Finding the Least Crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2018

Here I am once again to review the information from last year and give you an even better projection for the least crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018. Make sure you check out our dedicated page for a complete list of dates as well as a thorough description of what the Christmas party is.

In short, if you’re looking for the best Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018, we recommend Tuesday, November 13, 2018. The equivalent date was the party last year with the lowest wait times and has been very low in the past. It’s a Tuesday, early in the season, far enough from Christmas to avoid the crowds that come with it.

I’m sure you’re wondering how we did with our recommendations last year, the answer is…not too bad. Here are the top 5 from last year’s recommendations:

Party Date Projected Rank Actual Rank
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 1 3
Thursday, December 7, 2017 2 6
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3 1
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4 4
Thursday, December 14, 2017 5 8

[As a quick aside, it’s interesting to note that the average wait times had gone down each year that we had monitored them–until 2015. The past three years wait times have gone up, indicating that maybe they’re either letting more people into the parties or moving people through attractions more slowly. Probably both. Aside over, back to the best Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018.]

As you can see, our predictions performed pretty closely to what we thought they would. Remember how I said above that the wait times were increasing? Well, the average peak wait time during the Christmas parties used to be around 11 minutes, while the average wait for the 2015 party was 11.7. In 2016, that jumped to almost 14 minutes and crossed past 16 minutes in 2017! That’s a 42% jump in 2 years…not the direction we want to see that going since the prices also keep climbing.

The New Methodology

We fiddled with the formula last year so that we now consider more than just attraction wait times. We now also consider if previous parties sold out and we look at the crowd ratings for the daytime hours. We did not include the price in our calculation, even though the price is variable. We’ve found that the price differences even out the crowds as they are intended to do. You may notice below that the higher-priced parties are dates that have sold out in the past, although we weighted the more recent sellouts higher and fewer parties sold out last year. No doubt attributable to the higher price–as well as a possible higher attendance threshold.

The result is something that we hope will be an even better representation of crowds. We present the chart below in order to give you as much information as we have so that you can make an informed decision.

Enough setup, let’s look at the chart:

 

Party Date Attraction Wait Times Rank Advance Purchase Price for an Adult Ticket Notes
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1 $95
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2 $99 Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015.
Thursday, December 06, 2018 3 $99 Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013.
Thursday, November 15, 2018 4 $95
Thursday, December 13, 2018 5 $99 Sold out 2 days in advance in 2014 and 1 day in advance in 2015.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 6 $99 Sold out 1 day in advance in 2017.
Friday, November 16, 2018 7 $99 Sold out 1 day in advance in 2014 and 2 days in advance in 2016.
Thursday, November 29, 2018 8 $99
Tuesday, December 04, 2018 9 $99 Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015 and 2017.
Sunday, December 02, 2018 10 $99
Friday, December 07, 2018 12 $109 Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2 days in 2014 and 2015.
Friday, December 14, 2018 12 $109 Sold out 2 days in advance in 2014 and 1 day in advance in 2016.
Monday, November 12, 2018 13 $95
Thursday, November 08, 2018 14 $99 First party. Sold out 14 days in advance in 2017.
Friday, November 09, 2018 15 $99
Sunday, December 09, 2018 16 $99 Sold out 1 day in advance in both 2014 and 2015.
Sunday, November 25, 2018 17 $99 1st Party after Thanksgiving break. Sold out 1 day in advance in both 2013 and 2017.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 18 $115
Sunday, December 16, 2018 19 $99 Sold out 14 days in advance in 2017.
Friday, November 30, 2018 20 $109 Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2014 and 4 days in advance in 2017.
Thursday, December 20, 2018 21 $115 Second-to-last party. Sold out 17 days in advance in 2016 and 2 days in 2017.
Friday, December 21, 2018 22 $115 Final Party of the year. Sold out 7 days in advance in 2013, 20 days in 2014, 29 days in 2015, 19 days in 2016, and 22 days in 2017. Lines for character greetings and parade viewing spots will be long.

 

Our wait times only include attractions−not character meet and greets, special shows, or parades. The characters, in particular, often have long lines, especially for rare characters like the Seven Dwarfs. Regardless of which party you attend, some of the character lines will be long. If those are a must do, do them as early in the evening as possible.

Some of the previously held ideas are out the window here. Earlier in the season is not always better, but it’s better than the last few parties. The other thing that throws a turkey-shaped wrench is Thanksgiving week, where there are no parties at all. That means that the last party before the break (November 16) and the first party after (November 25) get busier. We also demoted the first two parties of the year because they’ve been a little more crowded as of late–the lower ticket prices, locals checking out new things, and previous “go early” advice probably all contribute.

Mid-November through the first week of December looks like the hot spot, with the exception of those Thanksgiving bookends. Those parties are after the initial interest of the early parties, but before the real Christmas spirit kicks in. Those are the ones we recommend.

Looking for more information? Good, because we have a lot for you. Savannah Sanders wrote a post full of savvy tips that will help you whether this is your first trip or your 100th (and if it’s your 100th, you might have a problem…being too awesome).

If meeting characters is your main priority, the boss man himself, Len Testa, wrote a fantastic (yes, I’m kissing up) piece about strategy for character meets during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party. If you haven’t decided if the cost is worth it you should read Kristina Murphy’s post about that very subject.

For a look at what the 2017 Christmas party looked like, watch this video with…well, me:

Now that you are armed with the most powerful weapon…knowledge, you can plan your trip to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018. This site will help you find all of the party info.

Hopefully this analysis will help you choose the best Christmas Party to attend. Merry Christmas (a little early)!

 

Brian McNichols

In addition to blogging, I also do some analyzin' here at Touring Plans. I am a travel nut, planning nut, Disney nut, wall nut. Husband of 1, father of 2. Hilariously funny in my own mind. Find me on Twitter @YesThatBrian if you like really dumb jokes.

8 thoughts on “Finding the Least Crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2018

  • June 11, 2018 at 1:51 pm
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    So does that chart go from less crowded to most crowded – if I were there in the first week of December (which I will be) is the better day 6th December as it’s higher up your chart – or the 2nd December as that date didn’t sell out so maybe it wasn’t as busy?

    Reply
    • June 11, 2018 at 4:31 pm
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      It goes from least crowded to most crowded, so they’re predicting lower wait times on the 6th than on the 2nd (though both should be decent compared to the ones right around Christmas and Easter). I wouldn’t worry about the sell-out note for December 6th, since it was way back in 2013. The 6th was a Friday in 2013, so that’ll be why it was busier that year.

      Reply
      • June 11, 2018 at 4:32 pm
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        ^ I meant the ones right around Christmas and THANKSGIVING. haha

        Reply
  • June 12, 2018 at 9:19 am
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    Hey related but unrelated question – are they doing Jingle Bam this year? It’s not showing up on my November plans. Thanks!

    Reply
    • June 12, 2018 at 9:30 am
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      Yes it will, but the schedule isn’t out yet. They have already announced the dessert party will return though, so it’s definitely coming.

      Reply
      • June 12, 2018 at 2:35 pm
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        Any idea on times? Trying to determine some dining decisions. Thank you. Your information is always so helpful!

        Reply
  • June 13, 2018 at 10:53 am
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    So, how many tickets to MVMCP does Disney sell before they are sold out? How crowded does it really get?

    Reply
  • June 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm
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    I guess I’m confused as to how a sell out 1 day prior is better than a sell out 14 days prior. Aren’t they both sold out and will have the same number of people … so comparable wait times?

    Reply

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