Disney Parks' Halloween Parties Scare Up Fun Tricks and Treats

Disney Parks' Halloween Parties Scare Up Fun Tricks and Treats

Dress up, meet your favorite characters, and get the good candy all night long during spooky season at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort.

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Ernesto De La Cruz performs at Oogie Boogie Bash.
Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

Fun and festive frights can be found at Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure during Halloween time, as well as at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Disney Parks recently invited io9 to attend both Halloween experiences on a tour filled with tricks and treats; we were delighted to discover that you can take part in the fun whether you are going with kids or are, ahem, a childless millennial.

So grab tickets if you can (Oogie Boogie Bash is sold out but tickets may pop up due to cancellations), pick a costume, see spooky entertainment inspired by Coco and Hocus Pocus, and get as much candy as you can carry through the parks. If you can’t make it in person, scroll through for the next best thing.

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Oogie Boogie Bash

Oogie Boogie Bash

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

Running through October 31 (and unfortunately already sold out), this after-hours Disney California Adventure party is so popular I’d recommend getting tickets the instant they go on sale, because every year they just disappear. I almost missed out myself last year but happened to know someone who could no longer attend—so was able to snatch up tickets in order to see Zombie Captain America at Avengers Campus. There’s just so many new and rare characters to see while you trick or treat in costume. It doesn’t matter how old you are!

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Ernesto de la Cruz

Ernesto de la Cruz

This year the meet and greets raised the bar with this incredible Coco villain trail where you get to witness Ernesto de la Cruz perform. The charismatic face character for this is so good, with incredible makeup work from Imagineering—we still can’t tell if it’s a mask or prosthetics. Either way, it looks like he jumped out of the Land of the Dead. All night, this attraction had the longest line because you just want to stop and watch. Ernesto alternates between some fun improv interactions and two versions of “Remember Me,” but be forewarned, this line moves even if he’s not on stage so good luck catching him. I do think this sort of performance is worth maybe finding a bigger stage for—or even building a new villains show around in the future.

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Minnie and Friends Become the Sanderson Sisters

Minnie and Friends Become the Sanderson Sisters

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle are the perfect Sanderson sisters. Originally, these characters were featured only on the Disney Cruise Halloween on the High Seas seasonal event but they’ve landed at DCA just in time for Hocus Pocus 2.

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House of Harkness

House of Harkness

The performers for Oogie Boogie Bash are top tier because they’re allowed to interact with guests as the characters in fun and inventive new ways. When you meet Agatha, she know and spills all the tea about how it was her all along. Similarly, you can get cool in-universe interactions with Sid from Toy Story, Maleficent, Cruella, Ernesto, Mother Gothel, and Bruno.

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Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

You can even meet video game versions of Disney characters like Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in their Kingdom Hearts gear.

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We Don’t Talk About Bruno

We Don’t Talk About Bruno

New this year is a Bruno meet and greet which brings a slice of the Encanto casita to life.

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Mother Knows Best

Mother Knows Best

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

Another new feature this year: you can meet Mother Gothel from Tangled. Every year Disney brings back popular villains and but also adds new ones.

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Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas

At Disneyland, Jack Skellington can mostly be found at the Haunted Mansion Holiday (more on that in a bit), but he’s also featured in the (kinda too short) Bash’s Frightfully Fun Parade.

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Dessert Parties

Dessert Parties

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

If standing around to wait for the parade is not your thing, you can add on a dessert party, which we were able to partake in, with even more sweets than you can imagine and fun, spooky drinks. So. Much. Sugar.

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Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

If you plan on hitting up Disneyland while on a Halloween trip to the West Coast, the Haunted Mansion Holiday has gone Nightmare Before Christmas already. Here’s a look at the special gingerbread centerpiece in the attraction, which changes every year.

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Gingerbread Is Big as Soon as Fall Hits

Gingerbread Is Big as Soon as Fall Hits

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

If you’re into gingerbread cookies, I’d recommend a detour over to the Grand Californian hotel to buy a special gingerbread zombie cookie, made in-house. They’re the best and I’m so glad they’re now selling them during Halloween in addition to Christmas.

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Spooky Treats

Spooky Treats

Here’s a look at some of the special Halloween-themed desserts available at the Disneyland Resort.

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Halloween at Disneyland

Halloween at Disneyland

If you can’t get into Oogie Boogie Bash, you can still enjoy the spooky season spirit at Disneyland where Minnie and Mickey are decked in their new Halloween looks, also featured on merch and plushies. Select treats and a Halloween Screams fireworks spectacular are also featured throughout the fall.

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

At Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, you can get tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Filled with trick or treat trails, live entertainment, and on-ride character interactions, this event is my favorite for destination travel.

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Meet Powerline

Meet Powerline

You can see Max Goof in his Powerline attire (something not represented on the West Coast) if you’re standing on Main Street right before the event’s parade. I did not know this before my visit, so I missed him, but here’s a look at his costume. Don’t make my mistake and go to parade route along the entrance of the park.

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Boo to You!

Boo to You!

I love the Boo-to-You Parade; the song is an earworm and you get to see so many villains, including deep cuts like Bowler Hat Guy from the underrated Meet the Robinsons. The performance also pulls off the Haunted Mansion ballroom scene with grave-digger sparks and ghosties with finesse like they walked off the attraction. Their Constance floats with hatchet in hand and I don’t know whether to be afraid of her or enthralled. Both. I am both every time.

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Put Some Respect on Haunted Mansion

Put Some Respect on Haunted Mansion

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

At Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion gets transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday—exploring the story of Nightmare Before Christmas—in August. I am going to admit I prefer the Disney World approach, because the Haunted Mansion stays in its classic spooky form through Halloween.

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An Undead Comedy Set

An Undead Comedy Set

The Haunted Mansion really shines during Halloween, and during the party there are amazing comedic ghosts who get it and sass visitors on their way into the ride. I’ve hung out just to see them roast the living. Having real performers on the attractions is such a draw for me because it makes the rides feel more immersive. (Similarly, there are also pirates wandering around the Pirates of the Caribbean ride too.)

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Halloween Exclusive Treats

Halloween Exclusive Treats

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Photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

There are a number of festive treats only available during the party, like this Coco brownie.

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More Treats

More Treats

Pro-tip: research the menu and plan ahead to get any exclusive treats you have your tummy set on early, because the vendors do run out of them.

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Disney Springs Treats

Disney Springs Treats

There’s also a lot of Halloween treat offerings all over the resort including at Disney Springs, which has a Black Candle Flame Cake at Amorette’s Patisserie, a fancy pastry shop by World of Disney.

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Hatbox Ghost Is Materializing Soon at Magic Kingdom

Hatbox Ghost Is Materializing Soon at Magic Kingdom

Next year, a new Halloween icon moves into the Haunted Mansion.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party still has select dates available and runs until October 31 at Walt Disney World.

At Disneyland, the Oogie Boogie Bash is sold out, but you may still be able to find verifiable tickets on the re-sell market.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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