Disney Very Merriest After Hours was an After Hours event that ran in the place of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party back in 2021. While Very Merriest had some elements from a full Christmas Party, it lacked many of our favorite things – like lots of characters.
Although we appreciated Disney’s efforts to bring some of the Christmas festivities back during a difficult time, we were glad when in 2022, the full Christmas Party returned.
You can read up on what Very Merriest was all about below, or jump over to our Complete Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to get caught up on what to expect this year.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours has been replaced by Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Very Merriest only ran during the 2021 Christmas season when it served as a replacement during the pandemic for the Christmas Party.
In 2022, Disney brought back the full Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you are looking for information on what to expect during the Christmas season, make sure you check out the link below.
What was 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 decided to incorporate aspects of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party into a brand new After Hours event.
Disney Very Merriest was a family-friendly, Christmas-themed, specially ticketed event.
Much like the After Hours events from the past, Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom gave guests access to attractions and “free” food.
In addition, there was also lots of decorations and chances to see characters (no meet & greets, though).
And, unlike the 2021 Boo Bash After Hours, for Very Merriest Disney also brought back the fireworks and a nearly complete version of the popular Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.
That marked the first return of a parade to a Disney World park since March of 2020.
Oh – and the best part?
The After Hours events have a reduced capacity, which means the lines for all your favorite attractions are typically extremely short. More on all of that below.
Historical dates, cost, and times for Disney Very Merriest After Hours
Important Note: The dates below are for 2021 Very Merriest After Hours events. Disney has not held a Very Merriest After Hours event since December 2021.
In 2021, Very Merriest ran 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 were able to enjoy Very Merriest for 4 hours.
That may not seem like a big deal, but trust us: 4 hours was 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 started AFTER the Magic Kingdom closed at its regular time.
For families with little ones, the late hours were definitely something to consider, especially considering the high ticket cost.
Very Merriest After Hours Dates
Monday, November 8, 2021Sold Out Tuesday, November 9, 2021Sold Out Thursday, November 11, 2021Sold Out Friday, November 12, 2021Sold Out
- Sunday, November 14, 2021
Tuesday, November 16, 2021Sold Out Thursday, November 18, 2021Sold Out Friday, November 19, 2021Sold Out
- Sunday, November 21, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021Sold Out Sunday, November 28, 2021Sold Out
- Tuesday, November 30, 2021
- Thursday, December 2, 2021
- Friday, December 3, 2021
- Sunday, December 5, 2021
Tuesday, December 7, 2021Sold Out
- Thursday, December 9, 2021
- Friday, December 10, 2021
Sunday, December 12, 2021Sold Out
- Tuesday, December 14, 2021
- Thursday, December 16, 2021
- Friday, December 17, 2021
Sunday, December 19, 2021Sold Out Tuesday, December 21, 2021Sold 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.
Historical Ticket Prices
Very Merriest ticket prices were not cheap. And, as you can see below, the prices were the same for both adults AND kids:
Here’s what you’d pay back in 2021:
- $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 could 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 did 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.
Were there discounts available?
Yes, although not as big as in previous years, Disney Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members could receive a $10.00 discount per ticket for events that ran from Nov. 9 to Nov. 19.
What took place during Disney Very Merriest After Hours?
Checking-In and Wristbands
Wristband distribution began around 7 p.m. Event guests needed a wristband to move freely throughout Magic Kingdom after it closes.
There were several wristband distribution locations for Very Merriest guests.
If you were already in the park prior to closing, you were able to get your wristbands at 3 different locations:
- Liberty Square
- Tomorrowland near Monster’s, Inc.
- Adventureland near Tortuga Tavern
If you were arriving to Magic Kingdom around 7 p.m., you could check in and get your wristband as you entered the park.
You could also grab a map as you entered or pick one up at the Liberty Square Ticket office.
Click on the guide map images below for a closer look.
While you didn’t find everything you’d typically see at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, there was 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 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
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!
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.
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!
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 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 brought out 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, these are not making a return for Very Merriest.
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Space Mountain
- Mad Tea Party
Of course, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without decorations.
Like previous years, the areas around Main Street U.S.A and the castle were sprinkled with holiday cheer.
Plus, for 2021, there were some gold accents in place of the standard red for the 50th anniversary celebration.
The train station was of course even decorated beautifully.
Let’s not forget about the massive, yet stunning, Christmas tree in Town Square. She is always a real beaut.
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 were glad to see this holiday favorite return in 2021.
You couldn’t meet or hug your favorite characters, but they were 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)
By Mad Tea Party
- Tweedledee and Tweedledum (no PhotoPass)
Stage near Pirates of the Caribbean
- Captain Hook and Smee in holiday scarves (no PhotoPass)
Above Country Bear Jamboree
- The Country Bears in holiday scarves (no PhotoPass)
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)
Town Square Theater
- Mickey Mouse (not in holiday outfit; same experience as what’s available during regular park hours; no PhotoPass)
Tomorrowland (Rockettower Plaza Stage)
- Santa Stitch (part of Club Tinsel)
Liberty Square Gazebo (behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe)
- Santa Claus (with PhotoPass)
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 could 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 for Very Merriest it was at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrrowland.
You could also catch Santa Stitch here.
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).
Complimentary Snacks & Drinks
Like the other After Hours events, you had access to complimentary popcorn, ice cream bars (including Mickey bars) and bottled beverages at different carts and stands cross the park.
Plus, there were complimentary Snickernoodle Cookies and Hot Cocoa available at select locations, which you could find thanks to these peppermint stick markers outside each station.
2021’s cookie spots were:
- 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.
You also received a complimentary treat when you left Very Merriest at the end of the night.
Prefer something fancier than a Mickey Bar or bag of popcorn?
It would cost you extra, but in 2021 you had 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
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 were select Quick Service locations open serving other food and beverage offerings.
We’ve used an asterisk (*) to mark the locations where you could 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
- *Golden Oak Outpost: Full menu available
- *Sleepy Hollow: Apple Cider float and hand-dipped Corn Dog
- The Friar’s Nook: Full menu available (only open until 10 p.m.)
- Auntie Gravity’s Galatic Goodies: Christmas Cookie Sundae, Christmas Cookie Milkshake
- Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
You could, of course, do some holiday shopping during the event.
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Main Street Confectionery
- Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
- Star Traders
PhotoPass photographers were out and about taking both regular photos and Christmas-themed Magic Shots.
Here were 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)
You could also have a PhotoPass photo taken at the Liberty Square Gazebo with Santa Claus!
One of the main selling points to this event was the fact that the reduced capacity means you could knock out a bunch of attractions with little to no waits.
Here is what was open attraction-wise:
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jingle Cruise (Jungle Cruise’s holiday overlay)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- 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
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (Holiday-themed!)
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
And Here’s What Was NOT Available:
While many things will be open for the event, there were some things weren’t 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:
- Enchanted Tiki Room
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Meet Tinkerbell at Town Square Theater*
- Enchanted Tales with Belle*
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Country Bear Jamboree
- 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!
Read more about Christmas at Disney World
Can’t get enough of the holidays at Walt Disney World? Check out these posts for helpful information and tips!
- All About Christmas at Walt Disney World
- Complete Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Overview of Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays
- Why you should consider purchasing a Candlelight Processional Dining Package
- Christmas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Christmas at Animal Kingdom
- Where to Find Santa Claus at Walt Disney World
- The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll
- Guide to Storytellers at Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays
- Every gingerbread house at Disney World
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