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2021 Complete Guide to Disney Very Merriest After Hours

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2021 Complete Guide to Disney Very Merriest After Hours

Ready for some holiday fun?

Disney Very Merriest After Hours kicked off this November 8 at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

While not identical to the very popular Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, there’s still a lot to love about this new specially ticketed event.

Here’s everything you need to know, including dates, prices, and our tips for making the most of your evening.

Is Disney Very Merriest After Hours returning in 2022?

In 2021, we didn’t see the full Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). Instead, Disney Very Merriest After Hours replaced the party. While nothing has been announced by Disney yet, it seems likely that MVMCP will return in 2022 (especially since Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is coming back this year). Stay tuned for more details. Until we know more, keep reading about Very Merriest After Hours and what it entailed.

What is Disney Very Merriest After Hours?

After a year with no Halloween or Christmas parties at all, in 2021 Disney announced that it was bringing holiday festivities back to Magic Kingdom.

Only, instead of full parties, Disney has decided to incorporate aspects of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party into a brand new After Hours event.

Disney After Hours events are not new. In fact, 3 of the 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, & Hollywood Studios) have hosted this type of specially ticketed event in recent years.

And, with the introduction of this new Disney Very Merriest After Hours for Christmas and Disney After Hours Boo Bash for Halloween, there are 2 additional After Hours events to love (and spend your money on!).

Note: at this time, Boo Bash and Disney Very Merriest are the only 2 After Hours events that have been scheduled. No word yet on when – or if – the After Hours events will return to the other parks.

Disney Very Merriest is a family-friendly, Christmas-themed, specially ticketed event.

Much like the After Hours events from the past, the new Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom will give guests access to attractions and “free” food.

50th anniversary banner christmas tree magic kingdom

In addition, there will also be lots of decorations and chances to see characters (no meet & greets, though).

And, Disney has confirmed that the beautiful Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks will return for the event, as well as the popular Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

This marks the first return of a parade to a Disney World park since March of 2020.

Oh – and the best part?

These events have a reduced capacity, which means the lines for all your favorite attractions are typically extremely short. More on all of that below.

Dates, cost, and times for Disney Very Merriest After Hours

Party dates

Very Merriest will run from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am on 24 select nights from Nov. 8 through Dec. 21.

And, unlike Boo Bash which was only 3 hours long, you’ll be able to enjoy Very Merriest for 4 hours.

That may not seem like a big deal, but trust us: 4 hours is a much better length of time (especially considering the price of the tickets!).

But, keep in mind the late hours for the event.

Unlike the old Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which happened on nights when Magic Kingdom would close at 6, this After Hours event starts AFTER the Magic Kingdom closes at its regular time.

For families with little ones, the late hours are definitely something to consider, especially considering the high ticket cost.

disney very merriest after hours

Very Merriest After Hours Dates

  • Monday, November 8, 2021 Sold Out
  • Tuesday, November 9, 2021 Sold Out
  • Thursday, November 11, 2021 Sold Out
  • Friday, November 12, 2021 Sold Out
  • Sunday, November 14, 2021
  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021 Sold Out
  • Thursday, November 18, 2021 Sold Out
  • Friday, November 19, 2021 Sold Out
  • Sunday, November 21, 2021
  • Tuesday, November 23, 2021 Sold Out
  • Sunday, November 28, 2021 Sold Out
  • Tuesday, November 30, 2021
  • Thursday, December 2, 2021
  • Friday, December 3, 2021
  • Sunday, December 5, 2021
  • Tuesday, December 7, 2021 Sold Out
  • Thursday, December 9, 2021
  • Friday, December 10, 2021
  • Sunday, December 12, 2021 Sold Out
  • Tuesday, December 14, 2021
  • Thursday, December 16, 2021
  • Friday, December 17, 2021
  • Sunday, December 19, 2021 Sold Out
  • Tuesday, December 21, 2021 Sold Out

Historically, the Christmas parties didn’t tend to have the same level of popularity as the Halloween ones, but there is a lot of pent-up demand for Disney right now. And with limited options for “special” touches to add to a trip (like tours, etc.), guests looking to add a little extra pixie dust may find themselves more likely to plan a visit to attend a Very Merriest After Hours.

