It’s no surprise anymore that Disney after hours and holiday events will result in a significant blow to your wallet, should you choose to partake. Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash is running now through Halloween, with tickets starting at $114 and running to upwards of $169, depending on which date you visit. The event lasts five hours from 6-11 p.m., with a mix in to Disney California Adventure beginning three hours prior. I attended opening night of the event and discovered some clear-cut ways to ensure you make the most of your time at the event.
By Carly Caramanna
Mix in begins at 3 p.m., but you should plan on arriving well before that as it can take up to 45 minutes to get inside the main park gates. I would suggest entering via the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa entrance, which is open for all guests to use and typically has little to no line. Once inside, you’ll have to wait again for your event wristband at the Blue Sky Cellar. This proved to be another long line if you weren’t already inside the park at 3 p.m.
For Magic Key holders, I would suggest making a park reservation that day and arriving no later than 2 p.m. Those already in the park before 3 p.m. typically begin lining up for the event wristband around 2:30 p.m. at Blue Sky Cellar.
This is not the type of event where you can just show up and enjoy the atmosphere. I would highly suggest familiarizing yourself with the event map beforehand, as experiences can be found spread throughout the park. Each of the 10 trick or treat trails features its own character, so it’s important to prioritize which ones you want to see as it can be difficult to visit all of them in addition to taking in the other entertainment offerings. Cruella, Sid from “Toy Story” and Agatha Harkness from Marvel Studios’ “WandaVision” proved to be the most popular. I found that Agatha had the longest line early on in the evening but in the last hour had no wait. Some characters, like Cruella, may leave the trick or treat trail to perform in the parade so keep that in mind if she’s a priority.
Visit Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark before event starts
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! changes to the Monsters After Dark overlay starting at 3 p.m. Visit this attraction before the event begins so you can use your time experiencing what’s exclusive to event during party hours.
Eat dinner before
The lines for quick-service food, including carts for hot dogs and pretzels, were consistently very busy. Eating dinner before the event ensures you don’t waste event time. If you do end up eating during the event, I would suggest choosing something exclusive to Halloween Time and using the app’s mobile order feature. Plan your mobile order ahead of time, too, as many locations were fully booked for the entire event early on.
Bring your own trick or treat bags
The treat bags provided by the event are small and mine easily was over halfway full after just one of the treat trails.
Visit Villains Grove right when it opens
Villains Grove was the highlight of the evening for me. This immersive walk-through experience takes place in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and opens at dusk, not at the start of the event. I, personally, skipped the first parade to visit this right when it opened and the line moved quickly. The line for this tends to get longer as the evening goes on as it’s very popular.
Skip the first parade
Each event has two showings of the Frightfully Fun Parade: 7:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. Aside from skipping the first parade to visit Villains Grove, the first one also tends to be much busier.
View the parade from Hollywood Land
The parade begins on Pixar Pier near Paradise Gardens Park, and runs through the park to Hollywood Land before finally ending in Avengers Campus. The extensive lighting in the Pixar Pier area proved to be not ideal conditions to watch the parade, as it was simply too bright with lots of light fixtures in view. Instead, watch the parade from Hollywood Land where there is less ambient lighting. Crowds tend to begin securing their viewing location around 30 minutes prior to the start.
Screenshot your PhotoPass code
There are special photo opportunities found throughout the park, including villains and rare characters. Disney PhotoPass is included with event admission. To link photos, the photographer has to scan your PhotoPass code. This is a multi-step process to access in the app, so I would suggest screenshotting it for easier access. On the app’s homepage select photos, link photos, then show PhotoPass code.
The event is a good opportunity to ride WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Once Oogie Boogie Bash begins, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure utilizes a standard queue as opposed to the virtual queue they use during normal hours. Since many party-goers are seeking the event exclusive activities, the wait time for this attraction tends to be on the lower side.
Do you have any tips or tricks for making the most of Oogie Boogie Bash? Share them with us down in the comments.