Oogie Boogie Bash 2022: Review and Tips!
Halloweentime is officially upon us at the Disneyland Resort, and with Halloween comes the fan-favorite event of the year, Oogie Boogie Bash!
If you’re not familiar with the event, Oogie Boogie Bash is a nighttime separate-ticketed event hosted at Disney’s California Adventure park where guests get to meet some awesome characters, walk treat trails to get some goodies, meet some of the Disney’s awesome villains, and see some frightfully fun shows!
This year I was lucky enough to snag tickets to the event (it sells out lightning quick!) and experienced my very first Oogie Boogie Bash. I had an absolute blast and would definitely recommend anyone and everyone try to attend if they get the chance!
Wanna hop ahead? Go ahead and jump to the section that's calling out to you most!
The Halloween party is hosted at DCA for 24 nights throughout September and October.
The event runs from 6:00PM to 11:00PM, but guests are permitted into the park starting at 3:00PM.
When you arrive to the party, you’re given a treat bag (that is much too small) and a wristband that has your Photopass QR code printed on it for easy photopass access (downloads are included!), and an event map! If you’re trying to be efficient I highly recommend checking out the map prior to the start of the event to plan your route.
Photo Ops and Character Meets
There are plenty of photo ops throughout the park (at least one in every land) whether it’s a backdrop to get a photo with or different characters to meet! If character meets are your thing, you’ll be glad to know rare characters come out for the night so that’s very exciting! This year we got to see Hercules, Ping, and the Blue Fairy right in front of Carthay Circle, Bruno at Grizzly Peak, Hook and Smee at Pacific Wharf, and the main event of the night: Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle as the Sanderson Sisters at Hollywoodland!
There are also plenty of treat trails riddled all over the park. Many of the treat trails are villain-centered, so there’s a main villain who you’re ultimately going to see. You’re able to interact with them and get some pictures from a distance. Along those routes there are treat stations where friendly cast members will give you different kinds of treats like candy bars, fruits, carrots, chips, etc.
There are also some treat trails that are simply for treats and don’t have an attraction alongside them. These have, of course, the shortest lines and are great if you’re trying to maximize the amount of treats you take home ;) Our favorite was the treat trail at the back of Cars Land near Radiator Springs. There were no lines and we went back at least 3 or more times.
Frightfully Fun Parade
Oogie Boogie Bash also comes with a special parade just for party guests! This parade runs twice throughout the night: once at 7:45PM and again at 10:00PM. The route runs from the Silly Symphony Swings area all the way to Hollywood Land. Lots of people save spots early to get a good view, or there’s the option of getting the Dessert Party to get reserved seating.
Villain's Grove is an Oogie Boogie Bash exclusive attraction that takes over the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. It gets decked out in villain-y decor and spooky music. There are several sections of the trail that are dedicated to different villains.
All DCA rides are operational for the event, so this is the perfect time to ride popular rides that often have long waits! While I didn’t prioritize rides, I saw Radiator Springs standby at 55 minutes, Web Slingers at 20, and even Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark at 13 minutes! (This one we rode!)
There were limited Oogie Boogie exclusive food items, some of which included a special fries dish at Flo’s V8, and black corn dogs at Corn Dog Castle. There wasn’t much that was too enticing in this area, so we opted to avoid the lines for food and ate ahead of time.
To get a better sense of wait times and how quickly you can move through different activities, here’s a breakdown of our schedule for the evening!
I loved the treat trails. They were spaced out really well so there’s something going on in each land, and they moved very quickly! I thought they were going to take a while to get through but it’s actually quite efficient. Of course, once you reach the villain a lot of people are pausing to get photos and videos, and to actually interact with the villains, but if that’s not your thing you can just walk on by!
There’s something about being dissed by a Disney character that’s just so satisfying. Or at least, watching someone get dissed by a Disney character. The villains were in full form for the event throwing the darkest shade at guests and it was pretty hilarious. I’m always in awe of how quick and sharp improv actors can be at noticing a guest’s costume (or lack of one) and making a whole joke and interaction around it. Loved it and loved them!
Character Meet & Greets
Like I mentioned earlier, the Sanderson Sisters meet and greet was the event of the night! Everyone I knew was looking forward to meeting them and so was I! Because the line was predicted to be super long, and I knew I didn't want to spend an hour or more waiting for them during the event, I lined up to meet them starting at 4:50PM and there was already a line! Even though we did end up waiting around an hour and a half (we got our photos at 6:28PM), we only used up 28 minutes of our Oogie Boogie Bash time! I highly recommend this if you want to see them too but also want lots of time to do other things!
Bruno was another fun meet and greet, and his was the only other one we did. His line wasn't very long, which I was a bit surprised about since he's a new character! Maybe we don't talk about him enough, so he just wasn't hyped. But I loved meeting him, he was so sweet!
Frightfully Fun Parade
I was definitely excited to see this one since I’ve heard such great things about it!
