If you've ever wanted to see snowfall on Main Street, here's your chance! At the separately ticketed Disney Very Merriest After Hours event, take part in holiday fun for four festive hours after Magic Kingdom Park closes. Enjoy a parade, stage show, fireworks, special character sightings, castle projections, ride overlays — and of course, food and beverages — just for the holly-jolly occasion. With limited capacity, that also means you can enjoy lower wait times on your favorite rides!
Overview of Disney Very Merriest After Hours
All right, you festive frogs — it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! New this year, Walt Disney World has gifted us with Disney Very Merriest After Hours, a special ticketed event with lots of holiday extras at Magic Kingdom Park, beginning Nov. 8. We are big fans of the After Hours events and the traditional Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party — just put them together, and you've got Disney Very Merriest After Hours!
Much like other After Hours events, Disney Very Merriest After Hours grants guests exclusive access to Magic Kingdom after it closes to non-ticketed guests — for four fa-la-la-la fabulous hours! What's better than a stocking full of goodies? Bottled beverages, popcorn, holiday treats, and ice cream are all included with your ticket. Plus you can enjoy Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, a new castle stage show, holiday ride overlays, characters in their holiday best and, best of all, the return of the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade! That's right — this is the first full-length parade back since reopening in July 2020. Not only were we filled with Christmas cheer but also frogcitement while watching the characters march down Main Street, U.S.A.
We had so much fun at Very Merriest After Hours and highly recommend it to get into the holiday spirit! There is so much entertainment that kept us busy all night long. We kept our energy up with hot cocoa and snickerdoodle cookies (which were delish, by the way). There's a lot to unwrap from this awesome event, so keep on reading. Cue the Christmas song playlist!
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Dates
Disney Very Merriest After Hours replaces Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party for 2021. This special ticketed event runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on select nights from Nov. 8 to Dec. 21, 2021. Event tickets allow entry as early as 7 p.m. to Magic Kingdom on the following dates:
- Monday, Nov. 8, 2021
- Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021
- Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021
- Friday, Nov. 12, 2021
- Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021
- Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021
- Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021
- Friday, Nov. 19, 2021
- Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021
- Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021
- Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021
- Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021
- Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021
- Friday, Dec. 3, 2021
- Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021
- Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021
- Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021
- Friday, Dec. 10, 2021
- Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021
- Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021
- Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021
- Friday, Dec. 17, 2021
- Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021
- Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021
Even if you aren't planning on attending Very Merriest After Hours, but you'll be at Walt Disney World while the event is taking place, you'll want to take note of the event dates. Magic Kingdom closes early on event nights, so if you've got a base ticket and are not attending Very Merriest, you may want to choose another park for the day to make the most of your time. Only ticketed guests will be able to remain in the park after 9 p.m. But don't worry — you'll still be able to experience the Disney Enchantment nighttime spectacular even on event nights! (For those of you attending the After Hours event, that's TWO fireworks shows in one night!)
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Tickets
Tickets for Disney Very Merriest After Hours are on sale now. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel and Shades of Green were able to purchase tickets in advance.
As we mentioned before (we're checking our list twice!), event admission allows entry to Magic Kingdom as early as 7 p.m. A Disney Park Pass reservation will not be required for this event, and you do not need regular park admission if you're only attending Very Merriest. If you wish to arrive earlier than 7 p.m., you will need daytime admission and a park reservation. In that case, you would need to find a wristband distribution station in Adventureland or Tomorrowland to scan your tickets and receive an After Hours wristband to show cast members as they filter out day guests. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can receive a $10 discount on select dates in November. (And of course, we frogs have discounts available as our gift to you!)
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Entertainment
Holiday fireworks are back with the return of Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks! For the first time since 2019, guests are able to enjoy an exclusive holiday fireworks show only seen on event nights. Fireworks light up the night sky at 11:15 p.m. We really enjoyed the show and easily got a centered spot at the end of Main Street near the castle hub. Keep an eye on the castle throughout the night for the new Beacon of Magic projections for the 50th anniversary celebration.
We are so hoppy for the return of Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade! Catch Mickey and Minnie in their holiday best as they travel through Frontierland, Liberty Square and Main Street, U.S.A. with a variety of characters, including Anna and Elsa from "Frozen," the popular Toy Soldiers and, of course, Santa Claus. This marks the first time a full-length parade returned to Disney World since March 2020. You could just feel the happiness in the air as the parade made its way through the park!
