Everything You Need to Know about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 20190 Comments
While Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party grabs most of the headlines, it has a less-heralded sibling. Every November, when Disney puts away the spooky decorations, Magic Kingdom switches into Christmas mode. The park still hosts a ticketed party on many evenings, too. Here’s everything you need to know about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019.
What Is the Very Merry Christmas Party?
Back in 1983, when Epcot was barely a year old, Walt Disney World hosted its first Christmas event, called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It allowed guests to get into the holiday spirit while vacationing at Disney.
Almost all of the details have changed since that fateful first year, but the core belief is still the same. You get to pretend like you’re spending Christmas with Mickey Mouse! Since the park is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can actually do that, too. Somehow, the party feels better, though.
The explanation involves park behavior. As long-time Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members know, Christmas week is the most crowded time on the Disney park calendar. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at your home resort’s DVC Points Chart. There’s a reason why this week costs the most points.
At the Very Merry Christmas Party, you’ll feel like you’re celebrating Christmas even in mid-November. And yes, Disney hosts events that early. In fact, we’ve already had a couple of parties this year. You’ll have a chance to catch 20 more of them, though. All it will cost you is money.
These ticketed events aren’t free. Disney charges $99-$139 per adult for a single Christmas Party event. Thankfully, card-carrying DVC members and annual passholders can claim discounts of up to $15. What do you get for your money? Well…
An Empty-ish Magic Kingdom
The main draw of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is that you gain exclusive park access. Regular admission tickets don’t include admission to after-hours amenities. So, the number of park guests during these ticketed events is quite low. This party isn’t as popular as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which reduces the crowds even more.
The benefit of a less crowded Magic Kingdom is that you can participate in many attractions during the event. You’ll enjoy four or five hours of exclusive park access when it’s otherwise closed to guests. DVC members can also enter the park as early as 2 p.m., giving you a better opportunity to experience everything that you want.
Motivated guests can legitimately ride two or three attractions an hour, although that somewhat misses the point of the event. You’re there to get into the holiday spirit, after all. Part of that involves looking at the yuletide displays that are everywhere in the park, especially on Main Street, U.S.A., and in the area surrounding Cinderella Castle.
I heartily encourage you to roam around and admire the view. Sure, the opportunity cost is that you don’t get to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when the line is only 20 minutes long. But you’ll savor the memories of Magic Kingdom aglow with holiday illumination.
You’ll also discover a series of special character greetings, some of which are only available during the party. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many of these as during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Christmas Party. Still, you’ll definitely want a picture of Jack Skellington in his Sandy Claws outfit, presuming that you don’t already have one.
The Holiday Festivities
Disney hosts several shows during the event. Some of them have changed a bit over the years, while others have been annual staples for a while now.
The most exciting show this year is A Frozen Holiday Wish due to the impending release of Frozen 2. During the show, Anna and Elsa interact before the Queen of Arendelle uses her magical powers to light up Cinderella Castle. It’s absolutely breathtaking due in no small part to the 200,000 LED lights on display.
However, this event happens during regular park hours as well throughout the rest of 2019. So, it’s a bit misleading to call it an exclusive. In truth, this statement applies to many of the party’s festivities. During Christmas week, many of the same presentations are available for free with regular admission. It’s another instance where Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is different.
One of the biggest draws at the party happens near Cinderella Castle. Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration returns for another batch of four nightly shows. On the main stage, Mickey Mouse and his friends sing along to some of the most popular holiday songs of all time. Disney’s hosted this show for many years now, and it remains delightful.
Similarly, Mickey’s Upon a Christmastime Parade returns for another year. While it’s no Boo to You, this presentation will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. The yuletide floats feature many favorites like Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope, Chip & Dale and their Gingerbread friends, the Frozen royals, and some dancing candy canes.
Other Nightly Events
The significant 2019 change involves the fireworks presentation. Holiday Wishes, like the other Wishes shows, is now a thing of the past. Its replacement will please polka-dot fans everywhere. Yes, Minnie takes center stage for the latest exhibition.
Entitled Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, this fireworks show employs digital projection to turn Cinderella Castle into the most gorgeous landmark in Orlando. In keeping with the theme, Minnie’s red-and-white polka-dots frequently pop up on the parapets. The genius part is that many of the fireworks are red and green, just like most wrapping paper this time of year.
The lone downside of the new presentation is its length. The fireworks are only about 12 minutes in duration. But the Frozen castle lights combine beautifully with the fireworks. They twinkle on and off, depending on the digital presentation at the time. You’ll never quite know what to expect at any given moment.
A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show, Reindeer Wranglers, and The Edge Effect are the three holiday shows in the other themed lands. Two of them take place in Tomorrowland, while Reindeer Wranglers is at Frontierland. The latter show includes country music renditions of holiday classics, and the Country Bears sometimes join in on the fun.
The Edge Effect is an a cappella group that plays on the Tomorrowland Rockettower Plaza Stage. When the band isn’t performing, the more recognizable show here co-stars Stitch. Everyone’s favorite experiment learns about Santa Claus during A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show, in between Christmas music. The highlight occurs when Stitch appears in a Santa Claus outfit, which tends to thrill children more than anything else during the event.
All of these shows take place multiple times during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Whether they’re worth the time investment is entirely in the eye of the beholder. Since my family spends a lot of time at Tomorrowland, we almost accidentally catch parts of those presentations each time. I realize that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. With only a few hours of empty park time, you must make your own choices about how to spend it.
One of the best parts of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is that snacks and beverages come with the package. You’ll receive an endless supply of hot cocoa and cookies. The helpful map that you get when entering the park will show locations where you can fill up on holiday goodies.
Please keep in mind that Disney has added a new twist in recent years. In addition to the free goodies, you can purchase limited-edition food and beverages. The Parks Blog has posted a helpful foodie’s guide to all of the delicacies.
Also, remember that many Magic Kingdom restaurants are open during the event. So, when you need a meal instead of a snack, Disney has you covered. These meals aren’t a part of the ticket package, though.
Only one Magic Kingdom ride is truly different during the holiday season, but it’s worth the hype. Yes, Jungle Cruise has already switched to Jingle Cruise for 2019. Skippers have changed their spiel to reflect Christmas puns rather than “we’re all gonna die in the jungle” ones. I got to ride this the first day it was open in 2019, and I’m always amazed by just how entertaining the yuletide script is. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this one.
A couple of other rides get shinier over the holidays. Head over to Tomorrowland to find them. Tomorrowland Speedway and Space Mountain both receive holiday makeovers. The tracks at the speedway become glowing holiday decorations, while Space Mountain gets…more musical. Disney adds a Christmas soundtrack, which is unexpectedly impactful.
I heartily recommend all three attractions. They light up the night and do a fantastic job of setting the holiday mood. Really, everything at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party accomplishes that goal. It’s a terrific way to spend a night at Disney, even though the price isn’t cheap.