On August 10th, Disney World held its first After Hours BOO Bash event of the year!
We shared lots of photos and videos of everything you can see at the event during our time there, and we’ve even compiled an ultimate guide to BOO Bash to help you plan your trip! If you’re considering attending this event one thing you might be wondering is whether BOO Bash is actually worth the cost. Today we’re breaking down everything you need to know and our thoughts on the entire event.
First, let’s talk about the price for BOO Bash tickets. Tickets are priced between $129 and $199 (plus tax), depending on the day you visit. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can get a $10 discount on dates in August and September. There’s no denying, this event is pricey.
How does it compare to other Disney events? Well, the prices for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party previously ranged from $85 for adults ($80 for kids) to $149 for adults ($144 for kids), again depending on the day you chose to visit.
But, this isn’t technically a Halloween party. BOO Bash is an After Hours event, so how does it compare to other After Hours events, say the Disney Villains After Hours event for example. Well, tickets for the Villains After Hours event were priced at $145 if you bought them in advance, and $155 if you bought them the day of the event.
So, while some tickets for BOO Bash are priced a bit cheaper than the Villains After Hours, some are priced well above it. And most BOO Bash tickets are priced higher than most Not-So-Scary tickets.
Click here to see more of a breakdown in the comparison of prices between Boo Bash and Not-So-Scary.
What do you get for the money? Let’s see.
BOO Bash guests will get 3 hours of After Hours time in the parks (either from 9:30PM to 12:30AM or from 9:30PM to midnight). But, BOO Bash guests can enter Magic Kingdom starting at 7PM, giving them 2 extra hours of time in the park (though, again, note that the Halloween-specific After Hours offerings won’t start until the event itself begins). In total, that’s 5 hours in the park.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary looks very different from a time perspective. The Halloween Party ran from 7PM to 12AM, giving guests 5 hours of party time. Additionally, guests could enter as early as 4PM, giving them 3 more hours in the park.
But, the hours for Villains After Hours look much more like BOO Bash. Villains After Hours ran from 9PM to 12AM on some nights and 10PM to 1AM on other nights — providing guests with 3 hours of After Hours time. But, guests could enter the park as early as 7PM, giving them 2 to 3 hours of extra time.
Hungry? Well, at BOO Bash you’ll be able to fill up on quite a few snacks.
During BOO Bash, all of the candy you can stuff in your bags from the trick-or-treat stations is included in the price of your ticket.
The ticket price also includes popcorn, select drinks, and select ice cream novelties in the park.
There are also 6 specialty food items that are available to purchase: the Prince John Sucker Frozen Drink, the Apple Ginger Dale Frozen Drink, the Mocha Chocolate Chip Frozen Drink, the Maleficent Churro, the Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake, and theFive Dozen Egg Slushy.
At Not-So-Scary, the candy was included from the treat stations, and there were about 16 party-exclusive items available for purchase.
At Villains After Hours, like at BOO Bash, popcorn, select drinks, and select ice cream novelties were included in the ticket price. Additionally, there were about 12 specialty food/drink items available to purchase.
Overall, BOO Bash offers a combination of Not-So-Scary (with the free candy from the trick-or-treat stations) and Villains After Hours (with the free popcorn, drinks, and ice cream novelties).
All 3 events featured specialty items that were available to purchase, but it seems BOO Bash has the least amount of these available. If getting buckets of candy is your goal, you can still do that at BOO Bash. But, if you’re all about those specialty items, you just won’t have as many to pick from.
Entertainment is where the biggest differences seem to be between BOO Bash and the other events.
At BOO Bash you’ll find the Cadaver Dans performing some tunes, distanced character meetings (including appearances by Miss Carlotta and others at the Haunted Mansion), 3 cavalcades, and a special appearance by Maleficent in dragon form (essentially 4 cavalcades), and a DJ Dance Party in Tomorrowland. Note that the 3 main cavalcades (Mickey and Friends, Villains, and Nightmare Before Christmas) are essentially the same as the ones we saw last year that were offered during the day.
There are no stage shows, no Halloween fireworks, and no dedicated Halloween parade.
