Here’s everything you need to know about making the most of your Oogie Boogie Bash party experience (and getting the best bang for your buck!)
Every year, Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure Park is a Halloween party that’s full of thrills and ghoulish fun – but it can be tough to decide where, exactly, you want to head first. Should you tackle the treat trails and then hit Villains Grove? Or should you try to get on as many attractions as you can before grabbing some sweet treats? And don’t forget about all of the spooky entertainment! Most importantly, what aspects of the party offer the most value (or the most fun)?
Whether you’re attending Oogie Boogie Bash for the first time or want to maximize your fun this year, I’m sharing my top tips to help you get the most out of the experience.
Take Advantage of Pre-Party Theme Park Hours
With your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket, you get one particularly great perk: You can enter California Adventure three hours before the party begins. Since the frightfully fun event begins at 6 PM for each event date, that means Guests can enter the theme park starting at 3 PM.
Even better, you don’t need a park reservation to go inside! It’s very worth your while to take advantage of this pre-party early entry perk, as you’ll be able to enjoy more theme park time without making any extra reservations. Sure, the spooky Oogie Boogie Bash exclusives like treat trails won’t be open just yet, but the entirety of California Adventure will be – so you can ride attractions, enjoy some snacks, and get a head start on your evening.
If you’re looking to get the most value out of your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket, you absolutely won’t want to miss out on those extra three hours. With the price of tickets starting at $134 per person, that brings your cost per hour down to as little as $19 (as opposed to $33.50 per hour if you attend only the event itself). You’re almost doubling the amount of theme park time you get for the price of your ticket!
Dine Before Oogie Boogie Bash Begins
Since you’re taking advantage of your pre-party theme park access, I highly recommend using those three additional hours to have a meal at your favorite California Adventure dining spot. Make a reservation between 3 and 6 PM, and you’ll be able to fuel and fill up before the ghosts and ghouls come out to play.
There are two reasons for this. First, you’ll want to maximize your time exploring everything Oogie Boogie Bash has to offer – and taking time out to enjoy a whole meal means you’re spending less time collecting candy, checking out villains, and getting on rides! If you eat beforehand, you’ll have plenty of time to have fun.
Secondly, many table service restaurants close during Oogie Boogie Bash. You’ll notice on the Disneyland website that you cannot make dining reservations for California Adventure’s table service spots during party hours. This is because most of these restaurants won’t be open for party Guests (and some will switch over to special service like the Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party).
During the party, you’ll have plenty of options for food – but it’ll be from quick service restaurants. Many of these restaurants do remain open, and you’ll even find special Halloween-themed treats on their menus. If hunger does strike during the party, don’t forget to use mobile order in the Disneyland app where you can to save time!
Ride Popular Attractions First
Once the bash officially kicks off at 6 PM, I suggest hitting the attractions first! Sure, it’s tempting to rush towards the treat trails (you’ll typically see people lining up for them right before the party starts) or Villains Grove. But one of the biggest perks of this special Halloween event is its limited capacity – which means lines for attractions are generally shorter!
Since every Guest at Oogie Boogie Bash is focused on the event-only perks, many popular attractions typically wind up with little to no wait. For example, at a 2022 party, I walked right onto Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure – a ride that usually requires a Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation to beat the wait. The Incredicoaster is another attraction that tends to see a far shorter wait time during the party.
So, if your goal is to get on a few attractions, the start of the party is a great time to do so! Later in the evening, as other Guests finish up at treat trails, the parade, Villains Grove, and other Oogie Boogie exclusives, attractions do become more of a focus (and wait times can climb).
Catch Characters Early On
If attractions are less of a priority for you, but character meet and greets are a must-do, then you’re going to want to hang out on Buena Vista Street right at the start of Oogie Boogie Bash. One of my absolute must-dos during the party each year is to catch rare characters for a PhotoPass shot – you never know who’s going to show up! And you definitely want to get your meet and greets done early, before the wait times get crazy.
Character meet and greets are typically sprinkled throughout California Adventure during Oogie Boogie Bash. You’ll find locations across the event map, from Grizzly Peak to Pacific Wharf (or, as it’s now known, San Fransokyo). However, many appear right at the party’s entrance on Buena Vista Street. Here, you’ll find anywhere from two to four character meet and greets set up, and the characters rotate in and out throughout the event.
As soon as Guests spot these rare characters out and about, the lines get long fast. Your best bet is to wander over to Buena Vista Street around 6:10 to 6:30 PM to see who’s around for meet and greets. In 2022, I caught Hercules and Mulan right as the party got underway, with nonexistent lines. However, within about 15 minutes, the lines for both characters stretched down the street.
Once you’ve checked out Buena Vista Street, start making your way to other character spots throughout the park. For more info on who’s out on a given night, ask a Cast Member! They can tell you which characters are in different locations, and they’ll often share insight about how regularly they rotate in or out, too.
Head to Villains Grove During the Parade
Villains Grove is one of the most in-demand aspects of Oogie Boogie Bash year after year. This walkthrough attraction transforms Redwood Creek Challenge Trail into a haunting environment, with different sections “owned” by different Disney villains. Iconic villains like Scar, Frollo, and Maleficent offer up their spookiest magic, using sound, lights, mist, and other effects to transport you into their evil worlds.
Because this experience is so in-demand, the line gets long fast – like, as soon as the party kicks off! Even if you make a beeline to Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at 6 PM, you’ll find a line already growing. And once the line begins, it can stretch all the way to Condor Flats.
To beat the extra-long Villains Grove queue, I suggest heading over during showtimes for the Frightfully Fun Parade. This parade typically runs twice during the party, and Guests will start snagging seats throughout the route ahead of both of those showtimes. That makes parade time the perfect time to head over to Villains Grove and move in a direction opposite the crowds!
Note: Depending on the type of crowd you have during your Oogie Boogie Bash party date, you may find that the line for Villains Grove never shrinks. Sometimes, this attraction is just so popular that there’s no escaping the wait! If that’s the case, try visiting close to the end of the night. By then, some Guests have already headed home, and you may be able to catch a slightly shorter wait time.
Don’t Worry About Long Queues for Treat Trails
The treat trails handing out candy and snacks are, of course, a big draw during Oogie Boogie Bash (and who doesn’t love heading home with a bag stuffed full of candy?). But throughout the night, you shouldn’t panic about the long queues you’ll see for the trails all over California Adventure. Even when they’re at their worst, treat trail queues move fast!
Though these queues can wind and wrap through multiple twists and turns, it won’t take you much time to move through them. Guests can hold up the queue as they snap photos of the various characters – usually rarely-seen villains – hiding in the trails, but for the most part, Cast Members really keep the line moving. You’ll slide through these queues surprisingly quickly!
And remember, there’s no rush to get in line before the treats run out. Cast Members refill the treat stations repeatedly throughout the night, so you’ll find there’s plenty to go around, no matter what time you get to the treat trails.
For more on the Halloween fun that awaits at Disneyland Resort (and online!) beyond the Oogie Boogie Bash experience, keep reading: