Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Adults and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018!
This year was our second visit to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The first time we went to the party, we had no plan and no idea what to expect. This time was a lot better and we were able to get a ton in. Below are some of the tips that we picked up and our recommendations!
Should Adults Do This?
We would recommend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to most adults in Disney. The main benefits of the Christmas party are the entertainment, character meets, and short wait times for rides. We will go into each of these items in more detail below. Overall, if you love Disney and Christmas, there is a good chance you will enjoy this party.
The thing to be aware of, is that this is an extra ticket event. The price of a ticket ranges from $95 (annual passholder rate) to $125. The party officially runs from 7pm-midnight on select nights in November and December. However, you may enter the park at 4pm with your Christmas Party ticket. This means that depending on your Disney trip schedule, you can easily have a pool day or go to Disney Springs in the morning and then have the Christmas party ticket serve as your park ticket for the day.
Our Quick Tips
The Party that we went to was sold out. If you plan on going to a party, we recommend buying your ticket in advance. Also, if you buy the ticket online at least one day prior, you save $10 per ticket. Our ticket linked to our magic band, but I also kept the e-mail confirmation handy in case it was needed.
Even with the party being sold out, it didn’t feel too crowded. If you don’t have kids (or have kids that are okay without sleep), one of the best tips we have is to do party events all the way until the end of the party. The crowds are much smaller after the 10pm fireworks until midnight.
There are two parades, one at 8:30pm and one at 11pm. The 11pm is far less busy. We took advantage of everyone watching the 8:30pm parade and instead went on rides. During this time, we had a 10-minute wait on Big Thunder and 5-minute wait on Splash Mountain. If you are not looking to do rides during the party, this is a good time to meet characters.
Since the 11pm parade is less popular, you don’t have to save a spot too early to be able to watch it. We watched it at the main hub area and got there around 11pm. (The parade starts in Frontierland, so it takes a little while to get to the hub and Main Street area.) If you want a front row spot, get there a bit earlier.
After the parade, we went straight to the Jingle Cruise. This is the only unique holiday-themed ride, so we wanted to do it during the party. It tends to be popular during the party, but when we went after the 11pm parade we found it to only have a 5 minute wait.
Entertainment and Snow
The two big entertainment items are Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Holiday Wishes. These two items can only be viewed during the Christmas party and between December 22 and December 31, 2018. If you are traveling to Disney before December 22nd, your only option to see both of them is at the party.
Holiday Wishes is the only fireworks show throughout the night. It starts at 10pm and is primarily fireworks. If you have seen Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom, be warned that Holiday Wishes doesn’t have the same level of castle projections. We recommend standing just at the end of Main Street between Casey’s and the Plaza Ice Cream. This spot will give you a great view of the fireworks. We arrived there about 20-30 minutes prior. This may have been a bit earlier than needed, but Jeff wanted to get a specific spot to take pictures.
The other benefit about standing at the end of Main Street is that at the end of Holiday Wishes, Main Street snows. Don’t eat the snow, we think it’s basically soap. But it is beautiful soap snow and definitely worth seeing. The snow brings extra holiday magic to Main Street.
The parade runs twice during the party: 8:30pm and 11pm. We strongly recommend the 11pm parade. It is far less busy and you won’t have to queue up as long. The parade starts in Frontierland and makes its way through Liberty Square. It ends by going all the way up Main Street USA. We like getting a spot around the hub, so then you are centrally located when the parade is over and want to go to do other activities.
The parade, fireworks, and snow are our top must-do’s for the Christmas party.
Cookies, Cookies, Cookies
Whereas the Halloween party lets you trick-or-treat for candy, the Christmas party has all you can eat cookies and non-alcoholic drinks. The cookie flavors include: Ginger Molasses, Peppermint Crunch, Snickerdoodle, and Chocolate Chip. If you go to the Holiday party welcome path to the right of the Confectionary, you will also get a Mickey sugar cookie. This cookie one is our favorite of them all. Be warned that this path closes at 8pm.