Ticket Prices

Very Merriest ticket prices aren’t cheap. And, as you can see below, the prices are the same for both adults AND kids:

Here’s what you’ll pay:

  • $169-$189 (plus tax) for dates from Nov. 8 to Nov. 19
  • $209-$229 (plus tax) for dates from Nov. 21 to Dec. 17
  • $249 (plus tax) for Dec. 19 and Dec. 21 events
disney very merriest after party magic kingdom

You can purchase tickets online or by calling 407-939-4240. For reference, tickets went on sale beginning August 17, 2021 for onsite guests and August 20, 2021 for everyone else. Tickets are nontransferable and nonrefundable.

Important note: Disney Very Merriest After Hours does not require guests to have an additional day theme park ticket or a Disney Park Pass reservation. Also, those with Very Merriest tickets can get into Magic Kingdom as early as 7 p.m. on the night of the event they’re attending.

Are there discounts available?

Yes, although not as big as in previous years, Disney Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can receive a $10.00 discount per ticket for events that run from Nov. 9 to Nov. 19.

What takes place during Disney Very Merriest After Hours?

Checking-In and Wristbands

Wristband distribution begins around 7 p.m. Event guests will need a wristband to move freely throughout Magic Kingdom after it closes.

There are different wristband distribution locations for Very Merriest guests.

disney very merriest after hours wristband distribution

If you are already in the park prior to closing, you’ll be able to get your wristbands at 3 different locations:

  • Liberty Square
  • Tomorrowland near Monster’s, Inc.
  • Adventureland near Tortuga Tavern

If you are arriving to Magic Kingdom around 7 p.m., you’ll be able to check in and get your wristband as you enter the park.

very merriest after hours wristband

Be sure to also grab a Very Merriest map. You can even grab one earlier the day of your event at the Liberty Square Ticket Office. All you have to do is tell the working Cast Member you’re attending that evening’s After Hours.

disney very merriest after hours map 2021

Click on the guide map images below for a closer look.

disney very merriest after hours guide map
disney very merriest after hours guide map

While you won’t find everything you’d typically see at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, there’s still a lot of fun to be had, including:

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
Showtime: 11:15 PM

This fireworks show was brand-new back in 2019, and since there weren’t any fireworks last holiday season, it feels almost like they are STILL brand new for 2021!

Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks 2021

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks features a combination of projections and fireworks. The best views are near Casey’s Corner to be able to see both the projections and fireworks.

Best Magic Kingdom fireworks views

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
Times: 9:45 PM and 12:05 AM

Instead of the cavalcades that we’ve been seeing, this new After Hours event has a full-length parade!

mickey's once upon a christmastime parade 2021

And, not just any parade, it’s Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party. It is somewhat modified, but pretty close to normal.

mickey's once upon a christmastime parade 2021

For the smallest crowds, we recommend you plan to attend the 2nd one.

Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories stage show
Showtimes at: 9:25 PM, 10:35 PM, 11:45 PM, 12:50 AM

A stage show has finally returned to Magic Kingdom!

mickey & minnie's very merry memories stage show

Called Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories, the show held on Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage invites guests to celebrate the holidays “with Mickey and his friends for a celebration filled with music, dancing, and nostalgic yuletide fun.”

mickey & minnie's very merry memories stage show

There are even nods to other Magic Kingdom holiday stage shows, like “Mickey’s Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Celebrate the Season,” and “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.”

Holiday-themed attraction overlays

Attraction overlays are when Disney adds holiday touches (or “overlays”) to popular attractions.

Here is what Disney has confirmed to be transformed for Very Merriest:

  • Jingle Cruise (aka Jungle Cruise)
jingle cruise magic kingdom
  • Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
monsters inc with christmas overlay

In previous years during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we also saw overlays to the below attractions. However, these are not making a return for Very Merriest.

  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Space Mountain
  • Mad Tea Party

Decorations

Of course, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without decorations.

Christmas decorations at Magic Kingdom
Photo Credit: Natalie Engle

Look for the areas around Main Street U.S.A and the castle to be sprinkled with holiday cheer.

