Attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is one of our absolute favorite ways to celebrate and spread Christmas cheer. This classic holiday event at Magic Kingdom occurs on select nights in November and December (last year's dates were Nov. 8 to Dec. 22, 2022). Enjoy Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, fireworks, castle show, special characters, food and drink and even snowfall on Main Street. You won't want to miss this special ticketed event! Here's all the frogciting details from last year as we await information for 2023. Let's hop in!
Overview of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
There's something about celebrating the holidays at Walt Disney World that just feels extra magical. The resort maximizes this magical season by transforming the theme parks into their own unique winter wonderlands promptly after Halloween comes to a close. While visiting during this special time, we always have to attend our favorite event, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
This special event occurs after regular park hours and requires a separate party ticket to enjoy all its exclusive offerings. Running from 7 p.m. to midnight on select nights, the party features rare characters, special entertainment, jolly-good treats and more! There is even “snowfall” on Main Street intermittently throughout the night. 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 returned in 2022 after a three-year hiatus, and while it may have rained during our visit, the weather still didn't dampen our holiday spirit! It was frogtastic to welcome back Moana, who was greeting guests once again at the Enchanted Tiki Room, as well as seeing the princes with their princesses. As always, the party was a great way to kick off the holiday season!
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Dates and Tickets
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is held on select nights at Magic Kingdom in November and December. Last year, the event ran from Nov. 8 to Dec. 22, 2022, so expect a similar range this year. The event runs from 7 p.m. to midnight and party guests can enter the park as early as 4 p.m. The park closes at 6 p.m. for daytime guests without an event ticket. You do not need a Disney Park Pass reservation if you're only attending the party (but if you have regular admission tickets and plan to arrive prior to 4 p.m., you would need a park reservation).
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a separately ticketed event, which means you must purchase a party ticket to attend. Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels are typically given a special early booking opportunity. Tickets are not yet available for 2023, but be sure to check back and save some green when purchasing through Undercover Tourist!
Best Days to Attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Pricing is the strongest indicator of what Disney expects to be its busiest days. Higher prices mean higher demand, and higher demand means bigger anticipated crowds. Cheaper tickets generally mean fewer crowds. The last three parties of the year are typically the most expensive as they are the closest to Christmas. Surprisingly, the first two are typically not the cheapest as 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. Many parties sell out, so we recommend purchasing tickets as soon as you know you want to attend. Disney does not publish attendance numbers, but these parties are always well-attended, so plan accordingly!
If you want to learn more about all of the festivities at Disney World going on during this time, check out our full guide to Disney World holiday events.
Before we get to 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. Hoppy news — there are usually a few super cute holiday-themed spirit jerseys available to purchase around property to keep you looking festive and feeling toasty warm! Less commonly, there can be a chance of rain. So it's always best to double-check the weather forecast before your trip!
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Entry Procedures
The party doesn't officially start until 7 p.m., but guests can get into the park starting at 4 p.m. with a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket. We highly recommend doing this, as this will 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 security and ticketing to be sure to arrive on time and enjoy the most of your evening. (Additionally, if you're driving, keep in mind the extra time to park and ride the monorail or the ferryboat — it can take about 30 minutes just to get to the entrance!)
Once you arrive at the entrance, cast members will direct you toward specific touchpoints for entry (often on the right-hand side, but be sure to double-check with signage or cast members). Wristbands are then given to party guests after going through the touchpoints. Be sure to grab a party map, as well!
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. New last year, guests received a complimentary 50th-themed ornament through this Market Street alleyway. There are also fun photo-ops to start off your visit.
Note: Magic Kingdom closes at 6 p.m. on party nights for regular daytime guests to allow for a smooth transition into party time.
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 locations typically are Tortuga Tavern, across from Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Chamber of Commerce. It’s important to snag these before the party starts — cast members will be on the lookout for wristbands as soon 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 Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland entrances. 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. If you have a late dining reservation, you may finish your meal and then a cast member will escort you to the exit.
New last year, party guests could enjoy three new photo opportunities throughout the park — in front of Cinderella Castle, Tomorrowland and Adventureland. There was also a complimentary 50th-anniversary ornament available on Market Street (or other wristband locations) until 8 p.m. Try not to froget to grab it, as these locations close early in the night and grabbing an ornament later can be more challenging. Guests were directed under the train station to get their ornament at the end of the night, but this location and timing could vary, so it's best to get it right away. If arriving to the party after 8 p.m., you will be handed your ornament after you get your wristband.
