One of the reasons I started Showcase the World Travel is to help Moms plan stress-free family vacations. I spend a lot of time in Disney and Mom Facebook groups answering questions and helping Moms make the best decision for their families. The two most popular questions I see are: Is the Halloween Party worth it? Followed by, Is the Christmas Party worth it? Last year was the first time I have ever done the Christmas party and this is what I thought…
(For what I think about Halloween check out this post)
Before we get into my opinion lets talk a little bit about what the party entails.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a hard ticketed event – meaning it is not included in the price of your park admission, it requires a separate ticket. Ticket prices vary based on date (the closer to Christmas, the more expensive) but range $75-105 for adults and $63-82 for children.
The event ticket will get you access to all of the activities involved in the party. There is SO much going on during the Christmas Party you will NOT be able to do it all. Figure out what is most important to you and plan your night around that. You would much rather be excited you got to do more than you expected rather than disappointed you didn’t get to do everything.
With some of the restrictions due to COVID Disney has decided not to hold the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2020. They are currently waiting to see how the situation progresses before making any decisions on the Christmas party.
These are the must-dos for me. The Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. It is like watching the parade on tv after you have opened your presents on Christmas morning. Your favorite characters in their holiday best, dancing reindeer, and yes, Virginia… even Santa Claus! There is just something about the marching tin soldiers that just feels like my childhood dreams becoming real and giving me all the feels.
In addition to two showings of the parade at 8:30 pm and 11:00 pm, there is also the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmas Fireworks AND multiple times for the Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration show on the castle stage. While the later showtimes are less crowded they can be canceled later in the night due to weather so if these are things you don’t want to miss go to the first one!
There are some rare characters that make an appearance at the party, most notably the seven dwarves, Moana and Jack, and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. Lines for these can get extremely long and you can spend most of the party waiting for them. The best thing to do is get in line between 5:30 and 6:00 so you can be one of the first when the party starts at 7:00. Other characters (like Tigger and Peter Pan) show up in their holiday best. You will also come across some rare combos like Aladdin with Abu and the princesses with their princes. Before you come up with your character plan check the daily meet and greet schedule… you don’t want to spend precious party time waiting to meet Gaston when you can meet him the next day!
One of the best parts about the Christmas party is the included treats that you can pick up throughout the park and yes they are mostly cookies. You can get some of your favorite festive treats at locations throughout the park at one stop, pick up a chocolate chip cookie and eggnog, at the next gingerbread and apple cider… yum!
If you love the rides at Magic Kingdom but hate the lines the party is worth the price of admission for the exclusive access you get to a majority of the rides that remain open. There are a few attractions that change slightly for the party adding to the experience… Mad Tea Party and Space Mountain have special lighting, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor has seasonal jokes, and Tomorrowland Speedway has special decorations. The holiday overlay transforming the Jungle Cruise to the Jingle Cruise is very popular but it is not exclusive to the party so if lines are long, wait until a normal Magic Kingdom day.
Like all special events at Walt Disney World, the Halloween party comes with exclusive treats. Each year they release a list of special treats that you can only get at the party from themed burgers, parfaits, cake pops, and of course cupcakes. You can also head to the Emporium for exclusive merchandise you can only get at the party.
In addition to everything else, there are also all sorts of fun entertainment happening throughout the park. My favorites are the Reindeer Wranglers, a folksy take on everyone’s favorite Christmas songs. The dance parties are always popular with the little ones. They change from year to year but most recently they have the Character Dance Party at Club Tinsel and Disney Junior Jungle Jam. There is also a Totally Tomorrowland Stage Show that features characters like Buzz and Stitch.
Another added bonus is special photo opportunities. If you have never gotten a magic shot before it is when a PhotoPass photographer will take a photo and when you see the pics afterward, you’ll see something magically inserted into the photo. Main Street is full of them during the party.
The party has become incredibly expensive and even more crowded. I wasn’t a huge fan of the new fireworks show either. If you have older kids or all adults I would still consider the party but you have to be able to stay later in the night to get the best value of your ticket. Some people may recommend skipping the park that day to save on your park ticket but to add a day to a ticket is only a few dollars per person whereas the party for a family of 4 is hundreds of dollars. It is a really cool experience that everyone should do at least once but wait until your kids are older.
You do not need theme park admission for this event. Save some energy by not going to the parks. Because it is a late-night for kids and adults alike, we recommend taking it easy during the day. We like to eat a late breakfast, go shopping at Disney Springs, spend some time at the spa or pool on our party days.
There is SO much going on during the party you will NOT be able to do it all. Figure out what is most important to you and plan your night around that. You would much rather be excited you got to do more than disappointed you didn’t get to everything.
My standard party plan:
4:00 Enter the Park, Grab a Bite to Eat, Ride the Jingle Cruise
5:30- 6:00 Get in Line to Meet Popular Characters
7:00 The Party Starts
7:15 Meet another character, check out a cookie stop
7:30 – 7:45 Find a Spot for the Parade
(We try to get somewhere on Main Street that we can see the parade, fireworks and castle show – I save the spot and my husband brings back some exclusive snacks)
8:15 Once Upon a Christmastime
9:15 Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Stage Show
10:30 – 12:00 Eat Cookies, Ride Attractions, Meet Characters
In my opinion, this is the highlight of the parade. I like to get a spot that is well lit for photos and has a great view behind the floats. Many people like to walk up a few minutes before it starts and stands in front of you even though you have been there waiting patiently so pick out your prime spot early and stand your ground!!
Christmas at Walt Disney World really is an incredible experience. It takes the nostalgia of childhood many feels in the parks and really makes you feel like you are a kid again.
If you are ready to have the family vacation you’ve been dreaming of, without spending time researching, planning and making it happen, schedule a call today. I’m here to help busy working Moms plan, organize and book the perfect family vacation. With me, all you have to worry about is enjoying your well-earned time away with your family. If you are ready to stop trying to do everything on your own and see how I can help you schedule a complimentary trip planning session now.
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