It’s the most magical time of year at Walt Disney World Resort. Each year, the holiday season sweeps over property like a blizzard, covering the parks and resorts with lights, trees and dazzling decor. If you’re lucky, you can go to sleep when it’s decorated for Halloween and wake up when it’s Christmastime. Disney Vacation Club resorts are some of the best decorated and most visited during the jolly season. With the holidays come additional seasonal offerings you can plan into your trip, too. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party fills Magic Kingdom with sparkling cheer select nights in November and December.
What is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party like?
The Christmas party at Magic Kingdom is a festive celebration that includes most of the park’s beloved attractions, some with seasonal overlays, special character meet and greets, complimentary cookies and hot chocolate and snow on Main Street. Big draws for many guests include the Christmas themed parade, fireworks and castle stage show. The park transforms as soon as the clock strikes 7:00 p.m. and jolly music and lighting take over the kingdom.
Many cast members wear special costumes for the party that have a cute Christmas tree print. In true Disney fashion there is always Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party merchandise to remember your night by. When you arrive or leave, sometimes there are commemorative items cast members are handing out. In 2022, a special, small poster of the castle with Mickey and Minnie was the complimentary gift for each guest upon exiting.
Is Very Merry Christmas Party as good as it was in the past?
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns in 2023 for the second year in a row. This event was not offered in 2020 or 2021. During that pandemic related hiatus, a different After Hours Christmas event was offered. With the return of Mickey’s popular Christmas party, has the event changed? Upon its return, the party feels mostly back to normal and like the full event. There was at least one special part missing from the parade in 2022. Typically, a highlight for many visitors is the live band of toy soldiers in the parade. Around 12 musicians would play with the parade music and it was really something to experience. Based on an audition notice, it seems this may be back in 2023!
The ride overlays are a unique part of these events. In 2023, a few attractions don’t seem to have the overlay notations. Mad Tea Party, better known as the tea cups, and Tomorrowland Speedway both had special lighting packages in the past. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor usually has a full show but with a holiday twist. All three of these did not have a special note next to them notating they will be dressed up for the party. It’s unclear if Disney didn’t provide an updated list or if these overlays are all truly cut from the event.
As offerings have returned to Walt Disney World over the last few years, many details have been cut. Keep that in mind if there is something really important to you. You can always share feedback after your experience. When at its best, Disney listens to guests’ valuable thoughts. Other than that, it seems most of what is regularly offered at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is still part of the event.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates
You can pretty much always count on Walt Disney World starting the holiday season shortly after the first week of November. Decorations typically start to go up the first few days in November if not earlier. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starts around November 7th to 10th depending on how the calendar falls. Resorts display decorations mid November and Epcot gets into the full swing of things after Thanksgiving. The 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates are as follows.
2023 Magic Kingdom Christmas Party Dates
- Thursday, November 9
- Friday, November 10
- Monday, November 13
- Tuesday, November 14
- Thursday, November 16
- Friday, November 17
- Sunday, November 19
- Tuesday, November 21
- Wednesday, November 22
- Sunday, November 26
- Tuesday, November 28
- Thursday, November 30
- Friday, December 1
- Sunday, December 3
- Tuesday, December 5
- Thursday, December 7
- Friday, December 8
- Sunday, December 10
- Tuesday, December 12
- Thursday, December 14
- Friday, December 15
- Sunday, December 17
- Tuesday, December 19
- Thursday, December 21
- Friday, December 22
Very Merry Ticket Prices 2023
In 2023, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets have gone up slightly. When Very Merry returned in 2022, prices were raised quite a bit compared to the last party in 2019. In 2023, prices range from $159 to $199 per ticket, plus tax, for adults ages 10 and up. That’s a $10 increase from the year prior where the low range started at $149 for adults. The price for a child ticket, ages 3 to 9, is $149 to $189 per ticket, plus tax.
A while back, Disney switched party tickets to dynamic pricing. This means you’ll pay more on what the company deems peak nights. Think the closer to Christmas, the higher the price.
Magic Kingdom Christmas Party Treats
Just like trick or treating at the Halloween parties, Christmas parties come with goodies to enjoy. The complimentary treats at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party have changed over the years. You might want to visit a few treat stations for different tastes. You never know exactly what you’ll get but some kind of cookie and hot cocoa combination is expected throughout the park. Apple cider is usually found, too. You might get prepackaged chocolate chip cookies at Columbia Harbour House or iced gingerbread cookies served the same way at Pinocchio Village Haus based on previous offerings. The individual plastic wrapper on each cookie is a nice touch because you don’t have to eat it the moment you get it. It also feels more sanitary.
If you’re a long time Christmas partier, you might remember the delicious snickerdoodles being handed out with a napkin.
You can find each treat stop in your party guide and by looking for the tall, inflatable peppermint sticks around the park. Disney is great about accommodating those with allergies or special dietary preferences. Ask for the allergy friendly option at each treat location. Nutritional information is listed on the packaging.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips for 2023
Christmas parties are a short five hours compared to a full day at Disney Parks. The event goes by really fast. Here are some Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tips to help you get the most out of your night.
