We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Friends, I am going to tell you a little secret… when Disneyland announced that it was moving the Halloween party over to California Adventure and renaming it Oogie Boogie Bash, I went through several stages of all the feels.
Probably my biggest one was confusion as to whether or not this party was a good fit for families with younger children.
All doubts aside, I decided it was my duty to test this out for you, and so I bought my entire family tickets to the very first Oogie Boogie Bash.
Now, here we are in 2021, and the prices went up, there are more party dates, but less offerings. Is it still worth it? Only you can decide, but here are some tips for your visit if you go.
The Best Tips for Oogie Boogie Bash
You are paying $100+ per person for this extra ticketed event, so of course you are going to feel the pressure to get the most out of your time at the event. These tips will help you decide what to do, what order to do things in, and help you prioritize your activities during the event.
To be clear – you will not be able to do EVERYTHING at the party. But you may be able to do everything that is important to you.
You will need to set priorities. Are you mostly wanting to take advantage of the low wait times for rides? Or see the characters? Or is your main goal candy? Villains Grove is popular and may take a good chunk of your time as well. You will need to set a priority of 2-3 things, and then the rest is icing on the Halloween Cake.
There is so much to do all over Disneyland at Halloween time in 2021, that you will definitely need a plan to get everything in. But if you are specifically going for the party, here are my top tips for Oogie Boogie Bash.
1. Oogie Boogie Bash Tip: Know What Is Included With Your Ticket
The biggest mistake you can make is not knowing what is included with your Oogie Boogie Bash Ticket. This year, the tickets DO NOT include a Park Hopper ticket, so you will want to either plan another day to visit Disneyland at Halloween Time or just make a full trip out of it by booking a vacation package through my friends at Get Away Today.
So what is included with your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket?
Included with your Oogie Boogie Bash Ticket is:
- Entry to the event, including entry 3 hours before to Disney California Adventure
- Photopass Photos and Ride Photos digital downloads via the Disneyland App
- All of the entertainment that is exclusive to the party
- Treat Trails
- Immersive Treat Trails
- Access to special merchandise (must pay for merchandise)
Some things that are not included with your ticket that you should be aware of:
- Entry to a Disneyland Park before the mix-in time
2. Arrive early for Oogie Boogie Bash to beat the crowds
Do not show up at the parking lot/structure at the start of your mix-in time. If you are allowed to enter the parks at 3, be at the parking structure at 2:15. Everyone shows up about 15 minutes before they can get into the park, so you will have a long wait for security, shuttles, everything if you show up right around the time you can get in.
Arriving at least 30-45 minutes before your mix-in time can get you ahead of the crowds. Then maybe roam Downtown Disney, or have one parent wait in line while the other takes all the kids to the bathroom or puts on sunscreen.
3. Oogie Boogie Bash: Entry Tip – Wait To Get Your Wristband
When we went to Oogie Boogie Bash, the entrance was a bit chaotic.
After you scanned in, they tried to merge us all into one long line (12 gates merging into one line) to get wristbands and maps.
Knowing from last year that you could also pick up your wristband at Blue Sky Cellar, I skipped this line and headed straight there. You can actually go to Blue Sky Cellar anytime before 6 to do this. So if you get there and the line is a bit long, go do something and come back around 4:30.
My friends that went to later parties went into Blue Sky Cellar right before 6 pm (the party start time) and said they were able to get in and out immediatly.
Oogie Boogie Bash Tip: Wait to get the wrist band. Go grab a bite to eat, or something, before heading to Blue Sky Cellar to get your wristband.
4. Bring your own candy bag
Love that Disney is happy to supply treat bags for attendees but guys… they will fill up after just one or two treat trails. I definitely suggest bringing your own bag for candy.
Don’t believe how much candy people say you get? This is our haul for our family of 5… and we didn’t do all of the trails.
5. Don’t Do Treat Trails The First Hour
One of my biggest tips is to NOT do Treat Trails the first hour. Well, okay, if you are lined up for one before 6 pm like we were in 2019, go ahead and do that one, but then… stop. Use the first hour to either take in the shows, take advantage of low ride wait times, or shop the party exclusive merchandise, but do not do the treat trails during the first hour.
Because the lines are long. They are still getting things moving, and families with little kids tend to do Treat Trails first. I suggest waiting until after the first hour to get in the treat trail lines as they will start moving much quicker.
This was especially true for the Treat Trail in Avengers Campus with Agatha
6. Hit up the Mickey Trick and Treat Show for the second or later showing
The first showing of the Mickey Trick and Treat show has been crowded. Not just at the first party, but reportedly at the second and third party as well.
The second show was not that bad. I would arrive to the theater (it is held inside the theater where you view the Disney Junior Dance Party) at least 20 minutes before the show if you want a front row seat.
