2019 Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Tis the season to celebrate the Holidays! It’s my favorite time of the year to be at the Walt Disney World Resort as guests get to participate in the seasonal festivities at all 4 parks, resort hotels and Disney Springs. It seems everywhere you turn there’s something magical to experience! And while I love that all 4 parks get in on the action, I especially love Magic Kingdom’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
So what’s so special about these events? It takes the Holiday season and puts it to the max with special fireworks, parades, characters, food and more. And because this event is limited on tickets, crowd levels can be very low giving you the opportunity to ride some of your favorite attractions with little wait time.
So let’s dive right into the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party by going over all the things that you can expect when you attend one of these events. I last attended one on Dec. 3rd, 2019 so everything is very fresh and up to date!
Separate Admission Required
This is the biggest hurdle to get over for most people. You may have already spent hundreds of dollars on theme park admission so the last thing you want to do is spend more. Let me go over a few things and then have you read the rest of this article to help you make this decision on whether it’s worth it or not.
The event typically costs about $110 per person. There are discounts available to DVC members and annual passholders that can bring it down by about $10 or so. Not a ton. Like your regular theme park admission, anyone ages 3 and up will require an event ticket.
Event tickets go one sale several months before the parties start. This is because they tend to sell out. My event on Dec. 3rd, 2019 was all sold out when I arrived at the park that morning so it’s not a good idea to just buy them when you get there. Purchase them in advance.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets do give you some extra time in the parks before the official event starts at 7pm. For regular guests you can enter in at 4pm and DVC members can enter the parks at 2pm. Keep in mind that none of the event items such as snacks and characters will be out until 7pm when the official event starts.
In classic Disney fashion, an Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party attendee must check-in and receive a wristband to participate in anything. Because there is some overlap with regular park goers and event guests, these wristbands help identify who can stay and who needs to go when 7pm rolls around.
I was actually surprised at how they filtered out non-event guests from the park when it came time. There are several checkpoints throughout the park where Cast Members ask all guests to show their wristbands. If you had them you could pass through, if you didn’t you were sent another direction, basically towards the front of the park.
This went of all special activities including shows and food. If you wanted to pick up a snack or a drink you needed to show your wristband. If you wanted to enter the main HUB in front of the castle you needed to show your wristband. While this may seem lame to non-event goers, if I paid an extra $100 to be there I would want guests filtered out as well, and Disney does a great job at it.
Even when I did a mobile order for food during the event the app told me that there was special event going on and that I needed to be aware of the wristband requirement to participate. They definitely go all out for guests who attend.
To get your wristband simply head to the park entrance and scan your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket. You’ll then be filtered into a section where Cast Members are putting wristbands on.
Parades and Shows
If you did just these things during the party, your night would be filled. I bounced around from one show to the next and before I knew it I was watching the 10pm fireworks show!
If I were you I would make sure I did some serious planning with my time before attending the event. I found it easiest to look at the showtimes guide in the app for Magic Kingdom that day and look through all the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party shows that were scheduled. Here’s how my night went:
- Arrived at the park around 6pm and ran to the front of the castle to see A Frozen Holiday Wish which features Elsa, Anna and Olaf as they light the castle up for the evening’s festivities.
- From here I walked around just bit grabbing some snacks before heading back to the HUB to watch Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration which features tons of Disney characters singing some classic holiday songs all at the backdrop of the Cinderella’s castle which was lit up by projections.
- After this show I moved only slightly to get a spot for the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade which was so much fun!
- There was small break for me to grab something to eat at this point bit not for long as I needed to get a good spot for Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show. I kind of failed here and ended up right in front of the castle which isn’t bad (you can see my video below) but not the ideal spot which would have been further back.
- At this point it was 10:20pm already and I was pretty tired but has been able to see all the major shows and parade which was perfect.
One thing to keep in mind is that many of the shows (except the fireworks) usually have several times available to attend so be sure to look at your times guide for the event and plan accordingly.
I can tell you that 50% or more of the event attendees leave after the fireworks at 10pm. If you’re a night owl and are ready to party till midnight then this is your time. There is an 11pm parade which is much less crowded than the 8:30pm parade. Ask any Cast Member and they will tell you the same things.
Lastly, be sure to check out Tomorrowland for an out of this world dance party that will have you busting a move like never before. You can join many of your favorite Disney pals as they too bust a move to some of your favorite holiday songs. It’s actually really fun to let your little ones go out onto the dance floor and party with their favorite characters. A really unique experience.