I know what you're thinking — I really don't want to carry around an ornament all night? Disney thought of that and the ornament is flat and in packaging, so you can just slide it in with the rest of your delicious cookie supply. Once you exit the park, you'll receive a 50th-anniversary commemorative holiday print.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Special Entertainment
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 (yes, you can smell Clarabelle Cow's cooking!).
The parade occurs twice and steps off in the 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 an hour ahead of showtime, and up to two hours for front-row viewing at the base of the giant Christmas tree. 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. If you’re OK with the tadpoles staying up past their bedtime, the second showing is usually less crowded. For the shortest wait, try for the second parade in Frontierland for easy spots close to kickoff. On a recent party, we got second-row spots by the entrance to Liberty Square about 15 minutes before parade kick-off, and the parade got to us about 8:40 p.m. We liked our section as it was right in front of Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe (I of course hopped in for some holiday shopping while we waited).
After the last Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party of the year, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is typically shown to day guests at Magic Kingdom through Dec. 31.
Showtimes: 8:30 p.m., 11 p.m.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
The fireworks spectacular show returned last year after making its debut at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in 2019. It's hosted by Minnie Mouse and features medleys of beloved holiday songs, including "Joy to the World" and "Deck the Halls." The fireworks only occur once, and there is no showing of Disney Enchantment on party nights.
Guests can book a fireworks dessert party with holiday-themed treats, seasonal fruits, cheeses and special drinks. Enjoy your sweets and reserved seating at the Tomorrowland Terrace or a reserved standing view at the Plaza Garden. (Check out our overview of the regular Magic Kingdom fireworks dessert parties to know what to expect).
Once the party season is over, Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks often run nightly until Dec. 29 to regular daytime guests. There will be no showing of regular fireworks on those nights.
Showtime: 10 p.m.
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 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.
In case of inclement weather, the stage show may be delayed or modified.
Once the party season is over, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration will run daily through Dec. 31 to regular daytime guests (showtimes vary).
Showtimes: 7:40 p.m., 9:25 p.m., 10:35 p.m., 11:55 p.m.
“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.
Showtimes: 7:45 p.m., 8:35 p.m., 9:25 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 11:35 p.m.
Also on the Rockettower Plaza Stage, the Edge Effect returns to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and alternates with A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas. We really recommend checking out these shows back-to-back and taking a small break in between to grab cookies and apple cider from The Lunching Pad. 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 great break and will get you into the spirit with their unbelievable talent.
Club Tinsel Dance Party
Dance the night away with a live DJ and holiday friends at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café from 7 p.m. to midnight. Polar bears, reindeer and elves 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. While the snowfall hoppens randomly throughout the night, you can typically find flurries down Main Street during both parades and all of Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration showings.
Join the Reindeer Wranglers in Frontierland for their holiday hoedown and enjoy seasonal songs with a country twist.
Showtimes: 7:15 p.m., 8:05 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 11:40 p.m.
Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam
The Disney Junior Jingle Jam in Storybook Circus takes place throughout the entire party so little ones can move and groove with their faves including Doc McStuffins, Fancy Nancy, 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.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Character Greetings and Rides
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!
Visit our Very Merry character guide for all the details on the 2022 character line-up!
Because it is a separately ticketed event, one of the party perks is significantly fewer guests in the park. And with so many special experiences available, ride waits are typically much shorter. Holiday ride overlays are back this year! The fan-favorite Jingle Cruise returns, as well as special enhancements to Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain and Mad Tea Party.
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 parades and showtimes. If you’re waiting to attend the 11 p.m. parade, then use the first showing time to hop on high-demand rides such as Jingle Cruise, 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. Power through all night and wait times in the last hour are all typically down to just five minutes!
Disney Genie+ is not available during the party. And note that wait times between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. will not appear in the My Disney Experience app, but all attractions should remain open to party guests during that time (The app sees the park as closing at 6 p.m. and then reopening at 7 p.m., but don't worry, the park is very much open during this time for you to enjoy before the real party begins at 7 p.m.).
