Is 2012 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party MVMCP Worth the Cost?

by josh on July 21, 2010

Updated May 5, 2012 with 2012 dates, pricing, and information

What is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (often abbreviated to MVMCP) is an after-hours “hard ticket” event held at the Magic Kingdom on select dates each holiday season.  When I say “hard ticket,” I mean that you will need to purchase an additional ticket to attend (prices below).  Magic Your Way Tickets, Annual Passes, etc. will not get you into the Party.  The Party runs from 7pm through 12am.  The Magic Kingdom does not completely close prior to the event.  Instead, visitors who have tickets will trade them for a wristband that indicates they are attending the Party.  Those without tickets will be asked to leave and there will be attendants checking wristbands throughout the evening, including at each of the ride entrances.

What Dates is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Scheduled in 2010?

Friday November 9

Monday November 12

Thursday November 15

Friday November 16

Sunday November 25

Tuesday November 27

Thursday November 29

Friday November 30

Sunday December 2

Tuesday December 4

Thursday December 6

Friday December 7

Sunday December 9

Tuesday December 11

Thursday December 13

Friday December 14

Sunday December 16

Tuesday December 18

Thursday December 20

Friday December 21

What is the Price of a Ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Pricing is a little easier to follow than for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Here are the prices, including tax:

Advance Purchase Adult: $62.78
Advance Purchase Ages 3-9: $57.46
Day of Event Adult: $69.17
Day of Event Ages 3-9: $63.85
Passholder Discount Adult: $58.52
Passholder Discount Ages 3-9: $53.20

Advance purchase blackout dates
November 16 and 30; December 7, 14, 20, and 21

Passholder discount blackout dates
Nov 16 and 30; December 7, 9, 13, 14, 18, 20, and 21

What is Included With the Ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

The Party includes several features that may appeal to your group.  The first is that most of the rides in the Magic Kingdom will be open for the duration of the Party.  While the FASTPASS system is not in use, chances are good that the majority of rides will have a wait time of 15 minutes or less, including many that have essentially no wait.  The one major exception is Peter Pan’s Flight, which often sees waits of 20+ minutes due to its popularity and low capacity.  Wait times and crowds depend on the date you attend the Party (best dates explained below).

Second, the crowd level will be much smaller than at any other point during the day in the final two hours, other than perhaps morning Extra Magic Hour.  This makes touring much more enjoyable and you will have a better chance to slow down and enjoy your time in the Park without having to wade through thousands of people. Because the Party runs during weeks that the Magic Kingdom usually closes earlier, this may be your only opportunity to be in the Magic Kingdom after 9pm, other than Saturdays or during evening Extra Magic Hours.

Third, there is a special “Holiday Wishes” fireworks show and “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime” parade.  The only time you will be able to see these shows is during the Christmas Party and the extremely busy and extremely expensive Christmas Week.  In other words, if you are visiting between November 8 and December 21st, the only chance to see the special Christmas parade and fireworks is the Christmas Party.  If your dates include December 22 – 30, then you will be able to see the shows during regular hours at the Magic Kingdom.

Fourth, there will be many more characters out to meet, greet, and take pictures and they will be dressed up for the holiday season.  Lines to meet some characters will be short, while others will have long lines.  In 2011, the line to meet the Princesses, Beauty/Beast, and the Seven Dwarfs was often over an hour long.  While we won’t know exactly which characters will be present and where they will be until the first date, we can expect to see all of the major Disney characters as well as Santa Claus, Flynn Rider, and Snow Prince, all of which are extremely rare during the rest of the year.  Beauty and Beast should also appear in their fine attire, which also doesn’t happen during regular theme park hours.

Fifth,   there are several unique shows throughout the evening featuring the characters dancing, singing, and having a good time.

Sixth, unlimited cocoa and cookies are served throughout the Park at no additional cost.

Seventh, Cinderella’s Castle is magnificently lit up with holiday lights and it will appear like it’s snowing on Main Street throughout the Party.

In essence, you are paying to enjoy the Magic Kingdom with less people in the Park.  Lines will be short to both attractions and most characters and there is special entertainment throughout the night, including the spectacular Christmas parade and fireworks shows.

What Rides and Restaurants Can I Expect to be Open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

While we won’t know exactly which rides will be open until the first Party date on November 9, we can expect this year’s availability to mirror last year’s. Feel free to click any of the blue highlighted links for full ride reviews.

Here are the rides and counter services that should be open:

Main Street USA:

Food:

Casey’s Corner – Hot Dogs, Cracker Jacks

Main Street Sweets – Candy

Adventureland:

Rides:

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Swiss Family Treehouse

Food:

Aloha Isle – Dole Whips, Ice Cream

Frontierland:

Rides:

Splash Mountain

Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Food:

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn – Burgers, Salads, Wraps, etc.

