Updated May 26, 2020
As new information regarding the season is announced by Disney, I’ll be sharing on social media first and then updating this post. To get immediate updates, follow me here:
For a glimpse at all the fun to be had – including videos I don’t share in this post – visit my Instagram story highlights here:
A few quick dates for reference:
*September 6 – October 31, 2019 – Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort
*April 23, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets went on sale for qualifying guests
*April 30, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets went on sale for the general public
Now, follow me for all things Halloween!
In this article
- Discounted Theme Park Tickets
- The Basics of Halloween Time
- Attractions that Transform for Halloween Time
- Details for Halloween Time
- Strategies for Park Touring During Halloween Time
- Halloween Time Shopping
- Halloween Food
- Annual Passholders
- Disneyland Resort Hotel Decor
- Cars Land
- My 2019 Park Visits
- Dia de los Muertos
- Oogie Boogie Bash Ticket Info
- California Adventure at Halloween Time
- Dining Package for Oogie Boogie Bash
- The Frightfully Fun Parade and Headless Horseman
- Maps of the Oogie Boogie Bash
- What You Will Find that is Exclusive to the Oogie Boogie Bash
- Costume Guidelines
- Advice on Finding a Party Ticket When Your Date is Sold Out
- Characters during Halloween Time
- Oogie Boogie Bash “Mix In” & Pre-Party Info
- Entering Oogie Boogie Bash
- Already in California Adventure for the Day and Attending Oogie Boogie Bash?
- What to Do During the “Mix In” Time Period at Oogie Boogie Bash
- It’s Party Time! Here’s What To Do
- If You’re Not Planning to Attend the Oogie Boogie Bash
- How to Make Your Own Halloween Tree at Home + How to Care for Pumpkins
- Additional Info
- What I Learned at the First Party of 2019
Discounted Theme Park Tickets
Halloween Time can get pricey if you’re planning on adding a party ticket to your vacation. Take a look at how you can save on your Disneyland Resort Theme Park tickets to help with costs.
I share year round discounted ticket info, along with seasonal specials, within this post.
The Basics of Halloween Time
Halloween Time at Disneyland is a special way to enjoy the parks and if you’re a fan of fall and the color orange and pumpkins, you’ll be in heaven. The park, as always, is decorated to perfection and it keeps getting better every year. Halloween Time occurs from September 6 – October 31, 2019.
Halloween Time is a general term given for how both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure celebrate the fall season. There is no additional fee to enjoy the parks at this time. (The ticketed Halloween event includes an additional fee. More on that later.)
On days that include a Halloween event that evening, California Adventure is open to all guests just like any other day. When it’s time for the party to begin, guests without a party ticket will kindly be escorted out. At that time, you may walk over to Disneyland park to continue the fun if you have a park hopper ticket. Otherwise, visit Downtown Disney to shop or dine.
Attractions that Transform for Halloween Time
The Haunted Mansion is turned into a celebration of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. This attraction is called Haunted Mansion Holiday.
Jack Skellington and Sally can often be found near the attraction in New Orleans Square for autographs and photos. Bring your camera and an autograph book for this.
The Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction transformation takes 2-3 weeks, so account for that timing during your trip planning. Classic Haunted Mansion is always closed the second part of August in preparation for this overlay, which begins 9.6.2019. The attraction will remain with the Jack Skellington theme until Holidays at the Disneyland Resort ends on January 6, 2020. (Jack and Sally don’t hang out until then. They typically take off on Halloween night.)
Guardians of the Galaxy – MISSION: Breakout! transforms into “Monsters After Dark” each day at 4:00pm. Any FASTPASS that you pull with a return window starting at 4:00pm or after will allow you to enjoy the Monsters After Dark version of the attraction. FASTPASSES with return windows that begin prior to 4:00pm will allow you to enjoy the regular attraction.
Two attractions in Cars Land transform as well. They are:
- Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree
- Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween
Details for Halloween Time
- Pumpkins adorn every nook and cranny of Main Street and they’re all carved to perfection, with no two alike!
- Disney villains can be found throughout the park. More on this, below, under ‘characters’.
