Fall at Disneyland Resort, and any Disney theme park for that matter, is like nothing else. Magic is at an all time high, even more so than it is for the holiday season in my opinion. Of course, I am a huge sucker for all things Christmas, but fall is what really holds my heart at the end of the day. While I know that fall does not begin for another two weeks, fall decorations and activities in the kingdoms of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park are going to be in full swing as of September 6th! The best season of all is upon us.
8 Reasons Disneyland is the Best Place to Visit THIS Fall
For starters, I should explain that Disneyland Resort is the best place to visit every single fall season, and also most days in general, but here are the top not-so-spooky attractions to look forward to this year:
- The Main Street Pumpkin Festival is, alone, reason enough for me to want to visit the parks this time of year. Main Street USA at the entrance of Disneyland is filled with a plethora of beautiful, Mickey engraved pumpkins. Fall colored ribbons hang off the building, and at the end of Main Street is a giant pumpkin shaped like Mickey’s head that glows at night and is one of the best photo opportunities Disney parks offer all year long.
- Haunted Mansion undergoes a holiday overlay from September through the Christmas holidays, decked out with Jack Skellington and everyone else from The Nightmare Before Christmas. That movie is not even one of our absolute favorites (we like it, but not as much as some people) and the overlay is still our favorite time of year to go on the ride. It’s just so fun and truly a perfect blend of cheerful spooks!
- Costumed characters are another fun part of the season, especially with younger children. The purple gowns that the main characters wear, namely Mickey and Minnie, are stunning. It makes me want to go stir a batch of witch’s brew and brings back so many feelings of what it was like to be a child.
- Special, limited time Halloween shows, including fireworks on select nights, are always a good reason to visit any Disney theme park. This year’s display promises “villainous visions and haunting tunes” during the “spell-ebration” as they say. I am sure it will not disappoint.
- Over in California Adventure, this year will hold the Oogie Boogie Bash on select nights from September 17th through Halloween. The party, which costs extra admission, will have a new water spectacular where World of Color usually takes place featuring a young girl finding “a little villain in all of us!” There will also be trick or treating, dancing with Mickey and his friends, spooky storytelling, and a special parade. Those feeling more daring can go down the trail of villains, and don’t forget Guardians: Mission Breakout! Becomes Monsters After Dark this time of year!
- Also in California Adventure Park is Cars Land, which gets beautifully spooky and fun this time of year! The play on titles of other Disney-Pixar movies when you enter is always hilarious, and this time of the year it only gets better. Mater looks like Dracula, a graveyard takes over the front line, and the trees sparkle in a purple that gives you chills. Cars Land is my favorite “land” of quite possibly any of the Disney theme parks within the United States, and “Haul-O-Ween” is sure to make you smile for the best of reasons.
- Frightfully gorgeous lighting and decorations are around every turn. I honestly do not know whether or not to be spooked by the eeriness of some of the decorations, or beaming in happiness—usually it is a healthy balance of both! Disneyland Park is the more “cute-sy” of the theme parks, while California Adventure Park sends chills down my spine in the best of ways when I walk in and see Carthay Circle adorned in Halloween lights.
- The crowds. I have visited the Disneyland Resort dozens of times at every point in the year, and hands down late September or early October is my favorite. There isn’t usually a lot being renovated or closed since it is a special event time, but for a couple sweet weeks there someone still is a bit of a slow zone for crowds! I wouldn’t say the parks are dead, and there are some points in January or early February that are really great for low crowds and cool weather, but last year it was shocking to me how few people came the last week of September or the first week of October, especially during the week when there was not a separate-ticketed Halloween party going on (Oogie Boogie Bash this year).
Tips for visiting the Disneyland theme parks in 2019:
As you can see, this is one of the most ideal times of year to visit the theme parks for many reasons. The weather should treat you well, the crowds nicely, and it’s beautiful. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some tips that can make your trip even more magical over all!
- Invest in Disney’s MaxPass! It costs an extra $15 per person currently, but I assure you it is 100% worth it! You can make Fastpass reservations without having to visit the actual attraction first, and your photo downloads from the day are included as well—something that is worth it on its own! Reserve Fastpasses that have the closest time availability so more can become open for you quicker!
- If in Disneyland Park, visit Pirates of the Caribbean or Fantasyland first. Pirates of the Caribbean is our favorite to do since at the beginning of the day you almost always can just walk on, and then afterwards you can try to get on Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain, or Splash Mountain.
- If in Disney’s California Adventure Park, go straight to Cars Land. It’s a beautiful region that handles crowds well, but is that much more magical to take in when there is hardly anyone in it yet.
- Don’t be scared away from any rainfall! Some of the attractions may have to close, particularly if there is lightning, but enough people are unwilling to get wet that it makes it worth it to attend in the rain still. Plus, there is something enchanting about the parks in the mist that comes with it… Just make sure to pack an extra layer in a waterproof bag and wear a rain jacket or poncho!
- Lastly, bring a refillable water bottle and some snacks. You can ask for free ice water at any of the dining locations, with some spots such as Red Rose Tavern having a spot specifically for water bottle refills inside. Snacks are great to keep your energy levels high, save money, and pass time in lines. Please just remember to be aware of common food allergies when you are in tight spaces.
If you are planning a visit to the theme parks and agree that fall is the best, don’t forget to grab a “Fall is better in the Kingdom” T-Shirt, tote, or hoodie from our very own online apparel shop! We made the design ourselves 😊
Happy fall, y’all!