By Jennifer Stuart
General Oogie Boogie Bash party tips and our best tips for character meets, parade viewing and treat trails based on our experiences at the Oogie Boogie Bash in Disney's California Adventure in 2019. Read on to find out how to make the most of your time during the party and maximize your fun.
Our tips are based on our personal experiences visiting the Oogie Boogie Bash on Sept 22, 2019.
When choosing a costume for the Ooogie Boogie Bash -- keep the Southern California weather in mind. Two of the three hottest trips we have made to Disneyland were on Halloween Party Nights. This is not the time for full furry body suits or multiple layers of fabric. I saw an amazing full Jafar costume but that guy must have been melting. You will also want to make sure that your costume fits Disneyland's official costume guidelines. You can be denied entry or asked to modify your costume if it doesn't fit within the guidelines. Click here and scroll to "Know Before You Go."
Mix in Early
Make sure you take advantage of "mix in" time to maximize your time in the park. With a party ticket you are able to "mix in," or enter Disney California Adventure several hours before official party start times (2:00 PM on Sundays as well as October 29 and 31, 2019 or 3:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays). This gives you more time in the park, especially if you are not using a separate park pass in the morning. You can get the most park time for your $ and also not use precious party time for eating.
Eat Before Party Time
As we mentioned in the tip above, the mix in times are perfect for an early dinner. It makes sense to eat before the official party start time so that you can maximize the actual party time with party-specific activities. Also many of the food locations close early because of the locations of treat trails etc.. We highly recommend that you eat early but still make sure that you are hydrating during the party. It is easy to get distracted by all that is going on. There are lots of great seasonal options as well as old favourites. Look for a blog post on some of our fall favourites coming soon.
There is absolutely no way that you can possibly see and do it all. Know what things there are to do in advance. You may want to read our post on Everything You Need to Know about Oogie Boogie Bash for more information and help planning, including a party map and schedule. You will have to make some decisions about what you consider most important and prioritize the experiences. Remember to take line times into account when you are planning your time as some experiences require some wait time before you can get in.
There is only one Frightfully Fun Parade per party night. This starts from Pixar Pier near Paradise Gardens (this end is also the least crowded) and ends in Hollywood Land (near the Hyperion Theatre). Spots near Carthay Circle started filling up about an hour before the start of the parade. Your time may be better spent enjoying the party and then snagging a spot closer to Paradise Gardens -- these filled up about 20 mins in advance for the first row. If you don't need to be front row (which is sitting) then you could walk up to second row in this area shortly before the start of the parade (in fact there was no one standing behind me next to Goofy's Sky School).
Treat Trail Tips
The first thing you need to know is that there are two kinds of treat trails. Regular treat trails and immersive treat trails. Unless you are set on collecting as much candy as possible, save your time and just do the immersive treat trails. The difference is that the immersive trails all feature a specific villain (Malificent, the Evil Queen, the Mad Hatter, Oogie Boogie etc..). This was our favourite addition to the party this year. You still get the fun of trick or treating and the candy (this is still important to our kids) but you also get to experience the villains. It is not a meet and greet but a walk by where they interact with the crowd (we thought the Queen was particularly good). This definitely adds to the fun and spook factor. Oogie Boogie had a substantial line up but the line moved quickly and we only ended up waiting about 10 mins.
Insider Tip: Treat trails don't open right at the party start time as they are still ushering out regular day guests. Look for them to open about a half hour after the party starts (so 6:30pm for a 6:00pm party start).
Insider Tip: The trick or treat bags that you are given are small -- if you plan on doing more than 3 treat trails your bag will be overflowing. Do yourself a favour and bring a bag form home or use it as an excuse to buy a cute Halloween bag.
Insider Tip: Treat trails have different "sponsors" and different candy. If you have allergies, make sure to check with cast members for allergy friendly options.
Our biggest tips are to remember that there are two showings of Villainous, and the second showing is always less busy. The show is about 20 mins long. Although you can't make reservations at Lamplight Lounge the upstairs portion of the lounge is open during party times. You can aim for a walk up spot where you can relax with a drink and watch the show (that is a fun way to multitask). The best bet is to talk to the cast members at the Lamplighter and ask about walk up spots and what time they recommend that you arrive to get one as it can vary by the day and we have always found them to be super helpful.
Character Meet Tips
There are several different character meet spots and specific characters meet at specific spots. Some spots have the same characters continually -- like Mickey and Minnie in their Halloween Costumes and some rotate between a series of characters ie; "Disney Classic Characters" or "Kingdom Hearts" friends. The tricky part with the rotating characters is knowing when to meet that one specific character you are looking for. You can ask the cast members at the meet and greet spots but they will often just know who is coming next rather than a schedule of who will be out when. These meets will have lines throughout the night and it is a great chance to see some very rare characters if that is what interests you. Our main tip is to find out which characters are meeting where and pick your favourites. We would save meeting Mickey and Minnie in their costumes for a regular park day and concentrate on those characters that are only out during the party.
Merchandise is available at several locations. We suggest checking our Rushin' River Outfitters (the shop beside Grizzly River Run) they had a full selection even later in the evening and weren't as busy as some of the other locations.
For a walkthrough of Villains Grove or a full video of the Frightfully Fun Parade you can check out our YouTube Channel.
If you enjoyed this post you may be interested in some of our other Disneyland posts.
Photos by Jennifer Stuart and Kim Stuart
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