Disney Parks have done seasonal after hours parties for many years, and they’re always a sought after event. Disneyland offers yearly Halloween parties, while Walt Disney World offers both Halloween and Christmas parties. This year, the Disneyland Resort unveiled Oogie Boogie Bash, a party celebrating the spookiest time of year! In addition to this new offering, it has moved to Disney California Adventure. The parties no longer happen in Disneyland, but Halloween Screams, the party exclusive fireworks show, can be seen by all!

I was able to attend the first ever Oogie Boogie Bash, which was a lot of fun! While my group had a great time, there were definitely some pros and cons of the event. I’ve had the chance to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party when it was at Disneyland, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World, and now Oogie Boogie Bash in DCA. With that, I’ll be going over the pros and cons of each event, and also compare them to see which was my favorite.

We’ll start with Oogie Boogie Bash, as it’s the newest and it may see some of the cons change over the coming weeks, as this is not to deter anyone who is attending this party. Oogie Boogie Bash is full of new entertainment offerings, themed trick-or-treat trails, and even some rare characters. The exciting part is, almost everything is new! There are plenty of new and unique experiences, which added extra fun elements to this party.

Let’s start with the Pros of the night:
  • Characters
    • The characters that were out and greeting were pretty rare for the most part. The lines weren’t too bad either, and seemed to average around 20 minutes each. We were able to meet Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, Don Carnage from Talespin, Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame, Governor Radcliffe from Pocahontas, Phineas and Ferb, and Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable. The lines were tolerable, which was a far cry from 90’s Nite, when meet and greet lines averaged over an hour. Our interactions were also a blast, and they weren’t rushed at all!
  • Amount of Offerings
    • I felt like there was plenty to do throughout the evening. We never had a moment where we thought, “what should we do?”
  • Villains Grove
    • I actually think this was the surprise of our night. When they first announced this, we thought this is where we’d meet some villains. When we found out it was more of a themed walk, there was some let down. We did the trail and all left talking about how cool it was! They way the lights, projections, and sounds all were produced were quite impressive. They did a great job creating a walk-through that was visually enticing and unique!
  • Themed Trick-or-Treat Trails
    • I loved the addition of the villains to some of the trails. It added an extra ambiance to the party. While we only went to Oogie Boogie and Maleficent’s treat trails, we heard the others were just as awesome.
  • Crowds
    • Honestly, the park didn’t feel insanely crowded. Lines for most things moved pretty quick, (other than merchandise), and it didn’t feel as crowded as it would during normal operating hours. We didn’t do any attractions as we were all locals or Annual Passholders, and didn’t feel like going on attractions. It seemed like attraction wait times were pretty minimal though.
Now, on to the Cons, as we did encounter a few:
  • Merchandise
    • While we weren’t actually purchasing merchandise for ourselves, they had limited items, and very few locations to purchase at. We ended up waiting in line at Gone Hollywood for an hour to purchase our merch. A couple of the items weren’t even available there, which was very frustrating and meant we had to go to another location. We didn’t expect to spend that long waiting, which was a bummer as we could have done other offerings. It also would have been nice if we were able to purchase it during the three hours before the party started, when there was nothing else party related to do. That would have made for merchandise lines to be a lot less chaotic in a short amount of time.
  • Trick-or-Treat Trail Treats
    • Okay, this one probably sounds funny, but we were severely disappointed in what was given at the trails. In past parties, I would get pounds of candy and not even go to every trail. This time around, we would maybe get two pieces, maybe three at each stop. And while we didn’t get to all of the trails, candy was pretty much the only thing offered. Our last trail we went to, we found carrots and apples (which are exciting when you’re an adult.) We missed how they used to give granola bars, crackers, and other snacks too. But, we also felt kind of jipped with how stingy they were on candy. A lot of the locations even ran out of candy and didn’t get re-stocked. The other downside was the lack of allergy-friendly treats. One of my friends is vegan, and she asked at the first stop if they had anything she could have any they told her “no,” but to ask at the other trails. At each trail, they said they didn’t have anything that were set aside for guests with allergies. They only candy she could have were Skittles, and then the apples and carrots. For others with allergies, doing the trails would be a huge letdown.
  • Entertainment
    • I have to start this off by saying we didn’t see all of the entertainment available at the party. While it’s great that it’s almost all new, we only ended up seeing Frightfully Fun Parade. I didn’t realize how short the parade was, and I wish it had more floats. DescenDANCE Party and Mickey’s Trick and Treat were both things that we missed. We wanted to see Mickey’s Trick and Treat, but the timing didn’t work out as well. However, before going to the party, we felt that those two offerings were targeted more towards young children and tweens. They weren’t general offerings that catered to all ages.
  • World of Color: Villainous
    • This was something we wound up passing on. We caught some of it from a friend who did a live stream during the Cast Preview the night before. With that, my group wasn’t all too impressed with what we saw, and ultimately thought our time would be better spent doing other things. Fortunately, Mr. DAPS caught the show and filmed it, so we could watch at a later time, or you could watch right now!
  • Price
    • I felt like the price has gotten a little steep for the parties, especially as it’s almost the price of a 1-Day, 1-Park ticket, and you’re only there for about half the day. With the lack of candy and treats, entertainment targeted at certain demographics, and a lackluster nighttime show, I don’t think I would pay to do it again next year. While I didn’t entirely feel like it was worth the money, we gave it a go as we didn’t know what to entirely expect.

