Halloween is my favorite time of year to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. Beginning September 6, both parks transform to feature spook-tacular experiences, Halloween décor and seasonal food and beverage offerings.
We explored both parks to search for delicious Halloween offerings and found that churros have taken over everywhere incorporating a variety of toppings, sauces and spices. Here are highlights from the hundreds of specialty seasonal dishes being served.
Sweet variations including Haul-O-Ween rolled in chocolate cream-filled cookies with green icing, gummy worms and candies (Cozy Cone Motel); the Caramel Apple Churro (Hyperion Theater); S’mores Churro with graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and a marshmallow drizzle (Redwood Creek Challenge Trial) and the Pumpkin Spice Churro with pumpkin spice sugar and a caramel dipping sauce and a spicy Horchato Churro with condensed milk (Goofy’s Sky School) can be found at Disney California Adventure. Across the way at Disneyland they also offer the Pumpkin Spice Churro as well as Bride and Groom Churros with a bouquet of vanilla and sugar and dressed in dark and milk chocolate (Critter Country); a Coco Churro with cinnamon and a spicy cocoa dipping sauce (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad) and a Maleficent Churro with chocolate cookie crumbles and a marshmallow dipping sauce.
Other sweet treats include a very large Mummy Inspired Donut filled with gooey peanut butter and jelly (Schmoozies!), a scary green and brown Oogie Booie Inspired Rice Crisped Treat on a stick (Pooh Corner, Marceline’s Confectionery and the Candy Palace at Disneyland and Trolley Treats and Bing Bon’s Sweet Stuff at California Adventure; a dark and white chocolate mousse Cruella de Vil Inspired Brownie (Jolly Holiday Bakery Café); Bat Cookies with chocolate coating, orange decorations and a fanged Mickey Mouse face (Market House); a Cauldron Cake Pop chocolate cupcake with cherry filling and dark chocolate mousse (Jolly Holiday Bakery Café); a Dead-Cadent Funnel Cake brownie with chocolate raspberry ice cream and chocolate crispy pearls (Hungry Bear Restaurant) ; Pumpkin Spice Beignets in a Mickey Mouse shape with pumpkin spice sugar (Mint Julep Bar); a Darth by Chocolate Parfait with red velvet cake, ganache, dark chocolate mousse and a Darth Vader helmet and mini orange light saber (Galactic Grill) and my favorites, the Vampire Alien Macaron with lemon filling at Alien Pizza Planet; the Vampire Mickey Ice Cream Bar dipped in chocolate with shortbread wings (Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream at California Adventure); Disney black and white villain Cookies featuring a variety of Disney villains and the fun bright green Oogie Boogie Popcorn Bucket.
There are also plenty of savory comfort treats throughout the parks including Snake Eyes Sludge with edamame hummus and olive tapenade bugs with dragon fruit and flatbread triangles (Sonoma Terrace, California Adventure); Slow-Burnin’ Mac n Cheese Cones with a spicy red pepper cheese sauce and crushed chili-cheese puffs in a bread cone (Cozy Cone Motel); a foot long beef Hades Inspired Hot Dog with harissa aioli, oven dried tomatoes, sautéed peppers and feta cheese (Refreshment Corner); a Toasted Salsa Roja Chicken Sandwich with salsa roja chicken, tortilla strips and tortilla soup (Jolly Holiday Bakery) and Rest in Peace-Strami Fries topped with pastrami, pickles and onions with a mustard sauce (Award Wieners).
Also new to the Disneyland Park is Oga’s Cantina at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the first eatery/bar to serve alcohol inside the park other than the exclusive member only Club 33. Here we found Star Ward themed cocktails including a Fuzzy Tauntaun with Ciroc Peach vodka, peach schnapps and a buzz foam; the Dagobah Slug Slinger with Herradura Reposado Tequila, Bols Blue Curacao, orange juice, ginger and bitters. There’s also plenty of interesting non-alcoholic drinks like the Blue Bantha milk with a vanilla butter sugar cookie and Jabba Juice with orange, pineapple, kiwi and cantaloupe juices and blueberry popping pearls.
Some of the Halloween inspired beverages included a Blood Orange Slush with a swirl of raspberry sauce (Galactic Grill); My Bugs! My Bugs! Limeade slush with grenadine and gummy worms (Hollywood Lounge at California Adventure) and the Minnie Witch Shake with mint chocolate chips and chocolate cream filled cookie ears (Schmoozies).
New this year is the Oogie Boogie Bash, a Disney Halloween Party at California Adventure. It’s a separate ticket after hours party with a new “World of Color” Villainous! Show, Disney in character villains and a stage show with Mickey Mouse. Also featured at California Adventure on Buena Vista Street, guests encounter a 10-foot Headless Horseman holding a jack-o-lantern head; a transformation of rides Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree.
My favorite transformation was found in Disneyland as the Haunted Mansion transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. There’s also a huge Mickey Mouse jack-o-lantern on Main Street, a Halloween Screams supernatural projection and special effects show and creative and entertaining decorations throughout both parks.