Psst. Psst. Have you heard the news? Walt Disney World has changed its ticketing options, and we're hoppy to be offering discounts on date-based and flexible-date tickets. Read here for more details on all the changes and how to choose the right Disney ticket. Ready to save? Here are a few of the most popular options:
- 5-Day Disney Theme Park Base Ticket ... Save up to $47 vs. adult gate price!
- 5-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper Option ... Save up to $67 vs. adult gate price!
- 6-Day Disney Theme Park Base Ticket ... Save up to $47 vs. adult gate price!
- 6-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper Option ... Save up to $63 vs. adult gate price!
- 7-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper Option ... Save up to $63 vs. adult gate price!
See all of our discount Disney Theme Park Tickets!
Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing? How about the click-clack of the nutcrackers and reindeer dancing on Main Street? It's officially the Christmas season at Magic Kingdom, and we've already started celebrating with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018. You know we can't resist any combination of Disney and Christmas, so we hopped on over to the first party of the year. As this was a sold out party, we think we have a pretty good idea of what to expect and how to tackle your night.
Disney World maximizes this magical season by transforming the park into a winter wonderland promptly after Halloween comes to a close. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 is a separately ticketed event, which means you must purchase a party ticket to attend.
Since we get questions year-round about this event — yes, really! — it's always a good time to get a hop on the holiday spirit ... but especially now that Christmastime is in full swing! We've filled this guide with all of the need-to-know details about Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018. Be sure to bookmark this page, because we'll be sharing even more information as the season progresses. Our Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Guide is quite large, so we've added some helpful links to take you to key topics.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Dates, Tickets and Pricing
The party typically starts about week after the last Halloween party in early November and runs through late December. Prices typically increase each year, and select dates are likely to be more expensive than others. Be sure to check out our discounted event tickets!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Dates:
- November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30
- December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets start at $95 in advance or $105 at the gate, if available. Be warned: It might just be us, but the sold-out party we attended this year seemed busier than the sold-out one we went to last year. Disney does not publish attendance numbers, and these parties are always well attended, so plan accordingly!
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Crowds & Best Days to Attend
Pricing is the strongest indicator of what Disney expects to be its busiest days. Higher prices means higher demand, and higher demand means bigger anticipated crowds. Cheaper tickets generally mean less crowds. The last three parties of the year are typically the most expensive, and the first two are not the cheapest. This makes sense. Some families decide to go all out and time their vacations so that they can experience both the last Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Generally, Friday and Saturday nights are expected to be very busy. Some of the Thursdays are less expensive than Tuesdays. Based on pricing, the best week to attend is the one before Thanksgiving.
If you want to learn more, check out our full guide to Disney World holiday events.
Before we get into the party itself, we have a weather warning! This time of year can be consistently inconsistent. Sometimes Florida can be true to the Christmas season with temperatures in the low 60s, but more often than not, highs are in the 80s. We find it can go from a hot, muggy day to a chilly night pretty quickly. So wear a flexible outfit with layers to accommodate whatever Florida throws your way.
Entrance Procedures & Overview of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018
The party doesn’t officially start until 7 p.m. (and runs through 12 a.m.), but you can get into the park starting at 4 p.m. with your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket. We highly recommend doing this, as this will you give you more time to ride a few rides and have an early dinner before the party-exclusive activities begin. Of course, allot time for bag check and ticketing to be sure to arrive on time and enjoy the most of your evening. Be sure to head toward the separate event entrance in order to receive your wristband.
Note: Magic Kingdom closes at 6 p.m. on party nights for regular daytime guests to allow for a smooth transition into party time.
Upon entering, beginning at 4 p.m., party guests have a VIP entrance through the backside of Main Street behind Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. This was the first treat spot for 2018 as cast members handed out Santa sugar cookies. There were also fun photo-ops with props and a few merchandise kiosks for those interested in special holiday Mickey ears or a T-shirt.
If you are already enjoying a day at Magic Kingdom, you can stop by a wristband station to swipe your ticket and have a cast member apply your wristband. The most convenient locations we found were near Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and Mickey’s Philharmagic. It’s important to snag these before the party starts — cast members will be on the lookout for wristbands as 6 p.m. hits! You can find cast members filtering guests out at major intersections throughout the park — primarily when you’re headed from Main Street, U.S.A. into the Fantasy, Adventure, Frontier and Tomorrowland entrances. Be sure to keep your wristbands on and visible, as cast members will be keeping an eye out for them throughout the night while you are waiting for the parade or shows to begin.
