If you’ve ever been to Disney during Halloween time, you know the entire experience is pretty “spooktacular.” Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year to visit Disney parks. This year we decided to enhance our entire Halloween experience and buy tickets to the Oogie Boogie Bash. This special event is held at Disney’s California Adventure park and was full of all the spooky splendor we had anticipated… and so much more.
This year was our first Oogie Boogie Bash. We were both excited and curious to see what the bash had to offer over the other holiday experiences we’d had. I was a little stressed before heading out on the trip and tried to do some preplanning to ensure a good time. I worried that we wouldn’t have enough time to do and see everything we wanted to do and see during the five-hour party. It turns out that I worried for absolutely nothing. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have loved an extra hour or three to meander through the park and grab a few more churros, but we were able to do everything we wanted to do in the time provided during the event.
In the end, in classic Disney style, the party didn’t take that much planning on our side — they had it all figured out. Still, there were a few key things that helped the night run smoothly for us. For instance, prioritizing the key attractions that we wanted to experience really helped. It helped to take advantage of the three hours early that you can enter the park before the actual party starts. We took this time to take photos, ride some rides and eat dinner. We got a kick out of being one of the few “characters” wandering about the park since most people were in street clothes. Many kind comments were thrown our way! A big win was making sure to watch the second parade instead of the first one. The large crowds have dwindled by the time the second parade starts. Other than those simple things, we really just enjoyed ourselves as we wandered through treat trails and interacted with some of our favorite villains.
Read on to learn more tricks from our experience at the Oogie Boogie Bash and for ways to make your night even more magical.
Take advantage of the early entry
The Bash officially starts at 6 pm, but ticket holders can enter the park as early as 3 pm. We took this time to take some group photos, ride a few rides, and grab a quick bite to eat inside the park before the party started. Kicking off the event with a full tummy gave us plenty of energy to jump right into those treat trails and get piles of candy.
Enter through the Grand Californian Pixar Pier entry
This tip is spectacular! The lines to get into the party can be quite long at the main gate. They can be just as long getting in through the normal Grand Californian entry. We bypassed all of that and found no lines at the Pixar Pier entrance located inside the hotel. Most people don’t know that there are actually two entrances to California Adventure from inside the Grand Californian. The Pixar Pier entrance drops you off at, well, Pixar Pier and had no wait or crowds at all. It isn’t easy to find and navigate, so just ask any staff member and they will hook you up with how to find it. Hint: for part of it it seems as if you are going to hotel rooms.
Don’t skip Villains Grove
Do not miss Villains Grove! This was actually my favorite attraction during the event. Make sure you wait until after dark to do this one. The line may look long, but it actually moves really fast and the whole attraction is so worth it. Be sure to take your time and experience it all — there is so much to behold.
Do the Second Parade
The second parade is where it’s at! We tried to see the first parade, but everyone else in the park had the same idea. Imagine tons of adults lining the streets… no way a kiddo could ever see anything but the tallest floats. We decided to hit a few more treat trails and ride a couple of rides while the first one was going on. Bonus, lines were empty since everyone was crowded along the street. Later, we had no problem at all grabbing a seat right in front for the second parade. It was so worth having the space to spread out, relax and enjoy.
Enjoy the short lines
One of the best things about having limited capacity for these events is also having short lines for rides. There is no stress to make genie plans because there is no genie available during the event. That is totally fine because you don’t need it. We didn’t wait more than 5 or 10 minutes at any time for any of the rides. Well, that’s a bit of a lie. Radiator Springs Racers was probably 20-30 minutes… then 40… then it went down while we were in line. We navigated our way back through the people and never looked back. You can’t win ’em all!
Wander, wander, and wander
I know this seems like a vague tip, but I advise you to just wander the party and enjoy it, plan and stress-free. If there are a few villains that you absolutely want to see, make those a priority earlier in the evening. The rest of the time just walk around and take it all in. There are so many treat trails, loaded with yummy candy, that you can just go from one to another and make your way around the entire park, raking in the treats all the while. Some of the lines may look suspect, but they go pretty fast. If candy is your true calling, make sure to hit the treat trails toward the end of the evening, because by the end of the night most treat trails have no lines at all. Plus, as the night winds down, cast members tend to hand a lot more candy than they do at the beginning of the night. One can never have too much candy! Bonus: guess what we will be handing out this Halloween!
I hope these tips contribute to your experience being as fantastic as ours. Have you been to the Oogie Boogie Bash or are you planning to go? I would love to hear how you and your family enjoyed it. If you want more Disney tips, check out my post on the best places to relax and Disney.
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