When I went off to college four years ago, Halloween morphed from a season of candy and ghostly lawn decor to a season of frat parties and skimpy costumes. Of course the latter can be fun, but there’s no replacing the thrill of frolicking around the neighborhood, arm-in-arm with friends, weighed down by buckets of collected candy.
Why can’t we have both? I want a well-rounded Halloween with trick-or-treating and themed cocktails and spooky dance parties. This year, I took the opportunity to attend the sold-out Oogie Boogie Bash - A Disney Halloween Party at Disney’s California Adventure as the answer to my call. I grabbed my trusted childhood trick-or-treating buddy Roxana, and we set off for an evening of fun and fright.
We arrived at California Adventure a couple of hours before the 6pm start of Oogie Boogie Bash. After checking in and receiving our wristbands and treat bags, we plopped down with a park map to study our options. The Mickey’s Trick and Treat show at the Disney Theater in Hollywood Land and the many villainous character encounters sounded lovely for little ones, but we skimmed over them in favor of the new World of Color show, Villainous! and the myriad of “treat trails” woven through the park. There were two showings of the Villainous! show to choose from, and treat trails abound so with no time crunch at all, so we wandered the park collecting treats and aimlessly taking in all the festivities.
It had been over a decade since Roxana and I had trick-or-treated together, but we fell right back into our elementary school rhythm on the treat trails, giggling and pointing out creepy bits of decor as we made our way from candy station to candy station. We passed by plenty of villains along each route. Doctor Facilier from The Princess and the Frog beckoned passersby through thick purple smoke, offering bits of voodoo wisdom. Snow White’s Evil Queen commanded us to bow down at her presence. Each treat trail took only a few minutes to go through but provided significant bits of entertainment and left us grinning with handfuls upon handfuls of candy.
Cars Land was our favorite area when it came to the Halloween decor. Giant traffic cones donned traditional carved pumpkin faces, giant spiders made of car parts scaled walls, and cars displayed Día de los Muertos-style paint jobs. The decor here was spooky but not scary, and children all around us ran and giggled with delight as they pointed out the silly decorations to their parents.
We meandered from Cars Land into Hollywood Land to pick up some drinks at the Hollywood Lounge. A tasty “Howl-O-Ween Concoction” (caramel vodka and Honest Abe apple pie cider) and a “Backlot Michelada” in hand, we glimpsed the “Frightfully Fun Parade” as we headed over to Pixar Pier to secure front row spots for “Villainous!”
“Villainous!” is an incredibly mesmerizing show that follows the tale of a little girl named Shelley Marie as she considers becoming a villain for Halloween. She asks her mirror for advice and is met in turn by various Disney villains who offer her cryptic, ill-intended guidance. This 20-minute whirlwind of color, songs, evil cackling, and fire ends with Shelley opting to be herself and wear the costume she truly wants. A very wholesome end to a very villainous story.
After a few more treat trail run-throughs, we ended our spooktacular night over at the Plaza de la Familia in Paradise Gardens Park. The whole area was decked out in Día de Los Muertos decorations straight out of the world of Coco. We lingered by a beautiful artistic mural entitled “Recuérdame” (“Remember Me”), and the “Árbol de la Vida” (“Tree of Life”) - a photo location surrounded by written remembrances of loved ones left by guests from all around the world. This heartfelt celebration of life and death was the perfect ending to our day of Halloweeny festivities.
Oogie Boogie Bash truly covered every facet and spirit of Halloween, just as I had hoped. We heard silly spooky songs. We chatted with a little boy who was beyond excited to flaunt his new Jack Skellington costume and scare us with a big “BOO!” We trick-or-treated and munched on bite-size candies, sipped frivolously themed cocktails, oohed and ahhed at shows and decorations, and got to thumb through memories of loved ones lost and lives celebrated. I got my nostalgia fix as well as some new excitement, and I’ll definitely be back next year!
Looking for Tickets: All nights of Oogie Boogie Bash are sold out, but if you still would like to see the Halloween Time decorations in Cars Land and Plaza de la Familia, discount tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are available on our officially authorized Disneyland tickets page.Tweet
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