- Pumpkin infused and Halloween designed treats can be found all around the park and in Downtown Disney, too. Check out Marceline’s Confectionery in DTD, Candy Palace on Main Street in Disneyland or Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street at California Adventure. Pooh’s Corner in Critter Country will have treats, too!
- Seasonal, flavored beignets can be found at The Mint Julep in New Orleans Square and are divine! Mobile ordering is available at this location now. Do NOT stand in that long line. Mobile order and walk right up to grab your treats. This post explains how it works.
- Dia de los Muertos celebrations will be held in Frontierland. They’re so colorful and fun.
- Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tours became available in 2016, in addition to your theme park ticket. The tour focuses primarily on the Haunted Mansion, with details about its development and design. Check out my review on that experience, which will give you an overview of what a seasonal tour entails. This year’s tour looks a little different. Find more info on that on the Disneyland website.
- The Halloween Tree can be found in Frontierland and it’s a site to see. Check out my Facebook post for more details on it and miscellaneous Halloween fun.
Strategies for Park Touring During Halloween Time
If you are visiting DCA for the day and attending a party: Use this post and strategies to ride every attraction in the park by late lunch. Then, during the party, you can focus on event-exclusive entertainment and characters.
If you are attending a party and want to visit Disneyland before the party starts: Use this post and strategies to get the majority of attractions complete by party time at DCA.
***Scroll way down for how to make the best use of your time at the event.
Halloween Time Shopping
Halloween merchandise arrived August 12, 2019 and my friend, Mindy, was there to take photos of it all. Check out this post.
Here’s the entire Foodie Guide released by Disney for Halloween Time 2019.
Here’s the Candy Guide released by Disney.
Check out this link for what APs can find this season at Disneyland.
During the Ooogie Boogie Bash, there’s an Annual Passholder exclusive treat trail located to the right of Goofy’s Sky School.
Disneyland Resort Hotel Decor
Don’t miss visiting the Disney hotels during your Halloween trip. I share all about what you can expect at each location in this link.
Easily one of the best themed lands in any Disney Park, Cars Land is super impressive during Halloween Time. Don’t miss it.
This link takes you through a tour of what you’ll see.
My 2019 Park Visits
9.6.2019 – Opening day of Halloween Time – take a walk with me through Disneyland park
9.17.2019 & 9.19.2019 – Recap of the first two Oogie Boogie Bash events
9.23.2019 – Walk through of Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Resort Hotels
9.27.2019 – Take a walk with me through Disney California Adventure
Dia de los Muertos
Find all about how you can celebrate at both Disneyland and California Adventure from September 6, 2019 – November 3, 2019 at this link.
During the 2019 Halloween Time season:
- Halloween Screams should be playing most nights at Disneyland Park, with or without the actual fireworks. If the fireworks are NOT showing, don’t panic. The show is FANTASTIC even without the pyrotechnics.
- The classic version of World of Color should be playing on non-party nights at Disney California Adventure.
- The only parade happening at this time is during Oogie Boogie Bash.
Use this link to check the full entertainment schedule. Change the date on the calendar to find exactly what will be happening during your visit.
Oogie Boogie Bash Ticket Info
***As of early September 2019, all dates for Oogie Boogie Bash are sold out.
Oogie Boogie Bash is a separate event from Halloween Time and requires an extra ticket. Ticket prices vary per date.
April 23, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets went on sale for qualifying guests
April 30, 2019 – Oogie Boogie Bash tickets go on sale for the general public
Visit this link to see ticket pricing per date.
You may use this link to purchase. You must be signed into your account, showing you’re an annual passholder, for that link above to allow you to purchase during the time allotted for annual passholders.
***I bought my tickets online just after midnight PST on the day I was eligible.
714.781.4400 is the number to call if you want to purchase on the phone. Disney Visa Chase Card Holders and DVC members may not purchase online and must use the phone number listed above to receive their discount.
Tickets do sell out for the parties, so if you’re interested, buy soon.
Adults and kids pay the same price for party tickets.
Dates for the Oogie Boogie Bash include (from the Disneyland website):
Sept. 17, Sept. 19, Sept. 22, Sept. 24, Sept. 26, Sept. 29, Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 6, Oct. 8, Oct. 10, Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Oct. 17, Oct. 20, Oct. 22, Oct. 24, Oct. 27, Oct. 29 and Oct. 31
- You do not need a regular park ticket in addition to the special event ticket to attend this party.
