Halloween at Walt Disney World: A Complete Guide

by | Jul 19, 2023 | Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog

Here’s everything you need to know about spooky season at Walt Disney World Resort.

Are you planning to celebrate Halloween at Walt Disney World this year? There’s really no better place, especially if you’ve got an awesome Disney costume in mind. Halloween is actually the longest season of the year at Walt Disney World Resort. The decorations and festivities kick off in mid-August, the fun doesn’t wrap up until October 31. This means fans of all things ghostly and ghoulish will get a full two-plus months of time to explore all of the different Halloween additions to the theme parks, hotels, and Disney Springs.

However, not every destination within Walt Disney World gets in on the Halloween action. You’ll find most of the celebrations (and treats, decorations, and special events) centered at Magic Kingdom. So, what’s in store if you’re visiting? This is your guide to all things Halloween throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

Experience Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

Boo To You Parade 2022

Photo by Laurie Sapp

What happens during Halloween time at Walt Disney World Resort? Well, it’s a resort-wide celebration that includes festive decorations, delicious seasonal snacks and menu additions, plenty of Halloween-themed merch, and a few fun extras you won’t be able to experience at any other time of the year. After all, who doesn’t want to see classic Disney characters in their Halloween costumes?

Additionally, when Halloween arrives at Disney World, it includes special happenings and experiences. You can ride your favorite attractions and discover some spellbinding surprises, check out enchanting entertainment, and see theme parks and resorts transform (and, of course, there are pumpkins and opportunities to trick-or-treat!).

When Does Halloween Begin at Walt Disney World?

Halloween officially begins at Walt Disney World Resort with the very first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party date. For 2023, that’s August 11. The seasonal celebration continues through October 31.

Because Halloween begins a bit early at Walt Disney World, you can expect to see decorations start to pop up throughout the theme parks and resorts in August each year. The weather might still be quite warm, but pumpkins, autumnal colors, and plenty of fun frights will start to take shape, particularly at Magic Kingdom Park.

Halloween at Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2022

Photo by Laurie Sapp

Like we mentioned above, most of the Halloween fun to be had at Walt Disney World is centered in Magic Kingdom Park. Here, you’ll find an array of exciting decorations, characters in costumes, and treats to try. But there are also some special Halloween happenings that take place across the other three theme parks, too. Here’s what you’ll find at Magic Kingdom and the rest of Walt Disney World’s theme parks from August through October.

Halloween Ride Overlays

During Halloween, a few rides within Magic Kingdom Park get special seasonal overlays. These spooky and frightfully fun changes to classic attractions you know and love are only available to attendees of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP), though!

If you’re attending MNSSHP, you’ll get to experience attraction overlays that include both haunting and high-energy changes, like:

  • Special lighting, spooky smoke, and Halloween-inspired music at the Mad Tea Party
  • Haunting lighting and projections at Space Mountain
  • Fresh (and frighteningly funny!) Halloween jokes at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

Even Pirates of the Caribbean has received a special Halloween-themed overlay in years past. So, if you’re interested in experiencing some of your favorite attractions in a whole new way, you’ll want to consider getting a ticket for MNSSHP in August, September, or October.

Halloween Shows and Entertainment

Those who attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will also have the chance to enjoy some especially spooky entertainment during the event. Magic Kingdom becomes even more thrilling to experience thanks to a number of special party shows and entertainment, like:

  • Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, a Halloween spectacular featuring lasers, fireworks, projections, and more
  • Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, a Cinderella Castle stage celebration hosted by the Sanderson Sisters
  • Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, which features a whole masquerade of characters
  • The Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet, featuring a Dapper Dans-style singing group with plenty of “dead pan” humor

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Disney villains will take over the Animation Experience at Conservation Station. From October 1 to October 31, you can learn to draw Bruce from Finding Nemo, Kaa, and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, Tick-Tock from Peter Pan, or Scar from The Lion King.

Halloween Food and Merchandise

Throughout the Halloween season at Disney World, you’ll be able to try a variety of exciting seasonal treats – and the themed options are definitely can’t-miss items! Whether you’re attending MNSSHP or simply spending a day at the theme parks, you’ll find an assortment of different sweets, snacks, and limited-time menu offerings available across the theme parks. Check back here closer to Halloween, and we’ll share a sneak peek of what you can find at the parks!

One of the best Halloween experiences available with tasty food options is Minnie’s Halloween Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can celebrate the season and get in on the spooktacular fun by attending this spirited dining party. Minnie Mouse and her friends – who are dressed in their Halloween best – offer a great character dining experience here, plus some extra-special menu items.

Plus, you won’t want to overlook the special Halloween merchandise available at the parks. Each year, Disney’s Halloween collection features themed spirit jerseys, ear hats and headbands, and so much more. You can take a look at the 2023 merch collection right here.

Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels and Disney Springs

Of course, Walt Disney World Resorts and Disney Springs get in the Halloween spirit, too. You can catch different destinations and hotels decked out in autumnal decor throughout the season (and there are plenty of pumpkins to be found!). However, when it comes to the most festive fall fun outside of the theme parks, you’ll want to head to Disney Springs. 

At Disney Springs, you’ll have the chance to experience Fall Into Magic at Disney Springs. With tantalizing treats, eerie entertainment, and spooky decor, you can browse shops offering items for your Halloween costumes and enjoy some fall-inspired treats. There will be plenty to see as you wander throughout the shops and restaurants, and it’s perfect for those who are fans of autumn and Halloween itself.

Disney Springs will also host live music on the Waterside Stage from the Squad Ghoul each Friday through Sunday from September 29 to October 29.

Restaurants, both at various Disney resort locations and Disney Springs, will offer special seasonal menu items and foods. Check back closer to the arrival of Halloween season at Walt Disney World to find out what’s available at resorts and Disney Springs

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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