Disneyland's Oogie Boogie Bash is back — and tickets are now on sale
For many Disney fans, Halloween is a truly magical time to plan a trip to the parks. Disneyland had to cancel its Halloween celebrations in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but its Oogie Boogie Bash is back this year — and tickets are now on sale.
Both Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, celebrate Halloween with characters in costume, special not-so-spooky ride overlays and more Mickey-shaped pumpkin sculptures than you can possibly count.
Now that Disneyland is fully reopened to out-of-state residents, guests can make plans for a trip to Disneyland for its Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween celebration.
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What to expect this year
Disneyland's Halloween party is named for the jovially evil character in Tim Burton’s "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The party theme is therefore a bit edgy while still in keeping with Disney's family-friendly PG vibe.
In 2021, Oogie Boogie Bash will be offered on 25 select nights starting Sept. 9 through Oct. 31. Tickets to this after-hours event will give you access to California Adventure Park for up to three hours before the bash begins, and the party itself runs from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Prices vary depending on the date you choose, starting at $114, but expect to pay close to $170 per ticket if you hope to go during Halloween weekend. Ticket sales are limited, so if you hope to add this event to your Disneyland itinerary, you'll want to buy your tickets as soon as possible.
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Here's what you can expect at this year's celebration.
Guests can head down Disneyland's Treat Trails for sweets from Mars Wrigley. You'll also run into Mickey and friends, plus some Disney Villains.
Each trail is themed after a Disney villain — from Maleficent to the Evil Queen to the event's namesake Oogie Boogie.
Mickey's Trick and Treat Show
Intended for younger visitors with no spooky elements, this new show features Fab 5 characters. It takes place in the same theater as the Disney Junior Dance Party, so expect lots of dancing, followed by a few candy treats.
Villains Grove is back this year, set in the maze-like atmosphere of Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. The area will be transformed with lights and special effects to create a variety of wicked scenes inspired by the worlds of Disney villains — including Dr. Facilier, Frollo, Scar, the Wicked Queen and more.
Families of sensitive little ones should expect this to be a bit dark, but it's sure to be the highlight for older kids and adults.
Frightfully Fun Parade
Disneyland's Halloween parade is back this year for the Oogie Boogie Bash.
This nighttime parade is led by the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow and features characters such as Mickey Mouse and Jack Skellington. You'll see Dr. Facilier from "The Princess and the Frog" with his Shadow Men, as well as favorite villainous faces such as Cruella.
The parade will wrap up with the Cheshire Cat once again.
Character meet and greets
Both traditional Disney characters in costumes, as well as Disney villains, are available for meet and greets, photos and autographs around the park on party nights.
Fiendishly Frightening Escape
While not specific to Oogie Boogie Bash, guests should definitely check out the Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark attraction while there for the event.
Located at Avengers Campus, you can go on an adventure to rescue Groot from an overrun Collector's Fortress.
The ride isn't suited for small kids — you have to be at least 40 inches tall to ride, and it features a few big drops, loud sounds and potentially frightening moments.
Is Oogie Boogie Bash worth it?
Oogie Boogie Bash isn’t a cheap event. Per-person ticket prices are between $114 and $169. The party's main appeal is the themed entertainment available no other time of year, as well as usually shorter ride lines. The limited hours of the event, however, mean it can be hard to see and do it all in a single party night.
For families with kids who are old enough for a late night out, the party certainly seems worth it for both Disney fans as well as Halloween lovers. My oldest child is now a tween, so I considered all the new programming with her in mind. Families with older kids, tweens and teens can experience a lot in a single evening, as will adults-only groups.
For parents of younger children, the biggest concern is the late hour. I attended a Halloween party with my son when he was three, and he passed out in his stroller before the evening parade even began. It’s hard for a family to get full value with either sleeping or cranky kids.
If you are inclined to attend a party with younger kids, it’s vital to get a pre-party afternoon nap and also not to plan to go to the parks the next morning. And be careful with sensitive little ones. While the party isn't scary, it still might not be the right fit for every child.
Tips for attending Oogie Boogie Bash
Because Oogie Boogie Bash is a brand-new event this year, strategies for making the most of it won't be fully evident until the first party happens on Sept. 17. That said, there are a number of tips from previous years' parties that will likely still apply.
- Book early: Parties do sell out, so it’s vital to secure tickets as soon as your travel plans are set.
- Check the costume policy: One of the best parts of a Disneyland Halloween party is that everyone — adults included — can dress up. There are still some limitations on attire, such as no face coverings and no props resembling weapons. Check the costume policy before you head to the parks to make sure you won't be turned away.
- Plan for long character lines: While ride lines are often short, the lines to meet the most popular characters certainly won't be. Pick your must-sees and be strategic. You can often save party time by lining up for the biggest headliner in the hour before the party starts.
- Trick or treat later in the evening: Trick or treat trails are also popular, as many guests seem determined to depart the party with several pounds of candy. However, the lines traditionally dissipate later in the evenings. Saving the trick or treat for last means you don't have to lug around extra candy weight for hours, and can also deliver shorter lines.
- Study the party map: Even if you are regular Disneyland visitor, the parks look different on a party night. Check the party map closely to plan your evening most effectively. While Disney doesn't release these maps in advance, you can often find a copy of the map from a fellow guest in Disneyland planning groups, message boards or even on Instagram.
- Stay nearby. Since this is a nighttime event, we recommend staying nearby at either an official Disneyland Hotel or at one of the points-friendly properties available within walking distance to the parks.
- Don't forget your mask. Fully vaccinated guests no longer have to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors, but all kids over the ages of two who are not vaccinated are still required to wear masks indoors.
Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.