For starters, buy tickets early. Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests can buy tickets as early as June 29th. That of course includes Disney Vacation Club Members. For everyone else, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets can be purchased starting July 6th. Both the Halloween and Christmas party at Magic Kingdom completely sold out, and pretty early, in 2022. This is probably because special events were not available for a few years and people were excited to see them back. Years ago, it was not common for tickets to sell out for all party nights. You could easily walk up and buy tickets most of the time.
In 2023, the revenge travel seems to have worn off and crowds at Disney World have been lower than expected. It’s unclear how this will affect seasonal party sales. As a best planning practice, especially if you want to visit on a certain date, buy your tickets as early as possible.
What to Wear to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
This is your chance to put on your jolly best. Some folks like to wear matching Christmas pajamas to Very Merry so you may see that around the park. Christmas light necklaces are also popular. Magic Kingdom usually has cast members selling those and other light up goodies on carts right as you walk in.
Disney sells a few new pairs of holiday ears each year. You can pick these up around the parks or Disney Springs any time during the season, not just at the party. If you want to shop for cute Disney, Christmas outfits before the party on your trip, World of Disney at Disney Springs usually has a decent selection in the room that gets a makeover each season.
When to arrive for Mickey’s Christmas Party
Though parties technically go from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., guests with Very Merry tickets can enter as early as 4:00 p.m. You don’t need a park pass reservation to enter the park early or to enter the party.
If you are in the park already for the full day, you’ll need to find a check in point to scan your ticket and get your wrist band for the party.
What rides are open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?
Disney says the following attractions are open during the party but this is always subject to change.
- Jingle Cruise – a classic attraction with a holiday twist
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Haunted Mansion
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- “it’s a small world”
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mad Tea Party
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- The Barnstormer
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Space Mountain – with a holiday twist
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise – virtual queue access only
How to Ride Tron at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction, Tron Lightcycle / Run, has been lighting up Tomorrowland since it opened in April of 2023. Guests can ride Tron at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party but we now know there are some extra steps to do so.
You will need to use the My Disney Experience app to join the virtual queue. Those attending the party can request to join the virtual queue at 6:00 p.m. on the day of the event. Guests do not need to be in the park for this. This is good to know because it does vary by attraction and time of day.
This is the only way to ride as a standby queue for this attraction will not be available during the event. Disney has not shared if Individual Lightning Lane, also known as paid FastPass, will be available during the parties.
You can only request to enter the virtual queue once per event. This means you can only ride once in the night. However, if you are in the park as a day guest, you can try to join the 7:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. virtual queue during the day and then again for the party specific virtual queue at 6:00 p.m.
Everyone in your party will need to have their event tickets linked to their My Disney Experience account to join the virtual queue. You will definitely want to do all of this before arriving.
Dining at Very Merry
There are plenty of treats around but it can be harder to find options for a meal. If possible, eat dinner before you come or at the park before the party starts. Casey’s Corner is an easy place to grab something quick during the party shortly after you enter the park. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland are usually open during the parties for dinner. Table service dining may be available but you’ll need a reservation in advance. These aren’t always meals you want to rush through and you’ll miss quite a bit of the party if you enjoy them so that’s something to consider.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade Viewing Tips
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade brings Christmas cheer through the park twice each party. The parade route starts in Frontierland and makes its way to Main Street, U.S.A. The second parade is always quieter and easier to get a spot for, as many guests usually leave after the fireworks. Watching Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade on or around Main Street is extra special because of the snow. Lots of people like to watch from this location because of that, the castle and the ambiance of this area of the park. If you prefer a little more elbow room or would just like to walk up and have a front row spot, watching the second parade from Frontierland is your best bet.
For the best viewing, photos and video, consider where the lights are shining when you pick your spot. Spotlights shine to brighten the nighttime parade route. You’ll want to make sure there isn’t a set shining directly in your view.
Watching Christmas Fireworks From Outside the Park
If you’re taking a trip during the holiday season but aren’t able to get tickets, consider the following. A dinner at one of the Magic Kingdom resorts on the monorail or a firework cruise to watch the Very Merry fireworks make for a really nice night. Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show happens at 10:00 p.m. during the event. Special event fireworks tend to look even better from nearby venues like Top of the World Lounge and California Grill. You can get excellent views of the fireworks, and usually hear the music too, at the Grand Floridian marina or Polynesian Resort beach.
Christmas Parade and Fireworks at Magic Kingdom During Christmas Week
This is also important to note. December 22nd is the last Christmas party of the year. Starting December 23rd, guests can see Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks as part of a regular day at Magic Kingdom. Guests can also see Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade during regular park hours Christmas week. Note this is instead of Festival of Fantasy and Happily Ever After. Both the parade and fireworks replace the regular version you would usually see.
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