“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..” You know you’re singing the rest of it in your head now! Even if you don’t have Christmas decorations up in your house, you can rest easy knowing Disney has it covered. The most magical place on earth is indeed an astounding place to visit this holiday season.
Our family had the chance to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and we had an amazing time. Not only did we make memories together, but we experienced fireworks like none other, special overlays to classic rides, holiday stage shows and delicious treats. There is a lot that goes on at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so let’s get right to what you need to know to make your party night a success!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate, ticketed event. It is not included in the price of normal admission. There are slight discounts for annual pass holders and Disney Vacation Club members for some of the parties. You can visit www.mydisneyexperience.com for more information and current prices. You can also save a little bit by buying Disney gift cards at Target (because you get 5% off them when using a RedCard), and then using them to buy the tickets.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates vary. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party typically kicks off the second week in November and continues through the end of December. The dates vary each year and the party is only available on specific nights, so be sure to check the online calendar. Beware, the week before Christmas and the week between Christmas and New Year’s are two of the busiest of the year. Disney doesn’t say for sure, but the rumor is that about 20,000 people are allowed into each party.
Parties on Tuesdays are generally less crowded than the other days. We were there on a Tuesday, and I was pleasantly surprised with the wait times for rides. It’s Disney, so there will be a lot of people around, but the longest wait time I saw was 40 minutes for The Seven Dwarves Mine Train (currently the most popular ride at Magic Kingdom), which during a regular day is usually at least an hour and a half. At the end of the night it was 20 minutes.
You will have to decide what’s most important to you! We are annual pass holders, so hitting up all the rides because the waits were low was not our priority, as we can get to ride most of them when we go other times. We focused on the Christmas specific attractions that aren’t available other times of the year.
You can arrive as early as 4pm (Disney Vacation Club Members can enter at 2pm). The official party is from 7pm-12am, but you can arrive as early as 4pm. I’d recommend getting to the parking lot of Magic Kingdom (also called the Ticketing and Transportation Center) at about 3pm. Getting into Magic Kingdom can be time consuming, as you have to walk or take the tram to security, then take the monorail or ferry boat over to Magic Kingdom. After getting off the ferry or monorail, you need to go through the ticket entrances to actually get into the park. Arriving early also gives you a chance to look at the map, get your wristband, take pictures, go on a few rides and eat a good meal. Then you’ll be ready to hit the ground running! When you arrive you will see cast members holding signs directing you to the special entrance just for the party. You will get your wrist bands there, along with your welcome treat!
There are Disney photographers everywhere. They have special props and magic shots (pictures that are digitally altered to have special effects on them) at the ready. Disney has photography packages called Memory Maker. There are a few options for Memory Maker packages that you can purchase. All options include all ride photos and PhotoPass Photographer pictures (PhotoPass is what Disney calls their photographers). Pictures show up in your Disney app (or you can log in to the PhotoPass website) and you have unlimited downloads so you can print/text/email them to your heart’s content. It’s VERY important to note that you can get in any Disney photographer’s line and give them your phone or DSLR camera and they are happy to use them for pictures. We bought Memory Maker on our first few visits to Disney, but now that we go often, I just use my own camera and phone.
Now on to the actual party! What goodness is available, you ask? Let’s break the party down by category.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Shows:
- Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration: This takes place on the castle stage four times a night. It has a LOT of characters in it and is a must-see. There is one song that’s a bit cheesy (you’ll know when you hear it), but otherwise it’s a heartwarming show with so much happy singing and holiday celebration. Did I mention there are a lot of characters? Everyone from Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, the Three Caballeros, Chip and Dale, some of the Toy Story gang, Christmas reindeer, and more.
- A Frozen Holiday Wish: If you love Frozen, this is a can’t-miss. Actually, if you love Disney this is a can’t-miss. Go see it. It takes place on the castle stage, and it’s less than 10 minutes long. Watching Queen Elsa swirl her frozen fractals all around and change the castle into icicles is just amazing. This happens every night during the holiday season, not just during the party.
- A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas: This takes place in, you guessed it, Tomorrowland, and features Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski, Stitch and their friends on an adventure like none other. This wasn’t a priority for us, though it looked really cute as we passed by on our way to a ride.
