Every fall Disney Cruise Line celebrates Halloween in true Disney style. Decorations, special events, exclusive meet & greets and of course costumes & candy… lots of costumes and candy! Be prepared to learn the legend of the Pumpkin Tree and to dance with your favorite Disney characters, who also got all dressed up for the occasion. So pack your costumes and let’s prepare for a Halloween on the High Seas cruise.
In this article
Halloween on the High Seas (the overview)
Halloween on the High Seas cruises are officially “select” cruises in September and October each year. “Select” typically means all cruises that depart after Labor Day all the way through cruises that include Halloween day, but check the schedule to be sure.
You will find lots of ghoulish delights on your Halloween cruise. Let’s take a look.
Fun Fact: Christiaan was actually the Cruise Director on my very first Disney Cruise.
How to tell if my cruise is a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise
Disclaimer & Quick Note on the Pricing Below: The rooms below were priced for 2 adults. The search was conducted in August 2018.
Why am I telling you this? Disney Cruise Line has a policy of dynamic pricing. This means that as rooms are reserved in specific categories, the prices on the remaining rooms in that category increase.
So, the fares for 2 adults at press time could very likely be different than when you check prices. This is why it actually pays to book your cruises early when sailing with Disney!
STEP 1: When you begin your search on DisneyCruise.com, and select September or October. I chose September & October of 2019.
STEP 2: Notice the non-Halloween and Halloween options. To select a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise, click VIEW DATES under the Halloween cruise section.
Step 3: All of the cruises listed will be Halloween on the High Seas cruises. And low & behold, there is a Friday the 13th departure! Not that anything super special will happen, but it makes me happy knowing there is a Halloween on the High Seas departure on a super spooky day like Friday the 13th.
Step 4: Once you have selected your cruise, it’s time to pick your stateroom!
Or Use a Travel Agent: If you’d like the free help of a Disney Cruise Line specialist, CLICK HERE to fill out the no-obligation quote request form, which comes straight to my desk. As an agent with Perfect Story Travel, I will personally help you select, book and plan your Disney Cruise Line vacation from start to finish!
Here’s a sampling of special events you’ll get to enjoy on your Halloween on the High Seas cruise.
- Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a super-fun family costume party with games, dancing and lots of candy!
- A Nightmare Before Christmas – Sing and Scream, an interactive singalong movie experience followed by meet-and-greets with Jack and Sally.
- Haunted Stories of the Sea, where a mysterious sea captain tells campfire-style ghost stories on the upper deck beneath the eerie glow of the night sky.
- Halloween Isn’t Just For Kids, a special celebration just for adults where the nighttime entertainment district becomes the setting for a costume contest and a Villainous Takeover on the dance floor.
The Legend of the Pumpkin Trees
During the Halloween season, all of the ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet are decorated with a very special tree: A Pumpkin Tree, each with its own name. These trees have a very special history shared with you by the Care Taker. Each night during your cruise, pay attention to the branches, as the tree will transform (just a little) each night.
Want a preview? Here’s the legend of how this tree came to be important in the story of Halloween:
So, with 3 new ships on the horizon – in 2021, 2022 and 2023 – will we find out that a new magical pumpkin seed has been found? We will have to wait to see!
Trick or Treating
Trick or Treating stations will be set up throughout the ship… not unlike those at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The candy is the same brands you will find at the land party too: Mars brands like m&ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Skittles and more. Good stuff!
I wasn’t taking part in the Trick or Treating, but I did walk by a station, and the Crew Member happily gave me a couple of bags of Peanut m&ms: Score!
Allergies: If you or a member of your party have nut allergies, look for the PURPLE PUMPKINS for nut safe treats. If you have any other dietary needs, please stop by the Guest Services desk and they will be able to direct you to the best course to ensure everyone has a spookishly fun time.
In order for all guests to safely enjoy the festivities, DCL has a few rules adults and children must follow.
Masks that completely cover the face (like Darth Vader) are only allowed during photos at photo stations, and then the mask must be removed. Though, if you are waiting in line for a photo with a special character, you will likely want a photo with your mask off anyway.
Also, props that resemble real weapons are not allowed. Unofficially I have seen foam light sabers and plastic, curved swords that are obviously toys used as costume props, but keep in mind that any “weapons” – even toy weapons – could be confiscated by DCL. If an item is removed from you for security or safety reasons, it will be tagged, safely stored, and you can reclaim it prior to disembarking – just like when you purchase alcohol in the Bahamas or Caribbean and DCL has to store it until you debark.
Here are Disney’s official costume guidelines:
Halloween Food & Beverages
The Eerie Eats (as Disney Calls them) will be available throughout the ship. Some will be complementary with your meal. Others like Spooky Juice (which is an alcoholic cocktail). Keep an eye out for creepy crawly desserts too!
Tips & Tricks
Tip #1: Don’t try to Do It All. I say this regardless of the cruise, but it’s especially true for cruises with a theme. You will have all of the entertainment on standard cruises – like deck parties and Broadway-style shows – and for most sailings you still have Pirate Night which includes fireworks at sea.
Note: The location of the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder will determine if fireworks will be displayed during your cruise. Weather permitting, the Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy will almost always have a fireworks display once per cruise.
Tip #2: Your Pirate Night Costume can double as a Halloween costume. It will save you a little money and a little space in your luggage.
Tip #3: If you were waiting on the right cruise to splurge on the photo package, this is it. The characters will be in festive costumes, but the photographers will also be able to take standard family portraits which will certainly be perfect for your Christmas cards!
Tip #4: Listen. Seriously, listen to the music around you. Disney has a soundtrack for EVERYTHING. It’s part of the overall cruise experience and what makes Disney so special. I find one of the best places to hear the ambient music is in the stateroom hallways as you are walking to or from your stateroom.
Tip #5: Decorate your door or your stateroom. Door decor is a big deal on Disney Cruise Line. Now, I am not saying you’ll be shunned if you have a plain door, but it’s way more fun if it’s decorated. Please keep in mind that MAGNETS are the only approved adhesive device for Disney Cruise Line stateroom doors, and get strong ones! These doors have been painted a few times. With all those layers of paint, you’ll want a strong magnet to make sure your decorations stay in place.
Also, those “wooden” walls next to your stateroom door are magnetic too… you can decorate those too, as long as you aren’t encroaching on anther stateroom’s space.
If you are decorating the interior of your stateroom, please remember open flames are prohibited. Luckily you can find small, battery-powered light-up jack-o-lanterns for your room like these:
Wrapping it up
I hope this little guide helps you celebrate your Halloween on the High Seas in high style. If you have any tips or suggestions, please visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed and drop us a line!