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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Tips You Haven’t Heard Anywhere Else

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of the best events Walt Disney World offers any time of the year.  

This extra ticketed event provides guests with an exclusive Christmas celebration in the way only Disney can pull off. 

Christmas music, hot chocolate, holiday cookies, and even snow on Main Street are just some of the special Christmas details guests will experience during this event.  

My daughter and I just got home from our very first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, and we learned a few things I think other people could benefit from knowing before they go.  

Here are my best tips for enjoying the party:

 

Florida can be colder than you’d think this time of year!

Temperatures in Florida are almost always warm.

Compared to the rest of the country during November and December, it can be downright hot!  But nightime temps in Orlando can get a little chilly during the holidays.  

During daylight hours during our visit in mid-November, temperatures hit the low 70s.  We were super comfortable during the day before the party. 

But as the sun went down, so did the temperatures, and having a jacket with us proved invaluable.  

During our time at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, temperatures got down to the lower 50s by the time we left the Magic Kingdom around midnight.  

While we were a little cold in our shorts, the jackets we carried with us saved the day.  

Be sure to bring a lightweight jacket with you to the party.  You’ll thank me later!

 

To make the most of your party experience, plan out your evening before you go!

I know lots of people don’t want to overplan their vacation, but any visit to Disney World takes at least a little planning to make it enjoyable.  

The Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is no exception.  

With many of the entertainment options being offered multiple times throughout the night, it’s best to figure out what you want to see and when you want to see it before you go. 

The best place to find all this info is in the party brochure.  Unless you’re going to the very first party of the year, you should easily be able to find the party brochure online. 

The brochure lists all the entertainment times, special added events, and party offerings available to guests.  

Just taking a few minutes to look over the brochure will pay off big time once you’re in the midst of the excitement of the party. 

Enjoy early admission to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Everybody loves the Magic Kingdom.  It’s magical lands make it the perfect backdrop for a Christmas celebration.  

And who wouldn’t love extra time in the park?

It’s a little known fact that even though the party starts at 7 pm, Walt Disney World allows party guests into the Magic Kingdom as early as 4 pm, without requiring them to purchase a regular admission to the park.  

I’ve written an entire post on how to make this work to your advantage.  You can read all about it here.  

 

Grab your welcome treat early!

If you’re like me, you’ll want to sample every single cookie being served during the party.  

The Magic Kingdom serves six different types of holiday treats for free to party guests during the event.  All the treats are available at a minimum of two locations in the park, except one.  

The Welcome Holiday Treat is only available in one location and only for a limited time during the party.  

Starting at 4 pm, as soon as guests are allowed into the Magic Kingdom for the party, cast members open up a special area of the park that is usually off limits to guests.  

Just after you enter the park, to the right near Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, cast members guide party guests into an area called Market Street.  

In this area you’ll find special party photo opportunities, party exclusive merchandise, and cast members handing out the Welcome Holiday Treat.  

During our party, the welcome treat was a really buttery sugar cookie in the shape of Minnie Mouse.  It was delicious. 

This area is only open until 8 pm, so if you want to score this this yummy treat, do it sooner rather than later.  

 

If you don’t want cookies for dinner at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, plan your meal carefully!

At the Christmas party, only select restaurants remain open to serve guests, and not all of them stay open for the entire party.  

During our visit, table service restaurants were not available, and only a few quick service restaurants that feature dinner options stayed open.  

Casey’s Corner and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe stayed open for the entire event.  Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe stayed open until 11 pm.  Liberty Square Market closed at 9 pm, and Columbia Harbour House closed at 8 pm.

During our trip to the Halloween Party, we made the mistake of not thinking about dinner until we were starving.  By the time we were hungry, we had very limited options.  

We ended up at Pecos Bill, which is thankfully one of the best quick service options in the Magic Kingdom.  But if your family doesn’t happen to care for TexMex offerings, you’ll want to make sure you plan out your dinner accordingly. 

 

Each stop only has one variety of cookie, but usually more than one drink option.  

This party of the party experience was a little confusing for us.  