This year, the cookies all came individually wrapped. We loved this because we didn’t feel like we had to eat them all during the party and were able to bring a few home to try. If you want to go cookie collecting crazy, Disney does provide a one-stop shop. If you go to the Pinocchio Village Haus, you are able to get one of each flavor cookie excluding the Mickey cookie. Overall, we would say the cookies are average tasting. Since they are included with the ticket price, we recommend at least trying one of each.
There is also one savory option which is a soft pretzel. While we love Disney pretzels, it needs to have cheese. This one is no exception and really needs cheese. Ignoring of the lack of cheese, it is still nice to have a non-sweet snack that is included with the ticket price.
Lastly, there are several non-alcoholic drinks included. Each cookie stop, has a drink paired with it. The drinks include: hot cocoa, a blue snow cone, eggnog, and chilled apple cider.
The cookie and drink locations are identified on the Party map. It also says which holiday treats are at which locations. You will know you are at the cookie location because there will be large red and white light-up inflatable identifying the treat spot.
There are no FastPasses during the party. Not to worry, if you want to do rides, the lines are generally short. Why? Because there are a limited number of guests in the park and many of these guests will be doing other things like the party entertainment events and character meet and greets.
Ride lines will have the shortest waits during the parades, fireworks, and at the end of the night. The downside about waiting until the end of the party to do rides, is that you may run out of time to do all the ones you wanted. If you are okay with seeing the parade only once, we would recommend doing some of the rides during the first parade of the night.
Your party ticket lets you enter Magic Kingdom at 4pm even though the event doesn’t officially start until 7pm. This is a great time to do some of the less popular attractions or a couple big rides so that you can focus more on party-specific items at 7pm.
Most of the rides are the same as they would be any time of the year (minus the shorter wait). The exception is the Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise for the holiday season. We would strongly recommend doing this ride. Note: the holiday theme for Jingle Cruise is available during non-party hours as well. We think Jingle Cruise is fun to do during the party because it fits with the theme, but if you would rather focus on characters, cookies, and entertainment during the party, you have that option.
Characters and PhotoPass
As a general disclaimer, we should say that we are not huge character meet people. Similar to the rides, we found many of the character lines to be much shorter at the end of the night. Around 11:30pm, we were in Adventureland after doing Jingle Cruise and notices that most of the characters had little to no line.
There are several PhotoPass opportunities. Until 8pm, to the right of the confectionary there is a special path that has Christmas Party PhotoPass opportunities and the wrapped mickey sugar cookie is only available here. We entered this part around 7:50pm and the PhotoPass lines were minimal.
One surprising PhotoPass aspect was that the Main Street and Castle PhotoPass cast members were taking photos well after the party closed. Some were even taking photos at 1am. If you are going to stay late and want a castle or Main Street shot, we would strongly recommend doing that one last.
There is a variety of merchandise that can only be purchased during the holiday party. If you are an annual passholder, I would strongly recommend going to Mickey’s Star Traders for the annual pass items. It was less crazy than the Emporium. If you are looking for the full event collection, we found Big Top Souvenirs to be the least busy.
Mickey’s Christmas Party vs Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
This is probably the most controversial part of our post and one that ties to personal preferences. For us, the Halloween party hands-down wins over the Christmas party. We like the Halloween fireworks more, the parade is better, and we would pick bags candy over cookies any day. With that being said, the Christmas party is still very fun and gets you in the holiday spirit.
For us, the advantage that the Christmas Party has over Halloween is the decorations. While the Halloween pumpkins are fun, there is something about the Christmas lights and holiday decorations in Disney that take our breaths away.
Our Overall Recommendation
We would recommend going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There are 26 party nights in the months of November and December. If your vacation happens to fall on one of those nights, it is worth checking out. If you live in the Orlando area, we would recommend the Christmas Party because you get to experience all of the entertainment options during the party, without having to deal with the crowds that would be there December 22 through December 31, 2018. Also, if you like character meet and greets and PhotoPass, the party can serve as the perfect opportunity to get your holiday card photo.
If you go to the Christmas party this year or if you have been in the past, we would love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to leave us a comment below!
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