Halloween is a super fun time to visit the US, with some extra spooky experiences at California’s theme parks. Discover what’s happening at Disneyland Resort, LEGOLAND, Universal Studios and more
Parks like Disneyland and LEGOLAND California are known for their magical Christmas celebrations – but if you’re keen for thrills AND chills, October is the month to visit.
Here’s how California’s six major theme parks are celebrating spooky season:
1. Disneyland Resort in California
Classic Disney villains, like Maleficent and Ursula the Sea Witch, will be on hand to scare guests to a medley of Halloween-themed songs throughout Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort California. Main Street will be decorated with pumpkins shaped like favourite Disney characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto, and don’t be surprised if you see a hitchhiking ghost on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride! Pumpkin king Jack Skellington has also been busy decorating the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square with frightfully festive touches inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, with Sally, Oogie Boogie and other beasties from the film contributing to the fun.
2. LEGOLAND California Resort
It’s Brick-or-Treat time at LEGOLAND California Resort, with plenty of lollies, new shows and even a new LEGO character, Spider Lady. The “Monster Party” begins when guests enter the Park, with Monster Security Checkpoint Street Performers ensuring that only “real monsters” are allowed in. Celebrations are divided into six festive zones – Monster Party Zone, Happy Harvest, Wicked Street Way, Shipwreck Alley, Creatures of the Kingdom and Curse of the Pharoah. Make sure you wear your scariest costume to compete in Lord Vampyre’s Very Important Monsters (V.I.M) Costume Party. You can also join the LEGO Zombie Cheer Crew, enjoy the 4D movie The Great Monster Chase, build your own LEGO spider and bop along to a Skeleton Brass Band.Buy your Legoland tickets here!
3. Sesame Place San Diego
Join your favourite Sesame Street characters for The Count’s Halloween Spectacular at this San Diego theme park, which opened in 2022. Visitors can go trick-or-treating around the park, see their favourite characters dressed up in costumes at the Halloween Parade and take part in the Sesame Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt. Prizes are awarded for the best costumes, with families invited to join in a mini-Halloween costume parade which begins at Abby’s Garden each day and meanders through the Sesame Street neighbourhood. The event runs on select dates until October 29.
4. SeaWorld San Diego
With a Halloween dance party, a pumpkin scavenger hunt and plenty of colourful characters to meet, kids will love SeaWorld San Diego’s Spooktacular. The dance party will feature Halloween-themed songs and family-friendly games like limbo and freeze dance. Buy a reusable SeaWorld lolly bag for US $4.99 to take part in trick or treating. The event runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until October 29, with a separate ticketed evening event, Howl-O-Scream, transforming the theme park, with haunted houses, scare zones and roaming haunts on select nights. Also expect some extra scary surprises on theme park rides like Arctic Rescue, Emperor and Electric Eel.Get your tickets for SeaWorld San Diego!
5. Universal Studios Hollywood
Prepare to be spooked at not one, not two, but eight haunted houses inspired by the biggest names in horror — think Chucky, The Exorcist and Stranger Things 4 — at Universal Studios Hollywood. Brave visitors can also ride the Terror Tram… The Exterminatorz, in which tour guide Larry Larva and his bug-headed exterminators are out to get rid of humans with the help of his killer new pesticide. Trust us when we say the theme park’s Halloween Horror Nights are not for the faint-hearted and are only recommended for children for families 13 and over. You can purchase single-night tickets and event upgrades like Express Pass, RIP Tour and the daytime Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour.Book your Universal Studios Horror Nights passes here!
6. Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into Knott’s Scary Farm for the annual event, featuring haunted mazes, sinister shows and more than 1,000 horrifying creatures lurking across the theme park. Located at Buena Park, around half an hour’s drive south of LA, Berry’s has been celebrating Halloween for 50 years. Discover the secret of the evil fog that hangs over Knott’s Scary Farm at Origins: The Curse of Calico, journey into an underground sea cave to find missing crew members in The Depths, and escape unearthly creatures that have infiltrated a space station in Dark Entities. The experience is only recommended for families with children 13 and over.