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Halloween on the High Seas: A Disney Cruise Line Review

by Andrea Thomas, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 10-29-2015

When I booked our cruise, I had no idea that Disney Cruise Line was going to turn our cruise into a Halloween themed cruise.

Of course I was excited about this news since Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. You may be asking, “What is a Halloween on the High Seas cruise?” Well it is a regular Disney cruise that has some Halloween magic added to it,

Fast forward to our October 3rd Western Caribbean Cruise, when my husband and I stepped onto the Disney Fantasy. We have cruised on the Disney Dream before, so we knew what the ship’s layout to look like. When we walked into the atrium after “The Thomas Family” was announced I was in awe of the decorations. Near the Royal Palace we saw The Pumpkin Tree, fall leaf bunting that had pumpkins assembled to look like Mickey heads were draped over the fourth and fifth deck balconies, and the port holes had decals of jack-o-lantern faces and spider webs. This just set the tone for our Halloween adventure.

On the first night there was a presentation of The Pumpkin Tree, the story behind Halloween. The passengers gathered around the tree to listen to the storyteller (who was dressed similar to the graveyard keeper to the haunted mansion) cleverly explain how our modern day celebration of Halloween came to be while incorporating The Pumpkin Tree. At the end of the presentation we were told to check on the tree as it will transform. A couple days later pumpkins “bloomed” on the tree. On night six passengers were invited to come back to the tree for one more presentation at the tree where the pumpkins on the tree branches lit up. The first night on board also had a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas sing and scream in the Walt Disney Theatre. We were too tired from our day to attend, and bummed out that they did not have another screening.

Night three was our “Halloween.” We opted out on dressing up, but there were a lot of families who dressed up and participated in the festivities. There was trick-or-treating, games and of course a Halloween dance party in the atrium. There were two times offered for the Halloween party, 5:00 or 7:30 pm. Both times were extremely crowed and made it difficult to get around decks three, four and five. It even took us a little extra time to get to our dinner that night. As an extra added bonus there were characters (such as Mickey, Minnie, Daisy Duck, Pluto and Goofy) dressed in their Halloween finest. Warning, the lines to take pictures with the Halloween adorned characters seemed a little longer than the usual character greeting lines. For adults The Tube had an adult only dance party and costume contest.

On night four we attended Haunted Stories of the High Seas. We made our way up to Deck 11 to grab our chairs, and our ice cream cones, to watch this presentation. On the big screen there was a Sea Captain who told four scary stories that were not too scary to us. I found it to be a cute way to continue the Halloween theming of the cruise. This only lasted about 15-20 minutes before a screening of The Haunted Mansion on Funnel Vision aired. We were exhausted from our day and headed back to our stateroom instead of watching the movie.

For all of the shoppers out there, there was plenty of Halloween on the High Seas-themed merchandise at Mickey’s Mainsail. There were t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, pins, Tervis mugs and even a picture frame with The Pumpkin Tree front and center. There was other Disney Halloween themed merchandise, which I also saw for sale at the World of Disney store in Disney Springs, for sale on the ship. As a warning, once the stores opened on the first night there was a mad rush to purchase this merchandise. There is no need to rush to buy, as the week went on the cast members kept the store well-stocked.

We really enjoyed our time on our Halloween on the High Seas cruise. There seemed to just enough Halloween sprinkled into our cruise. Even though it is a Halloween themed cruise, there were not Halloween activities planned every night. There is definitely room for Disney to add even more magic to these cruises in the future.

About the Author: Andrea is a Market Research Analyst during the day and a mom of two small ones and an extreme Disney fan at night.

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Updated 10-29-2015

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