It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Magic Kingdom Park, and you know what that means. It’s Disney World Christmas party time! While there is no Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2021, guests can still get their festive cheer on at the Disney Very Merriest After Hours.
This jolly event kicked off earlier this week at Magic Kingdom and is spreading the holiday spirit until December 21, 2021. So, if you’ve already bought your tickets, or you’re wondering if Very Merriest is worth it, grab your mittens and a cozy scarf as we go over everything you need to know about celebrating Christmas at Disney World in 2021.
Going to the Disney Very Merriest After Hours
Like other Disney After Hours events, Very Merriest is a limited-capacity, special ticket event that takes place after the theme park has closed. This allows guests to enjoy minimal wait times for rides, as well as exclusive access to seasonal entertainment, food and more.
Though the four-hour event officially begins at 9 PM, event guests are welcome to enter the park early, starting at 7 PM, and we highly recommend that you take advantage of this head start. Not only does it give you a two-hour jump on the party, but it’s also a great way to maximize your time in the parks and make the cost of the high price tag worth it (more on that in a bit).
Once at the entrance to Magic Kingdom Park, a cast member will direct you to the check-in area. There you’ll be given your event wristband. For those arriving at the park earlier, don’t worry about going to the front for check-in. You’ll also be able to pick up your wristband from the distribution areas near Liberty Square, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland and Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland.
Before you jump on a ride or make a mad dash for your first Christmas cookie of the night, don’t forget to pick up your Very Merriest After Hours map. This helpful guide makes planning out the rest of your evening a cinch, with all the event highlights like where to find complementary & (paid) food and drink items, where to buy Disney holiday merchandise, an entertainment schedule, the parade route and times, character sighting spots and more.
Very Merriest Disney World Christmas Party 2021 Dates
For this year’s Magic Kingdom Christmas party, the Disney Very Merriest After Hours is held on select evenings between November 8 and December 21, 2021. Unlike the Disney After Hours Boo Bash, Very Merriest starts at 9 PM each and every night of the event and runs for four hours until 1 AM. Remember that you can also enter Magic Kingdom starting at 7 PM on the night of your visit with your event ticket – no Disney theme park reservation or day ticket required.
Mickey Very Merriest Christmas Party 2021 Dates (STILL AVAILABLE AS OF NOV 9TH, 2021)
- Sunday, November 14 – $189
- Friday, November 19 – $189
- Sunday, November 21 – $229
- Tuesday, November 23 – $229
- Sunday, November 28 – $209
- Tuesday, November 30 – $209
- Thursday, December 2 – $209
- Friday, December 3 – $229
- Sunday, December 5 – $209
- Tuesday, December 7 – $209
- Thursday, December 9 – $209
- Friday, December 10 – $229
- Sunday, December 12 – $209
- Tuesday, December 14 – $209
- Thursday, December 16 – $209
- Friday, December 17 – $229
- Sunday, December 19 – $249
Mickey Very Merriest Christmas Party 2021 Dates (SOLD OUT)
- Monday, November 8
- Tuesday, November 9
- Thursday, November 11
- Friday, November 12
- Tuesday, November 16
- Thursday, November 18
- Tuesday, December 21
Disney Very Merriest Christmas Party Tickets 2021
While there may technically only be 12 days of Christmas (as far as the song is concerned anyway, not like you could tell from the store aisles overflowing with ornaments and wrapping paper before Halloween has even passed), Disney Very Merriest After Hours 2021 is running for twice that, with 24 days of festive fun. Although seven nights have already sold out, there are still 17 evenings throughout November and December left to choose from.
Unfortunately, a standard theme park ticket won’t get you into this year’s iteration of the Disney Very Merry Christmas Party 2021. Instead, you’ll need a Disney After Hours special event ticket.
Like Boo Bash, tickets to the Disney Very Merriest After Hours event are expensive. In fact, a Disney Very Merriest ticket will cost you up to $50 more per person versus Magic Kingdom’s spookier soiree. For Mickey’s Very Merriest Christmas Party 2021, tickets start at $169 per person up to $249 (plus tax). The $169 tickets are already sold out, so plan to spend between $189 ($201.29 including tax) and $249 ($265.19 with tax) if you haven’t already reserved your dates.