Overall, we had a great time at Oogie Boogie Bash, and accomplished quite a bit. I was with an awesome group of people that made everything so much fun!

 

Next up, Mickey’s Halloween Party! This party was hosted in Disneyland for about 10 years, and I was able to go to three of them over the years. While I don’t remember the details of each of them, I remember that I thoroughly enjoyed them. I mean, I went to three, so it was clearly something I wanted to pay for year after year.

Pros:
  • Entertainment
    • I always felt like Mickey’s Halloween Party had great entertainment that catered to everyone. The Halloween Screams fireworks show was not to be missed, and I would camp out at each party to make sure I saw it! It was probably the one major thing I always looked forward to. The Cadaver Dans were also an awesome addition to the entertainment line up. They would perform on the Rivers of America, which was made foggy to provide an extra eerie ambiance. I don’t remember the parade that they used to have, but parades are always enjoyable to see at Disney Parks. They also would have different dance parties scattered around the park, mostly themed to different characters. The entertainment was always diverse and catered to all Disney fans.

       

  • Characters
    • I know I met a few characters at each party, and I have videos of some of interactions and they still hold a very special place in my heart. While the characters weren’t a main focus of the evening, they had amazing photo opportunities with them. Remember when the characters of Toontown got special costumes JUST for the parties? That was a highlight to have something that exclusive. The only con of having such great characters, was that I do remember that some of the lines got pretty lengthy.
  • Trick-or-Treat Trails
    • There were trails all over the park, great treats, and LOTS of candy! We would get pounds of candy and snacks, and basically recoup your ticket price in treats alone. Plus, in addition to loads of candy, we’d get granola bars, crackers, fruit, and other snacks that were always welcome. We would get excited because then we’d have snacks for the rest of our Disney trip.
  • Price
    • I want to say the last party I went to was around $65 or $70 a ticket, which was a few years ago. We were there the entire duration of our party time and felt like we got our moneys worth.
Cons:
  • Crowds
    • The Halloween parties would always sell out, so the lines for offerings were often long. This also meant that you’d have to carve out some time to wait for the parade, fireworks, and be patient for characters.

Not Applicable:

  • Merchandise
    • I don’t remember specific merchandise only available for parties, and I never waited to purchase any at the old parties.

Mickey’s Halloween Party was a great seasonal offering, but they got more expensive and busy, which made it less exciting to go. Although I loved them, the price is usually what deterred me.

 

Now, on to the other side of the country where we’ll talk about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World. This party takes place at Magic Kingdom, and it has for over twenty years. My roommates and I experienced this party last year and had a phenomenal time!

