How Disney Cruise Line does Halloween on the High Seas

Halloween High Seas

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


Yo Ho and Away We Go:

So, 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 (see our Disney Fantasy post). Sail dates usually start in early September and run until the end of October. Dates vary depending on ship, sailing destination and duration.

Here are the sail dates for 2017 Halloween on the High Seas:

Disney Magic September 27, 2017 – October 28, 2017
The Disney Wonder September 15, 2017 – October 27, 2017
Disney Dream September 4, 2017 – October 30, 2017
The Disney Fantasy September 2, 2017 – October 28, 2017

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.

hotmamatravel subscribe Join the Party

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.  Check Last Minute Deals.  Cruise Direct, also offers great last minute deals with some that include Disney on board credit. Check Offers.

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

Like our look?


Pueri Kids Knight Set Knight Role Play Costume

Leg Avenue Women’s Fairytale Snow White Costume

California Costumes Men’s Storybook Prince Costume

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.







PERSONALIZED Disney Cruise Ghost Magnet.


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.

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. You want to do it all, burning the candle both ends! Disney does everything topnotch and how Disney Cruise Line does Halloween on High Seas is no exception! It is frightfully fun and the perfect kids Halloween cruise. Now, I’m going to show you 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 glowing jack-o-lanterns hang from its branches.

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!

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 a lot of fun.

It starts in the main atrium. The music is pumping and the cruise entertainment crew keeps the energy up while kids can trick-or-treat, play some games and take 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.

Daddy and FireCracker participated in a daddy/daughter costume dash, where the dad had to find pieces to complete various costume looks on their daughters. They actually won the first round.

Father Daughter Game Disney Fantasy

Finally, there is the big dance party. All the Disney Halloween characters come out to put on a show before dancing the night away with your kids.

Mickey and Minnie Halloween High Seas

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

Special Halloween Activities:

The Halloween fun continues throughout your time on the ship with various festive 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 to have missed Jack and Sally on the ship. At least we’ve caught them at Disneyland during Halloween, which you can read more about, HERE.

Haunted Stories of the Sea:

This is where my intro will make more sense. Late at night on the lido deck, gather around the virtual campfire displayed on the funnel vision (outdoor movie screen, located by 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. Let’s just say my kids have seen worse.

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 add a cruise to your Disney World vacation, Walt Disney Travel Company has some great packages. Check Deals.

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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 some my other posts:

Best Halloween Events for Families
Terror in Oaks at Vail Lake
Halloween at SeaWorld
HotMama’s Favorite Halloween Cocktails and Mocktails

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Family Halloween on the High Seas

  1. avatar image
    Steph at October 31, 2016 Reply

    Looks like a fun idea for a family! I’ve never celebrated Halloween on a cruise, but I did go to Disney this past weekend.

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      Hot Mama at November 2, 2016 Reply

      Isn’t the Disney Cruise fun? You’ll have to try the Halloween one some time!

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    mark wyld at October 31, 2016 Reply

    looks like a great way spend Halloween for you and the kids. i would expect nothing less from Disney than to put on something special

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      Hot Mama at November 2, 2016 Reply

      Seriously. It was nonstop Halloween fun!

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    Sheena at November 2, 2016 Reply

    Disney Cruise Lines look line the place to be for Halloween! You & your family look amazing in your costumes! Your kids look like they had a blast too, it’s fantastic that there were so many activities & events for them. I’ll have to keep Disney in mind for Halloween 2017 🙂

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      Hot Mama at June 26, 2017 Reply

      Not everyone’s, we just wanted to do. My sister went as red riding hood and her husband and boys went as werewolves.

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    Julie Wilkins at August 31, 2017 Reply

    Was there any plays or broadway type shows on the Halloween cruise? I also am wondering if there are any good movies in the theaters to watch that are not Halloween themed? Booked a seven night Halloween cruise and starting to regret it since it sounds like there is no good plays or new movies in the theaters. ☹ I am relieved to learn that there still is a formal night. I hope we can get pictures again.

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      Hot Mama at September 1, 2017 Reply

      Yes there were tons of Halloween events, parties and shows going on. Although, the main shows in the big theater were their standard musicals. They show all kinds of movies in the movie theater. Some are Halloween and some are not, so you can choose. Read my post about the Disney Fantasy and you’ll see the regular Disney Cruise events and shows still continue. You just get some added Halloween events.

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    Harmony, Momma To Go at September 19, 2017 Reply

    I still have never been on a Disney Cruise ( I need to change that soon) I have heard that cruises are still good to book during hurricane season because the ships can re-route. And you can get good deals!

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    Jon Bailey at October 16, 2017 Reply

    This looks like so much fun, so much attention to detail! Our family loves going to Disneyland, this reminds me that we should plan a Halloween trip.

    1. avatar image
      Hot Mama at October 20, 2017 Reply

      Right? I love planning Halloween travel.

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    Rebecca at October 18, 2017 Reply

    Oh my – yes, the attention to detail is amazing! I am sure it’s the same on every Disney cruise…the themes sound interesting. I think I would be a little scared on this one!

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      Hot Mama at October 20, 2017 Reply

      It was so amazing and Disney just makes it feel magical.

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    Carol at October 19, 2017 Reply

    Severe Disney travel envy!!! ;P

    Your family is so adorbs!

    Thanks for adding the link for the deals. Now looking for options. Heehee

    1. avatar image
      Hot Mama at October 20, 2017 Reply

      WhooHoo! Hope you get to take your cruise soon!

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    Katie at October 20, 2017 Reply

    Oh my goodness, how adorable is this?! I love the costumes – especially the pirate themed night. I bet your kids had a blast (and you guys too!).

    1. avatar image
      Hot Mama at October 20, 2017 Reply

      Dressing up is always so much fun and to get to do two of them was a real treat.

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    Maria at October 22, 2017 Reply

    This cruise looks like a great idea for familys with small children. I’m sure you all had a lot of fun 🙂

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      Hot Mama at October 23, 2017 Reply

      Honestly it is fun for everyone of all ages.

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