During the holidays, the biggest specially ticketed event is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), which takes place on select evenings at Magic Kingdom in November and December.
The party features exclusive holiday entertainment, “snow” falling on Main Street, complimentary treats, special character meet and greets, the chance to see Santa Claus, and so much more.
Let’s dive into the details…
What to expect in this guide
We first put this guide together years ago after struggling ourselves to find 1 resource that answered all of our questions about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). Since then, we’ve attended multiple parties each year (including the first 2 parties of 2023) and have continued annually to update and add tips and info we think will be helpful.
(Plus, whenever we write additional resources about MVMCP that we think are worth checking out, we’ve included those links in the text below, too.)
If you’ve mastered the basics of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we recommend you head over and check out our MVMCP Review and Strategy Guide. On that post, we have reviews of *everything* you can find at MVMCP, plus a sample touring plan that will help you maximize your party time.
Let’s get started…
What is Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party?
There’s a special parade, fireworks, characters, and even hot cocoa and cookies.
More on all of that below.
Yes, it is expensive, but we love it so much that we keep coming back year after year.
When is Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party?
The Christmas season at Disney World is a bit shorter than the Halloween one, but you’ll still have lots of chances to check the party out since the party is happening over 25 nights.
2023 MVMCP Dates
Party dates for 2023 are:
- November: 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 30
- December: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22
Will more parties be added?
While it is not totally uncommon for Disney to add additional Halloween parties (although they didn’t in 2023) they don’t usually do the same for the Christmas parties, and we don’t expect any more parties to be added.
Which Christmas parties are the least crowded?
We love a good party, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say that there is a difference between a party that is sold out and one that isn’t.
Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future, but there are definitely some parties that will have a higher likelihood of selling out than others. Now, we don’t guarantee that these absolutely will sell out, and we also don’t guarantee that others won’t, but in general, these are the first ones that typically sell out first:
- The first (and sometimes the second) party of the year
- The parties closest to Thanksgiving
- The last (and sometimes the second to last) party of the year
- And finally, in general, weekend parties tend to be busier than weekday ones, so if you have a choice, go with a weekday.
How much do tickets to Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party cost?
Ticket prices for MVMCP range from $159-$199 (plus tax) for adults and $149-$189 (plus tax) for children.
Remember, this is a special event with its own ticket.
And, if you’re wondering which parties Disney thinks will be more popular, the proof is in the price. The higher the price, the higher the chance it will be more popular, too.
|MVMCP Date||Ticket Price - Ages 10 and Up (Excludes Tax)||Ticket Price - Ages 3-9 (Excludes Tax)|
Are there discounts available?
Disney used to offer advance ticket sale discounts, but those don’t appear to be a thing in 2023. Instead, the only way to save is with an Annual Pass or DVC Discount.
Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club discounts
On select nights, guests that are Annual Passholders or DVC (Disney Vacation Club) owners can save $10 dollars on their tickets.
When do Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets go on sale?
Guests staying on-site at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan, Swan Reserve, and Dolphin hotels, and Shades of Green could begin purchasing tickets on June 29, 2023.
For everyone else (including offsite guests), tickets went on sale July 6, 2023
Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 407-939-4240 (beginning at 7 am).
Tickets are limited and may not be available for purchase on the day of the event (or earlier).
Keep the following in mind if you’re thinking of buying tickets for 2023:
Typically, what we expect is that tickets for onsite guests will open up at Midnight Eastern Standard Time for online purchases.
Be warned that technical glitches are common and things have been known to open up sooner and later than that. Last year, many people waited on hold for hours and hours and recently guests trying to snag a spot in the popular runDisney WDW Marathon had similar issues.
We don’t say that to scare you, but to prepare you.
Tickets are non-refundable, even if there’s bad weather.
For this reason, we used to advise people to wait to get their party tickets until they got to Disney World, so they see how the weather was going to be.
However, many party dates sold out in the last couple of years, so now we suggest buying them ahead of time if you’re pretty certain you want to attend.
