5 Tips for 2021 Very Merriest After Hours at the Magic Kingdom

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog

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Get our 2021 Very Merriest After Hours tips for a successful, holly-jolly night of Disney magic.

This year we attended the first night of the Very Merriest After Hours event at the Magic Kingdom. Got your tickets for a night this November or December? We’ve put together our top 5 tips for attending the 2021 Very Merriest After Hours event.

But first: We captured highlights of the event and packaged them into a video that shares everything we did during our visit including clips of the entertainment, snack options, crowd levels, and other fun!

WATCH: 2021 Very Merriest After Hours with Adults in Disney

What is the Very Merriest After Hours?

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Live entertainment at Very Merriest. Photo by Laurie Sapp

Very Merriest is an extra-cost event held at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The event includes an exclusive holiday parade, fireworks show, and stage show.

You can also boogie down with Stitch at a dance party, experience exclusive ride overlays, and hop on rides with super short lines (Genie+ not necessary!). Plus, snack on FREE cookies, cocoa, ice cream, popcorn, and bottled beverages.

The event officially runs from 9 PM to 1 AM on select nights in November and December. Even though the event starts at 9 PM, you can enter the Magic Kingdom at 7 PM with your Very Merriest After Hours ticket.

Want a detailed guide to Very Merriest? Subscribe to WDW Magazine’s monthly print magazine by Nov. 30 to get our in-depth guide to Very Merriest: 8 pages of stunning photos, secret tips, and the best strategy for seeing everything you can in 4 short hours.

Our Top 5 2021 Very Merriest After Hours Tips

Want to experience the magic of this hard-ticket Christmas event? Here are our top 2021 Very Merriest After Hours tips:

1. Buy Your Ticket Ahead of Time and Arrive Before the Event Starts

The Very Merriest After Hours event that we went to was sold out. If you plan on going, we recommend buying your ticket in advance.

There is nothing worse than counting on going to an after hours event and then finding out that you waited too long and it’s sold out.

2. Don’t Miss the Entertainment

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Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is pure magic. Photo by Laurie Sapp

The three big holiday entertainment items are Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, and the Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories stage show.

All of these items can only be viewed during the Very Merriest After Hours. The fireworks only happen once during the event, and they were easily the best part of the night for us.

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The fireworks are the most magical part of the night. Photo by Laurie Sapp

3. Take Advantage of the Free Snacks

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Come hungry. Photo by Rain Blanken

Here’s a delicious secret: Disney’s after hours events come with all-you-can-eat popcorn, bottled beverages, Mickey Ice Cream Bars, Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches, and fruit bars.

While the lines for these were busy right at the start of the event, for most of the night, you can walk up to one of the carts and easily get as many ice creams and drinks as you want.

There are also cookie and hot cocoa stops located throughout the park. All locations serve a prepackaged snickerdoodle cookie (which was delicious!). There are also allergy-friendly options.

4. Skip Most of the Rides

While most of the rides in the Magic Kingdom will have short waits during Very Merriest, in our opinion, they are not worth the precious after hours time that you have.

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Forget the rides. Let’s hang out with this guy! Photo by Laurie Sapp

The parades, fireworks, show, and free holiday treats are what make the event so awesome. We strongly recommend taking advantage of the special event items during the event.

That said, all of the rides are pretty much a walk-on during the event. For example, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was a 15-minute wait for most of our night.

One benefit of after hours events are the low crowds, so take advantage and go on a couple of your must-do rides (Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor has a special holiday overlay!), but we wouldn’t recommend only doing rides and missing out on the holiday entertainment.

5. Make a Plan Ahead of Time

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Santa makes a list and so should you. Photo by Laurie Sapp

This may be the most important tip. While 4 hours may seem like a lot of time, it will go by quickly. From the parade, to fireworks, to the stage show, to all-you-care-to-eat cookies and ice cream … you want to do it all. Plan ahead using this Very Merriest After Hours map.

The parade, fireworks, and stage shows all have set times. Make sure you know the items with set times and what your must-do items are. For us, the fireworks and parade are not to be missed.

We hope that these tips and our video help share the Disney holiday magic and provide some useful information ahead of your 2021 Very Merriest After Hours experience.

Don’t forget to subscribe to WDW Magazine by Nov. 30 to make the special 2021 Christmas issue your very first, plus get last year’s Christmas issue shipped free of charge when you use the code 2xMagic!

2021 Very Merriest After Hours Map – Christmas at Magic Kingdom

2021 Very Merriest After Hours Ticket Prices: Here’s How Much It Costs

Written by Adults in Disney

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Jeff and Sara are a married, Disney-obsessed couple that often has to explain to family, friends, and strangers why two adults, with no kids, go to Disney … a lot. They have been to all 12 Disney Parks in the world and love sharing their adventures. In addition to writing for WDW Magazine, they share their Disney adventures on their Adults In Disney YouTube channel.
Adults in Disney

Written by Adults in Disney

Jeff and Sara are a married, Disney-obsessed couple that often has to explain to family, friends, and strangers why two adults, with no kids, go to Disney … a lot. They have been to all 12 Disney Parks in the world and love sharing their adventures. In addition to writing for WDW Magazine, they share their Disney adventures on their Adults In Disney YouTube channel.