Should You Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Should You Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a hard-ticketed event in the Magic Kingdom on select nights during November and December, allows guests to see special holiday themed shows and a  parade in a less crowded park.  For party goers, the park stays open until midnight; you can enter as early as 4:00 p.m., but the party officially begins at 7:00.   For many people, it’s the highlight of their holiday trip, but in these difficult economic times when vacations are a luxury, spending nearly $300 for a family of four to attend a party can be a big decision.  Here’s a few facts to help you decide whether it’s worth it for you:

Since Disney theme park tickets are more expensive on the front end, meaning you pay for for a four-day ticket than a seven-day ticket, it doesn’t benefit you to skip a park day unless your trip is very short.  For example, a MVMCP ticket costs around $60.  If you’re on a short three-day trip, you could cut buy a two-day park ticket and a MVMCP ticket and only  pay a few dollars more, but if you’re on a seven day trip, you’re only saving a few dollars by not going to the parks that day. 

MVMCP tickets cost around what you pay to add the park hopper option to your theme park tickets. This option allows you to hop every day of your trip, whether you’re visiting for two days or for ten days.  Park hopping means you can leave a crowded park for a quieter one. It means you don’t have to plan your dining around your park days.  It’s very convenient. Personally, I find it indispensable.  If my family’s budget could only absorb park hoppers or party tickets, I’d pick the hoppers, but keep in mind this is how I visit the parks. If you tend to go to one park and stay there, the park hopping option is probably not a better deal.

Attending the party guarantees you at least one late night in the Magic Kingdom, which is at its best at night during the holidays.  Visiting during November and December is great from the perspecitve of offering lower crowds, but the parks close earlier (except during holiday weeks).   The Magic Kingdom, for example, will close at 7:00 at least three nights a week for the party, so it’s conceivable that you could visit for an entire week in early December and only get one late night in the Magic Kingdom.   Unfortunately, that night will probably be an extra magic hours night, which means it will be crowded.  Buying the ticket is worth it to me just to get one relatively uncrowded night in the parks; it really makes the whole trip.

I’m not a huge parade fan, but I make an exception for these special parties, which are generally excellent and allow you to really see what Disney imagineers can really do.  You can’t see this parade until after the 19th (when the parties officially end) so if you enjoy parades or if you want to see something different, the price of admission may be worth it to you.

Now let’s talk about crowds.  Unless you’re attending a party on the weekend or the last week of the event, these types of special parties are generally not crowded.  While the first parade and castle show of the night will be packed, subsequent shows and the next parade will generally not be.  The same goes for the attractions, many of which are a walk-on.  I’ve spent many a cool evening running around the Magic Kingdom from ride to ride.  I’ll admit, I’ve missed out on many of the character meet and greets and special shows just for the thrill of being able to go on as many rides as I care to, but to me it’s worth the cost.  

I think MVMCP is a fun, exciting night. Going to the party is, for me, the absolute highlight of our trip.  If you can do it without worrying about the budget, by all means, attend.    If you can’t go, there’s still plenty of holiday magic to go around. In fact, it’s everywhere right now in Disney World.

Photo courtesy of Mommy from the Midwest.

Chris writes here and at Everything Walt Disney World. She’s also a member of the Mouse Chat podcast team.

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