Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Guide

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a ticketed Christmas event held in the Magic Kingdom on select nights in November and December. Christmas is inarguably the most Magical time of year at Walt Disney World, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the most Christmas you can find in Walt Disney World, so the party is one of the flagship events on the Walt Disney World calendar.

In this post, we outline everything you need to know in anticipation of the 2018 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This post was last updated on November 8 following our visit to the very first party of 2018!

What This Guide Covers

This guide starts with the basics—how ticketed Disney World events work, dates, prices, buying tickets, and the official event guide map. Then we move onto the specifics of the party.

We start with “Holiday Treats,” the free snacks given away at the party. Then we cover character appearances during the party, including a complete roster of the characters and a rough idea of the waits you can expect.

After that, we move onto scheduled entertainment. Besides giving you the entire schedule, we briefly discuss the entertainment, which includes an exclusive parade and an exclusive firework show.

Speaking of exclusives, next up is exclusive food and merchandise. These are items that are only available at the party! We follow that up with a quick talk about the rides that are open during the party.

We finish it up with some talk about Magic Shots, some unlisted elements of the party—such as special park theming and unlisted character appearances—and our closing thoughts on the party.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates & Prices

How Special Ticketed Events Like This Work

You might be confused about how these ticketed events work. Who needs a ticket? Why should I buy a ticket to this if I have one to the park already? And so on.

First, only people who hold tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are allowed in Magic Kingdom on party days after 7PM. Disney will begin closing the park to people without tickets to the event at 6PM. Tickets can be loaded onto your Magic Band through your My Disney Experience account just like other Walt Disney World tickets.

mickeys very merry christmas party magic bands.jpg

That means that even if you have park hopper tickets, tickets specifically for Magic Kingdom, or even a Walt Disney World annual pass, you won’t be allowed to be in the park after 6PM/7PM without a ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

very merry tips 4pm.JPG

Disney typically monitors these events using wristbands. If you’re already in the park because you had a park ticket for that day and you have a ticket for the special event, you’ll go to a designated wristband location to get your wristband.

mvmcp wristband.JPG

This bring us to our second big point. Individuals who have tickets only for the party can enter the park as early as 4PM. Disney does not openly state this anywhere, but it is true of both this party and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

mickeys very merry christmas party christmas.jpg

When you enter on your event ticket after 4PM, you’ll immediately be given a wristband. The party ends at midnight. As is typical in Disney parks, shops and the park itself remain open sometime thereafter.

mvmcp main street night.JPG

We’ll cover more about the party specifically below, but suffice to say you cannot enjoy the party-specific activities, including food and merchandise, without this separate ticket.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be held on the following dates: November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, and 30; December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21st.

Notably the party is not held on Thanksgiving week and it ceases on December 21st, four days before Christmas. Most dates are Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, but the November 12 party is on a Monday.

mickeys very merry christmas party castle.jpg

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Prices

Prices for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party start at $101.18 (including tax) for adults and $95.85 for children. The last party, on December 21, costs the highest, at $127.80 for children and $133.13 for adults. Tickets are $10 more expensive at the gates, except for the December 21 party.

Buying Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets

We buy our tickets (and adovcate buying) through Lauren Quirk at Enchanted Escapes Travel. You can also purchase tickets to the party through Disney World directly or through a trusted discount Disney World ticket seller like Undercover Tourist. So far, we haven’t seen discounts on these tickets, but it’s always worth comparing prices. Annual passholders can get a $5 discount on certain dates.

mickeys very merry christmas party christmas 2.jpg

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Map & Times Guide

The map and times guide for the party are combined in a single brochure:

Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Map 1.JPG
Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Map 2.JPG

Holiday Treats During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We loved the holiday treats at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party so much they actually made us pretty sick by the end of the night (in a good way).

mickeys very merry treats.JPG

Holiday Treats — Basics

In 2018, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers seven treat stops across the park. The stops don't all have every treat. Instead, you’ll basically find a food-beverage pairing at each site. The sites are all marked with a candy-cane marker.

mickeys very merry christmas party snack marker.JPG

While these stops aren’t always the most organized, even on a sold out party day you’ll be in and out in under five minutes at worst. At most of them, you’'ll just walk up to a counter or Cast Member, grab your free snack, and go.

mvmcp counter.JPG

As with the halloween party, you can go through these stops as many times as you’d like, and believe us, you’ll be making multiple trips.

