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“Sold Out” Boo Bash Dates Available Again

Most Disney After Hours Boo Bash tickets that were previously listed as “sold out” are once again available for purchase. In this post, we’ll provide details on the dozen dates that are now bookable, offer commentary about crowd expectations, and potential explanations as to why this is happening.

Let’s start with a bit of background for anyone who missed the roller coaster Boo Bash drama from a couple of weeks ago. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels could book their tickets beginning June 8, but only by phone. Since Disney’s call centers are currently experiencing a staffing shortage, that went predictably bad. There were multi-hour waits on the phone lines for those first few days. (Sarah endured exactly, plus one disconnection, to purchase ours.)

During that pre-purchase window, a few dates sold out, including Halloween and opening night. Prior to Halloween actually selling out, there was some day one confusion about it potentially being sold out, not yet available, or temporarily unavailable, for reasons unknown…

Ticket sales began for the general public on June 15, which was reportedly a much smoother process. That’s presumably due to the online system also opening for Disney After Hours Boo Bash tickets. To my knowledge, no issues with Stitch eating any pages, but admittedly, I didn’t pay super-close attention.

In any case, more dates sold out, and by June 16, here’s what availability looked like:

I didn’t take another screenshot, but the last time I checked earlier this week, here are additional dates that were sold out:

  • August 17
  • September 21
  • September 24
  • October 22
  • October 26

Basically, the remaining options were all dates from August 20 through September 19, 2021–plus all Sunday nights in October 2021. (At least, if my recollection is accurate…and it seldom is.)

Above is what’s available in August as of this morning.

Looking good so far–no changes whatsoever!

Here’s the latest on Disney After Hours Boo Bash availability for September 2021.

Okay, everything is open, but perhaps there were cancellations or adjustments. No cause for alarm yet.

Finally, current October 2021 Disney After Hours Boo Bash ticket options.

Uh oh.

Last week, our commentary was that dates selling out quickly was good news. Our reasoning was that it suggested Walt Disney World actually was capping attendance for Disney After Hours Boo Bash at a low level. Here’s a paragraph from our Guide to Disney After Hours Boo Bash, published on June 16:

One of our fears is that Walt Disney World would increase the attendance cap, thus negating the main advantage of the After Hours event, which is enjoying most attractions as near walk-ons and minimal crowds throughout Magic Kingdom…It’s always possible that the cap is higher than we suspect–or that Walt Disney World will quietly release more tickets once these sell out, but we are cautiously optimistic about the event as of right now.

It would appear our fears have been realized and our cautious optimism was misplaced.

We have not called and have absolutely no intention of doing so. However, in talking to a few “annoyed” guests who purchased these tickets and have contacted Walt Disney World via phone and/or chat in attempts to receive refunds, there appear to be a few unofficial explanations.

First, that the tickets were previously sold out in error, due to “phone problems” the first day tickets went on sale. This seems unlikely, as the only date that sold out initially was Halloween–and it didn’t actually sell out on the first day.

Most of these that are once again available did not sell out until online booking started. Moreover, they’ve had over two weeks to correct that but are just fixing it now?

Second, that limited availability has opened up because guests have switched dates.

Again, not likely. Changing dates does not create more inventory out of thin air. It’s a 1:1 trade. Hopefully I don’t have to illustrate this with an example, but if so, I have a great one involving flying v. earthbound pigs.

Finally, that Disney increased capacity consistent with the phased reopening of Walt Disney World.

This is probably the truest explanation, so long as you stop reading after “Disney increased capacity.” The rest wouldn’t make sense for a variety of reasons, the least of which being that After Hours events have a cap much lower than 35-40% of normal attendance.

Prior to tickets being released, we published Crowd Predictions for Disney After Hours Boo Bash. The salient piece of advice in that post was do not buy Disney After Hours Boo Bash tickets in advance.

I’ll level with you–after seeing tickets sell so quickly, I questioned that advice, worrying that I might’ve led you astray. I was slightly heartened by the overwhelming number of commenters who disagreed (most of the rest of you thought it was a rip-off all along, and weren’t buying tickets regardless). As it turns out, maybe I should’ve trusted my gut?

To reiterate what was advised there, we’d caution against buying tickets now for Disney After Hours Boo Bash unless you absolutely know you want to attend, and don’t care about how crowded it is.

Keep in mind that After Hours is fundamentally a low crowd event–the entertainment is the icing, not the cake. Low crowd levels are the reason to attend, so if it does not offer that–or you don’t find yourself needing that, Boo Bash tickets are arguably a pointless purchase.

We’d recommend waiting until closer to your travel dates is to assess ticket sales and event attendance levels, particularly for the previously sold out parties. It’s worth noting that the first two August dates have not had capacity added, which is probably by design. Opening night is full of bloggers like us, and the second night is typically sponsored media night. Even though we bought our opening night tickets, our report on crowds will (admittedly) be less reliable than someone doing a late August or September date.

Again, the selling point of the After Hours events is low crowds. If Boo Bash is not delivering that, it’s definitely not worth the money. We’d be highly apprehensive about attending the event on any night that sells out–especially now that the capacity cap has seemingly been increased. Instead of having FOMO about dates selling out, it should bring a sense of relief–who wants to attend a low crowds event on a night with higher crowds?

Ultimately, there might very well be an innocent explanation for why a bunch of sold out Disney After Hours Boo Bash dates are once again available. It’s possible one of the far-fetched explanations above is accurate, and there’s no cause for concern here. Maybe Disney has added to the attraction lineup or is expanding the entertainment slate, which will offset the increased capacity and ticket sales.

It’s also possible that Terran pigs will someday take flight. (Everyone knows about griffins, a very real animal.) However, just because we can’t definitively rule something out yet, doesn’t mean it’s likely. The very reason our last Boo Bash ticket update suggested that Walt Disney World might release more tickets was because we’ve seen exactly that happen in the past. This isn’t exactly new or unprecedented, nor does it need to be explained away.

Walt Disney World never said they wouldn’t release more tickets. The company promised a “limited-capacity” event with “less time waiting in line.” That’s it. So long as the attendance cap is 99% or less and wait times are lower than they’d be on some undisclosed day (whether that be September 1 or New Year’s Eve is totally unclear), they’ve upheld their end of the bargain. That might seem like a cynical way to parse words, but when you’re dealing with a company that chooses its words carefully, that’s the pragmatic approach.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What are your thoughts about all of this? If you bought tickets, are you upset that previously sold out dates are once again available for Disney After Hours Boo Bash? Concerned that crowds will be larger than expected? Alternatively, are you happy you can now buy tickets? Optimistic that there’s a “good” explanation for more tickets becoming available? Will your family be attending or sitting this Halloween event out? Do you agree or disagree with our perspective on this? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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