Although Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party didn’t return for 2021, we instead got a special after hours event: Disney’s Boo Bash. When pricing was released I was a bit hesitant like many others, but decided to give it a go. Ultimately I’m really glad I did and I felt like I got my money’s worth, but I’ll discuss everything in more detail below. Boo Bash was definitely one of the best extra events I’ve done at Disney! It’s sold out for this year, but since this event may be back or others like it, I figured I’d share my experience and thoughts.
The basics about Disney’s Boo Bash
What it is
Boo Bash is advertised as an “after hours event”, which is different from a “party.” This is important because if you’ve been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, that’s not what this is. There are some similarities but overall it’s a very different event.
This after hours event is Halloween themed, but it’s still mainly a chance to spend extra time in the parks after they close to do a number of attractions with small crowds and some basic themeing. There is some entertainment and special things but nothing along the lines of what you might be used to from the Halloween Party.
When it is
Boo Bash is offered select nights from mid-August through Halloween. We attended on a Tuesday night, August 31st. The after hours event starts at either 9:00pm or 9:30pm depending on the night and lasts for 3 hours (ending at either midnight or 12:30am). With your Boo Bash ticket you can get into the park starting at 7pm – you can’t enter Magic Kingdom earlier unless you have both a valid day ticket and a park pass reservation for Magic Kingdom (or you are park hopping). Our event started at 9:30pm and we arrived around 8:30pm. You can do attractions but keep in mind that the actual after hours special events, like photos or character sightings, don’t start until 9/9:30.
How much it costs
Boo Bash tickets range in price depending on the date from about $125-200 per person. You do not need a theme park ticket in addition to this (unless you are wanting to visit the parks prior to 7:00pm). The August/September dates are typically cheaper and October is more expensive. There are annual pass and DVC discounts for select dates only.
What you get
- A number of attractions are open and you can ride with minimal wait times
- Everyone can wear costumes, including adults
- There are small entertainment opportunities around the park
- Ice cream, popcorn, and soft drinks are included
- Special photopass opportunities are avaiable exlusive to Boo Bash
- Character cavalcades (there is no full parade but mini ones)
- Character “sightings” (no character meet and greets)
- Trick or Treating available for everyone
- Treats and merchandise exclusive to the Boo Bash event are available to purchase
- No fireworks show
Attractions during Disney’s Boo Bash
Most people who attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party do it for the entertainment, the characters, or the atmosphere – not necessarily to ride rides. That, however, is basically the main point of an after hours event like Boo Bash and we were able to get a lot of rides in.
We spent a decent amount of time taking pictures and watching cavalcades, and we didn’t stay until 12:30am (we left around midnight). Even so, from our arrival at 8:30pm we were able to ride Jungle Cruise, Pirates, Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and the Peoplemover (we also sat at Monsters Laugh Floor for about 15 minutes).
I believe we could have done a lot more but we were taking it easy and checking out other stuff. I really think if our priority was just to do rides/attractions we probably could have done every single one that was available during the after hours event in the time we had.
Almost every single attraction was a literal walk-on. The only thing we waited for was Haunted Mansion, which was probably less than 10 minutes. We saw a small line for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train as well, but otherwise there was no wait. Not only that, but it was so empty we even got a private car or train half the time. Space Mountain there was no one else in our entire rocket!
These are cute little “mini parades” that go down Frontierland and Main Street at scheduled times 2-3 times during the event. They are basically one float with characters on it, plus some characters or dancers on the ground with music. Cavalcades included:
- Mickey and Friends dressed for Halloween
- Disney Villains
- Nightmare Before Christmas
- Maleficent Dragon
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I actually liked the cavalcades better than a parade. I like not having to camp out for an entire parade. If I knew when a cavalcade was happening I could take just 5-10 minutes to get on the route and see it. It felt so much easier and less stress that way. Quick and and easy, then on to something else!
There are no character meet and greets at Disney’s Boo Bash, which was a major part of the Halloween Party. While I enjoy seeing rare characters, the lines were getting really long for that sort of thing and I don’t think it was worth the time. I actually like seeing the characters in a more “natural” way and how they interact with guests even at a bit of a distance. Honestly, it’s kind of nice to see them get creative rather than just continually pose for photos and sign autographs.
We didn’t make a point to go out of our way to see these but you certainly could – we at least caught some of the more rare characters from Pinocchio at Pinocchio’s Village Haus while we were going in to trick or treat!
There are photopass photographers all throughout the park during Disney’s Boo Bash event, and it seemed like all of them had some sort of magic shot exclusive to Boo Bash. While we didn’t stop at all of them we did get some. These are the ones we experienced:
- Maleficent Dragon
- 3 kids from Nightmare Before Christmas
- A Cauldron
They did the magic shots in addition to taking your pictures as they normally do and having you do a few fun poses. We usually waited maybe 5 minutes at each photographer. But it was so empty in the parks that there’s hardly anyone in the background of our photos. Even right on Main Street by the castle at 10:30pm, smack dab in the middle of the after hours event!
