This holiday season, many of our team members were lucky enough to visit WDW and experience Christmastime at the most magical place on earth. Jason Dick, Kimberly Masimore and Danny McBride also attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – for the first time ever! I asked them to share what their impressions were – the good, the bad, and the unique! Take it away, team!
Being a First-Timer to MVMCP
Jason: I must admit that I was hesitant to buy a ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We have been to Walt Disney World at Christmas time for the last 6 years in a row and we have always avoided it. The only thing holding me back was the extra price tag. This year, we bit the bullet and attended the party on Thursday, November 19th.
Kim: As a first-timer to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but a seasoned pro to visiting the Magic Kingdom during the very busy month of July, I was interested to see how attending a special ticketed event compared to a regular day at the park.
Danny: On December 13th, I finally attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time. Looking forward to exclusive character meet-and-greet opportunities, complimentary cookies/hot cocoa, and of course, short wait times, I was ready to dive in to all of it!
Kim: The crowds were light. But to be honest, it wasn’t excessively busy from December 13-19. Being able to stay at the park later was a nice perk. It isn’t fun getting kicked out of the Magic Kingdom at 7pm on a party night when you don’t have a ticket. We didn’t take advantage of the special meet n’ greets or shows but catching snippets of them I really want to next time.
Danny: A highlight of this night was Holiday Wishes! This was the first time I really noticed how much of a difference Magic Kingdom’s expanded hub makes for fireworks viewing. We arrived just a few minutes before show began (after catching some priceless views of Celebrate the Magic while on the TTA PeopleMover!) and still got a prime spot just a few steps from the street towards Tomorrowland.
This fireworks display was completely mind- blowing and exceeded my expectations. But, if I were to compare it to all firework shows WDW has to offer, I think it still falls just behind IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth with the 4th of July tag.
Jason: Number one for us had to be the desserts and merchandise that you just can’t buy any other time. Top dessert has to go to the chocolate cupcake with peppermint buttercream icing, while the top merchandise item we picked up was definitely the limited edition Haunted Mansion Christmas pin.
Danny: The one downfall of the night, as you might guess, was the fact that it rained a bit. Cara and I were still able to see Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (its second showing of the night, as we hoped, to get on a few rides during its first performance) and after the parade ended (around 11:00 p.m.) rain began to fall once again.
So, at that point, we decided to close the night with a few more attractions… The last one being Splash Mountain (with no wait)! Despite the rain soaking us, we had an absolute blast moving through the almost empty park, heading from place to place to stay as dry as possible before our final ride down Chick-A-Pin Hill!
Jason: I guess this is to be expected, if you really think about it, but as weather in Florida is unpredictable, it ended up raining the evening we attended the party. It was not raining that hard, but as streets were wet and so were the stages, so a couple of the performances were canceled. The parade was delayed by over an hour, and when it finally began, the dancers were doing a very scaled-back version of their performances, for safety. And of course, rain means no snow on Main Street.
Kim: The cookies and hot cocoa are a nice touch but for the extra money you have to pay for the ticket, I’d rather have something more tangible like a Christmas pin. I was disappointed that most of the special merchandise was gone by our party. (Especially when so many of them end up on Ebay…)
The Unique MVMCP Experience
Jason: The vibe in the park in general is very different during the party. When you enter each land, they stop you and make sure you are wearing one of the bracelets they give you with your ticket to the party.
The ride lines were definitely much shorter than they would be during a regular visit to the park. Each ride was pretty much a walk-on ride during the party. It was very relaxed and laid-back in most areas of the park, and stores were relatively empty (though only select store are open during the event).
The parade is specific to the party (unless you’re visiting Christmas week!), and is probably closest you’ll ever get to watching the Disney parade you see on tv Christmas morning. And of course there are a number of specific shows and performances that are only performed at the MVMCP.
Kim: We entered the park around 2pm (the party officially started at 7 and they usually let people with party tickets in around 4pm, but we entered using our park hopper tickets). We were able to enjoy five attractions (3 with FP+ using our park hoppers as FP+ is not available during the party) and dinner before getting in line to meet the 7 Dwarfs at 6:30pm. It took an hour before we got our picture taken with the Dwarfs, which was the longest line we waited in on our entire trip, but it was worth it since you can’t really get a picture with all of them unless you are at a special event.
After the picture we snagged a spot on Main Street for the first Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade. We heard the second parade is less crowded but I wasn’t sure my four-year-old would last that long. We really enjoyed the parade and snow even though it started raining about halfway through. (Side note: I never let rain ruin a Disney vacation…after all- I’m at DISNEY!)
Once the parade was over we were able to enjoy six more attractions, with the longest wait being 10 minutes. My two kiddos just wanted to get on rides so we really didn’t get the chance to sample many of the party extras. We ended up leaving at 11:30 when the four-year-old declared, “I’m done, let’s go home.”
Danny: A little over two hours before MVMCP officially began, we headed to Storybook Circus to see if a line had started to form for the Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws meet-and-greet. Sure enough, there were already people on line – it wasn’t even 5:00 p.m. yet!
I asked a Cast Member what time Jack appears and she told me 5:00 p.m. – only a few minutes away! We were amazed. This meet-and-greet was what Cara and I were most looking forward to doing during MVMCP. Being separated by only a few people from the front of the line for the beginning of this early offering was such a treat. Prior to this trip, we watched several YouTube videos (maybe more than we would admit) of others meeting Jack Skellington here, and I must say that being there in person was so surreal, seeing his movements first hand made this experience exponentially more special.
Kim: I would definitely attend the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party again. It was nice to be able to walk around and not feel cramped. Plus, it’s a wonderfully beautiful time of year. From the sounds and smells, to the food and decorations, everything at the Magic Kingdom was definitely merry and bright.
Danny: There was one unexpected factor that put just a slight twist on our plans… RAIN. Where did the Seven Dwarfs go? How did the wait time for Peter Pan’s Flight increase from 25 minutes to 40 minutes so quickly? After my better half, Cara, and I accepted the fact that it was raining and we needed to formulate a plan, we managed to not only make the most of the situation, but also saw and did just about everything we hoped!
Jason: All in all, the extras you get are very cool, but my fears were unfortunately realized when it rained that evening. You can’t exchange your tickets for another night, and a lot of the extra shows we were supposed to be able to experience were either not featured or were not as spectacular as they could have been. But I can say that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party would be a very merry, magical experience – if you’re fortunate enough to attend when the weather cooperates.