Ready to set sail on the high seas during the spookiest time of the year? We love Halloween. And cruising during a Halloween on the High Seas cruise has been one of our all-time favorite vacations to date. So we’ve compiled a guide perfect for helping you plan and knowing what to expect during a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise with the Disney Cruise Line.
Disney Halloween Cruise Planning
Planning a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise is really no different than planning most other Disney Cruises. With a few magical extras, the Disney cruise ships are transformed into a Halloween wonderland. We’ll go into all the spooky details in this post!
Disney’s Halloween on the High Seas Cruise
Halloween on the High Seas is a special event cruise complete with decorations, festive foods, parties, and more. Each ship and itinerary may feature its own kind of fun, but the basics of this special cruise remain the same no matter where you are sailing!
Which Disney Cruise Ships have the Halloween on the High Seas Cruise?
Every Disney Cruise ship has the ability to offer Halloween on the High Seas, including Disney Cruise Line’s New Disney Wish Cruise Ship! Previously, we had sailed on the Disney Magic for Halloween on the High Seas. We are currently booked to set sail in 2022 during a Halloween on the High Seas cruise on Disney’s Wish so we will be sure to report back with all the spooky details!
What Ports Do You Visit on a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise?
Halloween on the High Seas cruises are not tied to specific ports but rather offered in the fall months. So ports and Itineraries will change from year to year, and your best bet is to check Disney Cruise Line’s Official site for dates and ports of call offered for Halloween on the High Seas cruises. Due to the time of year, many itineraries are available so you can sail to places like Jamaica, The Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean or enjoy a cold-weather cruise like New England and Canada.
Is Halloween on the High Seas Cruises more expensive?
It really depends! Although generally specialty cruises can be a little more expensive, Halloween on the High Seas Cruises are often during hurricane season and that can help you snag a great deal. Also, some of the itineraries and ships that tend to be a little less popular are less expensive. When we cruised from New York City to Maine and Canada, our 5-night cruise was actually about the same price as our 3 night Very Merrytime in the Caribbean.
There are a lot of things that can affect the pricing of specific cruises. So don’t let the idea of it potentially being more expensive keep you from dreaming of a Halloween-themed cruise. Because that is not always the case!
What Should You Pack for a Halloween Cruise?
We love a theme! So we say, pack all the Halloween things you can! Ok just kidding. But seriously, there are a few things you might want to pack for a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise. If you want to dress up for the festivities, don’t forget a costume. And be sure to review the rules for costumes onboard.
Aside from that, Halloween-themed door decorations are fun too! You’ll want to decorate your door anyway, so it might as well fit the theme of the cruise! Fun decorations for your stateroom are a great way to make it more festive but not totally necessary. Truthfully, there are not a lot of extra things needed to be packed for a Halloween cruise. But, if you want a good list, check out our What to Pack for a Disney Halloween Cruise post.
What Halloween Extras Can You Get to Make the Experience Special?
There are always extras available to add a bit of festivity to your stateroom! I surprised my daughter with an onboard gift specific to the season, which costs extra and comes fully assembled in your room upon arrival. Ours included a fleece blanket, pillow, trick or treat bag, and glow-in-the-dark ghosts hanging from our ceiling. During our sailing, the cost of this onboard gift was $75, but the prices do vary from year to year. That is a little bit high, but since we don’t tend to go crazy with souvenir spending, I just factored into the cost of goodies we may have wanted to splurge onboard.
If you want to see what’s available for your cruise, just link your Disney Cruise Reservation, and you’ll be able to see what is available for your sailing.
What are the Halloween decorations like on a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise?
One of the most noticeable and constant- reminders that you are on a Halloween on the High Seas cruise is the decorations! Onboard you will find Disney-themed carved pumpkins, fall foliage garland, and the pumpkin tree! You will also see lots of Halloween magic sprinkled throughout like window clings, fall ribbon, and pumpkin decor. Check out what the Disney Magic Cruise Ship Halloween Decorations looked like in our photo tour.
