Disneyland's Halloween Time Returns Just In Time For A Spooktacular Fall

Halloween 2020 was, for theme-park fans, a particularly scary holiday, but for all the wrong reasons. The devastating COVID-19 pandemic was ravaging the world last fall, making it so many of the more frivolous pursuits, like spending the holiday at a theme park, completely untenable and fully closed. Well, as 2021 returns us to a new normal, the Disneyland Resort is bringing back one of its standby seasons: Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. It's back starting September 3.

Eagle-eyed fans were able to figure out that something along the lines of the big announcement on the Disney Parks Blog was coming when, last week, it was spotted that the Haunted Mansion was going under refurbishment in mid-August. Now, it's confirmed: Halloween Time runs from September 3 to October 31, and pretty much everything you may remember from previous events is on the way back.

Haunted Mansion Holiday, natch, will be returning, inspired as ever by the stop-motion animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas. And the nighttime show "Halloween Screams" is going to entertain audiences with projections on Main Street, U.S.A., and fireworks for the weekend performances. Over at Disney California Adventure, attractions like Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree will get a spooky twist to tie into the season.

Most importantly, throughout September and October, the Oogie Boogie Bash nighttime party will be held at Disney California Adventure. The multi-hour hard-ticketed event (meaning that, yes, you will have to buy a separate ticket) will give guests the chance to interact with characters in Halloween regalia and splendor. Plus, you can see a special Halloween parade, as well as the "Mickey's Trick & Treat" show and the Villains' Grove at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.

What's Left Unsaid

The interesting wrinkles here are the details left unsaid and the offerings left unmentioned. To the latter point, the Space Mountain Halloween overlay (better known as Ghost Galaxy) isn't mentioned here, and...frankly, that's fine. Ghost Galaxy is one of the more unnecessary Halloween themings at Disneyland Park (the regular ride is kind of terrifying enough with the specter of specters briefly screaming at you while you whiz by in the dark).

Notably, though the big announcement mentions Disney characters, there's no clear sense of how meet-and-greets will (or will not) work. That's one of the few aspects of the theme-park experience that's been slower to be updated, with socially distanced character greetings put in place of the usual. Will that change by the Halloween season? Or is that too scary to ponder? We'll find out soon enough.