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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Apple Picking in Oak Glen

“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” -Mark Twain

When I was a child, every year my family and I would go apple picking in Julian, CA. I loved it. We’d wake up really early, gather our warmest clothes, load up the car and drive (what felt like hours) out to Julian. Some years it was hot, others it was cold, but it didn’t matter. We’d walk the orchards and scour the trees for the BEST apples to take home so we could make apple pie. Once we finished picking apples we’d spent the rest of the day enjoying the small town. Going in out of the historic little shops, eating lunch, maybe taking a horse-drawn carriage ride all nestled under the blankets, and of course eat some fresh baked apple pie.

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As I got older we stopped going, but I couldn’t wait until my son was old enough to start this tradition with. Except when the time came, I was torn…Julian or Oak Glen?!  I had never heard been to Oak Glen, much less heard of it! So, I did some research, asked a lot of questions and 2 years ago I drove my son and I out to Oak Glen to start our new Fall tradition.

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This was our third year going to Oak Glen and every time I go, I find something new to do there! Below you will find my tips & tricks for apple picking in Oak Glen:

Oak Glen vs. Julian

Truth be told, I haven’t been to Julian since I was a kid so I can’t really speak on what they have there now. But, from what I’ve read, Oak Glen has a lot more activities for kids. Besides apple picking there is; pony rides, corn mazes, u-apple cider press, hay rides, petting zoos, apple tastings, and lots of games!

The big number one factor for me is the drive. Driving to Oak Glen is SO easy. I personally have a fear of driving windy roads (due to being in a car accident in Laguna Canyon several years ago). When I learned that the drive to Oak Glen was mostly on the freeway, I was sold. I took my son to a camel dairy farm 3 years ago, and it was just 20 minutes south of Julian. I wasn’t even thinking of that terrifying drive until I was in it, and I just can’t ever do that again. Oak Glen is freeway, streets, and then maybe a 15 minute drive up the mountain – no cliffs! If I can do it – you can do it!

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Go Early!

I personally have never experienced traffic on the 2 way highway, but I know that some people have. The main reason I say to go early is because there is so much to see and do. This year we couldn’t go up as early as I would have liked to. Parking was a little bit of an issue but not terrible. We had to park off the road a little further down from the orchard. But it was a totally doable walk. If you have littles, bring your small stroller. If you park on the street, you won’t want your big stroller taking up the road. Bottom line: go early and just enjoy the whole day! Which brings me to…

Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho

Yes, there are two Riley’s. No, they are not the same. Well, the Riley name is the same, but the owners of the property are different. This was our first year spending the entirety of our day here. It was amazing. We picked our apples on the Botanical Garden side this year. Truthfully, next year we’ll park on this side, but go pick apples across the street at their bigger property as they have a bigger variety of apples over there.

I will go into more details about Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho in another blog post, but here are just a handful of things you can do here:

  1. Apple Pick / Pumpkin Pick (depending when you go)
  2. U-press Apple Cider
  3. Eat at their Restaurant (we didn’t eat here this time as the line was down the road, but it smelled delicious!)
  4. Shop all kinds of yummy treats (even get a fresh baked apple pie to bring home)
  5. Taste different varieties of apples
  6. Petting zoo, pony rides, hay ride, corn maze, horse shoes and corn hole

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Bring a Picnic!

Like I mentioned above, the line for the restaurant was incredibly long and I’m sure it’s amazing. But if you have kids that are anything like my son, he will not want to wait an hour for a table. We always bring our lunch with us and luckily there is a HUGE grassy area to throw down a blanket and eat. There is not a lot of shade so either bring an umbrella or a big hat. They do have a few picnic benches under some trees but those get taken up quickly. You’ll see tons of families with their coolers and kids playing catch. It’s so awesome!

What Time of Year to Go

Personally, *HOT TIP* I would go as soon as they announce it’s time to pick apples. This year apple season came really early so you may have missed the initial announcement, or maybe you didn’t even know they made an announcement. Follow Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho on Facebook and you’ll never miss it again. This year I saw the post but I couldn’t make it out for a couple weeks. By the time we got there, a lot of the bigger and better apples were already gone. The trick is to try and go within a few days of when they release a specie of apple so that you get the first pick.

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What to Bring/Wear

  1. Depends on the weather, but most likely you’ll want to wear a hat and definitely bring sunscreen.
  2. Closed toed shoes. I know you can get hot, but you’ll come home with the dirtiest feet if you wear sandals.
  3. An ice chest/cooler with all of your food, water and snacks. The property is not that big so you can easily just slip back to your car to grab some food or more water.
  4. Backpack. You’ll definitely want to keep your wallet, water and sunscreen on you at all times,
  5. Cash. They do take credit/debit cards. But a couple of food booths only take cash. However, you can purchase with your card inside the store and bring them a voucher. But just bring the cash – it’s easier!

Those are my biggest tips for apple picking in Oak Glen. I’ll be sure to share in more details about Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho on my next blog post.

Do you go apple picking with your family? What are some of your Fall traditions?

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