For those of you reading this who will not be attending the party and hoping to stick around past 6 p.m., we wouldn’t count on it. Cast members will not allow you on any rides or into certain areas without a wristband and will promptly lead you toward the park exit.
Planning is critical at these parties as time is limited and experiences are endless. Because they get crowded and are packed with special activities, including meet-and-greets with rare characters — or your favorites in their fun holiday attire — YOU MUST have a plan. Start by identifying your family’s not-to-miss activities and then fill in the gaps when you get to the park with some unexpected surprises. There are more fun things to see and do than a typical family could probably accomplish in one night, so set your expectations in advance! Make sure to allow for extra time to get in place for the expected shows and parades — A Frozen Holiday Wish, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, and Holiday Wishes — as the hub around Cinderella's Castle and Main Street U.S.A. get very crowded. You need to arrive at least 30 minutes early even for the second parade to have a shot at the front row of viewing. If front row isn't a priority, you can come in after that and still find great spots.
There is a “snowfall” on Main Street before the parades and then at the end of the evening. Tad and Lily especially lovvvveeee to stuff their bellies with the cookies and hot chocolate that are given out around the park for free.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Schedule of Events (times from last year are subject to change for 2018):
- A Frozen Holiday Wish - 6:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m.
- Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration - 7:40 p.m., 9:25 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 11:55 p.m.
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade - 8:30 p.m., 11 p.m.
- Holiday Wishes—Celebrate the Spirit of the Season - 10 p.m.
- A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas - 7:45 p.m., 8:35 p.m., 9:25 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 11:35 p.m.
- The Edge Effect - 8:10 p.m., 9 p.m., 10:20 p.m., 11:10 p.m.
- Club Tinsel - 7 p.m.-12 a.m.
- Snowfall on Main Street - intermittently
Expected Character Greetings at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018
Special characters are one of the main draws of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Rare characters such as Jack Skellington aka Sandy Claws and the princes can be found, and “regular” characters are out in their holiday finest. This is such a fun, exciting part of the season and an excellent photo-op. (Don’t worry, PhotoPass+ photographers can be found with each character, except for those “roaming” as listed below.)
With the new 6 p.m. closing time for regular park guests, it seems that characters are stricter about starting their meet-and-greets at 7 p.m., rather than many of the early appearances we've seen in the past. This may vary by party though, so if high demand characters are a top priority for you, be sure to ask nearby cast members how soon your faves will be meeting.
While in the past we have recommended lining up for your favorite characters prior to the start of the party, we might be adjusting our technique. We found wait times to be significantly shorter later in the night. Sandy Claws was down to a 45-minute wait just before the first showing of the parade marched down Main Street. We recommend visiting Sandy during this time and catching the second showing of the parade!
Crowds die down later in the night and characters become less of a priority. Anytime after Holiday Wishes at 10 p.m., you're likely to shorter waits. With so much to do at the party, we’d hate to spend so much time waiting in line. Most characters have at least an hour wait time, so be sure to prioritize who your Frog Squad REALLY wants to meet ahead of time.
Expected character meet-and-greets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 (subject to change):
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Santa Claus (Main Street Courtyard)
- Mickey Mouse (Town Square Theater)
- Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws and Sally (Town Square Theater, where Tinkerbell normally meets)
- Aladdin + Abu, Jasmine + Genie (alternating every 30 minutes next to The Magic Carpets of Aladdin)
- Captain Jack Sparrow (across from Pirates of the Caribbean ride)
- Moana (in the Tiki Room)
- Peter Pan (roaming)
- The Country Bears (roaming)
- Ariel and Prince Eric (across from Under the Sea~Journey of The Little Mermaid)
- Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Aurora and Prince Phillip, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Tiana and Naveen, Princess Elena of Avalor (Princess Fairytale Hall)
- Snow White and her Prince (near Princess Fairytale Hall)
- Belle (to the right side of Bonjour! Village Gifts)
- Pooh and Friends (next to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh)
- The Seven Dwarfs (inside Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus)
- Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck (Storybook Circus)
- Santa Goofy (next to Barnstormer exit in Storybook Circus)
- Mary Poppins and Bert (next to Mickey’s Philarmagic)
- Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps (at the exit of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin)
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Entertainment & Rides
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
By far our favorite part of the night is Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade. We love it so much that we go to both showings! Dancing nutcrackers, gingerbread men, reindeer and the big man himself — Santa — join your favorite Disney characters for a gorgeous parade complete with scented floats. Keep an eye out for lesser-seen characters such as Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz.
