There are so many different Halloween-themed events in LA that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which one you should do. You can visit pumpkin patches, go on haunted hayrides, attend Halloween movie screenings, and enjoy spooky theme parks. Southern California has so many fun things to keep you busy this fall. I interviewed my friend Meghan to give you tips on how to celebrating Halloween in Los Angeles theme park edition. We will be highlighting the experiences that each theme park has to offer for the Halloween season. 

halloween in los angeles

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You can listen to the Outdoor Movie Screenings LA Dreaming Podcast Episode below.

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Halloween in Los Angeles at the Theme Parks

General Tips for Experiencing Halloween Experience at the LA Theme Parks

Check Park Hours Before You Go 

This tip applies to those who want to visit the theme park with a regular ticket. Since the Halloween events like Oogie Boogie Bash & Halloween Horror Nights require a special ticket, the theme parks will make those with a regular park ticket leave at a certain time on the nights that the special events are happening. At the moment with the reservation system, it is harder to be able to go without having checked the calendar but my main point is you don’t want to spend money going to the park only to be disappointed that you didn’t know you couldn’t stay past 4 pm or 6 pm.

Buy Your Tickets As Soon As Possible

Some events like the Oogie Boogie Bash are already sold out for the season though I am hoping extra tickets will open up. Don’t wait longer than necessary to buy your tickets so that you can make sure that you get them. Plus, some of the theme parks charge more the closer it gets to Halloween so buying early can help you save money.

Do Your Research

Time is very limited at these events and the lines can get long. Make sure to do your research on the specific events that you decide to go to. I would suggest that you prioritize what is most important to you, and if you would like to see shows be sure to plan other activities around those. It might be worth it to purchase one of the front of the lines passes if possible.

Halloween Time at The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim 9/3-11/2

It never officially feels like the Halloween season for me until I go to Disneyland Park and see the character pumpkins on top of the main entrance gates. Something that is so wonderful about The Disneyland Resort this time of year is that while they do have a special ticketed Halloween, currently Oogie Boogie Bash, they also have plenty of Halloween fun for the regular ticket holders.

mickey pumpkin disneyland

The Mickey Pumpkin on Main Street is a favorite photo op for park guests.

The Halloween Tree

disneyland halloween tree

The Halloween Tree is based on the Halloween Tree novel by Ray Bradbury. You can find this gorgeously decorated tree in Frontierland.

Halloween Themed Attractions at The Disneyland Resort

  • Haunted Mansion Holiday

From September through early January Disneyland guests get to experience a holiday-themed overlay at the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square. The Haunted Mansion overlay theme is The Nightmare Before Christmas. Lines get really long so it is definitely recommended to do this earlier in the day to try and avoid the long waits. Even if you are not a fan of the movie getting to see the decorations is incredible. I always look forward to seeing the special gingerbread house in the dining room scene each year.

Meghan shared that Magic Key Holders can experience a cool Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house photo op at Starcade in Tomorrowland.

  • Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy – this one is not returning which honestly, I am okay with. This was not an overlay that I enjoyed. A ghost chased you throughout the attraction and while I appreciated the idea it was something that gave me a headache. I am not sure if this will return in the future.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark – this is an attraction overlay that I am really excited to experience. Starting at 3 pm during the Halloween season guests can experience the attraction in a spooky way. During this version of the ride, Rocket needs help rescuing Groot from monsters.

Other Experiences

Fireworks – Disneyland Park guests can enjoy Halloween fireworks on select nights.

Dia De Los Muertos near Rancho Del Zocalo in Disneyland Park – you will find colorful decorations, sugar skulls & amazing food in Frontierland.

Plaza de la Familia at Disney California Adventure Park celebrates the spirit of Dia de los Muertos – this celebration takes place over at Paradise Gardens in Pixar Pier. A musical celebration of Coco is performed throughout the day.

Oogie Boogie Bash

oogie boogie bash

One of the main differences between Mickey’s Halloween Party and Oogie Boogie Bash is that OBB is all about the villains. This year attendees can look forward to seeing Agatha from Wandavision, Cruella from the 2021 movie, and Sid from Toy Story. The Halloween parties are a big deal for Disney fans since this gives adults the chance to wear a costume to the parks, something that normally is not allowed.

Treat bags are handed out as you enter the park but I recommend bringing bags of your own too. My friend and her boyfriend left with 22.4 pounds of candy. You will have two opportunities to see the parade, be sure to arrive at the parade around 15 minutes before it starts so that you don’t miss the headless horseman. It is recommended to go to the second parade as that one is less crowded.

So many people have said that the Villains Grove, at the Redcreek Challenge Trail, is their favorite part of the event. This is a family-friendly event that provides the opportunity to experience the park in a different way. It is pricey but all of my friends that have gone have said that it is worth it.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood in LA 9/9-10/31

halloween at los angeles theme parks

The theme for this year is Never Go Alone, and as someone who scares easily, I fully agree with that theme. There are two things that people always rave about after their HHN visits, the Jabbawockeez show, and the different mazes based on Halloween-themed intellectual properties. This year they will have mazes for Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, The Curse of Pandora’s Box, The Walking Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, The Bride of Frankenstein Lives, and Halloween 4 The Return of Michael Myers. Lines for the mazes can easily be up to 2 hours long which is why it can be worth it to purchase a front-of-the-line pass.

