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Is Disney After Hours Boo Bash worth it?

HomeIs Disney After Hours Boo Bash worth it?
Is Disney After Hours Boo Bash worth it?

We recently checked out the brand-new Disney After Hours Boo Bash, and now that we’ve done it, we’re excited to put some thoughts together on how it went.

The fact is, at the time of this writing, there are only 4 events with tickets still available. Clearly, people are really excited about going!

And if you’ve already purchased a ticket, we want you to be excited about it, too.

So instead of picking the event apart, our goal is to ensure that everybody who is planning on attending understands exactly what it is like so that expectations can be set correctly – which, we hope, will make it that much easier to have a great time.

So, is Disney After Hours Boo Bash worth it? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Boo Bash like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?

Yes and No.

Although Boo Bash is brand new, it draws a lot of its elements from 2 different previous events: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Disney Villains After Hours.

Boo Bash decorations

Check out our Complete Guide to Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash for more tips and info!

And, although those events might sound similar, they each have a different focus:

After Hours events are centered on being able to ride lots of rides with little to no waits, while the draw for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is Halloween-specific entertainment offerings (like the Boo to You parade, fireworks, and a plethora of character meet opportunities).

In the past, After Hour events didn’t typically occur in the fall.

And then Boo Bash came along, and it had a giant scoop of an After Hours event with a dash of the Halloween Party tossed in for a little added spice.

Boo bash cinderella castle

So, although Boo Bash has some Halloween Party favorites like trick-or-treating, the fact is that Boo Bash is a lot more like an After Hours event than Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Let us be clear: that doesn’t mean that Boo Bash is bad or not worth it. Not at all!

But, it does mean that if you are used to attending MNSSHP you may want to make sure your expectations are set for the event to feel more like an After Hours Event rather than a full-fledged Halloween Party.

Thinking ahead to Christmas? Check out the latest on Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours.

How does Boo Bash Compare to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?

Curious how Boo Bash stacks up to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Disney Villains After Hours?

Let’s take a look:

Boo Bash comparison chart

Boo Bash comparison chart

Ticket Prices

When it comes to ticket prices, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party comes in consistently less than both Boo Bash and Villains After Hours.

In fact, aside from a few dates, the most expensive Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party tickets were just a few dollars more than what you’ll pay for the cheapest Boo Bash ticket:

  • Boo Bash: $129-$199 (plus tax) for everyone (adults & kids)
  • Disney Villains After Hours: $145 (plus tax) for everyone (adults and kids) if purchased in advance and $155 for everyone (adults & kids) if purchased on the same night
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: $79-$135 (plus tax) for adults and $74-$130 (plus tax) for children

Event start & end time

A key difference between Boo Bash (as well as Villains After Hours) and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is the start time.

“After Hours” isn’t just a clever name; the events literally start after the parks officially close at whatever a normal time is for them to be closing at that time of the year.

That is different from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which happened on nights when the parks closed early (typically around 6 pm).

Boo Bash main street

This may not seem like a big deal, but for most families with little ones, the 9:00 or 9:30 pm start time for Boo Bash can be a big obstacle to overcome, and definitely something to keep in mind if you are thinking about taking anybody who is used to an early bedtime.

Make sure you are well rested so that you can enjoy the entire event, and try not to plan anything super early for the morning after.

  • Boo Bash: 9:30 pm to 12:30 am OR 9:00 pm to 12:00 am (times depend on the night)
  • Disney Villains After Hours: started at 9:30 pm to 12:30 am OR 9:00 pm to 12:00 am (times depend on the night)
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: 7:00 pm to 12:00 am

What time can you enter the park?:

With nearly every special event ticket, guests typically get an added perk of being able to enter the park before the event actually starts.

Disney Boo Bash entrance magic kingdom

That means, if you are planning on attending an event like Boo Bash, you can save some money by spending your day checking out things outside a theme park before heading in as soon as your ticket allows.

  • Boo Bash: 7:00 pm
  • Disney Villains After Hours: 7:00 pm
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: 4:00 pm (DVC members could enter at 2 pm)

Total number of event hours:

Now for the biggie: total number of event hours.

As you can see in the chart above, both Boo Bash and Villains After Hours events are only 3 hours long, while Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party lasted a very generous 5 hours.

After attending several different After Hours events, trust us when we say that 3 hours can go by very fast. And, although most attractions will have low waits, some of the more popular attractions (like Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) can see wait times around 20 minutes.