The parade steps off in Frontierland Area, follows the waterway until it reaches Liberty Square, crosses the Liberty Square Bridge, circles Central Plaza in front of Cinderella Castle, heads down Main Street, U.S.A., circles Town Square in front of the Walt Disney World Railroad Station and ends next to Harmony Barbershop. Note: If watching from Town Square, the parade won't reach you until about 20 minutes after its scheduled start time.
If you want a prime parade spot along Main Street, U.S.A. or in front of the castle, we recommend snagging your seats at least 45 minutes ahead of showtime for front row viewing. If you don’t want to waste valuable party time waiting, try for a less popular spot in Frontierland or near the train station in Town Square. We were lucky enough to grab seats by the flagpole facing the train station with only 20 minutes to spare! However, we really recommend taking the time to view from one of our favorite spots like in front of Cinderella Castle facing the bridge from Liberty Square. If you’re OK with the tadpoles staying up past their bedtime, the 11 p.m. showing is usually much less crowded.
A Frozen Holiday Wish
Get swept up in the holiday spirit as Queen Elsa uses her powers to create a sparkling, icy centerpiece for the celebration. This show is short and sweet at less than 10 minutes long, and a must-see for Frozen fans. Even if Anna and Elsa aren’t your favorite, it is a truly magical moment to see the castle come alive with its iconic, glowing icicles. While you can catch Queen Elsa's lighting of Cinderella Castle in icy, glittering lights any time during the holiday season, not just the party, you definitely don't want to miss it. Anna, Kristoff and Olaf join her in a brief stage show leading up to the big reveal!
“Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” Fireworks
Since the beloved, year-round “Wishes” spectacular retired in 2017, this holiday edition is only that much more sought after. Because this show isn’t too dependent on castle projections, you can really view the spectacular from anywhere in the park — but we like the spot in the middle of Main Street, U.S.A. next to Casey’s corner best. Disney is offering a Holiday Wishes dessert premium package for this event at an extra cost.
Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration
Mickey and Minnie host their very own holiday party and invite your favorite Disney pals to ring and sing in the holidays with classic carols and new favorites. It includes medleys of holiday tunes, both classic and contemporary, and features Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto, who are celebrating just a few days before Christmas. Woody, Jessie, Peter Pan, Snow White, Alice, the White Rabbit and many more stop by! The highlight of this show for us is the iconic Clarabelle Cow belting out “All I Want for Christmas is You” in true Mariah Carey fashion while strutting her stuff in a silver sequin dress.
“A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” Show
Taking place on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland, we find A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas to be the most underrated part of the whole party. This hilarious show follows the storyline of Stitch trying to hunt down Santa to bring snow to Tomorrowland. There are plenty of jokes along the way as Stitch tries to come to grips with who exactly Santa is, and the best way to hunt down his reindeer. In the meantime, Buzz Lightyear and Mike Wazowski each have their own brilliant musical numbers. Tad and Lily especially love this show as it’s suited for the younger audience and even has a kids-only area at the front of the stage. With five performances, this is one that you can fit in as you have time or in passing.
The Edge Effect
The Edge Effect (formerly VoicePlay) returns to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for alternating shows between A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas last year. We really recommend checking out these shows back-to-back, and taking the small break in between to grab cookies and a snow-cone from Auntie Gravity’s. The Edge Effect is an incredible a capella group that will wow you with its vocals-only performances of classic Christmas tunes. This show is a really great break from the chaos of characters at the party and will really get you into the spirit with their unbelievable talent.
Dance the night away with a live DJ and holiday friends at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, where Sonny Eclipse can usually be found performing. Polar bears, reindeer and elves will groove with your tadpoles to fun musical hits. We love mingling with the iconic parade reindeer!
Snowfall on Main Street
Snowfall in Florida is magical enough, but you can’t miss the beauty of snow fluttering down in Magic Kingdom. You can find flurries down Main Street during both parades and all of the Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration showings.
Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam
Following the success of a similar dance party taking place at this year's Halloween Party, the Disney Junior Jingle Jam takes place throughout the entire party so little ones can move and groove with their faves like Vampirina and Timon. We recommend hopping over here before you sit and wait for the parade to get any extra tadpole energy out prior to staying in one place for a while.
Because it is a separately ticketed event, one of the party perks are significantly less guests in the park. And with so many special experiences available, ride waits are typically much shorter. If you aren't able to get ahold of a Seven Dwarfs FastPass+ during your trip, the party may be the perfect time to ride it.
