This is the first of several articles I will be writing this month about Christmas in Disney. I experienced the most Magical of times at Walt Disney World in December of 2010. We stayed the week before, including Christmas Day. The Christmas in July articles will feature some stories and tips to help you plan your holiday visit. Why now? Because now is when you need to begin planning your holiday trip, if you haven’t been already dreaming of it for years.
The Holidays at Magic Kingdom
The decorations begin going up in the first weeks of November for the Disney Parks holiday spectacle. They are usually completed the week before Thanksgiving. The Magic Kingdom boasts the most beautiful decorations of all. The huge Christmas tree on Main Street is the first sign you are going to experience something extraordinary. No boring red balls and silver tinsel for a Disney tree. All the decorations are custom-made by Disney and each park has a Christmas tree with its own theme.
Here is where you need to plan if this is something you would like to experience during your holiday visit. During select nights in November and December the Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a separate ticket you must buy in addition to your park ticket for the day. Tickets are sold in advance on Disney’s website or purchased at the Park. Tickets are limited so there’s the chance they may sell out on a particular evening, so I suggest buying in advance. You will also save roughly 10% by purchasing ahead of time (some dates are not discounted based on popularity). Prices range from $53.95 to $67.95 based on the ages in your party and date you select. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party goes from 7pm to 12pm. During those times the park is restricted to those with party tickets. The published dates for 2012 are as follows:
November 9th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 25th, 27th, 29th, and 30th.
December 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th and 21st.
What happens during the party?
Disney Magic is what happens at the Christmas Party. Your eyes will not know where to look; colorful lights, Disney characters in holiday costume, magical decorations and snow. Yup, I said snow! During the parade Disney will fill the air of Main Street with their own version of “snow”. Here are some exclusives for party goers:
- Complimentary Hot Cocoa and Cookies
- Live Entertainment from Disney Characters in Holiday Dress
- Access to select rides and attractions
- Meet and Greets with select characters
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Time Parade featuring Santa Claus
- Fireworks Extravaganza-Holiday Wishes
Not exclusive to the party but amazing none the less is Cinderella’s Castle. The castle is decorated with hundreds of thousands LED lights which change the color of the castle and make it look like a Winter Wonderland. The parade is also done on other days, but its a little larger on Christmas Party evenings. Not to mention the crowd is limited, so parade watching is much easier and the lines for rides practically nonexistent.
I highly recommend visiting Disney World at some point in your life during the holiday season. The walk down Main Street decked out in holiday regalia is not to be missed. The bakery and candy shops have unique holiday treats to tempt your inner child (and the ones you bring with you). The parade is a menagerie of all your favorite Disney friends, with the Princesses dressed up even more glamorous than usual. Future articles will elaborate on all the other things to do in the World during the holidays, but the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a good placed to start! Here are some tips:
- Buy your tickets ahead of time, they sell out fast
- Money Saver-consider purchasing tickets for your arrival day. You may enter the park at 4pm with your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets. Eliminate the cost of buying a park ticket for that day. Go to Downtown Disney or enjoy your resort until you can enter Magic Kingdom.
- Do bring your video camera. Sometimes the camera just can’t get it all in at night. If you have one, a tripod will help with the night shots.
- Give the kiddos a nap earlier in the day. The party runs late and everyone can enjoy themselves a bit more if they are rested. This is one of the few times you won’t surrounded by mobs of people, take advantage of it!
- Keep in mind the week between Christmas and New Year is the busiest time of the year. Magic Kingdom often closes in the mid morning because it is full on Christmas Day. The weeks where kids are traditionally in school are a not as busy. We found the week before Christmas manageable with the crowds increasing by Christmas Eve.
- Fall or Christmas holidays…when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World? (pics.chipandco.com)
- Disney World Announces Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates For 2012 (onlywdworld.com)
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Schedule and Details (chipandco.com)
- Tickets On Sale for Not-So-Scary, Very Merry Christmas Party Events at Walt Disney World Resort (chipandco.com)
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