With Disney Cruise Line recently announcing this year’s dates for its annual Halloween on the High Seas celebration, I thought I’d share some of my photographs from last year’s event onboard the Disney Dream. While Disney’s fleet of four ships might have slight differences, I’ve been told the event’s offerings are quite similar.
If you’ve loaded the Disney Cruise Line app onto your smartphone (which is a must-do), there’s nothing like seeing this message on the day of your sailing. It means the countdown is finally over and you’re ready to set sail. And when cruising during the Halloween on the High Seas sailings, you’re in for an even more amazing experience. Elaborate decor, entertainment, and special treats await you throughout your cruise. This article will touch on some of the special aspects of this event, but I’ll be selective so as to not reveal all.
After being greeted by Cast Members as you board the ship, you’ll find this bare tree awaiting you in the atrium lobby.
Bare, yes, but not for long. For as your trip progresses, the towering tree evolves with each passing day. Its caretaker tells guests of the tree’s story and Halloween each evening.
During our four-night cruise, the tree slowly ‘bloomed’ with Jack-O-Lanterns that eventually flickered with light. While all four ships have a Halloween Tree, each one is unique.
As you can see, the Atrium lobby is tastefully decorated for the season. The decorations enhance, but do not distract from the sheer elegance of this space.
Check out these cleverly decorated porthole windows.
As you’d expect on a Disney cruise, Mickey and Minnie appear in pumpkin form as well.
And if you’re pumpkin crazy like me, you’ll appreciate the carved pumpkin display that awaits you as you enter each of the ship’s dining rooms.
While in the dining room (and where there’s bar service), you can enjoy specialty ghoulish cocktails that would even bring a smile to Master Gracey’s face.
During dinner one evening, our amazing wait staff surprised our daughter with this eight-legged dessert. (Don’t worry, he’s not poisonous. He’s 100% decadent chocolate.)
One of the highlights of a Halloween on the High Seas cruise is Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party. Held in the Atrium lobby, the party boasts several Disney characters in costume, trick-or-treating (bags provided for you), and games. Mickey Mouse MCs the event, and everyone can dance with their favorite characters. Bring your cameras as there are lots of unique character photo opportunities.
The party is held on a different night than Pirate Night so as to not have competing events. While I’m familiar with ‘dressing up’ for other cruises (along the lines of fancy gowns and suits), it was a treat to bring both a Halloween and pirate costume instead!
Speaking of costumes, most guests on my sailing were dressed up. People seemed as enthusiastic and creative with their costumes as I’ve seen at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It’s especially fun for those who love to people watch.
In addition to the party, guests can carve pumpkins and hear campfire ghost stories on the pool deck. Later that night, Disney offers Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream and Jack and Sally host a meet-and-greet following the movie.
If you wish to celebrate Halloween without the little ones, adult-only activities are offered in the nighttime entertainment district. Sadly, our daughter was too tired for Disney’s Oceaneers Club that night, so we missed out on dancing with the villains and the costume contest. There’s always next time…
In addition to Disney’s events and decorations, I loved seeing how guests added to the Halloween spirit as well. Like many, we decorated our stateroom door.
DIStracted Tip: In order to prevent damage, Disney Cruise Line does not allow stateroom door decorations to be taped or tacked on. As the doors are made of metal, guests may use decorations that have a magnetic backing. I found this cute little Mickey pumpkin on Etsy, but it’s easy to make your own.
While a vacation on Disney Cruise Line is exciting in and of itself, the Halloween on the High Seas celebration certainly adds pumpkin-colored Pixie Dust to the fun. And for those who are not as enamored by the holiday as me, rest assured, it won’t take away from your cruise. You can participate in as much or as little of the events as you please. Either way, you’re in for one spooktacular cruise.