Fun, Food, and Frights at the Disneyland Resort

The Happiest Place on Earth has welcomed guests back with Halloween tricks and treats.


Illustration by Larissa Simons

Disneyland and California Adventure reopened its gates to the public on April 30. As the COVID-19 vaccine became widely available during the spring, people found their way back to the theme parks. Disneyland’s holiday events are highly anticipated, and this year delivered.

Beginning Sept. 3, the Halloween celebration includes festive food, decor and events. For years the theme park offered “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party,” which featured trick-or-treating, themed parades and special appearances by characters. 

Jack Skellington atop the entrance for The Haunted Mansion

However, beginning in 2019 Disney Imagineers came up with some different ideas. While the new Halloween party still includes all the same attractions, this year the park offered “Oogie Boogie Bash,” named after the villain from the cult classic “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

What originally started out as a risk for the Disney company (to the point where they opted to release the film under the Touchstone Pictures label,) “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has become a major selling point for Halloween at the Disneyland Resort. One of the most popular holiday attractions is “Haunted Mansion Holiday,” a complete revamp of the ride to include music and characters from the beloved Tim Burton film. Jack Skellington, Sally and Zero can be found all over the parks.

Holiday-themed food includes cookie tombstones, “poison” candy apples and lots of pumpkin spice. Food is a major selling point for the Halloween celebration, and “Disney Parks Blog” includes a guide for all the spooky treats. 

Although it’s been at the parks for years, the popularity of Pixar’s “Coco” has given Disneyland an even bigger opportunity to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead. California Adventure features mariachi bands performing music from the film at the Paradise Grill, and Disneyland has ofrendas (a traditional Mexican altar) on display near the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. 

Both parks at the Disneyland resort are fully immersed in the spooky Halloween spirit, and everyone is happy to be a part of it. The resort is strongly recommending guests be fully vaccinated prior to visiting and requiring masks in all indoor spaces.