Guys, we’ve GOT to talk about Disney’s BOO Bash event.
As you may know, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is not happening this year, and BOO Bash is taking its place. When it was first introduced, it almost appeared as if BOO Bash was going to be a direct replacement for the classic Halloween party. But then, the differences started rolling in! We’re talking changes to hours, prices, entertainment offerings, and SO much more.
Now, we know you may be thinking: “It’s in the name!” After all, BOO Bash is technically called Disney After Hours BOO Bash — and After Hours events tend to differ from holiday parties in quite a few major ways. So does that explain why things aren’t adding up? Is trying to compare prices, entertainment options, and more like comparing apples to oranges, when BOO Bash is actually being marketed as an After Hours event? Well, that’s what we’re about to figure out.
BOO Bash is a 3-hour event that runs from 9PM to midnight (on select nights, the event will run from 9:30PM-12:30AM). However, guests can enter Magic Kingdom without a day ticket as early as 7PM.
By comparison, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party lasted 5 hours, while Villains After Afters was just 3 hours. And again, guests could enter the park with their Villains After Hours ticket at 7PM, before the event officially started. Coincidence? We think not.
When Disney announced the ticket prices for BOO Bash, a LOT of people were shocked. They run from $129-$199, depending on what day you’re visiting (of course, Halloween night will cost ya the most!). By comparison, 2019 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party tickets sold for $79-$135 — again, depending on the night. That October 31st ticket is $64 MORE this year than it was in 2019!
Now, let’s take a look at those After Hours ticket prices — again, using Villains After Hours as an example. Cost did NOT vary based on what day you were attending: in 2020, there was a set cost of $145 if purchased in advance and $155 if purchased on the day of the event. And like BOO Bash (but NOT like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party), tickets were the same for both kids and adults.
Just like with hours, we’re seeing ticket prices line up more with After Hours events than holiday parties. Looks like BOO Bash is living up to its name!
Now, there will be some snacks available for purchase at BOO Bash, like the Apple Ginger Dale Frozen Drink and the Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake. But in the spirit of After Hours events, you’ll also get complimentary snacks like ice cream novelties, popcorn, and select beverages.
Those free snacks (combined with specialty eats for sale!) were a defining feature of the After Hours events. After all, who doesn’t want to chow down on unlimited free popcorn?! By contrast, while there were lots of spooky snacks at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, they’d all cost ya extra.
Fewer Entertainment Options
Since parades and fireworks are currently suspended throughout the Disney parks, it’s not too surprising that they won’t be featured in BOO Bash. Instead, we’re getting character appearances (but not meet-and-greets) and cavalcades featuring Mickey and friends, villains, and Jack Skellington.
Now, parades and fireworks were a component of both Villains After Hours and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party (remember the Villains Cursed Caravan?!). So these changes seem to have less to do with how BOO Bash is being marketed, and more to do with current health and safety regulations throughout the parks.
Keep in mind that we ARE still seeing a few features of Halloween parties past here, in the form of trick-or-treating and spooky music/lighting. But it’s safe to say the “extra” experiences will be vastly different this year than they usually are. And notably, we have yet to hear if the attraction overlays featured in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Villains After Hours will be a part of this new event!
At the end of the day, this is the Halloween event we’re gonna get at Disney World this year. That means that while Disney is marketing it as an After Hours event, when ya really look at it, this is still some form of a replacement for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. So naturally, people are going to compare the two!
Now, the After Hours features do help explain why BOO Bash is SO expensive when compared to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (just check out those Villains After Hours prices!). But ultimately, it’s up to YOU to weigh the cost versus the benefits and decide if this is the event for you.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about what BOO Bash is shapin’ up to be this year. Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney news!
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Are you going to BOO Bash this year? Let us know in the comments!