For the first time ever, the Oogie Boogie Bash is taking over Disney’s California Adventure park! As a Nightmare Before Christmas family we are always up for more of it in our life! And with 4 little ones, we were waiting until the older two could really enjoy and remember a trick or treat event and we planned on this being the year. We got our tickets to the first night fast! And upon waking up from our evening, I wish we had purchased more than one night, (this event running multiple nights a week is SOLD OUT). Here is our experience and some insight to fully immersing yourself into the Oogie Boogie Bash.
If you’re looking for more of a kiddie trick or treat night, although you could use this special ticketed event as such, this evening was built for SO much more. With that in mind, this event has a LOT to offer and it would be pure Disney magic if you could pull it all off. Pro Tip: Pick your top 5 things that are a MUST for you to experience from the event program ahead of time, then make note of more you’d like to do as extra pixie dust. Managing your expectations in this way can make or break your overall feeling of the event when the night is over. We followed this approach and I gotta say, we had an absolute BLAST! The unique offerings were entertaining and the crowd was full of fun attitudes and lively energy making for a positively wicked feel to the evening.
Oogie Boogie Bash Eats
I’m a serial planner so maximizing our time and ticket for the evening was everything for me. This is where mobile ordering comes into play. And it’s the MVP as far as I’m concerned. I mean, who has time for food lines? There are muliple locations that offer mobile ordering for food, snacks and drinks during the Oogie Boogie Bash. Here’s a list so you can check out what they have to offer beforehand andmake note of anything that stands out:
- Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream
- Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
- Lucky Fortune Cookery
- Pacific Wharf Cafe
- Pacific Wharf Distribution Co.
- Rita’s Baja Blenders
- Flo’s V8 Cafe
- Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
- Award Wieners
- Hollywood Lounge
- Smokejumpers Grill
- Bayside Brews
- Corndog Castle
- Paradise Garden Grill
We didn’t focus on special food or drinks offered specifically for the bash this time around, although you can find them all over. There is even a 3-course dinner offered with parade viewing at Wine Country Trattoria. We ended up just grabbing some cake pops from Trolley Treats to enjoy during our wait before the parade. And we ordered drinks on mobile order throughout the evening, (and I’ll admit in multiples), so we didn’t have to cut into our time much for adutling.
There are so many villianously crafted offerings to entertain you during this inaugural Oogie Boogie Bash! (Note: We are annual passholders so riding attractions during this special ticketed event was not apart of our plan, but we did get onto some of them while passing through as most had zero wait times.)
- Immersive Treat Trails– There are 5 trails that have wonderfully wicked live entertainment with some favorite villians and these are truly not to miss! The quality of these character interactions are on point. They are highly engaging and authentic in their responses. I loved that we never felt rushed or moved to keep walking through these experiences. There was a great setup for each and plenty of time and space for you to soak it all in. We began our night with Oogie Boogie himself in the Disney Animation building to officially kick off the theme. There are lines everywhere at event start time, and I don’t think there is one more or less crowded than the other so I would suggest picking an overall location of the park that you’d like to begin. Pro Tip: The further back in DCA you go to start the night off, the better as it tends to be more crowded at the front of the park in the beginning of the evening with people still coming into the event at start time. Note: The Treat Trails are well marked with ghostly markers, so easy to spot!
- Mickey’s Trick & Treat live show– Located inside the Disney Junior Theater, this one was perfect for our littles to get their bodies moving after their first long wait in line for the event to begin. It was short and sweet and the kids all loved the fab 4 in their halloween costumes entertaining with a not-so-scary story. This show runs multiple times throughout the night so it should be easy to catch whenever you’re in this area. Pro Tip: No need to wait in this show line, you really do get the same experience no matter when you enter the theater or where you end up sitting, and we ran in right as the show was starting and it was perfect.
- Frightfully Fun Parade & Headless Horseman Pre-Parade– Now THIS. This was fun! Our plan was to have spots over by Little Mermaid or Goofy’s Sky School, (which I would still recommend), but we found ourselves in Hollywood land as the parade spots began to fill up (around 7:20pm) We planted our Giju to rest and reserve our spots with our strollers, (bring one even if your little doesn’t really need it anymore for this reason and candy hauling alone!). We were able to secure a street side with curb seating in front of Award Weiners. This event isnt packed like an everyday evening parade at Disneyland, but still worth getting curb spots for. The Headless Horseman was a sight to see and the perfect kick off to the short but spooky magical mayhem that followed in the parade. Pro Tip: Where ever you end up reserving parade seats, shoot for a place close to a mobile ordering spot so you can sit down, order some snacks and drinks, and pick it all up to enjoy before the parade begins. This way, you’ll make the best use of time and be ready for more fun!
