With the first of the Boo Bash After Hours party in the record book and announced plans for the Merriest Christmas After Hours parties, the question of whether it's worth the high priced ticket is a hot topic these days. So, here are my thoughts.
First and foremost, the question hinges on a few key decisions regarding your plans for the day of the party (pre-party) and what you like most out of a day in the parks.
Costs for these parties range from $129 to $249 per person per night, which is extremely high for events such as this, particularly when you consider that a family of four could be expected to pay up to $1000 to attend the event pre-taxes. For that pricey ticket, guests can get admission up to 2.5 hours prior to the party, lower crowds during the party, and free snacks (basically things such as popcorn, bottled Coke products, and ice cream) for the event, lasting 4-5 hours. The offerings for Boo Bash consist of limited entertainment offerings and cavalcades over halloween that were free to all guests last year, and the promise of a parade and fireworks for the Christmas-themed party.
The entertainment is really hit and miss, particularly for families with younger children who will likely want to leave early and therefore not be there to see it. So, in fairness, this high price is really for the lower wait times on attractions.
One thing to also consider before putting down your money for one of these events is that crowds at the Magic Kingdom during the days of the after hours bashes will be lower since the park closes early, so attraction wait times are generally lower.
With all of this in mind, unless you're really interested in the theming of the events, it's probably less beneficial to put down money for the parties (particularly the larger your party size is since that money can be used for additional days at Walt Disney World), unless you're arriving mid-day on a party night and don't expect to get to the parks until after 7 or want to have a resort day, outlet shopping day, or similar prior to the nighttime party.
The jury is probably still out on the value of these parties but as a general rule, I suspect these are going to be a bit of a waste of money unless you're planning on a late day at the parks to begin with.