Attractions Open During Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Jingle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- The Barnstormer
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- “it’s a small world”
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Space Mountain
- Astro Orbiter
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Mickey's PhilharMagic, Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree, Tom Sawyer Island and the Enchanted Tiki Room are closed during the party.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Dining and Merchandise
One of the extra perks of the party is the complimentary holiday treats! Keep an eye out for gigantic, inflatable peppermint sticks to signify a treat location. There are often a variety of cookies (snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, sugar and gingerbread) and beverages (hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog) throughout the park. Here are the holiday treat locations for 2022 so you can get an idea of what to expect for 2023:
- The Lunching Pad (Tomorrowland) — sugar cookie and apple cider
- Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (Tomorrowland) — snickerdoodle cookie and hot cocoa
- Pinocchio Village Haus (Fantasyland) — gingerbread cookie with icing and hot cocoa
- Columbia Harbor House (Liberty Square) — chocolate chip cookie and hot cocoa
- Tortuga Tavern (Adventureland) — sugar cookie and eggnog
All of the cookies are individually wrapped. This is perfect for those concerned about allergies ... or if you just want to stock up on your treat stash for the winter. Speaking of allergies, there are also allergen-friendly options. There should be Werther's Original sugar-free candies and Homefree cookies (gluten/allergy-free option) at each of the treat locations.
In addition to these complimentary (and did we mention, unlimited?) sweets and treats, there is also special seasonal food available for purchase. There are so many sweet goodies, such as the Mickey Mousse Ornament Treat from Main Street Bakery (pictured). It's almost too pretty to eat! For an interesting array of flavors, Casey's Corner offers both a Holiday Dinner hot dog with cranberry mustard, stuffing funnel cake and cheese curds, as well as Christmas Tree Cake, a red velvet brownie cheesecake with eggnog buttercream and spiced caramel. There's plenty of extra sugar to partake in with churros, doughnuts, milkshakes and more!
Only select restaurants are usually 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 so as to not spend precious party time grubbing, but there are also event-exclusive dining options.
Quick-Service Restaurants Open During Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:
- Main Street Bakery
- Casey's Corner
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
- Aloha Isle (until 9 p.m.)
- Sunshine Tree Terrace
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
- Sleepy Hollow
- The Friar's Nook
- Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
- Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies
- Cool Ship
Table-Service Restaurants Open During Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:
Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella's Royal Table are both open during the party. Reservations are available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and are highly recommended. You must have a party ticket in order to dine during the event.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Merchandise
For 2022, there is no party-exclusive merchandise. However, there is plenty of general Christmas merchandise throughout the resort, so we recommend shopping during your non-party time. The Emporium at Magic Kingdom and World of Disney at Disney Springs have the most holiday offerings available. Check out our holiday wishlist for our favorite merchandise and shopping tips!
New this year, all guests will receive a free commemorative print and ornament!
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Tips
Here are three major tips we adhere to when attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party this year!
1. Have a Plan
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 really need 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! Fresh out of the frogs' workshop, we've put together a hopful Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Park Plan to download and take with you.
2. Arrive Early for Entertainment
Make sure to allow for extra time to get in place for the shows and parades — Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks — as the hub around Cinderella 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 a front-row view isn't a priority, you can come in after that and still find great spots.
3. Stay Until the End of the Party
There are heavier crowds at the beginning of the party, but as the night winds down (especially noticeable after the fireworks), the crowds lighten up. Crowd levels vary by party, but it's safe to say that you'll want to stay until the very end to maximize your time because there's soooo much to do. (Special fireworks, exclusive character meet-and-greets and free cookies, oh my!)
Because the party is a separately ticketed event, we hear that many other frog families often question, “Is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party worth the extra price tag?” It really depends on what you want out of the experience and if you can budget the extra cost. Many families use party day to sleep in, explore Disney Springs or resort hop to see holiday decorations before heading into Magic Kingdom to get their jingle on, using the savings from what would have been regular park admission toward paying for their party tickets. Keep in mind that Magic Kingdom closes early on party days, so if you opt out of the party, your time will be best spent at a different park if you’re looking for a full park day.
If you’re only going for the shorter lines at rides, it’s probably not worth it. But if you love getting into the Christmas spirit and want to see all of the exclusive characters, shows and parades that the party has to offer, we think it’s toadally worth it. Come dressed for the occasion, and wear matching Christmas shirts ... or pajamas! Just be sure to plan ahead and maximize your time there by arriving early!
For us, we love all the holiday hoopla surrounding Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 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 who have never attended, we'd love to answer any questions!
Related: Complete Guide to Disney World Holiday Events