Historical dates for MVMCP ticket sales
- 2019 – April 8, 2019
- 2020 – Party temporarily suspended (tickets never went on sale)
- 2021 – (Very Merriest) – August 20, 2021
- 2022 – June 30 (onsite guests) & July 7 (everyone else)
- 2023 – June 29 (onsite guests) & July 6 (everyone else)
All party dates that have sold out
You can definitely plan on some parties selling out, so if you really want to go, we recommend purchasing your tickets early.
2023 MVMCP dates that have sold out:
- November 9 (sold out on September 10)
- November 10 (sold out on September 20)
- November 13 (sold out on November 8)
- November 14 (sold out on November 13)
- November 16 (sold out on November 13)
- November 17 (sold out on November 8)
- November 19 (sold out on November 13)
- November 21 (sold out on November 13)
- November 22 (sold out on November 13)
- November 26 (sold out on November 17)
- November 30 (sold out on November 20)
- December 1 (sold out on October 27)
- December 3 (sold out November 7)
- December 5 (sold out November 6)
- December 7 (sold out November 9)
- December 8 (sold out November 15)
- December 10 (sold out November 20)
- December 14 (sold out November 20)
- December 15 (sold out November 18)
- December 17 (sold out on November 17)
- December 19 (sold out November 18)
- December 21 (sold out on November 17)
- December 22 (sold out on October 30)
Here’s which 2022 MVMCP dates that sold out and when:
- November 8 (sold out on Sept. 26)
- November 10 (sold out on Sept. 19)
- November 11 (sold out on Oct. 3)
- November 14 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- November 15 (sold out on Oct. 31)
- November 17 (sold out on Oct. 27)
- November 18 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- November 20 (sold out on Oct. 27)
- November 22 (sold out on Oct. 9)
- November 27 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- November 29 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- December 1 (sold out on Nov. 10)
- December 2 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- December 4 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- December 6 (sold out on Oct. 27)
- December 8 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- December 9 (sold out on Nov. 10)
- December 11 (sold out on Nov. 18)
- December 13 (sold out on Nov. 18)
- December 15 (sold out on Nov. 19)
- December 16 (sold out on October 28)
- December 18 (sold out on Oct. 20)
- December 20 (sold out on Nov. 4)
- December 22 (sold out on October 27)
In 2019 the dates that have sold out were:
- November 8, 2019 (sold out on Oct. 12)
- November 24, 2019 (sold out on Nov. 3)
- December 1, 2019 (sold out on Nov. 29)
- December 3, 2019 (sold out on Nov. 29)
- December 5, 2019 (sold out on Dec. 3)
- December 6, 2019 (sold out on Dec. 6)
- December 8, 2019 (sold out on Dec. 8)
- December 10, 2019 (sold out on Dec. 10)
- December 13, 2019 (sold out on Dec. 12)
- December 15, 2019 (sold out on Dec. 3)
- December 22, 2019 (sold out on Nov. 8)
In 2018 the dates that sold out were:
- November 8, 2018 (sold out on Nov. 8)
- November 9, 2018 (sold out on Nov. 9)
- November 25, 2018 (sold out on Nov. 24)
- December 16, 2018 (sold out on Dec. 9)
- December 21, 2018 (sold out on Dec. 19)
Do I need a Park Pass Reservation for Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party?
No Park Pass Reservation is needed if you plan on only attending the party – using your party ticket to enter at 4 p.m.
If, however, you plan to arrive to Magic Kingdom before 4 p.m., you will need a regular theme park ticket and Park Pass reservation.
Important: Those with MVMCP tickets do not have to purchase additional day theme park tickets or make theme park reservations in order to enter Magic Kingdom on their designated party day. But, remember, you can only enter as early as 4 p.m. If you want to visit Magic Kingdom prior to that time, you must have valid theme park admission and park reservations.
Additionally, if you intend to go to a park other than Magic Kingdom before the party, you do not need a Park Hopper ticket if you plan to arrive at 4:00 pm or later.
