A new Halloween-themed event is spiriting into Magic Kingdom Park this fall at Walt Disney World. “Disney After Hours Boo Bash” kicked off on August 10, 2021, and we were there! The event will run on select nights through October 31, 2021. Learn more about this event below.
1 – A Disney After Hours Event
“Disney After Hours Boo Bash” is a limited-capacity and separately ticketed event that does not require an additional day’s theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass reservation. The events have been around since April 2016. Offered on select nights throughout the year, guests pay to access over twenty attractions with little to no crowds in the Magic Kingdom Park. The event was offered throughout the year, and in February 2020, a Villains-themed After Hours event ran a few nights before the pandemic closed the parks. Since the park closure in 2020 and reopening in July 2020, Walt Disney World has offered no special events. The Disney After Hours Boo Bash is the first separate ticket event offered during the phased reopening.
Likely because of the uncertainty of operations due to health and safety concerns, Disney is not offering Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and is offering a Disney After Hours event as an alternative. We can understand the reasoning. Disney After Hours events have always been limited capacity events, where you can enjoy attractions with low wait time; many are even walk-ons. While limited (they did sell out), the Halloween and Christmas parties were not “low-capacity.” In fact, in recent years, the parties have been jammed-packed and insanely busy. Offering a Disney After Hours event allows Disney to provide a special event while keeping the crowds low. Just how low? We don’t know. Disney has never stated how low the capacity is for these events. There are plenty of guesses and rumors out there. We’ve been to several Disney After Hours events in the past and have enjoyed the events and have observed that they are not nearly as busy as regular operating hours or seasonal parties.
The event runs three hours long, but your ticket will grant you access to the park up to two and a half hours early for a total of five and a half hours. Included with your admission are unlimited novelty ice cream treats, select bottled beverages, and popcorn. Disney After Hours Boo Bash also offers exclusive Halloween-themed entertainment that you can’t get anywhere else while visiting Walt Disney World. However, as we’ve already mentioned, the most significant selling points to the Disney After Hours events are the low crowds and wait times.
2 – Tickets, Pricing, and Dates
Editor’s Note: All dates are now sold out. Apparently, though, if you visit Guest Relations inside Magic Kingdom on the night of the party, they do sell a very limited amount of same-day tickets. There is no guarantee that any will be available, but it may be worth asking!
Tickets for this three-hour event can be purchased online or by calling 407-939-4240. Tickets start at $129 – $139, plus tax for August/September nights and $159 – $169, plus tax for October nights, and $199, plus tax for Halloween. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of a $10 discount for event nights in August and September.
If you are familiar with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ticket prices, these prices are shockingly high. These tickets are indeed much more expensive than the party—usually, an August Halloween party ticket costs around $89 with prices rising to $130 in late October. The prices are in line, however, with previous Disney After Hours events. The 2020 Villains After Hours tickets were $145 in advance and $155 on event night. A non-themed Disney After Hours event tickets cost $129. Disney After Hours Boo Bash tickets are not that far off from these previous prices. You’ll need to factor in the low-capacity event, and Halloween-themed offerings to decide if purchasing tickets are right for you and your family.
A limited number of tickets are available, and many dates are already sold out, so if you are interested in attending, we recommend you get your tickets as soon as possible!
Future Party Dates
- Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 (sold-out)
- Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 (sold-out)
- Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 (sold-out)
- Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 (sold-out)
- Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 (sold-out)
- Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 (sold-out)
- Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 (sold-out)
- Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 (sold-out)
- Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021 (sold-out)
- Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 (sold-out)
- Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021 (sold-out)
3 – Arrive in Style – Costumes
All guests can dress in costume for Disney After Hours Boo Bash and can get their fill of Halloween candy while trick-or-treating around the park. Costume masks are not permitted for adults; they can only be worn by children under 14 years old. Guests should check DisneyWorld.com/Updates as well as the Walt Disney World Resort Costume Policy for more information. Health and safety measures, policies, and operational guidelines are subject to change. The current face-covering policy requires all guests to wear face-coverings in all indoor locations and select Disney transportation and attractions. So be sure you bring a face-covering with you!
At our August 10 event, most guests were not in costumes. While there were plenty of people in costumes, some simply wore a Halloween t-shirt, and most did not dress up at all. We expect that as we get closer to Halloween, more guests will dress in costume. It may also have to do with the fact that August is scorching in Orlando. At 11:00 pm, it was 80 degrees with a heat index of 87, so not the best weather for costumes! If you attend in August and September, be prepared for some hot nights!