This is one of the big things Disney tries to highlight for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party events. Because the event is limited in tickets there will be less people in the park than normal. To you this may sound awesome. The whole park with half or even less than regular day crowds!! But alas the joy fades a bit when you realize that only certain attractions remain open during the event.
I personally wasn’t there for the attractions during the event but that’s because during the day I spent my time riding with my regular park admission. I can see wanting to ride these attractions if you only purchased an event ticket and came in at 4pm. Totally makes sense.
Here’s a list of the attractions that remain open from 7pm to 12am during the event:
As you can see there really isn’t a ton of them open but of the ones that are many of them are E-Ticket attractions which is great. Here’s a few tips to help you navigate these attractions during the event.
First, there’s some overlap between regular park goers and event guests so even at 7pm when the event starts there are going to be long lines. At first you’ll be bummed but here’s the thing to understand. All the way up until 6:59pm, these attractions had to let regular park guests enter the attraction.
So when I first arrived and was walking past Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 7pm and there was a 60+ minute wait I was thinking the event did little to basically nothing in saving me time with small lines. But when you apply the fact that the majority of that lines was being created all the way up to 7pm with regular park guests it made sense.
What I’m getting at is be prepared for long lines at 7pm but after the first hour the lines will start to shrink significantly. Around 8-8:30pm is when you should start looking at attractions.
Another thing that the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event highlights is the free snacks and drinks during the event. While this can be exciting (Disney is giving me something for free?!) it’s not that exciting. Most of the snacks and drinks offered are in very small portions and the quality is…okay.
All around the park you’ll see some large candy canes that are lit-up, marking a food station for you to enjoy. Most of them serve something different but plan on them not being amazing. Some serve hard cookies, some serve soft cookies. Some serve hot chocolate and some serve orange Fanta. Grab a guide map to see which station is serving what. My personal favorite was the soft pretzel and Fanta combo because it’s so random but the pretzel was actually pretty decent.
If you went around to all the stations and ate something from them you could get pretty full. Of course you can go as many times as you want during the event so if there’s something you really like then keep going back.
I personally needed a meal as I hadn’t eaten anything all day and most of the quick service restaurants are open during the event including Casey’s Corner and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (which was the busiest).
Mobile ordering is available during the event so take full advantage of that!
Yes you can meet some really cool characters during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Yes the Fab 5 are there in the Christmas best but also some other unique characters as well. My favorite is Jack Skellington dressed up as Sandy Claws! It’s one unique picture and a character you rarely see at Walt Disney World.
You’ll also be able to grab a photo with Scrooge McDuck during the season that he loves? He’s also a very rare character to find at the parks so be sure to grab a photos with him.
Lastly, the one and only Santa Claus is available for pictures as well (over by Guest Relations) and it’s a great time to snap a photo of your little ones with him. They really deck out his area with lights, trees, garlands and presents to make it look really magical.
Lines for all of these characters are pretty long at the beginning of the event. If you wait till the fireworks start or about 30 minutes after they end you’ll find they have much shorter lines then.
Discount Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets
I get asked all the time about discounted tickets for these parties and the best advice I can offer is this:
If your a DVC member or Annual Passholder then purchase your tickets using your membership. You’ll save about $10 extra on any given ticket assuming it’s not sold out.
Any guest can receive a $10 discount when they purchase in advance online. Disney highlights this as they want to sell events out as quick as possible. So same day cost vs. advanced purchase is a $10 difference.
If anyone offers discounted tickets beyond this it’s not going to be much. The easiest way is to grab them from Disney where they will link automatically after purchase to your account. Discount Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets are possible to get but don’t plan on huge savings.
Of course Park Savers offers regular theme park admission discounts up to $80+ per ticket that you may want to check out.
There is a lot to do at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and though it does cost extra to attend, they are really fun and offer some many new shows and parades that I think it’s worth attending one once.
You’ll see snow fall on Main Street U.S.A., the Christmas tree all lit-up, characters and more during the event that’s all about the holiday season. For a Christmas lover this is the dream.
I had a great time at my party and everyone around me seemed to be doing the same. Some of my biggest tips for you would be:
- Arrive to shows and parades at least 30 minutes early.
- Start going on attractions around 8pm as lines will be shorter. Around 11pm is when they are really short!
- Plan ahead so you can see all the shows and parades that you want to. There’s a lot to do!
- Show up at 4pm and maximize your ticket into the park.
- Check the weather to see what the evening will be like. Mine was 47 degrees and I was glad I brought a jacket.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.