We’re #HalfwayToHalloween and Disney has already shared some BIG news about how we’ll be celebrating spooky season in the parks this year.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will not be available, but Disney After Hours BOO BASH, a new event, will be taking its place! Disney has shared some of the details about BOO BASH, but we still have so many questions about the event and about how Halloween in general will be celebrated in Disney World this year.
Let’s take a look now at all of the things Disney hasn’t quite explained yet about the upcoming Halloween season in Disney World.
1.Will There Be Cavalcades and Other Halloween Entertainment During the Day?
Typically guests at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties get the unique opportunity to watch Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade. This parade is absolutely SPECTACULAR and really one of the biggest perks of being able to go to the parties. Guests at the parties also get the chance to watch the Cadaver Dans (the ghoulish counterparts to the Dapper Dans) perform during the parties as well.
Last year, since there were no Halloween Parties in Magic Kingdom, Disney offered spooktacular Halloween-themed cavalcades during the day that all guests got to enjoy. These cavalcades were pretty extensive and in many ways were a mini version of the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade. We even got to hear the Boo-To-You music being played during parts of the cavalcades and watch some rare villains walk past!
Guests also got to watch the Cadaver Dans perform in the parks throughout the day last year.
For BOO BASH, Disney has announced that there will be Halloween-themed cavalcades for guests to enjoy during the event and the Cadaver Dans will be performing. So that leaves us with this question — if the Halloween-themed cavalcades and the Cadaver Dans will be available during the special, ticketed event, will they also be available during the day? Or, as it was with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, will this entertainment ONLY be available to those who pay to attend the party?
We think it is likely that Disney will only offer these specific Halloween-themed entertainment offerings during the party. If all guests can see them during the day, then they would take away the benefits or perks of paying for a separate ticket to attend the party. Many guests might feel like buying a ticket to the BOO BASH event is not worth it if they can just see the Halloween entertainment during the day and those who do buy a ticket may feel like they are overpaying for an experience they could have just gotten with an ordinary park ticket.
Restricting the Halloween cavalcades and Cadaver Dans to only be available during BOO BASH will likely encourage more guests to attend and provide an added value to buying that special event ticket. But, Disney has not yet commented on whether these specific entertainment offerings will be available during the day, so we’ll have to wait for more details to find out for sure!
2. Will There Be Halloween-Themed Food That is Exclusive to the Party?
Again, in previous years when Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was offered, there would be some Halloween-themed food that would be EXCLUSIVE to the parties. That meant that if you wanted to try one of those items you had to buy a ticket and attend the party to get it.
Last year, because there were no parties, we saw some of those exclusive items become available to everyone throughout the entire day.
Disney has shared that BOO BASH will feature themed food and beverages available for purchase. So that leaves us with the question — will some of those themed food and beverage items be exclusive to the party?
We would expect that, just as it was when Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was in full swing, some treats will likely just be exclusive to the After Hours event. Again, this provides an added value to the event overall and makes it more desirable for guests to attend. Some might think, “Why shell out the cash for the event if you can get all of the same stuff during the day?” Making some or most of the treats at the event exclusive to BOO BASH would likely encourage more people to attend.
3. Will the Entertainment Be Different Than What We Saw Last Year?
In terms of entertainment at BOO BASH, so far Disney has shared that there will be themed cavalcades, the Cadaver Dans will perform, and there will be character sightings throughout the park.
We already know some things at this party will be different than they were last year at the parks during Halloween as Disney has specified that characters like Dr. Facilier and Captain Barbosa will be lurking about. These are two characters we did not see at all during Halloween last year.
But, the question still remains, how different will the remaining entertainment offerings be? Will the cavalcades be exactly the same as they were last year? Will new characters appear on them? Will they keep the Boo-to-You music?
We expect that Disney will likely make some changes to the cavalcades (perhaps even in small ways — different character costumes, etc.) to bring some uniqueness to the event. But, we also expect that they will likely keep some of the pieces fans love the most. We certainly hope that includes the Boo-To-You music, but we’ll have to wait to find out!
4. Will Any Rides Be Uniquely Themed During the Party?
During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in previous years select rides have received a spooky overlay during the party. While select attractions will be open during the party, Disney has not yet mentioned whether any overlays will make an appearance during BOO BASH.
Many of the overlays we’ve seen in the past likely would not present distancing or COVID-19 related concerns. The ones involving actors generally have those actors at a distance from guests, or can potentially be modified to arrange for it to be that way. So we think Disney could bring these back, at least from a safety perspective. But, what Disney will actually do remains to be seen.
5. How Will Candy Be Distributed?
Previously, at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, there were LARGE buckets of candy throughout the park. As you went trick-or-treating, Cast Members would reach into the buckets to provide you with your candy.
