Oogie Boogie Bash is a Disney Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort’s California Adventure (DCA) theme park in September and October. This strategy guide offers potential 2023 dates, info & tips, how to save time during the event, and whether it’s worth the money.
Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is a limited-capacity, separately ticketed event that adds family-friendly fun to DCA. This Halloween Party offers an opportunity to enjoy the park’s attractions, unique entertainment, villainous treat trails, and more. Last year, Oogie Boogie Bash was held on 23 nights running in September and October.
Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party has not yet been officially announced for 2023, but it’s a sure thing to return. It has become incredibly popular with Disneyland fans. Last year, there was a multi-hour virtual queue to purchase tickets and the event sold out quickly. If you want to be notified ASAP when dates & tickets for the 2023 Halloween party are released, subscribe to our FREE email newsletter for updates. While we don’t have any other official details, there’s more we can surmise based on past precedent…
Last year, Oogie Boogie Bash dates were announced in mid-June and went on sale to Magic Key Annual Passholders on June 28; the general public was able to purchase tickets on June 30. While those announcement and sale dates have varied each year, that’s more or less the normal timing.
Our expectation is that Oogie Boogie Bash dates are announced in late May 2023 at the earliest and late July 2023 at the latest. A repeat of last year is the most likely scenario, with 2023 Oogie Boogie Bash dates being announced in mid-June as part of “Halfway to Halloween” and tickets going on sale a couple of weeks later.
The first 2023 Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is likely to be held on or around September 5, 2023. That date isn’t set in stone, but would align with last year’s timing and seems like the most plausible date given the growing popularity of the Halloween party.
One wildcard is pricing. Oogie Boogie Bash always sells fast, but last year, tickets sold out faster than ever. As such, significant increases are likely–probably ranging from around $150 to $200 per person for the 2023 Oogie Boogie Bash. Most entertainment and everything else will have returned–and been expanded upon, with new villains and characters based on popular Marvel (and other) shows that are popular on Disney+ and in theaters.
While we await 2023 Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party dates, details, and ticket prices, here’s everything else you need to know about the event…
Highlights of Oogie Boogie Bash include immersive treat trails, Mickey’s Trick and Treat show, the Frightfully Fun Parade, Villains Grove at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, and more. All lands remain opening during the Halloween Party, including Avengers Campus.
High profile new meet & greets include Clarabelle, Daisy, and Minnie as the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus, Bruno from Encanto, King Mickey and Donald from Kingdom Hearts, and Hercules.
Unfortunately, it appears that World of Color – Villainous has been permanently retired. It was a bit weird, and possibly didn’t score well in guest satisfaction surveys. Regardless, World of Color – Villainous added capacity and a big entertainment option, so it’s odd to see it gone after only a single year.
Above is the Oogie Boogie Bash event map. Not very helpful, is it?
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Here are the need to know locations throughout DCA during Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party.
Here’s the Oogie Boogie Bash Treat Trail villain lineup and locations:
Agatha Harkness from WandaVision – Avengers Campus
Cruella from Cruella (live action) – Hollywood Land
Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas – Hollywood Land
Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty – Grizzly Peak
Ernesto de la Cruz from Coco – Buena Vista Street near Avengers Campus
Mother Gothel from Tangled – Grizzly Peak
Sid from Toy Story – Pixar Pier
Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone – Avengers Campus
Dr. Facilier from Princess and the Frog – Paradise Gardens Park
Here’s the Oogie Boogie Bash character meet & greet lineup and locations (in order of popularity):
Daisy, Clarabelle & Minnie Mouse as the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus – Hollywood Land
Bruno from Encanto – Grizzly Peak
King Mickey and Donald Duck from Kingdom Hearts – Paradise Gardens Park
Rare Characters – Carthay Circle
Marvel Super Heroes – Avengers Campus
Classic Animated Friends – Pacific Wharf
Pixar Pals – Pixar Pier
Radiator Springs Residents – Cars Land
With those details out of the way, we’ll offer Halloween party strategy, a review, photos, and answer “is Oogie Boogie Bash worth the money?” Before we get to all of that, let’s start with an event overview…
For starters, purchasing admission to this special event allows you to enjoy Disney California Adventure for up to 3 hours before Oogie Boogie Bash — A Disney Halloween Party begins. The party itself runs for 5 hours, with special Halloween-themed entertainment, attractions, character greetings, and more.