MVMCP Start Time
The party events officially begin at 7 p.m. and end at midnight. There are a few character meet and greets that start a bit earlier, though.
People with event tickets can enter Magic Kingdom as early as 4 p.m. to enjoy the park in its “regular” state before the party officially kicks off at 7 p.m.
2023 MVMCP Map
Here’s the map for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Click to view the full-sized map.
VIDEO: How to do the Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party
2023 Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party Entertainment Schedule
Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (Cinderella Castle Stage)
- 7:40 p.m., 9:25 p.m., 10:35 p.m., 11:55 p.m.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade (starts in Frontierland and ends at the front of the park):
- 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks (over Cinderella Castle)
- 10:00 p.m.
Frozen Holiday Surprise (Cinderella Castle Stage)
- 6:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
The Collective 5ive (Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland):
- 7:40 p.m., 8:40 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:55 p.m., 11:40 p.m.
Disney Junior Jingle Jam (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe)
- 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Club Tinsel (Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland)
- 7:00 P.M., 8:00 P.M., 9:00 P.M., 10:15 P.M., 11:15 P.M.
Reindeer Wranglers (Frontierland near Country Bear Jamboree)
- Intermittently from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Can you see the Christmas parade and fireworks without going to a party?
Yes, you can – but only if you visit Magic Kingdom after the final party of the year.
In fact, after the last party you can typically see all of these events daily (without a party ticket):
- Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime parade
- Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration
- The Collective 5ive
- Frozen Holiday Surprise
- The Reindeer Wranglers
- Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
In addition, the attractions with special overlays (Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party, and Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor) are also usually available.
Christmas Party Genie+ and Lightning Lane Selections
What takes place during Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party
Now that we’ve got through all of that, let’s dive into the fun stuff!
Since the park is open only for party guests, those attending will need to get special wristbands.
Wristbands can be picked up at several locations:
- the front of the park (as you enter)
- near Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- outside of Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- near Tortuga Tavern
Mickey‘s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
Parade time: 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Marching toy soldiers, reindeer, gingerbread men, classic characters dressed in their holiday best, and Santa Claus himself appear in this super fun parade.
Did we mention that this parade also smells (in a good way)? It does! The floats are equipped with special devices that make them smell like all your favorite holiday scents.
We truly love this parade with all our hearts.
Parade tip: See the second showing of the parade for lighter crowds (plus you can spend time doing other things during the first parade).
Where is the best place to watch the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade?
Looking for the best spot to watch the parade? Secure a spot on Main Street toward the front of the park.
Viewing from there provides the best ambiance: the brightly-lit castle as a backdrop, the storefronts decorated for the holidays, and snow falling overhead. It is just perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
Minnie‘s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
Showtime: 10:00 p.m.
What would a party be without fireworks?
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks features a combination of projections and fireworks.
These are a definite “must do” in our book!
Where is the best place to watch Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks?
Because of the use of projections, much like Happily Ever After (the regular nighttime show), the best views will be close to the castle.
Closer to the castle will be better for projections, but it will greatly limit your view of the fireworks.
Conversely, further down Main Street will be good for fireworks, just know the further you go, the more difficult it is to see the projections.
Frozen Holiday Surprise
Showtimes: 6:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
New for 2023, join Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf as they help to decorate Cinderella Castle. This show is 7 minutes and will be shown twice nightly.
The Collective 5ive
Showtimes: 7:40 p.m., 8:40 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:55 p.m., 11:40 p.m.
In between the Character Dance Party , the boy band Collective 5ive sings holiday hits that celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Character Dance Party at Club Tinsel
Dance party times: 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., 10:15 p.m., 11:15 p.m.
Throughout the evening, the Club Tinsel dance party takes place at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland.
For people who like pop tunes (both Christmas and non), this is a fun place to boogie down with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and Chip ‘n’ Dale.
Disney Junior Jingle Jam
Dance party times: 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
This dance party in Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe section features favorite characters from Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins, and Timon.
They won’t be able to sign autographs, but it’s an opportunity to have fun with them.
