The first-ever Disney After Hours Boo Bash kicked off spooky season at Magic Kingdom a little over a week ago on August 10th. Even with the scaled-back event perks, steep prices for Disney Boo Bash tickets, and pandemic numbers soaring, guests can’t wait to throw on their costumes for this year’s version of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, with all but one of the event nights already sold out.
We were at the Disney Boo Bash earlier this week to see how the abbreviated event stacks up to past Disney Halloween parties – and to see whether it’s worth the scary price of admission. So, if you’re thinking about purchasing tickets for the last remaining night or you already have tickets and are wondering what the evening will hold, keep reading for everything you need to know about celebrating Halloween at Disney World in 2021.
Going to the Disney After Hours Boo Bash
Although the 3-hour event doesn’t officially start until 9 or 9:30pm depending on the night, Boo Bash guests are allowed into the park at around 7pm. If you choose to take advantage of this (and we highly recommend you do), it won’t just give you at least a 2-hour head start on the festivities, but it will also come close to doubling the length of the party. This is massive considering the exceptionally high price tag for the condensed event (more on that in a bit).
Once you’ve arrived at the Magic Kingdom main entrance, you’ll be directed to the appropriate area to check in. At that time, you’ll receive your event wristband along with a trick-or-treating bag for hoarding your stash of sweets. For those planning to arrive at the park earlier in the day, don’t worry about needing to make your way up to the front for check-in. You’ll also be able to pick up your wristband from the distribution areas near Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland and Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland.
Before you get to trick-or-treating, don’t forget to pick up your Boo Bash map. This handy-dandy guide is the key to making the most of your evening. Here you’ll find all the details on the event highlights including complimentary & (paid) special food items on offer, where to buy Disney Halloween merchandise, an entertainment schedule, cavalcade routes and times, character locations, trick-or-treat trails, and more.
Disney Boo Bash Dates
Disney After Hours Boo Bash is held on select evenings between August 10 and October 31, 2021. As we mentioned earlier, start times for the 3-hour event vary from 9 or 9:30pm depending on the date and runs until either midnight or 12:30am, respectively.
All of the event nights in August and the first night in September begin at 9:30pm while the rest of the evenings start at 9pm. Again, keep in mind that as long as you have a Boo Bash ticket, you are able to enter Magic Kingdom starting at 7pm, no Disney theme park reservation or day ticket is required.
Boo Bash Dates from 9:30 PM to 12:30 PM
- Tuesday, August 10, 2021
- Tuesday, August 17, 2021
- Friday, August 20, 2021
- Tuesday, August 24, 2021
- Friday, August 27, 2021
- Tuesday, August 31, 2021
- Friday, September 3, 2021
- Sunday, September 5, 2021
Boo Bash Dates From 9 PM to Midnight:
- Tuesday, September 7, 2021
- Friday, September 10, 2021
- Sunday, September 12, 2021*
- Tuesday, September 14, 2021
- Friday, September 17, 2021
- Sunday, September 19, 2021
- Tuesday, September 21, 2021
- Friday, September 24, 2021
- Tuesday, October 5, 2021
- Friday, October 8, 2021
- Sunday, October 10, 2021
- Tuesday, October 12, 2021
- Friday, October 15, 2021
- Sunday, October 17, 2021
- Tuesday, October 19, 2021
- Friday, October 22, 2021
- Sunday, October 24, 2021
- Tuesday, October 26, 2021
- Friday, October 29, 2021
- Sunday, October 31, 2021
Now, while that seems like a good chunk of time at first glance, those who have been to Disney’s Halloween party in the past will know that it pales in comparison to how long Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party normally runs. Unlike Boo Bash, MNSSHP usually runs from 7pm to midnight, with guests being allowed into Magic Kingdom as early as 4pm, making Boo Bash 2 hours shorter officially and 5 hours shorter unofficially. “Boo to you,” indeed.
Disney Boo Bash Tickets 2021
Even though there are still 10 weeks of event nights remaining, the Disney World Boo Bash is already almost completely sold out. At the time of writing, the only evening still available is Sunday, August 12 with a ticket price of $129. Since going to Boo Bash earlier this week, another event night has already sold out. So, if you’re thinking about purchasing a ticket for the last remaining night, we highly suggest you make your purchase as soon as possible.
Now, here’s the kicker. Tickets for Boo Bash are EXPENSIVE. Priced at between $129 and $199 (plus tax) for both adults and children, it’s a sharp increase from past years’ Halloween party tickets. How steep exactly? To the tune of around $50 to $60 per ticket. Ouch!
So, is the Disney Boo Bash worth spending $50 more per person for an event that is 2 hours shorter (and that’s being generous)? Let’s take a look at the event highlights to find out.