Parking can be purchased upon arrival, or in advance. We recommend budgeting about 90 minutes for the time it’ll take to get parked, over to DCA, and through the turnstiles. There are lines for literally everything, from the parking garages to park trams to getting wristbands for the event. All of this waiting adds up and takes time–arrive early to ensure that doesn’t cut into the event time.
If you’re unable to attend Oogie Boogie Bash or are simply wondering how this special event compares with standard Disneyland and DCA park admission during the fall months, consult our Ultimate Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland.
The good news is that there’s a ton of Halloween fun in both parks that is included with regular admission. In fact, if it comes down to visiting Disneyland during the day or doing Oogie Boogie Bash, we’d probably recommend the former. That way you’ll experience Haunted Mansion Holiday, Halloween Screams Fireworks, decorations, and characters throughout the park. In an ideal world, we’d recommend doing both Disneyland and Oogie Boogie Bash during the Halloween Time season.
Before we move on to the entertainment overview and recommendations, it’s worth mentioning that we have a step-by-step 1-Night Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party Plan. This covers our ideal efficient plan of attack–and it’s field tested, meaning that we did this ourselves when attending Oogie Boogie Bash this year!
Oogie Boogie Bash Entertainment Info & Tips
Let’s start with the flagship entertainment during Oogie Boogie Bash: the Frightfully Fun Parade. This debuted 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 the shorter duration, 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.
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.
We recommend watching Frightfully Fun Parade from either in front of the Little Mermaid ride or directly across from that. This is the least-crowded section of the parade route and also the best-lit.
The advantage of watching from in front of Little Mermaid is leaving immediately after the parade passes and heading for Grizzly Peak, where you can either meet Bruno from Encanto with minimal wait, or head to Villains Grove (also with minimal wait).
The advantage of watching from the other side of that walkway is leaving immediately after the parade passes to line up for the Kingdom Hearts meet & greet. In both cases, you’ll beat the post-parade rush of people heading to these same destinations. Other spots along the parade route aren’t as convenient for moving along to your next destination.
While the parade is the flagship entertainment offerings for Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party, there are a few other noteworthy additions. First, the Mickey’s Trick and Treat show.
This interactive stage production in Hollywood Land is aimed at small children. It offers them the chance to join Mickey Mouse and friends as they throw a Halloween party with dancing, not-so-frightening scary-tales, and candy.
Another interesting addition is Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, which becomes Villains Grove. This is a wondrous and ethereal world of Disney villains, completely transformed with lighting, projections, sounds, and special effects, creating a haunting, dreamlike (or does that make it nightmare-like?) environment.
Villains Grove is one aspect of Oogie Boogie Bash that Disney is really hyping, and it’s basically Disney’s twist on a standard Halloween walk-through maze you might find at other theme parks in Southern California. The primary difference here is that the environments are accomplished entirely via ‘flip of a switch’ technology that creates a dramatic day/night difference at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
Treat Trails are one of the highlights of Oogie Boogie Bash. Each trail lures Guests deeper into the immersive worlds of the mischievous villains that everyone loves to hate. Along the way, you can trick-or-treat through a trail of candy (hence the name), including M&M’S, SKITTLES, SNICKERS, and other Halloween favorites.
Treat Trails offer oversized cauldrons full of candy, healthy snacks, and more. We are not particularly keen on candy, so we grabbed the apple sauce, carrots, cranberries, and other options each time we passed through the trails. If we wanted candy, we could absolutely clean up, as each trail offers multiple distribution points.
For us, the highlight is the villains. These characters interact with the crowd, with the talented performers heckling guests or putting on a show for the crowd. In our opinion, these are better than meet & greets, and offer a chance for fun and meaningful interactions rather than quickly posing with characters almost as if they’re background props for photos.
Oh, and the lines are much shorter and faster-moving than meet & greets. Seeing Oogie Boogie (the man of the evening!) takes about ~10 minutes via the Treat Trail, but would easily command an hour-plus wait time as a meet & greet.
There are also character meet & greets with Disney characters, including villains. Expect to encounter some rare characters and seldom-seen costumes for fan favorites; in case you missed it, the list for last year is above.
