Every year from late September/early October to early November, Disneyland Paris is all about Halloween. This is celebrated only in the Disneyland Park. In the Walt Disney Studios Park, you notice quite little of it, quite honestly.
Halloween in Disneyland Paris is a real children’s party. No horror clowns and zombies who run after you, but a parade with Mickey and his friends who are dressed as ghosts, vampires, or Frankenstein’s monster. Of course, without the bloodshot eyes and scary claws. Just happy and magical, as you are used to from Disney.
During this period, the Halloween celebration is included in your ticket. Only on two evenings, you must buy a separate ticket. These evenings the Halloween Party takes place.
During those nights, there is slightly different entertainment than during the day, and those are the only times you can dress up and go to Disneyland Paris as an adult. Have you always dreamed of that one photo in your princess dress in front of the castle? Then definitely grab your chance that evening.
Decorations in the Disneyland Park
The Disneyland Park is beautifully decorated during the Halloween season. You’ll see cheerful pumpkins and fall decorations everywhere. A spider web here and there, but that’s about it. Lovers of good horror will probably find this a little too mild. Almost childish. But if, like me, you are easily startled then this is fine. It almost makes you happy.
Shows and parades during Halloween in Disneyland Paris
Traditionally, Disneyland Paris provides a different parade every season. It’s no different during Halloween. Many of your favorite characters pass by on beautifully decorated floats. Most of them are decked out in their favorite Halloween outfits. You don’t often get the chance to see them like this. For fans of the characters, definitely a must-see.
The scariest extra in the parade this year is again Melanie Ravenswood and her zombies. Melanie Ravenswood is the ghost bride of Phantom Manor, the haunted house in Disneyland Paris. The story goes that her father only wanted the best for her and that all the men she wanted to marry were not good enough. Therefore, her father made all her fiancées “disappear.” Years later, you visit the old house where the ghost of Melanie, her father Henry and the townspeople still haunt.
That same Melanie will be seen in her wedding dress during the parades. Together with some locals looking for a husband.
Every year during Halloween at Disneyland Paris, there is a show that you can only see during that season. Usually that show is packed with Disney villains, such as Captain Hook, Maleficent and Jafar.
Special encounters with Disney characters
Speaking of characters, you don’t normally encounter in the Parks. During Halloween at Disneyland Paris, you can have your picture taken with the likes of Jack Skellington, the Disney villains, Stitch, the Cheshire Cat and even Oogie Boogie from Nightmare before Christmas.
For many, this is the reason to go during Halloween. Score an autograph and photo of your favorite Disney character.
How scary is Halloween in Disneyland Paris?
Actually, not scary at all. At least for adults. Children may find Maleficent, Jafar or Captain Hook quite scary. Especially, when they are roaming through the park. They walk towards you, and can be quite frightening. But I must say that Disney is doing their best to keep it fun for the little ones. Does Maleficent or her guide see children getting scared? Then she quickly goes in a different direction. The last thing you want is for them to have nightmares.
Are there any scary attractions?
During Halloween, nothing changes in the attractions. If you want to be scared, there are 2 real horror attractions and 2 children’s attractions that are just too scary.
The two real horror attractions are the Tower of Terror in the Walt Disney Studios Park and Phantom Manor in the Disneyland Park. That first one is a free fall attraction in a haunted hotel. That second one is the aforementioned haunted house of Disneyland Paris. Actually, it’s a must to visit those, especially during Halloween.
Then the two children’s attractions that are actually a bit scary. Snow White and Pinocchio… Come now, I hear you think, those are children’s movies after all. True. Disney has only recreated the scariest scenes in these attractions. In the Snow White attraction, you go riding through the dark forest while being attacked by scary trees. Then you end up in a basement where skeletons fly at you. In Walt Disney World, this attraction closed years ago, since they received too many complaints from parents with scared children. And in Disneyland Anaheim this ride got a friendlier overhaul. It’s actually that scary.
Pinocchio is a little less scary, but it still gave me nightmares as a kid. Being locked in a cage by Stromboli is okay. But then you suddenly turn the corner and whale Monstro comes at you with his mouth open….brrrr
If you want to be spooked, be sure to visit those rides.
Christmas or Halloween in Disneyland Paris?
If I could choose, I would go for Christmas in Disneyland Paris. Christmas has something magical. Everything is decorated, not only the Disneyland Park. You hear Christmas music everywhere, and even in November—when this season starts—you are immediately in the holiday mood.
You notice that Disneyland Paris has better mastered that season and is still searching for the best way to celebarate Halloween. Where Halloween in the American parks—and even in many European parks—is a huge crowd puller, the French Disney parks often remain empty.
Crowds during Halloween
Previously, Halloween, especially during the weekends, was a busy time in Disneyland Paris. Thanks to the reservation system, this is practically a thing of the past.
Because there is a maximum number of visitors who may enter. Even on sold out days, it does not feel crowded.