It’s time for the ultimate Disney Halloween Party showdown. Each year Disney parks on both coasts host exclusive, hard-ticketed, limited-capacity festive parties. For most of us, venturing to both is simply out of the question. Let’s talk Oggie Boogie Bash vs Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party kicks off the season first, with parties at Magic Kingdom beginning in August. In the past tickets have ranged from $109 – $199 for adults, depending on the date.
The party officially starts at 7:00 p.m., but you can enter the park as early as 4:00 p.m. with your ticket. While the park will officially close at 6:00 p.m., partygoers can enjoy the event until midnight!
Oogie Boogie Bash holds its first party of the season at Disney California Adventure, in early September. Slightly pricier than MNSSHP, tickets start at $119 for adults and can be as high as $209 on Halloween night.
California Adventure will close to day guests at 6:00 p.m. when the party begins. Your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket will get you in the park as early as 3:00 p.m. The party goes until 11:00 p.m.
Trick or Treat Trails
Asking strangers for candy is the bread and butter of Halloween, and this holds true at the Disney parties. Both have a collection of walk-through queues where cast members will dole out handfuls of candy. There are a few components that define quality trails:
Quantity: Mickey’s Not So Scary wins here with 15 treat trails, including several inside of attractions. OBB has just 10.
Candy Distribution: Both parties have roughly the same type of candy, but one stands out here. Oogie Boogie Bash has more stations per trail and cast members will load you up. Some of the OBB trails also have sun chips, grapes, and apple slices. Does it make me feel old to say I want apple slices for Halloween? Absolutely, but variety is the spice of life.
Location and Spread: Those 15 trails at Mickey’s Halloween Party are all over the park, and it’s not a small one. At Oogie Boogie Bash there may be fewer trails but they’re closer together and you’ll want to hit each more than once – trust me.
Treat Trail Winner – Oogie Boogie Bash
There’s not contest when it comes to characters at these dual coast Halloween parties. Oogie Boogie Bash wins by a landslide, and let me tell you why. The party is absolutely littered with villains and rare meet and greets. I nearly ran into the evil witch from Snow White making my way to a treat trail.
Oh, and the treat trails have characters. Nine of the ten treat trails host a Disney villain from Cruella to Mother Gothel and the man of the hour himself, Oogie Boogie. You can find ultra rare characters like King Richard and Madam Mim throughout the park. Not to mention the holy grail of Halloween party cameos – Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle as the Sanderson Sisters.
Mickey’s Not So Scary has fun meet and greets, including Jack and Sally and the Seven Dwarves. But the lines to meet these characters are hours long. There are some roaming characters as well including Cinderella’s evil step sisters and characters from Alice in Wonderland. While it’s fun to see them walking around the parks, they’re not particularly related to the holiday. And this is pretty typical back in Disneyland every day (which is one reason it’s superior to Magic Kingdom).
Winner – Oogie Boogie Bash
It pains me to give either of these parties a point since the OBB overlays are not party exclusive and MNSSHP overlays are boring. Sorry, not sorry.
California Adventure has a seasonal version of Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout, Tow-Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. They’re all winners but you don’t need an Oogie Boogie Bash ticket to experience them.
You can also find Villains Grove, an immersive walkthrough experience at the Redwood Creek Challenge. Areas along the trail are decorated with special lighting effects to represent different Disney villains. This is actually a really cool concept but for me the execution falls a bit short. It feels like waiting in line for Haunted Mansion Holiday only to find out it’s just normal Haunted Mansion. Villains Grove is incomplete, it needs some kind of interaction or kinetic activity.
Over in Magic Kingdom we have Deep Space Mountain, where they turn all the lights off, Graveyard ghosts at Haunted Mansion, and a special lighting package at the Mad Tea Party. The Graveyard ghosts are a lot of fun and defiantly a highlight each year, but the line moves so quickly that you won’t get much time with them.
Winner – Mickey’s Not So Scary, I guess.
The differences between each party’s parade are night and day, and the winner will really depend on your preference. Oogie Boogie Bash is a very villain heavy parade with specialized floats for characters like Dr. Facilier and Cheshire Cat that you won’t get at Magic Kingdom. The Frightfully Fun Parade runs from Paradise Gardens to Avenger’s Campus.
It’s nearly impossible to navigate California Adventure during the parade. You are stuck in one half of the park completely unable to cross over for at least 10 minutes after the parade, which is already 20 minutes. Considering the party is just 5 hours it’s upsetting that your ability to access parts of the event is severely hindered for twenty percent of it.
Boo to You! is the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party parade, which runs from Frontierland to Main Street. Floats in this parade are much more family friendly featuring the Fab Five as well as a sprinkling of select villains and rare characters. The soundtrack is infamous among its fans and catchier than Small World.
Parade Winner – Mickey’s Not So Scary. While I love the special guests and more sinister vibes of Oogie Boogie Bash Frightfully Fun Parade, nothing beats a parade on Main Street. Added bonus, Boo to You! doesn’t block major traffic arteries in the park.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party hosts the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular as well as Mickey’s Not So Scary Spooktacular. There is no nighttime entertainment at Oogie Boogie Bash.
Hocus Pocus is a stage show featuring the three Sanderson sisters and an entourage of every Disney Villain you can name. It takes place 5-6 times per night, depending on the date, and is extremely popular. Viewing near Cinderella’s Castle gets extremely crowded for this must see show, even for the final performance at midnight.
Mickey’s Spooktacular is a firework spectacular hosted by a larger than life Jack Skellington. The skies are illuminated as Mickey, Minnie, and friends take you on a journey through a haunted house. The show takes place just one time per party making it a bit of a Hunger Games situation to get anywhere neat the castle hub. You can see the fireworks from almost anywhere in the park but the caste projection show and giant Jack puppet are only visible at the end of Main Street.
Nighttime Entertainment Winner – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Its so hard to play favorites, but for me the winner in this Halloween Showdown is Oogie Boogie Bash. When attending one of these events my priority is experiences that aren’t otherwise available. Sure, you can argue that Mickey’s Not So Scary has more of these experiences in the nighttime entertainment alone. But, you can watch those shows on YouTube – in better quality and without fighting the crowds.
Oogie Boogie Bash with it’s character laden trick or treat trails and villain heavy presence just does it for me. It’s the more grown-up of the two parties with an emphasis on big-kid rides, scary characters, and alcohol. It’s giving college Halloween party, and I cannot get enough.
However, if I was attending with children I’d go with Mickey’s Not So Scary. This event is more kid friendly with an emphasis on family fun and classic characters. The nighttime shows give adults a special something to make up for the sugar sweet version of the holiday Magic Kingdom represents.
So, which would you like to attend?