20 minutes would be AMAZING during the day, but when you only have 3 hours for an event, that is a large percentage of your available time.

  • Boo Bash: 3 hours
  • Disney Villains After Hours: 3 hours
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: 5 hours

Crowd Levels:

This one is a little tricker – and we expect to update it after we attend the 2nd Boo Bash – but in general we have nearly always found that After Hours events truly have crowd sizes that are limited.

Boo Bash Cavalcade

In recent years, just for comparison, we’ve felt like the Halloween Party was getting busier and busier. Lines everywhere were longer, and you’d need to spend a lot of time staking out your spots for things like the parade and fireworks.

  • Boo Bash: Limited crowds
  • Disney Villains After Hours: Limited crowds, however some nights were reported to be quite busy
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Often very busy

Trick-or-treat locations:

For many people, the thought of trick-or-treating at Magic Kingdom is one of the things they love about Halloween at Disney World.

To be honest, trick-or-treating is kinda fun. Plus, most kids love it. Can you purchase your own bags of candy and save a ton of time (and money)?


But is the experience of walking though Magic Kingdom and collecting goodies a thing, too? Definitely.

But – here’s the deal:

Even though Boo Bash technically has trick-or-treating, there are 1/2 as many locations as what you’d find at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Trick or treat locations boo bash

Of course the argument can be made that with lower crowds, it is easier to get the same amount of candy even with fewer treat locations, but we feel like we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least point that difference out.

  • Boo Bash: 7
  • Disney Villains After Hours: None
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: About 14

Complimentary snacks:

One place where After Hours events really shine is in the complimentary snack department.

Not only can you get free bottles of water and soft drinks during Boo Bash, but you can also get Mickey Bars, ice cream, and popcorn, too.

You don’t get anything other than free Halloween candy at a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

  • Boo Bash: Yes – bottled beverages, popcorn, & ice cream bars
  • Disney Villains After Hours: Yes – bottled beverages, popcorn, & ice cream bars
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: No

Seasonal decorations:

We are suckers for holiday decorations, and fall at Magic Kingdom means pumpkins and leaves and scarecrows. In fact, all of Main Street gets decked out.

The decorations for Boo Bash are about the same as what you’d find for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Boo Bash projections

Since Villains After Hours occurred outside of dates when Magic Kingdom was decorated for the fall, most of those events didn’t typically have any decorations aside from projections and lights.

  • Boo Bash: Yes
  • Disney Villains After Hours: No (primarily just lights & projections, but no fall decorations)
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Yes

Are costumes allowed?:

Disney fans never fail to disappoint when it comes to putting together amazingly themed costumes.

Thankfully Boo Bash, just like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Villains After Hours, allows both adults and kids to enter the park wearing their favorite costume.

  • Boo Bash: Yes
  • Disney Villains After Hours: Yes
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Yes

Special fireworks:

We are suckers for fireworks shows, and most people that attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party made time to see the fantastic show held every party night.

But, unfortunately, both Boo Bash and Villains After Hours are without special firework shows.

On the positive, your event ticket does get you into the park to see the regular is regular Magic Kingdom fireworks show before the park officially closes.

  • Boo Bash: No (however, your event ticket can get you into Magic Kingdom in time to see the nightly fireworks)
  • Disney Villains After Hours: No (however, your event ticket can get you into Magic Kingdom in time to see the nightly fireworks)
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Yes – Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Villain Spelltacular fireworks show

Live entertainment:

For people that don’t do rides or are looking for seasonal things to do, live entertainment can be a big draw.

Unfortunately, Boo Bash lacks a bit in that department.

Here’s how it compares:

  • Boo Bash: Cadaver Dans & 1 dance party
  • Disney Villains After Hours: Disney Villains Stage Show
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular stage show, Cadaver Dans, and 3 dance parties

Parade or cavalcade:

We typically love cavalcades. We were never huge fans of staking out a spot in the sun for a parade.

But, we really (really) love the Boo To You Parade at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Mickey cavalcade boo bash

And, although at Boo Bash there are several cavalcades that include pieces of the Boo To You Parade, it is so not the same thing. So, if you are like us and really (really) love the parade, keep that in mind.

  • Boo Bash: 5 cavalcades, each shown twice per night
  • Disney Villains After Hours: 2 cavalcades shown a couple of times during the night
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Boo-to-You parade, shown twice each night

Attraction enhancements:

In recent years, Disney has started adding a few enhancements to attractions during events like Villains After Hours and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. These aren’t big things (think special lights or music) but they were fun nonetheless.