At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary, many of the same entertainment offerings were available, plus some other ones. At Not-So-Scary, guests were treated to the full Boo-To-You Parade featuring the Headless Horseman and more. There were also Halloween-specific fireworks, unique character meet-and-greets (like meet-and-greets with the Seven Dwarfs), and a Hocus Pocus Stage Show. There were also little unique things, like live pirates on Pirates of the Caribbean, and dance parties in Tomorrowland, Storybook Circus, and in Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
At Villains After Hours, there was a bit of a mix of the two in terms of entertainment. There was a Unite the Night stage show, the Cursed Caravan (essentially a Villains-filled parade), some live pirates on Pirates of the Caribbean, a DJ in front of the castle, and themed photo ops.
The entertainment tends to be what most people bring up when discussing BOO Bash — specifically the fact that there are no Halloween fireworks, no Halloween stage shows, and Halloween cavalcades that aren’t incredibly unique.
Since we spotted much of these same cavalcades last year, some feel like there is just something missing from BOO Bash’s entertainment offerings to make it truly worth it. In that sense though, BOO Bash is a bit more in line with Villains After Hours (though again it is missing the stage show and live actors on Pirates).
When it comes to merchandise, there is a pretty big difference. Both Not-So-Scary and Villains After Hours offered event-exclusive merchandise. But, when we attended Boo Bash, we did not find any event-exclusive merchandise for sale.
There was regular Halloween merchandise available, but no Boo Bash-specific items. If you’re big into merchandise, that’s something to consider.
When it comes to attractions, all 3 events will give you access to various attractions in the park. Back in 2019 though, some guests did note that the crowds for Not-So-Scary were pretty large, taking away that limited capacity feel and benefit. Our friends over all AllEars even noted that during their trip to the very first Not-So-Scary party in 2019, the crowds were so large it felt like it was a Halloween night party. They also noted that when there was a line, it was a long one.
During BOO Bash we will say that the crowd levels were pretty low once the actual event got underway. There were some spots in the park that were practically empty.
Even Main Street, U.S.A. had plenty of room!
Again, this was once the actual event started at 9:30PM. Prior to that, there were some larger crowds of regular-day guests. But the actual event had nice, low crowds.
Wait times were also very low, especially as the night went on. Right when the event started at 9:30PM, pretty much everything had a low (or lower than average) wait time.
Even things like Splash Mountain only had a 15 minute wait, and Space Mountain was at a 25 minute wait. Even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train went down to just a 30 minute wait. The highest wait time at around 10PM was Astro Orbiter at 60 minutes.
But, by 10:30PM the wait time for Astro Orbiter was down to just 5 minutes. And by 11PM the longest wait times were about 25 minutes for Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs.
At midnight, the highest wait time was 30 minutes for Space Mountain.
So, BOO Bash definitely does deliver when it comes to low crowd levels, low wait times, and plenty of space. In fact, we think this area is what could potentially make BOO Bash worth it to many guests. If your #1 goal is to ride as many rides in Magic Kingdom as quickly as possible (and ideally stay out of the hot Florida sun), then BOO Bash’s low crowds and low wait times could potentially make this worth it for you.
But you’d have to consider whether anyone in your party would want to stop for the cavalcades, special treats, etc. If so, that could take away from your time on the rides and change the equation. But, if your plan is to really just go from ride to ride as quickly and efficiently as possible, BOO Bash does offer you a good opportunity for that.
One thing to note about the rides is that while Not-So-Scary and Villains After Hours had some special ride overlays (theming at places like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Mad Tea Party (depending on the event), there really were no ride overlays at BOO Bash, except some Halloween jokes at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
Decor and More
In terms of other general things, we did want to note that all 3 of the events feature/featured some spooky lighting, music, and/or decor. Some of this differs between the events, but overall they provide a spooky feel to the park.
Guests are/were also able to dress up at all 3 events, though you’ll want to pay close attention to the costume guidelines.
Overall, if you want to ride lots of rides with little/no wait, want free snacks (including popcorn, ice cream novelties, select drinks, and candy), want a spooky vibe, and are not really worried about the money, BOO Bash might be a good fit for you. If you really dedicate yourself to loading up on free treats (popcorn and ice cream can add up) and riding as many rides as possible, you might be able to make the cost worth it for you.
But, on the flip side, you only get a limited amount of After Hours time in the park, there’s less available in terms of entertainment, the entertainment that is available (particularly when it comes to the cavalcades) is not truly unique in comparison to what was available to all guests last year (except for the Maleficent dragon section), and the BOO Bash tickets are expensive.
The key here is to really look at BOO Bash more as an After Hours event, rather than a replacement for Not-So-Scary in terms of offerings and price.
Is Boo Bash worth it to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!