Remember that this show will require most guests to sit on the ground. There are some bench seats in the back for those unable to do so, but mostly, it is ground seating.
The show is about 12 minutes long and at the end, kids get a candy treat. The show focused heavily on candy (a whole song they sing about it multiple times) but has some other cute aspects as well. You will see Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy at the show.
7. Do you need to buy the viewing package for the Frightfully Fun Parade?
Disney is offering two dining packages for the Frightfully Fun Parade that gives you a reserved viewing area. I did both – yes both- in one night. Here are my thoughts:
I am going to go out on a limb and tell you to skip this package unless you already want to eat at Wine Country Trattoria or need a seat.
Wine Country Trattoria Package
The Wine Country package is a little wonky (sorry Disney but it is true) where you have to tell them when you dine you want the viewing… so you could show up, having paid and reserved this package, and be told that the reserved viewing area is full. Chances of this happening are slim, but could happen.
You get a preselected menu here. Which would be fine, but not everyone wants 3 courses. Also, many dishes are an additional upgrade. You can see the menu below.
The food was good for most of us, though the kids chicken option was a bit dry. If you do this deal you get a dessert and then at the parade you get an Oogie Boogie popcorn container. You can see pictures of our food below.
Second, this package only comes with a reserved viewing area, meaning standing or sitting on the ground/curb. The parade route in California Adventure is so long, that there is plenty of seating along the route. So I am telling you this is one place you can save a little money and skip the dining package.
Now, if you want a chair to sit in… you might want to consider the other option.
The Dessert Party
The Oogie Boogie Dessert Party is much like that of World of Color when it was running. Guests will pre-pay at time of booking, receive a plate of desserts, unlimited sodas and non-alcoholic drinks, and up to 2 alcoholic beverages. You will receive a table with seating to view the parade.
I was with someone who needed to sit, and not on the ground, during the parade, so for us, this was a good investment. But unless you want to spend 30-45 minutes before the parade sitting and eating desserts, plus the parade time, you may also want to skip this one.
8. Where to sit, and when to sit for the Frightfully Fun Parade at Oogie Boogie Bash
As I mentioned the parade route is quite long, and this parade is quite short. So there is plenty of room for you to sit.
The parade starts at Paradise Garden, coming out of the gate with the Pixar Pier logo on it, and travels through the park making its way to Hollywood Land ending near Guardians of the Galaxy.
If you want to catch the beginning of the parade, close to the start time, sit closer to Paradise Garden. However, in 2019, my family sat by the Disney Theater in Hollywood Land (the same theater that shows the Mickey Trick and Treat Show) and we were able to find seating 10-15 minutes before the parade start time.
It did take the parade 15 minutes to reach us after the official start time.
If you want a bench to sit on, you will need to have someone stake those out early. Those filled up at least an hour before the parade. But we found curb seating only 20 minutes before the parade start time (note this is the start time, not the time it reached us) and then we had seating on the planters/walls when we sat down.
If you plan to sit closer to where the World of Color viewing area is, you will need to grab a seat earlier, as that tends to fill up quicker with people hoping to catch both Villanous! and the parade from the same spot.
9. When to ride webslingers
One of the perks to the Halloween Party is the ability to ride Webslingers multiple times, without needing to obtain a Virtual Queue for the ride.
Starting at 6 pm, your party wristband is your ticket to get on the ride. In fact, they started letting party guests in line before 6. At that point there was little wait. Then we hopped in line at 6:10 and had maybe a 5 minute wait. By the time we came back out though, the line was at least 45 minutes long, and it stayed long until after 9 pm.
If you want a short wait for Webslingers, definitely head there a little before 6 pm or later in the evening.
10. Villain’s Grove – When To Visit During Oogie Boogie Bash
Villain’s Grove is one of the new offerings this year. It is located inside the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, and has been a very popular offering.
With that, I suggest watching the lines for this carefully. I saw lines where people were waiting 40 minutes to get in, but my Disneyland with Kids co-founders got in pretty easily right before the end of the party. My tip is to just keep an eye on the trail, and hit it any time you see it pretty short.
11. Park the stroller for Villain’s Grove
Strollers are not allowed in Villain’s Grove, so be sure to park them before getting in line. I saw LOTS of people being turned away after waiting in a long line with their strollers. This was especially painful for parents that were going solo with kids and couldn’t just send one parent to park the stroller or sit out with little ones.
12. Prep the kids for Villain’s Grove
Last Villain’s Grove tip. Prep the kids that you will not get candy or see characters on Villain’s Grove. I heard from a lot of people that Villain’s Grove was kind of boring for their kids.
It is a trail, with different areas themed around Villains. But the Villains are not there, and there is no candy.
