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Mickey's Trick or Treat Party: A Halloween Event at Disney's California Adventure

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 08/06/2009

If you're anything like me, you want to try out any ticketed event at any Disney park, so when I realized that we would be at Disneyland in the run-up to Halloween; Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party became a must-do for me.

Halloween decorations at Mickey's Trick or Treat Party

Having experienced Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World, I knew that the Disney Imagineers were experts at putting on great Halloween events for the whole family to enjoy, but I couldn't find out much information about the Trick or Treat Party online. All I could really work out was that it wouldn't be on the same scale as it is in Florida, simply from some of the reports I'd read, but also from the ticket price, which was much cheaper.

The party is held at Disney's California Adventure and there is something very special about this park for me. I know that many others don't share that opinion, but I love the way it showcases different parts of the Golden State and I couldn't wait to see how it was decorated for the party.

The first challenge when we arrived was getting into the park, as the main entrance was absolutely mobbed, which wasn't a good start. However, much of the crowd was due to the fact that there was a disco with the characters, including Mickey, Minnie and Daisy at Sunshine Plaza, just inside the entrance, which was attracting almost everyone who entered the park.

As we walked along Hollywood Boulevard, we could see the little Halloween touches everywhere, with various images projected on to the ground, including "boo" and the name of the party. Inflatable pumpkins, illuminated in the night sky, hovered all over the place, while effective lighting gave some of the attractions, including the Disney Animation building, a completely different feel after dark.

When we got further into the park, we discovered that the peak of Grizzly River Run had been covered in spider's webs in a stunning lighting effect. Skulls and crossbones were projected on to the walls of Pacific Wharf, which had been changed into Pirate Wharf for the evening, while there were human scarecrows on patrol at the entrance to A Bug's Land. It amazed us how different the park was for the party and how Disney had managed to transform it in the short time the park had been closed prior to the party.

Everywhere you looked there were characters out for the party and this did differ from Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Sure, they have characters out for their party, but nowhere near as many as they did here. There were princesses to be found along Hollywood Boulevard and at the entrance to Paradise Pier, while Captain Jack Sparrow alternated with Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook in the Pacific Wharf area. Then, just by the former Golden Dreams theater, the villains could be found, again alternating between the likes of Lady Tremaine and her two lovely daughters, and Maleficent. Mickey and Minnie were also present in this area and in the middle of Paradise Pier, you could find the Toy Story characters. As a result, we spent much of our night hunting characters, as there were so many to find and, amongst them were some that are rarely seen out these days.

Of course, as well as the characters, there's plenty else to do at the party. We were amazed by how long the lines to collect candy at the Trick or Treat points were. Quite often, they were longer than the lines to see the characters, which we were surprised by. Of course, all the rides in the park were also operating and, if you wanted to hit some of the big rides, this was the time to do it, as the waits we saw were either pretty low or non-existent.

Towards the end of the party, they put on what can only be described as a mini-parade. If you've been to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World, be warned, it's on a much, much smaller scale than that. The character cavalcade literally last about five or 10 minutes and there are only a couple of floats in it, although there are lots of characters to be seen, as the name suggests. In fact, there were so many, my poor camera flash couldn't recharge quickly enough to photograph all of them!

Along the route are three spots where the characters stop to dance, a bit like the Block Party Bash and, from our viewing point a little further down from one of those spots, it's worth staking out your spot at one of these points. The characters certainly gave an energetic performance to all those watching from there!

This year's Mickey's Trick or Treat Party takes place on the following nights: October 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 and 31, 2009. Most dates, the party runs from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. The exceptions are Friday nights and Halloween, when it runs from 7:30pm to 11:30 pm.

NOTE: PassPorter will be at the October 16th party to celebrate our 10th anniversary! If you're attending this night -- or want to -- let us know so we can hook up with you and have fun together. Get details at

Tickets purchased in advance are $32. Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $39. Tickets for the final two dates will cost $42, regardless of whether they are purchased in advance or on the day. All prices include parking. There are discounts on selected dates for Disney Visa card holders and Annual Passholders.

About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai'i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

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Updated 08/06/2009

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