Hey there, Disney Guys and Gals!
Who is dreaming of a Disney Christmas???? I know I always am and I live here! If you are heading down this holiday season, or planning a trip for another year during the holiday season, you may be wondering if you should invest in tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. It's undoubtedly an expensive night out, but also undeniably magical. How do you decide? Never fear! Tink is here to help!
Now, you may recall that when I told you about Not So Scary, I talked about all of the things you can do that are exclusive to the party only... the parade, the fireworks, the stage show, the trick-or-treating, character meet and greets, etc. Well, things are a little different with Very Merry. In fact, almost nothing that is offered at Very Merry is exclusive to the party alone. You can see the same parade performed the whole week of Christmas, during the day, with regular admission. Same for the fireworks, some of the shows, and even some of the character appearances. So that might lead you to ask even more so... WHY pay to go?
Have you ever been to Disney the week of Christmas? Then you KNOW why it's worth paying for the party! Disney is INSANELY busy during Christmas break. You could easily wait in line for an hour, just to ride it's a small world! The Very Merry Christmas Party allows you to enjoy all of the awesome events of the holidays, before the holiday crowds arrive, and with a limited number of people! There is a capped number of tickets sold for the party, making it even more likely that you'll enjoy a less packed park during the party than on a regular park day over the holidays. (Granted, I think the number of tickets allowed for the parties has been increased, because they still seem pretty crowded to me!) If you aren't coming to Disney until mid-December, even if you aren't all that into the holiday events, it may be worth buying a ticket to the party, so that you can do the attractions with much shorter wait times. Or, if you're going to be at Disney in November or early December, before the holiday events really kick off, it may be your only shot at all of the holiday fun. Plus, there is still some stuff about the Christmas Party that is special for the party only. Let's talk about what exactly is included in your party ticket.
Of course the rides and attractions are open for you to enjoy, (with a few small exceptions), but let’s start off with what’s unique about the party and then I will give you a couple of tips to help you plan.
Bummed that there's no trick-or-treating at Christmastime? Well how about collecting cookies and hot chocolate instead? All around the park you'll find locations where you can get complimentary cookies, snacks and holiday beverages (non-alcoholic, of course!). In fact, in 2016, they increased the selections from just snickerdoodles and hot chocolate to include egg nog, peppermint cookies, gingersnaps and even snow cones! Not quite as take-home friendly as candy, but still fun.
If character appearances are top of your list for fun, you won't be disappointed! There are tons of characters out during Very Merry, including some rare ones, like Jack Skellington as "Sandy Claws". Plus, you’ll see Mickey, Minnie and pals in their Christmas finest! Here's who you could see:
- Santa Claus, himself
- Donald, Daisy, and Uncle Scrooge
- Santa Goofy
- Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger
- Aurora, Snow White and Rapunzel, with their princes
- Tiana and Naveen
- Peter Pan and Wendy
- Anna and Elsa
- Mary Poppins, Bert and the Penguins
- All Seven Dwarfs, together
- Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu and Genie
- Captain Jack Sparrow
- Country Bears
Also in front of the Castle, you can watch Elsa use her icy powers to light up Cinderella's home in icy lights, during A Frozen Holiday Wish. Or enjoy the amazing imagery projected onto the Castle, during the special holiday edition of Once Upon a Time.
And of course the free cookie and cocoa aren't the only treats available. Special items are sold all around the park, like Specialty Cupcakes, Pumpkin Waffle Sundaes or Chocolate Peppermint Bark.
Oh, and there’s special Holiday merchandise items sold exclusively at the party, like pins, t-shirts, Magic Bands and more!
By far, the starring events are the parade and the fireworks. Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade runs twice nightly, and it is a gorgeous holiday parade that includes Cinderella's carriage, being pulled by white ponies, and a gingerbread scented holiday bakeshop float. It’s a fantastic parade, and one that's worth watching from Main Street, since it magically "snows" during the parade, making it extra special!
The fireworks, Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, are gorgeous and will dazzle any Guest with their spirited music and panoramic views!
A few recommendations:
1. To make it more worth your while, don’t buy a park ticket for the day that you’ll be attending the party. Use this day as a “chillin’ out day”. Hang by the pool, do an elaborate breakfast out, walk around Disney Springs, check out the holiday decor at the resorts or do something else fun outside of the parks.
2. Make sure your kids, (even older kids), get a good nap in, and then head to The Magic Kingdom early. Your Very Merry ticket will get you in the park gates at 4pm, even though the holiday festivities don’t begin until 7pm.
3. In the hours before the party starts, get in some rides and attractions. That way you can use your party hours to enjoy the actual themed events.
4. I recommend knocking out character meet and greets early on, as lines get HUGE!
5. Visit the dance party and check out the shows.
6. During the first parade, get in some attractions, or more meet and greets. The first parade is always the busier of the two.
7. Make sure you are in front of the Castle for the fireworks, since they are designed with effects incorporating the structure. In fact, you'll be spending a lot of time in front of the Castle... for the show, the lighting ceremony, the fireworks, Once Upon a Time... But as I mentioned, do try and watch the parade from about mid-Main Street, in order to get the best snow effects.
Overall, the event is full of magical holiday fun for all ages, and I can't imagine that anyone wouldn't enjoy it. BUT I will say this... If you plan on being in the parks during Christmas week anyway, and you aren't worried about waiting in line for rides, OR if you're not all that into the parade and shows, save your money! As I said, there's nothing much happening during Very Merry that you won't see in The Magic Kingdom during the week of Christmas anyway. This event is not nearly as unique as Not So Scary, so if you have been to MNSSHP, but never to MVMCP, just be aware of that. If you want to feel like you're being wrapped in Christmas with a pillow of holiday cheer put under your head, DO THIS! Otherwise, hold off.
So, is it worth it??? There's no clear cut answer. This one truly depends on your style. I guarantee anyone will love it, but whether or not you want to make the investment really does come down to you.
I hope I have given you some helpful insight and that no matter what, you're excited about the holiday season at Walt Disney World! To get help planning, or if you still need to book, contact a friendly agent at Kingdom Konsultant Travel. They'd be happy to make your holiday dreams come true!
- Jenn aka "Tink"