These events happen after the parks close and usually include complimentary snacks and drinks and shorter lines for the rides! Some events offered more, like special entertainment and ride overlays at the Villains After Hours! This year, two after hours events have replaced normal holiday parties in Disney World. Are these After Hours events here to stay? Or will we see the holiday parties back later?
The After Hours Boo Bash and Disney Very Merriest After Hours event are replacing Disney World’s usual Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year. Both replacements are after hours events, meaning they take place in the parks once normal park hours are over.
Guests with tickets to Boo Bash (but not Magic Kingdom park tickets for that day) can still enter the park a little earlier than the official start time. They’ll be allowed inside starting at 7PM, which was the start time for the party at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary. Guests could go inside Magic Kingdom for Not-So-Scary starting at 4PM. This 7PM start rather than the 4PM start makes it a much later night for guests with younger kids.
Some people have said this will make it more difficult for them to attend the event! A reader mentioned this: “The 9pm [official] start time is just a no go for a lot of parents trying to keep some semblance of a sleep schedule.”
We asked our readers if they thought the after hours events were here to stay! On our Instagram poll, more than half (55%) of the respondents said they think the after hours holiday parties are NOT here to stay — they’re hoping the old parties are coming back!
In addition, the Boo Bash event is significantly more expensive than Mickey’s Not-So-Scary, even though the after hours event is only three hours long compared to Not-So-Scary’s five hour party.
Our readers mentioned that the time difference wasn’t as big of a problem as the lack of extra entertainment options: “If that [the After Hours events] had everything a party had to offer even if it was less time I wouldn’t mind paying the price and keeping them around. But with there being less than an actual party I really hope the after hours events don’t stay.”
And although most after hours events do offer guests complimentary snacks and beverages, some of these events don’t have the same added entertainment or shows that the previous holiday parties had! For example, the Disney’s After Hours Animal Kingdom didn’t have any additional entertainment, just free snacks and shorter wait times on the rides!
One reader said they hope the old parties will be back because the short lines for attractions aren’t enough of a draw: “I don’t go to those things to not have lines at rides. I go for the experiences, food, fun, parades, etc.”
Despite some apparent drawbacks of the after-hours events when compared to the normal Disney holiday parties, the after hours events are still proving to be popular options for guests! A reader mentioned that even just having a holiday party is better than nothing: “My thought process is any event is better than no event especially for those of us that don’t get to do this every year.”
A lot of guests seem to agree, as Boo Bash dates have sold out a number of times on various days while the event is running in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. (Disney has also re-stocked tickets for several dates!)
So are after hours holiday parties here to stay? Time will only tell! Based on the popularity of Boo Bash, it seems like Disney guests are still interested in attending, even with all the changes! Ticket prices and dates for the Disney Very Merriest After Hours Event aren’t available yet, but keep following Disney Food Blog and we’ll let you know as soon as we can!
Do you prefer the After Hours events or the original holiday parties? Let us know in the comments!