Normally when you visit a Disney theme park during the day you can’t wear a costume unless you’re under 12 years old. But for Boo Bash everyone can wear a costume – so of course we did! (Have you met me? I’m a sucker for a costume!).
We dressed up as Wanda and Vision, the Marvel characters. I decided to go with the Halloween costumes they wore on the Halloween episode of WandaVision, which is their more traditional superhero look. I put everything together myself and thought it worked out really well. Lots of people got excited when they saw us throughout the night and people would yell “I love you Wanda!”
There are some basic costume requirements that you can find on Disney’s website, like not wearing a full mask that covers your face (except your face mask for COVID, of course!), capes or dresses can’t drag on the ground, no realistic looking weapons, etc.
I would say probably less than half of the people attending were in costumes, but those who were did a great job. We saw some amazing ones, including a full Prince Hans outit. Most other people wore some sort of themed or costume t-shirt.
There are some free snacks included with your Boo Bash ticket. These include:
- Ice cream – Mickey bars, Mickey ice cream sandwiches, fruit bars
- Drinks: bottled water, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite
Not every snack location had every item – some might ony have the ice cream and drinks, so you’d have to go somewhere else to get popcorn. However it seemed like there were snack stations around every corner so it was easy to find what you wanted. These did get some lines but they moved really quickly since there’s no financial transaction involved.
There are also specialty party treats available for purchase but we passed on these. Nothing seemed particularly appealing to me and we were good with Mickey Bars and popcorn!
Trick or Treating
There are also a number of spots around Magic Kingdom where you can trick or treat and spot to get candy. This is available for all ages. We only did two stops since candy wasn’t really a priority for us, but you could easily accumulate a ton of candy doing this!
They partner with Mars so our candy included Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, Starburst, Skittles, and Dove chocolate. There are also allergy friendly options available and you can get a special teal bag to indicate that.
Don’t miss at Disney’s Boo Bash
There are some “extra” things happening at Boo Bash that don’t get the same advertising and attention as things like trick or treating and cavalcades. Many of these were some of the highlights of the event, so I recommend taking some time to check it out. Some of our favorites included:
Entertainment outside the Haunted Mansion
One of the ghosts sits outside of the Haunted Mansion and just chats with guests. Her improv skills are amazing. She will talk about things and ask questions to the crowd, which she then responds to. It was right at the exit of the Haunted Mansion so many people walked right by on their way to the next attraction, but I recommend stopping to take it in!
Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
The Laugh Floor is actually a designated trick or treat spot for the Boo Bash, but when we went in to get candy they had a mini show going on and some people were sitting and watching. Two of the entertainers came on and did some improv bits like you’d normally get during the show, but in a much more casual atmosphere. While the performers took a break they put the faces up on the screen with captions which is always funny as well. I could have spent a lot of time in here sitting and laughing!
Don’t expect to find them on Main Street – the Cadaver Dans are actually in Frontierland. If yu’re a fan of the Dapper Dans, the barber shop quartet who performs on Main Street during the day, you’ll want to catch their more ghostly counterparts for a few songs.
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Is Disney’s Boo Bash worth it?
The big question, and what most people want to know – is it worth the price? I’ll be honest, I was very hesitant and leery about this event due to the cost and fully expected to feel a bit ripped off. However, I actually feel like I got my money’s worth.
I’m still shocked at how empty the park was – it said online that night was sold out but I’ve never seen the parks so empty. We really didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes for anything, and most things we did there was no wait at all. In general I feel like my time is valuable but that’s also true at theme parks, so feeling like I could make very good use of my time there without waiting around was a huge perk for me.
I know some people were saying less is available without character meets or fireworks, but I actually like that better. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or like I really had to hustle to get my money’s worth and fit it all in.
I would definitely do it again at the price I paid, which was about $125 per person with my annual pass discount. But I would probably do it at a higher price too – the $200 price point for Halloween is pushing it, but I would still strongly consider it depending on what else I had planned for the trip and who I was with.
That being said, I don’t know if I would be willing to pay as much for the Christmas after hours event that they announced. For that one the fireworks and the parade are coming back, and I’d honestly rather have the cavalcades than a parade! Those things take up a lot of your time and you only have 4 hours (slightly longer than the Boo Bash at least). The cost for the Christmas event is more too, hitting $250 the week of Christmas. I also just love being able to get dressed up an take so many fun pictures at the Halloween event – yes, wearing a costume is a big selling point for me!
Overall I fully expected to be pretty critical of this event but it was easily one of the best things I’ve done and I enjoyed all of our time there. It felt more relaxed, less stressful than the parties have been for me, and I really felt like I got to do a lot. I’m sure Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party will be back next year but I’d love to see more after hours events like this in the future!
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Are you going to Disney’s Boo Bash this year? Would you do it in the future?