For many years, Mickey’s Halloween Party was a staple of the Disneyland Halloween Time season. In 2019, however, Disneyland mixed things up by moving its Halloween party over to Disney California Adventure. The party has new name – Oogie Boogie Bash: A Disney Halloween Party – as well as several new entertainment offerings and an edgier (but still family-friendly) vibe.
I’ve attended Oogie Boogie Bash every year since it opened (of course, the event didn’t take place in 2020 while Disneyland was closed). While there are plenty of offerings that remain the same year-to-year, Disney also innovates by adding new characters and changing things up a bit. The year 2022 is no exception. As always, I attend the party on the hunt for the best tips and hacks to help you dodge the crowds and make the most of your time during the short event. I also have made sure to get the honest opinions of my kids to help advise on what other families with children would enjoy.
If you are heading to Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash in 2022, here’s what you need to know.
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Oogie Boogie Bash Basics
Let’s start with the basics. Oogie Boogie Bash is a special event held several nights a week in Disney California Adventure park from roughly mid-September to the end of October. In 2022, it runs on 24 nights from September 9-October 31 from 6pm-11pm. Generally speaking, the party takes place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights with a couple of Saturdays available in the mix too (see the full list of party dates here).
A separate special ticket is required to enter for the party, but a regular park ticket is not required in addition to that. Oogie Boogie Bash tickets in 2022 cost $129-$179 (up from $110-$145 in 2019 when there were also modest $10 discounts available to annual passholders on some party nights and $114-169 in 2021 if you’re keeping track of price increases).
Tickets can be purchased only through Disney directly. In 2022, tickets went on sale to Magic Key holders June 28, 2022 and the general public on June 30, 2022. Tickets aren’t transferrable and guests are limited to 8 per purchase. For the first time ever in 2022, Oogie Boogie Bash tickets sold out completely within 24 hours of being released for public sale.
On party nights, regular park visitors must leave Disney California Adventure by the party start time of 6pm. Party guests can enter the park as early as 3pm, so there are a few hours of overlap. If you want to go to the parks for events other than just the party and mix in period, you’ll need regular park tickets (and park reservations!). Be sure to purchase tickets from our partners at Get Away Today to save money off of the full Disney price.
Oogie Boogie Bash includes parades, shows, character meet-and-greets, and more, most of which are exclusive to party nights. All guests, including adults, can wear costumes, subject to a few safety rules and restrictions. And of course trick-or-treating is involved! Party tickets include free Photopass downloads.
In 2022, the entertainment offerings include:
- Frightfully Fun Parade
- Mickey’s Trick & Treat show
- Trick-or-Treat Trails
- Villains Grove
- Character Meet & Greets
(Both DescenDANCE and World of Color: Villainous! that were part of the event in 2019 are not offered this year).
I’ll talk a bit more in depth about most of these offerings in the tips below so keep reading for more info.
Is Oogie Boogie Bash Worth It?
Before we get into the tips, let me give you some straight talk about value. Disney parks offer a lot of special ticketed events, and some are more worth it than others. The Disneyland Halloween party has always been pricey. Ticket costs keep increasing every year. So it’s only natural that guests scrutinize these kinds of experiences to make sure they are worth it, especially for families where multiple tickets really add up in cost.
I first went to the predecessor to Oogie Boogie Bash, Mickey’s Halloween Party, in 2016 when my kids were 7 and 2 (almost 3). To be honest, I didn’t see the value then. My younger child was still free but he quickly got tired and fell asleep in his stroller. Ever since that time, I rarely recommended the party to families with kids of toddler and preschooler age.
For the ages and stages of my kids the last few years, however, I have found increasing value in the party. They attended in 2019 when they were 10 and almost 6 and again in 2021 when they were 12 and 8. My older child year old hung in energetically until the 11pm closing both times. My son didn’t make it all the way through either year (when he was almost 6 we smartly brought a stroller which he conked out in by 9:30pm). But even though he missed the last hour and a half of the event, he was able to enjoy the bulk of the entertainment, collect a lot of candy, and have many memorable experiences.
For our family, the party was very much finally worth as the kids get a bit older. We found the location of the party in California Adventure and the new theme especially compelling – it’s definitely edgier and bolder without being too scary for younger kids.