Also…. Disney…. Please add photopass photographers in places like Villain’s Grove. It is so hard to get a good picture in there, so that would be a huge perk!
13. When to ride the rides
Rides will have pretty short lines most of the night. While I wouldn’t try to hit up everything (because that cuts into your time for other rides) I would definitley hit up your favorites that usually have long wait times during the day.
This is a great time to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark. Up until about 9:30 pm the wait time stayed pretty short (listed at 13 minutes but my husband basically walked on).
Same with Incredicoaster.
I did see Radiator Springs Racers be closer to 30 minutes most of the night, so I would actually pass on this one during the party unless you are utilizing the Disability Access Service. 30 minutes is just a long time to give up during the party to wait in line in my opinion. I would rather hit it up first thing in the morning, or utilize Disney MaxPass or Fastpass.
14. Alternatives to candy and allergy-friendly options
If you need allergy-friendly alternatives to the candy distributed at Oogie Boogie Bash, you will simply ask the cast member that is handing out the treats for an “allergy-friendly alternative.”
As for non-candy treats, we received a good mix of candy, snacks, fruit, and even temporary tattoos.
You never have to accept a treat if you don’t want to. Maybe that means avoiding all of the candy stations, or maybe it means avoiding all of the healthy option stations, but you can always just say “no thanks.”
15. Character meet and greet tips
One great thing about Oogie Boogie Bash is the characters. On top of the immersive trails, you also have areas where you can meet characters, often ones rarely seen in the parks.
The downside is these lines are often very long.
If you plan to meet characters, and it is a huge goal of yours, you will simply have to decide what you are willing to not do in order to meet the characters. We were able to do basically everything (save a couple treat trails) at the party, because we skipped meet and greets.
Speaking to those who did them, much like previous years, the average line is around 20-45 minutes long, depending on the characters.
While you can’t be sure which specific character you will meet, the Oogie Boogie Bash map does note where you can meet “Friends from Marvel” or “Friends from Disney Channel” and so forth.
One other thing to note is that in 2021, these are distanced character experiences.
16. Stop and refuel
I think one of the best decisions I made was for us to stop around 9 pm and grab a quick bite to eat. Even though we ate dinner around 4 pm (and it was a big one!) we still needed to refuel our bodies with something other than sweets at the end of the night.
Plan a time that you will stop and get something to eat, preferably something quick that you can carry around with you. This is also a great time to use the restroom. If possible. Have one parent grab food while the other takes kids to the bathroom.
17. Riding the shuttle? Leave a few minutes early
If you are riding the Toy Story Shuttle, you may want to head out a few minutes early. If you don’t want a long line for the shuttle or tram, I suggest leaving at least 15 to 20 minutes before the party ends because it will be busy as the party empties, and people leave Disneyland as well after the fireworks.
18. Plan to visit Disneyland on a day with no Oogie Boogie Bash party
If you are going for multiple days to the park, plan on hitting up Disneyland on a day there is no Oogie Boogie Bash.
You might be wondering why.
Because the crowds will be lower.
As in years past, on party days, the non-party park (Disneyland in this case) tends to have more crowds. People without parkhoppers know they will have to leave California Adventure early, and then as people arrive for the party, and guests without party tickets leave California Adventure, they will also go to Disneyland.
Those same people will then choose to visit California Adventure on non-party days.
So I definitley think it is worth it to take at least one day on your trip that is NOT a party day, and dedicate that day to Disneyland because of the lower crowds.
Also…. you need to get to Disneyland to see the Halloween offerings in that park, like Haunted Mansion Holiday.
19. Take a day off from the parks.
If you are attending Oogie Boogie Bash, and you have time for a day off from the parks during your vacation, take the day after the party off.
Allow everyone to sleep in, enjoy the pool, visit Downtown Disney in the afternoon or evening, but take time away from the stress and energy needed to tour the parks.
If you do go to the parks, plan on it being a slower, relaxing day. Don’t plan on trying to fit everything in.
20. Remember to download your photos
As I mentioned at the top of this list of tips, Oogie Boogie Bash photopass photos are included with your event ticket.
Be sure to remember to download the photos within 45 days (the Disneyland App gives you the expiration of your photos for download).
I have made the mistake of missing a download deadline, and it is sad to not have those pictures when you really want them, so be sure to get them.
21. Plan to go again next year
If you loved the event (like we did) make sure to plan ahead to go next year. Party dates always sell out, and hotel book up rather quickly.
I suggest booking your hotel as soon as possible. If you book now through Get Away Today, not only can you lock in a good hotel rate, but you can lock in this year’s price for next year’s park tickets. (Note not the party tickets but actual park tickets.)
Then, plan on saving so that as soon as tickets go on sale you can purchase your preferred night. Parties always sell out so follow me on Facebook as I try to keep everyone updated there on the status of parties.