It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Walt Disney World, and that means Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is back for the 2023 season.
We were there for the first 2 Christmas parties of 2022 and plan to do the same in 2023, and we wanted to share our thoughts on whether we think it is worth it or not, plus go over a touring strategy for the evening.
Let’s dive into our 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party review & strategy…
Before we get too far into our thoughts (including whether or not we think it is worth the big price tag!), let’s first take a look at what exactly Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) is.
If you are familiar with the parties, feel free to skip down, but if you are new to Walt Disney World planning (or if you’ve only been going for a couple of years), I’d recommend that you keep reading to get caught up to speed.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event that is held at Magic Kingdom in November and December. Although the other 3 parks all have varying levels of Christmas decorations and entertainment, MVMCP is the only specially ticketed event with a full evening of activities, fireworks, characters, and shows.
All the other holiday stuff at the other 3 parks is included in your regular ticket price. But, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a special ticket. More on that below.
In 2022, there were 24 Christmas parties from November through December 22:
- November: 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 27, 29
- December: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22
Now for the (kind of) tough part: the price.
This party isn’t cheap. And, tickets are a lot more expensive than what we saw back in 2019 (the last year the parties were held), so brace yourself.
Ticket prices for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party range from $149-$199 (plus tax) for adults and $139-$189 (plus tax) for children. Expect the prices to be in that higher range during more popular times of the season. You can buy them online directly from Disney.
Ouch, right? That high price is why we wanted to write this review. If you are a family of 4, you could easily spend $500 to $800 on tickets for this 1 event.
The good thing is that your ticket does get you up-to 8 hours of park time, exclusive entertainment, fun fireworks, plus tons of characters. But if you go into the evening without a plan, you may feel like you’re wasting money.
Quick note: We go into a lot more depth on party details in our Complete Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so make sure you check that out for info on where to get your wristbands, how to purchase tickets, where to find all the characters, + more.
Is the Christmas Party Worth it?
If you are looking for something extra to do, or something special to add on to your vacation, Mickey’s Very Merry Party definitely fits into the category of things we think are worth the extra expense if your group:
- Does at least a little bit of planning ahead so that you catch all the exclusive party things (like the fireworks and parade).
- Can handle staying up late. The event goes until midnight, which means it can be close to 1 a.m. by the time you get back to your resort. Some kids (and adults!) will do fine with that late hour, some toddlers are happy to sleep in a stroller, but if you have little ones that struggle with late nights, maybe think about saving the party for a future trip.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Entertainment and Activities Reviews
There are plenty of things to keep you busy during the party, and it is impossible to do it all.
To help you figure out your plan, we’ve grouped the items below to indicate where we think you should focus your time:
- Not to be missed
- Do only if you have the time
- Consider skipping if running out of time
Not to be missed
Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (Cinderella Castle stage): To be honest, stage shows didn’t use to be our thing. But, they have really grown on us, and now we can’t imagine going to the party WITHOUT seeing this one. Not only is it packed with all your favorite holiday tunes, it is also packed with a bunch of fun characters, too! We recommend hitting up that 11:55 p.m. one as the perfect way to wrap up the party.
- 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): Snow. Marching toy soldiers. Reindeer. Mickey Mouse. Oh – and floats that smell like all your Christmas favorites!
This parade is simply lovely and something that you’ll definitely want to catch. Hit up the 2nd parade for slightly fewer crowds.
- 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks (over Cinderella Castle): Fireworks at Magic Kingdom that are set to some of your favorite Christmas songs?! YES, PLEASE! This fireworks show is festive in all the right ways. Plus, the castle projections are so fantastic.
- 10:00 p.m.
Characters: There are TONS of characters, and you can’t meet them all. BUT, we definitely think that if characters are your thing, you should pick at least a couple to see. A great strategy is to catch one of the characters you can meet before the party even starts.
- Most start meeting at 7 p.m. and go until midnight, but look for lines to begin closing at 11 p.m. (especially for the more popular characters below):
- These characters begin meeting early:
- Jack and Sally: Characters begin meeting at 4:30 (can line up as early as 4:00)
- Pooh & Friends: begin meeting around 6:30 (we suggest you line up by 5:30)
- Donald & Scrooge McDuck and Daisy and Minnie: begin meeting around 6:30 (we suggest you line up by 5:30)
A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show (Rockettower Plaza Stage): This is a fun and lively show that is typically pretty easy to catch. We’ve even watched parts of it while taking a spin on the PeopleMover (which we highly recommend!).
- 7:45 p.m., 8:35 p.m., 9:25 p.m., 10:45 p.m., and 11:35 p.m.
Party Exclusive Magic Shots and & Step In Photo Frames (3D Photo-Ops): PhotoPass photographers are EVERYWHERE on party nights, and if you have Memory Maker (or you are planning on purchasing the 1-day option), we think you should definitely try to get at least a few pictures and Magic Shots to remember your evening.
- Most are 7 p.m. – midnight (there are a few 3D Photo-Ops out all day, but they may not have a PhotoPass photographer there until the party starts)
Attractions with special Christmas overlays: Not all the overlays are created equal. BUT, we definitely think you should check out Space Mountain simply because it is cool to have Christmas in space. We also dig the Tomorrowland Speedway for no other reason than us enjoying the funky vibe with the decorations. The Jungle (Jingle) Cruise is also okay – but since you can do it during the regular park day, it makes more sense to knock that one out before the party officially starts (or on another Magic Kingdom park day).
- Jungle Cruise (aka “Jingle Cruise): Available all day
- Tomorrowland Speedway: Available all day, but the lights typically come on at 6 p.m. You should be able to see if the lights are on before you board, though.
