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Fall Favorites at the Disneyland Resort Experience: Tiana’s Palace, A Musical Celebration of ‘Coco’ & More – Recap

It’s fall! So you know it’s officially spooky season at Disneyland! From September 1st to October 31st, both theme parks are adorned with spirited seasonal decorations and Halloween-themed characters, offering numerous opportunities for memorable photos that we had a chance to participate in. Main Street Pumpkin Festival transforms Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Park, featuring a multitude of expertly hand-carved pumpkins, including the enormous Mickey Mouse Pumpkin. Over at Disney California Adventure Park, Halloween decor and eerie projections create a haunting atmosphere along Buena Vista Street. Meanwhile, Cars Land undergoes a spooky makeover, becoming Radiator Screams, with its residents and establishments embracing their best Haul-O-Ween looks.

At Disneyland Park, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and some of their pals cast a ghostly glow with new outfits made with luminescent fabrics and bat details. Jack Skellington and his friends from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” wreck the halls of Haunted Mansion Holiday once again. This year’s rendition of the attraction’s annual bespoke gingerbread house – a merrily macabre mausoleum – employs two new creative techniques: it’s the first to feature cotton candy decorations that take the form of a frightfully fun food ghost and masterfully molded gingerbread chains that trap a haunted apparition inside. 

Each night during Halloween Time, the supernatural “Halloween Screams” nighttime spectacular summons projections, special effects and music on Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, Rivers of America and in front of “it’s a small world.” MagicBand+ adds another devious dimension to the show with ominous illuminations and shivering vibrations.* On select nights, fireworks will conjure in the skies above. 

At Disney California Adventure Park, three attractions have taken on seasonal transformations with Halloween spins – and drops. The family-friendly Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Cars Land opts for a happily hair-raising soundtrack to become Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree. The nearby Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters takes guests on a wicked whirl as Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween. For the first time, the resident “car-acter” Guido sports a ghoulish “car-stume” as he welcomes guests to the Casa Della Tires. 

As the afternoon winds down each day, the thrills go up at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! in Avengers Campus. Unique to Halloween Time, the attraction transforms into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, a scream-worthy adventure to save Groot from creatures running amok in The Collector’s Fortress. 

From Sept. 8 through Nov. 1, Disney character-themed pumpkins are hidden around the Downtown Disney District for Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit; with the purchase of a map from participating locations, guests can commemorate their search with a collectible keepsake.*** Downtown Disney District also features fall décor, entertainment and special offerings from select locations. 

For the first time, Goofy’s Kitchen will feature characters dressed in Halloween outfits, seasonal décor and themed desserts from Sept. 21 through Oct. 31. The spirited celebration continues at the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa with pumpkin carving demonstrations and live entertainment on select afternoons in October.  

Dining locations across the Disneyland Resort are serving up more than 50 frightfully flavorful food and beverages, such as a pumpkin bundt cake and a Halloween cake. This year’s array of Halloween merchandise includes apparel, home décor and collectibles with in-trend designs. 

Tiana’s Palace

Taking inspiration from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ The Princess and the Frog, Tiana’s Palace has made its grand debut at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Here, each delectable dish is crafted with an extra touch of love, ensuring a truly magical dining experience! Moreover, this quick-service restaurant’s menu proudly features ingredients sourced directly from the heart of New Orleans and Louisiana whenever possible. For instance, you’ll savor the authentic flavors of Andouille sausage, Carolina Gold rice, and bread, all brought straight from New Orleans. And when it comes to your caffeine fix, indulge in the Joffrey’s Coffee™ Chicory Cold Brew, sweetened with the finest Louisiana cane syrup. To add a little spice to your meal, you’ll find two iconic New Orleans hot sauces, Tabasco® and Crystal®, gracing the tables at Tiana’s Palace.

After savoring every delectable bite at Tiana’s Palace, I can happily attest that the food lived up to the promise of being made with love and featuring genuine New Orleans and Louisiana ingredients. From the rich flavors of the Andouille sausage to the taste of the Carolina Gold rice, each dish was a delightful journey through Southern cuisine. And the Joffrey’s Coffee™ Chicory Cold Brew with that touch of Louisiana cane syrup was the perfect ending to the meal. Tiana’s Palace truly exceeded expectations, making this dining experience a memorable highlight of my visit to Disneyland Park.

Plaza de la Familia and tributes to Día de los Muertos 

Honoring the Mexican traditions of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the vibrant Plaza de la Familia cultural experience brings back brilliant marigolds, heartwarming live entertainment and family crafts to Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure from Sept. 1 through Nov. 2. Paradise Garden Grill reprises its celebratory menu inspired by Mexican cuisine for a limited time, including items such as the carnitas burrito and plant-based chorizo quesadilla. 

Throughout the experience, storytelling and music from Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning “Coco” highlight the everlasting bonds of family. Several times per day, “A Musical Celebration of Coco” presents a talented company of Folklórico dancers, plus Mariachi singers and musicians, that recount Miguel’s adventure to the Land of the Dead. A hand-carved little Miguel inspired by Mexican folk art even makes a whimsical cameo appearance. Guests can take photos with little Miguel after the performance, add remembrance notes to the Memory Wall and more. 

Colorful tributes to Día de los Muertos were on display across the Disneyland Resort. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa showcases a new confectionery sculpture inspired by “Coco,” featuring Miguel and his dog Dante. Over at Disney California Adventure in his Cars Land detailing shop, Ramone displays an “ofrenda” celebrating the life of the town’s good friend, Doc Hudson. Disneyland Park presents its traditional installation in Frontierland, adorned with marigolds and banners of papel picado.  

The experience of witnessing Disneyland Resort’s tribute to Día de los Muertos was truly a heartwarming and culturally enriching one. Through the enchanting storytelling and music of “Coco,” the theme park beautifully celebrated the enduring bonds of family.

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