Home Boo Bash Review: Is Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash worth the price?

Review: Is Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash worth the price?

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Review: Is Disney's After Hours Boo Bash worth the price?
Credit: KtP

Disney’s Halloween offering is looking a little different from previous years now that they are hosting an After Hours event instead of the traditional party. So, was Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash worth the price we paid for this new experience?

Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash

Credit: Kenny the Pirate

Disney decided not to host Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year, much to the dismay of fans. I (Jamie) was incredibly disappointed that we would go another year without the Halloween party. I am a HUGE Not So Scary Halloween Party fan.

Disney has offered us After Hours Boo Bash as an alternative. After Hours Boo Bash is a special ticketed event celebrating Halloween that takes place on select evenings in August, September, and October.

This event has faced originally faced harsh criticism due to high pricing and extreme frustration from Disney fans trying to originally purchase tickets.

Credit: Jamie F

Fans were also stunned when Disney initially sold out tickets on several nights, and then released new tickets to those sold out events! Did Disney increase capacity to their limited capacity event? The capacity of these events has still not been released, but I’ll touch on my thoughts on the capacity and how crowded the event was as well here.

I went into my Boo Bash event with the mindset that this is not Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I think this point is crucial for anyone who is attending:

Do not go into Boo Bash expecting it to be anything like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure! The events are not the same, and expecting them to be is just cheating yourself of the experience. So with that in mind, here’s what I experienced.

Crowd level

Credit: Jamie F

I’m starting with crowd level because for me it was a huge factor in determining if the price was worth it. Is it worth it to pay a little extra to have your favorite Theme Park seemingly to yourself? The ability to walk on rides with little to no wait? The chance to walk around a mostly empty Magic Kingdom?

Well for me, absolutely it is! But is that what I experienced?

Sadly, it isn’t. I’ve been to After Hours in Animal Kingdom before, so I was channeling my experience there. I’m not sure if I was spoiled the first time around, but my Boo Bash experience was not quite the low crowds I had hoped for.

Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly lower crowds. We were able to do many attractions with no wait, and waited for a short amount of time for others. Main Street was virtually deserted most of the night, so anyone who desires some empty Main Street pictures or leisurely shopping in the Emporium is sure to be thrilled.

Credit: Jamie F

Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland were slightly more crowded. There were definitely people walking around, and the usual areas that get congested with people (between Peter Pan’s Flight and it’s a small world”) certainly filled up. But for the most part, we could navigate through these areas easily.

Frontierland was a completely different story. It may have been because many wanted to catch the Halloween cavalcades as they came through here, or that so many wanted to ride Splash Mountain (closed!) and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This area felt like a normal day in Magic Kingdom. Packed!

So was it “lower crowds” as advertised? Yes, it was, but it was most definitely not an empty park. Do I think it was worth paying extra for this ticket for the lower crowds I experienced? Definitely.

Attractions

Screenshot showing Boo Bash wait times: My Disney Experience

For me, one of the main draws of an After Hours event is the low crowds and the ability to walk on to our favorite attractions with little or even no waits! So, did this “sold out” event that continued to sell tickets live up to wait time expectations?

Screenshot showing Boo Bash wait times: My Disney Experience

The wait times we experienced were mostly very low. On average, most rides sat at about a 5 to 10 minute wait, but most of them we walked straight on. Other more popular rides like 7 Dwarfs Mine Train showed a 20 minute wait all evening, but we only waited 10 minutes.

Snacks

Credit: Jamie F

After Hours draws you in with the promise of unlimited ice cream treats (Mickey bars!), popcorn, and beverages.

As promised, there was plenty of ice cream, popcorn, and beverages, but they were not available until 9:30 pm.

Credit: Jamie F

The lines for these offerings were often quite long, but they did move fairly quickly. We definitely got our fill of Mickey bars and popcorn and were grateful that besides the bottled Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite, we were also offered water.

There were also some exclusive Boo Bash treats for sale. We went in with full intentions of trying them all, but ate one too many Mickey bars and way too much candy from our trick or treat bags and had no room!

Trick or Treat

Credit: Jamie F

One of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party offerings, Trick or Treating, made its way to Boo Bash.

For the most part, nothing has really changed with the Trick or Treating! Attendees can pick up their trick or treat bags when they enter the party or at any of the Trick or Treat stops throughout Magic Kingdom.

A crowded Trick or Treat line. Credit: Jamie F

Guests get in an often crowded line, move through quickly, and get treated with handfuls and handfuls of candy! They say Cast Members are more generous with the candy as the night goes on, and we found that to be true! The lines we got in at the end of the night gave us more for sure.

We got more candy than we were able to eat and had a blast doing it!

