First Look at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

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The Castle lights are a highlight of the party. Photo - Laurel Stewart
The Castle lights are a highlight of the party. Photo – Laurel Stewart

The fine print: my ticket to this party was courtesy of Disney and WDWToday. I had already purchased a ticket, which I was able to pass on to the lovely Daisy Lauren, so there should be lots of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party coverage from TouringPlans this week.

Despite the fact that you’ll be still writing “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” on your checks for a few more weeks, the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party of the holiday season was last night, November 7, at Magic Kingdom. TouringPlans is here to give you a look at what to expect if you’re thinking of going this year.

As always, while the official start time is 7:00PM, guests with party tickets are allowed to enter the park and get wrist banded at 4:00. This allows Disney to help spread out the exiting day guests and entering party guests in addition to giving party guests a few extra hours in the parks. Try not to arrive right at 4 or right at 7 to avoid crowds.

What Does Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Admission Get Me?

  • Special holiday entertainment that day guests won’t see until the week before Christmas.
  • Free cocoa and cookies. How do they taste? Instant and boxed respectively, but what are you going to do?
  • Lower crowds – Disney limits the number of guests in the parks during the party, so things are less crowded (theoretically).
  • Character meet and greets with a holiday theme.
Santa ends the parade. Photo - Laurel Stewart
Santa ends the parade. Photo – Laurel Stewart

Highlights of the Party

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade runs twice nightly. It starts in Frontierland and goes through the hub down Main Street. In my opinion, I think it runs a little long, and I’m not sure how much I care that Wreck-It Ralph and Vanelope have their own float. Mickey and Minnie start up the parade, followed by Elsa, Anna, and Olaf. Snow White and Cinderella rate their own floats, but the rest of the princesses are grouped together. Toy Story gets its own float. There are marching toy soldiers and Santa too. Even for the first and more crowded viewing, things weren’t too bad in Frontierland. If you have to watch the 8:15 parade, this is the place to do it. Unless, you want to see….

A Frozen Holiday Wish – the castle lighting, which is done by Elsa this year and we covered earlier in the week happens at 6:15 and 8:00. The 6:15 will be packed with both day guests and party-goers. I would recommend seeing this during its later show on a non-party night and just enjoying it from a distance during the party if you can.

Holiday Wishes – the nightly fireworks show, goes off at 9:30. Sadly, there’s only one shot at seeing this. With the construction walls that are up in the hub right now, your viewing choices are limited. You can be boxed in in front of the castle or boxed in on Main Street. Or you can watch them off center from Fantasyland. I chose Fantasyland and regretted it. It’s worth it to take the time to find a spot on Main Street and watch Wishes and Celebrate the Magic (9:15) from the correct vantage point. Otherwise don’t bother with other locations, just take the time to enjoy some attractions.

Jingle Cruise – the party is the seasonal opening of the Jungle Cruise holiday overlay. I wish I could speak to it, but I hardly made it over to Adventureland during the party. I did see it last year, and was underwhelmed at the lack of Christmas lights on it.

Jack Skellington at the Christmas Party. ©Disney
Jack Skellington at the Christmas Party. ©Disney

Character Meet and Greets – this is the time to get your photo with your favorite characters in their Christmas garb. The big draws are the Seven Dwarfs (by the archway into New Fantasyland) and Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws (in the back of Storybook Circus), who is new this year. For my money, Jack is the one worth waiting for. Why? Because he talks! Despite the make up, Jack is still a face character, which makes him more fun to interact with than the Dwarfs. I would not waste time lining up for both because you could be out a good two hours between them. Pick one. Disney will close the lines before the party ends. Don’t wait until the last minutes of the party to try to get a photo if it’s important to you.

Questions About Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Where can I eat? One of the logistical problems of the hard ticket parties is trying to find a place to eat. Not all dining locations will be open and some close by 9:00. Do not show up hungry. You’ll be in line with day guests who are also trying to find something to eat, and it isn’t pretty. I grabbed a bite a Pecos Bill’s before the early parade, and that worked well. I asked at Be Our Guest how late they were serving for people with reservations and was told 8:00. Crystal Palace (which is used as a snack location from 9 – 11) and Liberty Tree Tavern were not serving dinner.