As someone who has never gone, the thing that I am most intrigued by is the Terror Tram. It is similar to the regular tram tour, one of my favorite things to do at the park. There is Halloween theming throughout the tour and at one point you get let off the trams and get to go through some of the backlots. Of course, you will get chased and scared but this part especially sounds like something that I would love. While down in this area people can get a picture with Norman Bates on the steps of the Psycho house.

You can get discounted tickets for Halloween Horror Nights here.

If you want to find some cute Halloween shirts Amazon has some fun options.

Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia 9/11-10/31

Fright Fest features scare zones, mazes, entertainment, and terror tracks. What are terror tracks? It is the chance to ride the roller coasters in the dark, which I think sounds amazing!! Grave Games is a fire juggling show that features or spooky things as well. Terror Rising is a haunted cemetery. In The Deadzone, you’ll find cyberpunk zombies. The Hauntlist, an account I follow on Instagram, said that Condemned was their favorite of the mazes. Other mazes include Willoughby’s Resurrected, Vault 666, Sewer of Souls, Aftermath2, and Red’s Revenge.

You can find tickets to Fright Fest here.

Knotts Scary Farm at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park 9/16-10/31

knotts berry farm holiday food festival

Last fall I went to the Taste of Fall-o-ween event at Knotts Berry Farm which was so much fun. That’s when I truly discovered how good the food at Knotts is, and how good their portion sizes are. The Boo-fet is a meal that you can have before Knotts Scary Farm that gives you early access to the park. You also get a souvenir bottle and one digital download of a photo with a monster during your meal. This sounds like something I would love to do.

Puppet Up sounds like one of the best shows that they have for this event. It is an uncensored Puppet Show that is definitely not for children. The Timber Mountain Log Ride gets a Halloween Hootenanny overlay which sounds really fun. Gore-ing ’20s is a new scare zone this year, themed to the Roaring ’20s which looks awesome. Other experiences that our guest Meghan loves are Origins: The Curse of Calico, and Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos.

Knotts Scary Farm is Meghan’s favorite for the spooky Halloween in LA theme park experiences. You can find discounted tickets via Goldstar.

Brick-or-Treat at Legoland in Carlsbad 10/2-10/30

My blogger friend Christina Patricio went to Brick or Treat in 2019 and wrote a helpful blog post about the experience which you can check out here. This event is only taking place on Saturdays in October so this has the least amount of dates of any of the Halloween in LA theme park experiences. You can enjoy the rides, go trick or treating, and guests 12 and under can participate in the costume contest. At the moment tickets seems to be exclusive to pass holders but will hopefully open up to the public soon. You can find tickets here.

SeaWorld in San Diego 9/24-10/31

This is the first year that SeaWorld San Diego is having a haunted experience for the Halloween season. They will have haunted houses, scare zones, and live entertainment. Similar to Fright Fest at Six Flags, SeaWorld is also having rides in the dark as part of the Howl-O-Scream event. I love that this experience offers something different than what you get on a traditional visit.

You can find tickets to Howl-O-Scream here.

Other Halloween in LA events that we talk about on the podcast

Freeform Halloween Road at Heritage Square Museum in LA 10/1-10/5

freeform halloween road

Tickets for Freeform Halloween Road are currently sold out, but if you want to go make sure to connect with Freeform & D23 on Instagram & Twitter. I won tickets last year through Twitter. Recently, Valentine in the Morning on 104.3 MYFM has been giving tickets to the winner of the battle of the sexes.

When I went last year it was a drive-through experience, but this year guests get to walk through the outside of the Heritage Square Museum. The beautiful houses are decorated in the spirit of movies like Hocus Pocus, Nightmare Before Christmas, Ghostbusters, and the Adams Family. There will be trick or treating, live entertainment, and photo ops.

You can find more information on the event website here.

LA Haunted Hayride in Griffith Park 9/24-10/31

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is always one of the most talked-about things to do for Halloween in LA. Our guest Meghan mentioned that this event is great for those who have not done a haunted event before. While the haunted hayride does have scary mazes, you can purchase the hayride by itself. This is great information as I think I can handle the hayride itself but I am not necessarily ready for the mazes.

You can find tickets here.

Hocus Pocus Movie Night at the Heritage Museum in the OC on 10/23

 

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There is going to be a fun screening of Hocus Pocus at the Heritage Museum in Orange County. There will be candy, a costume contest, and more! You can get tickets on Eventbrite.

Streetfood Cinema

cinema phantasmagoria

Street Food Cinema is one of the best outdoor movies in LA experiences. I talked about it in the first episode of the podcast and mentioned how much fun their events are. Previously, they have done Halloween screenings in some of the historic theatres in DTLA but this year they are showing Halloween movies in parks around the city. You can bring a picnic or buy food from the food trucks they have at each event. It can get cold so bring blankets and dress in layers.

 

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Be sure to visit Goldstar for discounted tickets to the Halloween screenings. They are showing movies at The Autry (discounted tickets here), Verdugo Park in Glendale (discounted tickets here), the LA State Historic Park (discounted tickets here), and Poinsetta Recreation Park in West Hollywood (discounted tickets here).

There are so many things to do for Halloween in LA that it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what to do. I am working on creating even more helpful guides to give you even more ideas. If you are interested in checking out some pumpkin patches a few of my favorites are Underwood Family Farms, Mr. Bones, and Tanaka Farms.

Our next episode of the LA Dreaming Podcast will drop on 10/8. We will be discussing Spooky Things to do in LA with Ramsey Wild.

About The Author

Michelle Mink is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing about my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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