Tips for Mickey’s Christmas Party
5 Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
If you love the holidays and the extra magic that comes along with them, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is for you. This extra ticket event combines everything that is great about Disney and Christmas into one fun-filled night. There is a lot to see and do during the 5 hour event. The first time we went to the party, we had no plan and no idea what to expect. 2019 will be our third Christmas party. We have learned a lot of great information that we are excited share with you. This post provides our top 5 tips for attending Mickey’s Christmas Party!
*Throughout the remainder of this post, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be referred to as MVMCP
1– Buy Your Ticket Ahead of Time and Arrive Before the Party Starts
The first Christmas party that we went to was sold out. If you plan on going to MVMCP, we recommend buying your ticket in advance. There is nothing worse that counting on going to Mickey’s Christmas Party and finding out that you waited too long and it’s sold out. Also, if you buy the ticket online at least one day prior, you save $10 per ticket.
Mickey’s Christmas Party takes place on select nights from 7pm until midnight in the Magic Kingdom. However, even if you do not have a theme park ticket for that day, Disney lets guests with Christmas Party tickets enter the Magic Kingdom starting at 4pm. That’s correct, a MVMCP ticket gives access to the Christmas Party as well as Magic Kingdom starting at 4pm.
The 4pm entry is not advertised on Disney World website. While Mickey’s Christmas Party does not start until 7pm, the early entry gives guests a chance to eat, do some Magic Kingdom rides, and get their party wristbands before the official event starts.
Checking-In for Mickey’s Christmas Party
If you purchase your tickets ahead of time online or over the phone with Disney, you can go right into Magic Kingdom when you arrive and not have to worry about standing in line to get tickets. Cast members are at the entrance of the park check guests in. If you are already in Magic Kingdom, there will be cast members in designated areas that can check you in for the party. Tickets should link to your magic band or park ticket. Keep the e-mail confirmation handy just in case. Cast members scan guest tickets or MagicBands and then put a party-specific wristband on the guest.
While Mickey’s Christmas Party is 5 hours, it is surprising how quickly the time goes by. At the latest, we recommend arriving to Magic Kingdom by 6:30pm. That way you can get checked in and do not miss any of the fun activities once the event is underway.
2– Don’t Miss the Entertainment and Main Street Snow (Snoap)
The two big entertainment items are Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. 2019 is the first year for Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks which replaces Holiday Wishes. If you are traveling to Disney before December 22, your only option to see both of these shows is at the Christmas Party.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
This is the only fireworks show throughout the night. If the timing is the same as Holiday Wishes, the show starts at 10pm. Holiday Wishes was primarily fireworks. With this year debuting a new show, we are guessing that there will be more emphasis on castle projections. We recommend standing either in the hub to the side of the partners statue or just at the end of Main Street between Casey’s and the Plaza Ice Cream. The hub location will allow you a better view of the castle projections. The main street spot will give you a great view of the fireworks. We typically get a spot about 20-30 minutes prior to the show start.
After the fireworks, Main Street “snows.” It is often called snoap because it is a soap type of mixture that gives the feeling of snow. Just don’t eat it. Main Street will also snow throughout the night. We highly recommend checking out the snow because it gives that little bit of extra holiday magic.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
The parade combines great music, toy soldiers, and all of your favorite Disney characters. The parade typically runs two times during the Christmas Party. The parades are identical. We recommend the 11pm parade because it is less crowded. Last year we watched it at the main hub area and got a spot 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 or find a spot in conjunction with a spot for the fireworks.
3 – Skip Most Of The Rides
While most of the rides in the Magic Kingdom will have a short wait during the party, in our opinion, they are not worth the precious party time that you have. The parades, shows, characters, and free holiday treats are what make Mickey’s Christmas Party so awesome. We strongly recommend doing the rides during normal park hours and take advantage of the special event items during the party. If you don’t have a theme park ticket for the day, use your party ticket to enter at 4pm and do some rides.
2019 is the first year that Magic Kingdom is doing Holiday Party ride overlays. Disney announce unique ride experiences for the Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, the Laugh Floor and the Mad Tea Party. Most of these overlays include special holiday music and special decorations. For us, if you want to do some rides, the only rides worth to focus on are those that have a special overlay. Since these ride overlays are new, we cannot yet say how good they will be.
The Jingle Cruise transitions into the Jingle Cruise during the holiday season. This is the unique holiday-themed ride in the Magic Kingdom. However, it is not a party exclusive, which means you can experience the ride during non-party Magic Kingdom park hours.
If You Really Want To Do Rides
That’s okay! It’s your party and you should do what interests you. If you are okay with skipping some things like the characters, then yes, there can be really short wait times on the rides. This is especially true when the parade and fireworks take place.
