Ghosts and goblins by the score come aboard Disney Cruise Lines for one of the best Halloween parties at sea. Halloween On The High Seas is a fun-filled frightful cruise the whole family will scream for joy about. The ship is adorned in eerie decor while spooky, not-so-scary parties and activities happen throughout the duration of the cruise. Disney goes all out for their Halloween Celebration which is why everyone is dying to set sail on a Halloween On The High Seas cruise. Before you book here are some helpful tips and what to expect during your Halloween On The High Seas Cruise.
When Does Disney Cruise Lines Offer Halloween On The High Seas
Starting mid-September through October Disney Cruise lines offers Halloween On The High Seas sailings. All four of the Disney Cruise Ships offer Halloween On The High Seas, each one with varying itineraries. Guests can choose between 2 night – 7-night cruises with the majority of them offered in the Caribbean and West Coast. The cruise line even offers special Halloween themed decor for your room, ghoulish treats to be delivered prior to sailing and more! We sailed on the Disney Dream for the 4-Night Bahamas Cruise.
Other cruise lines offer Halloween Cruises. Take a look at the different Halloween themed cruises here.
Budget-Friendly Tips For Planning Your Halloween On The High Seas Disney Cruise
It should come as no surprise that a Disney Cruise is not cheap, however, I have learned a few money-saving tips to help you save a few pennies. If this is your first Disney Cruise I recommend reading our recap of taking our toddler on a Disney Cruise. It goes over a lot of the basics such as what to expect, where to book the perfect room and more.
Save Money Booking
The first question is when do you book your cruise?! I recommend two things: One is following Disney Cruise Line on social media and second sign up for their newsletters. That way you will receive notifications when they have a sale. The best sale that I have come across is the day after Thanksgiving they ran 20% off cruises. That is better than the 10% off cruises they offer those onboard as an enticement to book. (The sale that I took because I had only seen 5% off or a reduced deposit until then). Either way, wait until they offer a sale to book your cruise. Halloween on the High Sea sailings does tend to sell out so I would not recommend waiting till the last minute.
Save Money On Costumes
Choose one costume that will work for both dress-up nights. A plain white shirt can go a long way. With the right accessories, you can be a pirate or a Dalmation. Costumes can be expensive, especially if you are providing costumes for an entire family. Consider snagging costumes right after Halloween for a discount or you can try your luck at second-hand shops for dress-up costumes for kids. I have snagged many princess dresses for a fraction of the cost at our local Once Upon A Child.
Save Money On Booze
Bring two bottles of wine with you. The cruise line allows guests to bring up to two bottles of wine with them aboard the ship. Alcohol aboard the ship comes with a hefty mark-up so save a little money by bringing your own. The cruise line will provide glasses in your room.
Save Money By Bringing Your Necessities
In the event, you forget to bring your swimsuit, toothbrush or other necessity expect to pay top dollar for it onboard the ship. I recommend creating a packing list to keep you from forgetting anything important. Keep in mind the ship does provide pool towels and towels for beach use. Another trick is to purchase Disney attire, decorations and toys prior to boarding the ship. The mark-up is tremendous when you can get the same thing for a fraction of the price at your local Disney Store.
Ten Tips For A Halloween On The High Seas Cruise
Download The Disney Cruise App
I recommend downloading this app right now if you have a Disney Cruise booked. The app has everything you need at your fingertips. It even works on the ship so you can pull up the Navigator (The daily schedule of events), make reservations, and so much more. This is how you are going to know when and where the Halloween events are. You can also pick up a paper copy of the Navigator in the lobby at guest services.
Pack A Costume or Two
If you take away anything, know that costumes are serious business on a Disney Cruise. Whether it is dressing full-on Jack Sparrow for Pirate Night or rocking the family costume for the big Mouse-Querade Party fellow passengers will bring their A-game. It would be tempting to say that the Mouse-Querade party has even more elaborate, ingenious costumes over Pirate Night. I saw everything from a live size Forkie to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Pirate night happens on every Disney Cruise regardless if it is Halloween On The High Seas Sailing or not. That means that you get to dress up for two nights. For those not looking to bring multiple costumes consider dressing up as a pirate for both nights. This is what we did because we simply didn’t have the room in our luggage. On Pirate Night the cruise line does provide complimentary Mickey Pirate bandanas in your stateroom in the event you forgot your costume.
Fun Family Disney Cruise Costume Ideas
Here are a few of the great costumes we saw on Costume Night:
Te Fiti, Maui, Moana, and Hei Hei; Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinker Bell; Snow White and Seven Drawfs (where the dad was Snow White and his wife and kids made up the seven Drawfs; Cruella De Vil and Dalmatians, Dad’s dressed up as Prince Charming with their little princesses these are just a few of the great costumes we saw on ship. Other great Disney characters I saw were the entire cast of Aladdin, a family of villains, the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future and the tiniest Sebsation in a pot with chef Louie!