- Because your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket allows you in 3-4 hours prior to party time, I recommend not buying a day’s ticket for the day you are attending the party. You will see and do plenty during the 3-4 hours prior to and during the event.
- Your Halloween Party ticket does not allow you entry into the park for the entire day. You must purchase a day’s admission ticket to enter the park at opening or at any time before your “mix in” time. Regarding the “mix in” timing, Disney shares: “Event ticket provides admission to Disney California Adventure Park up to 3 hours prior to the event’s start time on Tuesdays or Thursdays or 4 hours on Sundays as well as October 29 and 31, 2019.”
- If you have a regular theme park ticket for a day that includes Oogie Boogie Bash (and not a ticket for the event), you will be escorted out at 6:00pm or 7:00pm, depending on which day you’re there. You may visit Disneyland at this point if you have a park hopper ticket. If you do not have a park hopper ticket, I recommend enjoying Downtown Disney. Get Away Today has fantastic ticket sales for park hopper tickets in both September and October. Visit this link to purchase.
- If you are in the park the day of a party and you are attending that party, you don’t have to leave and return. Enter the Blue Sky Cellar located near Wine Country Trattoria (across from the entrance to Cars Land) to show your event ticket, receive your wrist band, and pick up an event map + trick-or-treat bag to fill with candy.
California Adventure at Halloween Time
Oogie Boogie plays a big part in the fun at DCA. Check this out, from the Disneyland website:
- Demanding that Halloween lasts forever, Oogie Boogie’s oversized silhouette beckons Guests through the Main Entrance as thousands of bats cover the night sky.
- Heed the Headless Horseman statue… its menacing presence on Buena Vista Street is simply spine-chilling.
- Get revved as Radiator Springs transforms into Radiator Screams with a happy Hallo-theme all over Cars Land!
- Bump into your fave Cars’ characters as they strike a pose in hilarious Halloween cars-tumes—see super hero Lightning, van-pire Mater and more!
- Go for a spellbinding spin on Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree—both are decked out with new howliday-themed music and décor!
Also! Guardians of the Galaxy will transform into “Monsters After Dark”. Check that out in this post from Disney.
Disney shares info on how DCA transforms at the following links:
Dining Package for Oogie Boogie Bash
There is a dining package available for the Frightfully Fun Parade. This link shares all about it.
A few notes:
- The Disneyland website indicates that guests should make a standard reservation to dine at Wine Country Trattoria online. Then, the night of Oogie Boogie Bash, guests should arrive at their dining time and request an upgrade to the Frightfully Fun Parade package. These upgrades are available on a first come, first serve basis.
- My friend, Emily, from Magical Kinda Mama, did the dining package on opening night of Oogie Boogie Bash. When she arrived, she was told that the reservations made online won’t guarantee an upgrade (we knew this) and that the parade dining packages are open to all guests, with or without a reservation.
- Essentially, to ensure you grab a spot for this package, you should go directly to Wine Country Trattoria as soon as you enter the park during the “mix in” time.
- The set up for this dining option seems a little messy, so I’ll update this post if Disney makes any changes to the process.
- The dining package viewing section is now located near Blue Sky Cellar.
The Frightfully Fun Parade and Headless Horseman
Both the Headless Horseman and the Frightfully Fun Parade are back. This parade is only shown on party nights, so you can’t see it unless you buy a Oogie Boogie Bash ticket.
There is one parade each night and it starts at 8:10pm.
I recommend grabbing a spot about 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the parade. One hour will do if you’re die hard and want front row (but I wouldn’t waste my party time setting up this early).
This parade is popular and super cool, but the parade route at DCA is long. It’s really not super stressful to find a good place to watch.
Viewing can be found along the usual parade route and performers do a good job of showing attention to both sides of the route equally, so I wouldn’t recommend one side over the other.
The Headless Horseman rides through before the parade about 10 minutes prior to official parade start time.The parade then follows. The actual parade lasts about 15 minutes total. I don’t think the parade is “scary”, but it’s definitely a departure from the usual happy, life-is-perfect shows. Watch the video below to determine if it’s a fit for your family. It’s NOTHING like Knotts Berry Farm or such (no disrespect – I love their Halloween celebrations), but it’s a little spooky.
