The holidays at Disney World are truly some of the most magical days of the year.
And, probably the most popular way to celebrate the Christmas season at Disney World is with a visit to the family-friendly Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
This specially ticked event is packed to the brim with cozy treats, festive decorations, and characters galore.
Planning a visit? Here's some of our favorite tips for making the most of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Make a plan
Party tickets are not cheap so in order to maximize your time (and your money!) a plan is an absolute must.
But, our planning philosophy isn't a "minute-by-minute" approach, even for things like Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP, for short).
Instead, for the parties we like to group things by hour so that you have time in your evening to enjoy all the sites and sounds of the park.
To help with that, we have a comprehensive Guide to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party that covers everything from where to dine to how to tour to where to find the best merchandise.
Make sure you review that ahead of time so that you'll be able to maximize your ticket to the party!
Visit the popular characters before the party begins
The characters at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party are adorable, oftentimes not ones you can see during normal park hours, and always very popular.
In fact, they are so popular it isn't uncommon to see some characters attract lines that last 2 hours (or more!).
But here's one of our most favorite tips (and not something everybody knows):
The most popular characters begin greeting guests before the party even begins!
For the shortest waits (and to keep from having to waste precious party time), consider meeting 1 or 2 party-exclusive characters before the party kicks off.
Note: you must have already picked up your party wristband in order to join a line. Check out the Guide to Mickey's Very Christmas Party for wristband locations.
- Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws and Sally (Town Square Theater) starts meeting around 4:30 p.m.
- Moana (Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland) starts meeting around 5:30 p.m.
- Seven Dwarfs (Pete's Silly Sideshow in Fantasyland) starts meeting around 6:15 p.m.
- Nick & Judy (near Buzz Lightyear Spaceranger Spin and Carousel of Progress) start meeting at 6:15 p.m.
Get more info on meeting these characters:
- How to meet Moana at Disney World
- Where to meet Jack and Sally at Disney World
- How to meet the Seven Dwarfs at Disney World
Check the forecast
Yes, there will be "snow" on Main Street.
And yes, there will be hot cocoa and snowmen and Santa in a big, red, furry suit but that doesn't mean that the temperatures will always "feel" like Christmas.
In fact, it isn't unusual for the high temperatures to be in the 80's with the "feels like" temps soaring into the 90's for party dates in November.
Plus, there's always the possibility of rain.
Usually by the time we get into December the temperatures stick to the 70's and 80's (and you may even want a jacket in the evening) but your best bet is going to be to check the forecast the day of the party and then to dress (and plan) accordingly.
Consider seeing the 2nd parade
On party nights you'll have the option of 2 different times to see the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade: one early and one later in the evening.
Unless there is rain in the forecast, we always recommend that 2nd parade, and here's why:
The 2nd parade is almost always less crowded.
Lots of people with little ones go to the parties and as their kids max out on fun, they start to head out leaving fewer people in the park.
Of course, Disney has caught on to this phenomenon and in recent years even they have promoted the idea of waiting to view the 2nd parade.
This has caused the crowds to even out a bit between the two time options but the 2nd parade is still less crowded than the first.
Looking for the least crowded spot to watch the parade? We recommend Frontierland.
But, for the ultimate "snow with Cinderella Castle in the background" for photos, Main Street is the place to be!
Get your ticket ahead of time
More and more we are seeing parties (both Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party & Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party) sell out.
This never really used to happen (except for the first and last parties) but now, there's a chance any party could sell out.
Add in the fact that there are far fewer Christmas Parties (23) than Halloween Parties (36), and you'll see why the chances for sell outs increase even more.
Because of that, you'll definitely want to snag your tickets early.
You may wonder what happens if it rains; will they cancel the party?
In only very, very rare occasions has Disney cancelled a special event, so even if it is raining, the show will go on.
Certain aspects of the party (like the parade) however, may not.
In those instances, patience and knowing all the indoor activities and attractions available are your key to making the most of a damp evening.
For shows with multiple times scheduled, consider the forecast before deciding which one to attend.
Use your ticket to get in early
One of the perks to buying a ticket to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is that you can use it to get into the park before the party even starts.
Your party ticket alone will get you into the front gates of Magic Kingdom starting at 4:00 p.m..
Are you a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member? You can show your membership card to get into the park starting at 2 p.m.!
That means you'll have plenty of time to check out a few of the attractions that aren't available during MVMCP and to grab some dinner before the party starts.
It also means you're able to visit another park the morning of the party without needing a Park Hopper ticket.
OR, if you are trying to save money, you can sleep in and only go to Magic Kingdom at 4 p.m. (meaning you can purchase 1 less day on your regular park tickets).
That 4 p.m. entry is a huge perk to the ticket and something we highly recommend you take advantage of.
Do party-exclusive activities
Unless the party is the only time you'll be spending at Magic Kingdom, you should focus your time on doing things that you can only do during the party:
- snacking on the complimentary holiday treats
- meeting rare characters
- seeing the Once Upon A Christmastime parade
- watching Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show
- riding the attractions with the special experiences:
- Mad Tea Party, Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, Monsters Inc.
One thing we do not recommend you do is spend your party time eating dinner.
You've spent a lot of money for a ticket with access to party-exclusive experiences, attractions, and characters.
Don't waste that party time doing things you can do any old time of the year!
Memorialize the night with Magic Shots
Magic Shots are a super-fun way to capture the memories of the night.
And, Main Street U.S.A. is one of our most favorite places to snag a bunch of Magic Shots all at once.
The PhotoPass Photographers here are easy to find; you'll see lots of them stationed up and down Main Street.
When it is your turn to get your photographs taken, just make sure you ask the PhotoPass photographer to take as many Magic Shots as they can.
Oftentimes you'll be able to snag 2 or 3 different poses at 1 photographer!
Don't overdo it
It is very easy to overdo it on a Disney World trip.
With so many things to see and do you'll find yourself being sucked into doing "one more thing" and before you know it, you're exhausted, cranky, and finding it really difficult to have any fun.
That's why we highly recommend that you take it easy both the day you attend the party and the morning after.
Try to sneak in a nap before you head to Magic Kingdom (or at least do some relaxing) and plan to have a late start/sleep in day the following morning.
Trust us: if you try to push yourselves too much it could take take days to recover.
You know your family best, but being proactive about not overdoing is key to ensuring everybody is well rested enough to enjoy both the party and the days follow.
Bonus tip: See 2 parties in one trip!
Did you know that if you time your visit right you can see both Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party AND Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party?
The trick is to plan to attend the very last MNSSHP and the very first Christmas Party.
Read more about attending both parties here.
Do you have any tips for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party? Tell us about them in the comments!