This is also a good spot to escape the rain since there is food, tables and chairs, and restrooms all under 1 roof.
Mickey‘s Most Merriest Celebration
Showtimes: 7:40 p.m., 9:25 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11:55 p.m.
Shown 4 times per night, this fun stage show includes lots of classic Disney characters and all your favorite Christmas hits.
Like all stage shows, the best views are up close.
The Reindeer Wranglers
Showtimes: intermittently from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
This fun and festive musical act usually performs several times per night in Frontierland.
Catch them when you’re in Frontierland.
Meet and greet opportunities with Disney characters
There are always chances to meet lots of characters during the party.
You probably won’t be able to meet all the characters in 1 evening, so you’ll definitely want to prioritize who you’ll meet by what is most important for you.
- ¹ in holiday attire
- ² available to meet outside of the party
- ³ exclusive characters, character combos, or character outfits that are very popular, plan to line up before the party or for shortest lines after the party starts, go during the fireworks and parades or in the final hour.
- ⁴ at a dance party (doesn’t sign autographs)
- Stitch³ – inside the Enchanted Tiki Room (new for 2023)
- Captain Jack Sparrow² – at the stage outside of Pirates of the Caribbean (you can meet during the day)
- Aladdin with Abu³ – at the Agrabah Bazaar, this pair swaps sets with Jasmine and Genie
- Jasmine with Genie³ – at the Agrabah Bazaar, this pair swaps sets with Aladdin and Abu
- Peter Pan¹ – roaming around Adventureland (returning for 2023)
- Seven Dwarfs³ – inside Pete’s Silly Sideshow (returning for 2023)
- Donald & Scrooge McDuck¹ – inside Dumbo
- Daisy & Minnie¹ – inside Dumbo
- Santa Goofy¹ – inside Storybook Circus Calliope Tent
- Belle¹ – inside Maurice’s Cottage (which is where Enchanted Tales with Belle is held)
- Ariel and Prince Eric³ – across from the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Cinderella and Prince Charming³ – along the New Fantasyland wall near the Pinocchio Village Haus restrooms
- Rapunzel and Flynn Rider³ – along the New Fantasyland wall near the Pinocchio Village Haus restrooms
- Snow White and her prince³ – along the New Fantasyland wall near the Pinocchio Village Haus restrooms
- Aurora and Prince Phillip³ – along the New Fantasyland wall near the Pinocchio Village Haus restrooms
- Tigger and Friends¹ – near Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum¹ – near Cheshire Café
- Alice and The White Rabbit¹ – near Cheshire Café
- Mirabel² – Fairytale Garden (new for 2023)
- Santa Claus³ – in the Gazebo behind Ye Olde Christmas Shop. Doesn’t meet during the parades. Consider watching the parade from Liberty Square and heading over to meet Santa right after
- Tiana and Naveen³ – inn the Liberty Square Riverboat covered area (new location for 2023)
Main Street U.S.A. and Town Square
- Sally and Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws¹ – inside Town Square Theater. People start lining up as early as 4:00. Jack and Sally start meeting as early as 4:00. Last hour of the party will usually give you the shortest waits.
- Mickey Mouse¹ – inside Town Square Theater
- Mary Poppins² – on the Town Square Theater Porch (new for 2023)
- Toy Soliders¹ – on the Market Street bypass from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. (new for 2023)
- Nick Wilde, Judy Hops, Chip ‘n’ Dale⁴ – Club Tinsel at RocketTower Plaza Stage
- Vampirina, Doc Mcstuffins, Fancy Nancy, & Timon⁴ – Disney Junior Jingle Jam in Cosmic Ray’s
- Big Al, Liverlips, Shaker and Wendell (Country Bears)¹ – near Country Bear Jamboree
Characters not returning in 2023
Sadly, a couple fan favorites are not returning for 2023. These include:
- Princess Elena
Many Magic Kingdom attractions will be open
How to ride TRON during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Attractions with Christmas overlays
In addition to generally shorter lines, a few of the attractions will have special holiday-themed overlays.