Entertainment & Activities at the Magic Kingdom Christmas Party
Just like in years past, Magic Kingdom Park has been decked out for the holidays with a flurry of festive décor. Combined with the rest of the Walt Disney World Christmas decorations sprinkled around the other theme parks, hotels and Disney Springs, the holiday season is our absolute favorite time to visit this family-friendly destination. With verdant garlands and wreaths, cheery red ribbons and fanciful baubles strung everywhere, it truly is magical.
However, during the Disney World Very Merriest After Hours is when Magic Kingdom Park truly comes alive with the spirit of the season. Snow falls on Main Street, U.S.A., making for an enchanting entrance into the park. Jolly event lighting in bright reds and greens and jovial holiday music only add to the celebratory atmosphere.
Aside from the event’s merry ambiance, Disney After Hours guests have access to a sleighful of perks, including smaller crowds, shorter wait times, special entertainment, exclusive snacks and drinks, Disney character experiences and more. And best of all, while Disney’s Boo Bash lacked the popular parade and stage show, those fan-favorite entertainment offerings are back for the Disney Very Merriest After Hours.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
For many, one of the highlights of Disney Christmas parties is Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Although other parades have been temporarily nixed throughout the pandemic, we’re happy to report that this seasonal procession is on the entertainment schedule for 2021.
As with other Magic Kingdom parades, the route for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade begins in Frontierland, marching through Liberty Square before sledding down Main Street, U.S.A. All dressed up in their festive finery, Mickey and Minnie kick off the revelry two times a night at 9:45 PM and 12:05 AM, with Santa Claus himself bringing the display to a close. To watch the parade without having to fight the crowds, we recommend you wait it out for the second showing.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show
Returning after a one-year hiatus, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show is still pretty new, initially making its debut back in 2019. Like other fireworks displays at Disney World, Minnie’s holly-jolly pyrotechnics spectacular uses a mix of both fireworks and projections. We recommend you stand near Casey’s Corner for the best views of this merry Magic Kingdom fireworks show.
Narrated by Minnie Mouse and set to a rousing soundtrack of some of your favorite Christmas carols, don’t be surprised if you find catch yourself singing along. After all, as Buddy the Elf so wisely says, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.”
Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories Castle Stage Show
Like parades, stage shows have also been temporarily missing from Magic Kingdom due to the pandemic – until now. However, we must be on the nice list this year because this is a gift of a Disney Christmas surprise. Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories Show takes place on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage.
Hosted by everyone’s favorite mouse couple, this yuletide celebration stars the pair alongside their pals Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale as they dance along to a medley of merry Christmas tunes. If you’ve been to past Disney Very Merry Christmas Parties, you may even notice nods to past festive stage shows like “Mickey’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Celebrate the Season” and “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.”
Disney Character Sightings
With your favorites all looking spiffy for the holiday season, Disney character meet-and-greets have traditionally been one of the highlights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing recommendations, face-to-face interactions are off the table for 2021.
Having said that, while you won’t be able to meet Mickey or hug Minnie, you will still be able to get your character fix thanks to character pop-ups. Socially distanced selfies with the following Disney characters:
- Cinderella, Tiana, Rapunzel and Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland (no PhotoPass)
- Tweedledee and Tweedledum near Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland (no PhotoPass)
- Captain Hook and Smee across from Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland
- The Country Bears in holiday scarves above Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland (no PhotoPass)
- Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore in holiday scarves outside Crystal Palace Restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A. (no PhotoPass)
- Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A. (no PhotoPass)
- Snitch dressed up as Santa at Club Tinsel and the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland
- Santa Claus at the gazebo behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square (with PhotoPass)
- Jiminy Cricket at TBD
Other Walt Disney World Christmas Party 2021 Entertainment
When you aren’t waving at the parade as it rolls past or sipping on hot cocoa, there are also a few other activities at Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours to keep you entertained.
No holiday party is complete without some Christmas caroling. Over in Frontierland, tap your toes to the music as the Reindeer Wranglers put a twangy twist on your holiday favorites from the balcony overlooking Country Bear Jamboree.
