little surprised to read that the resort-wide Halloween Time celebration has been moved forward another week, and starts on September 9. Just barely after Labor Day! But it is very popular – in fact I have a friend who says she enjoys it more than the holiday season.
This year will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the incredibly popular Haunted Mansion Holiday. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is also returning, so I guess that means we will say goodbye to Hyperspace Mountain later this summer. No official word yet on whether that means we’ll see a turning of the Season of the Force. (Just how long ARE the seasons in that galaxy far, far away?)
What do you think of the changes to Mickey’s Halloween Party? Does any of it affect your decision on whether (or not) to attend this year?
Lee and I haven’t been to the party since 2010, I think, but I’m interested in going back this year – I’d really like to see the Headless Horseman. And I really enjoy the Halloween Screams fireworks.