Is the cost of Disney After Hours Boo Bash worth it? – DePaoli on DeParks

by Jeff DePaoli

After the cancelation of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2020, Disney fans rejoiced when we got the news that there would be at least some sort of Halloween celebration at Magic Kingdom this year. But when the ticket prices for this abridged Halloween party were released, it left some wondering whether or not the asking price was a good value for what they’d be getting. Let’s take a look at the details.

boo bash

It must be noted that this year’s Halloween party is labeled under the “Disney After Hours” event banner. If you’re unfamiliar with Disney After Hours, these events are primarily touted as having very low crowds, allowing for short ride waits. In addition, the ticket comes with unlimited free popcorn, ice cream and bottled drinks. The most recent Disney After Hours parties in early 2020 sold tickets for $139.

Of course, if you’re going to throw an after-hours Halloween-themed party, you can’t help but compare it to the regular blowout bash, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. On some dates there were Disney Vacation Club and other discounts offered, but for the sake of ease, I’ll be sticking with general admission statistics here. I’ll also only be mentioning content that comes with the price of admissions and nothing with an additional charge.

At the last Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2019, tickets ranged in price from $79 to $135 between the dates of Aug. 16 and Nov. 1. Here’s a list of the content you could enjoy:

  • Attraction Overlays – Pirates of the Caribbean, Mad Tea Party, Space Mountain, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Disney’s Not So Spooky Fireworks
  • Boo to You Halloween Parade
  • Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
  • DescenDance Party
  • Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball
  • Trick or Treat Trails
  • Guests of all ages allowed to dress in costume

For this year’s Disney After Hours Boo Bash, most of the listed content above will not be offered. You will still get to dress in costume and enjoy Trick or Treat Trails, but the rest of the previous offerings will be missing unless they’re announced at a later date. In place of the parade, you’ll be able to enjoy cavalcades instead.  In addition, there will be special Disney PhotoPass opportunities, but unlike the special event parties at Disneyland Resort where digital downloads are often included, that will not be the case for Boo Bash. Like other After Hours events, you will have access to unlimited free popcorn, ice cream and bottled drinks.

For the Disney After Hours Boo Bash running from Aug. 10 through Oct. 31, you might have expected it to cost less than Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, considering it is a shorter event with far less entertainment — but the big selling point for the After Hours events seems to be extremely limited crowds. The big perk that you don’t necessarily get at Not So Scary is short ride wait times. The cost for tickets range in price from $129 to $199 to attend the After Hours Boo Bash this year, meaning that the lowest-priced tickets are only $6 less than the most expensive ticket at the most recent Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and just $10 less than the 2020 After Hours events, but go considerably higher on peak nights.

So, is it worth the price? It really comes down to what your priorities will be. If your main concern is getting on rides with little-to-no wait, it may be worth the price of admission. If you’re expecting the huge Halloween bash of Not So Scary with lots of additional entertainment, you’ll likely be disappointed.

There’s a reason why Walt Disney World labeled this event as an After Hours event and didn’t give it the Not So Scary name this year: It’s a very different experience from what is typical for Halloween in Magic Kingdom. What will be interesting to see is if After Hours Boo Bash sells extremely well, could this be the end for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? Sure, more people can attend Not So Scary, but tickets cost considerably more for Boo Bash. If the profits are similar in the end, Disney might choose to go the easier, smaller party route in the future. I think that would be very sad, considering the grand entertainment available during a typical year, so hopefully they’re not even considering that option.

When the cost for Boo Bash was announced, a lot of folks suffered a bit of sticker shock, which is completely understandable. The only thing I can say to that is you vote with your wallet. The only way prices will ever be lowered for a better value is if the event doesn’t sell well. The entire entertainment industry is testing ticket prices right now with the hope of making up for a lost year. If these higher prices are accepted, they will likely never roll back. If you’re someone who has complained on social media about the cost, the only vote that matters is if you decide not to purchase a ticket.

Overall, anyone planning to attend should keep in mind that this won’t be your typical Halloween party in Magic Kingdom. But if short waits for rides along with some minor bonuses are enough for you, it may just be one of your favorite nights in a Disney Park.

Do you plan on getting a ticket to the Disney After Hours Boo Bash? If not, what would make it worth the asking price for you? Is there a certain offering from the regular party that would entice you to pay the higher prices?

If you have any theme park topics you would like to hear my opinion on, let me know in the comments. You might just see it pop up in a future DePaoli on DeParks.

jeff depaoli

Jeff DePaoli is a producer and voiceover artist living in Los Angeles. He can be heard as the voice of Disney Trivia on Alexa as well as the host of “Dizney Coast to Coast,” the ultimate, unofficial Disney fan podcast. Get your FREE gifts of “America’s Hidden Mickeys,” “On the Rohde Again,” “Theme Park Comfort Kit” and more at DizneyCoastToCoast.com.

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