The Headless Horseman was awesome for me to see because as a kid, my brother tormented me with stories of Ichabod Crane. For many – especially young children – this part will likely prove uneventful. He does not make a mad dash through the park. It’s a slow trot, so have your camera ready for photos.
Here is the parade (from when it ran at Disneyland, but it’s essentially the same with an extra float for 2019) recorded by Inside the Magic:
Maps of the Oogie Boogie Bash
Merchandise arrived August 12, 2019. Here is a peek at what you’ll find this year.
What You Will Find that is Exclusive to the Oogie Boogie Bash
- Entry into California Adventure up to 4 hours prior to your party time.
- Immersive trick-or-treating at several stations throughout the park.
- The Ride of the Headless Horseman, which is fairly new to Disneyland Resort and previously exclusive to WDW. Love this addition!
- The Frightfully Fun Parade.
- Lower lines for all attractions with most open for the party.
- Villains Grove – my favorite part of this event; see it here
- Mickey’s Trick & Treat show
- DescenDANCE show
- PhotoPass+ as soon as you enter with your event ticket. Just like all PhotoPass images, you’ll have 45 days to download your photos.
- MaxPass is available during the “mix in” time frame. You may use it as soon as you walk in the park and up until official party start time at 6:00pm. Some FASTPASSES will be gone by the time the “mix in” starts, but there are a few attractions that you should use it for. I share more on this later in this post.
Note: Parking is not included with your ticket. Parking is $25 per vehicle. If you have an annual pass that includes parking, this will suffice for the party, regardless of what time you arrive to the parks.
Costumes are encouraged for the Halloween Party within Disney’s guidelines here:
“While we encourage creativity, we also value safety and good judgement. Please take a moment to read over our latest rules and regulations:
- All Guests may dress as their favorite character, but may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
- Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
- Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
- Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
- Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground (e.g., full-length Princess dresses)
For Guests Ages 13 and Under
Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.
For Guests Ages 14 and Older
- Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
- Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts and hats are acceptable.
- Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus.
- Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
- Masks of any kind may not be worn, except for medical purposes.
- Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, the event, unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.”
Advice on Finding a Party Ticket When Your Date is Sold Out
Every party night in 2019 is now sold out. If you are interested in attending the party, but don’t have a ticket, you have a few options:
- Try the ticket booth the day of. (My husband joined me one year at the last minute and I found his ticket at one of the ticket booths in the esplanade between the two parks.)
- If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, ask the front desk if they have any available. Typically, they hold party tickets for those guests staying onsite. Don’t have a reservation? Contact Get Away Today to book a room.
Characters during Halloween Time
Characters can be found throughout Disneyland Resort in full Halloween gear during the day and at the parties, too.
As always, your best option is to use the free Disneyland app to locate characters. Find out more on the app, how to use it, which cast members to find for help, and more before you visit for Halloween Time.
Rare characters seen throughout Disneyland during Halloween Time include:
- Happy Haunts (the ghosts from Haunted Mansion), Constance (ghost from Haunted Mansion), and Tightrope Walker (from Haunted Mansion) – find them on Royal Street in New Orleans Square in the afternoon/evening after Jack Skellington and Sally
- Queen of Hearts – find her in Town Square
- Jafar – find him wandering
- Maleficent – find her behind the castle
- Evil Queen – find her wandering Fantasyland
- Chip ‘n’ Dale in police uniforms – find them in Town Square
Note: Characters are not in seasonal costumes at any of the character dining options. You’ll find classic costumes at character meals.
Check the app for the characters you’re interested in seeing. If someone isn’t listed, ask a cast member who specializes in characters if he or she knows where to find who you’re looking for. This post shares more on this.
Here is what the characters look like in their Halloween gear from previous years.
Jack and Sally can be found in New Orleans Square next to Pieces of Eight (the pirate store):
Cruella can be spotted harassing guests all around Town Square. She despises me and I respect that about her.
The characters are fun year round, but I totally enjoy them in their Halloween attire.