4 – Early Entry into Magic Kingdom and Wristband Distributions
Tickets will grant admission to Magic Kingdom as early as 7 pm (although they let guests in at 6:40 pm on our night), giving guests time to enjoy even more magic before the event begins. You don’t need a park reservation to enter the party. When you arrive, a Disney Cast Member will put an event wristband on for you. If you have been enjoying Magic Kingdom all day, you don’t need to exit the park, but you will need to get a wristband at either Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor or Tortuga Tavern.
5 – Decorations and Projections
Magic Kingdom has been decorated for the fall, and we love it. After 2020’s simple decorations where a lot was missing, we’re thrilled to see the full decorations up. The fall bunting is up, and the jack-o-lanterns along Main Street USA are back. During the event, Cinderella Castle will have spooky colorful projections that will change throughout the evening. You can also find spooky projections in Tomorrowland and when you exit the park in front of Magic Kingdom Railroad station.
Decorations on Main Street, USA, will receive a magical transformation during event nights in October. Walt Disney Imagineering, in partnership with the Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Services team, will blend a fall look with the enchanting story of Cinderella by creating special pumpkin coach decorations. This new décor will add to the park’s sparkling EARidescence during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” that begins October 1, honoring the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
6 – Low Wait Time at Over 20 Attractions
The most significant benefit of the Disney After Hours event for most guests is low wait times at twenty-two attractions. Be prepared for slightly longer wait times right as the party begins, as some day guests may still be filtering through the lines. Later in the evening, we never saw wait times over 20 minutes for any attractions, and many were walk-ons. During the event, the MyDisney Experience app does post wait times so you can check and see. Note that a 5-minute wait usually means no wait all.
Attractions open during the event include:
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Haunted Mansion
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- “it’s a small world”
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- The Barnstormer
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Space Mountain
- Astro Orbiter
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
7 – Special Halloween Character Cavalcades
While there is no full Boo to You parade, you will see portions of the parade during the event. During the night, you’ll be able to catch “Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade” featuring Mickey Mouse and friends dressed for the occasion. In the “Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade,” villains will take to the street and celebrate their favorite time of the year. “Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade” will feature Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie riding down the parade path to “This Is Halloween.” Maleficent will also make an appearance in the form of a fire-breathing dragon (though she did not breathe fire consistently). Thankfully, you don’t need to guess when the cavalcades will be out. Cavalcade times are published in the Disney After Hours Boo Bash brochures, so be sure to grab one on your way into the park. Each cavalcade runs twice, so you have a good chance of seeing some characters. Most cavalcades follow the usual parade route and go from Frontierland down through Main Street USA. Check the brochure for the direction of the cavalcade you wish to see. We enjoyed seeing the characters in the cavalcades; however, they are not the same or as good as the Boo to You parade.
8 – Boo Bash Character Sightings
Besides the cavalcades, you can also catch more characters throughout the park, from the lovely Miss Carlotta at the Haunted Mansion to Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale in their Halloween best. Guests can also stop and listen to the Cadaver Dans during performances in Frontierland.
Here is where you can find these characters:
- Winnie the Pooh and Friends – Crystal palace
- Chip ‘n Dale – Frontierland Balcony
- Goofy – Pirates of Caribbean
- Miss Carlotta – Haunted Mansion
- Honest John and Gideon – Pinocchio Village House
Do note that there are no character meet and greets during the event. Instead, the characters listed above will pose for distanced selfies.
9 – Complimentary Snacks
Complimentary snacks such as ice cream novelties and popcorn, along with select beverages, are included in event admission. Drink options include Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Dasani water. Ice Cream novelties include Mickey Bars, Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Strawberry Fruit Bar. You can grab as many as you like throughout the evening, and the carts are spread out throughout the park. I never had to go far to get a treat. It was great to get a lot of bottled water throughout the night (it was hot) and enjoy some ice cream. While it does not offset the cost of the event, considering a drink is around $5 and ice cream over $6 during the day, it’s nice that these treats are included, and you can enjoy as much as you like.
