UPDATE: Disneyland has announced big changes to Mickey's Halloween Party in 2019! The party is now the Oogie Boogie Bash and it will be held in Disney California Adventure Park. Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 30, 2019.
My strategies for Mickey's Halloween Party will still work for the Oogie Boogie Bash! Read on to get tips that will help you make the most of your visit.
Halloween is a special time to visit Disneyland. Halloween decorations are everywhere. Rides get spooky makeovers. Mickey and his friends dress in costumes. You can get photo ops with rarely seen Disney villains. Halloween treats and merchandise are sold throughout the park.
Serious Halloween enthusiasts will not want to miss Oogie Boogie Bash, on select dates in September and October. On top of the Halloween treats already mentioned, Mickey's Halloween Party guests also get:
- treat trails throughout the park where children and adults can load up on Halloween candy. Healthier treats are available upon request.
- rare photo ops with Disney villains
- a Halloween parade
- a new Halloween-themed World of Color show
- shorter lines, because tickets to the Oogie Boogie Bash are limited.
Is Oogie Boogie Bash Worth It?
If you LOVE Disney and you LOVE Halloween, then YES, Oogie Boogie Bash is worth it. You'll get parades, shows, photo ops, treat trails and more that you can't get any other time. Guests of all ages can wear costumes. Ride lines may be shorter because ticket sales are limited and treat trails will divert some guests.
Oogie Boogie Bash won't be everyone's thing. Tickets for the Oogie Boogie Bash cost around the same price (or more) than a regular Disneyland ticket. The park was still crowded and lines were long for popular rides. You can enjoy Halloween decorations and ride overlays during regular park hours with a regular ticket. It's really about the exclusive treat trails, photo ops, costumes and shows that you can't do any other time.
Before your trip
Buy tickets early
Oogie Boogie Bash is held several nights each week from September through Halloween. In recent years, tickets sold out early, so if you're serious about going, buy early. Tickets usually go on sale months in advance. Children under age 3 do not need a ticket.
You can only buy tickets to Oogie Boogie Bash through Disneyland's official website. It's a separate ticket that is only good for the party, so you can still buy discounted park tickets for the rest of your trip from Get Away Today.
Check the weather
Ideally, your night at Oogie Boogie Bash will include perfect Southern California fall temperatures. For us, it was a sticky 90 degrees F when we walked through the gate in mid-October. At other times, it could be unseasonably chilly or rainy. Check the forecast and plan your costumes or clothing accordingly.
Oogie Boogie Bash is the only time of year that teens and adults can wear costumes at Disneyland. It's really fun to see all the costumes! Some are as simple as a Halloween or Disney tee. Others are elaborate and creative. Many are Disney related, and groups often choose costumes with the same theme.
You may also want to pack your own treat bags. Small treat bags are provided by the park, but families who are serious about treat trails will need something larger.
Morning of the party
Oogie Boogie Bash is a separate ticket that is only good for the afternoon and evening of your party. You'll need a regular admission ticket to visit Disneyland in the morning, and I recommend you save that regular admission for another day. These tickets aren't cheap. Don't pay twice for the same day!
Use your morning to sleep in and lounge by the pool instead. Then eat a good lunch and prep for the party.
Unless dining at Disney's California Adventure is a top priority for your family, pack sandwiches and drinks into the park for dinner. You'll save money and time in line.
Party guests are allowed into the park 3 hours early on Tuesday/Thursday and 4 hours early on Sunday before the party begins at 6 pm. Arrive at the gates up to 30 minutes prior to that time to get in as early as possible.
We're here! Now what?
If you arrive three hours before the party (and you should!), expect to be part of the biggest crowd of the day. Crowds may be relatively light in September, but by mid-October, the park could be packed. That's the week we were there. Our goal was rides, parade, fireworks, treat trails and photo ops, in that order.
Our party was scheduled from 6:00-11:00 p.m. Check the official times before your visit and sketch out a plan for your family in advance. Here is how we did it:.
3:00 p.m. We arrived just in time for the regular afternoon parade.
3:30 p.m. Time to ride! We avoided popular rides with long lines in favor of rides with 10-15 minute waits. Use a wait times app like the official Disneyland Resort app to help decide which direction you'd like to go. Consider the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail or The Little Mermaid ride.
6:00 p.m. The party begins! Crowds should thin, making it easier to enjoy rides, character photo ops and treat trails. You won't have time to do it all, but you should be able to get to a lot of your favorites. Here is a screen shot of the wait times in Fantasyland near the beginning of a sold out night.
7:00 – 7:30 p.m. If you want a good seat for the first parade, stake your claim at least 60-90 minutes in advance. Consider bringing a light blanket or beach towel so one person can hold several seats.
If two parades are scheduled, consider the later parade. It's always less crowded, and ride lines will thin while the parade is happening.
8:45 p.m. Parade! Disneyland parades are showy, and you can expect this nighttime parade to be bright, loud and fun. One of my children loved it, but the other did not.
If parades and fireworks are not your thing, use that time to enjoy shorter lines on the rides and treat trails. We headed for Indiana Jones Adventure during the last minute of the fireworks and walked onto the ride with no wait. By the time we finished our ride, the line was 20 minutes long.
10:00 p.m. Keep riding, treat trailing or photo opping until the park closes, or head for the front gate and call it a night. There is a lot going on at Oogie Boogie Bash, and the right way to do it is your way!
More Tips for Your Disneyland Trip
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