Entertainment & Activities at the Disney World Boo Bash
Similar to previous years, Magic Kingdom Park has been decked out with plenty of Halloween-themed décor. However, with all of the decorations being confined to Main Street U.S.A., things are a bit sparser than what we’ve seen at past Disney Halloween parties. That being said, what is out is adorable. Fall-colored bunting is draped across buildings, light posts and balconies are bedecked with themed jack-o-lanterns, and pumpkins are sprinkled everywhere.
In addition to the autumnal accents, the event also comes alive with a spooky soundtrack piped in throughout the park. So, even though you aren’t bombarded with pumpkins and ghosts around every corner, you’ll still feel in the Halloween spirit no matter where you are in the park.
When it comes to actual attractions, things around The Most Magical Place on Earth have been feeling a little less, well, magical as a result of Covid-19. Parades have been nixed in favor of character cavalcades (AKA singular floats with characters and dancers acting as parades-in-miniature throughout the day). Character meet-and-greets and most stage shows are also on hiatus, and fireworks only recently started returning to the theme parks.
Naturally, those changes also extend to seasonal events like the first-ever Disney After Hours Boo Bash. While Boo Bash may be new to Magic Kingdom, Disney After Hours events have been around for a little while now. These late-night events offer minimum crowds and, by extension, blissfully short wait times, as well as complimentary snacks and drinks, Disney character experiences, and more.
Given the new, shortened event length and the modified offerings due to the pandemic, two of the biggest highlights of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party have been dropped from the slate of events this year with no alternative to replace them: Fireworks and the wildly popular Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular stage show. We know, we’re sad too. Luckily, there are still a good amount of activities to keep you busy all event long.
Halloween Character Cavalcades
One of the highlights of Disney Halloween parties has long been Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade. Helmed by the Headless Horseman and his trusty steed, the parade features floats starring a host of Disney and Pixar characters, a gang of dancing gravediggers, and much more.
Of course, as parades have been temporarily on hiatus since reopening due to the pandemic, that isn’t the case this year at the Disney After Hours Boo Bash. Rather than a full-length parade, guests will be able to enjoy a few of the more popular floats from Boo-to-You during the sporadic Halloween character cavalcades.
Like other parades at Magic Kingdom, the route begins in Frontierland, winding its way through Liberty Square and down Main Street U.S.A.. Donning their Halloween costumes, Mickey and his pals kick off the frightening fiesta at 9:55pm with Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade. This is the only pint-sized parade of the bunch to make a full loop of the parade route. So, if you miss it on its way to Main Street U.S.A., you will be able to catch it on its return trip to Frontierland.
All in all, we’re pretty big fans of the cavalcades. You won’t need to wait around forever to save your seat for the parade, which is a big plus since the event is so much shorter this year. Much like fun-sized candy bars, it’s the perfect little bite of Disney character magic without the extra time commitment, meaning you’ll have even more time to enjoy all of the other perks the event has to offer.
Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade
Starring Mickey, Minnie, and the gang in their Halloween costumes
9:55pm – Begins and ends in Frontierland
11:25pm – Starts in Frontierland and ends on Main Street U.S.A.
Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade
Starring Gaston, Dr. Facilier, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and more
10:30pm, 11:45pm – Starts in Frontierland and ends on Main Street U.S.A.
Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade
Starring Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie
10:40pm, 11:55pm – Starts in Frontierland and ends on Main Street U.S.A.
Maleficent’s Fiery Prowl
Starring Maleficent as a fire-breathing dragon
10:50pm, 12:05am – Starts in Frontierland and ends on Main Street U.S.A.
Disney Character Sightings
Disney character meet-and-greets have long been a mainstay at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, with more obscure and rarely seen characters as well as classic favorites in their Halloween best out making an appearance. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, that really isn’t the case this year.
That being said, while you won’t catch most of the more unique Disney characters (aside from a few ghosts who call the Haunted Mansion home), you can still look forward to some socially distanced character encounters sprinkled throughout the park including:
- Madame Carlotta, Madame Renatta, and Broome the Butler in front of the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square
- Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore in their Halloween costumes on the porch of The Crystal Palace on Main Street U.S.A.
- Pirate Goofy across from Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland
- Chip ‘n’ Dale on the balcony near Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland
- Foulfellow and Gideon on the balcony of Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland
Like the cavalcades, we don’t exactly hate this change, especially given the shortness of the festival. Since these aren’t exactly meet-and-greets (more like waving and posing for selfies from afar), you won’t need to worry about waiting in long lines or crisscrossing the park to see all the characters on your list. That means you’ll be able to snap your picture and keep on walking, which is great given the 3-hour time limit.
Other Boo Bash Disney World Activities
When you aren’t hunting down Jack Skellington or collecting Halloween candy, there are also a few other activities to keep you entertained.
Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet
Halloween calls for some spooky tunes to set the mood, and what better way to enjoy them than in four-part harmony? The zombie-fied Dapper Dans take to the stage four times a night on the balcony near Country Bear Jamboree.
9:40pm, 10:20pm, 11:05pm, 12:10am
DJ Dance Party
Boogie-woogie (Oogie Boogie?) the night away at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. With Disney dancers and a hype man to get the party started, the DJ Dance Party runs all night long for whenever you need a dance break.
Unfortunately, the DJ Dance Party was more dead than undead when we stopped by to check it out. So, while it may not be a great place to get your groove on, it could be a fun spot to sit down for a bit and let your little pirates and princesses burn off some energy.
Disney World Halloween Merchandise
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party usually offers exclusive merchandise to commemorate the event. This year, however, exclusive Boo Bash souvenirs have been swapped out in favor of Halloween swag all guests can enjoy. Shirts, plushies, and more are available in the Emporium on Main Street U.S.A., Memento Mori in Liberty Square, and Star Traders in Tomorrowland.
Disney Boo Bash Rides & Wait Times
Without a doubt, one of the best things about Disney After Hours Boo Bash is the limited crowds. While Mickey’s Halloween Party can still be pretty busy, Disney After Hours events are relatively intimate affairs. Well, at least as intimate as an event at Walt Disney World can be. That means wait times for rides are delightfully short.
We found that wait times hovered around 5 to 10 minutes for most rides with more popular attractions like Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train topping out around 25 minutes. Considering that all the rides were up and running for most of the night, that’s more than enough to keep you busy for most of the event. Of course, if you’re still planning on checking out the other event offerings in addition to taking advantage of the short rides, you will need to pick and choose which attractions you’d like to see to squeeze in everything.
Boo Bash PhotoPass Magic Shots
With everyone rocking their best Halloween gear, there’s no better place to take photos than the Disney After Hours Boo Bash. Disney PhotoPass Photographers are set up throughout the park for all your picture-taking needs. Halloween costumes will obviously make for some memorable pics, but you’ll also want to take advantage of the event’s special magic shots.
These special photos bring the hocus pocus. Cast a spell from behind a witch’s cauldron, stick out your thumb next to a trio of hitchhiking ghosts, hold the Headless Horseman’s flaming jack-o-lantern head in the palm of your hand, and more. You can even channel the Sanderson Sisters with the creepy Manual of Witchcraft and Alchemy from Disney’s Hocus Pocus.
Many magic shots are only available in certain parts of the park. For example, you’ll only be able to get a photo next to the hitchhiking ghosts in Liberty Square near the Haunted Mansion. So, ask the PhotoPass Photographer which magic shots they know when it’s your time to strike a pose.
Disney Boo Bash Food & Drinks
Aside from the entertainment, another highlight of Halloween at Disney World is eating lots of tasty things. You have your pick of a wide menu of items at the Disney Boo Bash including candy from the trick-or-treat trails, specialty items, and complimentary snacks and bottled beverages.
Boo Bash Disney Trick-or-Treating
Halloween isn’t Halloween without donning a costume and going trick-or-treating. While you don’t need to dress up (although it is encouraged), you’d be missing out if you don’t check out all of the Boo Bash trick-or-treat trails. Hike around to the trick-or-treat locations dotted around Magic Kingdom near and inside some of the attractions to get handfuls of candy like M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, Twix, and more dropped into your bag by friendly cast members.
Our favorite spot is located at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. Not only are there two treat stations here, but with a monster from the show chatting with the audience and cracking some jokes, it’s also a great place to rest your feet for a while. Those with dietary restrictions can get in on the fun at the allergy-friendly center in Liberty Square.
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café
- Splash Mountain
- Pinocchio Village Haus
- Ariel’s Grotto
- Pete’s Silly Sideshow
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Exclusive Boo Bash Bites & Beverages
Whether Epcot festivals or the Disney Boo Bash, no seasonal event at Disney is complete without some special snacks and sips. There aren’t too many limited-availability food or drink items on offer this year, just two desserts and a handful of frozen beverages. If there is something that you know you’re going to want to try, we highly recommend getting it first thing during the night as we heard about different items running out partway through.
