Disneyland is normally a magical place, but a few times a year the resort transforms itself into holiday happenings. Disneyland has always had a strong Christmas presence but in 2005 the resort attempted to grab the family into a Halloween event held at California Adventure. The first year my wife and I were given the opportunity to purchase tickets but we thought we were grown adults and thought we would not fully appreciate the family atmosphere and declined. Boy, were we wrong... I had a few coworkers who attended the event and kept raving about all of the fun that they had. From the candy to the small wait times in attractions, they sold me. Since then I've been able to go three different times and enjoyed each one for a different reason.
Our first visit to the Halloween Party was in 2006.
My wife and I still hadn't had kids, so it was just about the two of us. We decided to dress up (this is the only time that adults are allowed to dress up) as the Mad Hatter and Alice.
People seemed to really like our costumes throughout the night. We tried to do everything. Trick or Treat, parade, characters, and the attractions. We were able to make it through most of the night but it started to rain. Being at a park during the rain is challenging enough, but with the added elements of a costume, we decided to head back to our hotel before the event concluded.
We attended our second Halloween party in 2008. My son was just over a year old and we dressed him up as a baseball. Actually, an All Star Baseball since the Angels were going to host the All Star Game the following year.
We had been given tickets just a few days before the party so my wife and I decided to not get dressed up. We arrived right at opening to a long line. The night was fun but as the party started our son was ready for his sleep. We forced our son to stay awake for as long as he could. We pumped him full of candy. We had him pose with characters, some he knew and others he didn't. We went on one or two of his favorite rides. Sadly, we only lasted about half the time before our son had fallen asleep.
This year we decided to attend our third Halloween Party. This is the first time that we've gone since the event has moved to Disneyland. Based upon past experiences we decided that we wanted to leave the kids at home since they would normally be going to sleep just an hour after the party started. We were really excited, and we eventually talked two sets of friends into joining us even though they had no idea what to expect.
Our friends were a bit shocked that adults would be allowed to get dressed up. My wife and I decided to dress as Ellie and Carl from Up. Both of the families decided to get dressed up for the event.
To be honest, some of the fun of the event is watching how other adults get dressed up.
We decided to avoid taking pictures of other guests (to allow them to enjoy their visit) but we had a lot of fun pointing out their great costumes. We found a Jack Skellington that almost looked like the real thing and some great Haunted Mansion Ghosts walking down Main Street.
The second shock for our friends was hearing that we, the adults, could actually Trick or Treat.
Everyone assumed that only kids would be allowed to participate. During the evening it was decided by all adult parties that the traditional diets would be suspended following the outcome of the candy grab! We all felt like little kids again going from station to station receiving candy. Sometimes you would get one or two pieces and other times you would get full handfuls! Either way, we would start trading our favorite candies with each other.
Another advantage to the evening was the attraction wait times. We only encountered one line that was above 15 minutes, Haunted Mansion Holiday. To be honest, the other ride we expected to be a long wait we never found out the wait times, Space Mountain. We did spot 10 minute waits for Indy, walk on for Splash Mountain, five minute wait for the Storybook Canal. Some of the rides were closed for the evening so you should check with the Disneyland website or with City Hall prior to your visit to make sure your favorite ride will be open. If its not, visit before the party begins in the three hour window your allowed to arrive before the park closes.
If you've ever wondered about Mickey's Halloween Treat you should plan to go next year. Most of the Friday events sell out quickly so plan to pick up your tickets earlier rather than later. We have already started planning our 2015 trip and have talked our friends into joining us once again! Disneyland is a place to act like a kid and being able to get dressed up and Trick or Treat makes it just a little more magical!