I would say as far as parades go, while this one was indeed very fun, it wasn’t my favorite. The show starts with the Headless Horseman who walks spookily down the parade route. The floats themselves were very cool, and I love the Halloween music, but as a whole show it felt pretty choppy. The time and distance between the floats were pretty wide so the show felt somewhat long but not super packed. In total the show lasted around 27-28 minutes. If the show remains the same, I’d likely skip it in favor of doing more activities, but it’s definitely worth a watch the first time!
Villain's Grove was absolutely beautiful! I loved the mist that marked the beginning and the end of the trail, adding an extra spooky and mystical vibe to the experience. I loved the theming of each of the sections, my favorite being Scar's Elephant Graveyard. As a huge fan of Lion King since I was a kid, that was always a place I thought would be cool to visit and I love how they recreated it! The Lightning Forest was also super cool!
This is definitely a crowd favorite. If you check the Disneyland app you'll be able to see what the wait time for this attraction is throughout the night, and from what I could tell it was consistently around 30 minutes or more. But we booked it to the line right after the parade and only had to wait 5 minutes! So definitely checking it out toward the end of the night is going to get you a shorter wait. My only caveat to that is that you might be exhausted and may not get to fully embrace all the beauty (aka me lugging my heavy treat bag through the trail).
I love rides, and I love not waiting in line for them (who doesn’t?). If rides are a favorite of yours, Oogie Boogie Bash is a great way to take advantage of short lines! We got to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark (which is by far the superior track) and only had to wait around 5 minutes in line (not including the pre-show)!
I will say, though, that rides were a low priority for me and will likely continue to be for any future events, mostly because they are something I can do on a regular trip to the parks. I prefer prioritizing Oogie Boogie exclusive activities, but having the rides as an option is really awesome, and I definitely could have ridden Guardians a couple more times!
I was surprised at the lack of Oogie Boogie exclusive food items at the event! Disneyland especially is known for their unique food creations, and I live for their seasonal foodie guide! That being said there weren’t many exclusive food items to choose from or that were super enticing. I came across the buffalo chicken fries at Flo’s and the black corn dog at Corn Dog Castle, neither of which were super tempting, though I did hear that the Flo’s fries were pretty good!
Magic Key Area
For Magic Keyholders, there's a special area right under the Silly Symphony Swings where you can go get some candy, grab a fun Magic Keyholder keepsake, and take advantage of a photo op!
We visited the area during the first Frightfully Fun Parade so there was no wait at all. Our keys were scanned, then we got some candy from a kind cast member and were given these cute re-usable popcorn holders! Not sure I'll be making much use of it for that since I don't get popcorn at the parks, but I'm sure I'll be able to repurpose it for something else!
Then we got a photo at the Magic Key photo op, which was Nightmare Before Christmas themed! Cute and fun, and best of all, there was no line! I've heard from others that the line can get long, so I'd recommend swinging by at a less popular time to avoid that.
Of course, your experience is going to depend on what you prioritize as well as a little bit of luck! For those who love character experiences, the wait times for those can be lengthy, and may be made longer if you just so happen to run into a character break time! I didn’t do too many interactions, but more so prioritized the treat trails, so I was able to get a lot done in not much time.
I’m also the type of person who tries to “optimize” for things I want to do, so I’m quite frantic during these nights trying to get everything I want done. I can definitely see how taking your time and just strolling through can be tons of fun though, so if that’s more your vibe, this event is awesome for that as well!
I definitely think there’s enough going on that everyone has something to do that’ll make them happy, but will still get to experience a little bit of everything before the night’s out.
Oogie Boogie Bash Tips
If you’re heading to Oogie Boogie Bash for one of the remaining dates of the party, be sure to check out these tips to make the most of your time there! Hopefully they help you have an even better night!
Tip #1: Order food ahead of time
Good for: Saving Time, Avoiding Crowds
I definitely didn’t want to spend any of our time waiting in lines whether it was for mobile order pickups or anything else, so as soon as we got to the park at 3:00PM, we mobile ordered food to eat before the event started, and enough to eat if we got hungry later in the night. I grabbed a bulgogi burrito from Lucky Fortune Cookery that served as my early dinner, and my partner got two corn dogs from Corn Dog Castle - one to eat for early dinner, and one to eat for a later snack. We asked each location for to-go containers so that we could store them with us until we were hungry enough to eat. This way, when we were hungry we’d just need to find a place to sit and didn’t have to bother with ordering food.
Tip #2: Stay hydrated
Good for: Comfort
This is true for any park day or park event! You’re going to be doing lots of walking and chances are it’s going to be a warm night. Many of the food establishments offer free cups of water so if you want to avoid carrying your own, it’s very easy to get! Flo’s even had cups of water ready for you to just grab at the counter!
Tip #3: Visit Sanderson Sisters first! And line up before 5:00PM!
Good for: Saving Time
Unless you specifically want a photo with the Sanderson Sisters at night, I highly recommend hitting their station first. It will for sure be the longest line you wait in and only gets longer the later in the evening you get. We got in line around 4:50PM right around the Studio Catering Co. food truck and were let in to fill in the queue around 5:28PM. We got our photos right around 6:28PM and were good to go for the rest of the night!