Here’s what you will find:
- Jungle Cruise – for the holiday season, the Jungle Cruise transforms into the “Jingle Cruise”. It is often popular during the party because it’s Christmas-themed, but it will be the same ride outside the party. If there’s a long line, consider catching it on a regular Magic Kingdom day.
- Mad Tea Party – the attraction “becomes a wild and wacky Christmas party, as you spin your teacups to one of four new holiday combos of lights and music.”
- Tomorrowland Speedway – where “you’ll find yourself cruising a festive freeway filled with thousands of lights and stylized décor.”
- Space Mountain – Holiday Run! launches you on an adventure through the cosmos, filled with interstellar lighting and high-energy holiday tunes.
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor– is filling their laugh canisters with some holiday cheer at their “Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Holiday Show” for everyone visiting the Monster World during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Magic Shots & Special Photo Opportunities
Like with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you’ll find exclusive PhotoPass opportunities at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, too.
PhotoPass photographers will take special photos during the party, and when you see some of the pics afterward, you’ll find something magically inserted into the photo.
These are called Magic Shots.
Here are some PhotoPass pics that were found during the party in 2023:
Pixel Stick (near Storybook Circus entrance)
Snowflake Lights (near Storybook Circus entrance)
Mickey Mouse Sleigh (Main Street, Cinderella Castle Hub area)
Muppets Christmas Carol (Liberty Square near Sleepy Hollow and Hall of Presidents)
Mickey Snowman (Main Street)
Snowflakes (Main Street)
Tinker Bell Lantern (Cinderella Castle walls near Pinocchio Village Haus)
Zero (Haunted Mansion entrance)
Santa Tinker Bell (Main Street U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle Hub)
Mistletoe (Main Street U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle Hub)
At past parties, we’ve also seen the following Magic Shots. It never hurts to ask a PhotoPass photographer to add all of the Magic Shots, so you have them!
You may even get this video when you meet Santa.
And you can also sometimes find props (above) to pose with during the party.
Shopping for event merchandise
During the party, in addition to all the regular holiday merchandise, there’s usually exclusive merchandise available to purchase.
While there wasn’t any special event merch in 2022, there is in 2023! Here’s what you can find for exclusive 2023 MVMCP merchandise.
2023 MVMCP Spirit Jersey
2023 MVMCP Shirt
2023 MVMCP Pin
2023 MVMCP Coffee Mug
2023 MVMCP Passholder Exclusive Shirt
Dining and food options during the party
Feeling hungry? Here’s what you’ll typically be able to get at the party.
Free party snacks
One of the best parts about the Christmas party are the included treats that you can pick up throughout the park. Each stop will have either a snickerdoodle, red velvet, sugar, gingerbread, or chocolate chip cookie and either hot cocoa, eggnog, or apple cider.
Here’s where you can find treats in 2023:
- Tortuga Tavern
- The Lunching Pad
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
- Columbia Harbour House
- Pinocchio Village Haus
What if I have a food allergy?
Traveling with somebody with a food allergy?
Disney notes that “Alternative healthy and gluten-free options are available upon request,” and, of course, menu offerings are subject to change or availability.
Though you should probably be careful about spending too much of your party time eating, some Quick Service and Table Service restaurants are available during the party.
Table Service restaurants available in 2023 include Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Reservations opened September 28, 2023 for those with a party ticket. Dining slots are available from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. You can book online.
Think carefully before you book, though. The party is already expensive, so it isn’t a great idea to spend part of it eating a long meal.
In addition to the 2 Table Service restaurants, several Quick Service locations are open as well:
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Main Street Bakery
- Casey’s Corner
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
- Sunshine Tree Terrace
- Aloha Isle (open until 9:00 p.m.)
- Golden Oak Outpost
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (open until 11:00 p.m.)
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
- Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
- Cool Ship
- Sleepy Hollow
- The Friar’s Nook
- Storybook Treats
Special MVMCP holiday treats & snacks
Sure, the free snacks are great, but you can also purchase fun holiday selections throughout the park. The list of exclusive food items is usually pretty long, so we’ve put them in their own post to keep this guide from getting too long.
