Location: Disneyland (starts and stops at the Disneyland Guided Tour area)
Type: Guided Tour
Specialty: Fun stories and interesting insights into the tradition of Halloween
Cost: $80 (before discount – Annual Passholders, DVC members, AAA members do get 20% off)
Craig’s Favorite: Getting “backdoor” access to Haunted Mansion Holiday – and the really cool pin!
Halloween at Disneyland is a big event! And to enjoy it to its fullest, take the Happiest Haunts Tour but I would definitely recommend calling and reserving a space in advance as they do sell out. This 2 1/2 to 3 hour tour begins at the Disneyland Tour Gardens and takes you around the entire park where you will hear stories about Halloween traditions, some of the Halloween traditions at Disneyland, and do a little bit of trick-or-treating in Disney fashion.
I won’t go into too much detail about the tour so that you can experience it for yourself. But I can tell you that this tour, unlike the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour or the Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour and others is less about history and more about telling fun and fascinating stories. In fact, after our group was able to experience Haunted Mansion Holiday (without having to wait in that really long line), a second guide joined our group – Gracey! Gracey offered additional insights into the Halloween traditions and was actually very funny and entertaining in her own right. She was my daughter’s favorite part of the tour.
And what Halloween tour would be complete without trick-or-treating? We received a caramel marshmallow treat covered in orange sugar at Candy Palace that is only available on the tour. We were also treated to iced pumpkin spice cookies decorated to look like, what else, pumpkins! And outside of Starbucks at the Market House we had our choice of a shot glass sized salted caramel iced chocolate drink or pumpkin spiced latte. If that weren’t enough, at the very end of your time on the tour, you are given a special 2014 collectible pin with a spinner element featuring the Haunted Mansion. It’s a very beautiful pin.
These tours are not only packed with interesting tidbits of information (like did you know there are 300 hand-carved pumpkins on Main Street with no two alike?), but you feel treated like a VIP everywhere you go. Not only were we given special VIP access to four different rides – Haunted Mansion Holiday, Big Thunder Mountain, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy – but when we were given our cookies, other park guests thinking they were just handing out free treats tried to get one only to be told, “Sorry, these are for Happiest Haunts Tour Guests only.” You feel very special on these tours and having two guides was extra fun. If you’re wondering if it’s appropriate for kids, my 10-year old daughter loved it so much she wants to go on more tours with me! There is a fair amount of walking involved and it is a 2 1/2-3 hour stretch with one short break, so keep that in mind, but this is a great tour overall to go experience as a family. Just remember that it’s a really good idea to reserve in advance as they do sell out, especially on weekends. You can reserve up to 30 days prior to your tour. And because this is a special holiday tour, it ends on October 31st so go and enjoy it today!