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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. I just got back, and while my littles are tucked in bed, crashing after an exciting night, I am here to share all of my Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party Tips so that you can make the most of your time at Disneyland’s Halloween Party.
Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party With Kids
Before I get into my Oogie Boogie Bash party tips, let’s start with if the party is a good fit for kids, specifically preschoolers and kids under 10.
It was a big topic in Disneyland with Kids this year if Oogie Boogie Bash is as kid friendly as the old Mickey’s Halloween Party. I myself had doubts. So today, I am going to break it down by what offerings are a hit or a miss with different age groups. We are going to keep this short and sweet so we can get to the good stuff… Party tips.
Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party With Toddlers and Preschoolers?
I have twin preschoolers, so I was really concerned about if there would be much for them to do. If you are taking kids ages 3-5, they will probably enjoy the following:
- Mickey’s Trick and Treat Show
- DescenDance Party
- Frightfully Fun Parade
- Treat Trails
- Meeting some of their favorite characters
Oogie Boogie Bash Tip: Little kids will probably fall asleep before the party ends so bring a stroller. Our little Tick Tock Croc was out, but Cast Members still put candy in his bag on the treat trails.
So, yes, there is a lot to do at Oogie Boogie Bash with preschoolers and toddlers.
Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash With Kids
I think kids that are 5-9 years old will enjoy most of the party offerings. Though my 9 year old did not want to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark. Here are the things I think kids of this age will enjoy the most:
- DescenDance Party
- Treat Trails (especially the immersive ones)
- Villanous! (World of Color)
- Meeting favorite characters
- Mickey’s Trick and Treat Show (some may find this too “little kid like” but my 9 year old loved it)
Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash with Teens and Tweens
One thing about Oogie Boogie Bash is that it definitely plays more to teens and tweens then the Disneyland party in my opinion. Here is what I think this age group will enjoy at Oogie Boogie Bash:
- DescenDance Party
- Treat Trails (especially the immersive ones)
- Villanous! (World of Color)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark
- Other rides (short wait times)
- Villain’s Grove
- Some character meet and greets
Is Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party A Family Event?
I think the best part of Oogie Boogie Bash is that there is more for the entire family. It will probably be something that you will have to divide up or let older kids go do something alone if you want to get it all in, but there is something for everyone, where I felt Mickey’s Halloween Party lacked activities for teens and tweens.
My family really enjoyed the event, and they want to go again next year. Dare I say, I even think it was well worth the $500 I paid for party tickets for my family.
The Best Tips for Oogie Boogie Bash
You are paying $100 or more 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.
There is so much to do all over Disneyland at Halloween time in 2019, 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 or 4 hours before (depending on party date) to Disney California Adventure
- MaxPass during the mix-in time
- 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. Everyone shows up about 15 minutes before they can get in to the park, so you will have a longer 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. It kind of threw me for a loop because it was so organized over at Disneyland.
At Disneyland they had special gates marked “Special Event Entrance” or something like that. Those gates were only for party guests. At Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure, they didn’t have that. So you had regular park guests entering with party guests.
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. At this time I heard a Cast Member state they were also giving out wristbands at Blue Sky Cellar.
We headed that way, and while the line was shorter, it was honestly still quite long. So we decided to go do something else for a bit. We headed into Cars Land and just took in some rides and got a snack. We came back to Blue Sky Cellar about 90 minutes into the mix-in time and it was a much shorter line. It still took us 20 minutes though.
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, 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.
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 a dining package for the Frightfully Fun Parade that gives you a reserved viewing area. I am going to go out on a limb and tell you to skip this package.
First, the package is working a little wonky this year (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.
Second, 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.
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, 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. Which Villanous! viewing should you do?
Speaking of (World of Color) Villanous!, unless you have littles that you think will enjoy it and may fall asleep before the second showing… Go to the second showing.
I have followed the first few parties, and the trend seems to continue from what I saw. Crowds were VERY low at the second viewing. As in I walked up 15 minutes before and was able to get 2nd row viewing.
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 stroller. 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, at the first party, every treat station had candy, and only a few offered a non-candy alternative.
Following stories from the following party, I noticed that stations were set up more like last year where there are treat stations that only have the healthy option, such as grapes, carrots, or craisens.
Either way, 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 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 30-45 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.
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 from Smoke Jumper’s Grill. My kids ate dinner around 5 pm, and they snuck a few pieces of candy, but they needed real food again, and we needed to refill our ice waters.
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 tram or shuttle? Leave a few minutes early
If you are riding the tram or 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 park hopper 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 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 years price for next years 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.