Celebrating Christmas at Disney World: 15 Frequently Asked Questions About Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
There was a study that came out a while ago that stated that people who decorate for Christmas early are happier than those who don’t. This is due to the childlike wonder and nostalgia that bubbles up during the holidays.
During Disney World’s most magical even: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party, Disney takes the nostalgia of Christmas and pumps it up about 5 notches. Not only are you watching Mickey Mouse sing and dance, but he’s dancing to Christmas tunes and wearing a red velvet suit.
There’s nothing like walking down Main Street covered in snow and Cinderella Castle draped in icicles. You can’t get much more nostalgic than that.
The thing is, the hype around this awesome party has made people feel they either need to scramble to do everything or have no idea where to start. Most people don’t have a solid plan and end up missing good food, shows, and characters!
It doesn’t have to be a complicated and stressful mess to attend the party and you certainly don’t have to feel like you need to see everything.
I’ve been to the Christmas party several times and even worked during the event when I was a Disney Cast Member. So let me help you out!
I’ll break down 15 of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to Christmas party and even give you a FREE Christmas Party planning itinerary that you can use to outline your evening. This will help you understand the in’s and out’s of the event.
I’ll briefly cover Disney snacks, shows, parades, and characters so you’ll feel more prepared.
Helpful Disney World Planning Resources
- The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2019 (or!) 2020
- FREE Printable! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Planning Itinerary (Sign up below this box!
- 11 Ideas for a Night-Out at Disney Springs This Holiday Season
FREE GIFT: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Planning Itinerary
Want to keep your plans organized? Click here or the image below to get your FREE Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Itinerary and get your planning started! You need a good plan of attack if you want to get everything done in one night. My itinerary will help you get started. As a bonus, I included a BLANK itinerary so you can fill in your own plans too!
1 – Is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party worth the money?
In my opinion, absolutely. If you’re booking in a package, you can book fewer days and enjoy the Magic Kingdom at the party instead of adding an extra day. If you’re an early riser, I suggest sleeping in the day of the party to make the most of your night. Arrive when party guests can enter the parks at 4:00 PM so you get a full 8 hours of park fun.
5 Things You Get For the Price of Admission at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:
- 8 hours of park time if you enter at 4:00 PM when guests are permitted to enter and leave at midnight when the party ends.
- FREE holiday treats. This includes cocoa, cider, cookies, and pretzels which are distributed at treat stations around the park.
- Special holiday castle show, parade, fireworks, and dance parties that are only available to view during the Christmas party.
- Slightly less wait times for rides and fewer crowds. It can still get very crowded so don’t expect the streets and ride queues to be empty. If you want a front-row seat for the castle Christmas show or parade, you will have to find a spot about 45 minutes to an hour before. If you don’t care to be in front, finding a spot behind some others about 20 minutes prior to the show will work fine.
- Rare character photographs or photographs with characters that are dressed in special holiday outfits. The characters have the longest wait times so I suggest lining up prior to the official party time. Some people try to line up at 4:00 PM when they arrive and others head over about an hour before around 6:00 PM.
Two Reasons Not to Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- You don’t like to stay up late or have little ones who go to sleep early too. You will want to get a full night of park time in to make it with your investment.
- You’re going to Disney World between these dates: December December 23rd-December 31st. The party ends on December 22nd, but Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade continues performances during the day.
2 – What are the dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2019?
November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24
December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22
The Christmas parade continues performances between December 23rd-December 31st during the day. Other party elements like free treats and character meet ‘n’ greets will not be available during this time.
3 – How early can I enter Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and when does it end?
- Party guests can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 PM
- The party officially starts at 7:00 PM and non-party guests will leave at that time.
- The party officially ends at midnight.
Be sure to grab a party wristband on your way into the parks or at a wristband station if you’re already inside. This signals that you’re attending the party and Cast Members won’t allow you on attractions without it!
4 – How much does Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party cost?
Tickets range from $99 to $139. The most expensive night to attend the Christmas party is the last night of the event, December 22nd. The least expensive nights to attend are the first two weeks of the event. Check disneyworld.com for specific costs for each date.
5 – What is the best time to visit Disney World for holidays and the best dates to attend the party?
My preference is to attend the party the week before Thanksgiving or during the first two weeks of December.
Holiday decorations and events will be in full swing by the first week of December. The first two weeks of November are less crowded than any other dates, but resorts and other parks outside of Magic Kingdom won’t be completely decorated. The week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas are extremely crowded, so I try to avoid visiting during that time.
The Christmast resort decorations are slowly installed starting the first week of November and completed by mid-November. Grand Floridian’s gingerbread house was completed on December 14, 2018 and Epcot’s Festival of Holidays began November 18th, 2018. Both are a holiday must-do!
6 – Can I make FastPass+ reservations during the Christmas party?
No, FastPass+ is unavailable during the Christmas party hours. You can make them before the party starts between 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
One thing to be aware of: If you don’t have an annual pass and have purchased a multi-day ticket, when you book FastPasses on the day you’re attending the party, the system will think you’re using one of your full-day tickets at the Magic Kingdom. Therefore, if you want to book FastPasses on another day the system will say that you’ve run out of days to book passes.