Holiday Treats — Menu

The pairings for 2018 are:

  • Adventureland, Tortuga Tavern—Snowman Soft Pretzel; Sno-cone

  • Liberty Square, Ticket Office—Ginger Molasses Cookie, Eggnog

  • Fantasyland, Pinocchio Village House—all four cookies, Fanta or Hot Chocolate

  • Fantasyland, Friar’s Nook—Chilled apple cider (we think just apple juice); pieces of DOVE chocolate

  • Fantasyland, Storybook Circus—Peppermint Crunch Cookie (this one can be sort of hidden and it looks like two Cast Members just standing, holding boxes)

  • Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe—Snickerdoodle Cookie; Hot Chocolate

  • Tomorrowland, Auntie Gravity’s—Chocolate Chip Cookie; Sno-cone

Holiday Treats — Scheduling

You don’t need to plan around the holiday treats. If you’re not waiting on characters, the beginning of the party is a good time to get your snacks. The lines will be a tad longer, but we’re talking 5 minutes versus none.

mickeys very merry christmas party treat line.JPG

Really, though, you can also just go to the snack stops in between shows and start hoarding (or eating during shows). The cookies are packaged now, which makes it a lot easier to take them home.

Party-Exclusive Character Greetings

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers unique character greetings you can’t experience any other time of year, even during Christmas outside of the party.

mickeys very merry christmas party characters 3.JPG

Which Characters Are At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

These range from characters you don’t usually see, like Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws, to mainstays like Mickey and Minnie in their Christmas finest. In 2018, there were 15 designated character stops on the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party map (“&” indicates one line for two characters, “/” indicates separate characters at a single designated location):

  1. Jack & Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) (started at 4:30PM) / Mickey at Town Square Theater

  2. Santa at Candy Cane Garden

  3. Nick & Judy (Zootopia) at Tomorrowland

  4. Pooh & Friends outside The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  5. Ariel & Eric across from Ariel’s Grotto

  6. Belle at Gaston’s Tavern

  7. The Seven Dwarfs at Pete’s Silly Sideshow (started at 6:15PM)

  8. Donald & Scrooge McDuck at Casey Jr. / Minnie & Daisy at Fantasyland Station

  9. Santa Goofy at Barnstormer

  10. Cinderella & Prince Charming / Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall

  11. Aurora & Prince Philip / Snow White & The Prince outside Pinocchio Village Haus

  12. Mary Poppins & Bert behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe

  13. Jasmine & Genie at The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

  14. Moana at The Enchanted Tiki Room (started at 5:45PM)

  15. Jack Sparrow outside Pirates of the Caribbean

I’ve bolded the ones that started early on the first night.

mickeys very merry christmas party characters 2.JPG

Character Wait Times & Strategy

The characters who started early were the ones that consistently had longer lines, though by the end of the night Moana was down to a five minute wait. For Jack & Sally or The Seven Dwarfs, it’s definitely best to arrive early and hop right in line. The longest line we heard while we were there was Jack & Sally at two hours.

mickeys very merry christmas party characters 1.JPG

The other characters had shorter waits with a bit of ebb and flow. For the most part, they capped at 45 minutes and hovered around 30 minutes. After 10PM’s Holiday Wishes firework show, you’ll see most of these down under 15 minutes. The challenge of meeting characters after 10PM, though, is that several have to disappear for the 11PM parade.

