A few months ago, we initially got word that we were getting a Halloween party in Walt Disney World this year…but it would be an after hours event called Boo Bash. So like a wise dame once said, we all wondered “where are we going? And what kind of future will we discover there?”
The Boo Bash Basics
The Disney After Hours Boo Bash is happening on select nights between August 10th and October 31st. The party itself runs three hours – from 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. – but you can get into the park with just your date specific ticket as early as 7 p.m.
Tickets prices vary by night but range from $129 (same pricing for adults and children) certain nights early on to $199 on Halloween night. Annual Passholders and DVC members can get their tickets for $10 less in August and September.
If every night is like the first, if you arrive at 7 or later you can expect lines at the entrance but they move very fast. You'll tap in with your ticket (it's attached to your Magic Band) and proceed to get your party bracelet. If you are in the park there are designated places where you can go to check in, so ask where they are that night rather than hiking all the way back to the front of the park.
The normal nightly fireworks will happen before the park closes for the party. This is actually great for clearing the day's crowds because most everyone will head to Main Street for Happily Ever After and then funnel out afterwards – leaving the mostly empty park to be enjoyed by the party guests.
(Well…not mostly empty – but the attractions are all but walk on and areas away from Main Street are almost eerily quiet at times.)
Here's a full spread of the event guide for your planning pleasure!!
Spooky Music and Decor
Needless to say you have the usual Halloween decor as you walk up Main Street, U.S.A. The area around the flagpole at the bottom of Main Street is done up with piles of pumpkins and bales of hay. One thing that I did notice — as you get to the hub itself there are NO pumpkins or other Halloween decor in line of sight to the Castle. This makes me so happy!! As I was realizing that October 1 (the 50th) was going to happen during the Halloween season, I was wondering how the changes to the Castle and more for that celebration were going to play with the seasonal stuff – and I couldn’t be happier that we’ll still be able to get gorgeous pictures of Cinderella Castle all done up for the anniversary without pumpkins in the way.
One of my other favorite things about events like these is the music. We’ll all so used to happy music like the theme from Up playing as we walk down Main Street. Instead, at Boo Bash, you’ll hear things like borderline heavy metal as Maleficent rolls down the streets (it’s AMAZING – but more on that later) and Guns N Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle as you stroll into Adventureland. Music is always such a subliminal part of the park experience to me and it’s crazy how much my head sort of explodes when what I’m hearing is this unexpected.
Cavalcades and Other Entertainment
If you were in the park during Halloween, the usual 3 cavalcades at this party won’t be unfamiliar. We have Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and pals) with the familiar Boo To You music, the Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade (Dr. Facilier, the Queen of Hearts and Jafar among others) with the crowd favorite It’s Good to be Bad playing, and Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade with Jack, Sally, and Oogie Boogie – and of course This is Halloween playing all along the way.
And of course, the big thing that everyone waits for – Maleficent’s Fiery Prowl. If you were at Villains After Hours a couple of years ago, you’ll know how amazing this is. They actually bring out Maleficent in her dragon form from Festival of Fantasy after dark, bring her through Magic Kingdom with intense music going in the background, and have her periodically blowing fire along the way. The first night of the party she must have been having some technical issues, as we only got fire a couple of times when she first came out in Frontierland – but I hear she’s been going strong at parties since!! So glad they got this fixed, as it’s pretty awesome to see and definitely one of the highlights of the evening.
(From Villains After Hours in 2019)
Interestingly, they actually give you a schedule for the cavalcades in the event guide. (I say “interestingly” because the whole idea of the cavalcades was originally that they were more spontaneous and would not draw the crowds that the parades did.) This is so so helpful. It’s easy to waste the evening away waiting for cavalcades when you don’t know when they’re coming. Here, instead, you can look and see that for example that the Villains Cavalcade, Jack’s Cavalcade, and Maleficent will be out at 10:30, 10:40, and 10:50pm respectively. So if you choose a spot near where they come out at around that time, you will probably see everything but Mickey’s Cavalcade in the space of 30 minutes.
(Lady Carlotta from Not So Scary 2019)
And if the entertainment is what you’re into, you’ll find several other things happening around the park besides the cavalcades. The Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet performs at 4 set times during the evening in Frontierland. There’s a DJ Dance Party over at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. And, my personal favorite, Miss Carlotta, Miss Renatta and Broome the Butler over at the Haunted Mansion.
You can also find Goofy, Chip ‘n' Dale, and Foulfellow and Gideon in the parks for “socially distanced” photo ops.
Pretty much everything that you’d expect to be up and running at the party is. You can take a look at the map that I shared above to see the exact list – but suffice to say that it’s really just the things that you wouldn’t likely take the time to do during the limited party time that are closed – like Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress. Some of my favorite things to do in the park for sure – but probably not how I’d choose to spend my 3 hours (they go fast) at a pricey After Hours party.
