Christmastime at Walt Disney World is an exciting, festive experience. Cinderella Castle is covered in lights. Wreaths and ornaments adorn various buildings and shops. And, of course, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event that kicks off the holiday season! It can be busy and overwhelming without a plan, however. Make the most out of your time at Disney’s wildly popular Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with our mom-tested tips.
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Essential Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips
Holidays at Disney are a magical time of year. One of the most exciting events is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (also known as “MVMCP”). This special event happens just a few times a week in November and December each year. Adults and kids can have a great time if they plan wisely and know what to expect. Keep reading for our best Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tips.
Purchase a Ticket
First, purchase a ticket. This tip may seem like a “no-brainer,” but can be overlooked in the excitement that is Disney vacation planning. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special or “hard ticket” event. That simply means that regular park passes or annual passholder guests will not automatically receive an entry with their ticket. However, if you do happen to visit the Magic Kingdom on your party day, you do not have to leave the park and return again at party time.
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Traveling Mom Tip: Party guests can stay in the Magic Kingdom all day if they have regular tickets and a Christmas party ticket. Just make sure to visit a Cast Member close to party time to receive your party wristband, or risk being kindly escorted from the park when the party starts.
These are the dates for this year’s party:
- November: 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 24
- December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22
All parties officially begin at 7 p.m. and end at 12 midnight.
Save Park Passes for Another Day
Next, make wise use of other tickets. Contrary to the last paragraph, I don’t think guests should visit the Magic Kingdom before their party. Park hopping tickets should be taken advantage of, but use them on other parks like Animal Kingdom or Epcot.
With a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket, guests can enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4 p.m. With the party lasting until midnight, that’s 8 hours of park time!
Don’t Make FastPass+ Reservations
Don’t bother with FastPass+ reservations. Fast Passes end on party days at 5 p.m., so there is really no need to make them anyway.
Guests without a party ticket will begin leaving when the park closes at 6 p.m. The party begins at 7 p.m., and guests without a party wristband will not be allowed on rides. This significantly reduces the wait time for rides throughout the evening.
Since party tickets are limited, wait times all over the park will be reduced. I only rode a few rides, but the other people in my party were excited to ride everything! Popular rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight had as little as a 15-minute wait on our party night.
Traveling Mom Tip: Stay as late as you can at the party. Between 11 p.m. and midnight, rides will have almost no wait!
Meet Special Characters
Another special party tip is to take time for character meets. Just like the Halloween party, certain characters make an appearance only on party days. Take advantage of their special appearances! This will be the longest wait of the night.
Some characters are very popular, including the Seven Dwarfs, Jack Skellington (as “Sandy Claws”), and Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps. Other beloved characters, like Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, come out dressed in their holiday finest. Be sure to grab a party map and times guide upon entering the party to find out when and where everyone meets.
Here are characters we’ve seen in years past (all Disney characters are subject to change):
- Adventureland: Moana, Captain Jack Sparrow, Aladdin, Abu, Jasmine, Genie, Peter Pan
- Fantasyland: Donald, Scrooge McDuck, Daisy, Minnie, Vampirina, Timon, Santa Goofy, Seven Dwarfs, Belle, Ariel, Prince Eric, Cinderella, Prince Charming, Tiana, Prince Naveen, Elena of Avalor, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Snow White and her prince, Aurora, Prince Phillip, Tigger and Friends
- Liberty Square: Mary Poppins, Bert, Santa Claus, Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws, Sally, Mickey Mouse
- Tomorrowland: Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, Reindeer and Polar Bears
- Frontierland: Country Bears (Big Al, Liverlips, Shaker, and Wendell)
Eat Party Treats
In addition to special characters, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party also has special treats! Complimentary cookies and milk (or hot chocolate or eggnog) are handed out at various stations throughout the park. There are also treats for purchase – only available during party time.
Traveling Mom Tip: Make use of that guide map! It not only shows where to meet characters but also where the free treat stations and purchasable treat stations are located.
Watch the Shows
There are several unique shows and dance parties during the Christmas party, but only one has multiple viewings. “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration” is the stage show that plays several times throughout the night on the Castle Forecourt Stage. The last two viewings of the show will be the least crowded.
Traveling Mom Tip: Don’t miss “A Frozen Holiday Wish” or “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show.” Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff light up the castle in spectacular fashion, and it only happens once during the evening. “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show” is the nightly fireworks extravaganza that also only happens once. Don’t miss these two fun extras!
During “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas,” characters like Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the gang from Monsters, Inc, do their best to share the spirit of the season with their hilarious brand of comedy. In between the shows, an a capella group sings holiday favorites.
Over at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, join the character dance party known as Club Tinsel. While you won’t get to have a true meet and greet with autographs, this is a fun, different way to interact with characters.
Enjoy Main Street U.S.A.
Finally, I typically avoid the Main Street area during my trips to the Magic Kingdom, but not during the party. It “snows” during the party, which is pretty incredible for a theme park in Florida! There is also exclusive party merchandise to be bought. Lastly, there’s nothing like watching “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” from Main Street. If that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.
Traveling Mom Tip: Stay late for the second viewing of the parade. It will be much less crowded and easier to see.
Above all, don’t stress about cramming in everything on one night. Enjoy the festive atmosphere and, if you miss anything important, just plan a return trip next year!
Have you been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?