Join the Storyteller Around The Pumpkin Tree
A unique feature that appears on all the Disney Cruises during Halloween at the High Sea is the Pumpkin Tree. The Pumpkin Tree can be located in the atrium on the ship as is one of the first things you will see when you embark. A fun Halloween fact is each ship is home to a different festive Pumpkin Tree. Based on the story, “The Halloween Tree” don’t miss out on the fun storytime that happens by the tree’s caretaker. The tree appears to transform during the caretaker’s storytime. This event does get crowded so I advise going up a deck or two to get a view with fewer crowds.
Sample the Spooktacular Goodies
While a Disney Cruise is always full of spectacular food, special eerie treats start to make their way onto the menus during the Halloween On The High Seas sailings. Spooktacular desserts can be seen in the many dessert cases, at dinner and don’t miss out on the specialty themed Halloween cocktails!
There Is Trick-Or-Treating
It isn’t Halloween without a little Trick-Or-Treating, is it? On the night of Mickey’s Mouse-Querade Party children can go trick-or-treating at stations set up throughout the ship. Depending on what ship you are on there will be 10 or 11 Trick-or-Treat Stations. Each station will have a bag for your child to take with them that is already prefilled with a handful of candy. The candy the cruise line gives out is quality candy, not the cheap stuff. However, if your child has a nut allergy I would recommend bringing a separate goodie bag for them.
Mickey’s Mouse-Querade Party
A highlight of the Halloween On The High Seas is Mickey’s Mouse-Querade Party. This is when the characters come dressed up in their Halloween Costumes. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Chip and Dale all have special Halloween costumes there were just for this fun dance party. There are two times for Mickey’s Mouse-Querade Party so that way you can make a party regardless of your dinner time. Keep in mind most passengers come in their costumes as well. The characters rotate their way through the atrium encouraging guests to shake and groove. The earlier showtime seemed to be less crowded, however, consider going up a level or two to avoid crowds.
Adults Only Costume Party
Kids aren’t the only ones who get to have Halloween fun on this cruise. Sip creepy cocktails, boogie down with the DJ and wear your favorite costume at the adult-only costume party. A few of the parents dropped their kids off at the Kids Club or Small World Nursery and then joined the party. This is just one of the many adult-only Halloween events happening onboard the ship. Ensure to check the Navigator for details.
See Jack and Sally
The only time during our cruise where Jack and Sally were present was at the Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas Sing + Scream. This was disappointing as I was hoping these popular Halloween characters would have made more frequent appearances during a Halloween On The High Seas Cruise. This late-night interactive movie experience is one that is bound to get you in the Halloween spirit. After the movie is when you have the opportunity to meet Jack Skellington and Sally.
Check Out The Shops For Special Disney Halloween Merchandise
Did you come unprepared for all the Halloween madness happening around you? Maybe you forgot something to put on your door or simply you are looking for the perfect Halloween on The High Seas Souvenir. The shops onboard the Disney ships will not disappoint. Specialty Halloween Mouse Ears, Trick-or-Treat Buckets, light-up jewelry and more! They even have little ghosts to hang from your cabin door in the event you forgot to bring something to decorate your door. Even you are not in the shopping mood, it is fun to noodle through the store to see what neat Disney Cruise and Halloween merchandise is available.
Halloween Themed Events Throughout The Ship
Try your hand at pumpkin carving or sit back to listen to the haunted stories at sea. Halloween themed activities happen all throughout the cruise. The kid’s club is always incorporating Halloween into their events from making slime to masks the little ones are sure to be entertained. Special guests such as Mickey, Goofy, and friends are frequent visitors to the Kid’s Club. Check the Navigator to see what Halloween events are happening day-to-day.
Decorate Your Cabin Door
One thing that is different on a Disney Cruise than other lines I have sailed with is that passengers decorate their door. I would have been clueless if I had not read about it prior to going. While not every door is decorated a good portion of them are. The creativity is quite astounding as many families have gone through the length of customizing door hangings, making fish extenders and some even had lights! The decorations actually were useful as it helped my daughter locate our room easier.
What is a Fish Extender?!
This is not an official Disney Cruise activity but rather something that fellow cruise mates put together prior to sailing. Right outside each statement room is a little fish or sea themed wall hanging. Families that are participating in the Fish Extender hang a nice bag or pocket from the fish for others to drop off little gifts in. The gifts exchange is set up through an online group. To find a Fish Extender group simply search Facebook for the name of your ship and sail date. Often times families sailing together will only do the exchange between themselves.
Planning To Visit Disney World Before Or After Your Cruise
Many Disney Cruise passengers often contemplate spending a few days before or after at Disney World. While there are perks to both we recommend visiting Disney World after your cruise. A great option is to plan your visit so that you are hitting Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. It is a fun-filled way to round out your Disney vacation if you have any money left.