Oogie Boogie Bash “Mix In” & Pre-Party Info
Below, you’ll see lots of mention of a “mix in” time frame.
Here’s what this means:
- Park mix-in begins at 2:00 PM on Sundays as well as October 29 and 31, 2019.
- Park mix-in begins at 3:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The “mix in” period occurs each day for a few hours as guests already in the park mingle with guests coming in for the Oogie Boogie Bash.
During the Mix-In time, you may wear your costumes.
Also! This event does not have a Pre-Party as Mickey’s Halloween Party did in Toontown.
Entering Oogie Boogie Bash
- Arrive 30-60 minutes prior to your “mix in” time. If you’re early enough and the lines are short outside Disney California Adventure get in line and hang out until your “mix in” time starts. At that point, you’ll enter the gates, be given a paper wrist band along with your event ticket, and then veer to the right to pick up a treat bag for gathering candy.
- If the lines are long (check out this post for what the long lines look like), enter through the Grand Californian Hotel. The Grand Californian Hotel has an entrance from Downtown Disney. To find it, walk away from the esplanade (the area between the two parks) and toward the sign that says, “Downtown Disney”. Pass World of Disney, Starbucks and several smaller shops on your left….Naples, Sanuk and smaller shops on your right….until you see the entrance to the hotel on your left just past Sephora. Walk into the lobby and then out the door just past the Acorns Gifts and Goods shop. Follow the path past Storyteller’s Cafe and Napa Rose and then hang a left where you see security set up. All guests may go into Disney California Adventure from this entrance, regardless of whether or not they’re staying at the hotel (after 11:00am each day).
- Once you’re in the park, you’ll need to find the Blue Sky Cellar to get your wrist band and treat bag, as you would have done had you entered the main gate. The Blue Sky Cellar is located next to Wine Country Trattoria, across from the entrance to Cars Land. The line will trail down a long path toward the Grizzly Peak waterfall, but it moves fast. You’re in better shape standing in that line rather than walking back to the main entrance. Have your event ticket ready to show a cast member (every guest receives a paper event ticket when they enter the gates) and move through the cellar to get everything you need.
- Once you have your wrist band, you’re free to explore!
- Note: A cast member messaged me shortly after seeing my tip on entering through the Grand Californian Hotel and suggested that this may not always be an option for the Oogie Boogie Bash, as the area to line up is much smaller than the main gate. If this changes, I’ll update this post. (Loud mouth bloggers ruin everything! Wait a minute. That’s me.)
Already in California Adventure for the Day and Attending Oogie Boogie Bash?
There’s no need to exit the park and re-enter.
Go to the Blue Sky Cellar to get your party wrist band, map and treat bag.
You may do this starting at the beginning of your Mix-In timing, either 2:00pm or 3:00pm, depending on which day you’re attending.
What to Do During the “Mix In” Time Period at Oogie Boogie Bash
So, here’s some fun news! MaxPass is automatically added to your Disneyland app when you scan your Ooogie Boogie Bash ticket. You may use MaxPass during the “mix in” time, which is 3-4 hours prior to official party start time, depending on when you are attending. Some FASTPASSES will be gone by this time, but several won’t.
After entering the gates, grabbing your wrist band and treat bag, scan your event ticket into the Disneyland app asap. This post shows you exactly how to do this, how to use MaxPass, and lots more.
Within that same post, I share precisely when you are eligible to select your next FASTPASS via MaxPass. There is no 2 hour time rule. You do not have to board the attraction you’re holding a FASTPASS for in order to select your next one. Disney shares one simple sentence on every FASTPASS confirmation telling you exactly when to choose another. Find this info here.
As soon as you have everyone’s event ticket loaded in the app, select a FASTPASS via MaxPass. Radiator Springs Racers and Toy Story Midway Mania FASTPASSES will likely be gone for the day. So, choose Soarin’ Around the World.
Once you have that FASTPASS secured, head to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! If you arrive prior to 4:00pm, you’ll get to ride the daytime version. Do it! It’s one of my favorites. If you arrive after 4:00pm, you’ll get to ride the Halloween version, which is “Monsters After Dark”. It’s fun, too, although Chris Pratt is sadly missing from the visuals. He’s so hubba hubba.
Sorry. I got sidetracked.