The Frog Family is usually too busy hoppin’ from character to character and enjoying the special shows to tackle too many coasters, but we do have a few tips. In our experience, the wait times get shorter and shorter as the night goes on. Aside from waiting until later in the night, the best time to hit popular rides is during parade and show times. If you’re waiting to attend the 11 p.m. parade, then use the first showing time to hop on the high-demand rides such as Seven Dwarfs and Peter Pan’s Flight. The wait times will be significantly shorter since so many people will be lined up on Main Street for the parade. We found the popular rides anywhere between a 10- and 45-minute wait depending on the time of night.
While we may be alone in this — one of our favorite memories is seeing Wishes fireworks while riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s a magical, surreal experience and a way to enjoy two magical things at once — and there are significantly shorter lines during the fireworks!
“Smaller” rides such as Mad Tea Party and “it’s a small world” will have a consistently short wait that typically won’t exceed more than 20 minutes throughout the night. These are great to quickly hop on if you have time to kill before a show!
Attractions expected to be open during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018:
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
- Town Square Theater
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jingle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Under the Sea~Journey of The Little Mermaid
- The Barnstormer
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Space Mountain
- Astro Orbiter
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Snacks & More
Keep an eye out for gigantic, inflatable peppermint sticks to signify a treat location! Check out the brochure for the great variety of sweets being offered at this year’s party, and note that each location has different offerings. We always like to stop by Tortuga Tavern for the party's salty selection, a snowman soft pretzel. Our favorite stop this year was Cosmic Ray's for a Snickerdoodle cookie and hot cocoa. There are an assortment of beverages too, including Eggnog, Chilled Apple Cider, Hot Chocolate and Sno-Cones.
Good news, folks! All of the cookies we came across are now individually wrapped. This is perfect for those concerned about allergies ... or if you just want to stock up your treat stash for the winter ;) Speaking of allergies, most treat locations offer allergen-friendly locations. You can ask the cast member at the front what the options are.
In addition to these complimentary (and did we mention, unlimited?) sweets and treats, there are also special seasonal food available such as a Sugar Rush Jumbo Cupcake and Mickey Ornament Gingerbread Cookie. Our favorite, you ask? The Vanellope Éclair from Gaston's Tavern was delish and a hit with the whole frog family.
Only select restaurants are open during party time throughout the park, so plan ahead. We recommend snagging a big dinner before the party and then snacking throughout the night as to not spend precious party time grubbing, but there are also event-exclusive dining options, including the Fireworks Holiday Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace.
Restaurants Open During Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018:
- Main Street Bakery
- Casey's Corner
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
- Aloha Isle
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
- Columbia Harbour House
- Liberty Square Market
- Sleepy Hollow
- Gaston's Tavern
- Storybook Treats
- Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
- The Lunching Pad
New for 2018! — Tony's Most Merriest Town Square Party
Beginning at 9:30 p.m., guests can pop in and out of Tony's Town Square restaurant for hors d'oeuvres and sweets during the brand-new Tony's Most Merriest Town Square Party. There will be Tony's famous meatballs, hand-tossed mini pizzas, boursin-stuffed artichokes, pumpkin tartlets, Yule Logs and more! There will also be complimentary beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Plus, Tony's Most Merriest Town Square Party guests will get access to special reserved seating for the second parade showing of the evening at 11 p.m. Tony's guests can keep the party going until 12:30 a.m., even after Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party ends! Reservations open Oct. 30 (Oct. 29 for passholders and DVC members) by calling 407-827-7348. The price is $99 per person (plus tax), and yes, you still need regular Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party admission.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Merchandise
Christmas is a dangerous time for my wallet and I to be at Disney. Not only do I adore all of the wonderful décor and adorable present options, but the event-exclusive merchandise is pretty tough to say no to.
While of course general Christmas merchandise can be found throughout the park, the brochure highlights where to find party-exclusive gear. If you’re an annual passholder, there are special products just for you too. We found the Emporium to be the one-stop shop for everything you could possibly be looking for, and it wasn’t too crowded. (Bummer — during the first party of the year, Big Top Souvenirs and Star Traders didn't yet have the merch promised in the party brochure. Be sure to ask a cast member before hiking across the park, or find it all in one place at the Emporium to be safe.)
While it’s not exactly “merchandise,” know that there is usually a special holiday Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card. Last year's featured Rover of Carousel of Progress. This is our favorite we have ever seen, so we can't wait to see what 2018 brings!
For us, we love all the holiday hoopla surrounding Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 and savor our time (and the cocoa!) at this annual event. We'd love to hear your thoughts about the party, and especially for those of you have never attended, we'd love to answer any questions! Check out the When to Visit Orlando page inside our Orlando Planning Timeline for more tips!