I attended the very first Boo Bash After Hours event of the 2021 Halloween season at Magic Kingdom last night, and I wanted to share what I enjoyed about the event, what I felt was missing or could have been done better, and whether this may be an event that you should attend.
First, let’s chat about what an After Hours event is. After Hours events are separately ticketed events that take place inside the park after the park has stopped serving daytime ticket guests for the day.
My Boo Bash ticket last night was $139 but ticket costs vary depending on the night you’re visiting. Tickets range from $129 on the low end to a whopping $199 on Halloween night.
In the case of Boo Bash last night, Magic Kingdom closed at 9pm and the Boo Bash event started at 9:30. It ran for 3 hours until 12:30am. After Hours event tickets include complimentary bottled sodas and water, popcorn, and ice cream novelties (like Mickey bars) during the event hours. You can enjoy as many of those as you want!
Keep in mind that while the event doesn’t start until after park operating hours, with your Boo Bash ticket you can enter Magic Kingdom as early as 7pm. This means you can enjoy the park for a couple extra hours before the event kicks off.
Boo Bash also features exclusive Halloween offerings that are not available during the day at the park. These included character cavalcades, character sightings, trick-or-treat spots, a dance party, special PhotoPass shots, and Halloween-themed snacks.
Now that we’ve overviewed the event, let’s talk about the POSITIVES of Boo Bash.
What I Liked About Boo Bash
Short Wait Times
To me, the best selling point for Boo Bash is that you can walk-on *most* rides during the event. Some of the more popular attractions like Mine Train and Space Mountain may have a wait time but it will be less than what you would see those wait times at during the day.
You could very easily accomplish a full park day’s worth of rides during the event hours if you didn’t have any interest in watching all the cavalcades.
Hate crowds? Then this is the event for you! At least last night (I don’t know if this will hold true for future dates), the crowd level was very, very nice during the After Hours event. When you compared the 10pm crowds to those 7pm crowds, it’s like a night-and-day difference.
I also liked that the event takes place after the sun has set so temps are cooler and more enjoyable. It can be incredibly hot and humid in the summer in Florida meaning you’ll be a sweaty mess all day.
While the ticket cost itself isn’t cheap by any means, you do feel like you’re getting more bang for your buck by indulging in the complimentary ice cream novelties, popcorn, and bottled beverages.
Now that I’ve shared what I *did* like about the event, it’s time to rip the bandaid off and share what I thought could have been better.
What I Didn’t Like About Boo Bash
Not Enough Characters
There were 5 character sighting locations throughout the park. And while I understand that in these COVID times, traditional character meet-and-greets are not an option, I thought there could have been more characters out and about.
I couldn’t stop comparing Boo Bash to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) of years past where so much of the event fun was seeing SO MANY characters out and about throughout the park!
The character sightings just felt off to me. Only two of the character sighting locations were relatively good spots for socially distant selfies or photos with the characters — those were Pirate Goofy and Pooh and friends. The other character spots either had poor lighting or the characters were situated up high.
I actually visited the character spot at Pinocchios Village Haus 3 separate times and never saw the characters out.
The Cavalcades were Underwhelming
You did get to see characters in the cavalcades but they were incredibly underwhelming. And maybe that’s just because I’ve seen them before? They’re the same cavalcades we got last year during daytime park hours — which didn’t cost anything more than your day ticket.
I wish they would have stationed those cavalcade characters around the park for more character sightings and photo opportunities.
The underwhelming cavalcades were another instance where my mind kept comparing to the AMAZING Boo To You parade at MNSSHP.
Also, I don’t know if it was just last night but Maleficent didn’t breathe fire like she typically does and that was a major build-up and subsequent let-down.
Entertainment Was Lacking
Beyond the Cadaver Dans and the dance party in Tomorrowland, the entertainment during the event was scarce. I would have loved to see something as simple as a projection show on the castle or the headless horseman galloping down Main Street.
I also wished there were characters on the stage during the dance party. In past MNSSHP events, Monster’s Inc characters would dance with you!! This was super cute and so much fun for my daughter. Just having them make appearances on the stage would have livened it up a bit.
I also missed the Hocus Pocus stage show. That would have been such a fun addition to the event — even a watered down version of it with the characters coming out onto the castle stage and greeting for a few minutes would have felt like a nice plus.
Minimal PhotoPass Photographers
The longest lines I saw throughout the night were for the PhotoPass shots. I didn’t even do any because the lines were stretching farther than the stretching room in the Haunted Mansion. You could easily spend a large chunk of your 3 hour event time waiting in PhotoPass lines.
I think if Disney added more photographers throughout the park, they’d be able to easily spread those lines out and shorten the wait time.
So Is It Worth the Money?
If you’re thinking about attending Boo Bash as a replacement to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party, you will be very disappointed in this event. The overall Halloween aspect of Boo Bash was completely underwhelming, especially compared to MNSSHP.
If you fall into this bucket, I do not think the event is worth the money for you.
If you’re thinking about attending Boo Bash because you really want to ride lots of rides without long waits? Then this is the event for you.
If short wait times and lower crowds are the biggest selling points for you and the Halloween aspect is not as important, then I do think the event is worth the money for you.
If you fall into that second category, I would recommend you book your Boo Bash tickets on a resort day. Swim and enjoy what your resort has to offer during the day, and then tackle a ton of Magic Kingdom rides at night.
I hope this honest overview is helpful. Please keep in mind that as a person who lives locally to the parks and visits often, the draw for these events *personally* is all of the holiday specific offerings (not the short ride wait times). Which may be why I really didn’t love Boo Bash. I think I so badly wanted it to be a mini-version of the Mickey’s Not- So-Scary Halloween Party of the past that I LOVE. I truly hope MNSSHP comes back next year!
Click here to see a recap post of MNSSHP from a couple years ago as an event comparison!
Let me know in the comments your thoughts! Will you be attending Boo Bash? Or is it a pass for you?
Follow along on all of our Walt Disney World fun on Instagram @brbgoingtodisney! I share tips and tricks LIVE from the parks each week on Stories! See you there!