My daughter love to bake and absolutely LOVES cookies, so she was super excited to try all the cookie treats that Disney had deemed “Christmas-y” enough to include in their party offerings. 

She spent hours pouring over the party brochure as soon as it was leaked online for the year.  She made lists of each cookie and where we could find them in the park. 

We were a little thrown off to find that despite listing multiple types of cookies being offered at each stop, we were only offered one type after going through the line.  

We were able to sample every type of cookie after completing visits to several of the stops listed in the brochure.  It was a little off putting not to find the cookies we expected, but we still managed to enjoy more than a few cookies during the evening!

The drink options were more plentiful.  We were able to find drinks exactly where they said they’d be.  

We enjoyed hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog, and oddly enough, grape Fanta.  The hot chocolate and eggnog were good, but the “apple cider” wasn’t really anything other than apple juice, and the grape Fanta was always flat by the time we picked it up.  

The drinks weren’t really much to write home about, but having them available to wash down the cookies was enjoyable.  

 

Cookie types aren’t labeled on the packaging, but allergy friendly options are available.  

One of the other confusing things about the cookie types was that they weren’t labeled.  Every cookie is packaged the exact same way with no indication or type or ingredients on them. 

The lack of labeling proved annoying to us, and we didn’t know exactly what cookie we’d be tasting until we opened it.

The Mickey Mouse decoration on each cookie was cute, but I really would have liked to have known what I was getting.  It couldn’t hurt to label each cookie, could it? 

But aside from my petty annoyance, this could prove to be a big problem for allergy sufferers.

Thankfully, Disney offers some great allergy friendly options at each stop, but I’m sure those with particular allergies would love some ingredient labeling directly on the cookie packaging so it would be easier to determine if they were safe to eat or not.

 

Bring an extra bag to carry home extra cookies!

Once of the coolest parts of the cookie experience during the Christmas party is that there is no limit to how many cookies they’ll let you have. 

My daughter and I hit up every cookie station in the park, most of them more than once during our time at the party.  We walked out with 28 cookies in total. 

I have no doubt we could have ended up with more if we had wanted to, but we were preoccupied with the rides and holiday entertainment during our time at the party. 

Even with our distractions from cookie grabbing, I was super happy to have left room in my parks bag for all those cookies.  

My recommendation, if you want to take any of the holiday goodies home with you after the party, is to carry an bag with you to make sure you can lug them around. 

Also, be aware that if you are flying home from your Disney World trip and want to bring the cookies in your carry on luggage, you’ll need to be prepared to take them out for security screenings. 

 

Holiday twists to rides are cool, but not as special as they could be. 

In 2019, for the first time at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney has added what they call a “Holiday Twist” to certain rides.  

In technical theme park circles, these are known as Ride Overlays.  Basically, they take a classic ride and add something different to them to make them special for the holidays. 

They’ve added ride overlays during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that were super popular and very unique.  (You can read all about them in my post about MNSSHP here.)

They’ve done the same with the Magic Kingdom, but the results were not quite as cool as they were for Halloween.  The ride overlays at Halloween involved a lot of interactions with special cast members, which was really fun.

The rides that received the “Holiday Twist” are Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Mad Tea Party, and the “Jingle” Cruise (aka the Jungle Cruise). 

Space Mountain and the Mad Tea Party both add a few red and green lights along with some holiday music.  The Tomorrowland Speedway has decorated the track with Christmas lights and modern holiday displays.

The “Jingle” Cruise, that offers a special Christmas cruise through the jungle, is the best overlay at the Christmas party in my opinion. 

Each skipper is equipped with a jungle santa hat and hilariously lame set of holiday jokes.  Anytime Disney includes cast members in a special event, it always makes it better. 

It’s that little human touch that Disney World does so well that makes this overlay the best one of the bunch.  

 

Long queues hide short wait times for rides. 

The Christmas party crowds can seem pretty hectic, with walkways feeling packed at times, but there are actually a lot less people in the parks during a party than during a regular day at the park.  