Christmas decorations at Magic Kingdom
Photo Credit: Natalie Engle

This year, there are some gold accents in place of the standard red for the 50th anniversary celebration.

wreath magic kingdom main street gold bow

The train station is of course even decorated beautifully.

Let’s not forget about the massive, yet stunning, Christmas tree in Town Square. She’s a real beaut.

magic kingdom christmas tree

Snow on Main Street U.S.A

One of the highlights of the holiday season is the snow on Main Street U.S.A., and we are glad to see this holiday favorite return!

snow on main street very merriest after hours 2021

Make sure you spend some time checking it out.

Characters

You won’t be able to meet or hug your favorite characters, but they will be out and about in the park for you to see and take socially-distanced photos with.

Princess Fairytale Hall

  • Tiana, Rapunzel, Elena, and Cinderella (same experience as what’s available during regular park hours; no PhotoPass)
very merriest after hours princess fairytale hall

By Mad Tea Party

  • Tweedledee and Tweedledum (no PhotoPass)
tweedle dee and tweedle dum very merriest after hours

Stage near Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Captain Hook and Smee in holiday scarves (no PhotoPass)
captain hook and smee very merriest after hours

Above Country Bear Jamboree

  • The Country Bears in holiday scarves (no PhotoPass)
country bears very merriest

Crystal Palace (patio area in front)

  • Winnie the Pooh and friends wearing holiday scarves (Eeyore and Piglet appear together, while Pooh and Tigger make appearances together; no PhotoPass)
eyeore and piglet very merriest after hours

Town Square Theater

  • Mickey Mouse (not in holiday outfit; same experience as what’s available during regular park hours; no PhotoPass)
mickey mouse 50th anniversary outfit town square theater

Tomorrowland (Rockettower Plaza Stage)

stitch club tinsel very merriest after hours

Liberty Square Gazebo (behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe)

  • Santa Claus (with PhotoPass)
santa claus meet and greet very merriest after hours

Note: Compared to the regular Christmas Party, Very Merriest After Hours is similar to Boo Bash, with minimal opportunities for characters.

Club Tinsel Dance Party
From 9:00 PM until 1:00 AM

You’re able to dance along with all your friends in the snow at the Club Tinsel Dance Party.

In previous years, this event was held inside Cosmic Rays, but it is now at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrrowland for Very Merriest.

club tinsel very merriest 2021

You can also catch Santa Stitch here.

stitch club tinsel very merriest after hours

Reindeer Wranglers
Shows at 9:25 PM, 10:30 PM, 11:40 PM, and 12:35 AM

The fan favorite “Reindeer Wranglers” have returned to Magic Kingdom this season, where they perform holiday favorites with a western-flair in Frontierland (above Country Bear Jamboree).

reindeer wranglers very merriest after hours

Complimentary Snacks & Drinks

Like the other After Hours events, you have access to complimentary popcorn, ice cream bars (including Mickey bars) and bottled beverages at different carts and stands cross the park.

very merriest hot cocoa complimentary holiday treat

Plus, there are complimentary Snickernoodle Cookies and Hot Cocoa available at select locations, which you can find thanks to these peppermint stick markers outside each station.

pinocchio village haus treat stop very merriest after hours

This year’s cookie spots are:

  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (Frontierland)
  • Columbia Harbour House (Liberty Square)
  • Pinocchio Village Haus (Fantasyland)
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (Tomorrowland)

Note: Allergy-friendly options are available upon request.

complimentary cookies very merriest after hours

You’ll also receive a complimentary treat when you leave Very Merriest at the end of the night.

mickey-shaped treat very merriest after hours 2021

Specialty Treats

Prefer something fancier than a Mickey Bar or bag of popcorn?

It will cost you extra, but you have several specialty treats to choose from including:

Gingerbread Almond Cake Pop — Golden Oak Outpost (Frontierland)

  • Gingerbread Almond Cake dipped in White Chocolate, $4.99

To Be Jolly Float — Golden Oak Outpost (Frontierland)

  • Peppermint Iced Coffee blended with Vanilla Ice Cream, topped with Whipped Cream, Peppermint Sprinkles, and a Chocolate Minnie Bow, $6.99
disney very merriest after hours specialty treats

Ginger Apple Funnel Cake — Sleepy Hollow (Liberty Square)

  • Gingerbread Funnel Cake topped with Apple Pie filling, Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Drizzle, $7.99

Orange Bird Churro — Main Street, U.S.A. Snack Cart (Main Street, U.S.A.)