Normal meet & greets have returned for Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party.
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 a few hours before the event officially begins. It’s also cheaper than a 1-day park ticket for several dates.
This is a big reason why the Halloween Party is so popular with locals in Los Angeles and Orange County–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 doesn’t want a full day at DCA.
The downside to this all 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.
If you’re reading this after the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party is sold out online, note that it is sometimes possible to score last-minute or same-day tickets even when the party is sold out online by calling Disneyland at (714) 781-4636. Your luck may vary with this method, but it doesn’t hurt to try. (If you need regular park tickets, check out our Guide to Buying Discount Disneyland Tickets to save money.)
Guest Services at the three official Disneyland hotels occasionally have same-day tickets for guests staying at those resorts. Keep in mind that both of these strategies are very hit or miss, so don’t bank on either working. In the past, we’ve had good luck and bad luck with both methods. Once, I bought a last-minute ticket on Craigslist, which I would never recommend to anyone else. Fortunately, I didn’t get scammed, but your mileage may vary with that.
Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party Strategy
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.
This is especially true if you plan on doing multiple meet and greets, as characters can consume several hours of your party time. If you don’t plan on meeting any characters–or plan on doing the less popular ones–you’ll have far more flexibility.
Now, a few notes about that strategy for Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party…
Frightfully Fun Parade is now performed twice nightly during Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party. As with all parades at DCA, viewing areas are significantly busier at the front of the park in Carthay Circle and Hollywood Land.
Viewing from near where the parade steps off is ideal for seeing it. This also gives you the opportunity to bounce to your next stop while most guests at Oogie Boogie Bash are still waiting for Frightfully Fun Parade to get to them. The lighting is also better here than near Carthay Circle Theater, making this our easy recommendation.
Meet and greet wait times are fairly consistent throughout the party, with less popular characters seeing shorter lines at the end of the night. Rare characters will have consistently long lines throughout, which is why we’d recommend arriving early for Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Clarabelle Cow dressed up as the Sanderson Sisters from the movie Hocus Pocus.
You will want to line up for this no later than 5:30 pm–probably earlier if you’re attending one of the Halloween parties in late September or October. We explain everything you need to know about beating the crowds in How to Meet the Sanderson Sisters at Oogie Boogie Bash.
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 like Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark and Radiator Springs Racers.
Here are the attractions open at DCA during Oogie Boogie Bash:
Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Monster’s Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
Radiator Springs Racers
Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween
Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Jessie’s Critter Carousel
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
Silly Symphony Swings
Goofy’s Sky School
The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Grizzly River Run
Soarin’ Around the World
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?
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. If the party is not a splurge for you, it’s unlikely that you’ll regret it.
We’ve done Oogie Boogie Bash every single year since it started, and have had a blast every single time. We really liked Disneyland’s other Halloween Parties before this and have never regretted attending, but we think Disneyland Resort takes it to the next level with Oogie Boogie Bash. Each year there are new characters, treat trails, and other entertainment–the team never phones it in, despite the Halloween parties all selling out with ease.
In terms of Oogie Boogie Bash itself, there’s plenty 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 offerings that are 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 the Treat Trails and character meet & greets, $25 for Frightfully Fun Parade, $25 for 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 Halloween, 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.
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, and this year, the interactive treat trails with characters like Oogie Boogie are way more fun than the normal ones.
Seeing these characters has value to us, whereas Halloween candy itself doesn’t have a particularly high value. A bag of candy from the CVS on Harbor Boulevard is ~$5 and you can bring it to the park if you wanted. Nevertheless, the overall experience of these is fun, and you’ll get value out of them one way or another.
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. 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 $125, 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. If you already have APs or regular park tickets, there’s less of a “need” to do this.
For us, special events like Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party are a fun splurge. While we found the first two Oogie Boogie Bashes that we’ve attended to be imperfect, they are still “worth it” to us. 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 the Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort worth the high cost to us. We hope it continues to improve in its fourth year–the 2023 Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party should benefit both from experience and normal operations!
Did you attend this year’s Oogie Boogie Bash? Do you disagree with my assessment of the Halloween Party? Already planning ahead for the 2023 Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party? Favorite characters you hope are featured at the event? Already have your costume made for it? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!