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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!
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 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:
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!)
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!)
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!
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.
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):
But save some room — there will be specialty food and drinks available for purchase too! These festive foods include:
Additionally, some restaurants stay open with full menus or select items available:
Get all wrapped up in the fun with festive outfits! It truly felt like Christmas walking around and seeing so many great looks.
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!
Related: Complete Guide to Walt Disney World Resort Christmas Events
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party,
Walt Disney World,
Are there any daytime parades during the holiday season this year with a regular park ticket at Magic Kingdom? We will be there on Dec 19, which is a special event night, but tickets are sold out.
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will run in the daytime between Dec. 22 and 31, 2021.
I am not planning to attend the Disney Very Merriest event but was planning to attend the Magic Kingdom during the day on 12/14/21. According to your crowd calendar (which is fabulous!), it’s the best day to attend the Magic Kingdom. Will the park be less crowded in the day even with the Disney Very Merriest occurring the same evening?
Thanks for hopping by! Very Merriest shouldn't affect daytime crowds too much, as it's a limited-attendance event and party guests can only enter at 7 p.m. if they do not already have daytime admission for the same day. You can expect it to be busier in the last hour that the park is open.
Nov23 looks sold out. Any 3rd party ticket providers have tickets for Nov23 Merriest Christmas Party?
Unfortunately, we're sold out of Very Merriest tickets for Nov. 23 as well.
Where do you pick up your wristband? I have my tickets connected to my bands and cards. do I have to go to a ticket window?
If you're entering the park at 7 p.m. (or after, until they clear the park of daytime guests), you'll get your wristband right as you walk through the entrance. If you hoppen to be inside the park before 7 p.m. as a daytime guest, then you can go to a wristband distribution station in Adventureland (across from Pirates) or Tomorrowland (usually nearby Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor).
How much will parking be for this event?
Parking rates would be the same as the standard $25 general parking rate. If you're a Disney hotel guest or an annual passholder, parking is still free.
If you are staying at a Disney Springs hotel - what is the best way back to your hotel if you want to go to Merriest after hrs? I've stayed at the hilton b4 and during normal hrs, it only runs a few times during the day
Since you're staying off-site by Disney Springs, we'd recommend Uber or Lyft.
We love WDW at Christmas. Being from a northern central state where snowfall is a way of life five months out of the year, I still get tears in my eyes every time it begins to 'snow' on Main Street during the parade. As an option to being in a park, my wife and I always spend at least one full day (sometimes two) 'resort hopping' to see the wonderful decorations and immerse ourselves in the varied holiday theming at each location. Disney certainly does its part to make it the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
We toadally agree, Tim! Thanks for sharing with us :)
Will Christmas festivities still be happening the week after Christmas? We are going to two parks, one on the 29th and one on the 31st
In the past, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade has been available to daytime guests during the week of Christmas, although we're not toadally sure about this year. If not the full-length parade, we would expect to see cavalcades instead. EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will also still be hoppening until Dec. 30.
Will there be specialty alcoholic beverages sold?
There are some specialty treats and beverages available but none are alcoholic.
Hey! Do you know how many tickets they sell to the Merriest After Hours? We got tickets, but I was wondering what capacity the park is during this time? Thanks!
While we know that attendance is more limited at After Hours events, we aren't sure of the exact number - in our experience, there have been low wait times and we've had a great time!
Great post! Thanks for sharing this info.
Out of curiosity, do you know how an event like this is regulated? I understand that for rides and attractions they can require guests to scan their MagicBand or MagicMobile pass for entry. But how will they keep those who didn't purchase a ticket from staying in the park after closing and watching the fireworks, parade, stage show, etc.?
I purchased tickets for my family during our upcoming trip in November and am trying to justify the cost :P
Upon entering Magic Kingdom, guests staying for the event will receive a special wristband. Then once the park has officially closed to daytime guests, you will need to show your wristband to cast members as you move around to different areas until they are able to clear the park. If you happen to be in the park during the day, there are wristband distribution stations where you can check-in and scan your ticket so you do not have to exit the park.
We are scheduled to arrive 12/26/21. Are there any special events/activities for after Christmas?
Yes! EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays continues until Dec. 30. If you're sticking around for New Year's Eve, then there is usually special fireworks at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. All of the decor and special treats should remain through the first week of the new year too.
So are you going to have discount tickets for the 8th 9th 11th12th of November or should I just buy them from disney
Yes, we will be offering Disney Very Merriest After Hours tickets! :)
What are the typical cost for tickets?
This year's similar After Hours event, Boo Bash, runs about $129 to $199 per adult. Hope this helps!
We have 4 days for the parks but would like to spend more than a day in Magic Kingdom so we're trying to decide if adding this event would be a good way to do it or if it would be better to add park hopper instead.
Disney Very Merriest would be a great way to spend extra time in Magic Kingdom, especially if that's the only park you would want to visit for more than a day. After Hours events typically have very limited attendance, so wait times remain short and you can usually get a lot accomplished! However, something you should consider is that it would make your day much longer. If you have a younger tadpole or anyone in your party who gets tired easily, you may want to opt for Park Hoppers instead, which allows for a more flexible schedule.
We're planning a trip for this December (7-14th) which is normally a quiet part of the year. But with 50th anniversary and travel restrictions being let up, is there an anticipation that this year will be very crowded?
It's harder to predict exactly what crowds will be like this year since things are ever-changing so quickly, but we do expect the 50th Anniversary Celebration to bring in more crowds than usual.
Great information... many thanks.
I have a hotel reservation at the Contemporary Resort and want to purchase tickets for Magic Kingdom Disney Very Merriest event prior to August. How will I do this in advance of August?
We still don't have too many details about ticket information just yet, other than the fact they will go on sale next month. We're not sure exactly when the early release window will be for hotel guests, but if it follows a similar timeline for ticket sales for Disney Boo Bash After Hours, then hotel guests will have an early release window about a week in advance before tickets go on sale for the general public.
Do you think the very merry after hours event will be held on the Sunday right after Thanksgiving?
We are still waiting on exact dates, but we'll be sure to update once we know more! Since tickets go on sale in August, we expect we'll hear very soon :)
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