This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through any link, we may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Supplies used may be given to us free of charge, all projects and opinions are my own.
Halloween is fun. Disneyland is fun. Halloween at Disneyland is even more fun. If you’ve never been to Disneyland at Halloween time you’re missing out on seasonal rides, seasonal treats, and more fun than you can imagine.
If you’re thinking of heading to Disneyland for Halloween don’t let the prices scare you. Head over to Get Away Today for the best prices on park tickets and hotels. We’ve been using them for years and they make booking our trips so painless! You can use code Housewives10 to save on your trip.
As of September 2021 Disneyland is open to everyone. They are not requiring proof of vaccine or negative covid tests. They are currently requiring masks indoors only. This includes indoor restaurants and rides.
Why is Halloween at Disneyland so great?
We could go on and on about why we love Disneyland at Halloween time but we’ll try to stay on point.
Ride changes, Disney calls them an “Overlay”. Basically this means they’re changing things for the holidays.
Haunted Mansion becomes Haunted Mansion Holiday. The Nightmare Before Christmas takes over the Haunted Mansion and to be completely honest it’s better! Every inch of the Mansion is made over including the music and sounds. It’s all so fun.
Guardians of the Galaxy becomes “Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters after Dark” at about 3pm. If you love the Guardians of the Galaxy ride be prepared to love it even more. Somehow it seems that there are more drops and the change to the story adds to the fun. Why are Rocket and Groot so hilarious?
There are changes to rides in Radiator Springs too that are so fun for the whole family.
Along with changes to rides the entire parks are made over for Halloween. From the giant pumpkin Mickey that greets you on Disney’s Main Street to all the characters wearing their Halloween costumes there is something festive everywhere you turn.
There are pumpkins everywhere you look. Regular pumpkins of all colors and sizes including bright and colorful painted pumpkins. Make sure you start looking around before you even walk through the gates. Characters made out of pumpkins welcome you as you come through the gates.
One of our favorite sites is the Headless Horseman inside California Adventure. It’s awesome that it’s also a Magic Shot location.
There are always PhotoPass Locations throughout the parks, not just during the holidays. PhotoPass Locations are places where Disneyland photographers are available to take your photo. If you purchased a PhotoPass you get downloads for all photos that are taken throughout the day.
There were all sorts of fun Magic Shots at the different PhotoPass Locations. Magic Shots are when they add an image to the photo after it’s taken. Check out some of the fun Magic Shot photos from our last trip below.
Is Disneyland food the best? If it isn’t you’ll have a hard time convincing us of that. Some of our favorite regular Disneyland foods are the Dole Pineapple Whip, Mickey Soft Pretzel, Turkey Leg, Raspberry Macaron and of course the Churros.
We won’t be able to list every single seasonal food here but we’re excited to share some of our favorites:
Pumpkin Muffin – Oh goodness this was so much better than even we imagined. The perfect amount of pumpkin without being overly sweet.
Mickey Mummy Cookies and Cream Macaron – This was SO good. It is quite sweet, so it’s great to share.
Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treat – The flavor is delicious and it’s soft but not gooey. Really good.
Smore’s Beignet – Okay, this might be our favorite. The marshmallow cream dipping sauce is good but not a necessity. The Beignet itself is really really good.
Chocolate Strawberry Beignet – The thing we really liked about these is that the chocolate and strawberry are in the powder which makes them less messy. They do have a chocolate dipping sauce that is good but they’re great on their own.
This year the Halloween party in Disneyland/California Adventure is called Oogie Boogie Bash. It takes place in California Adventure. Oogie Boogie Bash is an extra ticketed event that is not included in your regular ticket price.
Oogie Boogie Bash starts at 6pm. California Adventure closes for regular ticket holders at 6pm. If you have an Oogie Boogie Bash ticket you can enter California Adventure at 3pm.
Things to know about Oogie Boogie Bash:
Between 3pm and 6pm California Adventure is packed and a little crazy. We weren’t used to having any crowds at all on this trip so it surprised us.
Unfortunately we didn’t have an opportunity to go over to Disneyland once California Adventure was actually closed to regular ticket holders to see if it got busier as the evening went on.
Costumes are welcome. On a normal day in Disney Parks they have rules about wearing costumes, especially for adults. There are still some limitations in place so make sure you check those as you plan your costume.
We saw so many fun and creative costumes. A favorite was seeing an awesome Emperor Kuzko costume, sadly we didn’t get a photo of it. We saw so many cute Winnie the Pooh costumes on people young and old.
PhotoPass is included with your ticket
With the purchase of an Oogie Boogie ticket you get a PhotoPass. If you are in the parks all day DO NOT buy an additional PhotoPass for the day. We didn’t know that when we activated our Oogie Boogie ticket the PhotoPass would give us access to all the photos from the day. It was fine, but definitely a waste of $20.
There are a lot of photo opportunities during Oogie Boogie Bash! Villains are out and about and you don’t want to miss the photos.
Trick or Treating
The trick or treating happens on Treat Trails. There were nine in the park and all but one had a Villain to see while you were there. They include Oogie Boogie, Agatha, Cruella, Sid, Mad Hatter, Evil Queen, Maleficent, and Dr. Facilier.
Unfortunately the Evil Queen wasn’t in place when we went through her Treat Trail. Throughout the evening we didn’t find her there. Our friends went through, we went through later, and then asked later if she was there and even the staff didn’t seem to know why she wasn’t in place.
Things we loved about the Treat Trails
- We didn’t feel like total losers going through as adults. I know that sounds kind of silly maybe, but it’s the truth. Really, we did not care about the candy at all but we wanted to experience everything at Oogie Boogie bash so we could talk about it. The cast members were all so nice. None of us were in actual costumes but we were all wearing Halloween shirts and ears of some sort and the cast members found ways to engage with everyone.
