There’s nothing quite like Christmas at Disney World. It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the happiest place on earth! Below is the ultimate Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for 2016.
Perhaps the highlight of the holidays at Disney World is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP).
There’s nothing like seeing the park decked out in Christmastime decor, and it add a whole new level of magic to be experienced.
Much like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, MVMCP is a hard ticket event held on specific dates throughout the holiday season. The parties begin at 7:00 p.m. with cast members allowing entrance as early as 4:00 p.m. for party ticket holders.
The party includes:
• Special holiday decorations
• Special holiday merchandise
• Free cookies and cocoa
• Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade (shown outside the party after December 22)
• A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas stage show
• Celebrate the Season castle stage show
• Snow on Mainstreet
• Meet and greets with characters in holiday attire
• Shorter wait times on many popular attractions
• Dance parties
• Holiday Wishes: Spirit of the Season fireworks
The 2016 dates for MVMCP are:
November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29
December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22
Many days, particularly weekends sell out, so it’s a good idea to get your tickets early. Tickets start at $86 and can be purchased here.
For those who have never been to the party, let me first explain what each of the specialty events are:
Castle Dream Lights and A Frozen Holiday Wish
The Castle Lighting happens nightly at 6:15 and 8:00 p.m. when Queen Elsa from Frozen uses her magic to cover Cinderella’s Castle in “ice.” What used to be the Fairy Godmother Castle Lighting, has proven to be as magical as ever. The castle looks truly beautiful covered in over 200,000 lights. It makes an amazing photo op and is literally the icing on the cake to a holiday themed day at the Magic Kingdom.
The best place to watch the stage show is close to the stage. If you want to be able to view the whole castle better, it’s best to stand back a little bit further. Show up about 30 minutes beforehand to make sure you get a good spot to watch.
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
This special holiday parade takes place at 8:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Marching toy soldiers, reindeer, gingerbread men, characters dressed in holiday gear and Santa Claus himself appear in this super fun parade. See the second showing of the parade for lighter crowds (plus you can spend time doing other things during the first parade). For best viewing, grab a spot on Main Street toward the front of the park. Viewing from there provides the best ambiance. You’ll have the brightly-lit castle, decorated storefronts, and snow falling overhead as a perfect holiday backdrop.
This performance set on the castle stage is a celebration where classic characters ring in the holidays with both classic and new Christmas songs. You’ll feel the wonder of the season as this unforgettable performance is wrapped up in one sensational, show-stopping finale. Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration is shown several times each night.
Celebrate the Magic Castle Show and Holiday Wishes
Celebrate the Magic is a light experience with holiday styled projections shown onto the castle. It happens at 9:15 and is best viewed closer up to the castle. A good rule of thumb is that anywhere within the realm of the partners statue is a good or approximately that far from the castle will provide the best view to see the projections.
Immediately following Celebrate the Magic is Holiday Wishes. The fireworks spectacular lives up to the drama and is every bit as grandiose as the original Wishes, but the additional holiday inspired music and lyrics really take it over the top. The way the show keys in to the feeling of the holiday and the words of the music is very impressive. The fireworks are shown nightly, but include perimeter blasts during MVMCP.
Shown nightly at 7:45, 8:40, 9:45, 10:40 and 11:35 p.m. on the stage between Space Mountain and The Carousel of Progress, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show includes Stitch, characters from Monsters, Inc., Buzz and others.
VoicePlay is an a cappella singing group performs on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland at 8:10 p.m., 9:05 p.m., 10:10 p.m., and 11:05 p.m.
Club Tinsel is a dance party that takes place continuously throughout the whole evening at Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland.
It’s best to line up for these as early as possible since they are so popular. You don’t want to be waiting in lines during the entire party!
- Captain Jack Sparrow – Adventureland
- Peter Pan and Wendy – Fantasyland, near Peter Pan’s Flight
- Aladdin with Abu, Jasmine with Genie – Adventureland
- Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws – Storybook Circus (very popular! Line up early, around 5:00 to meet them.)
- Anna and Elsa – Princess Fairytale Hall
- Donald, Scrooge McDuck, Daisy, Minnie – Storybook Circus
- Santa Goofy – Barnstormer
- Tiana and Naveen – Liberty Square
- Big Al, Liverlips, Shaker and Wendell – Liberty Square
- Seven Dwarfs – Fantasyland near Mine Train (very popular! Line up by 6 to meet them.)
- Princesses with their princes – Line up at 6:30 for this.
- Tigger and Friends – Fantasyland near Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Santa Claus – Town Square (you can also meet him during the day)
- Mary Poppins, Bert, and Penguin – Town Square
- Mickey Mouse – Town Square Theater
- Tinker Bell – Town Square Theater
- Merida – Fairytale Garden, to the right of the castle
- Gaston – near Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland
- Ariel – Ariel’s Grotto in Fantasyland
Since I’ve been a few times, it’s not a huge priority to me to see absolutely everything. When I go, I mainly exclude the dance parties and some character meets. The big character priorities for me are those that you can only meet during the party. These include Jack Skellington and Sandy Clause from Nightmare Before Christmas, the princesses with their princes, Scrooge McDuck, and Santa Goofy.
With this in mind, I’ve laid out a tentative schedule for the night.
Keep in mind that the party starts at 7:00 p.m., but cast members allow entrance into the parks as early as 4:00, so you can easily get in a full 8 hours if you go from 4:00 to midnight.
4:00 Arrive and ride some rides, preferably those that won’t be open during the party
5:00 Grab a quick dinner – My fave for something to eat on-the-go is a waffle sandwich from Sleepy Hollow
5:30-6:00 Get in line for high priority character meet and greets or Castle Dream Lights
7:00-8:00 More rides, walk-around, view Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration
8:15 See the first Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade if possible, but no rush since I’ll go to the second, less crowded showing
9:00 Line up for Celebrate the Magic and Holiday Wishes
9:30 Holiday Wishes
10:00 Line up either on Mainstreet or in Frontier land for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
11:00 to midnight More rides, shopping
- You can purchase specialty merchandise during the party (Emporium, Frontier Trading Post, Mickey’s Star Traders)
- Select food locations will stay open (Casey’s Corner, Main Street Baker, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Crystal Palace, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Westward Ho, Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square Market, Pinnochio Village Haus, Storybook Treats, Gaston’s Tavern, Be Our Guest, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe and Cool Ship)
- Special Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card available
- Not all rides and attractions are open during the party, though most are
- FastPass+ is not available during the party
- Monorails most likely will not run until midnight
As always, I want to stress that it’s more important to enjoy yourself than it is to hit every single aspect of the party. Don’t stress yourself out trying to run all over the park to meet every character and see every show. Unless you know the layout of the park down pat, and absolutely everything goes your way (or you’re just that good), it’s not going to happen.
I have to say, the Magic Kingdom has never looked more magical than it does during the party, and it’s a blast just to walk around and experience it in a different way.
MVMCP is definitely worth it, at least once, but I think to really get a grip on the event, it’s fun to go two or three times. If you have little ones, it can be fun to go multiple years in a row so you can see them grow with it and experience different aspects of the party.