If you weren’t able to get a FastPass for Seven Dwarfs and you really want to ride it during the party, we recommend doing it at the end of the night. The lines will be much shorter towards the end of the night. Also, if you get in line just before the party ends, you will not be missing much of the party if the ride has a longer wait. Just make sure you are in the queue before midnight or it will turn into a pumpkin. Okay, bad joke haha. But in all seriousness, make sure you are in line 5 to 10 minutes before park close to guarantee you will be able to ride.
If all you care about is doing rides, then you may also want to look into an After Hours event which will have far fewer people and is primarily meant for short ride wait times. See our review of Magic Kingdom After Hours.
4 –Have Dinner Beforehand and Skip the Extra-cost Food Events
We recommend eating dinner before Mickey’s Christmas Party. Given how much there is to do during the party, you don’t want to waste 30 minutes having dinner. This may sound harsh, but it’s true.
As we mentioned above, the Christmas Party ticket lets you enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm. We would recommend a large lunch before heading to the Magic Kingdom. If you’re hungry during the party, that’s a great excuse to try some of the free cookies and drinks. Nothing like cookies for dinner, right? If you want non-dessert food, there are plenty of other snack options available for purchase at the party. See our post for more information on the snacks included with the party ticket.
Extra-cost Food Events
First, we should say that we have not done any of these experiences. Why? Because no matter how good the extra cost food event is, we cannot justify the cost and time you give up. You have limited time to enjoy everything Mickey’s Christmas Party has to offer and it’s impossible to get everything done. For us, these extra cost events take away time from exploring other parts of the Christmas party and therefore we have avoided them.
For an adult, the dessert party costs $69 for Plaza viewing and $84 for Tomorrowland Terrace viewing. There is no alcohol provided, but guests get snacks, desserts, drinks, and prime viewing for the fireworks. Not having to queue up for a spot for fireworks is a definite benefit of this event. However, Disney instructs guests to arrive to the dessert party 90 minutes before fireworks. This means you are losing out on an hour and a half of the 5 hour Christmas party for this extra cost dessert party.
Table Service Reservations
The Christmas Party dining includes table service reservations within the Christmas party. Based on the description, these dining options are intended to have extra focus on Christmas above their normal experiences. Prices for the dining options vary based on location. Overall, we recommend avoiding any sit-down dining during Disney parties because it takes up precious part time. This special dining option is no exception.
Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party
If we were to every pay for one of these additional events, it would probably be Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party. (But as we mentioned before, we are probably never going to pay for one of these additional cost events.) Tony’s party goes from 9:30pm to 12:30am and costs $99 per person. This party includes food, desserts, and beverages. One big benefit is that this includes alcoholic beverages.
Guests can also grab a seat outside of Tony’s for the second Christmas parade of the party. The main downside is the extra cost for the event and the location of Tony’s. If we paid for this event, we would want to get our money’s worth. Since Tony’s is located right at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom, this is a lot of time walking back to the front of the park.
5 – Make A Plan Ahead Of Time
This may be the most important tip. We failed at making a plan for our first party and as a result we missed out on a lot. Mickey’s Christmas Party only lasts for 5 hours. While that may seem like a lot of time, it will go by quickly. From the parade, to fireworks, to special character meet and greets, to all you care to eat cookies … you want to do it all! While you may want to do it all, you will probably have to prioritize what you want to do most and definitely have a plan.
The parade and fireworks have set times. We highly recommend both of these. For us, the fireworks and parade are not to be missed. Of the two parades, we highly recommend the second one because it is typically less crowded.
We are not huge character people, but if you are interested in meeting certain characters they can be very popular and may take up a bit of your party time to meet. If you want to meet a specific character, we recommend lining up for them well before the party starts or at the very end of the night when most of the guests have left. If you go at the end of the night, we believe Disney can stop letting guests enter the character lines before the official party end.
We highly recommend looking into all of the options that are available at Mickey’s Christmas Party prior to going to the party and decide what interests you. Best case, you see everything you want and you end up with bonus time at the end to meet another character, do a ride, or grab some more cookies. The 2019 schedule and map has not yet been released. As soon as we have a copy, we will link it here.
What works for one person may be very different from what works for others. One of the best tips for planning is to get to the party early and stay until the end of the party (or even after it has officially ended!). The crowds are much smaller after the fireworks and especially after the second parade.
Our Overall Recommendation
First, we highly recommend going to Mickey’s Christmas Party at least once. We hope that the tips listed here help with you planning. See our other post for more details about all of the different things offered at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. As we mentioned above, the most important tip is to plan ahead – and if you are reading this, there is a good chance you are a planner. If you have any additional questions or comments about MVMCP, please leave us a comment below
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