Ready for some holiday fun?
Disney Very Merriest After Hours kicks 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.
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.
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.
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
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!).
Very Merriest After Hours Dates
- Monday, November 8, 2021
- Tuesday, November 9, 2021
- Thursday, November 11, 2021
- Friday, November 12, 2021
- Sunday, November 14, 2021
- Tuesday, November 16, 2021
- Thursday, November 18, 2021
- Friday, November 19, 2021
- Sunday, November 21, 2021
- Tuesday, November 23, 2021
- Sunday, November 28, 2021
- Tuesday, November 30, 2021
- Thursday, December 2, 2021
- Friday, December 3, 2021
- Sunday, December 5, 2021
- Tuesday, December 7, 2021
- Thursday, December 9, 2021
- Friday, December 10, 2021
- Sunday, December 12, 2021
- Tuesday, December 14, 2021
- Thursday, December 16, 2021
- Friday, December 17, 2021
- Sunday, December 19, 2021
- Tuesday, December 21, 2021
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.
Very Merriest ticket prices aren’t cheap.
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
You can purchase tickets online or by calling 407-939-4240 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?
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
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 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.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
Instead of the cavalcades that we’ve been seeing, this new After Hours event will have a full-length parade!
And, not just any parade, it will be the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party.
No word yet on whether there will be one showing or 2, but either way, expect it to be extremely popular!
Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories stage show
A stage show is returning to Magic Kingdom!
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.”
There will even be 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)
- Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
In previous years during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we also saw overlays to the below attractions. However, Disney has not announced that these will be making a return for Very Merriest.
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Space Mountain
- Mad Tea Party
Of course, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without decorations. Look for the areas around Main Street U.S.A and the castle to be sprinkled with holiday cheer.
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!
Make sure you spend some time checking it out.
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.
While we don’t have a full line-up yet, here’s what Disney has told us so far:
- Jiminy Cricket
- The Country Bears
- Winnie the Pooh and friends
Note: Compared to the regular Christmas Party, we do expect the Very Merriest After Hours to be similar to Boo Bash, with minimal opportunities for characters.
Club Tinsel Dance Party
You’ll be able to dance along with all your friends at the Club Tinsel Dance Party.
In previous years, this event was held inside Cosmic Rays, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it moved to the Tomorrrowland stage for Very Merriest.
The fan favorite “Reindeer Wranglers” will return to Magic Kingdom this season, where they’ll perform holiday favorites with a western-flair in Frontierland.
Complimentary Snacks & Drinks
Like the other After Hours events, you’ll have access to complimentary popcorn, ice cream bars (including Mickey bars) and bottled beverages.
Plus, Disney also notes that a complimentary “seasonal treat” will also be available. Fingers crossed that it is cookies!
These complimentary snacks are generally found in carts stationed throughout the park.
Prefer something fancier than a Mickey Bar or bag of popcorn?
It will cost you extra, but you’ll have plenty of specialty treats to choose from, too. Details to come!
PhotoPass photographers will be out and about taking both regular photos and Christmas-themed magic shots.
More details to come!
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.
Although Disney hasn’t shared a complete list, based on previous events, here’s what we think will be open:
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Haunted Mansion
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- The Barnstormer
- “it’s a small world”
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
And Here’s What’s NOT Available:
While many things will be open for the event, there are some things we feel fairly confident won’t.
That 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:
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater*
- Meet Tinkerbell at Town Square Theater*
- Enchanted Tales with Belle*
- Princess Fairytale Hall*
- The Hall of Presidents
- 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!