Disney Savvy Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

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Cinderella Castle - A Glass Slipper Vacation
Cinderella Castle at Christmas

Ed. – We realize it’s still over a month until Halloween, and you haven’t even ordered your Thanksgiving Turducken yet, but tickets are already on sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Enjoy the Food&Wine-aweenThanksmas season and have a Happy New Marathon Weekend.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a popular, hard ticket event at Disney World where guests can enjoy holiday festivities and the Christmas spirit at the most magical park of them all, the Magic Kingdom! The party is scheduled for select dates throughout November and December. In addition to the festive atmosphere, but also a series of holiday performances and activities to enjoy. Like what? New this year is the lighting, or rather freezing, of Cinderella Castle by Frozen’s Elsa! The party also offers character dance parties, Holiday Wishes, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, character meets, and so much more. To help you maximize the Disney magic, I’ve got a little early Christmas present:

Disney Savvy Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Plan for the Cold – Contrary to popular opinion, Florida is not warm and sunny all year long. In fact, it can get very chilly at Disney World during the holiday season, especially at night. The past two times I attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I’ve needed several layers or even a coat to keep warm. When your party date draws close, check the extended forecast or monthly average temperatures for an idea of how to dress.

Watch the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade from Main Street – Many guests have their own opinions for where to watch the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Electrical Parade; but for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I encourage everyone to find a spot on Main Street, U.S.A. for the popular Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Why? Main Street, U.S.A. is the only location in the park where fake snow drifts down from above as the parade passes by, creating a picture-perfect winter wonderland! Spots along the parade route go quickly, so claim a space early!

Prepare for Rain – During my first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party experience, it rained the whole night! Myself, along with most of the party guests, just donned a poncho and braved the damp, but there were few changes to the party due to the inclement weather. First of all, some elements of the parade were removed for safety purposes. The main floats were still included, but some of the characters and dancers were not. Whenever the weather isn’t cooperative, Disney does their best to carry on the night as planned, but some performances and live entertainment can be cancelled, delayed, or altered. It’s just something to prepare yourself and another reason to check the forecast.

Once Upon a Christmastime - A Glass Slipper Vacation
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Post-Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Traditionally, after the last Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party of the year, the Magic Kingdom offers the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and other party entertainment to all guests. If you are planning on visiting Disney World around December 19th this year, you may want to consider skipping the party and enjoying some of the entertainment for free.

There are Two Once Upon a Christmastime Parades – The party only lasts from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM, so every minute counts with so much to do. Fortunately, the park offers two performances of the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. The first is at 8:30 PM and the second is at 10:30 PM. The second parade is almost always less crowded, so skip the first viewing to dance with some characters or to ride a few attractions.

Dance Parties – Typically, there are two character dance parties for guests to participate in. Woody and Jessie from Toy Story are usually found in the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon while other characters party at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. It’s a great place to get warm and to get some great photos! I must say that one of my favorite dance party memories was watching the Cast Members at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe holding their own little dance party by the registers!

Have a Plan – With the whole park to enjoy, special live performances, dance parties, a parade, Holiday Wishes, and all those characters, you definitely don’t want to just wing it at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Have a plan or at least a list of priorities for what you want to do. Something to keep in mind is that the lines are shorter for almost everything closer to closing.

Woody - A Glass Slipper Vacation
Woody and Jessie at the Diamond Horseshoe

Holiday Wishes – While the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks display, Wishes, is incredible all throughout the year, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party’s Holiday Wishes are in a league all their own. Holiday Wishes offers Christmas-themed castle projections and popular carols; but the best part is the finale, where fireworks are shot off almost all the way around the park! For the best viewing experience, hold a spot on Main Street, U.S.A. after the parade or check out the area near the Crystal Palace. If neither of these is an option, New Fantasyland has plenty of space and offers a fairy tale setting for enjoying the show.

Strategize to Meet the Seven Dwarfs – One of the best things about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the chance to meet a variety of Disney characters, oftentimes in holiday or winter finery! By far, the most popular characters to meet at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the Seven Dwarfs. It’s one of the few times where you can meet them all at one time and the line gets long fast! If meeting with the Seven Dwarfs is on your to-do list, you will definitely want to line up an hour before party time.

Where to Eat – Not every restaurant is open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which is something I learned the hard way! Only some quick service restaurants still serve their standard menus during the party and some even close before the park closes. Also, other quick service restaurants throughout the park are used only as locations to pick up those yummy free cookies and beverages. To know which restaurants are serving, when they close, and where to get those free holiday treats, check a guide map when entering the park.

Use Every Minute – The Magic Kingdom allows guests onto attractions until the very last minute before park closing. Therefore, don’t rush out of the park when the time is drawing close. Instead, use every minute to get as much bang for your buck to meet those rare characters and to walk on a few of the more popular park attractions.

Know Where to Shop – Exclusive party merchandise can only be found at certain locations throughout the park and stuff goes fast, especially those exclusive pins. Be sure to check your party guide map for the stores selling party merchandise when arriving at the park, but Main Street, U.S.A’s Emporium can usually be counted upon for carrying those exclusive items.

Get in Early – While the party officially starts at 7:00 PM, party guests can enter the park as early as 4:00 PM. Getting in early means you can get a head start in staking your place in line for character meets.

Visit During Slower Dates – While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is very popular, there are some dates that are popular than others. If you have a flexible schedule, try to visit during the least crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2014 dates.

Do you have any tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?


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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

7 thoughts on “Disney Savvy Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

  • September 25, 2014 at 9:34 am

    We are from the UK, my parents time their visit just for this event. My mum is 68 years young and loves the hot chocolate and cookies! She loves this event so much is was one of the reasons we have decided to visit Dec 4th – Dec 26th 2015. Will take notes from this to help us enjoy ourselves just a little bit more:)

    • September 25, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Janette, your mom sounds like so much fun! Disney World and this event are always better with family. Hope you enjoy and I’m glad this article will help!

  • September 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Great article, thanks.

  • September 26, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Any tips on riding the rides during the party? This will be our first Christmas Party and I’m wondering what to expect in terms of waits for the big headliners?

  • September 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Tara, the lines for attractions are relatively short, except for favorites like Peter Pan and Space Mountain. The waits are not as short as you may experience during September or early December, months known for low attendance at the parks, but you should be able to experience your favorites if you plan. Hope you have a great time!

  • October 2, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    We are attending the party this year on Friday Dec 5. When do you recommend getting a spot on main street for the parade? I have heard as much as 4 hours (not gonna happen) to 1 hour in advance (do-able).

    • October 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Britt, great question! An hour should be enough time to get a spot on Main Street, unless you have a specific spot in mind. Guests do start claiming spots early, but you are visiting at a great time as the crowds are typically lower in early December. Hope you have a great time!


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