Pros:
  • Price
    • We were able to get discounted tickets for this party, but even then, it was a lot cheaper than the Halloween parties at Disneyland. It made the evening 100% worth the price of admission.
  • Entertainment
    • The amount of entertainment was incredible, and how often they had entertainment was even better! Mickey’s Boo To You Parade is one of my favorites, and the fact that they had it twice a night meant you could do other offerings earlier and then watch the parade. There was only one showing of the HalloWishes fireworks spectacular, but plenty of places to view it from. This year, they have a new fireworks show, which I have watched on YouTube and it’s amazing! The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular was the show of the night! There were three show times for us to choose from, and we opted for the final show of the evening so we could enjoy the parade, fireworks, treat trails, attractions, and more! The Hocus Pocus show was our favorite part of the entire evening, I would have honestly watched it during all three show times. There was a Monsters Inc. dance party, which was also adorable and featured some rare characters walking around.
  • Trick-or-Treating
    • There were plenty of treat trails, along with plenty of candy to collect. While it wasn’t the main focus of our night, I think we collected more by not trying than what we received at this years’ Oogie Boogie Bash. My friend who had issues with allergy friendly treats at this years party had NO problems at Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party. Upon arrival, she asked about allergy friendly treats and they gave her a special bag to collect coins in. At each trail, the cast members would see her bag and give her a coin. At the end of the evening, there was a specific location to go and turn in the coins, and the cast members would give the appropriate amount of treats, and they were specific to certain kinds of allergies. It was so well done and we were all able to enjoy what we were given!
  • Merchandise
    • I personally didn’t purchase any merchandise, but they had some great items available. The best part was, they had the merchandise in the Emporium, but behind stanchions up until the actual party time. So in order to look at and purchase items in the three hours when you were in the park before the party started, you had to show your wristband. It worked out great, and the lines were minimal. We purchased our merchandise, took it to a locker, and then could enjoy the rest of the evening without having to wait in line to purchase everything. It saved us so much time and was very effective.
  • Available Characters
    • There were SO many characters around the park during the night! The Seven Dwarfs were altogether, many of the Alice in Wonderland characters, princesses and their princes. There were characters just about everywhere you looked. We didn’t set out to see characters, but it was cool to see who all they had out to greet guests!
  • Party Only Food Offerings
    • Not only were there special Halloween food offerings at Walt Disney World during Halloween, but there were items ONLY available at the parties. It added an extra exclusivity, and they were definitely instagrammable foods. I had the Madame Leota tart, which was pretty good. I don’t think I had anything else, but I loved the fact that they had some special items just for us to purchase that evening.
  • Party Only Attraction Overlays
    • Something that Disneyland hasn’t done was create overlays just for the parties. Pirates of the Caribbean added real pirates to talk to guests in the queue and even on the attraction. While it’s not something to wait more than a normal amount of time for (about 20-30 minutes), it added an extra bit of spooky to the attraction. The Mad Tea Party added lights and different music, while Space Mountain turned the lights completely off for a truly terrifying experience. These additions were only available during the party hours, not when guests could get in those three hours earlier.
Cons:
  • Character Lines
    • The downside to the great characters they had at the Halloween party was the fact that lines were VERY long. They were about 45 minutes at minimum, and simply didn’t attract us the way the entertainment did.
  • Heat
    • Well, this isn’t entirely an issue in regards to the party, but it was so hot and humid when we attended, that we changed out of our costumes the moment we were done with pictures. The heat makes it a little difficult to enjoy Halloween and Fall when it’s 90 degrees with 90% humidity.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was a blast, and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I was in Walt Disney World during the Halloween season.

 

After going over the pros and cons of each Halloween Party that Disney Parks have offered that I’ve attended, I want to compare them a little bit:

Oogie Boogie Bash vs. Mickey’s Halloween Party vs. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

The winner… Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! Given all of the pros of the party, the quality of the evening and offerings, and the price, I would do it again every year. I would honestly go to Florida every year in the Fall if I really wanted to do a Halloween party every year. Mickey’s Halloween Party was in second place, as I enjoyed it, but the price hikes each year and crowds made it a little less fun. Oogie Boogie Bash comes in third place, as we had fun, but I don’t feel the need to do it again in the next couple of years.

 

What Halloween Parties have you been to, and which was your favorite?