mickeys very merry christmas party characters 4.JPG

You could easily meet any three characters by visiting one before the party starts, one right at the start, and one after 10PM. If you don’t care for any of the one’s starting early, you’ll be able to fit two in right at the start or after 10PM.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Shows & Entertainment

Before we get to the shows and entertainment of the party, we want to highlight their importance. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is almost entirely driven by the stage shows, fireworks, and parade. To see every one of them, your schedule is going to be packed!

mickeys very merry christmas party parade 2.jpg

Christmas Party Entertainment Schedule

Since you (probably) only have one night at the party, you’re going to need to make sure to plan your schedule wisely. Typically, you’re going to have a stretch were you just hop from show to show with maybe enough time for a snack break, but probably not character appearance or rides (you have to do those earlier or later).

With one minor change, the schedule for 2018 is identical to 2017. The minor change is that VoicePlay has been replaced by The Edge Effect. Here is the full schedule:

  • A Frozen Holiday Wish — 8:15PM (once per night, must watch!)

  • Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade — 8:30PM, 11PM (plan to watch both)

  • Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration — 7:40PM, 9:25PM, 10:30PM, 11:55PM

  • Holiday Wishes — 10PM (once per night, must watch)

  • The Edge Effect — 8:10PM, 9PM, 10:20PM, 11:10PM

  • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas — 7:45PM, 8:35PM, 9:25PM, 10:45PM, 11:35PM

I’ve bolded our suggested schedule, which includes two viewings of the parade and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration. You can obviously cut the second viewing if you have other priorities, like character appearances. As you can see, if you want to make multiple showings of the biggest shows, you aren’t left with much spare time.

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (Castle Stage)

This castle stage show is back! It held four times a night at 7:40PM, 9:25PM, 10:30PM, and 11:55PM. Try not to wait for the last showing on this one, as you may want to watch it twice. The show is a standard castle show, with Mickey and friends getting together for some Christmas fun.

mickeys very merry christmas party mickey show.jpg

A Frozen Holiday Wish (Castle Stage)

This castle stage show is also back! It is held once a night at 8:15PM. Since it’s once a night, it is one of the fixed things on your schedule. It’s a brief show with little plot, but it culminates in a great lighting of Cinderella Castle. We find this to be the best “kickoff” to your evening’s entertainment, which is partly why we suggest is be your first show of the night.

mickeys very merry christmas party frozen wish.jpg

Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (Parade)

The flagship parade of the party has returned and occurs twice a night at 8:30PM and 11:00PM along the route from Frontierland and down Main Street U.S.A. We’re actually split on the parade, but we both agree that you should watch the 8:30PM parade in case you decide you want to see it twice.

mvmcp santa.JPG

A Totally Tommorowland Christmas (tomorrowland Stage)

This five-time-a-night stage show over in Tomorrowland also returned. It is held at 7:45PM, 8:35PM, 9:25PM, 10:45PM, and 11:35PM. The three-act show features Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, and Mike Wazowski engaging in some creative variations of Christmas songs. We think it’s worth your 15 minutes.

mickeys very merry christmas party tomorrowland party.jpg

Holiday Wishes (Fireworks)

Holiday Wishes is the flagship firework show of the party. It is held once a night at 10PM, and is the second “fixed” item on your schedule. Holiday Wishes doesn’t lean too heavily on projections—it’s much more of a classic firework show. That said, there are some cute effects, and the fireworks and soundtrack are great.

mickeys very merry christmas party holiday wishes.jpg

Club Tinsel (Cosmic Ray’s, Dance Party)

Club Tinsel is a dance party held in Cosmic Ray's from 7PM to 12AM. Kids can have a chance to dance with some bears and reindeer throughout the night.

mickeys very merry christmas party club tinsel.JPG

Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam

Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam is a dance party in the back of Storybook Circus held from 7PM to 12AM. Kids will get to dance with Timon.