Worth noting that they are *not* theming any of the attractions this year. Disappointing since things like Pirates and Space Mountain have had amazing Halloween overlays in years past – but I can appreciate a classic attraction…especially since…
Pretty much everything is walk on!! And this might just be the bottom line for the night. The park is almost empty and you can all but walk onto most attractions throughout the park. In this way this party feels a lot like how the holiday parties used to be. When we came here on vacation during one of Disney’s (very long) holiday seasons, we’d try to book one party night. It wasn’t even so much for the trick or treating or character meets or special shows…we just wanted to have one night where we knew we’d be able to walk around and do every attraction we wanted at a relaxed pace. Knowing we’d have that night somehow made every other day of they trip less frantic feeling. We didn’t have to worry about getting everything in because we’d have the party to do that. This party (while pricier since it’s an After Hours event instead of a party during normal park hours) feels like it would serve the same purpose.
Food & Drink
The Prince John Sucker from Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies
One of the best things about the party is that food and drink from many food carts – ice cream and other novelties, popcorn, water, and sodas – is included in your ticket price. Eat a few Mickey Bars that are usually almost $6 each and you might rethink the cost of that ticket.
There are also a handful of treat or treating spots throughout the park – all stocked with Mars Wrigley products. You can find them on the map and they’re also marked throughout the park with large inflatables. If you have allergy concerns, you can also find an allergy-friendly center in Liberty Square – in the guest relations area near the entrance to Hall of Presidents.
Also be on the lookout for these specialty items that you can only get during the party!!
©Disney Parks Blog – Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake
- Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake (Sleepy Hollow) – Funnel cake topped with chocolate cookie crumbles, purple vanilla ice cream, caramel drizzle, and M&M’s milk chocolate Ghoul’s Mix (Available 8/10-10/31)
- Apple Ginger Dale (Golden Oak Outpost) – Frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale topped with whipped cream and chopped TWIX cookies bars (Available 8/10-10/31)
And a handful of other Halloween items that are available during the party AND at other times until Halloween:
- Prince John Sucker (Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) – Tart green apple lemonade slush topped with whipped cream and a ring pop (Available 8/10-10/31)
- Mocha Chocolate Chip (Golden Oak Outpost) – Frozen mocha topped with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and a sugar acorn (Available 8/10-10/31)
- Maleficent Churro (Main Street Outdoor Vending Carts) – Churro covered in chocolate cookie crumble drizzled with purple icing topped with green and purple sugar (Available 8/10-10/31)
- Five Dozen Egg Slush (Storybook Treats) – Frozen custard with brown sugar topped with whipped cream garnished with a cinnamon stick (Available 8/10-10/31)
Costumes and People Watching
One of the best things about any Halloween party at Walt Disney World is the people watching!! The number of people actually dressed up tends to increase as it gets closer to the holiday (less intense heat and more holiday spirit!) but there are always great costumes at any of the parties.
Here are some of my favorites from the other night!!
(She didn't have a handle for me to tag but gave me permission to share!! I do wish she had an alligator though….)
Shout out to @edkennedysv for this amazing Hades.
And to @rickyvit1120 for this epic Winifred.
Disney PhotoPass and Magic Shots
And while we’re talking about memorable looks – how about making some of your own!! You’ll find PhotoPass photographers throughout the park during the party.
I took this picture awhile back but be on this lookout as it's popping up at the party and is one of the most beautiful pictures available on property.
And always remember to ask for the party Magic Shots!! Different spots will be able to add different magic to your pictures.
From August 2019 – This Magic Shot is again available on Main Street!! You'll also find hitchhiking ghosts near the Haunted Mansion and the headless horsemen near the Hall of Presidents, among others throughout the park. (At least that's where they were that first night…)
(The Lack of) Boo Bash Merchandise
One thing does seem to be missing from this event, and that's merchandise. We can only imagine that Disney is focusing its energy on the 50th. There's no event specific merchandise that we've seen…but you will find plenty of Halloween merchandise all over property.
As always, check for the latest guidance from Disney on mask wearing and the like before visiting property so you aren't caught off guard!! You can always find the current protocols right HERE.
The Bottom Line
I had a really good time at Boo Bash. I do miss the stage shows and would have loved to have seen a special fireworks show. I look forward to the day when meet & greets can return, as they were always a Halloween favorite. But at the end of the day this reminded me a lot of why we used to go to parties back in the day. A pretty empty park and in park experience. The chance to all but walk onto any attraction and see some rarer characters out and about and grab some fun Magic Shots. Parties definitely aren't back in full…but I would definitely consider Boo Bash tickets for a trip if they're in the budget – especially if you missed Villains Night back in 2019 and Halloween here last year, as Maleficent and the various cavalcades, while largely repeats from these events, are things worth seeing.
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If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.