Special Disney Vacation Club Member Perks
During select Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates, Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members can enjoy a few special member perks. These include:
- Special treats and refreshments inside Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland
- Opportunity to meet and take a photo with Gaston
Hours for this experience are limited and will only occur during the following parties:
- Thursday, November 9th
- Thursday, November 16th
- Thursday, November 30th
- Thursday, December 7th
- Thursday, December 14th
- Thursday, December 21st
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party
There are 2 styles of dessert parties that you can usually book during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. They both include guaranteed viewing for the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, and the food and drinks are identical:
- Desserts: Holiday-themed desserts, cupcakes, seasonal fruits, cheeses, etc.
- Beverages: A variety of beverages, including signature lemonades, hot chocolate, coffee and tea—as well as a glass of sparkling wine or sparkling non-alcoholic cider
The difference between the 2 parties is the view you’ll have of the fireworks.
We have done the Christmas Dessert Party and while it was a lot of fun, it is
kind of expensive and it took up a large chunk of our party time.
Here’s the 2023 dessert party info:
Christmas Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing
- Cost: $109/adult, $59/child age 3-9 (that is in addition to the price of your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket)
- Time: Check-in 1.5 hours before fireworks begin
- How to book: Book online (beginning Thursday, September 28, 2023) or by calling 407-939-3463
Christmas Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace
- Cost: $119/adult, $75/child age 3-9 (that is in addition to the price of your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket)
- Time: Check-in 1.5 hours before fireworks begin.
- How to book: Book online (beginning Thursday, September 28, 2023) or by calling 407-939-3463
Is Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party worth it?
For about $150-plus, you get up to 8 hours in the park with an exclusive parade and fireworks, special character interactions, low wait times on rides, and complimentary treats.
We happen to love the Christmas party and do think it’s worth it for most people, although due to the late hours, we don’t suggest it for most families with young children who would struggle to stay up that late.
That said, the party is worth it for groups that can stay up late, especially if you consider that you can think of your party ticket as your park ticket for the day – but with special entertainment and shorter waits for rides.
For instance, if you plan to be in the Disney World theme parks for 7 days, you could purchase 6-day park tickets (instead of 7-day tickets) and then purchase tickets to the party.
On the party day, you could skip going into a park that morning and use the first part of the day to rest or visit Disney Springs, and then use your party ticket to get into Magic Kingdom at 4 p.m.
It’s also worth it for people who will really enjoy party-exclusive offerings – exclusive characters, Christmas-themed fireworks, stage shows, and more.
Christmas parties are often crowded, you won’t be able to do everything (pick and choose what’s most important to you), and simply enjoy the party if you do decide to attend.
Tips and a sample MVMCP touring plan
Keep in mind that you will not be able to do everything, so you’ll have to prioritize what’s most important to you.
You’ll have 5 hours of “official” party time, so be sure to use it wisely.
Things you should do:
- Watch the parade, but wait until the second one, since it’s less busy (and you can do other things during the first one).
- See the fireworks.
- Attend the shows – they are exclusive to this party and can’t be seen any other time of year.
- Meet characters that are important to you.
Things you should not spend time doing:
- Eating – you can get treats at many locations, and there are some restaurants open, but don’t spend too much time on that. Be sure to eat before the events begin so you can spend your time doing other things.
- Doing things that are not exclusive to this party, which includes meeting some characters and riding some rides. If you’re attending on a busy night, focus on the exclusive things as opposed to things you could ride during the day. If you’re attending on a less busy night, the short lines for rides are a lot of fun to take advantage of.
We have an entire post on the best strategy for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so make sure you check that out before you go for hour-by-hour recommendations.
Is Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party like Very Merriest?
Yes and no.
Very Merriest definitely found a lot of its inspiration from the Christmas party. However, they are 2 very different events.
After Hours events are typically centered on being able to ride lots of rides with little to no waits, while the draw for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is holiday-specific entertainment offerings (like Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade, fireworks, and lots of character meet opportunities).
