Friday 15 November 2019

What's special about a Disney Halloween on the High Seas cruise?

We recently returned from a Halloween on the High Seas Disney cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy, and I thought I'd share a little bit about the extra events and activities that brought the magic of Halloween to life on board.

Disney Halloween on the High Seas trip report review

Decorations on the ship and in the corridors

The ship was beautifully decorated for Halloween, mainly in the Atrium which is where you enter as you board. The Atrium was dominated by the Pumpkin Tree, along with pumpkin themed decorations hung from the balcony and pumpkin stickers on the large portholes. When we boarded, the Pumpkin Tree already had pumpkins hanging from it and it didn't change in appearance at all throughout the cruise, as I've heard that it did in the past.

Disney Fantasy Halloween decorations in the atrium

The majority of the Halloween decorations on the ship however were provided by our fellow cruisers, and people really got into the spirit of Halloween when it came to decorating their stateroom doors. I gave out a lot of small gifts over the course of the cruise, and it was great fun to go delivering around the corridors and see how creative some people had been, it's definitely worth taking yourself off for a wander if you find yourself on a Disney cruise ship!

Disney Halloween cruise decorated stateroom doors

I forgot to take a photo of my absolute favourite door, which featured loads of Hama bead bat magnets, placed all over the surrounding walls and ceilings! You'll notice that many of the doors have a decorated hanger placed outside them - these are called Fish Extenders and are a part of an organised gift exchange between passengers. We took part for the first time and received some really lovely gifts, including many that had a Halloween theme.

Lots of cabins also had a treat holder outside which people had filled with lollipops, glow stickers or pencils. We even found one generous person that had filled their entire fish extender with candy, along with a note saying to help yourself!

Disney Cruise Halloween stateroom door decorations

For decorating the inside of your stateroom, Disney sell a range of themed decor packs, including a Halloween package, which you can purchase in advance so that it is set up in your room when you arrive. The packs vary year by year and I think it's only available to view and book if you already have a reservation, but it seems to include a blanket, trick or treat bag, a cushion, and various magnetic hanging decorations that are yours to keep and take home with you.

On the Halloween celebration day we also found several small plastic insects hidden around the ship, although it's very possible that they had been put there by a fellow passenger!

Halloween themed shows

Disney Fantasy Halloween pumpkin tree

Every day the ship publishes a daily Navigator, a sheet of paper which details all the shows and events taking part this day. This used to be delivered to your stateroom every evening, but is now only available to pick up at Guest Services as the information can be found in the app.

I still like to have the paper copy though, as it makes it easier to look through and I like to keep it, so we made sure to pick one up each day. All the Halloween events were highlighted in orange, and although the majority of them took place on the designated Halloween day there were a few other things spread out over the cruise.

On our first evening we went to the Pumpkin Tree show in the Atrium. There was only one show which took place between dinner seatings, and unfortunately as our early seating dinner took longer than we had expected (it was my birthday and they promised to bring out a cake and sing to me, but they took ages to get to me!) we weren't able to get a good position and couldn't really see what was going on. So if this is important to you make sure that you arrive early! There was some kind of spooky story about the tree, and it finished with the lights in the pumpkins being turned on and some Halloween confetti.

On the designated Halloween day, which for us was a port day, Mickey's Mouse-Querade Party took place in the Atrium. The show took place twice to fit around the two dinner seatings, with an early show and a later show. It was very busy again, and featured appearances by Mickey and friends in their Halloween outfits, along with singing and dancing.

On that day, the main evening entertainment was a special screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing & Scream, again with two showings to fit around dinner. The film was shown in the large theatre, with subtitles for the songs so that you could sing along, together with special effects like smoke, lights and snow.

A few days later, late at night was a Haunted Stories of the Seas event on deck, but this was quite late for our little ones (10.15pm). My husband and oldest went along for a few minutes, but as far as I understood it, it was just a recorded video played on the large screen.

Disney Halloween show aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship

Trick or treating and dressing up

People began to put on their Halloween costumes during the afternoon, especially as there were lots of chances to have photographs taken with characters while dressed up. Trick or treating took place around the Atrium twice, during the Mickey's Mouse-Querade party and timed to fit in with dinner seatings.

There were about six trick or treat stations, with bags provided at each one, and adults were welcome to take part too. Cast members hand out the candy, usually several pieces at a time. It was a little chaotic to be honest, the stations got very busy and sometimes it could be difficult to work out where the end of the line was - it would have been better to spread them out around the ship a bit. However we still managed to pick up a decent amount of good quality candy!

Disney cruise Halloween on the High Seas trick or treating

Taking part in the trick or treating did mean that we missed quite a lot of the live show, or at least we couldn't get a decent position to see it, so you need to make a choice as to which is more important to your family. And if you are early seating like us, try and get out early from dinner and you could even go trick or treating twice! It's a lot of fun to see all the different costumes. Later on in the evening was an adult costume contest, and many people had gone to a huge amount of effort with their costumes, mainly Disney themed but some more spooky.

Trick or treating on board Disney Fantasy cruise ship

Additional special Halloween activities

During the Halloween themed day there were lots of different Halloween activities taking place around the ship. Some of these were in the kids club so for children only, but there were also some family crafts, along with themed trivia and karaoke sessions.

Halloween character appearances

During the Halloween celebration, the main characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale, Donald, Pluto) appeared in their Halloween costumes, and there were several opportunities through the afternoon and evening to see them and take photographs. There was also the opportunity to meet Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas after the screening of the film. This wasn't advertised in the Navigator but it was very busy, unfortunately after the late show we weren't able to keep the children up long enough to wait in line for them. If you really want to see them, perhaps try and time your visit for the end of the first showing, before people have started to come out the theatre.

The photograph below was taken on our own phone and came out really well, so definitely make sure that you had your phone to a cast member if you want a photo. They are more than happy to take one for you, and it may save you some money on the photo package.

Family with Mickey Mouse in Halloween costumes

Along with the Halloween themed day, we still had Pirate Night and the fireworks on a different day, which as far as I know takes place on all Disney cruises except those in Alaska and Europe (where it's replaced with a Frozen themed night, without fireworks).

I hope that this information was helpful if you are planning a Halloween on the High Seas themed cruise! This was our first experience of a themed Disney cruise, and it really did add lots of fun to the cruise. Next time I would love to try a Christmas themed cruise, if only we could fit it in around the school holidays!

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