Example: I have a 3-day park pass and a ticket to the Christmas party to use on my 1st day of vacation. I booked FastPasses for the Christmas party at Magic Kingdom, Epcot on my 2nd day, and Animal Kingdom on the 3rd day. Now, when I go to book for Hollywood Studios on my 4th day, the system tells me I’ve run out of days to book FastPasses!
7 – What are the event times for the Christmas castle show, Christmas parade, and fireworks?
- A Frozen Holiday Wish* – Nightly castle show where Elsa light’s up the castle): 6:15 PM & 8:15 PM
- Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration – Musical show with singing, dancing, and lots of characters at Cinderella Castle – 7:40 PM, 9:25 PM, 10:30 PM, 11:55 PM
- Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks (New to 2019!)* – 10:00 PM
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade* – Parade begins in Frontierland and continues to Main Street: 8:30 PM, 11:00 PM
- A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas* – Live musical show with Buzz & Stitch at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland: 7:45 PM, 8:35 PM, 9:25 PM, 10:45 PM, 11:35 PM
- The Reindeer Wranglers – Comedic hoedown band singing Chrismas tunes in Frontierland: 7:15 PM 8:05 PM, 9:30 PM, 10:30 PM, 11:45 PM
- The Edge Effect – Holiday a cappella group sings on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland: 8:10 PM, 9:00 PM, 10:20 PM, 11:10 PM
- Club Tinsel – Dance party with Christmas characters like reindeer and elves inside Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland: 7 PM-Midnight
- Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam – Dance party with Disney Junior characters near Big Top Treats: 7:00 PM-Midnight
- Snowfall on Main Street – “Snow” (soap bubbles) periodically falls on Main Street throughout the night!
* = Crowd Favorites
8 – What attractions and rides are open during the party?
- Town Square Theater (Character Meet & Greets)
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (Event-exclusive playing cards available)
- Space Mountain
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Princess Fairytale Hall (Character Meet & Greets)
- it’s a small world
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Prince Charming Carrousel
- Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Haunted Mansion
- Jingle Cruise (Jungle Cruise Christmas overlay)
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Pirates of the Caribbean
9 – What rare characters are available for pictures at the party?
Expect to wait at least an hour or two for popular characters like the Seven Dwarfs and Sandy Claws dressed as Sandy Claws. Most of the common characters like Mickey & Minnie will be dressed in special holiday attire and rare characters will be out. Character lines sometimes dwindle towards the end of the night after the fireworks at 10:0 PM when large crowds leave. Try visiting characters after that time to avoid taking up most of your night waiting in a line.
*Characters and schedules are expected to change during the party! This is based on previous Christmas parties!
- Santa – Main Street near Guest Relations
- Mickey Mouse – Outside Town Square Theatre
- Sandy Claws (Jack Skellington) & Sally – Town Square Theatre
- Zootopia’s Nick Wilde & Judy Hopps – near Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Pooh and Friends (usually Tigger, Eeyore, & Piglet) – near Winnie the Pooh ride
- Seven Dwarfs – inside Pete’s Silly Sideshow
- Minnie & Daisy – Storybook Circuse
- Donald & Scrooge McDuck – Storybook Circus
- Vampirina – Storybook Circus
- Santa Goofy – near the Barnstormer
- Mary Poppins and Bert – gazebo behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
- Rapunzel & Flyn, Cinderella & Prince Charming, Tiana & Naveen, Elena of Avalor – Princess Fairytale Hall
- Ariel & Prince Eric – near The Little Mermaid ride
- Snow White & the Prince – near Pinocchio Village Haus
- Aurora & Prince Phillip – near Pinocchio Village Haus
- Belle – near Gaston’s Tavern
- Aladdin & Abu/Jasmine & Genie (pairs will alternate every 30 minutes) – Near the Magic Carpet Ride
- Captain Jack Sparrow – Near Pirates of the Carribbean
- Moana – Inside the Tiki Room
- Peter Pan – Roams in Adventureland
- The Country Bears – near Country Bears Jamboree
10 – Where can I meet Santa Claus?
You can meet Santa during party hours on Main Street USA located between the Train Station and Guest Relations. During the day, Snow White meets guests in this same location.
11 – What free holiday treats are provided at the Christmas Party?
Pro-Tip: Head to Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland to get ALL the holiday cookies offered at the party. You won’t have to stand and wait in multiple lines this way. They also have some dietary cookie treats available here like the eggless/vegan Just Cookie Dough.
Follow-Up: Where can I get the free holiday treats?
*This information is based on previous Christmas parties. It will be updated when more information is released for 2019.