Halloween on the High Seas Activities
Mickey’s Mouse-querade was probably our favorite event of the entire Halloween on the High Seas cruise. A dance party with all of our favorite characters dressed in full Halloween attire, trick or treating, festive character meet and greets, and games, this party is fun for all ages. Trick or Treat bags are left in guests staterooms the day of the party so no need to worry about bringing your own.
You don’t have to dress up for this one, but it’s a lot more fun if you do! We ended up being so busy before our cruise that Halloween costumes kind of slipped my mind. So my daughter and I both just decked ourselves out in Halloween attire that we had accumulated from Walt Disney World over the years and it worked out just fine. If you’re looking to save room in your luggage but still want to dress up, you can always double up your Pirate Night costume as a Halloween costume as well! This party can get pretty crowded; but if you want to be where all the action is, head to the atrium. Or head to decks 4 and 5 for a great view with fewer crowds.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream
The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream is an interactive movie experience. With 3D animation and 4D effects, this is a fun show for any Nightmare Before Christmas fan. Unfortunately for us, there was some sort of issue with the effects and well, it wasn’t really a whole lot different than just watching Nightmare Before Christmas on the big screen. And during our Halloween on the High Seas cruise, this was actually during Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party and we left halfway through because we knew we’d rather be at the party. As much as we love Nightmare Before Christmas, we preferred to be where the action is.
This is, however, your opportunity to meet Jack and Sally, which I know for many people is a big deal. So if you’re excited about that, the meet and greet with Jack and Sally is directly after the Sing and Scream. And with that being said, if it wasn’t held during the same time as the party, and had all of the original effects we had planned to see, we likely would have stayed all the way to the end.
Character Meet and Greets
Character Meet and Greets happen all throughout your sailing and outfits may change each time. Not all meet and greets during a Halloween on the High Seas cruise will be Halloween-themed, but all of the ones during Mickey’s Mousequerade will be! There are other opportunities other than Party night to find your favorite characters in costume. When you get the Navigator each day, or when you check the app for your daily activities, you can see who will be available for meeting that day! It will give you the location and time so you can plan accordingly. *NEW* for 2022, Minnie, Daisy and Clarabell don the iconic Hocus Pocus Sanderson costumes, for their spookiest Halloween meet and greet yet!
The lines for characters are usually not terribly long, but we recommend getting there close to the start time as Cast Members will “close” the line when the character’s time slot is almost over.
The Pumpkin Tree
The Pumpkin Tree may seem like just a decoration but it’s far more than that! On the first night of our cruise, we got to meet the Caretaker, who told the tree’s story. Since we were on the Disney Magic, our tree was named Reap. The caretaker then lights the tree for the remainder of the cruise. This is the only time you can see the lighting of the pumpkin tree, so we don’t recommend you miss it! The pumpkin tree serves as a backdrop for many of the photo ops during the cruise. And he even plays a fun part during the Mouse-querade Party!
Haunted Stories By The Sea
On select nights, you can cozy up on the main pool deck and watch this spooky feature on the jumbo screen. A mysterious sailor tells ghost stories and occasionally the cast members join in on the fun. This was probably one of the lowest crowd events in terms of entertainment, but that could also be because nights were really cold and most people had retired to their rooms at that point.
What other Halloween activities are there?
Aside from all of the events and entertainment, there are also lots of Halloween activities available onboard! Halloween crafts, Halloween-themed “Anyone Can Cook” demos and Halloween-themed trivia are just a few of the festive activities you can find on a Halloween on the High Seas cruise. In addition to regular Halloween fun available to everyone, the kid’s clubs also have fun Halloween activities for little ones. Pumpkin carving, crafts, face painting, and more are just a few things your kids can enjoy.
If there was one thing I would have loved more of onboard the Disney Magic for Halloween on the High Seas, it would be the spooky treats! The treats aren’t really announced or published anywhere; but you can find them at places like Cove Cafe, Cabanas during lunch, and even the occasional seasonal treat during your regular meal. In addition to all of the spooky treats, you can find pumpkin spiced anything onboard as well!
Is there Pirate Night during Halloween on the High Seas?