15 Tips for Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland
So if you’ve decided to go with your family (or maybe as an adults-only night out away from younger kids), here’s how to make the most of your experience:
1. Buy Oogie Boogie Bash tickets early.
First things first – it’s vital to buy tickets for Oogie Boogie Bash early or you will be shut out. Ticket resales aren’t permitted so there isn’t a legitimate secondary market like on Ticketmaster where you can get tickets, even at a markup, after the fact.
Sadly for 2022, the party sold out earlier than ever – in under 24 hours from when tickets went on public sale on June 30, 2022. In previous years, many parties regularly sold out in July and August before Halloween Time even began, but this year’s sell out truly defied all expectations!
So if you are thinking about 2023, be prepared to plan way ahead. Watch in late spring and early summer for the announcement of when party tickets will become available. Plan to get on the computer and wait in the virtual queue to purchase at the very first hour tickets are offered. The process can be time-consuming so clear your schedule!
Note that Disney has traditionally held some tickets in reserve for same day purchase for guests staying in one of the three on-property hotels. These tickets are again available in 2022, but are limited in quantity so there are no guarantees. Ask at check-in when and where they are available and arrive super early (reports for 2022 are that ticket distribution starts at 5:45am the same day as the party).
2. Plan costumes that work in variable weather.
One of the most fun parts of a Disney Halloween party is that adults can join in the fun of dressing up. But Anaheim can be very hot in both September and October. Early fall heat waves are not uncommon. In fact, Anaheim had a number of 100+ degree days during a major heat wave as the parties started this year. Once the sun goes down, however, fall nights can sometimes be very chilly.
With party guests able to enter the parks as early at 3pm, it’s so vital to choose costumes that can work in a wide variety of temperatures. We first attended a mid-September party, so knew temperatures were likely to be a bit toasty. I purposefully opted for costumes for all of us with short sleeves and either shorts or capri pants. I packed hoodies for everyone in a small backpack just in case, but we never found we needed them.
3. Have a plan before you arrive.
Any day at Disney is better if you have a rough plan to avoid crowds and not waste time making decisions on the fly or criss-crossing the park with a lot of extra steps. Oogie Boogie Bash is no different. Study the party map and the entertainment schedule beforehand. Map out a plan.
If you are attending the first party of the season, there will be changes you can’t fully plan for. But now that the party is more established, there are definitely trends that hold true every year. The later you can stay, the better. Many guests don’t make it until the end of the party so lines do dissipate for some of the most popular offerings later in the evening.
Here’s a fully downloadable PDF copy of the party map from 2022 to help in your planning.
4. Be ready to prioritize and compromise.
Speaking of having a plan, be aware that it’s impossible to do everything available during Oogie Boogie Bash during the allotted party hours. There is just too much! You must sacrifice some activities in favor of others. Make a list of your 3 or 4 must-sees and set a schedule accordingly.
For example, if you want to ride several of the attractions (which thankfully do have much shorter lines than on regular park days), you probably won’t have time for the unique character meet-and-greets. Similarly, if you are determined to hit every treat trail to collect as much candy as possible, it might be hard to see all the live shows and parades.
If you have attended the party before, I’d recommend prioritizing anything that’s new (of course with an awareness that lines will be long for anything new as well!). And if you are a regular Disneyland visitor, I’d recommend prioritizing the unique party offerings over rides you can ride on any regular visit.
For 2022, the most popular offering is definitely the brand new Sanderson Sisters (Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle) meet-and-greet in Hollywood Land, closely followed by the Bruno meet-and-greet near the water wheel on the back side of Grizzly River Run (on the way to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure). Also extremely popular is the Ernesto de la Cruz interactive treat trail.
5. Skip the parks on party mornings.
With so much to do at Oogie Boogie Bash, I really advise arriving well-rested, especially when traveling with kids. It’s smart to take the morning off from the parks (and save on a day of park ticket costs!) before the event. Sleep in, relax at your hotel’s pool, or have a leisurely meal at Downtown Disney. If you drive your kids too hard earlier in the day, they are going to be cranky and unable to take full advantage of the party offerings. Yes, that goes for tweens and teens too!
6. Enter Oogie Boogie Bash through the Grand Californian if eligible.
At some parties (especially the ones early in the season when park operations are a bit more unreliable), the entrance to DCA has been a madhouse at 3pm when party guests are first able to enter the parks. If you are able to get in through the side entrance into DCA at the Grand Californian, you’ll can often cut a lot of the wait.
