As a year-round resident of central Florida, I must admit that it’s a rare event when I visit a Disney park. In the past few months, I’ve actually been to Disney twice – once during EPCOT’s annual Food and Wine Festival, which is amazing, but a topic for another post, and once again more recently to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Holiday Party. My visit to Magic Kingdom was driven by the fact that I had some family in town who wanted to do the parks, but I have to say, it was one of my best experiences at a Disney park! Here’s a quick recap of my thoughts on this seasonal event.
I have been to the Very Merry party once before, but it was during a work trip and I was short on time. That said, I didn’t expect much to be different, but I was certainly surprised! Even in the two years since my last Very Merry experience, Disney wow’d me with their new additions.
One thing of note, separate admission is required for the Very Merry Holiday Party, so if you’re thinking you want to spend the day at Magic Kingdom, you’ll want to plan accordingly. Guests with only regular admission to the park, will need to exit by 7PM when the holiday event officially begins, and guests with only the special event admission have entry to the park between the hours of 4PM and Midnight. If you want to be in the park before 4PM and after 7PM, you’ll need to buy BOTH regular admission and the special event admission, which in true Disney style will cost you a pretty penny! Even annual pass holders, will need to pay separately for this event.
But back to the good stuff…
At 6:30PM, holiday festivities begin with the lighting of Cinderella’s Castle. This year, the lighting event was Frozen themed, and Elsa, Anna and Olaf were stars of the show. Since both regular admission guests and Very Merry guests are in the park at this time, you’ll want to stake out a space to view this event pretty early. Honestly though, I can’t think of many things that make you feel more festive than a Disney Castle decked out in Christmas lights!
As those who did not buy the special event admission are leaving leading up to 7PM, this is a great time to wander away from Town Square and Main Street into deeper areas of the park. The crowd is thin at this time so you’ll have much shorter lines for rides and character visits. I was able to ride the recently renovated Mad Hatter Teacups with absolutely no wait! There were also loads of characters around with shorter than usual wait times.
Also not to be missed are the free holiday treats! Who doesn’t love free hot chocolate and cookies? Especially when you wander upon a treat station when intending to pay for a snack!
Then at 7:30PM, a must not miss event takes place back in Town Square. Make your way back to Cinderella’s Castle for the Celebrate the Season light show. I am a die hard fireworks fan, but this may have been my favorite part of this holiday party! Such a creative idea! Check it out for yourself below.
Other highlights of this party include the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at 8:15PM (and again at 10PM), where Santa and his sleigh are the grand finale. And as with any trip to Magic Kingdom, the night isn’t complete until you’ve seen the fireworks at 9:30PM. Be prepared because fireworks aren’t just in front of you as you look toward Cinderella’s Castle, but they go off on from your left and right as well. It’s truly a magical event!
There is much more to do than I’ve captured here, including a variety of character shows, and it’s definitely a worthwhile trip! I’d highly recommend adding the Very Merry Holiday Party to your agenda for your next holiday season Disney vacation!
Happy Holidays all!