10 – Specialty Food & Drinks for Purchase
The event also offers some specialty food and beverages that are exclusive to the event. For example, at Sleepy Hollow, you can find the Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake, a funnel cake topped with chocolate cookie crumbles, purple vanilla ice cream, caramel drizzle, and M&M’s milk chocolate Ghoul’s Mix. We got this one. It was really chocolatey (so much so that I thought the ice cream was chocolate and not vanilla)! While it was fine, I wouldn’t recommend you go out of your way to purchase this one unless you love funnel cake because you can get your sweet tooth fix on the included ice cream treats that we mentioned above.
There are two frozen drinks to try over at Golden Oak Outpost. First, you can get a frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale topped with whipped cream and chopped TWIX cookies bars, as well as a Mocha Chocolate Chip frozen drink (frozen mocha topped with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and a sugar acorn). Next, at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, you can get a tart green apple lemonade slush topped with a ring pop. Finally, you can get a Maleficent Churro at snack carts on Main Street USA.
11 – Boo Bash Trick or Treat Locations
While not the same as the Halloween party, you will still be able to trick-or-treat at Disney After Hours Boo Bash. Locations are noted on the event brochure. Here is a list of where you can get the candy.
- Ariel’s Grotto
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
- Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor
- Pecos Bill
- Pete’s Silly Side Show
- Pinocchio Village Haus
- Splash Mountain
- Tiki Room
Cast Members were pretty generous with the portions, and if you wanted to take the time to do so, you could walk out with a lot of candy. And it’s good candy. You’ll receive Skittles, Twix, Snickers, Milky Way, and M&Ms. If anyone in your party has allergies, you’ll receive tokens at the trick or treat stations and then go to Town Hall to get allergy-friendly treats.
12 – What About Fireworks?
Be aware that there are no Halloween fireworks during Disney After Hours Boo Bash. (There will be holiday fireworks during the “Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours” this holiday season). However, you should be able to catch “Disney Enchantment” before the event starts. The park closed at 9:00 pm on our event night and the fireworks were at 8:45 pm. Check the MyDisney Experience app for showtimes, as the firework times do change often.
13 – Scheduling & Tips
As you might guess, you’ll be staying up late. We left the park about one hour after the event ended (we were one of the last to leave). Parents might want to consider the ages of children and how they would handle such a late night. You’ll also want to plan the next day accordingly. For instance, you won’t want to schedule an 8:00 am breakfast the next day.
The only problem we experienced was trying to enjoy the attractions and the themed offerings. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you. You may want to only plan on enjoying the major attractions that usually have long waits during the day and then spend the rest of the time catching the cavalcades, spotting characters, and going trick-or-treating. If you are visiting Magic Kingdom another time during your vacation, you could enjoy the other attractions at that time. It’s best to discuss with your group what you want to achieve during the event. The time really does fly. Discuss priorities and go from there.
We’ve given some tips throughout the article, but here are a few more:
- First, be at the front gate just before 7:00 pm, so you enjoy the maximum available time of the event.
- During the regular operating hours, do what you can’t do during the event.
- Come hungry and thirsty to take advantage of the included ice cream, popcorn, and drinks.
- Expect the first 20-30 minutes to be a bit more crowded as regular day guests are leaving.
- Be mindful of your schedule the next day so you can recover from your late night.
14 – Final Thoughts
Is it worth it? This is the question we get asked the most about these special ticketed events. And the question is so subjective, it’s hard not to answer with, “it depends.” If you are expecting this event to be comparable to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you will be disappointed. Many of the fantastic offerings from the party are not here, like the unique character meet and greets, the entire parade, Halloween fireworks, and the amazing stage show. However, this isn’t really a scaled-down Halloween Party, it is a themed Disney After Hours event, and that is really where you need to focus if you are thinking of buying a ticket. As we’ve said numerous times, Disney After Hours events (themed or not) are a chance to experience low wait times and get a lot done. Three hours barely seems enough time (and it really isn’t), but when you can walk on to 10-15 attractions and only wait 20 minutes on the most popular attractions like Peter Pan, Seven Dwarfs, and the three mountains (Splash, Space, and Big Thunder) those three hours count for a lot. You may be able to justify spending about the same price as a single-day ticket to Magic Kingdom because you can get about the same number of attractions done. You’ll also be treated to complimentary snacks (which could quickly add up to about $20-$30 per person), candy, and some fun Halloween character interactions through the cavalcades and sightings. Keeping all this in mind, only you can answer if it is worth it. We do hope we’ve given you enough information to make an informed decision.
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