Other places await that first pumpkin on the vine to know that Halloween is nigh, but here in Southern California? It's all about a gargantuan, pumpkin-eared, smile-rocking gourd that sits square in the center of Main Street, USA.
For when we locals see the big pumpkin Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Park around the middle of September, we know that the time for fun frights, eeky treats, and a visit from Jack Skellington has arrived.
But what's this? Disney California Adventure is getting into the goose-bumpily act in 2017, too? Friends, be not chilled, for this is the not-so-frightful truth: Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort will roll, like a pumpkin, into both side-by-side Anaheim theme parks this year.
What to do, where to go and what to see
What does this mean for the more southerly park, which is new to the multi-week Halloween high jinks? Check it out: Cars Land will celebrate "Haul-O-Ween," complete with car costumes (be on watch for the local "van-pire"), flickering Jack-Oil Lanterns, and seasonal updates like the Graveyard JamBOOree at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.
Oogie Boogie of "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" will hover, Oogie-Boogie-like, at the entrance to Disney California Adventure, and the "pre-party mix-in" for Mickey's Halloween Party, which happens on select nights during Halloween Time, will include Disney California Adventure for the first time.
And haunting over at Disneyland Park? Oh yeah, some of the spooky classics of the fall shall charmingly return, including Haunted Mansion Holiday, which will including Jack Skellington, Sally, Zero, and that new-every-year gingerbread mansion, and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy will return to the shadowy interior coaster.
A Frightfully Fun Parade, with the Headless Horseman at the front, and special "Halloween Screams" fireworks are also on the diabolical docket at The Hauntiest — we mean Happiest — Place on Earth.
Mickey's Halloween Party is a separate ticket, you might recall, and you'll also recall that those tickets fly like a cloud of bats. Want yours? They go on sale to the general public on Monday, July 24, and are currently on sale for Annual Passholders.
Now, you'll want those dates for Halloween Time, like you'll want to queue up for your yearly photo in front of the mega Mickey pumpkin on Main Street.
So best take your favorite antique quill pen, the one you save to circle all of your Halloween plans, and jot these dates for the "park-to-park spooktacular": Friday, Sept. 15 through Tuesday, Oct. 31.