Pirate Night is a fan favorite and for good reason! Not all cruises have Pirate Night; but all of the ones we’ve been on have, even cruises that are not in the Caribbean. We sailed in the North Atlantic for our Halloween on the High Seas cruise and we still had a Pirates Night. Truthfully I was surprised by this since the event is literally called Pirates in the Caribbean, but I can’t complain because we love Pirate Night! You’ll be able to tell if your cruise includes Pirate Night when you receive your itinerary so that you can plan accordingly.
With a special meal, fun entertainment, and appearances from all of your favorite characters dressed in pirate gear, Pirate Night is not to be missed! Many families dress up with the theme, and while it’s not mandatory, it’s definitely fun. One thing that makes Pirate Night extra special on a Halloween on the High Seas cruise is that it gives cruisers the opportunity to dress up twice!
Is there an Adult only Halloween Party onboard Halloween on the High Seas?
Halloween isn’t just for kids! Adult-only Halloween fun can be had on a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise. So whether you’re a solo cruiser, a childless cruiser, or a parent needing a break, this is for you! There’s a costume contest, music, and dancing. And creepy cocktails of course! So get ready for this Villainous takeover and dance the night away! The location for this event will vary by ship, but you can find all the info in the navigator.
Is there a character breakfast during Halloween on the High Seas?
Character breakfasts are only available on 7 night or longer cruises and reservations must be made in advance. You can book the character breakfast when your excursion booking date opens.
Are tickets required for Halloween events?
As of the time of writing this post, no they are not! However, with the future of cruising a little uncertain, it’s possible that once cruising begins again, tickets may be required for certain events. We will keep this section updated to reflect current policies.
Is there special Halloween on the High Seas merch?
Yes, there is! And it is cute! Gift shops are only open on board when the ship is at sea, so I highly recommend purchasing any special merch you want at the earliest possible time. Remember, you’re on a boat. They won’t be receiving a new shipment of merchandise during your cruise, so if something sells out while you’re on board, you likely won’t be able to get it at a later time. The moral of the story is if you want that special Halloween mug, just buy it. Waiting will only end in heartbreak.
Disney Cruise Halloween on the High Seas Tips
This is always a top tip when it comes to cruising with Disney Cruise Line. Booking early can be tough sometimes, but it’s usually when you’ll see some of the lower prices available. Sometimes, the opposite of that is true, and we talk a little about this in our post about cruising on a budget.
Seasonal sailings generally tend to sell out a little quicker as well, so booking early will help you secure your choice of the stateroom onboard.
Decorate your Stateroom Door!
We always recommend that you decorate your door when you cruise. Not only does it add a little extra magic to an otherwise boring stateroom door, but it will also help you find your door in the long corridors of the cruise ship. You can make this as simple or detailed as you like. The doors are metal, so magnets are your best bet. We usually make our own, but you can also find lots of different designs on Etsy.
When we’ve made our own in the past, we just grab a pack of magnets from Amazon, design something on the Cricut, and voila! Pumpkins, bats, witch hats, and mickey heads are all easy shapes anyone can master and will add a bit of spooky spirit to your door with little effort. And if you show up unprepared, never fear because the gift shops onboard usually have a few options to choose from as well!
Dress Up for your Halloween on The High Seas Cruise
Even if dressing up for Halloween isn’t your thing, something simple will do. Most families and even adults traveling without children will be dressed up. If costumes aren’t your thing, Halloween shirts, hats, or something as simple as light-up necklaces will work! I feel like every Halloween event I’ve ever been to either on land or at sea, I always hear people say they wish they would have dressed up. So just do it!
Check your Cruise Navigator daily for Halloween happenings
It’s great to be able to read a blog post like this and get all the ideas for what you want to do. But there is nothing that will be more accurate than your Daily Navigator or the app once you’re onboard. The truth is, no matter how many trips we take or how much research we do, things can change quickly and even from sailing to sailing. So be flexible and check daily to see what’s offered.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you get a good idea of what to expect onboard a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise with Disney Cruise Line. We love this seasonal cruise and highly recommend it if possible. Let us know what other questions you have about sailing during a Halloween on the High Seas cruise with Disney Cruise Line!