Embrace The 'Nightmare' Of Oogie Boogie Bash, Disney's New Halloween Event At California Adventure
Mickey's Halloween Party is retiring to Florida. Disneyland's wholesome, long-running, kid-focused, trick-or-treating event was a favorite for Disney fans (of all ages, we don't judge) who were allowed to go to the parks IN COSTUME, which is normally against the rules.
This year, Disney is replacing the SoCal event with something slightly more sinister: the Oogie Boogie Bash, themed around Nightmare Before Christmas villain Oogie Boogie. It's also switching parks, with the monster taking over California Adventure. Don't worry, you can still dress up.
It's a darker take on Halloween, with a focus on villains, and a storyline that involves Oogie Boogie casting a spell to take over the park.
The change may help keep both parks full, since Disneyland will no longer have to shut down early on event nights. It's also a chance to age up the vibe from just being for the tykes, according to Disney show director Jordan Peterson, with some spookier attractions meant to appeal to the tween and even teen audience.
It even features Disney's first-ever Halloween maze-style experience, a la Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights — but, you know, minus all the gore and scare actors. It's Disney, you guys.
The Thursday night events have already sold out, but there's plenty still available (at the time of publication) for Sundays and Tuesdays. Take a look at the available dates here, starting later this month.
So what exactly does an Oogie Boogie Bash entail? Here's what you need to know.
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has been converted into Villains Grove. It's not quite Halloween Horror Nights, and it's certainly not Knott's Scary Farm, but it is an interactive spooky experience different from anything Disney's done before.
You get to travel through an ethereal world of Disney villains, with special effects surrounding you to create an immersive environment. You'll visit scenes that Disney describes as "hauntingly beautiful dream-space[s] of color, sound, light and shadow" — we think that's Disney-speak for "cool spooky stuff."
Here's where you'll find the sweet stuff. Follow the trails — read: shuffle along in long lines — and be rewarded when you get to the front with CANDY CANDY CANDY.
You will be entertained by a Disney villain along your journey — characters monitoring the Treat Trails include Alice In Wonderland's Mad Hatter and Oogie Boogie himself.
If you can't wait for the candy payoff, there are also bonus treat trails featuring oversized cauldrons of confections for you to consume (and then instantly regret due to either calorie intake or sugar crash).
A 'VILLAINOUS' WORLD OF COLOR WATER SHOW
World of Color blows minds with a combination of projecting images using sprays of water as a screen, with shows and music that dial the nostalgia knob to 11.
For the Oogie Boogie Bash, they've created a brand new World of Color show — Villainous. It's based around a young girl named Shelley Marie, a dark little girl in the great tradition of a Wednesday Addams/Coraline/Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice.
She's faced with a key choice for Halloween: whether to dress up as a princess or a villain. With the evil Oogie Boogie as the devil on her shoulder, she makes a dark choice.
You get to see her meet some of the great villains of Disney history — hi, Ursula, please don't steal our voices, we need them for screaming. But in the end, you get a message about acceptance and a little bit of a twist, because what's a Disney story without a heartwarming ending?
FRIGHTFULLY FUN PARADE
If you don't love a parade, you're basically not allowed at Disneyland, so get with it, friend. Their parades are always a smorgasbord of character delights, and this one's no different.
It's lead by Sleepy Hollow's Headless Horseman on a jet-black ghost horse, and he's followed by something even spookier — two talking mice. Yup, Mickey and Minnie are here too (you can't keep a good mouse down), ready to lead other characters including Nightmare Before Christmas's own Jack Skellington, as well as some villains getting in on the fun.
This iteration of the Halloween parade also has a new member: the Cheshire Cat. Get ready to enjoy his oh-so-creepy smile in actual three-dimensional space.
DESCENDANTS DANCE PARTY
If you're not a tween, you might not be aware of the Descendants. It's a Disney franchise based on the teen children of some of the most famous Disney bad guys. It's been influential enough to spawn multiple movies, a number one album, and now, a special theme park dance party.
Disney loves a wordplay (and who are we kidding, we do too), so get ready for the "DescenDANCE." And this one gets interactive — the Descendants dance crew leads the crowd in dances set to songs from those hit albums. They also promise to keep the party going, so once the dance crew leaves, the Backlot DJ keeps spinning throughout the night.
MICKEY'S TRICK AND TREAT SHOW
This is Disney, so of course Mickey hasn't been totally kicked to the curb — he's still repping at Oogie Boogie Bash, and not just in parade form — he's hosting Mickey's Trick And Treat Show.
This show is specifically targeted toward the younger parkgoers, with Mickey and friends throwing a mini-Halloween party. You'll get dancing, some not-that-frightening frightening stories, and, of course, candy.
EVEN MORE OOGIE BOOGIE SPOOKY
You'll find Disney heroes and villains ready for photo meet and greets, plus they're using the projection technology that's become all the rage in recent years to turn the Carthay Circle facade into a seasonal treat with swarming bats, green energy pulses, and other magical transformations.
The bash doesn't officially start until 6 p.m., but your bash ticket gets you into the park a few hours earlier. If you can't wait to get the scare party started, go do something truly terrifying: ride the Incredicoaster.
Halloween in general takes over both California Adventure and Disneyland starting this Friday. The Oogie Boogie Bash officially begins Sept. 17. Wishing you a slightly scarier time than Mickey's Not-So-Scary parties, but still not too scary. (Whew.)