Consider the following order of attractions with FASTPASSES during the “mix in” time period when MaxPass is available:
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Rapids (if you don’t mind risking getting your costume wet)
(I selected each of these FASTPASSES during the opening day of Oogie Boogie Bash and each allowed me to board the attraction almost immediately.)
So, to recap, here’s what I suggest you do during the “mix in”:
- Get organized
- Use MaxPass to select FASTPASS for Soarin’ Around the World
- Ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark
- Use MaxPass to select FASTPASS for Incredicoaster
- Ride Soarin’ with FASTPASS
- Ride Incredicoaster with FASTPASS
- Use MaxPass to select FASTPASS for Goofy’s Sky School
- Visit the Plaza de la Familia in Paradise Gardens, meet Coco, etc
- Use MaxPass to select FASTPASS for Grizzly River Run
- Ride Goofy’s Sky School with FASTPASS
- Ride Grizzly River Run with FASTPASS
This should bring you to official party start time, which is 6:00pm. MaxPass – and FASTPASSES – are no longer available. Attractions have low lines, however, during special events, so don’t panic.
It’s Party Time! Here’s What To Do
Had we been attending the event formally held at Disneyland – Mickey’s Halloween Party – I would encourage you to focus less on trick-or-treating and more on entertainment, attractions, characters, etc.
However, I was completely overwhelmed last night with the trick-or-treat trails that I highly recommend you visit them.
Several include a live character performing while you’re walking the trail. Oogie Boogie hangs out in Animation Academy. Dr. Facilier is in Stage 17. The Evil Queen is found at the end of the trail behind Grizzly River Run. The Mad Hatter hangs out mid-away through the trail to the right of the Hyperion Theater. Maleficent teases guests half way through the trail located to the left of Soarin’ Around the World. They’re amazing.
Here’s a map of where they are:
The characters interact with guests in meaningful ways. If this makes you nervous (like the Evil Queen suggesting “It seems they’ve invited JUST ANYONE to this party” while scanning the crowd making sure we all knew that was for us), walk right past the character and proceed with trick-or-treating. These characters are not in place to make guests uncomfortable. They are there for those who want to play along.
So, the treat trail lines are longer at the start of the party for sure. I recommend you wander a bit and take photos with characters (where to find who is printed on the event map/guide you’ll pick up when you enter) for the first 30 minutes. Maybe jump in a treat trail if the line seems reasonable. The trail behind Grizzly River Run is less crowded than others and is really pretty…..only to end with the Evil Queen being just plain evil.
Consider which entertainment options you want to attend and have those times in mind for the party.
The two BIG things to focus on are:
The Frightfully Fun Parade runs once a night at 8:10pm.
World of Color Villainous runs twice a night at 9:00pm and 10:45pm.
Visit this link to learn what the entire entertainment line up looks like for your party night. Change the date on the calendar for your timing.
When dark arrives, the Villains come out to see guests. They’re set up in front of the wheel of Grizzly River Run. That line is long, as they’re the most popular characters at the event. Opening night, we saw Frollo, Governor Ratcliffe, and Shan Yu. Seeing them later in the evening is ideal, however, you should definitely ask a cast member when they’re likely to leave the event, as they don’t always stay until close.
Villains Grove (my absolute favorite part of this event) also opens when it’s dark, and the initial line is super long. Don’t wander over when you realize it’s dark. Check the sunset time for your night (usually around 7:00pm). With that timing in mind, head over in that direction around 6:30pm.
When you arrive, ask a cast member for the time they’re aiming to open the trail. Get in line 30-45 minutes prior to that. Then, when it opens, you’ll be one of the first to walk in. If you’re with a group of people, have one stand in line for Villains Grove and have the rest walk the treat trail behind Grizzly River Run. Restrooms are located near the wheel of Grizzly River Run. There’s a churro cart in that same area, too.
World of Color Villainous has two shows per event and – you guessed it – the second showing will have lower crowds. See that one if possible.
Since there’s only one parade per night, you’ll need to plan to set up for this – no matter when you’re attending – around 7:30pm. At 8:00pm, the Headless Horseman will wander down the parade path, which starts at the far right end of Pixar Pier and ends between Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and the Hyperion Theater. At 8:10pm, the actual parade will begin.
