When Does Disney Decorate For Halloween?

spooky decor at the Tower of Terror

While you might have heard about Disney’s legendary Christmas decorations, did you know Disney decorates for Halloween too? Yes, it’s true. Disney’s Halloween decorations are out of this world.

So, when do Halloween decorations go up at Disney World? Usually, Halloween season at Disney World runs from the first half of August until October 31. This is when the parks are decked out in Halloween decorations.

But this year (2021) is a little different because it’s Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Like always, there are going to be Halloween and fall decorations. Plus lots more Halloween fun like themed events, characters in costumes, spooky cavalcades, limited edition foods, and of course, trick or treating.

Keep reading to find out how you can have the best vacation at Disney World this Halloween.

When Do Halloween Decorations Go Up at Walt Disney World? 

Walt Disney World celebrates Halloween from the first half of August until October 31.

The festive season typically kicks off with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This is a ticketed event that includes rare character meet and greets, exciting Halloween entertainment, and some really cool Halloween party treats and snacks.

All these make a fall trip to Disney World really worthwhile.

But the Disney Halloween celebrations in 2021 are going to be a little different — in a good way! There’s still lots to look forward to.

Keep reading to find out everything that’s happening at Disney World this Halloween.

Is Disney Doing Halloween Decorations This Year?

There has been a lot of speculation about whether Disney is doing Halloween decorations this year at all. This is because the Walt Disney Company will kick off the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Disney World in October. It means they will be balancing decorations for Halloween with decorations for the anniversary.

Many Floridians and out-of-state visitors look forward to the Halloween decorations at Disney World. So, it’s unlikely that Disney will do away with them altogether. That would not be good for guest satisfaction.

However, it is possible that the decorations will be scaled back this year. This is entirely speculative, of course, and not official information.

My guess is that Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Services and Walt Disney Imagineering will create a blend of Halloween and the Cinderella story.

I expect to see lots of pumpkin coach decorations during the park’s EARidescence event for the 50th Anniversary.

What’s New for Halloween at Disney?

In past years, Disney put up Halloween decorations a few days before the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which was usually well before Labor Day.

This meant you could actually see the decorations up in early August when Central Florida still had temperatures in the 90s.

Halloween just after school starts? Well… Disney does celebrate a bit early.

This year Disney’s After Hours BOO Bash is replacing Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The first date for the BOO Bash is August 10. So, Halloween decorations have been up since early August in the Magic Kingdom Park.

The decorations and treats are introduced in the other parks in September.

Now that we’re into the second half of October, you can count on a spooky good time in any Disney theme park.

What to Expect at Magic Kingdom for Halloween?

Magic Kingdom is all decked out for spook season. Don’t be put off by the fact that Halloween-themed decorations might be somewhat scaled back in 2021.

As noted, this is due to the Walt Disney World Imagineering and Holiday Services teams blending fall decor with the enchanting story of Cinderella. It is for the park’s sparkling EARidescence 50th Anniversary Celebration this year.

But here’s what you can expect from the first week of October for Halloween at Disney World.

Disney’s Halloween Decorations

Mickey pumpkin wreaths, fall garlands, pumpkins, jack o lanterns, extra cobwebs in the Haunted Mansion, and other Halloween decor will set the scene for the fall holidays at all the Disney parks and resorts.

Disney’s After Hours BOO Bash

This is a special ticketed Halloween event that will run at Magic Kingdom from August 10 to October 31 on select nights.

Guests can enjoy special activities and treats from 9 to 12 pm with park entry at 7 pm. 

The Halloween Party includes limited edition snacks, spooky character cavalcades, and special merchandise.

Characters in Special Costumes

Many Disney characters on the parade route in Magic Kingdom don Halloween costumes.

The Dapper Dans transform into The Cadaver Dans, complete with spooky sounds, for the fall season at Walt Disney World.

There are special pumpkin coach decorations as well.

You might get lucky this spooky season and see a special character cavalcade of Disney villains such as Maleficent, Jafar, Gaston, and even Jack Skellington on Main Street U.S.A., Town Square, or in the forecourt of Cinderella Castle.

An important reminder – Halloween costumes and masks are not permitted for adults unless they are attending a special event (check details on your ticket).

Children younger than 14 are allowed to wear costumes and masks at Disney World theme parks.

Minnie’s Halloween Dine at Hollywood and Vine

Starting August 10, 2021, Minnie Mouse will welcome guests for a table-service family-style meal at Hollywood and Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Expect tons of interaction with the star host dressed in her Halloween best.

And don’t miss Vampire Mickey Mouse and Cowboy Goofy!

Special Disney Halloween Snacks 

Along with the heartwarming fall look for the festival, seasonal snacks like spooky cake pops, pumpkin spice cupcakes, and candy corn dole whip are some of the reasons I love to visit Walt Disney World in the fall.

Don’t miss Disney’s special Halloween popcorn buckets, too. They are available at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom parks, as well as Disney Springs.

Disney’s Halloween Merchandise

Besides the fact that the parks are decorated, another reason I love visiting Disney World in October and November is the special merchandise on sale.

Keep that credit card handy for the many Halloween things you’ll be tempted to buy.

And if your airline has luggage limits, check out the online Disney store.

The Takeaway

If you are going to visit Disney World this Halloween or Thanksgiving, lucky you! With the 50th anniversary celebrations of Walt Disney World coinciding with the fall holiday season this year, you couldn’t have picked a better time.

Hopefully, this blog post has given you a good idea of everything you can look forward to, including the magical Disney Halloween decorations, lighting, music, and special events that will set the tone for the holiday season.

Do tell me in the follow-up comments how your trip went. And keep an eye out for new posts from me about Halloween at Disney World.

Dustin Baier

Hey, I'm Dustin a Dad of 4 and married to Sweet Pea Chef for over 15 years now :) We got engaged at the Disneyland Hotel way back when and love a vacation at Disney World, Universal Studios, really anywhere with theme parks!

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