9:25 PM, 10:30 PM, 11:40 PM and 12:35 PM
Club Tinsel Dance Party
While you won’t be able to rock around the Christmas tree during the Club Tinsel Dance Party, you can cut a rug with your friends in front of the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. If you’re looking for Disney characters, this is also where you’ll spot Santa Stitch as he gets into the merry mood onstage.
From 9 PM to 1 AM
Very Merriest After Hours Rides & Wait Times
Just like any trip to the Magic Kingdom, one of the highlights of Disney Very Merriest After Hours is the rides. From the shorter wait times to the holiday-inspired overlays, be sure to spend time taking advantage of the many attractions the theme park has to offer.
As with any other Disney After Hours event, Very Merriest boasts relatively thin crowds and, as a result, blissfully reasonable wait times. If this exclusive iteration of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is anything like the Disney After Hours Boo Bash, expect wait times to hover right around five to ten minutes for most rides with fan-favorite attractions like Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train climbing to around 25 minutes.
In other words, if you’re hoping to conquer as many different rides as possible, you’ll be more than happy at Very Merriest After Hours. And we especially recommend that you take advantage of those reasonable queues at a couple of select attractions, specifically the festively renamed Jingle Cruise (regularly the Jungle Cruise) and the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. These merry makeovers feature Christmas decorations inspired by the ride, holiday-themed jokes and more.
Disney World Christmas Merchandise
If your idea of fun involves a whole lot of shopping, then get your wallet ready for Very Merriest After Hours. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party typically offers exclusive merchandise to celebrate the event, and Disney Very Merriest After Hours is no different. So, do some Christmas shopping and check some people off of your holiday gift list with holiday-inspired merchandise located around Magic Kingdom. Participating locations include:
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Main Street Confectionery
- Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
- Star Traders
Very Merriest PhotoPass Magic Shots
Don an ugly Christmas sweater (or other equally jolly gear) and take advantage of the picturesque (albeit fake) snowfall down on Main Street, U.S.A. with a family photo to remember. Aside from the ever-convenient selfie, the easiest way to get your photo taken at Walt Disney World is by stopping by the Disney PhotoPass stationed throughout the park. Take a picture with Santa Claus or strike a pose for one of the fun, festive Magic Shots.
PhotoPass Photographer locations include:
- Near the Town Square flagpole on Main Street, U.S.A.
- On Main Street, U.S.A. (past the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Casey’s Corner) near the Partners statue
- On the bridge next to Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square
- Next to the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square
- Near Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Food & Drinks
Entertainment may take center stage at Disney Very Merriest After Hours. Still, as with any self-respecting holiday gathering, no Magic Kingdom Christmas party is complete without some tasty yuletide treats.
Very Merriest After Hours Christmas Cookies & Hot Cocoa Locations
For many people, no holiday tradition is complete without a healthy helping of Christmas cookies and a warming mug of hot cocoa. So, it’s no wonder that this cozy pairing takes the place of Boo Bash’s candy as some of Very Merriest’s complimentary food offerings. Keep an eye out for giant, lit-up candy canes, then head inside for free Snickerdoodle cookies and cups of hot cocoa. Those with dietary restrictions can also ask for an allergy-friendly replacement to get in on the festive fun.
- Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café in Frontierland
- Pinocchio Village Haus in Tomorrowland
Exclusive Very Merriest Sweets & Sips
Whether Epcot festivals or the Disney Very Merriest After Hours, it isn’t a special seasonal event at Walt Disney World without some themed treats and drinks. Don’t expect a lengthy menu of exclusive eats – you’ll only find four specialty items on offer this year: three sweet bites and one frozen drink. If you know there’s something you can miss, we suggest you buy it right away, or else it could run out partway through the evening. Unlike the Snickerdoodle cookies, hot chocolate and other complimentary food items, you’ll need to pay for these limited-availability options.