- Space Mountain – Holiday run!: typically from around 6 p.m. – midnight
- Mad Tea Party: 7 p.m. – midnight
- Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor: 7 p.m. – midnight
Fun to do if you have the time
Reindeer Wranglers: Frontierland may not be packed with decorations, but during the Christmas party, the Reindeer Wranglers perform holiday favorites with a Western twist several times during the night.
7:15 p.m., 8:05 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 11:40 p.m.
Disney Junior Jingle Jam (Storybook Circus): Disney loves a dance party! This one features Disney Junior characters, including Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, Timon, and Doc McStuffins. The nice thing about this one is that it is targeted towards little ones AND it is covered (which is great if it is rainy).
- 7 p.m. – midnight
Complimentary Snacks: We do not think you should spend all your night doing this, but definitely pop into a couple of the stops to grab some of the complimentary holiday snacks.
- 7 p.m. – midnight
Consider skipping if running out of time
Character Dance Party at Club Tinsel (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland): First, if you love rocking out to pop music with some of Santa’s favorite elves, then this definitely not to be missed. BUT, for most people, you will probably have more fun elsewhere. The exception to this is that if it is raining; Club Tinsel is a great place to hang out because you are indoors with easy access to restrooms and food.
- 7 p.m. – midnight
All other attractions: We don’t think you should waste precious party time on attractions you can ride during the daytime hours, UNLESS this is your only Magic Kingdom time. The exception to this are the attractions with special overlays (see above), AND the TTA PeopleMover. There is something extra magical about the PeopleMover on a party night!
- All other attractions will run continuously until midnight
Touring Plan Strategy for MVMCP
Here’s how we plan our perfect Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party night:
3:30 p.m. or earlier – Arrive to Magic Kingdom
- The goal is to be at the front of the pack heading to meet Jack and Sally. If you plan to enter the park on your party ticket (and you won’t already be inside or hopping to Magic Kingdom), we recommend arriving at around 3:30 p.m. Once you get your wristband, head directly to Town Square Theater and jump in line. If you are already in the park, go to one of the wristband stations at the front of the park and get your wristband right at 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. – Jump in line for Jack and Sally
- The line here moves painfully slow, so the closer you are to the front, the less you’ll have to wait. The good news is that it is indoors, so you aren’t standing in the sun or rain.
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet Jack and Sally
- Hopefully you’ll luck out and be able to meet Jack and Sally in that first hour. But, even if it takes until 6:30 p.m., you still haven’t missed any of the “official” party time.
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Snag your ornament, mobile order dinner, and get in line for 1 more of the characters that start meeting early
- When you leave Town Square Theater and Jack and Sally, you should be directed down the Main Street bypass where you can collect your welcome gift (which is an ornament). If it is raining, look for them to distribute them at Tomorrowland Terrace.
- Now is a good time to Mobile Order a quick dinner – just don’t waste a bunch of time eating.
- If you want to try to meet more characters before the party begins, we recommend jumping in line around 6 pm for either the characters at Dumbo (Donald and Scrooge McDuck and Daisy and Minnie Mouse), Pooh and Friends (because it isn’t super common to get to take pics with all 4 together), or Santa Claus.
- If characters aren’t your thing, the 3D Photo opportunities are available during this time, and you can grab pics with those before the party starts.
7:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m. – Enjoy the party exclusive things
- Here are some good bets for that first hour of the party. You won’t be able to do all these things, but any of these are a great option:
- Visit more characters, go to a dance party or 2, snag some festive treats, or ride some of the attractions with an overlay.
8:00ish p.m. – 9:30ish p.m. – Possibly watch the 1st parade
- If the weather looks like rain for later in the evening or if you want to watch it twice, start thinking about grabbing a spot for the parade at least 20 minutes before it starts.
- If you can find a spot along Main Street near the hub (see the pic below), you can see the 8:30 p.m. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade, the 9:25 p.m. Mickey’s Most Merriest stage show, and the 10:00 p.m. fireworks, all from the same spot. Even if you are further back from the castle for the stage show, you can still hear and see a lot, and you can get up closer for the last show of the evening if you miss anything.
- If the weather looks great, consider skipping the first parade (the 2nd parade will be less crowded) and do other party exclusive things like riding Space Mountain (the outside lighting is fun and lines are lower during the parade), taking a tour of Tomorrowland on the PeopleMover, spinning to the holiday tunes on Mad Tea Party (or any of the other attractions with overlays), and PhotoPass and MagicShots
- You could also use this time for more characters or for grabbing some cookies and cocoa.
9:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Snag a spot for the fireworks.
- Depending on whether you watched the first parade or not, you may already have a spot. Otherwise, try to snag one no later than about 15 minutes before the show.
10:00 p.m. Watch the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime fireworks
10:30ish – 11:50 p.m. – Get the last must-dos out of the way (and catch the 2nd parade if you didn’t already see it)
- Do the things that are better in the dark like ride Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain (the outside lighting is fun), PeopleMover, Mad Tea Party and PhotoPass and MagicShots
- If there are any characters you still want to meet, make sure you are in line by 11:00 p.m. as some lines will close early
- If you didn’t watch the 1st parade, make sure you snag a spot for the 2nd one by about 10:40 p.m. Frontierland will be less busy.
11:55 p.m. – Watch the final Mickey’s Most Merriest stage show
- Wrap up the evening with the final Mickey’s Most Merriest stage show and make your exit. If you want to grab more pics, wait a few minutes for the crowds to clear and you can get better holiday shots of Main Street and the castle.
VIDEO: How to do the Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party
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