The Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland

The Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland

This is Halloween!

 -The Nightmare Before Christmas

For the past 5 years we have been attending the Halloween event at Disneyland. This is a special ticketed event that is separate from the Annual Pass that we have. While it is definitely on the pricey side, I find it to be completely worth it! Disneyland puts together an amazing Halloween experience that you can’t find during their normal business hours.

This year Disney brought The Oogie Boogie Bash to California Adventure. In the years that we have been going, it has always been at Disneyland. Although, fun fact, when I worked at Disneyland, the halloween event was always at DCA. Anyway, I was a bit skeptical because Disneyland has so much more space, but in the end I actually preferred for it to be over at DCA!

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I’ve put together a list on how to maximize your time at The Oogie Boogie Bash below:

1. WHEN TO BUY YOUR TICKETS

These tickets will set out fast so you definitely want to get them as soon as they go on sale! They typically go on sale around summer time and annual passholders get priority. I prefer to purchase tickets for the last week of September at the latest. These tickets will be slightly cheaper than if you were to go in October.

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2. GET THERE EARLY

If you have a ticket you are allowed to enter the park 3 hours before the event starts! There will be a separate line to enter the park and people will start to line up pretty early. I actually decided to enter the park with my annual pass so we could go in slightly earlier. There was a place inside of DCA where we could go and “sign in” with our Oogie Boogie Bash ticket to get our wristband. This line was significantly shorter than the one outside.

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3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EARLY ENTRANCE TIME

Believe it or not you can really get a lot done in those 3 extra hours! I love to take those hours to ride all of the rides we love. This way we aren’t “wasting” the party on the rides and missing out on the special Halloween stuff. I have the Max Pass (which I also highly recommend), so we got Fast Passes for a majority of our favorite rides.

Eat dinner before the party starts! As soon as that clock strikes 6pm (or whatever time is starts), the party starts and you are going to want to get right in there! So definitely take this time to eat dinner. You are definitely going to want to eat before the trick-or-treat trails start 🙂

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4. MAKE A MENTAL PRIORITY LIST

There is SO MUCH to do and if you are going with kids, it is nearly impossible to do EVERYTHING. But grab one of the event pamphlets when you enter and scroll through it. In years past we skipped all of the trick-or-treat trails but now that my son is older we made that a priority. This year was really cool because they had villains at some of the trick-or-treat trails and it was amazing!

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5. WHERE TO WATCH THE PARADE

The Frightfully Fun Parade is my FAVORITE parade year after year! It has your favorite villains, it’s a little eery, and has a whole unit dedicated to the Haunted Mansion. Talk about awesome, right?!

Since this year was a first over at DCA I wasn’t really sure where to watch the parade. I asked a cast member early in the day where the parade would step off (Pixar Pier) and I knew that I wanted to be as close to step-off as possible. When you are further down the parade route, it takes longer for the parade to get to you and I knew I didn’t want to sit around waiting. I also took into consideration that the parade route was longer than at Disneyland so I took a shot at not waiting in a spot for an hour before the parade started.

My instinct was right (thank goodness) and we found a spot right next to the Golden Zephyr just as the Headless Horseman was walking down. We honestly love this parade so much that B cried when it was over because he said it wasn’t long enough 🙂

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There is so much to do and see at The Oogie Boogie Bash – which I well get to in my next blog post, so stay tuned!

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Best Birthday Ever

Best Birthday Ever

Every year to kick off Summer and celebrate B’s birthday we spend two nights at The Disneyland Resort. It is so magical it makes me want to live there! This year we celebrated with B’s dad, bonus mom and brother. This was our first time vacationing as a modern family and honestly, it really made our time there even more special. I know a lot of my friends (maybe even family…) don’t understand our “family” dynamics – and that’s okay! I understand it is a unique situation, but this is what works for us.

I would be lying if I said it has always been this way, because it most definitely hasn’t. But when everyone moves past the hurt and realizes it’s about the big picture, it makes everything so much easier! Is this my favorite thing to do? No, but it’s not about me. This is about my son being around the people that he loves. Whomever my son loves, I love too and it is just that simple.

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The first day I met up with everyone just before nap time. This made the check-in to The Disneyland Hotel so much easier having just me there. But, they do have an area for kids to watch Disney movies, so if you are checking in with your kids they will easily be occupied. Also, when I happened to be checking in, Pluto was in the kids area! I was a little taken back when I saw him because I really couldn’t believe he was there…Lol!

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At check-in they offered to upgrade my room to have a view of Downtown Disney but I opted to keep my original room with a view of the pool. I figured we wouldn’t be in the room to watch the fireworks from our room so we wouldn’t get much out of that view.

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Have you ever stayed at The Disneyland Hotel? This was our second time staying there and it’s my favorite hotel over Paradise Pier. I have yet to stay at The Grand Californian – but it’s my dream to stay there! I love the Disneyland Hotel because it just has a more “Disney Magic” feel. Even the headboard on the bed lights up and plays “When You Wish Upon A Star” – talk about magical! I also love staying here because the walk to Disneyland and DCA is much shorter and you can even make a quick short cut through The Grand Californian to get into DCA.

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If you have a kid that still naps or you want to nap so they can stay up for the night parades, staying at any one of the resort hotels is such a game changer. It really allows for you to enjoy the time in the parks without having to worry about getting on every ride or seeing all of the shows. We were able to head back to the room on both days to regroup, relax and take a little nap.

Also, the pool is just amazing! The last time we stayed there we never bothered with the pool but this time we decided to dedicate one whole day to enjoy all of the pool amenities. Of course, once B saw the pool and the Monorail Slides, he wanted to go in it every day – which we did! If we got too hot in the parks we would come back to hotel, change into our swimming clothes and cool off in the pool – it was perfect.

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The pool area has cabanas that you can reserve ahead of time as well as a splash pad area for little ones. The monorail slides are up at the top and perfectly situated by the splash pad with beach access to the slides – which was the perfect area for B’s brother to hang out. They even have a double slide for toddlers which was so cute!

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The Disneyland Hotel Monorail Slides

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On the last day there we had to check out by 11am but we could still stay and enjoy the pool! Once I checked out they gave me a pool key that was valid for the remainder of the day. We definitely took advantage and enjoyed the whole pool area on our last day there.

TIP: They do not give out wristbands to the pool. The only requirement to get in is having a room key or pool key. So we were able to let B’s dad and etc. into the pool to enjoy the day with us. It was a perfect end to our vacation!

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We spent the majority of our time near the slides but every now and then we would venture to the two big pools down below. At one point we were swimming and we saw Goofy off in the distance walking around. And then we happened to look up at the bridge overlooking the pool and Pluto was there! I’m not sure who was more excited – me or B! It’s those little things that make Disney such a unique experience.

I was really sad to leave when it was time to head home. Every night as we tucked ourselves into bed B would say, “This is the best birthday ever!” We just had the best time with our modern family and I’m already looking forward to this vacation next year.  Maybe I can convince everyone to go on a cruise!

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Have you ever been on a Disney vacation? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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