By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



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Review: The 2016 Edition of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (“MVMCP”)



By Dave Shute

MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY: A REVIEW

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (“MVMCP”) is a special event that takes place during the Christmas season at Walt Disney World.

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It requires its own ticket, which is entirely separate from regular Disney World tickets, and is only shown on certain nights from early November through mid-December.

(For more on MVMCP tickets and show nights, see this.)

Even though it is expensive (tickets for a family of four will cost over $200) it’s been part of this site’s Basic December Itinerary since the site opened, for a couple of reasons:

Going to it lets people save a lot of time. 

Disney limits the amount of tickets it sells to each show of MVMCP.  As a result, waits for the rides are low–most typically 10 minutes, although you’ll find longer waits at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan, and Jingle Cruise.  Going to it and seeing some really popular rides with hardly a wait saves a ton of time that can instead be spent sleeping in or at the pool.

Waits Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

For example, above is the Space Mountain wait at a little after 9p.

The Castle Transfigured Frozen Holiday Wish from yourfirstvisit.net

Going to it guarantees seeing an evening parade and fireworks. 

The regular evening parade at the Magic Kingdom is now gone, and at the time of year the Basic Itinerary covers, the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom may happen just a couple of times a week on non-MVMCP nights.  Sending people to MVMCP guarantees your family will have the opportunity to see an evening parade and fireworks.

Moreover, the parade and fireworks are unique. The fireworks are tied with those of the Halloween party as best of the year, and the parade has a fun Christmas theme!

I recommend people go to Walt Disney World in the early part of the Christmas season…so how can I not send them to this show?

It’s silly and fun!

In mid-November 2016 I had a chance to see it again on Tuesday the 15th and Friday the 18th, my ninth and tenth visits to this party. The rest of this entry is the review of that visit. (Note that some of the photos are from my earlier visits, where they turned out better those nights…)

MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY

There’s a couple of components to MVMCP.

Noted already are the parade and fireworks, both in special Christmas versions.

Parade Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

The parade, called Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, happens twice each night, at 8.30 and 11p (both later than last year).

Saving a Spot for the Parade Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

I strongly suggest you go on rides from the beginning of the party through the first parade and until about 3o minutes before the fireworks, and watch the second parade–crowds for the second parade will be much lower, and you won’t have to save a spot like the little guy above.

Characters Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from yourfirstvisit.net

The parade begins with a bunch of characters…

Mickey and Minnie Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from yourfirstvisit.net

Mickey and Minnie Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

…then Minnie and Mickey.

Anna and Elsa Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from yourfirstvisit.net

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Frozen comes next with three floats, beginning with Anna and Elsa…

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…then Olaf…

Kristoff Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

…and then Kristoff.

Wreck It Ralph Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

Next is Wreck-It Ralph…

Clarabelle Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

…then Clarabelle Cow and Christmas cookies–I wonder why no resort is themed to Clarabelle?…

Goofy Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

…then Goofy and Christmas candy.

Next up is a sequence of princess-themed floats.

Snow White Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from yourfirstvisit.net

Snow White Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

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Snow White and Cinderella get their own floats.

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A closer shot of Cinderella.

Princesses Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

One large float is fronted by the Beast and holds a passel of princesses.

Woody Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

The parade then shifts to a toy theme, including Woody and Jess…

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…and toy soldiers.

Santa Claus is on the last float.

Santa Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from yourfirstvisit.net

Santa Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

 

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The fireworks, called Holiday Wishes, happen between the parades at 10p.

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More fireworks:

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Also noted already are the rides.

  • Not all rides are open, but all of the most popular ones are (there’s a list of what’s open on the brochure below).
  • Because of the limit on tickets sold, the rides are pretty easy to get on to without major waits. The park will feel very crowded on Main Street and near the Castle, but this is because of all the people lining for the castle shows and the parade route.  Away from Main Street and Frontierland the park opens up and ride waits are quite short.

There’s some shows, some unique to this event.

Elsa Making Snow Frozen Holdiay Wish from yourfirstvisit.net

A Frozen Holiday Wish is the same as on regular MK evenings. It’s OK but the 8.15 show will be mobbed and cut into your ride time.

Totally Tomorrowland Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

Only shown during the party are the skippable A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas in Tomorrowland…

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…a skippable dance party in Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland.

Voiceplay Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

Also available is “Voiceplay,” showing on the same stage as A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas at 8.05, 8.55, 10.15 and 11.35p.  This will please you in direct proportion to the joy you take in slightly thuggish boy band a Capella gestures towards Christmas songs.

New for 2016 is the Castle stage show “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.” Showing at 7.40, 9.25, and 10.30p, and 12MN, this utterly skippable show includes dancing and character appearances to (mostly) second rate Christmas standards and (mostly) third rate original songs (all powerfully sung, however).

Oddities include a song about texting and keeping your phone charged which also features Daisy’s rarely expressed longing for Donald, and a torch song by Clarabelle that will chill any potential target of her affections. But wait, there’s less, as the Three Amigos also are a focal point.

Some photos from this new show:

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There’s some fun other business: free cookies, free hot chocolate or other drinks (locations on the map), and snow!

Snow on Main Street Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

Bear Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

There’s also character encounters, some very rare. My first reaction to the bear was “that scarf must be warm.” Yes, my first reactions are often stupid.

Aladdin Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

Reindeer Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from yourfirstvisit.net

You can spend a lot of time waiting in lines for characters–go for it if that’s your thing, but for most there’s much better ways to spend your time given the cost of this party…

New for 2016 are Judy and Nick:

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…and the Seven Dwarfs have moved into Storybook Circus:

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More characters:

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santa-goofy-mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party-from-yourfirstvisit-net

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My co-author Josh has  a lot more on the MVMCP characters–locations, scheduled, strategy, much better pix–here.

Both sides of the 2016 MVMCP brochure are below–as always, click them to enlarge them.

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Even though the party starts at 7p, Disney traditionally lets people holding tickets for it through the turnstiles beginning at 4p or 3.45p. Show up early, see some of the lower wait rides, and have dinner.  If you show up around party time, Main Street will be mobbed.  If the train is still running–the last run will be 6.45p or so–take the train to Frontierland or Fantasyland to avoid the crowds on Main Street and in front of the Castle.

FastPass+ is not available during the party–but it’s also not needed, as only Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan and the Jingle Cruise see major waits. If you want to see these at the party, do them as late as you can stay up.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE NOT FOLLOWING THE BASIC ITINERARY?

Fireworks Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2014 from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

As noted, this show is expensive, but worth considering if one or more of the following apply to you:

  • You otherwise won’t see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom
  • Your plans otherwise leave you short on Magic Kingdom time, and/or
  • You are really a fan of Christmas

With kids old enough to be focused on rides, the right plan for MVMCP is to

  • Show up early, and eat before the party
  • Do rides until around 9.30p, and then
  • Position yourselves near the Castle for Holiday Wishes, and the second showing of the evening parade.
  • After the parade, do more rides or see the shows!

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