Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party kicked off last night at Magic Kingdom and let me start by saying WOW, what an event! From walking hand in hand down Main Street, U.S.A. during the magical “snow fall” to dancing with Pluto, Goofy and Chip ‘n Dale at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, we all had a fabulous time.
As with all things Disney, a little planning goes a long way and this is especially true for a special event of this caliber. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Arrival & Check In
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party officially begins at 7 p.m., but guests with party tickets can enter the park beginning at 4 p.m. Even if you plan to go to another park on the day you’re attending the party, I strongly recommend arriving at Magic Kingdom at 4 p.m. This will give you three hours to go on a few rides and have an early supper so that by the time the party begins, you’ll have things you could do on any day at Magic Kingdom already checked off your list and have more time in your schedule for party-specific activities.
When you enter Magic Kingdom with your party ticket, you’ll go through a separate event entrance where you’ll receive a wristband which allows you to remain in the park when the party begins at 7 p.m. If you’re already inside Magic Kingdom when 4 p.m. rolls around you do not have to go to the park entrance to check in. There’s a special “Wristband Distribution” location in Tomorrowland in front of Stitch’s Great Escape.
Entertainment Information, Show Times & Tips
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade runs twice each night of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party; once at 8:15 p.m. then again at 10:30 p.m. The parade steps off in Frontierland, follows the waterway until it reaches Liberty Square, crosses the Liberty Square Bridge, circles Central Plaza in front of Cinderella Castle, heads down Main Street, U.S.A., circles Town Square in front of the Walt Disney World Railroad Station and ends next to Harmony Barbershop.
One of our favorite viewing spots is in front of Cinderella Castle facing the bridge from Liberty Square. If you watch the first parade from this location, you’ll need to save your spot at least an hour in advance, but you’ll be able to watch “Celebrate the Season” Castle Stage Show while you wait. You’ll also be able to stay in the same spot for the fireworks show that follows.
If you’re looking for an alternative that saves A LOT of time, watch the 10:15 p.m. parade from the “stepping off” location in Frontierland. The second parade is much less crowded and watching the parade from where it begins means you’ll have seen the whole thing by the time it even reaches Main Street, U.S.A.
Watch a video of Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.
“Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” Fireworks
Narrated by Jiminy Cricket, Holiday Wishes is your typical Disney fireworks show – AMAZING! The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. and can be viewed from all around the park. Something new this year is a special holiday edition of “The Magic, The Memories and You” which begins at 9:15 p.m. To have a great view of both, stand in the middle of Main Street, U.S.A. next to Casey’s Corner.
Watch a video of “Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” Fireworks.
“Celebrate the Season” Show
This show takes place on the Castle Forecourt Stage at 7:45, 10:05 and 11:20 p.m. Leap and I really enjoyed the show which features Mickey and the gang as well as a slew of other talented performers. Tad and Lily thought it was too long (almost 20 minutes) and would have rather spent more time at the Character Meet & Greets and the Character Dance Parties. My suggestion is to watch it while you’re waiting for the parade or fireworks if your viewing spot is in front of Cinderella Castle. Otherwise, see the 11:20 p.m. show; it’s less crowded than the others and you don’t have to watch the entire performance.
Watch a video of “Celebrate the Season” Castle Stage Show.
“A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” Show
“A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” takes place on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland at 7:45, 8:45, 9:55, 10:50 and 11:45 p.m. This high-energy show mixes comedy, pop music, dancing and more current Disney Characters like Buzz Lightyear and Stitch. The seating area in front of the stage just for kids and the “younger” tone of the show made it a HUGE hit for Tad and Lily. The ability to pick from five show times made it a HUGE hit for me.
Fun for the Kids (Young and Old)
Character Dance Parties
The Character Dance Parties are just that…parties where you can boogie with some of your favorite Disney Characters. Woody’s Hootin’ Holiday Open House takes place in The Diamond Horseshoe and features Woody, Jessie and Bullseye. Tad and Lily’s favorite was the Jingle Dance and Play at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. After filling up on the free cookies and hot cocoa, they could have danced with Pluto, Goofy and Chip ‘n Dale all night.
Character Meet & Greets
We love, love, love meeting Disney Characters especially when they’re decked out in their holiday outfits. A few of our favorites this year were The Seven Dwarfs (next to Splash Mountain in Frontierland), Phineas & Ferb (next to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland), Duffy the Disney Bear (Candy Cane Garden in Town Square) and of course, SANTA CLAUS!
You can find him in the center of Town Square up until the first parade and yes, the line is very long!
With 12 Character Greeting locations throughout Magic Kingdom during the party, you might want to read Tad’s Top 10 Character Greeting Tips (blog) beforehand.
Attractions & Dining
Most, but not all, attractions remain open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Since there are so many other things going on that we can only experience during the party, we don’t put too much effort into going on rides, but that’s just us.
Except for Adventureland, there’s at least one restaurant in each Land that remains open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. My advice is to eat an early supper before the party starts. (You can always have the free cookies and hot cocoa as a dessert later on.)
Before You Go
Those wonderful Disney folks have packed enough special entertainment and activities into Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that it would take someone with even more compulsive planning and list-making tendencies than me to experience every single thing in one night. My hope is that with this guide, you’ll be able to decide what to put on your family’s “must-do” list and what to put on your “hopefully-we-have-time-to-do” list. We ALWAYS have more fun when we don’t attempt to do everything, but instead focus on fully enjoying what’s important to us.
Check out more pictures from our night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on Facebook.
Happy Planning and Happy Holidays!
*Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separately ticketed event and is not included with regular theme park admission.