Breaking Down Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash…Should you or Shouldn’t You?
I have spoke about my feelings and opinions of this years’ Halloween event at Walt Disney World on the channel recently. Although I am very glad that Walt Disney World is having a seasonal event, personally, I cannot see me attending because of the differences and other things that factor into the value of the event, just being transparent here. Yes, I know, it is better than nothing. However, as a guest of the parks regularly and someone who has been to at LEAST 50 Mickey Not So Scary Halloween Party’s and after hours events, I personally do not feel it is the move for me. NOW, that being said, if you are an absolute Halloween junkie, love candy, crave that atmosphere or have never attended an after hours event or MNSSHP (sorry, that is a lot to type out) before, I would absolutely tell you to go and have a wonderful time!!
But, even though I may not be attending this year (notice the word may..) I do want to share with you guys some thoughts, tips and fun from those who did attend the first night and may be very helpful if you are planning on going to the event. Our friends at the Dis were there as well as some of our affiliate partner channels from Magic Streamdom such as Brian and Amanda, Ear to Ear Magic, Drew in the Moment and Healthy Dose of Disney to name a few, so please go check out their channels and social media platforms to see the fun they had that evening.
Here are some first hand tips and advice regarding the event. Have fun, read what they think, watch our friends streams and then decide for yourself. Either way, we will still be streaming from Walt Disney World, seeing all the new things opening up, trying some seasonal treats and bringing you the best content that we can.
Here is some of the commentary by Deni Sunderly at the Dis on her experience the other evening. Also, check out Healthy Dose of Disney‘s Instagram for her thoughts on the party as well as some great pictures from the event.
‘Possibly the biggest question in Walt Disney World fans’ minds leading into the new Disney After Hours Boo Bash hard-ticketed event was exactly how big the crowds attending the event would be. After attending the Boo Bash’s debut evening, we now have the answer.
‘I’ve attended two Disney After Hours events in the past (one of them hosted by Disney, for transparency), so I came into the first evening of Magic Kingdom’s Boo Bash with fairly high expectations. One of the leading hallmarks of the Disney After Hours events is the extremely low level at which the crowd is held, which leads to low wait times, which leads to the feeling that you are getting what you paid for. Isn’t that what we all want in the Disney parks? We like to be happy campers, after all.
So when Boo Bash tickets initially sold out and then came back online for additional ticket sales, many Disney fans were concerned that this was going to lead to what had grown to be an overwhelming concern at the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: overcrowding. The Halloween party, though beloved, had become quite crowded, leading to frustration over the perceived lack of value for the money paid. And the price of Boo Bash tickets soars to nearly $200 the closer it gets to Halloween, so the concern was, in my mind, completely valid. If you’re going to pay that much for a 3-hour event, you want to get the most out of it, and overcrowding just won’t do.’
Jumping in here to summarize a bit, one of the major points she makes is even though you can enter the park on the night of Boo Bash right around 7pm, the event doesn’t officially begin until 9 or 9:30pm, depending on the night you’re attending. Obviously, there were day guests still in the park at that time, and a showing of Happily Ever After was slated for 8:45pm. Since many of the day guests are still in the park and they want to see Happily Ever After she mentions that the crowd level at that time was immense as day guests packed the Hub to grab the perfect fireworks viewing location, and event guests began making their way down Main Street. And the sheer volume of people was just a little bit concerning.’
Interjecting here, honestly, if you are not looking to watch the fireworks, you may want to wait before coming into the park to avoid the mass exodus and/or the crowds still there from the day. She did mention that once the fireworks are over, cast members work diligently to sweep day guest to the exit and they do actively check wristbands (which you are given at checkpoints when you show your event ticket) for those remaining in the park and heading to the attractions.
‘Like magic, wait times immediately dropped, because the crowds immediately dropped. The end result? A Disney After Hours event like the ones we’ve come to know: a somewhat boutique experience in which guests can ride just about any attraction they want with the smallest of wait times. Yes, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight hovered right around 25 minutes throughout the evening, but for me, a 25-minute wait for the park’s most popular attraction sounds pretty fantastic. I’ll take that any day. And twice on Sunday.
I’ll have much more to say in regard to Boo Bash and its similarities and differences to and from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but the biggest question heading into the new event was answered for me quite clearly. Thankfully, it appears that the crowd level will be held to a low number as had been done for previous Disney After Hours events.
One of the majorly different things is that it is much like a typical after hours event in the fact that you get water, soda, Mickey’s ice cream and popcorn for free during the event. There are featured items as well, such as the churros, but they are not included in the price of the ticket. There is also no stage show, sadly my absolute favorite thing and to be open, the major reason we go to MNSSHP, the Hocus Pocus show. The absence of this show and the special Halloween fireworks, which were phenomenal, were the game changer for me. Although I do understand the additional fireworks not being there this year (with the time period of the party and the new debut of the 50th Anniversary Celebration fireworks) I will miss these two major and frankly headlining parts of the Halloween party.
The only question now is how to get it all done during your three hours at BOO Bash. And that, my friends, is a subject for another time. Spoiler alert: you can’t. To here point, this has been an overall theme coming out of the first Boo Bash. However, it was the first night and some things may have taken a little longer, but the concesus is that if you are looking to do everything or even as much as you would have been able to do during a MNSSHP, you will not be able to. Sooo, my suggestion is to choose what is important to you and your family.
Is going trick or treating the most important thing? Then grab that Boo Bash map and circle them. Is riding those attractions you don’t usually get to experience on your priority list? Then get in that line! Do you just want to see the Halloween calvacades or listen to the Cadaver Dans? Is visiting Master Gracie and Madame Leota something that you wait for all year?
Whatever you are purchasing that ticket for and want to see and experience during Disney After Hours Boo Bash, it is best to know before you go. If you are running around the entire three hours, hoping to catch everything, especially in the Florida “season” of Halloween, you may not only be exhausted but disappointed as well. If you choose to attend this ticketed event, plan your night.
There is an old addage that says “an experience is what you make it” and this holds true for Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash. Again, read some blogs from those who have attended, watch our friends who are bringing you some fun and entertaining streams and vlogs and have fun. Because at the end of the day it is all about having a great time and bringing some joy and Halloween happiness into our lives.
The Dis, article and PC Deni Sunderly; The Dis, Erica R; Spokesmayne