Lines for rides can seem long, but if you pay attention to the wait times on the My Disney Experience App.  They’re pretty accurate and you can bet that times will seem much shorter than the lines look.  

The reason for this is that during a party at the Magic Kingdom, fast passes are not available.  

Every guest has the same wait times for rides, with no interruption in the flow of the line for fastpass holders.  

You’ll be shocked at how quickly lines move when they aren’t being stopped every 15 or 20 people in line to let in 30 or 40 fastpass holders.  

Even the long cookie lines move amazingly quickly!  We never waited more than 5 minutes for any of the holiday treats.  

The only exception to this rule are the lines for character meet and greets.  These can often get very long very quickly.  

If you’re just dying to meet Mickey in his Santa gear or get a picture with Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, my best advice is to either line up before the start time of the party for these characters or to try to hit them up close to the end of the night.  

 

Dance parties are one of the best hidden gems at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

If you’re looking for something fun for the kids to do, that will give parents a little break during the night, don’t miss the dance parties. 

Located in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, the dance parties offer kids (and adults if they choose to join in) a chance to jam with some pretty cool characters. 

Club Tinsel, located inside Starlight Ray’s Cafe in Tomorrowland, features a high energy DJ and some fun polar bears who are ready to dance the night away.  There are also LOTS of tables where families can take a break and enjoy the dance party. 

The Junior Jingle Jam in Fantasyland is another great opportunity for kids to have a ball.  Disney Jr. stars move and groove around Storybook Circus with kids of all ages. 

The dance parties are a fun way to interact with characters in a unique and memorable way.  

 

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas is an unexpected delight!

Everyone tells you that the main show in front of Cinderella Castle, Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, should not be missed.  

But the show they don’t mention that’s MUCH easier to get a good view of is A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas!

The show features much-loved characters like Mike Wyzowski from Monsters, Inc., and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story jamming out with some really talented dancers and singers!  

It’s definitely worth the time to watch and is easily viewable from just about any angle in front of the stage.  

The show is fun and exciting, especially for Pixar lovers, and without a doubt a much overlooked highlight of the event.  

 

Snowing on Main Street is the real delight of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party features lots of great entertainment throughout the evening, but the real joy comes in the most simple addition to the entire party:  snow on Main Street.  

Walking through the picturesque shops with either a view of the castle or the gorgeous Christmas Tree with the little white flakes falling gently down from above is truly unforgettable.  

This experience alone makes the Christmas Party worth the price of admission!

This very special experience is only available at select times during the night, during both performances of Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas Parade and at the end of the evening when guests are leaving the park.  

Be sure not to miss out on the magic of snow on Main Street.  

 

Be aware that transportation can get really crowded at the end of the evening!

After the party is over, everyone makes a mad dash for the exit and things get pretty crowded pretty quickly!  

There are a few different strategies you can use here to avoid getting stuck in the congestion.  

The first one is to leave early.  If you have little ones who can’t make it until midnight, this might be the best idea.  

The second is to leave late.  Wait out the very last show of the night and take your time on Main Street. 

Transportation keeps running for an hour after the end of the party, so rolling out of the Magic Kingdom at about 12:30 am would probably avoid a lot of the crowds.  

If you find yourself needing to get to the ticket and transportation center and the monorail is massively backed up, give the ferryboat a try. 

It takes about the same amount of time to get across the lake on the boat as it does to take the monorail, and the lines are often way shorter, since so many people can ride on the ferryboat.  

 

Should you buy a ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Still undecided about buying a ticket?  Concerned about the price in addition to your park tickets? 

I would recommend replacing a days worth of park tickets with a party ticket.  For example, you take 5 day trip to the parks.  Buy 4 days worth of park tickets and one party ticket. 

Skip the parks on the day of your party.  Sleep in and enjoy your resort or Disney Springs.  Then go the party at 4.  You’ll still get 8 hours of park time, and get to enjoy the perks of the party. 

I definitely think every Disney fan should attend the Christmas party at least once in their lives to fully experience the magic of Christmas at Disney World.  

Have you been to the party?  What’s your favorite part?  Tell me in the comments!  

 

 

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