Oogie Boogie Bash kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 9 at Disney California Adventure with a Halloween parade, Disney villains walk-through experience, Mickey Mouse children’s show and trick-or-treating trails.
An after-hours Halloween event at Disney California Adventure that was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic has come roaring back this holiday season with a family-friendly affair that puts the emphasis on Disney character interactions rather than terrifying blood and gore.
Oogie Boogie Bash kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 9 at Disney California Adventure with a Halloween parade, Disney villains walk-through experience, Mickey Mouse children’s show, trick-or-treating trails and holiday decor. The separate-admission Oogie Boogie Bash will take place on 24 more select nights through Oct. 31.
Disney moved the after-hours Halloween event from Disneyland to Disney California Adventure in 2019 and rechristened Mickey’s Halloween Party as Oogie Boogie Bash. The Halloween event went on hiatus in 2020 due to the extended coronavirus closures of the parks.
Disney ratcheted back the offerings for this year’s Oogie Boogie Bash, but die-hard Disney fans didn’t seem to mind with every night of Oogie Boogie Bash sold out before the event even started. Most of the returning elements remain unchanged from the 2019 Oogie Boogie Bash event with a few new villains taking up residence along the treat trails.
Cruella DeVille from the live-action “Cruella,” “WandaVision” witch Agatha Harkness and “Toy Story” antagonist Sid Phillips joined the rogue lineup of Disney, Marvel and Pixar villains dotting the immersive treat trails this Halloween season.
The Emma Stone-inspired version of Cruella hosted a fashion show in the Hollywood Land back lot while judging Halloween costumes and begged for compliments as visitors walked past.
“It’s been at least five minutes since anyone has told me how amazing I am,” Cruella said while strutting on stage.
Agatha Harkness took over Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum in Avengers Campus and bragged about her super powers.
“It’s not every day you meet the world’s most powerful witch,” Harkness said while towering over visitors.
Bad Boy Sid turned a circus sideshow in Pixar Pier into the “Sid Show” filled with his mutant toys.
Returning villains along the treat trails included the Mad Hatter, Dr. Facilier, Maleficent and Snow White’s Evil Queen.
Maleficent beckoned visitors to come closer from her throne behind Soarin’ Around the World.
“I don’t bite often,” Maleficent told the crowd. “I’m the trick and the treat.”
The Evil Queen had ore wagons full of rosy red apples next to her smoldering caldron near the Grizzly River Run where she treated visitors with disdain.
“You must bow before me,” the Evil Queen told passersby on the treat trail.
Monster of scare-e-monies Oogie Boogie from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” took over the lobby of the Disney Animation building in Hollywood Land and hurled insults at trick-or-treaters.
“This is what kids consider scary?” Oogie said from his perch. “You’re joking. You’re hopeless.”
Rarely seen characters such as Hades, Megara and Pain from “Hercules” made appearances around the Carthay Circle fountain at the center of the park.
The limited-capacity event is one of the few times of the year when older kids and adults can wear Halloween costumes in the theme park as they trick-or-treat for candy. The King family from Salt Lake City, Utah, showed up in off-brand yet still show-stopping “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” costumes with 24 Oompa Loompas in factory worker jumpers and a stroller-pushing Willy Wonka.
The Frightfully Fun Parade featured seldom-seen characters like the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane, Dr. Facilier and the Cheshire Cat.
The return of the Halloween parade marked the first time DCA or Disneyland has hosted a parade in 18 months since the pandemic shuttered the Anaheim theme parks in March 2020.
The Headless Horseman kicked off the parade while riding on horseback and carrying his carved pumpkin head. Mickey and Minnie made an appearance in festive Halloween costumes with a dance crew in tow.
Widow Bride Constance Hatchway rode on the Haunted Mansion float with a beating red heart pulsing beneath her wedding gown and a hatchet hidden in her floral bouquet. The Mansion’s Hitchhiking Ghosts interacted with the crowd as they tried to hitch a ride while a gravedigger dance crew scraped spine-chilling shovels along the parade route that threw off showers of sparks.
Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog” arrived on a voodoo float with a spooky moss-covered day-glow tree that seemed to reach out toward the crowd. Hades presided over a float festooned with horned demon statues that glared at visitors with glowing golden eyes. The pink-and-purple-striped Cheshire Cat brought up the rear of the parade on the back of the Fantasmic float.
The Villain’s Grove walk-through experience transformed the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail with ethereal scenes inspired by fan-favorite Disney scoundrels. Lighting, sound and special effects suggested the presence of the characters -— who don’t make appearances in the Villain’s Grove.
Key scenes in the Instagram-friendly installation included allusions to Frollo from “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty,” Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland,” Scar and the hyenas from “The Lion King” in the Elephant Graveyard, Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog” and the Old Hag from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in the Lightning Forest.
Candelabras dotted the forest and stained glass lights painted the walkway in the Hunchback scene. Roses glowed in the underbrush of the Wonderland section of the trail. Hyena shadows marched across a rock wall in the “Lion King” scene. Purple and green laser lights covered the treetops in the Old Hag’s Lightning Forest.
The “Mickey’s Trick & Treat” show in the Disney Jr. Dance Party theater featured a mad scientist who brews up a potion that unleashes bats, spiders and ghosts created with video projections and special effects.
Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald appeared in Halloween costumes to tell playfully spooky stories in between brief dance numbers and comedy skits in a show geared to the preschool and grade school crowd in attendance.
Halloween decor filled Disney California Adventure with Cars Land remaining a highlight from past seasons. Animated eyeballs peeked out of the windows of the Radiator Springs courthouse and purple and green lights bathed the Cadillac Mountain Range.
Background music throughout the park played holiday favorites including “Monster Mash,” “Superstition” and “Somebody’s Watching Me.”
Most DCA attractions remained open during Oogie Boogie Bash with shorter wait times due to the limited capacity of the event. Toy Story Midway Mania had an uncharacteristically short 10 minute wait and Soarin’ Around the World was a virtual walk-on.
Missing from Oogie Boogie Bash 2021: The villain-themed “World of Color” show and “Descendants”-inspired dance party that were part of the 2019 after-hours event.
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