Here’s the catch – Disney often restricts access to the Grand Californian entrance to hotels guests only (or sometimes to guests of all the on-property hotels). Each year, there have been very conflicting reports about whether non-hotel guests can enter here during the party hours. So your miles may vary. But certainly if you are staying at the hotel, make use of the entrance!
No matter where you enter, be aware that you’ll need to pick up a party wristband. There are traditionally three locations to do this – at the main park entrance, just beyond the Grand Californian entrance, and deeper into the park between the entrance of Avengers Campus and Cars Land (formerly Blue Sky Cellar was used, but now just look for the signs right across the path from there). I thankfully had good luck with a short wristband line in 2022 at the regular park entrance, so I’m hopeful Disney has gotten the operations mostly sorted out now. But if there are long lines, wait until closer to party start or try an alternate location to get your wristband.
7. Eat an early dinner.
Once the party officially starts, you are not going to want to waste valuable party time getting a meal. Plan for an early dinner before party start time to fill up on something a bit healthier before the candy smorgasbord begins. I’d recommend grabbing something portable maybe around 5:00 or 5:30 and then lining up for your first treat trail or character meet-and-greet while you eat in line. You can even place a mobile order as you are headed into the parks at 3:00 for exactly the pickup time that works best for you to ensure that the sequencing of your day works well.
8. Hit the immersive treat trails, skip the rest.
Disneyland has always featured treat trails in its Halloween parties. These meandering pathways are strategically lined with cast members who fill up guests’ trick-or-treat bags with an absurdly voluminous quantity of candy. It’s not really my thing, but for anyone who has kids who are competitive trick-or-treaters, you know these are a hit!
Oogie Boogie Bash has special trick-or-treat trails that Disneyland calls “immersive.” These trails have a theme and each feature a live villain interacting with guests as they pass by. These trails were unexpectedly the highlight of our family’s Oogie Boogie Bash experiences. They have the candy and the entertainment all rolled into one!
These treat trails have been a huge hit with many other Disneyland guests as well so Disney has continued to add more and introduce new villains each year. In 2022, Disneyland has expanded to 9 immersive treat trails (up from 5 in the first party year). There are also 2 regular treat trails where you can gather a lot of candy but won’t see a character. You’ll honestly get more than enough candy if you hit several of the immersive ones. Skip the non-immersive trails and save yourself that time for other special party offerings.
The 9 immersive trails and their locations are:
- Dr. Facilier (in front of Golden Zephyr near the entrance to Plaza de la Familia)
- Oogie Boogie (in Animation Academy)
- Maleficent (corridor beyond Soarin’)
- Agatha Harkness (Ancient Sanctum in Avengers Campus)
- Sid from Toy Story (Pixar Pier Mini stage)
- Cruella de Vil (Hollywood Land stage)
- NEW IN 2022: Mother Gothel (Grizzly River Run)
- NEW IN 2022 Madam Mim (far side of Hyperion Theater)
- NEW IN 2022: Ernesto de la Cruz (Stage just past Carthay Circle but before Avengers Campus entrance)
9. Skip the very first Mickey’s Trick and Treat show.
Mickey’s Trick and Treat show is held in the Disney Junior Dance Party theater in Hollywood Land. It’s undoubtedly one of the top picks for families with young kids at Oogie Boogie Bash. Because young kids have earlier bedtimes, a lot of families rush to the very first show.
That first show is very crowded, and some guests who don’t arrive early to line up may be turned away. I’d recommend waiting until the second or even third show (which are still before most little kid bedtimes) for a lower key experience.
10. Bring a stroller for little ones.
Speaking of younger kids, plan to bring a stroller to Oogie Boogie Bash if you have little ones. Even if your kids go without a stroller during the day, you might want to consider one for a party night. We definitely found that one came in handy for my 5 (almost 6 year old) son when he fell asleep in it back in 2019.
11. Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark early in the party.
A highlight of the Halloween season for thrill ride lovers is the special ride overlay for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! called “Monsters After Dark.” While the posted wait time is often 13 minutes during much of party, we found the wait really can fluctuate quite a bit.