- DescenDANCE– We walked by this show as it was kicking off in the Hollywood Backlot and it looked very high energy and fun. It was not part of our top 5 things to see/do so we formally missed it, but it did look cool and super colorful!
- Villainous World of Color- This was an event-exclusive original World of Color show complete with Oogie Boogie storytelling of a little hopeful villain named Sally. It was brought to life with beautifully water crafted sights and sounds through projections and interactions with our favorite villains. Our boys were wowed by their clever incorpration of the Incredicoaster lights and track used to look like the snake Jafar transforms into. I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the skeletons from the 1929 Mickey animated short “The Haunted House”. (Harvey’s just launched this collection!) There are 2 shows running during the bash and we found the second one, (10:45) to be open and the perfect ending to our wicked fun.
- Villains Grove- This trail was the longest wait of the night, (at a whopping 15 minutes), but totally worth it and since it is a walk-through experience, the line moves quickly. The projections and themed incorporations into this space transformed it into something unrecognizable. (And we have 4 small children so we know this section of the park all too well.) From a perfectly designed Queen of Hearts area, to a mystical and dark illusion of Maleficent, this was my favorite wickedly wonderful portion of the evening. The lightning-like forest effects were straight magic and the video projected tribute to Scar was quite memorable. This trail had a more “move it along” feeling then the rest due to the crowd volume, although there was still short opportunities to stop and enjoy the themes. It’s quite a bit more immersive than anything else in the bash, so if you have small children that scare easily it may be better to take a personal parent swap approach to. Note: There is no candy on this trail. There is a treat trail directly across the way at Grizzly peak so you could potentially send some of your party to do that while some of you wait in line. (However, be warned that we did this and although the cast member for Villains Grove told us there was a 45 minute wait time from where we entered the line, we split up to take the kids across and the line moved much faster. Within 10 minutes our party was already getting close to the front entrance of Redwood Creek Challenge. So be careful not to miss it.)
If you’re looking for the opportunity to mingle with villians or see the spooktacular fun of Halloween themed characters of Disney you’re in for a treat! There are so many stops along the way for meet and greets. We loved seeing the many rarely seen characters like Governor Ratcliffe of Pocahontas, Baloo from Talespin, even Carl Fredrickson & Russell from UP! We didn’t wait in these lines as we got plenty of great character interactions from the immersive treat trails, but some of these I may have planned to wait for given the chance again! If your little ones are into Pixar’s “Cars”, there was plenty of short or no lines for pictures with Radiator Spring’s most famous residents!
Trick-or-Treating & Costumes
My kids are not big on candy. We don’t promote or let them consume much sugar in everday life or even during this time of year. That being said, we didn’t buy a ticket to this event for the candy, but there is candy a plenty! If you are looking for a great trick or treating option for your kiddos- this is definitely it! (Or if you’re like us, after this you won’t have to buy candy to pass out at home!) Either way bring a hefty sized bag for the trick or treating trails. We only did half of them, (focusing on the immersive character driven trails), and still had way too much candy to take home.
Wanna know my favorite surprise in this “treat” portion of the bash? Disney gave a alternative to candy option on every trail! My kiddos bags were sprinkled throughout with packages of grapes, apples, crasins, goldfish, and GoGo applesauce squeeze pouches. This mama was very very happy, especially since we dipped into these throughout the night when the kids needed a little fuel to keep going.
*Exclusive AP Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on your Oogie Boogie Bash perk- An exclusive AP magnet! Located next to Goofy’s Sky School to the right of the ride line, you’ll find a special trick-or-treat station with ghastly goodies & your commemorative keepsake! (Have your Annual Passport out and ready to scan as they are one per passholder).
When it comes to dressing up there’s a full spectrum of possibilities! (Be sure to check Disneyland’s event guidelines for the rules and regulations). We saw everything from full blown mini Oogie Boogie children and our little Black Panther and Thor to more of a cosplay version of characters. We personally just wore a ghoulish inspired shirt and dress and didnt feel out of place at all.
One last thing to note that we didn’t take full advantage of was the unlimited photo pass that was included with every ticket. Be sure to get your barcode scanned at all Photo Pass locations and character meet & greets so you can download them all after the event. It was definitely my mom fail this time around! (I told you, I should have purchased more than one evening of tickets!)
We found Oogie Boogie nights were indeed a BASH to be remembered. There was no way we could have done all they had to offer, but we did get to all our big things and even rode some rides we literally ran on to. If you’ve got your tickets you are sure to have a ghoulish delight and if you missed it this year, make sure to plan for 2020, as it was not to miss!