MagicBand via Marc Lorenzo (@marcmantoo)
MagicBand via Marc Lorenzo (@marcmantoo)

What can I buy? Limited edition merchandise is available only during the party. This includes a MVMMB (Mickey’s Very Merry Magic Band ™Me), a pin, and a t-shirt. The Magic Band is cute, but $30!

What is the schedule?

4:00 – Guests can come into the park with their party admission
6:15 – Frozen Holiday Wish with day guests
7:00 – Party begins and park closes for day guests
7:30 – Celebrate the Season castle forecourt show
7:45 – A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas
8:00 – Frozen Holiday Wish
8:15 – Parade
8:45 – A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas
9:15 – Celebrate the Magic castle projection show
9:30 – Holiday Wishes Fireworks
9:55 – A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas
10:05 – Celebrate the Season
10:30 – Parade
10:50 – A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas
11:20 – Celebrate the Season
11:45 – A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas

Is it weird celebrating Christmas the first week of November?

Yes? But really, if you’re in the Magic Kingdom this month, you’ve already accepted that the holidays have started. If you’re not nonplussed by seeing Main Street, U.S.A. all Christmased up, then you’ll be fine.

How about the crowds?

The first party was sold out. Main Street was completely clogged with people between 6 and 7:30 as people were entering and leaving the party. There were lines at all the snack locations and at most quick service locations early in the evening. TouringPlans recommends going to the party on a weeknight early in the season to get the lowest crowds for your buck. If you can stick it out, the crowd really starts to thin after the second parade.

Is it worth it?

That’s a tough one. The ticket price isn’t cheap, but if you’re going to Walt Disney World, you’ve already plunked down a fair amount of change. Let’s put it this way, you could skip two character meals and buy the tickets, and I say you’d come out ahead. My personal taste is that I prefer the Halloween party, and if I had to pick only one I’d choose it over the Christmas party. But if you haven’t done the Christmas party before, try it out.

My Recommendations

Normally at TouringPlans, we’re all about rope drop and getting places early. This isn’t the time for it though. Yes, you’re paying a premium for the ticket, but the overlap while the day guests are in the park and party guests are arriving is pretty unpleasant. I would get a big late lunch at a monorail resort before entering the park around 5PM. Then, decide if you want a photo with the Dwarfs or Jack and get in line by 6:30. There will be people ahead of you already, but the lines move fairly quickly. Enjoy some rides that don’t have long waits, like Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean. Avoid Fantasyland until the day guests are out. Enjoy more rides until 9:00. Then find a place on Main Street to watch the fireworks. After the fireworks, catch some more rides and photo opportunities. Watch the second parade from Frontierland. The only attraction with much of a wait during the party is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Ride it late. Most of all, have a Very Merry Party!

Highlights from the party map:

 

Laurel Stewart

Laurel has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1971 when she was negative-15 years old and running the Disney races since 2007. Her favorite attraction is Big Thunder Mountain.

14 thoughts on “First Look at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

  • November 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm
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    I’m going to my first MVMCP this year – we’re actually in Florida for a non-Disney trip but I added an extra day to swing by the party so I don’t have park tickets, just the party ticket. Our plan is to spend the morning/early afternoon touring the resort hotels to see their Christmas decorations and eat a late lunch. I was planning on trying to get in right at 4 PM to maximize time in the park since it’s my only time I have this trip. Sounds like the lines will be pretty bad – is it worth it to hang out near the turnstiles super early for the 4 PM entry (if so, what time should I plan to arrive) or just aim for later, around 5 PM. Thanks!

    Reply
    • November 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm
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      If it’s your only park day, enter at 4 and head towards the back of the park. Avoid Main St and QS restaurants until after 7.

