I cannot believe that Christmas is already less than a week away! And it’s even crazier to think that we were at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party about a month ago!
I thought I would share our experience at the party before Christmas gets here, hoping that this will still help someone who may be going to the party this year.
Arrive earlier than 7pm.
The party doesn’t actually start until 7pm however, guests who have purchased tickets for the event can get into the park starting at 4pm. We were able to make a couple of fast passes before the party started and walk around a bit. If you haven’t been to Magic Kingdom recently, and this is your first visit to the park the week of your vacation, go early! We weren’t planning on spending a full day at Magic Kingdom until later in our vacation, so we didn’t really know our way around. Because we arrived early, we were able to scope out where things were before it got dark. I love Disney and the ambiance at night, but it was so hard to see where things were or what direction we were going in the dark. hahaha, maybe it’s just me but I am so thankful we got there early! If you go to Magic Kingdom a lot, or have gone in the past year or so then this might not apply to you!
Be prepared for the crowds.
We went to Disney the week before Thanksgiving, which was supposed to be a “low-crowd” week. I thought that the Christmas party was still pretty packed for it being one of the earlier parties. I will say that everyone is pretty spread out throughout the park. Ride times are little to none and I feel like most people are on Main Street or waiting in line for characters. Either way, be prepared for Main Street traffic, especially around the times of the parades and fireworks.
If you want a photo with a specific character, plan ahead.
Do your research, and see if you can find what characters are going to be at the party and where. I made the mistake of not getting in line for the seven dwarves right away, and by the time the party started and we got to the line, it was already an hour and forty-five minutes long, so we decided to skip it so we could enjoy other parts of the party.
Make an itinerary.
It is impossible to do everything at the party, especially if this is your first time attending. Between meeting the characters, and seeing all of the shows, it’s a busy night.
We decided to see the first showing of Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration at 7:40pm, which takes place right in front of the castle. Then we stayed put until 8:15pm to watch a Frozen Holiday Wish which also takes place in front of the castle. If you plan to follow our itinerary, make sure you try to book it out of the Main Street/Castle area right after the Frozen Holiday Wish. The first parade starts at 8:30pm and there are a ton of people who have camped out or are trying to find last-minute spots for viewing around that area. We went to the right of the castle and went over to Tomorrowland to see the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas that started at 8:35pm. After that, we decided to take it easy and enjoy the free snacks and short wait times for rides until the fireworks and second parade.
Stay for the second parade.
I had heard before going to the party that the second parade is always less crowded and I have to say I agree! I think most folks who have kids decide to go to the first parade before the fireworks, and then usually leave after the fireworks which begin at 10pm. We were pretty spent by the time the fireworks were over and the only thing left on our list was the parade. After the fireworks were over we headed over to Main Street to claim a seat on the curb and waited until the parade started. While we were sitting and waiting, we saw stroller after stroller leaving with sleeping kids in them. If you do plan on going to the second parade, I would suggest keeping an eye out for the forecast before the first parade starts. The last thing you want is to miss a parade due to weather. It would be better to see the first parade even though it may be more crowded than for no parade at all! I would also suggest getting a spot for one of the parades about an hour early, especially if you want a view of the castle in the background.
Ride times overall are super short, so if you can, take advantage of them!
I understand that there is a lot to do during the party, so the actual rides might become an afterthought. If you are going to the party during your Disney vacation, I would pick rides you have fast passes for later in the week, so you could potentially free those up and ride something else later. We rode Space Mountain the night of the party and only had to wait 5-10 minutes so we freed up a fast pass later that week since we already rode it. (We were trying to ride everything we could that week.) It’s also a fun time to ride things you normally wouldn’t ride over and over again.
Purchase party merchandise early on in the night.
When you see it, buy it. I made the mistake of thinking the Ugly Christmas Sweater spirit jerseys were going to be available at the end of the party but I was wrong. I also couldn’t find them the rest of my trip. Also, it’s not a bad idea to get into stores like the Emporium early on, since those tend to fill up later in the party. Fill up as in you have to waddle your way around the store! haha. I also tried to find party pins in the Emporium at the end of the party and there weren’t any left other than the annual pass holder pins. I ordered a pin off of eBay this week, but it still would have been nice to get one at the party. 🙂
That about sums up my tips for the party! Have you ever been before? I would love to hear your tips for the party since this was my first year attending! 🙂