But, we didn’t really see that at Boo Bash. Trust us – it didn’t ruin the evening, it was just kind of a fun thing that made some of the attractions a little bit special.

  • Boo Bash: No
  • Disney Villains After Hours: Yes – Pirates of the Caribbean (live actors stationed in the queue and on the ride), and Space Mountain (in complete darkness, but no music)
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Yes – Mad Tea Party (special lights & music), Pirates of the Caribbean (live actors stationed in the queue and on the ride), Space Mountain (in complete darkness & with Halloween music)

Number of attractions open

Interested in some rides?

Pirates of the Caribbean boo bash

Both After Hours events and Micky’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party have lots of attractions open:

  • Boo Bash: ~22
  • Disney Villains After Hours: ~24
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: ~21

Character meet and greet opportunities:

Meeting (or at least SEEING!) unique and rare characters has long been a highlight of special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, so we were definitely excited to see that Disney specifically mentioned character spotting opportunities when they announced Boo Bash.

crystal palace boo bash

But, although you will have the opportunity to see a few characters, it isn’t anything like MNSSHP and the actual number of characters out and visible is quite low.

  • Boo Bash: 5 places where you can see characters, but no meet & greets
  • Disney Villains After Hours: None, although at the end of the event you could typically see the villains on the train station ushering you out as you exited the park
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Lots, including rare characters like all 7 Dwarfs (together), Moana, and Jack & Sally

PhotoPass & Magic Shots available:

Photographs and Memory Maker are some of our favorite souvenirs, and Disney does a pretty good job providing opportunities to snag shots during special events.

But, we aren’t alone in loving photos as a way to capture memories.

Pics at special events are very, very popular and oftentimes PhotoPass photographers will have some of the longest lines of the evening, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on snagging a shot (or two).

  • Boo Bash: Yes
  • Disney Villains After Hours: Yes
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Yes

How to maximize your time

Now that you know exactly what to expect, let’s talk a little bit about how to maximize your time.

First of all – we definitely recommend you take advantage of the hours between when your party ticket lets you into Magic Kingdom and when the event officially starts.

Ideally, you can use that time to take in some of the attractions that aren’t open during Boo Bash like Hall of Presidents, the Riverboat, Monster’s Inc., Laugh Floor (which is open for Boo Bash but doesn’t have a full show), Carousel of Progress & the Enchanted Tiki Room.

And then, if fireworks are your thing, definitely try to catch those, too.

After that you’ll need to make a bit of a choice. Do you want to focus on Halloween things, on rides, or try to catch a bit of both?

If rides alone are your focus, your evening is going to be fairly simple.

its a small world

Aside from a few of the most popular attractions, you’ll likely find most rides with little to no lines. Ideally, you should be able to accomplish 3-5 attractions per hour. You can do some rides, grab some of the complimentary ice cream and drinks, and have a fantastic time knocking out a bunch of things quickly.

And, if your primary focus is Halloween-specific things, you’ll have a relatively easy time planning your evening, too.

Because there aren’t that many Halloween entertainment offerings, you should be able to see and do most of them during the 3 hours of the event. You’ll spend your time trick-or-treating, catching the cavalcades, and checking out the 5 spots where you can see characters.

Crystal palace boo bash characters

It is when you want to do some of both (rides & Halloween exclusive items) where it can get a bit tricky.

If that is your focus, here’s what we recommend:

Before Party Begins (Can Enter At 7:00)

  • Pick up wristband
  • Visit attractions not open during event (Hall of Presidents, Riverboat, Laugh Floor, Carousel of Progress, Enchanted Tiki Room)
  • Watch fireworks

First Hour

  • Candy/rides in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland
  • Characters at Haunted Mansion

Second Hour

  • Snag a bottled drink and snack at a snack cart
  • Find a spot across from Country Bear Jamboree to watch Cadaver Dans, Chip & Dale, and 3 cavalcades

Third Hour

  • Rides, characters, and/or Magic Shot
  • Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade
  • Snag a bottled drink and snack to take on your way out

Boo Bash Guide Map

To make it easy, we’ve put all of the important stuff on a map so you’ll know where to find what during Boo Bash. Save to your phone for quick reference later.

2021 Boo Bash Guide Map - Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom
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Heather Thomas