Disney has said that there will be “Candy stops, with plenty of sweet surprises” during BOO BASH, but hasn’t specified exactly how that will all be handled. Will the Cast Members simply hand you the candy like before? It seems that may be unlikely due to COVID-19 concerns unless the Cast Members are wearing gloves or if the situation with the pandemic has sufficiently changed by then.
Will the candy be laid out on tables for guests to take? Will it be pre-bagged in sets for guests to take? It’s not clear but we’ll definitely be on the lookout for updates!
6. Will There Be Other Entertainment?
Again, in years past when Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has been available, there have been special stage shows and Halloween fireworks at the parties for guests to enjoy.
In its announcement about BOO BASH and on the BOO BASH website, Disney does NOT mention anything about fireworks, stage shows, or other specific entertainment (other than the things we’ve mentioned above — cavalcades, character appearances, Cadaver Dans, etc.)
Does that mean that those entertainment offerings won’t be available at all? That’s what it looks like at the moment. Stage shows and fireworks have been suspended for quite some time due to distancing concerns as related to COVID-19.
Disney may announce that these offerings will be available at other parties in the future. They may be waiting to see how the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines develops before deciding to include any such offerings.
It’s possible that even if we don’t get a FULL fireworks show during the parties, we could get some small fireworks and flares like we did last year during Christmastime in Magic Kingdom. We could also get some Castle projections for Halloween like we did at Christmas.
Those are obviously more limited in scope than a full fireworks spectacular, but they could be a great added benefit for those attending the event. Disney hasn’t announced that either of these will be available at the moment so for now you should not expect them to be available during BOO BASH, but we’ll keep an eye out for more updates.
7. Will There Be After Hours BOO BASH Specific Merchandise?
During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, guests could usually pick up some party-exclusive merchandise. We even found a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party mug last year at a discount store for the parties that might have been.
We expect that there will likely be BOO BASH-exclusive items but Disney has not yet announced that yet. We got a sneak peek at some new spooky collections coming later this year, but no specific mention of BOO BASH merchandise…yet.
8. What Will Be Complimentary at BOO BASH?
Disney has already shared that candy spots will be available throughout the party and presumably, just like they were at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, these will be complimentary. Disney has also shared that there will be themed food and beverages available for purchase. The question we have is whether anything (other than presumably the candy) will be complimentary?
Typically, at Disney’s regular After Hours events select novelties, popcorn, and drinks at carts around the park are unlimited and included. At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween parties though, usually only the candy is free. So, will this event only include the candy or will it be a sort-of hybrid event and include things like select drinks at carts as well? We think it will likely lean closer to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party and only offer candy as a complimentary item, but we’ll have to wait to find out!
9. How Will They Handle Some of the Technicalities?
We’ve got a lot of questions regarding some of the technicalities related to the party. What will capacity be limited to? The Disney BOO BASH page does say that “Disney After Hours BOO BASH offers low wait times at some of your favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom park.”
We expect that means capacity will be limited to even LESS than the full capacity the park is at right now (35% capacity is what the parks are currently operating at based on what Disney has shared). But, Disney could increase overall capacity by the time we get to August (when the first parties begin), so we’ll have to wait and see how the crowds are.
We’re also wondering what the pricing will be, and when exactly will we be able to buy tickets (we know it’s next month but the exact date hasn’t been specified). Also, will they use a wristband system like other parties in the past? There are a lot of things that we’re looking for details on!
10. How Many Decorations Can We Expect for Halloween in Disney World?
And finally we reach our final and probably one of the biggest questions about Halloween decorations. Disney’s BOO BASH webpage does say that there will be “special decor [and] lighting” during the After Hours event. And typically we do see quite a few Halloween decorations — particularly those signature Mickey Jack-O-Lanterns — throughout the park during the entire day.
We have a few questions here. What special lighting will we see during the After Hours event? And perhaps the biggest question of all is whether any of the Halloween decorations will be changed or toned down in terms of quantity or anything like that because Disney World will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary starting in October.
The BOO BASH parties start in August of this year. Presumably Disney will want to have some if not all of its Halloween decorations up before then. And the parties will last through October 31st. Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebrations start on October 1st. Cinderella Castle has already received part of its very royal-looking makeover. Will that makeover clash with Mickey pumpkins? Will Disney reduce or change the decorations to fit the look of the 50th Anniversary more?
It’s not clear yet, but you can bet we’ll be looking for any kind of update on the Halloween decorations situation.
And that’s our list of questions (for now) about Halloween in Disney World. Hopefully we’ll get answers to many of these questions in the coming weeks and months, and when we do we’ll share that information with you.
Click here to see what’s the difference between Disney World’s After Hours BOO BASH and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
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