- Costumes aren’t required. While it felt like most people who had tickets for the event were dressed up in some way whether it was in a costume or just something Disney or Halloween-y it definitely was not required. We saw people in regular clothes running around and they were welcomed with smiles and candy just like the rest of us.
- The Villains were awesome. While we couldn’t get up close to them we were able to get close enough to engage and get a photo. Other than Oogie Boogie they were all real people and were VERY in character which made it super fun. (We’re pretty sure Oogie Boogie is a real person in a costume but his voice is prerecorded and played on a loop.)
- They don’t limit how many times you can go through the Treat Trails. We went through one a 2nd time because we were with our friends (and wanted to see if they had any limits) and they don’t. So if you have kids who are SUPER excited about getting a LOT of candy. Let them do it. Especially as the evening wears on and the lines are shorter.
- There was no end of treats in sight. Whether you decide to come early or late to the treat trails you’re going to get spoiled with candy and treats. They are WELL stocked and we didn’t see any station ever closed.
- Kids get more. Maybe this is true. Maybe it isn’t. But it appeared to me to be true and it made me so happy. I was not in this for candy so getting a couple pieces while the kids around me got a full handful was awesome to see. I still came away with a TON of candy but I know how cool it is for kids to have LOTS so be prepared if you’re an adult with kids you may see the littles get more candy than the adults.
- There are non-candy treats at each trail. SunChips, grapes, apple slices, crasins, graham cracker snacks, applesauce pouches…it was great.
Things we didn’t love about the Treat Trails
- When characters weren’t in place. It wasn’t a huge deal really but was kind of a bummer that we were never able to see the evil queen.
- Early in the night the lines are LONG. They do move quickly-ish but they were long so be prepared for that. Especially if you have littles with you. For sure the lines got shorter as the evening went on.
Things to note about the Treat Trails
- Bring your own candy bag. They do have a bag to give you but it is quite small. Like, it could be filled up after one treat trail depending on how generous they’re being small. We had another bag (backpack) that we would dump our candy into after each trail. The small size of the bag is great for little kids but they’ll probably be bummed if it gets full and they have nowhere to put it.
- After 6pm there were treat stations put along Buena Vista Ave. I don’t believe these are considered a Treat Trail but don’t miss them! There’s no fun in being assigned to hand out candy if no one comes and gets it from you 🙂
We actually didn’t go through the Villains Grove. I know it sounds terrible but the line was SO LONG when we were first waiting and the line for Radiator Springs Racers was short.
Between 4pm and 6pm Radiator Springs Racers was down so we didn’t have a chance to ride before and it’s one of our favorites so we decided to do that instead.
We had planned to jump back in line for Villains Grove but our friends were so disappointed in it we decided to do some other things instead. They said it was fine but it was all lights and stuff, there were no actual characters and there was no trick or treating.
Frightfully Fun Parade
The Frightfully Fun Parade was SO cute! It was a highlight for me. I loved seeing characters I don’t normally see around the parks.
Here are some things to note about the parade:
There are 2 parade times. We had heard that it was best to be out and about during the first parade and watch the 2nd parade. We would totally recommend the opposite. The lines for everything were so long at the start of the evening.
We watched the 2nd parade. The lines for everything, rides, treat trails, even the Villains Grove line were so much shorter during the 2nd parade. In fact we were able to hit some of the Treat Trails while we were waiting for the parade to start and we walked right through them.
Something to note – Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman start the parade but there was nearly 15 minutes between them and the actual start of the parade.
Final thoughts on the Oogie Boogie Bash
Oogie Boogie Bash tickets range in price from $114 – $169 depending on your date. A one day single park ticket is $104. To turn that ticket into a park hopper you’re going to pay an additional $55. That means you could spend all day in the parks for less than the price of an Oogie Boogie Bash ticket.
If you want to ride rides during Oogie Boogie Bash we do not think there is enough time to do everything included in Oogie Boogie Bash. From 3pm to 11pm we rode Radiator Springs Racers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and tried to ride Toy Story Mania right at the end but it broke down 🙁 – all had super short lines and we still didn’t make it to all the treat trails and really didn’t even stop to eat.
It’s possible if you take our advice and watch the first parade and do all the treat trails and Villain photo spots during the 2nd parade you can get some rides in from 3-7pm and then watch the first parade.
Just note that right now there is no fast pass option and lines will be longer during the 3-6pm window when regular ticket holders AND Oogie Boogie Bash ticket holders are in the park at the same time.
Oogie Boogie Bash ticket or All Day Park ticket?
Luckily we didn’t have to choose between having an all day park pass and Oogie Boogie Bash tickets. But if we did, as fun as Oogie Boogie Bash was, I would take the all day park pass. Right now lines are so short for rides and crowds are so small it’s an amazing time to visit Disneyland.
If you’re local or spending multiple days in the park we highly recommend waiting until at least 3pm (6pm if you have multiple other days in the parks) to head to Oogie Boogie Bash. Rest up and then head in, there’s a lot to do and you don’t want to be tired. This is especially true if you have little ones.
Is Halloween at Disneyland scary?
Speaking of little ones. We didn’t bring any children with us to Oogie Boogie but there wasn’t anything super scary that would prevent us from bringing kids in the future. All the villains were engaging and in character but there was nothing that would have scared our kids.
The same can be said of everything in Disneyland at Halloween. Both Disneyland and California Adventure are decorated from top to bottom and side to side but there is nothing scary. It’s all just festive and fun.