Mickey's Halloween Party: 2016 Review

Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA

We've had a month-plus of scary Halloween attraction updates that are kind of Not Safe For Work due to its graphic simulated blood and gore factor, and while it's all been in an effort to expand Westcoaster's Halloween coverage, we know that not everyone loves frightening and intense Halloween.  Granted, these people are wrong, but still, we acknowledge them.  For those who prefer a more family autumn atmosphere, today's update is for you, as we return to the Happiest Place on Earth and delve into this year's iteration of Mickey's Halloween Party.

As people probably know, once September rolls around, the Disneyland Resort gets all dressed up for the Halloween season and even transforms some of their attractions into spooky holiday versions.  But Disneyland Park also holds a separately ticket nighttime event on select dates in September and November that features exclusive entertainment options, a unique setting, limited admission (which means lesser crowds), and experiences and interactions unavailable during regular daytime Halloween Time operations.  Lets take a look at what some of this entails!

Around the Park

For photographers, Mickey's Halloween Party offers a treasure trove of photo opportunities not normally offered.  From cool projections to different lighting schemes to trick-or-treat displays to a fogged out Rivers of America, there is plenty of epic looking scenery to capture on camera.  It all comes together in a beautiful and eerie atmosphere that really enhances that nostalgic feeling of Halloween spectacle.


Of course, one of the biggest draws to Mickey's Halloween Party is the ability to go to the park dressed up.  Disneyland recently tightened their dress code for regular park goers, but it appears that visitors to Mickey's Halloween Party have the same requirements as in past year.  Outfits cannot be sexually suggestive or contain explicit or inappropriate language or content.  Meanwhile, faces must remain uncovered, and no firearm-type toy weapons or props are allowed (feel free to bring lightsabers galore, though).  Based on my visit last Friday evening, any differences in the dress code didn't seem to impact guest costuming, of which there were plenty of elaborate looks!

Halloween Screams Fireworks

With the retirement of Disneyland Forever, Halloween Screams is now easily the best current Disneyland fireworks show.  And frankly, I might have said the same even when Disneyland Forever was running.  The show remains the same to its debut year, but it has retained last year's projection additions borrowed from the Disneyland Forever equipment, such as the Main Street and Castle projections. 

The Frightfully Fun Parade

Brand new for this year's Mickey's Halloween Party is the Frightfully Fun Parade.  It replaces the very lackluster Halloween cavalcade used in some previous year's event.  Running twice a night (the first show at 8:30, from Small World through Main Street, and the second show at 10:30 in reverse direction), the Frightfully Fun Parade doesn't quite meet the expectations of its Walt Disney World counterpart (the devilishly addictive Boo to You Parade), but it's still a lovely (albeit somewhat short) parade with some elaborate floats, energetic dancing, and plenty of villains to spot!  The soundtrack is nowhere near the earworm as Boo to You, which was admittedly a bit disappointing.  But the parade is still quite respectable and great to photograph.  Its elaborate details are fine to behold as well.

And that's a wrap on today's update!  Mickey's Halloween Party continues tonight, Friday, and Halloween night.  And then, that'll be it, as the Disneyland Resort transitions to the winter holiday season (as of this writing, the castle already has "snow" on it).  For those interested in attending next year, Annual Passholder sales usually occur around August.  Make a note of it for 2017 and get your costume ideas ready!

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.