For years, Christmas has ruled the Happiest Place on Earth. From the decorations, to the food, to the general merriment that comes from celebrating a pretty great holiday at a pretty great place, Christmas time at Disneyland really is a special treat.
But there’s a new holiday in town.
Halloween time has steadily been growing at the resort, not just in its themed offerings but in its duration and location. You can now celebrate Halloween at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (new this year) from mid-September through the end of October.
Recently I was at the resort to see what the Imagineers cooked up for this Halloween season and I have to say, it was pretty incredible. I look forward to seeing what they add in future years. And I wonder: Will Halloween overtake Christmas as the most magical celebration of the year?
Let’s take a look.
When it comes to décor, it really is hard to beat Christmas. With garland stretching across Main Street, light-up icicles on Sleeping Beauty Castle, and an enormous tree in Town Square, Disneyland is transformed into a winter wonderland every year.
But take a look at what Halloween brings to the table: bats, spiders, cars in costumes, a Headless Horseman, and literally thousands of pumpkins, both real and not-so-real.
Hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies, peppermint beignets, handmade candy canes. There’s plenty to love about Christmas-themed snacks.
Maybe Halloween itself doesn’t have the kind of food-related rep Christmas does (I refuse to acknowledge candy corn), but fall basically means baked goods and pumpkin spice-everything.
Recognizing that food is a large part of the holiday experience, the Disney Parks Blog has taken to publishing a list of all the Halloween snacks available during the season. If you’re like me, you basically see this list as a challenge.
Attraction overlays are definitely a thing now at the Disneyland Resort. Christmas has Haunted Mansion Holiday (which actually begins during Halloween time) and the messy-jungle Jingle Cruise (which unfortunately will not be in effect in 2017).
Halloween has Christmas beat with more attractions getting the overlay treatment. In addition to Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy at Disneyland, there’s now Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree, Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween, and Guardians of the Galaxy—Monsters After Dark at DCA.
Christmas vs Halloween
As you can see, Halloween is really starting to become the must-visit holiday season at the Disneyland Resort, and there are rumors floating that it will only become bigger and better (I didn’t even touch on Mickey’s Halloween Party, the pay-extra event that sells out every Halloween season).
We live close enough to the park that you may not have to choose between visiting at Christmas or Halloween. But let’s say you did have to choose.
Christmas or Halloween? Let me know in the comments which holiday season is your fave.