  • Churro drizzled with Citrus Marshmallow Cream, topped with Orange Candy Slices, $7.00

Quick Service Locations

In addition to complimentary cookies and hot cocoa and other holiday-themed treats available for purchase, there are select Quick Service locations open serving other food and beverage offerings.

We’ve used an asterisk (*) to mark the locations where you can also purchase specialty treats.

Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Main Street Bakery: Mickey Cinnamon Roll and full menu available
  • Casey’s Corner: Full menu available
casey's corner magic kingdom

Frontierland

  • *Golden Oak Outpost: Full menu available
golden oak outpost magic kingdom

Liberty Square

  • *Sleepy Hollow: Apple Cider float and hand-dipped Corn Dog

Fantasyland

  • The Friar’s Nook: Full menu available (only open until 10 p.m.)
friars nook magic kingdom

Tomorrowland

  • Auntie Gravity’s Galatic Goodies: Christmas Cookie Sundae, Christmas Cookie Milkshake
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
joffrey's tomorrowland magic kingdom

Merchandise

You can, of course, do some holiday shopping during the event.

Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Emporium
  • Main Street Confectionery

Liberty Square

  • Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe

Tomorrowland

  • Star Traders

PhotoPass

PhotoPass photographers will be out and about taking both regular photos and Christmas-themed Magic Shots.

very merriest after hours photopass photo

Here are the locations:

  • Town Square (by flagpole and near Main Street Confectionery)
  • Main Street U.S.A. near the Hub (just past Casey’s Corner and Plaza Ice Cream Parlor)
  • Liberty Square (on the bridge near Sleepy Hollow)
  • Liberty Square (near Haunted Mansion)
  • Fantasyland (near Pinocchio Village Haus)
mickey bokeh photopass very merriest after hours

You can also have a PhotoPass photo taken at the Liberty Square Gazebo with Santa Claus!

santa claus photopass very merriest after hours

Attractions

One of the main selling points to this event is the fact that the reduced capacity means you can knock out a bunch of attractions with little to no waits.

Here is what’s open attraction-wise:

Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater

Adventureland

  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Jingle Cruise (Jungle Cruise’s holiday overlay)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
pirates of the caribbean very merriest

Frontierland

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain

Liberty Square

  • Haunted Mansion

Fantasyland

  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • The Barnstormer
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Princess Fairytale Hall

Tomorrowland

  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (Holiday-themed!)
  • Space Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
monsters inc very merriest after hours overlay

And Here’s What’s NOT Available:

While many things will be open for the event, there are some things won’t be available to guests.

This includes all the attractions and character meet & greets that are already temporarily closed (marked with an * below) as well as a couple of others that haven’t been open for After Hours events in the past:

Adventureland

  • Enchanted Tiki Room

Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Meet Tinkerbell at Town Square Theater*

Fantasyland

  • Enchanted Tales with Belle*
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Frontierland

  • Country Bear Jamboree

Liberty Square

  • The Hall of Presidents

Tomorrowland

  • Carousel of Progress

Tips for Disney Very Merriest After Hours

  • Don’t go into the evening tired. In fact, we recommend you either take a nice long break or skip a park all together on the day you’re scheduled to attend.
  • Disney Very Merriest tickets are expensive, but you can save a bit of money on your trip by skipping purchasing a regular park ticket the day you plan to go. Use the day to rest up for the late night and since you’ll be able to enter Magic Kingdom at 7 pm you’ll have about 6 hours to explore the park with minimal waits.
  • The carts with the free treats and drinks at the front of the park can develop long lines, so if you can, try a cart away from the Hub area for shorter waits.
  • Very Merriest almost over? Grab a bottle or two of beverages to take back to your hotel.
  • Have a PhotoPass photographer snap your pic on Main Street on the way out. Gotta take advantage of having almost nobody in the park to clutter up your photo!