If you can’t wait to see the 10:45pm World of Color Villainous, I recommend you watch the parade on the path facing Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. There are snack kiosks nearby and restrooms in Paradise Gardens. Little ones can wander around the World of Color viewing area if they have a hard time sitting still waiting for the parade to arrive.
Since the parade starts at the end of Pixar Pier, it will arrive in this area by around 8:20pm. The parade lasts around 15 minutes, so by 8:35pm-ish, it will be over. When the final float goes by, stand up and walk directly behind where you watched the parade from to claim your spot for World of Color Villainous, which will begin at 9:00pm.
That covers most of the entertainment options with the exception of two shows that don’t require detailed planning or set ups. Those include:
- Mickey’s Trick & Treat – located inside the Disney (Junior) Theater on Hollywood Blvd; this show runs 5 times each night with the latest at 10:15pm
- DescenDANCE – located in the Hollywood Backlot; this show runs 5 times each night with the latest at 10:30pm
See the above two shows in between the other entertainment options.
So, to recap, here’s a rough outline of what I suggest you do during the actual party:
- When the party officially starts at 6:00pm, wander for about 30 minutes getting your bearings and then get in line for Villains Grove at 6:30pm
- Visit Villains Grove
- Set up for the Frightfully Fun Parade
- Watch the parade at 8:00pm
- Set up for World of Color Villainous just after the parade
- Watch World of Color Villainous at 9:00pm
- Enjoy trick-or-treat trails, see characters, grab some seasonal treats
- Work in Mickey’s Trick & Treat and DescenDANCE
- Ride attractions that did not have FASTPASSES available during the “mix in” like Radiator Springs Racers and Toy Story Midway Mania
- Walk through the park to see event-specific lighting and decor
If You’re Not Planning to Attend the Oogie Boogie Bash
Here are some things to think about if you choose not to attend the party. My kids haven’t been in years, as it’s not in our budget. But, they love Halloween Time, regardless.
- Consider visiting the parks on a day that the Oogie Boogie Bash is not happening. If you do not have a ticket for the party, you will be ushered out at 6pm and that’s a tough walk down Buena Vista Street, watching the others brimming with excitement for their night ahead. I’ve done it. It’s not fun.
- However, the day of the Halloween event usually includes lower attendance at the parks due to people not wanting to leave at Halloween event time. So, check the calendar for closing times at Disneyland and consider visiting DCA during the daytime and leaving for Disneyland at party time.
- Disneyland will be more crowded than usual due to those leaving DCA for it when the party starts, however, you can still enjoy the park if you utilize what I suggest doing when the parks are crowded.
- Halloween Screams – the uber popular fireworks show previously exclusive to an after-hours event – is now showing most nights during Halloween Time at Disneyland park. This link has more info on when it’s showing, where to watch and more.
- You can still enjoy a wonderful Halloween experience at Disneyland Resort without the party. Decor is up, characters are in Halloween gear and there’s an overall fun spirit at the park during this time. Don’t fret if you don’t want to spend the extra money on the ticket. Enjoy the decor and the park itself. Halloween Time is magical, with or without the party.
How to Make Your Own Halloween Tree at Home + How to Care for Pumpkins
This post features our homemade Halloween tree plus info on how to make your pumpkins last for 6 or more weeks. Even in the heat!
For any show or parade, consider packing a sheet or blanket to reserve your spot. As previously mentioned in this post, I recommend asking one person in your group to secure your viewing space for the fireworks show about an hour prior to showtime. The Matador blanket is an awesome purchase for your visit and to use elsewhere. It folds up to pocket size, but can seat up to 4 people.
People often lose their manners during shows and parades and will sit anywhere to get a good view. Having a sheet or blanket to block off your spot might give you a bit of peace. You cannot leave it unattended, however, because cast members will remove it if you do.
FASTPASSES are typically not offered during parties and special events due to lower crowds.
What I Learned at the First Party of 2019
Here’s what I learned: I LOVED IT.
This new event has a super fresh approach to the Mickey’s Halloween Party we knew and loved. I’m a big fan of what they have added and can’t wait for y’all to enjoy it, too.
Let me know what you think!