You’re hands clasp the salty railing as you peer out towards the horizon only to see darkness. The moon casts an eerie glow upon the sea as the sounds of waves lap against the hull as the ship cuts through the black of night.

Suddenly, a creepy sea captain beckons you to listen to the ghostly maritime tales of the restless spirits that haunt the seas. Goosebumps plague your whole body and just when you think you can’t take anymore, Mickey jumps out dressed like a vampire and the real party begins.

Mickey and Minnie Halloween High Seas

No, you are not lost at sea, you are celebrating at sea! Here you get to embark on a spooky adventure filled with costume parties and festive activities. This is no ordinary Halloween. Oh no. This, my friends, is a Disney Halloween Cruise, also known as Halloween on the High Seas.

So climb aboard as we explain everything you need to know about experiencing Halloween on a Disney cruise and find out how Disney does Halloween on the High Seas!


Yo Ho and Away We Go!

First, you probably want to know when Disney Cruise Line starts their Halloween festivities. I mean, you can’t celebrate if you are not on board, right?

Luckily, Disney Cruise Line does Halloween on the High Seas on all four ships: The Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy. Sail dates usually start in early September and run until the end of October. Dates vary depending on ship, sailing destination and duration.

[By the way, we wrote an extensive post on our experience aboard Disney Fantasy to the Caribbean, which you can read HERE]

Here are the sail dates for 2018 Halloween on the High Seas:

  • Disney Magic – September 20, 2018 – October 29, 2018
  • Disney Wonder – September 14, 2018 – October 19, 2018
  • Disney Dream – September 3, 2018 – October 29, 2018
  • Disney Fantasy – September 1, 2018 – October 27, 2018

Things to do aboard the ship

There is so much to do on a Disney Cruise anyway that it is hard to do everything, but throw in all the exciting activities on a Halloween Disney Cruise and you won’t need a costume to feel like a Zombie. Of course you want to do it all, burning the candle both ends!

Well, Disney does everything top-notch and how Disney Cruise Line does Halloween on High Seas is no exception! It is frightfully fun and the perfect Halloween cruise for kids. Here are some of the reasons why…

The Décor

The Halloween Tree, standing tall in main atrium with its bare, winding branches creeping out as if they could reach out and grab you. Keep your eyes peeled, because throughout your sailing the tree transforms as more and more (and more) glowing jack-o-lanterns are hung from its branches, which will eventually cover the entire tree by the end of your voyage.

Spooky Lobby Halloween on the High Seas

Disney Fantasy Lobby Halloween High Seas

Throughout the spooky vessel, touches of a Disney Halloween can be found everywhere. From the bat behind the bar to the smiling jack-o-lanterns and spider webs that cover the portholes.

Bon Voyage Bar Disney Fantasy

Kids on Halloween Disney Fantasy

Don’t ask me what my kids are doing.

There are even spooky treats, like spider cake! YUM! The kids notice all of these little decorative touches and it really helps to boost their Halloween spirit.

Spider Desert Disney Cruise Halloween

Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party

It is time to get dressed-up, get in the spirit and get your monster mash on. Honestly, after a long day at port it was hard to motivate ourselves to put on costumes, but I’m glad we did it, because it was so much fun.

It started in the main atrium where music was pumping and the cruise entertainment crew was dancing and helping to keep up the energy. The kids had fun int he atrium trick-or-treating, playing games, interacting with the crew, and taking really cute photo ops with mama and daddy!

Kids Portrait Halloween on the High Seas

Halloween Costume Family Fantasy Cruise Lobby

Papa & Grams with their ghoul children.

There was an interactive daddy/daughter costume dash, where families competed and dads had to find pieces to complete various costume looks on their daughters. Our family was chosen to participate and actually won the first round by a hair.

Father Daughter Game Disney Fantasy

All of this fun was followed by a big dance party where all the Disney Halloween characters came out in costume to pull some groovy moves and put on a lively show. Then we had the chance to just dance the night away with the kids and enjoy the costumes and the generally festive Halloween spirit.

After dinner, we put the kids in the kids’ club and headed over to the adults-only Halloween party and costume contest. Teens also get their own late night Halloween Party in the teen club! Who says the kids get to have all the fun?

Special Halloween Activities:

The Halloween fun will continue throughout your time on the ship with various activities going on all over the ship. Keep an eye on your daily itinerary, delivered to your cabin nightly. All the happenings, from Halloween crafts to games and shows will be on the schedule.

