Oogie Boogie Bash is a Disney Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort’s California Adventure (DCA) theme park in September and October 2019. In this post, we’ll preview the event, share photos, info & tips, and review whether this special event is worth the money.
For more info on what’s included with standard Disneyland and DCA park admission, consult our Ultimate Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland. Note that much of our commentary here is based upon Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland, which Oogie Boogie Bash replaces. While Oogie Boogie’s party offers a new twist on the event, the idea is the same as its predecessor. A lot of Oogie Boogie Bash’s entertainment is from Mickey’s Halloween Party, and other things are direct replacements.
Accordingly, we feel it’s worth covering offering a comprehensive preview so you can determine now whether you should buy Oogie Boogie Bash tickets. We’ll have plenty of updates once we attend Oogie Boogie Bash in September, but it’s likely that several dates will sell out before then. This means you’ll likely have to make a decision on tickets before first-hand reports and reviews emerge from this year’s Halloween party…
Before we get to the strategy, review, and “is Oogie Boogie Bash worth the money?” question, we’ll start with an event overview and some basics. Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party occurs 20 nights this fall: September 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29; October 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, and October 31, 2019. Tickets range from $100 to $145 depending upon date, and whether you qualify for an Annual Passholder discount. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased directly from Disneyland Resort online.
Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party officially begins at 6 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m. However, entry to Disney California Adventure Park before the party is included with Oogie Boogie Bash ticket, beginning 3 hours before the party starts on most Tuesday and Thursday nights or 4 hours on Sunday nights, plus October 29 and 31, 2019. This makes the total DCA park time 8-9 hours, depending upon the night.
Oogie Boogie Bash Entertainment Info
The highlight of the entertainment at the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party is World of Color – Villainous! This brand new incarnation of World of Color is exclusive to Oogie Boogie Bash, and does not run on non-party nights. In this nighttime spectacular, Oogie Boogie is host, and a new original theme park character named Shelley Marie is the star.
In World of Color – Villainous!, Shelley Marie is a nine-year-old girl trying to decide whether to dress up as a princess or a villain for Halloween. This loose narrative framework is used to take Shelley Marie on a dark journey, encountering the Wicked Queen, Ursula, Dr. Facilier, Hades, and finishing with Maleficent.
Of course, as with all versions of the show, World of Color – Villainous utilizes dancing water fountains, lights, lasers, projections, and special effects. It’ll be familiar to anyone who has seen the other versions of World of Color, albeit with a more story-driven approach.
Next, the Frightfully Fun Parade. This parade debuted a few years ago during Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland, and we really enjoy it. Frightfully Fun Parade is similar to Boo to You Parade at Walt Disney World, albeit it shorter and a tad darker.
Despite it’s shorter duration, we think that Frightfully Fun Parade is very strong, and it does a ton with an economy of parade units and floats. What’s featured here is really good and has direct ties to Halloween. There are also some notable differences in the characters featured.
Frightfully Fun Parade begins with the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow carrying his flickering jack-o-lantern. He heralds the arrival of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse who lead the cavalcade of characters. (This year, Cheshire Cat joins the mix!)
After that, the highlight of the parade appears: Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who brings greetings from Halloweentown, as characters from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” appear. Following that, Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize and bring Disney’s iconic Haunted Mansion attraction to life.
From there, Dr. Facilier uses his mystical powers to summon the Shadow Men from the bayou to loom large over his strange and twisted Voodoo parlor in one of the parade’s spookier units. Finally, the mischievous Disney Villains appear out of the darkness, with a dungeon-like lair and a wicked gathering of villainy including Hades, Evil Queen, Jafar, Cruella, and more.
While those are the flagship entertainment offerings for Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party, there are a few other noteworthy additions. First, the new Mickey’s Trick and Treat show. This interactive stage production in Hollywood Land is aimed at younger guests, and offers the chance to join Mickey Mouse and friends as they throw a one-of-a-kind Halloween party with dancing, not-so-frightening scary-tales, and candy.
Another interesting addition is Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, which becomes Villains Grove, a wondrous and ethereal world of Disney villains. This trail is completely transformed with lighting, projections, sounds, and special effects, creating a haunting, dreamlike (or does that make it nightmare-like?) environment.
There’s also the new DescenDANCE, a dance party in the Hollywood Land Backlot. This is inspired by the popular Disney Channel “Descendants.” As the DescenDANCE begins, a spell is cast, summoning the greatest dance crew from the Isle of the Lost to throw down and lead everyone in moves set to songs from the “Descendants” movies. After that, the Backlot DJ continues to spin tunes and invites everyone to step onto the dance floor into the night.
