Oogie Boogie Bash Villains in Full Forceby Todd Pickering, contributing writer
The villains of Disney truly take over Oogie Boogie Bash. This event is sold out so for those of you lucky enough to hold tickets we need to let you know that it is packed. Even though 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. seems like enough time for all of your touring plans, you must be thorough to catch everything. There are 9 "Character Sightings" throughout the park. These new socially-distanced stages are absolutely fantastic for selfies as you are able to snap pics in between people in the queues and ten times more people can get pictures. We hope this is here to stay so there are more happy people. Of course we hope that your little ones can soon meet the princesses in Fantasy Faire or Mickey Mouse up close in his house but for the selfie/Instagram culture this is so much more efficient. One of the best things to happen in a new world order.
Characters are always subject to change out and about but on the night we attended we were treated to the gang from Hercules at the Carthay Circle fountain. Three stages and four characters that evening.
Over by Grizzly River Run they have a "Sinister Step and Repeat" and we were treated to Prince John and The Sheriff of Nottingham the night that we were there. You get a picture of your group at one of the back drops and then two more villains before exiting the photo op. If you just want a picture of the characters you have plenty of time to quickly snap a picture before the next group makes it there. Our tip is to get your camera ready and we had both of these characters hamming it up for the camera.
You are allowed into the event at 3 p.m. and given a wrist band and a small goodie bag. Many people bring proper giant bags and they are not shy with the candy. The waits are pretty ridiculous for the attractions initially as day guests are trying to enjoy themselves before the 6 p.m. evening fête. On a hot day our little group was enjoying an iced coffee at Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café and we noticed it was 6:02 p.m. Upon exiting the café to head for our first Treat Trail we saw they were not allowing day guests into this area so the sweep starts very quickly. There are ten treat trails with 8 of them hosted by villains. Behind Soarin' was the trail with Maleficent. Since this area is off to the side Disney had no trouble opening it immediately for treats. No time wasted. She was cold, calm and calculating standing in judgement. Perfect way to start the evening's festivities.
The very next trail was open behind Grizzly River Run and this was 6:15 p.m. so we can speak for these two trails as up and ready to go at the start of this function. The Evil Queen was just as fun as Maleficent preparing her apple and ready to throw anyone in her cauldron. We figure most of them would be ready fairly early but these are the only two we experienced early. The lines would vary from almost no wait to halfway down the street. Disney encourages you to move on and not linger at the villains. If you are respectful of people moving through and stand to the side you can get great pics and enjoy a bit of the performance on these two trails. They have these trails set up very nicely so get your cameras ready upon entering the trail.
One of the most popular additions this year on Pixar Pier is Sid from the original Toy Story film. The line doubles back and forth so you must keep moving here, but you get at least two opportunities to watch and snap pics of him. He teases everyone and to avoid him might be the biggest mistake. He is the ultimate brat and so much fun. You cannot stop but maybe for a moment, but if your phone is ready you can snap so many photos and videos. Continuing counter clockwise we end up at the Treat Trail in Cars Land, which is by Radiator Springs Racers and has no interaction. Upon exiting we saw Lightning McQueen, 'Mater and Cruz Ramirez in their costumes all near or at the Cozy Cone Motel. They simply would not have fit on the trail!
Next, if you enter Avengers Campus, we have the second new villain in Agatha Harkness from the Disney+ show "WandaVision." This trail is in the Ancient Sanctum and she is elevated nicely looking for fellow witches. There is a wee bit of wiggle room to get pictures but again you can see her pretty much the whole time. After passing her though she is definitely behind you, so again get those cameras ready upon entering. We cannot stress this enough. That said, if there is a character that you love and just cannot get enough of you can return as many times as you like, but we recommend going to every trail. Not a bad apple amongst them all…well….
Walk to the entrance of Avengers Campus next and head back towards Buena Vista Street. There is a newer strange gated cul de sac directly behind Carthay Circle Restaurant that houses Dr. Facilier from "Princess and the Frog". He is such a ham and grins from ear to ear. One of the most delightful villains. He was leaving upon our arrival and the parade was about to start. He along with The Evil Queen are in the parade so keep in mind you might have a villain on break upon your visits. We were lucky and saw everyone but caught him leaving. We cannot imagine that this treat trail was not ready at 6 p.m., as it is gated. The map shows a treat trail on Buena Vista St. under the Monorail Bridge and we were told that it is the very last one to open up and the first one to close. We left the park at 11:15 and it had disappeared. We do not think there is any interaction on this one. We feel that many people miss this trail like us as there is so much inside the park to see and enjoy, so on that note let us head towards the last three treat trails all near each other in Hollywood Land.
Mr. Oogie Boogie–the Master of Ceremonies himself–is in the Animation Academy. The screens are full of images from the classic Tim Burton Halloween/Christmas mash-up film; "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The queue keeps moving on this one too, but we snapped loads of pics and loads of video as this creepy, loquacious sack of worms doesn't seem to have a bad angle. No worries on this one. He is up pretty high so we didn't even try and get a selfie. There's probably too much light and movement to try this.
On the Hollywood Backlot Stage across from Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue! (goodness gracious, that is indeed a mouthful) you can find the Emma Stone version of young Cruella. This is the third new character for the second Oogie Boogie Bash. This queue is also not at all conducive to any stopping, but it doubles back a lot and the stage is set with fashion, a Vivienne Westwood style plaid throne for the fashion diva and an elaborate video show ready for a great runway show. She is so beautifully lit and comments on all of the fashions Halloween and regular. There is ample time to snap many pics and videos. We didn't try to get a selfie as once again, there is so much light and movement we felt that she deserved full spotlight. Once again the pictures turned out fabulous, even the back of her couture gown. Loved this addition.
And lastly, we have Tim Burton's version of the Mad Hatter by the Hyperion Theater. Definitely the silliest of villains making fun of everyone's "little hats." Hard to stop and take pics on this line but better selfie opportunities as the light is even and once again if you are quick it shouldn't be a problem. Overall Disney did such a great job with the casting and we laud each and every performer. This event really drives home that Disney truly is in the entertainment business and the professionalism on display makes the candy that much sweeter. Hope you enjoy the dastardly denizens of doom at Disney California Adventure!