- Gingerbread Almond Cake Pop | Golden Oak Outpost: Gingerbread almond cake drowned in white chocolate
- To Be Jolly Float | Golden Oak Outpost: Peppermint-flavored iced coffee swirled with vanilla ice cream and crowned with whipped cream, peppermint sprinkles and a chocolate version of Minnie’s bow
- Ginger Apple Funnel Cake | Sleepy Hollow: Gingerbread funnel cake smothered with apple pie filling and vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel
- Orange Bird Churro | Main Street U.S.A. Snack Cart: Churro topped with citrus marshmallow cream and orange candy slices
Complimentary Treats & Drinks
If, like Old Saint Nick, you have enough space in your stomach for cookies all night long, then you’ll also want to take advantage of the other free snacks and beverages included in your price of admission. So, offset all those sugar-filled cookies and cups of hot cocoa with some salty popcorn, or indulge in your sweet tooth further with ice cream novelties like Mickey ice cream bars and sandwiches. Then, wash it all down with a bottle of water or soda. These items can be found at food and drink kiosks around Magic Kingdom.
Is Disney Very Merriest After Hours worth it? – Pros, Cons & Tips
That is the ultimate question, isn’t it? Well, it really depends on what you’d like to get out of the event. At over $200 per person, depending on when you go, there’s no question that Disney Very Merriest After Hours is expensive. In fact, it’s well over the $99 to $139 per adult once charged for the Disney Very Merry Christmas Party. However, if cost isn’t a barrier, then this jolly after-hours event can be worth the price of admission.
While there aren’t any face-to-face character meet-and-greets, you can still enjoy a dazzling array of entertainment options like a parade, stage show and fireworks spectacular, as well as some socially distanced character interactions. And due to the high price tag, the event is decidedly more exclusive, meaning less time spent in queues.
- Fewer people
- Shorter ride wait times
- Entertainment like a parade, stage show and fireworks
- Character pop-ups
- Free cookies and hot cocoa
- Some specialty food items
- Lighter crowds are great for socially distanced photography with characters or in front of Cinderella Castle
- No character meet-and-greets
- Shorter than Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Steep price tag
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Tips
Are you heading to Magic Kingdom for the Disney Very Merriest After Hours in the weeks ahead? Make the most of your night with these helpful tips.
1. Arrive early.
Very Merriest is technically only four hours long, but you can stretch your dollar further by taking advantage of the 7 PM entry time. Use this time to check a few attractions off of your to-do list or take a peek at the special holiday merchandise. This will let you focus on the exclusive entertainment and food offerings once the gates close to other guests.
2. Don’t forget your map.
The Disney Very Merriest After Hours map is key to keeping your evening organized, so be sure to grab one after you pick up your event wristband. Refer to the map to find out where and when things are happening instead of aimlessly wandering through the park looking for something to do.
3. Dress up and take pictures.
The holidays are all about letting loose, indulging in your inner child, eating too many cookies and escaping reality for a while, and there’s no way to do that than by going to a Disney World Christmas party. While you don’t need to be wearing elf ears, a Santa hat or an ugly Christmas sweater to have a good time, it can certainly help you get in the yuletide spirit. Plus, with a grab bag of merry Magic Shots available and PhotoPass Photographers posted throughout the park, you’re sure to return home with some memorable photos.
4. Get your money’s worth.
With such a high admission price, be sure to take advantage of all the freebies you’re offered to make the most of the event. Visit all of the cookie and hot cocoa stations, indulge in complimentary snacks and hop in each of the short ride lines. With fewer people walking around, it’s easier to navigate through the park and experience everything available.
Well, that wraps up our guide to Disney Very Merriest After Hours. It’s spendy, but if you know how to maximize your experience, this new after-hours event can be just as fun as opening presents on Christmas morning.
Planning to spend the day in Magic Kingdom before Very Merriest starts? Make the most of your time with our 1-Day Magic Kingdom Plan. Want to compensate for those steep ticket prices? Then, save some cash with our discounted Walt Disney World tickets.
Are you going to Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours? Let us know if you think it’s worth the price of admission! What are you most looking forward to?
Amber is a proud former Walt Disney World Cast Member, an unabashed travel addict, and a hospitality and tourism specialist with over 10 years in the industry. She likes getting her wanderlust fix by sharing her favorite park tips and tricks with other Disney fans. When she isn’t working, you can usually catch her in a hot power yoga class or spending way too much money at Disney Springs.