When is the best time to ride? Somewhat earlier in the party. You want to leave just enough time for the regular non-party guests to clear out, so don’t ride this attraction right at 6pm when some of them may just have gotten in line before official park close. Instead, wait until about 7pm. At that hour, regular guests have left but a lot of the Oogie Boogie Bash party guests are in their first few treat trail or character lines and not yet thinking about rides.
I also had good luck finding a very short line immediately after the first parade ended. I had been sitting in Hollywood Land where the parade concludes, and I followed the end of the parade to Guardians (breezing through the Madam Mim treat trail there en route) before a lot of parade goers had made their way there.
12. Consider skipping Villains Grove with kids.
Before I attended Oogie Boogie Bash, I thought I might have to recommend that families skip Villains Grove because it would turn out to be too scary. Luckily, that is not the case. Disney has kept things little kid friendly even in this mystical villain-inspired maze set in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
Here’s where my recommendation might get a bit controversial. I think you should still ultimately consider skipping this offering with kids. Why? It’s just not that engaging or interactive for them. My 10 year old daughter and a friend’s 7 year old son were not particularly impressed when they walked through in 2019. After the character-driven treat trails, it just didn’t rate with them in comparison. If there were Photopass photographers or characters in the experiences, it might be more of a highlight.
During the middle of the party, the queue for this experience is also insanely long so it has the potential to waste a lot of party time. It also doesn’t open up right at party start time because it only runs after dark, so you can’t queue early for it during the mix-in period from 3-6pm.
If you are curious and must see it, at least wait until the end of the party when lines have dissipated. I was able to find a short line right as the second parade time was about to start this year as when we ran to it in the last few minutes of the party before 11pm another year. (Unsure about this approach? My friend Patty at No Guilt Disney agrees – it’s one of her 3 things not to do at Oogie Boogie Bash.)
To be sure, the Disney adult crowd raves about the beauty and detail of Villains Grove. I was personally able to appreciate it without kids on my most recent 2022 party visit. But as someone who actually walked through it with kids, it didn’t quite deliver for them – especially not for the long wait it often posts!
13. Don’t sweat the ideal Frightfully Fun Parade viewing spot.
With no World of Color show at 2022’s Oogie Boogie Bash, the parade is the main live entertainment this year. So you might be stressing the parade viewing situation. Don’t be.
The parade route in California Adventure is very long. That means there are a lot of places to sit and even more places where you can stand and get an unobstructed view, even if you only walk up a few minutes before parade start time. A good spot to get a last minute view is in Hollywood Land in front of the Animation building. The parade starts at the other end of the park so you can even walk up here a bit late if you are visiting some of the other offerings on this side of the park.
Whatever you do, don’t waste a lot of time camping out for the parade. The second of the two parade showings has lower attendance as some guests call it a night or turn to rides at this hour, so consider watching it then for lower crowds. I actually found though this year that the better strategy may be to attend the more crowded first parade and do some of the most popular treat trails and character greetings during the second parade for shorter lines.
14. Pass on the dining package upsells.
For most families, just going to Oogie Boogie Bash stretches their Disney vacation budgets. The tickets themselves are expensive!
Don’t feel like you need to further break the bank adding on extras to this total. Disney has a couple of dining packages in particular that you can do to get preferred viewing areas for the parade, but they are expensive and take away valuable party time that you’ve already paid for. My friend Kim of Stuffed Suitcase tried both of them to compare one year, so check out Oogie Boogie Bash dining package review to see what you’re getting for your money beforehand.
15. Go easy the next day.
After a late party night, go easy on your kids and yourself the next morning. The morning after Oogie Boogie Bash is NOT the time to try to make rope drop or an early Disneyland character breakfast. I also wouldn’t recommend booking a super early flight home that day.
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Are you headed to Oogie Boogie Bash? Leave your questions in the comments below!
Disclosure: Truth in travel blogging matters to me, so you’ll always know any potential sources of bias in my stories. I paid for Oogie Boogie Bash tickets for myself and my two kids in 2019. I later received a media invitation from Disney, and was given some additional perks on that trip. I attended 2021 and 2022’s OBB fully at my own expense. I do the vast majority of my Disney travels on my own dime. Disney sometimes helps offset my costs so that I can bring more content to all of you, but I never give positive reviews just because I’ve been comped.