- Main Street: Mickey-Santa Cookie
- Tortuga Tavern near Pirates: Snowman Pretzel & Shaved Ice
- Pinocchio Village Haus: Hot Cocoa, Soda, and all holiday cookies
- Friar’s Nook near Princess Fairytale Hall: Chilled Apple Cider and Dove Chocolates
- Storybook Circus Snacks near Storybook Circus Jingle Jam: Peppermint Crunch Cookies
- Near Sleepy Hollow: Ginger Molasses Cookie & Eggnog
- Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Tomorrowland: Chocolate Chip Cookie & Shaved Ice
- Cosmic Ray’s: Snickerdoodle Cookies & Hot Cocoa
12 – What are the special holiday treats available for purchase at Magic Kingdom?
Outside of your complimentary cookies and cocoa, there are a ton of special holiday food and beverages available for purchase.
2019 snacks have not been released from Disney yet, but I will update this list as soon as it is. (Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter here to keep in the know!)
Special Holiday Treats from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018:
- New! 12 Days of Hot Dogs from Casey’s Corner featuring a new specialty hot dog every day beginning December 14th through December 25th
- Feliz Navidad Nachos (Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn) – red & green tortilla chips with turkey chili and queso sauce. You can load up your nachos with all the goodies at the toppings bar!
- Three Caballeros Spiced Chocolate Yule Log (Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn) – chocolate mousse with flourless chocolate cake and spiced chocolate ganache, topped with a chocolate covered marshmallow
- Scrooge McDuck Eggnog Custard(Storbybook Treats)– eggnog custard with spiced chocolate meringue and gold chocolate Scrooge McDuck coin
- Ugly sweater Brownie (Casey’s Corner)
- Vanellope Éclair – dessert éclair with fruity pebbles filling and a chocolate piece with decorated with Wreck it Ralph’s Venellope von Schweetz
13 – Are there any vegan, gluten-free, or allergy friendly treats available at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?
Yes, there are vegan options and other allergy-friendly treats at the party. New last year is the vegan “Just Cookie Dough” available at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. Cosmic Ray’s serves Enjoy Life vegan cookies.
Much like the regular Mickey Pretzels, the holiday snowman pretzels are vegan and so is the shaved ice. (The snow cone syrup may contain processed sugar as opposed to cane sugar.) There are usually a few gluten-friendly items available for purchase too.
14 – Should I make dinner reservations during the Christmas party?
If you want to have dinner in Magic Kingdom during the Christmas party, Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Crystal Palace are open. There is so much to see and do during the party that you most likely don’t want to spend your time sitting down for dinner, however.
The are plenty of delicious places available at the nearby resorts if you don’t want to spend park time eating. The monorail hotels will work great for this (Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and The Contemporary). You can even park your car at the resorts for the duration of the party if you have a dining reservation that day.
You can also pay extra for either of the parade or firework dessert parties described below. Make a reservation for either viewing party online. I personally don’t think either experience is worth the extra $100, but if you want to make it a fancy holiday evening, you might enjoy them.
Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party – (Tony’s Town Square Restaurant) At $99 per person you can watch the Christmas parade from a reserved area and enjoy holiday treats, appetizers, and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). The dessert party lasts from 9:30 PM-midnight and you can enter and exit the viewing area as you please.
Holiday Wishes Fireworks Holiday Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace – This is a very similar experience to the parade viewing party. In addition to a clear view of the fireworks, you will receive treats like chocolate-covered strawberries, ice cream, fruits & cheese plates, hot cocoa, and other specialty holiday drinks. The cost is $84/adult and $50/child.
15 – Where can I find special holiday merchandise for the Christmas party?
The widest selection for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party special merchandise can be found at the Emporium on Main Street. Below, I’ve listed everywhere that Christmas party souvenirs are available.
The coolest and free souvenir you can find is the unique Sorcerer’s Magic Card available only to party guests. You can pick them up at the Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom in the firehouse on Main Street.
Full Event Collection
- Emporium – Main Street
- Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe – Liberty Square
- Big Top Souvenirs – Fantasyland
- Mickey’s Star Traders – Tomorrowland
- Emporium – Main Street
- Frontier Trading Post – Frontierland
- Mickey’s Star Traders – Tomorrowland
- Frontierland Trading Post – Frontierland
- Tomorrowland Light & Power Co – Tomorrowland
Annual Passholder Merchandise
- Emporium – Main Street
- Mickey’s Star Trader’s – Tomorrowland
BONUS QUESTION – Does Disneyland in California have a Christmas party?
No, Disneyland does not have a Christmas party. They do have special holiday offerings and shows like the Believe…in Holiday Magic firework show, it’s a small world holiday overlay display, and California Adventure’s Festival of Holidays with special holiday food and cocktails. You can read my complete guide to Christmas at Disneyland here.
I hope you feel a little more prepared for the Christmas Party this year! I promise you it’s not as scary as it sounds. There is a TON to see and do so you won’t be bored, but don’t feel bad if you don’t get to everything.
Even if you spend your evening drinking cocoa and staring at the 50 foot tree on Main Street it will be worth it, I promise. If you’re sticking around Disney property for more festivities check out my holiday date night ideas for an evening at Disney Springs. The Christmas Tree Trail is super cute and they’ve got some new holiday cocktails this year! Happy holidays, my friends!