Sing & Scream:

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, is shown during the sailing of Halloween on the High Seas, but in a special way. You don’t have to just watch the movie, you get to participate in this interactive movie experience and then afterwards you get to meet Jack and Sally!

Unfortunately for us, the various times this activity took place we could not attend! I’m so bummed that we missed Jack and Sally on the ship (but it does give us a convenient excuse to book our next Halloween cruise with Disney! Haha). At least we’ve caught them at Disneyland in Anaheim during Halloween, which you can read more about HERE.

Haunted Stories of the Sea:

This is where my intro will start to make more sense. Late at night on the lido deck, you will gather around the virtual campfire displayed on the funnel vision (the huge outdoor movie screen, located near the Mickey pool) to hear scary stories told by an old sea captain. I love all things scary, but I was prepared for the stories to be rather mild, being that this was a Disney Halloween.

However, I was pleasantly surprised see that the stories were quite spooky. Gazing out at a dark sea, made things even spookier. I felt it was a very balanced activity, scary enough that even my tween nephew enjoyed it, but fun enough that it wasn’t too scary for my little kids either – but then again they have me for a mama (aka lover off all things Halloween) and we’re not afraid to take the kids to haunted historical places across the country.

Let’s just say my kids have seen worse.

Money saving Tip: Best Time to Book

Depending on cruise’s sailing location, prices can be very reasonable (for Disney) during the Halloween on High Seas celebration. Just coming off the summer rush, this time of year tends to be a bit slower and weather can be a bit less predictable.

For instance, we sailed during Hurricane Matthew, but Disney Cruise Line handled it amazing and we weren’t affected at all! Actually we had amazing weather.

That being said, prices do fluctuate and there are better times to buy than others.  There are two peak times when booking a Disney Cruise; at the release of the new schedules and approximately one year before the sailing date. That’s just when people tend to book more, so prices go up.

So try to book just short of a year or even better, last minute as your schedule affords for some really great deals.I like to check with Last Minute Travel.  Cruise Direct, also offers great last minute deals with some that include Disney on board credit.

Get Packing:

As a frequent traveler, I’m always advising others to pack light. However, if you are going on a themed Disney Cruise, you can take that advice and throw it out to sea. There are so many events and parties during Disney Cruise Halloween on the High Seas that you require frequent wardrobe changes.

Okay, they don’t REQUIRE it, but it is fun to participate. So, here is what you’ll need if you’re all in:

Disney Cruise Halloween  Costumes:

One night of the cruise is dedicated to Halloween and there is rocking Disney Halloween party as well as several photo ops all over the ship.

Costume family portrait disney fantasy

Pirate Costumes:

Every Disney Cruise, no matter the theme, has a pirate party night. Now, you don’t have to pack your own costumes, as the ship does provide Mickey pirate bandanas, but people go all out on these cruises and you’ll want to step it up. For more on the Disney Pirate Party see our post.

Family Pirate Portrait Disney Fantasy

Formal/Semi Formal:

Even on themed cruises there will be a traditional Formal and Semi-Formal night. There is something classic about seeing everyone dressed up for the evening.

Disney Fantasy Formal Night Portrait

Disney Cruise Halloween Door Magnets:

Disney Cruisers love decorating their doors with magnets. Since most doors are decorated for Halloween, you’ll want your door to look spooktacular to0!

Disney Cruise Halloween Magnets

My lovely son said it was easy to find our room, because we hardly have any decorations. 🙁

Fun right? Get your Disney Cruise Halloween Door Magnets for some creepy flair.


It may be a Halloween cruise, but you are still cruising and exploring ports, so you will need all your regular cruising attire on top of your themed-wear. For more information on our Disney ports of call, see our posts on Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Epcot.

That’s A Wrap!

If you love Halloween, love Disney, and have kids (or not),  I am pretty confident you will love Disney Halloween on the High Seas. Like everything Disney does, every detail is well thought out and for the time you are away sailing you are transported into a Halloween fantasy world. As someone who likes to stretch the scares all month long, this will definitely be a new tradition in my family. Hope you enjoyed this Halloween on the High Seas review. Happy Halloween!

If you would like to book a Disney cruise, you can book directly through their site or you can also check for deals on Cruise Direct.

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Have you ever been on a themed cruise? Did you like it?

For more family fun Halloween ideas, you should check out my other posts:

Terror in the Oaks at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, CA

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Family Halloween on the High Seas