      Reply
  • November 8, 2014 at 2:27 pm
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    It’s our first MVMCP coming up also. We were at MK on a Halloween party day last year (for just a regular day, not the party) and it got so crowded after 4 that we left early. So we were lucky enough to get a Be Our Guest reservation for 4:30, and we will make the 4pm “rope drop” and spend much of that 4-7 period eating and doing the “anytime” attractions. BTW in case staff are reading this, the second Frozen Holiday Wish isn’t an option in the personalized touring plans so it’s forcing us to the 6:15. I’ll send an email about this too but just thought I’d mention it while I was here.

    Reply
    • November 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm
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      Thanks. We should be able to sort it out over email. It’s hard to say what’s up without knowing your dates or seeing the plan. Have fun at the party!

      Reply
      • November 8, 2014 at 4:28 pm
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        I second Jay’s concern that the second Holiday Wish isn’t available in the personalized touring plans. Seems like the 8pm Wish isn’t in the code.

        Reply
        • November 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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          They got the 8pm added this morning. Funny enough, after re optimizing it still is sending us to the 6:15. I think we will just skip that step, go ahead with the others, and come back to it at 8. 🙂

          Reply
  • November 8, 2014 at 3:21 pm
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    We were there last night too. It was NOT worth it with kids under the age of 8 or 9. The parade was great, but that was the only thing we were able to do that was really “unique”, in part because of the need to get a spot early for the parade. We sat down in a 3rd row spot on main street at 7:20, and had only an ok view. People were already cpi g out to get the fro t row spots when we arrived at 5pm. Because the”party” activites do not start until 7, before them the only thing to do was go on rides that are always available. My 5 year old was literally falling asleep during the fireworks, even though we slept in and took it easy all day until 4pm. I wish we had just gotten a normal 6th day on our park passes instead, and spent the cost difference elsewhere.

    Reply
    • November 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm
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      That was me last year. I tried to do the party after running around the parks earlier that day. I left before the first parade because I was just done. This year, I made a point to get some rest in the room before the party. The last few hours were nice, but you have to make until then. Also, this party was sold out. Not all will be that busy. Particularly this month and early December.

      Reply
  • November 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm
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    This will be my 1st MVMCP and was hoping someone could help. Are the FastPass+ going to be available during the party? Also, are the princesses going to appear with their princes all day or just during the party? Other than Jack Skellington and the 7 Dwarfs, are there any other characters with exclusive party meet & greets?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • November 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm
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    This will also be our first MVMCP. It will be my husband and I along with our sons who are 8 and 5 attending. Will you be updating the touring plans based upon your evaluations from the first party? I save a personalized plan from the ones from last year and will want to update if that is the case. Also, is it still recommended to see Santa first or come back after 7 p.m? Also, which of the shows would you recommend between Celebrate the Season, Celebrate the Magic, and a Frozen Holiday Wish? We only want to attend one. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • November 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm
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      If you are only choosing one show, I would go to the Frozen Holiday Wish. When the icicle lights are turned on it is truly breathtaking. Just my two cents!

      Reply
  • November 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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    If you have to ask “is it worth it?”, then you probably shouldn’t go. Nothing at Disney is worth it, and everything at Disney is worth it…it is all about the perceived value to you. Anyone that is analyzing the monetary worth of a Disney event is sure to be disappointed. Regarding the MVMCP, the atmosphere, Castle effects, parade, etc. are all unique experiences. If that is something you value, then you should give it a try at least once.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm
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    Is Santa available for photos? Where? I was looking at a 2014 party map posted on Disney Dining, but didn’t see it. Also, did I miss seeing Santa as a touring plan option? Thanks!

    Reply
    • November 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm
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      Santa is in the candy cane garden, left of left entrance tunnel, a bit hidden. MDE says he is there at 7:00 and leaves at 10:45. The CM nearby said he leaves for the parades also. Santa was there at close of park, but line was closed. We were really disappointed not to be able to see him. We stood in line to see the 7 dwarfs first, so by the time we got done, it was time for the shows & parade. We didn’t think there would even be a chance to see Santa if he was leaving at 10:45. I guess we could have if MDE had posted correct information. Big bummer!

      Reply

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