There are two parades at 9:45 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. We recommend watching the second parade because it is a lot easier to find a spot. We were able to get a front-row spot on Main Street for the second parade only ten minutes before, while we were a few rows back near the castle for the first parade. If you want to save time, you can watch the parade in Frontierland or Liberty Square, but you won't get the full ambiance of Main Street. Plus snowfall on Main Street only hoppens during the parade times!
An all-new castle stage show, "Mickey and Minnie's Very Merry Memories," debuted for the event. Join Mickey and friends for a holiday celebration featuring music and dancing. The show pays homage to previous holiday stage shows and is the first show to return to the castle stage since reopening! There are multiple shows to catch at 9:25 p.m., 10:35 p.m., 11:45 p.m. and 12:50 a.m. We loved this show so much that Lily and I even watched it a second time!
Other entertainment at Very Merriest includes character sightings throughout the park. We love seeing our favorite characters decked in holiday garb or even catching some rare characters out and about — what a gift!
- Crystal Palace — Pooh and Tigger; Piglet and Eeyore (alternating)
- Liberty Square gazebo — Santa Claus
- Frontierland balcony — Country Bears
- Club Tinsel at Tomorrowland — Santa Stitch
During the party, you can also visit the new indoor distanced character sightings. See Cinderella, Elena, Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall, and visit Mickey in his new EARidescent outfit at Town Square Theater.
Guests can also enjoy the festive ambiance with snowfall on Main Street and themed lighting, music and decor throughout Magic Kingdom. Break out the dance moves at the Club Tinsel dance party in Tomorrowland anytime during the event. Join the Reindeer Wranglers in Frontierland for their holiday hoedown and enjoy seasonal songs with a country twist. Snap the perfect holiday card photo with holiday-themed PhotoPass photo opportunities. For our ride lovers, enjoy lower wait times for select attractions and even experience holiday-themed attraction overlays, including the ever-popular Jingle Cruise and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Food and Beverages
Nothing says "holiday season" like some delicious themed food and beverages! As with all After Hours events, the usual ice cream, popcorn and bottled beverages are all complimentary, as well as snickerdoodle cookies and hot cocoa. You can find the snack carts throughout the park, and the snickerdoodle cookies and hot cocoa at four different stations (allergy-friendly options are available upon request):
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (Frontierland)
- Columbia Harbour House (Liberty Square)
- Pinocchio Village Haus (Fantasyland)
- Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (Tomorrowland)
But save some room — there will be specialty food and drinks available for purchase too! These festive foods include:
- Gingerbread Almond Cake Pop (Golden Oak Outpost) - Gingerbread almond cake dipped in white chocolate
- To Be Jolly Float (Golden Oak Outpost) - Peppermint iced coffee blended with vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream, peppermint sprinkles and a chocolate Minnie bow
- Ginger Apple Funnel Cake (Sleepy Hollow) - Gingerbread funnel cake topped with apple pie filling, vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle
- Orange Bird Churro (Main Street, U.S.A. Snack Cart) - Churro drizzled with citrus marshmallow cream and topped with orange candy slices
Additionally, some restaurants stay open with full menus or select items available:
- Main Street Bakery (full menu)
- Casey's Corner (full menu)
- Golden Oak Outpost (full menu, plus specialty treats)
- Sleepy Hollow (select items)
- The Friar's Nook (full menu; open until 10 p.m.)
- Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies (select items)
- Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Company
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Tips and Tricks
Get all wrapped up in the fun with festive outfits! It truly felt like Christmas walking around and seeing so many great looks.
- The princesses at Fairytale Hall and Mickey at Town Square Theater are in their regular outfits, so if meeting them is a must, we recommend meeting them between 7 to 9 p.m. before the party officially starts.
- Lots of people leave after the fireworks at 11:15 p.m. so you can get a lot done in the last hour and a half of the party.
- We recommend watching the second parade as it is a lot less crowded. We were able to get a front-row spot on Main Street with only ten minutes until the start time!
- But if you only want to stay for the first parade, then we'd suggest getting a prime spot before you watch the stage show. By the time we finished watching the 9:25 p.m. show, it was hard to find a good front-row spot for the parade. (We power-hopped from the front of the castle hub area to the end of Main Street in Town Square in order to get a decent view.)
- If you want to get lots of rides in, the last hour is the time! Wait times in the last half hour were all 15 minutes or less (yes, even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!).
- Genie+ service is not available at the party (since wait times are so low — you won't need it!).
- Looking for transportation options? Disney transportation remains available an hour after the party ends. (For boat transportation, be sure to ask in advance, as buses may be the primary option back to resort hotels!)
Do you plan on attending the new Disney Very Merriest After Hours? Have you begun the countdown to Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!