The Edge Effect (Tomorrowland Stage)

The Edge Effect has replaced VoicePlay! This a cappella holiday concert takes four times a night in Tomorrowland, at 8:10PM, 9PM, 10:20PM, and 11:10PM. This one is more of a “swing by and see” show.

mickeys very merry christmas party the edge effect.JPG

A Magical Snowfall (Main Street U.S.A.)

Snow falls on Main Street U.S.A. as part of the parade and at the time the park closes.

mickeys very merry christmas party snow.jpg

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Merchandise & Food

The party also will has exclusive merchandise, including t-shirts, pins, accessories and so much more. Rather than post individual pictures, we’re just going to go with a gallery:

There are a ton of foods that so far seem to be party exclusive. They’re not advertised as such, so some of them may pop up later on Magic Kingdom’s regular menus. Among the ones we encountered were:

  • Spiced Chocolate Yule Log at Pecos Bill

  • Churros with Red and Green Sugar at Pecos Bill

  • Feliz Navidad Nachos at Pecos Bill

  • Sandy Claws Dessert at Sleepy Hollow

  • Vanellope eclair at Gaston’s Tavern

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Berry Lemonade at Cosmic Ray’s

Note that these are different from the free, included Holiday Treats at the designated locations. Most of these cost $4.99 or $5.99. Here’s a gallery of some of these treats:

The “Dining” section of the map lists even more, and you can read more about the offerings at Disney Food Blog.

Rides and Attractions During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party featured three exclusive ride overlays. The Christmas Party, unfortunately, gets no exclusive overlays.

Jingle Cruise, a holiday version of Jungle Cruise operates during the party. That overlay is operational throughout the holiday season, not just at parties. So if you’re going to be at Magic Kingdom any other time during the Christmas season, you might want to plan to ride it then instead of wasting precious party time on it.

mickeys very merry christmas party jingle cruise.jpg

Beyond that, you can look at the map to see the Magic Kingdom rides expected to be open during the party. Because of the high price and many exclusive things during the party, we really recommend planning to ride any rides!

If you’re thinking about rides, look to get on them between 4PM and 8PM or (for shorter lines) after you’ve seen all the entertainment options. Finally, don’t worry about using Walt Disney World FastPass+ during the party, the system is inactive during party hours.

Magic Shots

There are four “Magic Shot” locations during the party where you can get special PhotoPass Magic Shots unique to the party. These are indicated on the map. Unfortunately, you’ll have to purchase Memory Maker or otherwise have access (like though an annual pass) to enjoy the photos.

We haven’t yet had a chance to grab any of these Magic Shots. The Disney Parks Blog previewed them, though.

Happenings Around The Party

Besides everything that is promoted on the website, parks blog, or guide map, there are plenty of smaller touches throughout the park.

Over in Frontierland, you’ll find the Country Bears and some performers singing some Christmas tunes.

The entrance to Tomorrowland has some nice projections.

mickeys very merry christmas party tomorrowland 2.JPG

Here’s an overexposed look at the snow on Main Street, U.S.A.

mickeys very merry christmas party snow 2.JPG

Pirates of the Caribbean gets an interesting holiday projection.

mickeys very merry christmas party pirates of the caribbean.JPG

And Main Street, U.S.A. is lit with a variety of colors that change as Christmas songs play.

mickeys very merry christmas party main street lights.JPG

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party - Conclusions

We were pleasantly surprised that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party exceeded our high expectations. Coming off the Halloween party, we thought we were pretty calibrated. It turns out, though, that the Christmas party is so much more jam packed.

mickeys very merry christmas party entrance lights.JPG

We highly recommend the party for anyone with a love of Disney or Christmas. We’ll actually be returning later this season, and hopefully we’ll add to our great experiences!

All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered

Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.

When it comes time to book, we've got you covered with posts on how to book cheap flights, how to get the best deal on your Disney hotel, and where to find discount Disney World tickets.

Don't forget to master your Disney World Fastpass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks!

Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.