It’s hard to believe but the Christmas Season is again upon us! At this, the happiest time of the year, millions of families have their plans to celebrate and traditions to follow. For my wife and me, that means two things…Attending two of our favorite holiday parties at the Magic Kingdom- “Mickey’s Not-so-scary-Halloween Party and our favorite, “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” And we are not alone. Countless families have included these venues as part of their traditional Holiday celebrations.

As a member of the media, I was an invited guest for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at this year’s press event. The party is a separate hard-ticket event in addition to any regular park pass. Guests wanting to attend the parties, which are held on select nights from November 9th to December 21st, should realize that the Mickey’s Christmas party is extremely popular and advanced booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased on-line (Your best bet to get the date you want!), in person at the Ticket and Transportation center or at Guest Relations. You can purchase tickets on the night of the parties, but if they are sold out, as many dates are, you will be disappointed.

So what is in store for Christmas partygoers? Plenty. I have broken down the activities to give you an idea what’s in store…NOTE-Be sure to obtain a park guide map for the party!

ATTRACTIONS…There are select attractions open for the night.  Adventureland…Pirates of the Caribbean-Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  Tomorrowland…Tomorrowland Speedway-Space Mountain-Peoplemover-Astro Orbiter-Buzz Lightyear-Stitch’s Great Escape and Monsters Inc.  Fantasyland…The Great Goofini- Dumbo-Mad Tea Party-Winnie the Pooh-Prince Charming Regal Carousel-Mickey’s Philharmagic-Peter Pan-It’s a Small World.  Liberty Square…Haunted Mansion. Frontierland…Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. Note…It is possible that the Fantasyland Expansion area will be open, i.e. Ariel’s Undersea adventure, Be our Guest Restaurant, but since it is still in Soft-Opening mode, it will be up to Disney as to which night it’s available.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE…Again, select eateries are open… Main St. U.S.A.  The Bakery and Casey’s Corner.  Frontierland…Churro Wagon-Turkey Leg Cart-Westward Ho and Pecos Bill.  Liberty Square…Sleepy Hollow.  Fantasyland…Pinocchio Village Haus and Storybook Treats. Tomorrowland…The Lunching Pad and Cosmic Ray’s. There are of course the unlimited free hot chocolate and sugar cookies available throughout the night at select stations! (Check your park map for locations)

And what is a Christmas party without the parties and shows? There is entertainment galore all night, starting out with the decorations, Christmas Carols and snow all along Main St. USA. And, in my opinion, the focal point of the whole evening, Cinderella Castle. Nothing gives that warm Christmas Feeling all over than seeing the Castle all lit up and sparkling in millions of lights and colors. And what a beautiful picture it makes! The kids can Meet Santa next to City Hall at the Candy Cane Garden. There are two character dance parties…One is at the Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square. Dance with Woody, Jessie and the gang to country tunes and then head out to Tomorrowland at 7pm when an animated DJ takes over for Sonny Eclipse and the kids and parents along with Goofy and Pluto get a chance to do a little line dancing.

In Tomorrowland, on the Tomorrowland stage is a High-energy stage show with Mike Wazowski, Stitch and Buzz Lightyear; along with a fine dance troupe, celebrate Christmas in “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show” Times 7:45pm-8:45pm9:55pm-10:50pm and 11:45pm.  On the Castle forecourt is the extremely popular (Get there EARLY for a good spot!) “Celebrate the Season” show. Again with a talented cast of Dancers and singers, Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang celebrate the season in high style. ShowTime’s are at 7:45pm-10:05pm and 11:20pm.

And the headliners of the night are “Mickey’s Once upon a Christmastime Parade” starting off at Frontierland, the first one is at 8:15pm and the second one at 10:30pm.  Mickey, Minnie, Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow and all your favorite characters in special Christmas Floats help bring in the Christmas Season in style. And the crowd pleaser is “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Season” fireworks show. This is an amazing pyrotechnics display, choreographed to music, not to be missed. The show will be all around Main St and the Castle. Time is 9:30pm.  Here is a hint…Many guests begin to leave after the Fireworks. The best opportunity to see the parade and get a good viewing spot is at the second showing. One of my favorite spots is the mezzanine level in the Train Station. You get there a bit early and get an amazing unobstructed view of the parade and it’s a perfect place for pictures.

And don’t forget your Christmas shopping! There are plenty of presents to be had to fill those stockings up. The following merchandise stores are open…Emporium, Main St. USA, Uptown Jewelers, Main St. USA, Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar, Adventureland, Frontier Trading Post, Frontierland, Heritage House in Liberty Square, Fantasy Faire, Fantasyland and Mickey’s Star Traders in Tomorrowland.

Since this is a separate ticketed event, the crowd levels are a bit lower than a normal day. Lines for attractions and other venues are a little lighter. But it can still be crowded, especially on sold out nights. But even on busy nights, the lines are not that bad. As with regular days at the Magic Kingdom, the best time for your favorite attractions is during the parades and major shows. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins at 7pm and runs till 12am. But you can enter around 4pm. All ticket holders must get a wristband at the event entrance. Without one, you will be asked to leave the park.

The cost for the party is…Advance ticket purchase is $ 58.95 plus tax-Ages 10+ up- For ages 3yrs to 9 it’s $53.95 plus tax.  If purchased on the Day of the party…$64.95 plus tax, ages 10+up and $59.95 ages 3 to 9.  The dates for this year’s party are…November– 9, 12,15,25,27,29. In December– 2,4,6,9,11,13,16,18. Ticket prices for the dates of November 16, 30 and December 7, 14, and 20 are Advanced…10yrs and up $64.95 plus tax, 3yrs to 9… $59.95 plus tax, Day of the party, 10yrs and up $64.95 plus tax and 3yrs to 9, $59.95 plus tax. And for Friday, December 21st, it will cost…Advanced…10yrs and up…$67.95 plus tax, 3yrs to 9…62.95 plus tax. Same scale for day of the party.

But no matter what day you plan to attend, the party is the same on every day, so you can be assured that you’ll miss out on nothing whenever you come. I get the same question almost every year…”Is it worth the price?” And I will always answer with a resounding “Yes”! And I am in good company. Literary thousands of guests and their families have made Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party part of their Holiday tradition and cannot imagine the season without attending. It can be crowded, but the wonderful feeling the party brings is hard to explain. Christmas is a state of mind and I fully agree that MVMCP helps keep us in that state. See you all next year!

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