- Mocha Chocolate Chip Frozen Drink | Golden Oak Outpost: Frozen mocha crowned with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and an acorn-shaped sugar piece
- Apple Ginger Dale Frozen Drink | Golden Oak Outpost: Frozen apple cider swirled with ginger ale and smothered with whipped cream, Twix Cookie Bar crumbles, and an acorn-shaped sugar piece
- Prince John Sucker Frozen Drink | Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies: Tart, green-apple-flavored lemonade slush garnished with a ring pop
- Maleficent Churro | Main Street U.S.A. Snack Cart: Churro drowned in chocolate-cookie crumbles, a purple icing drizzle, and a flourish of green & purple sprinkles
- Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake | Sleepy Hollow Refreshments: Funnel cake covered with chocolate-cookie crumbles, purple vanilla ice cream, and M&M’s and drizzled with caramel
- Five Dozen Egg Frozen Drink | Storybook Treats: Frozen custard and brown sugar capped with ice cream and a cinnamon stick
Complimentary Snacks & Sips
Aside from the Halloween candy and whatever else you decide to buy, you can also nosh on free snacks and beverages included in the price of admission. Popcorn is available to offset all the sugar you’ve been downing, or you can cool off with ice cream novelties like Mickey ice cream bars and sandwiches. Wash it all down with a bottle of water or soda. These items can be found at food and drink kiosks around Magic Kingdom.
Is Disney Boo Bash Worth It? – Pros, Cons & Tips
So, is Disney After Hours Boo Bash worth it? It really depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it. At $50 to $60 more for a shorter event with much fewer things to enjoy, paying the hefty price tag can be a bitter pill to swallow. If you can get past all of that, however, the event is still a ton of fun.
If you’re hoping for close-up interactions with rare Disney characters and a ton of entertainment offerings like fireworks, parades, and stage shows, Boo Bash probably isn’t worth the steep price of admission. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more relaxed, exclusive-feeling event with plenty of time to go on rides, do some trick-or-treating, see a few characters from a distance, and you don’t mind paying more for less, then Boo Bash does have its perks.
- Fewer people
- Shorter lines for rides
- Bite-sized character cavalcades and sightings
- Trick-or-treating trails
- Some special food items
- Lighter crowds are great for photography
- No parades
- No fireworks
- No character meet-and-greets
- No stage shows
- Fewer treat trails
- No exclusive merchandise
- 2 hours shorter (5 hours if you count the time you can get into the park early)
- Expensive price tag
Disney After Hours Boo Bash Tips
Making your way to Magic Kingdom for the Disney After Hours Boo Bash in the coming weeks? Get the most out of the event with these helpful tips.
1. Arrive early.
Boo Bash is short enough as it is, so don’t make it even shorter by sticking to the 9-to-midnight timeframe. Take advantage of being able to get into the park at 7pm by checking some rides off of your to-do list or checking out the Halloween merch that’s available. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy the activities and entertainment that is exclusive to the event.
2. Don’t forget your map.
The Boo Bash map is crucial for keeping track of where, when, and what is happening at the event. Rather than just wandering around aimlessly and hoping that you’ll eventually smack into a character or cavalcade (and wasting a ton of time in the process), make a point to pick one up as you enter the park.
3. Dress up and take pictures.
Halloween is all about dressing up, eating too much sugar, and escaping from reality for a little bit, and there’s no better place to do that than at a Disney Halloween party. Most people are in costume, though some are more elaborate than others. Plus, with so many fun magic shots available and PhotoPass Photographers out taking pictures, you’re sure to go home with some memorable souvenirs.
Those that love take pictures will also enjoy the Disney World Boo Bash. All the costumes, dramatic lighting, and Halloween decorations make for great subjects. And best of all, with fewer people in attendance, it’s easier to take those covetable Disney photos that aren’t filled with dozens of strangers.
4. Get your money’s worth.
With Boo Bash, you’re spending up to $60 more per person on a shorter event with fewer things to do. So, you’ll want to make the most of the freebies you’re given in the time that you have. Go to all of the candy locations, take advantage of the complimentary snacks and the short ride lines. Since you don’t have to spend time waiting around for the parade, fireworks, or a meet-and-greet, it gives you more freedom to enjoy the novelty of being in Magic Kingdom after hours.
Well, all you guys and ghouls, that concludes our review of and guide to the Disney After Hours Boo Bash. It’s pricey to be sure, but if you know how to make the most of it, this newest Disney World Halloween party is a cauldron of fun.
Planning to spend the day in Magic Kingdom before the Boo Bash begins? Maximize your time with our 1-Day Magic Kingdom Plan. Wanting to make up for those spendy Boo Bash prices? Save some cash with our discounted Walt Disney World tickets.
Have you been to Boo Bash already? Let us know if you think it’s worth the price of admission! Are you still waiting to go? What are you most looking forward to?
Amber is a proud former Walt Disney World Cast Member, an unabashed travel addict, and a hospitality and tourism specialist with over 10 years in the industry. She likes getting her wanderlust fix by sharing her favorite park tips and tricks with other Disney fans. When she isn’t working, you can usually catch her in a hot power yoga class or spending way too much money at Disney Springs.