- The Edge Effect: An a cappella group sings songs of the holidays, on the same stage as A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Fireworks:
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show: The fireworks show is new this year, and it’s beautiful. There are projections on the castle that are great to see, but if you don’t end up in front of the castle, don’t panic. The fireworks extend 180 degrees around the castle, so you can see them from many places in the park! It is worth noting you don’t actually see Minnie during the show, you just hear her voice. This happens once a night, at 10pm. I noticed the park really cleared out after this event.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Parade:
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade: The parade happens twice a night. Ideally you can get an amazing front row seat 15 minutes or so before the 11pm parade. I would say if you and your kiddos can make it that late, then that’s the best bet. However, I was very glad we staked out seats for the 8:30pm parade at 7:30pm, as it rained before the second parade and partygoers did not get to see the full parade (they do a modified version where the main characters are under cover). I highly recommend you be on Main St. for the parade. It’s pure magic. Christmas music before the parade, snowflake projections on the buildings, you look one way and see the glittering castle, and look the other way and you see the lit-up tree. There’s one more thing that makes Main St. simply breathtaking: SNOW! Well, ok it’s actually snoap (snow soap haha), but it’s amazing and sets the holiday mood.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dance Parties:
Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam: This takes place deep in Fantasyland, across from the Barnstormer roller coaster. This was not a priority for us, but we did stop by just before the party finished, and my five year old enjoyed hugging and dancing with Vampirina, Fancy Nancy and Doc McStuffins.
Club Tinsel: This takes place inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland. It was fun to stop by on our way to get one of our treats (more info on that coming soon). I snapped a reindeer selfie pic, and my little hugged a polar bear.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Treats:
Who doesn’t love complimentary treats? Included in the price of this festive party, you start the night off right at the entrance to the party (you get to go behind Main St. too which is fun) with a Minnie shaped cookie, and then you can continue to eat cookies and soft pretzel snowmen found all around the park. We ended up taking several pretzels home with us, as cast members were trying to get rid of them at the end of the night (another reason to stay until the end). Drinks are paired with the cookies and pretzels. Eggnog, hot chocolate, apple cider, and Fanta are the main choices. Cookies are handed out wrapped, so we brought a few home to the rest of the family. Our favorite cookie is the Peppermint Cookie. It has pieces of candy cane in it! If you or someone you know has a food allergy, there are alternative treats available.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Rides with a Holiday Twist:
- Tomorrowland Speedway: Holiday music blares and beautiful lights and props glow as you twist and turn your way around the track. This is new this year, and we thought it was amazing.
- Space Mountain: If you ever wanted to see what the track looks like inside this coaster that’s usually completely in the dark, now is your chance! There aren’t solid lights on, but strobe lights that seem to be timed with the holiday music allow you to see more than usual (if you aren’t a roller coaster junkie then take a ride on the People Mover which goes inside the building of Space Mountain so you can see the lighting on the ride).
- Monsters Inc.Laugh Floor: The laugh factory hosted by Mike Wazowski gets holiday jokes instead of the normal version.
- Mad Tea Party: Special Music and lighting add flair to this classic ride. We ended up riding it a few times.
- Jingle Cruise: Usually called the Jungle Cruise, this boat ride full of corny jokes (that I always seem to laugh at) takes on a holiday flourish.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Character Meet and Greets:
Meeting rare characters is a perk of these specialized parties. However, the lines get very long and it’s another decision only you can make. Do you use precious party time for meet and greets, or do more at the party and skip seeing nostalgic characters?
I had done my research ahead of time on which characters were going to be at the party, and decided I would be willing to wait for the Seven Dwarves. They are a childhood favorite of mine, and I was committed to standing in line for an hour. I had read a rumor that they began meeting people before the party officially started, but I was shocked when we showed up at the tent to get in line at 6pm and was told it would be a 2.5 hour wait, as people had been in line since 4:30pm! So unfortunately, I abandoned that idea (as there’s really only so much patient waiting you can expect from a five year old), but we did get to meet Santa Goofy at the end of the night, and he was as silly as ever!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tip: Be sure to use the My Disney Experience app, it will have the exact locations of all the characters. Some of them are at dance parties and you won’t get a perfect picture with them, but you can grab a selfie or video of them dancing!
In reality, there is probably more to do at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party than can comfortably be done. We spent a majority of our time in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, around the castle and on Main Street. We didn’t see everything, but did get a lot done, and we made lots of memories together. Watching my daughter’s face light up at the end of the night when the cast members told us we could ride Barnstormer as many times in a row as we wanted was precious. Seeing her smile when she found out her favorite Disney YouTuber was attending the party that night was also fun. The joy on her face when I gave in and bought her the light-up wand was so sweet. To us, Disney is about Ohana (family) and the Christmas party was a fun way to celebrate the sights and sounds of the holidays, together.
Nicki is a teacher turned stay at home mom who has lived in Jacksonville since 2004. She is so blessed to have an awesome hubby who works hard to support her Disney addiction. She has three kids, ages seven, five and three, and when not herding them and trying to help them become productive citizens she likes to go to the beach, hang out with friends and family, and plan her next visit to Disney. She has recently started a family blog about fun things to do and places to go in Florida called Date Your State!