Our stash at the end of the night! Credit: Jamie F

Entertainment

Credit: Jamie F

In my opinion, entertainment is where After Hours Boo Bash falls short. If you are comparing entertainment to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I think you’re sure to be disappointed. Boo Bash offers entertainment in the form of Halloween cavalcades, the Dapper Dans as the Cadaver Dans, and a dance party in Tomorrowland.

The Halloween cavalcades are excellent! Each of them is a piece broken off of Mickey’s Boo to You parade from the Halloween parties of the past. In 2020, Disney offered these cavalcades to us throughout the day as part of the regular admission. If you want to see them this year, you’ll have to pay to attend Boo Bash.

Credit: Jamie F

Each of the cavalcades only appear twice throughout the party, but Disney does share the times so you can catch them if they are important to you. We enjoyed the cavalcades and interacting with the characters, but we did feel a little bit let down. Traditionally, I do love the cavalcades, but they seem like way too little for a special ticketed event.

Disney can do better in the form of a parade. If the event is really low capacity as they advertise, and the reason for not holding parades is to ensure Guests are not crowding areas as Disney states, then why can’t they hold a parade during an After Hours event?

We can speculate the reason all we want, but the bottom line here is:

Disney can, and should, do better than this.

There will be the traditional Christmas parade at Very Merriest this year along with the traditional Christmas fireworks, so it looks like Disney is learning from their mistakes.

Character sightings

Credit: Jamie F

Character sightings are another area in which Boo Bash really falls short. Disney can have more characters out greeting Guests, even at a distance.

You can catch several characters in their Halloween best though, and they are ready to party! We had fun interacting with the few characters we did see, but we were definitely left wanting more.

Check out all of the characters you can spot at Boo Bash HERE.

Overall thoughts

Credit: Jamie F

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Boo Bash and I certainly feel it was worth the cost. The low(er) crowds definitely made for a great attraction experience. Trick or treating was fun and all-you-can-eat Mickey bars are always welcome here!

The entertainment and character sightings were a disappointment. These two options were really not much different than what we experience on a regular visit to Magic Kingdom.

Credit: Jamie F

Disney can and should do better. I’m hoping all of those who attend Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours get a better experience in entertainment, because they are certainly paying for it!

Would I go again? Yes, definitely! But I’d still prefer to see the return of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Here’s hoping for 2022!

What are your thoughts on Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash? Share them with us on Kenny the Pirate’s Facebook page, or join our crew and continue the discussion!

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5 COMMENTS

  1. We have been to Disney over 20 times and have to say that other than the haunted house it is the most overrated, disappointing and expensive event we have ever attended. We understand the Marketing and Business reasoning to hold the event, it is definitely not worth the time or expense. We would have left within an hour if we hadn’t spent so much on the event.

  2. We went to the Boo Bash last night, and did not feel it was worth the money at all. Yes, the lines for rides were shorter, but the big attractions (like Mine Train) still had a wait time of 35 minutes. Even Jungle Cruise had a wait time of like 20 minutes, so not much different from what we experienced in Magic Kingdom on Sunday. It was sprinkling while we were there, so some of the cavalcade and the cadaver Dan’s were canceled. It was such a let down for the high price tag. I would never recommend this event to someone.

  3. We went on September 12th. We got there at 8:00 and there was a technical problem with our wrist bands that took an hour to resolve. So, now we enter park at a bit past 9. It was dark and gloomy. NOT worth the price. Not even comparable to MNSSHP. The crowds were low, for sure, but we still had only three hours to squeeze as many rides in as possible. Got in a few. We didn’t eat the snacks, did a little trick-or-treating, saw one cavalcade. Then we left. over $500 for four of us wasted. Never again.

  4. We did 3rd boo bash and lines for mine train and other big rides were 40min at 11:30. Photographers were 45 min late in 2 areas and not all special shots advertised were available. Rupenzal land had lanterns as usual. Calvacades started while Cadaver Dan’s were singing so they walked off. 3 hrs was not enough time. Only saw chip and Dale.

  5. I attended the Boo Bash on Tuesday 9/24 when it was a four hour deluge. In all honesty, it should have been cancelled. I was told it wasn’t safe enough with the lightening for characters, cavalcade a or the popcorn man, but how then is it safe for little children in strollers with four inch puddles? I know they knew they were wrong because they offered free park passes but I asked to return on Friday because my daughter was so disappointed. Friday was fun and I agree the wait times were good but I also experienced lower wait times on the 31st without an after hours event. Definitely lacked in Halloween atmosphere, and we saw almost no characters at the event. Snacks were nice but not much variety. For my family, overall, not worth the price.

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