As usual, there are treat trails throughout Disney California Adventure, where guests may enjoy trick-or-treating. The main DCA treat trails feature iconic characters including Mad Hatter and Oogie Boogie. Additional treat trails offer oversized cauldrons full of treats.
And of course, there will be character meet & greets with Disney characters, including villains. Expect to encounter some rare characters and seldom-seen costumes for fan favorites, such as Pirate Mickey & Minnie. (That’s an illustrative example–not necessarily what will be present at the event.)
A lot of people don’t seem to understand how these special event ticket parties work, so to be crystal clear: a regular park ticket will not grant you admission to Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party.
You must purchase the special event tickets to stay in Disney California Adventure once Oogie Boogie Bash begins. Yes, this means potentially buying two tickets for the same day if you want to stay from park opening until closing.
On the other hand, a party ticket alone does grant you admission to Disney California Adventure 3-4 hours before the event officially begins. This is a big reason why the Halloween Party is so popular with locals in Los Angeles and Orange County who are not Annual Passholders–it’s a less expensive way to see the Halloween offerings with lower crowds and at a cheaper price. Even though it’s not the whole day, it’s a good value if you’re a local who is not an Annual Passholder.
The downside to this all for 2019 is that the event is in DCA instead of Disneyland, and early entry is only in DCA. This means you cannot experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with just an Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party ticket, or any of the other Disneyland classics, including Haunted Mansion Holiday or Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. This is a big loss, and one we think will cause a lot of locals to balk at party tickets this year. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves–more on this in the “Is Oogie Boogie Bash Worth It?” section below…
One of the cool components of Disney’s Halloween Party for many guests is the opportunity to dress in costume. There are limits to the costumes you can wear, but it’s basically common sense stuff like ‘no weapons or sharp objects’ and nothing offensive. If you need further guidance, I’d recommend reading Disneyland’s costume rules.
You also should keep in mind that unlike Florida, Southern California can get cool at night this time of year. We’ve worn heavier costumes to Disney’s Halloween Party–the kind that would be unbearable in Florida–and were perfectly comfortable thanks to evening breezes. We have a Tips for Disney Parks Halloween Costumes post that covers some ideas for what to wear…and what not to wear.
Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party Strategy
This is really difficult to formulate at present given that Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party hasn’t yet started for 2019 and we haven’t even seen a schedule for the event. We’re going to make a couple of assumptions based upon past precedent and how these events usually operate. First, that Frightfully Fun Parade runs twice with World of Color – Villainous in between. Second, that Disney limits attendance to such a degree that everyone is able to see World of Color – Villainous.
One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do everything there is during Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party. We’re talking just the special entertainment and character greetings, let alone the regular Halloween attraction overlays like Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark or Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-ween or Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree.
With that in mind, here’s our tentative Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party Itinerary…
If Halloween character meet & greets are a priority, do those starting 1 hour before the official Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party start time.
Finish character meet & greets at least 1 hour before the Frightfully Fun Parade
Grab parade spot in Hub facing Sleeping Beauty Castle, roughly an hour before first parade
Watch the first Frightfully Fun Parade near Paradise Park, where World of Color – Villainous is shown
After the Frightfully Fun Parade, rush to the World of Color – Villainous viewing area
Following World of Color – Villainous, wander around and enjoy the ambiance; do the Villains Grove Trail at Redwood Creek if it’s of interest
Either watch the second Frightfully Fun Parade or do more meet & greets/attractions. The end of the night is the best time to do meet & greets with minimal waits, as parents with children will depart after World of Color – Villainous.
Now, a few notes about that tentative strategy for Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party…
While the second Frightfully Fun Parade will be less crowded than the first parade, so too will everything else. Meet and greets are busiest at the start of the party, and will have significantly shorter lines by the end of the evening.
Attractions will have short waits throughout the party. Once regular day guests cycle through, you can expect peak wait times to be around 30 minutes, and that’s for popular rides. If you’re going to do attractions, consider doing them during the first parade, and watching the second–you’ll have an easier time finding a spot at the last minute for the second parade.
Now, if you’re still wondering whether you should you do the party, we’ll try to help you answer that question.
Is Oogie Boogie Bash Worth It?
There are a couple of things to keep in mind as we begin this section. First, Oogie Boogie Bash has not even begun yet this year, and we don’t know how good its additions will be. All we know is what it bears in common to its predecessor, which is frankly quite a bit.
