Visiting Disney World during the holidays is definitely a magical experience in itself, but once you add in seasonal offerings like special holiday decorations, entertainment and even winter-themed food and beverage, being swept into the spirit of the season is unavoidable – even in the warm Florida sun!
One of the most popular holiday events, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, takes places on select November and December nights and offers guests a chance to experience a true winter wonderland, with an array of special shows, character appearances, fireworks display and complimentary holiday treats – all complemented by lower crowds (check out this post to plan for the least busiest parties), and, if you’re lucky, a chance of snow flurries on Main Street. As a “hard ticket” event, it does require separate admission (see this post for official dates, pricing and discount information) and takes place after regular operating hours, much like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which occurs earlier in the fall.
Unlike that party, however, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party does feature some entertainment offerings that become available to “day guests” of the Magic Kingdom later in the season, such as Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and the popular fireworks display, Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, which take the place of the regular Celebrate a Dream Come True parade and Wishes – A Magical Gathering of Disney Dream fireworks, from December 21-31.
When’s the party?
- November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, and 22
- December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 20
While the festivities officially kick off at 7 PM (also the “closing time” for day guests), a ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party allows entry starting at 4 PM. Since the party runs through midnight, using early entry may allow for 8 full hours of fun – and surprising value, as the costliest party ticket for an adult costs $71 – broken down into 8 hours, that places each hour at less than $10. Contrast that with a regular Magic Kingdom one-day ticket at $95!
Of course, your mileage may vary, and depending on your vacation schedule/length, adding another day to your ticket could be a better value, and checking out a different park that night could be a good fit. Check out the least expensive ticket calculator to weigh your options.
What is so special about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?
Erin Foster wrote a fantastic write-up about what to expect from the party here, but here’s the quick version – it’s Magic Kingdom all dressed up for Christmas, complete with special parades, snow, and - if that’s not your cup of tea, this might be - shorter attraction waits for the attractions that are open during the party.
What attractions are open?
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (don’t miss out on the special card available only at parties; pick it up at the Magic Kingdom Firehouse and the location behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe)
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jingle Cruise (new for 2013)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasures of the Seven Seas
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world” (this attraction will be down for refurbishment 12/2/13 to 12/12/13)
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mad Tea Party
- Dumbo The Flying Elephant
- The Barnstormer
- Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Ariel’s Grotto
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Stitch’s Great Escape
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
What entertainment is available?
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
- Celebrate the Magic
- Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season (fireworks)
- “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show”
- “Celebrate the Season” Show
- Character Dance Parties (Woody’s Hootin’ Hollerin’ Holiday Open House in the Diamond Horseshoe and Club Tinsel at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe)
What restaurants are open?
- Main Street Bakery
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
- Pecos Bill Tell Tale Inn and Cafe (until 11 PM)
- Westward Ho
- Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart (until 11 PM)
- Frontierland Churro Wagon (until 11 PM)
- Sleepy Hollow
- Liberty Square Market (until 9 PM)
- Friar’s Nook (until 9 PM)
- Storybook Treats
- Gaston’s Tavern
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
- The Lunching Pad
Are there Touring Plans for the parties?
Yes! If you want to meet characters, we’ve posted two “character meet-and-greet” touring plans for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party here on the blog.
The following are Premium Touring Plans (require membership to TouringPlans.com):
- Magic Kingdom Christmas Party Touring Plan for Parents (Focus on Party Activities)
- Magic Kingdom Christmas Party Touring Plan for Adults
- Magic Kingdom Christmas Party Touring Plan for Parents (Focus on Attractions)
Do I need a Touring Plan for these parties?
Utilizing a Touring Plan may increase the value of your experience if you were looking to accomplish as many things as possible in one evening.
What other special things should I know about these parties?
Event specific merchandise (including apparel and a special trading pin) is available for purchase at the Emporium, Frontier Trading Post, Heritage House, Big Top Souvenirs and Mickey’s Star Traders.
Complimentary Holiday Treats (yes, something FREE at Walt Disney World) – are available at The Crystal Palace, Sunshine Tree Terrace, Tortuga Tavern, Columbia Harbor House, Pinocchio Village Haus, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe and the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. The traditional offerings are Hot Cocoa and Sugar Cookies, but Apple Slices and Apple Juice may also be requested.
Special Disney Character Appearances – are offered around the park, often with hard-to-find or rare characters decked out in their Holiday best – a perfect opportunity for family Christmas card photos?
So…is it worth it?
Cost-wise, it is an individual decision, but in general, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers a bounty of fun for party-goers of all ages, no matter the attendee’s focus.
Have you ever attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? What tips did I miss?
ETA: Check out this guide to the party, uploaded 12/2013: https://wdpromedia.disney.go.com/media/wdpro-assets/parks-and-tickets/special-events/mickeys-very-merry-christmas/mvmcp2013_version3b.pdf?22112013111132