So, although Very Merriest had some Christmas Party favorites like the parade and fireworks, the fact is that Very Merriest was a lot more like an After Hours event than Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
If you’ve never attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and you’re wondering how they compare, check out the chart below:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Very Merriest After Hours comparison
|wdt_ID||How do they compare?||Disney Very Merriest After Hours||Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party|
|1||Ticket Price||$169-$249 (plus tax) for everyone (adults & kids)||$149-$199 (plus tax) for adults and $139-$189 (plus tax) for children|
|2||Official event start & end times||9:00 pm to 1:00 am||7:00 pm to 12:00 am|
|3||What time can you enter the park?||7:00 pm||4:00 pm (DVC members could enter at 2 pm)|
|4||Total number of event hours||4 hours||5 hours|
|5||Crowd levels?||Limited||Often very busy|
|6||Complimentary snacks?||Yes - bottled beverages, popcorn, & ice cream bars||Yes - unlimited cookies (different flavors) and beverages (like hot chocolate)|
|8||Are costumes allowed?||No, but holiday attire welcomed||No, but holiday attire welcomed|
|9||Live entertainment?||Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Mickey & Minnie's Very Merry Memories stage show, Reindeer Wranglers, 1 dance party||Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration stage show, Reindeer Wranglers, Dream Lights, A Frozen Holiday Wish, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show, 2 dance parties|
|10||Attraction enhancements?||Yes - Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (seasonal jokes & design), Jungle Cruise (Jingle Cruise theme; also available during daytime hours)||Yes - Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (seasonal jokes & design), Jungle Cruise (Jingle Cruise theme; also available during daytime hours), Mad Tea Party (spin to special lights & music), Space Mountain (lighting & holiday tunes), Tomorrolwand Speedway (decorat|
|11||Number of attractions open?||24||26|
|12||Character meet & greet opportunities?||8 places where you can see characters, but no meet & greets||Yes - lots, including rare characters like Jack Skellington (as Sandy Claws) and Sally, and 7 Dwarfs|
|13||PhotoPass & Magic Shots?||Yes||Yes|
|How do they compare?||Disney Very Merriest After Hours||Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party|
Will the Castle Dream Lights and A Frozen Holiday Wish return in 2023?
Disney confirmed in June that the Castle Dream Lights and A Frozen Holiday Wish would not be returning for 2023.
In their place is a new show called “Frozen Holiday Surprise” that features Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Snowgies in front of Cinderella Castle in new holiday looks.
The “festivities culminate as Elsa adds sparkling finishing touches, transforming Cinderella Castle into a shimmering crystallized palace – a look that will remain throughout the evening.”
It debuted Nov. 7 and occurs nightly throughout the holiday season.
Guests will be able to see the show during normal park hours in addition to during the parties.
Because we are nothing if not hopeful, we’re keeping the 2019 Dream Lights information below:
Not only does the castle look different during the holidays, but there’s a little ceremony that precedes the lighting of the castle.
From early November to early January, Queen Elsa from Frozen appears twice each evening to get the Castle Dream Lights lit up for the night in a 7-minute show called “A Frozen Holiday Wish.”
You can expect this to take place at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m.
Disney often doesn’t communicate the details of this show clearly, perhaps because they want people to think this is only part of the Christmas party, but guests are allowed to stick around to watch the 6:15 p.m. showing of A Frozen Holiday Wish even though the park closes at 6 p.m. and the party doesn’t begin until 7 p.m.
Tip: The best place to watch the stage show is close to the stage.
If you want to view the whole castle better, it’s best to stand back a little bit further.
Show up about 30 minutes beforehand to make sure you get a good spot to watch.
Also did not return for 2023
In addition to A Frozen Holiday Wish and the Castle Dream Lights, these things also did not return for 2023:
- Tony’s Town Square Most Merriest Party
- Tree Lighting Ceremony
This party is just 1 of many things happening at Disney World in November and December. For the full list of events, see our guide to Disney World during the holidays.