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Oogie Boogie Bash

Oogie Boogie Bash kicks off this week, and if you have tickets, we have some tips to help you make the most of your evening. Keep in mind that your OBB ticket gets you into Disney California Adventure at 3pm for the "mix-in" time, and the party officially starts at 6pm. We recommend NOT having any park reservations on OBB day - this would be an awesome day to sleep in, enjoy your hotel's pool or schedule a character breakfast/brunch at either the Disneyland Hotel or Disney's Grand Californian. This way, you're well rested and have plenty of time to get ready for the party - we totally recommend fun costumes! You'll see some amazing costumes throughout the entire event, and it's awesome to be involved in the fun!

You'll want to arrive at the main gates of DCA prior to the 3pm beginning of mix-in - we'd recommend arriving no later than 2:30pm. Last year, there were some rumors that the line into DCA from the Grand Californian moved more quickly than the main entrance gate, but your mileage may vary with that tip, so I'd say stick to the main entrance.

Once you're scanned in at 3pm, you'll receive a wristband (to let cast members know that you have tickets to the event), an event map and a small bag for trick-or-treating. Too small. Bring your own larger bag because you'll get plenty of candy if you plan on doing all of the interactive character treat trails - way too much for the tiny bags they give you for the party.

During the mix-in time from 3pm until 6pm, we recommend riding any rides that might be important to you. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout turns into Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark during the mix-in, and this is a very popular overlay on a very popular attraction - one you won't want to miss. If the wait time is reasonable, hop in line and get this out of the way. Wait times for rides will be quite reduced during the actual party, but there is so much to do that rides are last priority, in my opinion, so you'll want to get a few done before 6pm when the party starts. You'll also want to eat a good, filling meal. My biggest regret from last year's OBB was how much time we wasted waiting in lines for food. Plan to eat something that will get you through the night between 5pm and when the party kicks off - that way, you're good to go on maybe just a snack during the event.

Once 6pm rolls around, you'll notice cast members "sweeping" the park. This is how they make sure that only guests with OBB tickets (and wristbands!) remain in the park - anybody who doesn't have a wristband will be asked to leave. CMs at restaurants and attractions will be checking every guest who tries to queue for a wristband, and anybody who doesn't have one won't have access to the food or ride.

What should you do with your time during the party? Well... I'm going to share what I feel like are the main priorities (in no particular order):

  1. Treat Trails. Do some research prior to the party and know where all of the character treat trails are located. You'll be able to see Oogie Boogie himself, Madame Mim, Mother Gothel, and other villains- and this year Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Clarabelle Cow are dressed as the Sanderson Sisters. Prioritize which treat trails you want to visit - you may be okay with skipping Mother Gothel, but you might be super excited about seeing those cute Sanderson Sisters, so knowing which treat trails are most important to you will help you develop a strategy for how you'll move about the park. In that hour prior to when the party starts, while you're eating, maybe form a game plan so you don't miss out on your must-see characters. Also, know that the treat trail lines move rather quickly - so don't be discouraged by what appears to be a long line. The characters do an AMAZING job of interacting with each guest as they move through the line, and you'll have several stations throughout the queue where you'll get lots and lots of candy and treats.

  2. Villain's Grove. This was arguably my favorite part of OBB last year - the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail transforms every night to Villain's Grove. This is something you'll want to do once it's dark for the full effect. It's a walk-through experience that is really hard to explain. There are no characters to meet, but you'll walk through the entire trail and experience distinct areas dedicated to some of your favorite Disney villains. The lighting and music and fog effects make this a really cool and special experience - and I think everyone in our party agreed that this was the highlight of the evening.

  3. Frightfully Fun Parade. This is a super fun parade that is exclusive to Oogie Boogie Bash and it happens TWICE during each party. The second showing tends to be less crowded, so keep that in mind. You'll want to arrive early so you can catch the Headless Horseman as he makes his way down the parade route - this is my other biggest regret from our OBB experience. We thought he was part of the actual parade, but he was slightly before the parade and we missed him. My son was so excited to see him in person, and we missed it. So, don't make the same mistake we did, and stake out a seat for the parade a little bit ahead of time. And, get excited - there are some really fun and unique characters in this parade. Some of our family's favorites were the wicked step-sisters from Cinderella, the hitchhiking ghosts from Haunted Mansion, and the grave diggers - ghoulish dudes with shovels who drag them on the ground to create sparks! The music and the vibe is just really fun for this parade, and it's something you'll want to do for sure.

  4. Snacks. There are some snacks that are specific to the party. This is something you'll want to familiarize yourself with ahead of time, and if you're able to place a mobile order, do that! Don't waste your time standing in line - there are treat trails you need to visit! Pick one or two of the fun holiday snacks and eat them on the go!

  5. Unique Photo Ops. Last year, we were able to see Hook and Smee, King Richard from Robin Hood and a few other fun villains. They didn't have treat trails, so they were only available for photos, but they were super fun to see since some of them are characters you don't often see out and about in Disneyland or DCA.

Alright - those are our top recommendations. Remember, the party ends at midnight, and while six hours may seem like plenty of time, you'll find that it passes quickly and if you don't have a good game plan, you'll be running around like a maniac trying to get everything done. My best tip is to just focus on the things that are party-specific. Like I mentioned above, the wait times for rides will be quite a bit shorter than normal and if rides are your priority, then go for it! But, for us, we wanted to do the things we couldn't do on a normal DCA day, so we focused on those things instead. And, keep in mind that Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark is available every afternoon during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort and not just on OBB days - so you could experience it on another day if you're planning on spending any more time in DCA.

Let us know if you have plans to attend OBB this year and if our tips and tricks helped you have a great time at the party!

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