Second, that value is all a matter of perspective. If you have financial means and won’t feel the sting of the ticket cost, or just really love Halloween and want to splurge on Oogie Boogie Bash, go for it. We’ve had a blast at Disneyland’s previous Halloween Parties, and have never regretted attending. If the event is not a splurge for you, it’s unlikely that you’ll regret it.
In terms of Oogie Boogie Bash itself, there are two flagship pieces of entertainment, atmospheric enhancements to Disney California Adventure, characters, and a few minor entertainment offerings. You’re probably looking at around 3-4 hours of Halloween-centric entertainment that’s unique to this event.
Additionally, there are the core attraction offerings of Disney California Adventure that you can experience before Oogie Boogie Bash begins. If you want to break it down, we’d assign the following values to each component of the event: $25 for World of Color – Villainous, $25 for Frightfully Fun Parade, $25 for other entertainment and ambiance, and another $25-50 (depending upon the night you attend) for early access to DCA. That’s assuming you can do around 6-8 attractions in those 3 hours–or about $5-8 per ride.
As a total sucker for World of Color and Halloween parades, I can justify at least some of those costs. You might ascribe different values to each component of the event, or elect not to break the cost down on a ‘per unit’ basis. (As Annual Passholders, the early entry component has a value of $0, but the value of ambiance is higher.)
There’s also trick or treating, which a lot of people really seem to value as it presents a safe and “Disney” environment for their kids to trick or treat. It’s tough to dispute this from a fun perspective, but we put $0 on that one, too. Halloween candy itself doesn’t have a particularly high value–you can grab a bag of candy from the CVS on Harbor Boulevard for ~$5 and bring it to the park if you wanted. Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that this will appeal to some families.
There are a lot of other scenarios where the Halloween Party might be appealing. I already mentioned the locals from Los Angeles and Orange County who do not have Annual Passes. Oogie Boogie makes complete sense for this demographic, especially those who love Halloween. It’s a great way to experience a mix of special and regular offerings in DCA without buying a 1-day ticket.
Beyond that, tourists who only have a single day to spend at Disneyland Resort get a lot accomplished during the 8 hours that the Oogie Boogie Bash ticket provides access to Disney California Adventure. You won’t be able to do everything, but those 8 hours are going to have lower than normal crowds, allowing you to accomplish more attractions (if that’s your priority) than you could do in a normal full day in the parks. Plus, this is cheaper than a 1-day ticket.
Again, the downside in both of the above scenarios is that Oogie Boogie Bash only grants access to the second gate. Not being able to experience iconic attractions in Disneyland, or step foot in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, is a tremendous downside. We love DCA, but if we only had ~8 hours to spend at Disneyland Resort one day per year, we’d want to spend literally every single hour of that time in Disneyland, not DCA.
If you’re visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for multiple days, you might be able to justify Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party from the perspective of one less day on a multi-day ticket, doing something else in the morning (Downtown Disney or the beach, perhaps) and then heading to DCA for the event. In this scenario, you’re paying a premium for the party ticket, but it’s almost like it’s discounted.
In an ideal world, we’d recommend getting a 3-day Park Hopper ticket and spending at least 4 days at Disneyland Resort, with the morning of Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party spent doing the Goofy’s Kitchen character breakfast at Disneyland Hotel followed by lunch in Downtown Disney (or heading down to Laguna Beach for the entire morning). After that, head into DCA that afternoon and using only your Oogie Boogie Bash party ticket that day. It’s a good way to stretch your vacation dollars and make the cost of the event a little more palatable.
With all of that said, we have to admit that all of the above is a look at whether Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is worth it on paper. A big draw is the atmosphere and different vibe Disney California Adventure takes on. There’s special background music, unique lighting & effects, and other guests dressed in costumes give the Halloween Party a palpable energy. This is a true X factor.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll likewise be able to find a way to justify the cost of Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party. With every single event date costing over $100, the price is certainly steep. Moreover, there are a lot of Halloween offerings at Disneyland Resort that are included in the standard price of admission, so if you already have APs or regular park tickets, there’s less of a “need” to do this. For us, these special events are a fun splurge. Even if we would have a hard time breaking down the cost to justify it, the bottom line for us is that the parties are just plain fun, and we really love doing them. Your mileage may vary, but that makes Disneyland’s Halloween Party worth it to us!
Do you disagree with my assessment of Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party? Are you planning to attend the event this year? Are you disappointed that it’s not being held at Disneyland, or are you ready for something different? Already have your costume made for it? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts on these questions, or anything else, in the comments!