Another note on the encounter: you’re allowed to have one personal device to take photos in addition to your photopass and you’re given 3 photos. This keeps the line moving more efficiently, so plan your poses ahead of time!
As another note, we were the last party to get a photo with the Sanderson Sisters before their first break, so we were lucky enough that we didn’t have to wait an additional amount of time for them to come back. It’s hard to necessarily predict when that’ll happen or if you’ll be affected by it, but it’s something to consider when thinking about wait times. We finished up around around 6:30PM so I would venture to guess breaks come in 30 minute increments.
Tip #4: Start from the back of the park
Good for: Saving Time, Avoiding Crowds
Of course many people are going to be excited for the characters who are new to Oogie Boogie Bash. And you might be too! Rest assured, the lines for most of the treat trails remain pretty quick and efficient, so I don’t think you necessarily need to rush to any line. In fact, I’d say take your time working from the back to the front if you want to avoid following the same path as most other people. Madam Mim’s line, for example, was pretty long early in the evening, extending from the entrance of Hyperion towards the Sanderson Sisters area. But just a little later in the evening that trail was mostly empty. Again, the lines move pretty quickly, so really no matter what order you go in, it’s probably not going to be a significantly long line. The longest we waited in a treat trail to get to the villain was 12 minutes for Cruella, but we did this early in the evenings and probably could have gone to see her later for an even shorter wait.
Tip #5: Watch the 10:00PM showing of Frightfully Fun Parade near the start of the route
Good for: Saving Time, Avoiding Crowds
There are two showings of the parade, and as many guides will mention, more people watch the first one. The 10:00PM showing is likely to be much less packed. We literally got to the viewing area at 9:59PM and found a pretty good spot! I’d also recommend viewing from a location close to the start of the parade route which is near the Paradise Garden Park area. That way you can head straight to your next activity as soon as the parade floats pass.
Tip #6: Do popular activities during the parade
Good for: Avoiding Crowds
Going hand in hand with tip #5, while everyone’s gathered watching the parade, it’s the perfect time to go do something that typically has a long line! It could be Villain’s Grove, a ride, or the Ernesto encounter! During the first parade we went to check out the Magic Key area near the Silly Symphony Swings! There were no lines entering the area and no lines to get a photo with the Nightmare Before Christmas backdrop, which I had read from previous experiences could have a significant wait time.
Tip #7: Save Villain’s Grove for the end of the night
Good for: Saving Time
Want to save time, but still want to see the spooky and beautiful Villain’s Grove? Throughout the event, I saw the wait time around 30 minutes or more. But if you’re not going to visit during one of the parade times, wait until the night is almost over! Most people who wanted to go will have already visited and the line will move pretty quick! We darted straight to this line as soon as the 10:00PM Frightfully Fun Parade ended and we only had to wait 5 minutes to enter.
Tip #8: If your goal is treats: visit the Cars Land Treat Trail!
Good for: Avoiding Crowds, Maximizing Treats
Not only is the line super short so you can literally go back in line in a circle without so much as a break, but it also has really good treats! Several people I chatted with told me they left the park without any Pirate’s Booty (which is apparently a fan favorite!). And this trail had huge Rice Krispie bars too! I don’t know if they rotate treats on different trails for other events, but this was a ~gold~ treat mine!
Tip #9: Bring your own bag for candy - preferably a large comfortable tote
Good for: Comfort, Maximizing Treats
Nothing is more burdensome than lugging around a huge heavy bag of candy for 5 hours straight. As total noobs to the event, my partner and I each brought a Disneyland plastic shopping bag that you can get from the stores. This was good size-wise, but were very inconvenient to carry throughout the night as the bags got heavier. Because they’re made of plastic the handles were tearing. I ended up just carrying my bag like a baby.
Next time, I plan to bring a comfortable tote bag with long handles to carry on my shoulder. Or better yet, a backpack.
Tip #10: While you’re at it, rent a locker
Good for: Comfort
For an event like this I would definitely rent a locker next time. Since I really like prioritizing the treat trails, I’d like to get as much as I can, but the weight really does add up! It’d be much more convenient to have a spot to drop things off so you can continue enjoying your night with as little weight as possible! It would also be useful if you plan to buy souvenirs and don’t want to carry them around, or if you have several costume changes you wanted to sport throughout the night.
Bonus Tip: Use the Mother Gothel Treat Trail!
Good for: Comfort, Saving Time, Avoiding Crowds, Maximizing Treats
If you’re walking through the Grizzly Peak path towards Paradise Garden Park, take the Mother Gothel Treat Trail instead of the main path adjacent to Villain’s Grove! Because there’s lines of people waiting to enter, people crowding near the entrance, lines for churros, and lines for Bruno, that section of the Grizzly Peak area can get a bit crowded. Walking through Mother Gothel’s Treat Trail is much less crowded, plus you get to see Mother Gothel and get some treats! The trail ends right at the Bruno meet and greet, so you’ll get to dodge a huge crowded spot!
Oogie Boogie Bash for sure goes on my list of favorite events hosted by Disney. I had an awesome time, met some great friends, and saw adorable and villainous characters! Who wouldn’t love a night spent with the wicked Disney villains?