Review: Halloween Festival 2018

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Despite all the fun things the 25th Anniversary brought us, its fair to say that it “killed” Halloween last year. But don’t fear – this year Halloween is back with a vengeance for an incredible Festival mixing the right amount of fun, spooky, beautiful and surprising. Halloween 2018 at Disneyland Paris is spooktacukar and here’s why – we just had the most fun-exhausting launch day, and are ready to recap – spoilers ahead

1. Disneyland Parks puts on its orange coat 

This year, Disneyland Park is pulling all the stops to show the colors of  the season. New garlands over Main Street – Disneyland Paris exclusive – pumpkins, ghosts, garlands, and the return of the Dia de los Muertos thème in Frontierland, take a look at the transformation! Take a look:

2. Disney Friends come out to spook!

Do you like special costumes, Halloween classics and rare characters ? Read on..

  • Devil Donald

Waking up early pays off this Halloween ! If you’re an AP holder or staying at a Disney Hotel, don’t miss Donald in his Devil costume near Casey’s Corner each morning ONLY during Extra Magic Times! You can also meet Pluto wearing his cute Halloween collar during this time at the Boarding House.

  • Maleficent Donald

Later in the day Donald will take part in the “Its Good to Be Bad” stage show (more on that later) in his Maleficent costume, but he will also very briefly meet guests after the 3pm and 4pm shows so make sure to catch him on the right side of the stage!

  • Mickey and Minnie Mariachi

Arguably THE one hit of 2017: Mickey and Minnie Mariachi are a delight. Beautiful costumes, great interactions and a perfect fit with the Frontierland Dia de los Muertos theme.. we can’t get enough !

  • Jose and Panchito

New this year, these sassy birds of a feather join the party for some fun photos and interactions. Check!

  • Jack Skellington

What would Halloween be without it’s king ? Jack is back again this year with the same backdrop as previous year. The question is – will he be moving into the Phantom Manor location when it’s ready? Will

The Bride or the Ghost meet with Guests in January ? Pick up a copy of the Thunder Mesa Daily Messenger soon to find out. Until then, Jack is bringing back his unique style to Frontierland.

  • Maleficent

One look and you know. Maleficent is back again with her fantastic dragon shaped brambles on Castle Courtyard. She’s a classic and we can’t get enough! Make sure to catch the brambles at night.

  • Cheshire Cat

An adorable kitty.. with attitude. Cheshire will charm you and convince you to be naughty all at the same time. A great meet but watch out – he’s meeting for a very short time so make sure to plan accordingly.

  • Stitch

When you think “mischief” .. Stitch probably comes to mind so he’s a great fit at Casey’s Corner all day this Halloween. A classic Halloween meet happy to see back.

  • Goofy and his Candy Machine

Over in Town Square, Goofy’s Candy Machine is back! A classic Disneyland Paris Halloween meet, also happy to see back this year.

3. Mickey’s Halloween Celebration 

Did you like the Princess and Pirates Festival ? Do you wish you could also make your choice between two fantastic teams and dance in the middle of Town Square.. but in the fall? Your wish has been answered ! The exact same recipe has been applied to Mickey’s Halloween Celebration and .. well .. we… LOVE IT ! Team Harvest or Team Ghost – make your choice, hun!

But first ! The BIG NEWS of course is “Mickey’s Illusion Manor” a brand new float (apart form the “Fantilusion Parade” float base that was used) that is absolutely NOT themed after Phantom Manor.

Well it is, but it isn’t – let us explain.

The float looks very much like a cartoony Phantom Manor, but much more colorful. It features Mickey (who obviously is not part of the Phantom Manor story) and The Bride and Ghost .. but the Ghost is wearing let’s say .. a colorful costume which takes him out of the Phantom Manor universe somehow. Add stone statue Pluto and the nephews, and  it’s a bit unclear what’s going on here.

Nevertheless the float is absolutely stunning with two stories and features a fun “Magic trick” where Mickey rushes back inside to come back out somewhere else on the float in a different costume instantly.  In short, it’s not Phantom Manor, it’s the Phantom Manor-ish Mickey and the Magician Boo to You Ducktales extravaganza and the best part is that IT WORKS!

The Bride has vocals, the nephews dance in the back wearing their Devil Halloween Costumes (wait – does this tie into Devil Donald in the morning??), it’s every fan’s dream AND MORE well done Disneyland Paris .. WELL – DONE. You must see it for yourself. Book now.

After leaving the gates, the floats roll down to Central Plaza with the iconic “Vive la Vie” anthem (no show stops on Main Sreet or Castle Stage though) that will surely put you in the Halloween mood if you weren’t already, before positioning themselves around the hub P&P style to allow performers to jump on the stage in a frantic Halloween Celebration of dance, song (to the sound of an always-on-point new soundtrack by Scott Erickson) and general mayhem ending up in smoke and pyro effects (in case you didn’t think Central Plaza was a giant party already!)

The new ghostly dancers and their joker-like green wigs are the pumpkin on top of the cake: they are the right mix of spooky and hilarious.

This is another production best enjoyed on the second watch as the first time will possibly be disorientating but that’s ok – it’s performed 2x a day. Apart front “The Manor”, all the Halloween floats are back with queen Minnie by herself on the Harvest float (someone cashed in her upgrade certificate!).

Performers are wearing many new costumes, sparkly for some (watch for the blue helmets – woah), some spooky (again a big round of applause for the ghostly dancers and the rope holders). The dancing is well choreographed, the performers themselves seem to be having a blast, the Guests are thrown into a whirlwind of 360 degree show, you’ll wanna see it 10 times and that’s good because that’s what the producers hope for.

Mickey’s Halloween Celebration, shantay you stay and don’t you dare take another year off ever again!

4. “It’s Good to Be Bad with the Disney Villains”

We know this show from a few years ago and it’s back this year after a break in 2017. However, it’s been on a bit of a diet. We won’t go over the horrific Castle Stage décor, barely “dressing up” the Princess Waltz Stage – we’ve covered this on Twitter – but the show itself feels a bit of a “best of” of what used to be well.. better.

Thankfully there’s a twist ! The show is performed 5x a day…. but for two of these .. surprise ! It’s not Maleficent who appears but Donald dresses up as Maleficent! He’s playing a trick on all of us! It’s a fantastic costume and a fun twist that definitely brings the excitement for this show up.

We wish Donald was part of every show, but he’s not so make sure to catch a performance with the little prankster.

After the show, the Villains come down from the stage to meet Guests at the designated meeting points – it’s a big mess as with previous years but maybe there’s not a better way to do a quick 10 min meet and greet (the shows are pretty much back to back so the Villains don’t stick around too long).

It’s still an opportunity to come face to face with a Villain, over time you’ll learn who goes where and hopefully can catch your favorite (yep, ‘it’s Maleficent Donald).

5. Final thoughts 

Halloween is BACK! It’s evident that the Disneyland Paris teams have heard Guests after last year’s minimal offering and have realized that Halloween is one of their signature seasons that needs to be cherished. We accept your (fantastic) apology (wink) but don’t do it again okay? From the meet and greets to the incredible new formula parade and the (more forgettable) stage show, come down and “celebrate the harvest” this season, you won’t be disappointed.

What’s next for Halloween? Will we see several special event Halloween Nights? Should Halloween start mid September ? With such a rich and popular offering, it’s baffling that it isn’t already,

In any case, 2018 is a winner, bravo!


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