Turkey Leg Cart – Turkey Legs

Golden Oak Outpost – Flatbread Sandwiches, Fries, Chicken nuggets, Drinks, Dessert

Liberty Square:

Rides:

The Haunted Mansion

Hall of Presidents

Food:

Sleepy Hollow – Mickey Waffles, Funnel Cakes, Treats, Drinks

Fantasyland:

Rides:

Peter Pan’s Flight

Cinderella’s Golden Carousel

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

It’s a Small World

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Barnstormer

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Mad Tea Party

Food:

Mrs. Pott’s Cupboard – Ice Cream, Milkshakes, Drinks

Friar’s Nook – Hot Dogs, Caesar Salad, Fries, Drinks

Tomorrowland:

Rides:

Tomorrowland Speedway

Space Mountain

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Monsters Inc. Laughing Floor – Expect Last Show to be at 9pm

Astro Orbiter

Stitch’s Great Escape

Tomorrowland Transit Authority

Tomorrowland Arcade

Food:

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café – Great Variety of Meals

The Lunching Pad – Turkey Legs, Pretzels, Chips, Drinks

As you can see, the great majority of rides are open.  The ones that aren’t include: Jungle Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland; Walt Disneyworld Railroad, Country Bear Jamboree, and Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland; Liberty Square Riverboat in Liberty Square; Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress; all rides in Fantasyland are expected to be open.

Do Adults Without Kids Attend the Party; Is It Still Fun?

Absolutely.  There will be thousands of people in attendance without kids.  Don’t be shy about getting in line to meet the characters, collecting signatures, or taking pictures.

What Time Can I Enter the Park with a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Ticket?

In the past, the tickets have been good for admission beginning at 4pm.  You may also use a day on your Magic Your Way Ticket, your Annual Pass, or another ticket form to enter the Park for the whole day if you like.  Some people forgo the Park Hopper upgrade and purchase the Christmas Party ticket instead.  This way, on the day of the Party they can spend most of the day at another Park and “hop” over to the Magic Kingdom at 4pm without needing to use a Park Hopper ticket.

What are the Best Nights to Attend the Christmas Party?

Let’s first start with the most crowded dates.  Any date where an advance purchase discount is unavailable will be busier.  November 9th is also busier because it’s the first Party and the Jersey Week crowd tends to purchase tickets.  Dates closer to Christmas will also be more crowded because of the increased crowd level and the fact that people are feeling more festive as Christmas nears and they are naturally more likely to purchase tickets to a Christmas event closer to Christmas.  In general, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to attend the Party and Fridays are the most crowded.  Any discounted day in November, other than the 9th,will be lightly attended because it’s so far away from Christmas and the overall crowd level is low.  If possible, attend the Party on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Sunday as far away from Christmas as possible.

Generally speaking, I don’t recommend attending the Party on the day you arrive in Orlando.  Chances are you’ll be tired and stressed out over travel plans and won’t enjoy the Party as much as you would later in your vacation.  Personally, I like to attend the Party on one of the last days of my vacation, after I’ve had a chance to visit the Magic Kingdom during the day.  This way, I know which rides I want to ride again and which characters I still need to see.  It’s also an extra-special way to end the trip on an especially high note.

When Should I Purchase Tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

I recommend waiting to purchase tickets until you see a definitive weather report.  Weather is a major factor in how much fun Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be for your group.  Nothing puts a damper on the mood like temperatures that near freezing and heavy rain.  Remember, you get the same ticket discount a day before the start of the event that you would get  three months before the event.  However, you will want to purchase tickets as soon as possible for the December 18, 20, or 21 Parties because those may sell out as soon as June or July.  It’s somewhere between difficult and impossible to switch ticket dates after you purchase them, though you’ll be much more likely to find success several weeks before the date of the Party.  Disney does not cancel Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party due to weather, though some people have reported they were able to get tickets for another Party on nights with extremely bad weather.  If you would be devastated to not get tickets to your desired Party date, you will want to purchase tickets as soon as possible.  There is always the possibility that a date will sell out.  If there are two or three Parties scheduled during your vacation, it is highly unlikely all dates will sell out before you are able to purchase tickets, unless those two dates are the last two Parties of the year.

Is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Worth the Cost of the Ticket?

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not an essential component of a Disney World vacation.  Whether or not it makes sense in your situation is a more difficult question to answer.  First, if your visit includes a date within December 22-30, you can see the Christmastime parade and Holiday Wishes fireworks during normal Magic Kingdom hours.  The Christmastime parade will run at 3pm daily and Holiday Wishes will replace “regular” Wishes at 9pm.  Those are two of the major components of the Party and they won’t be as special if you can see them again “for free” the next day.   Cinderella’s Castle Lighting Ceremony also occurs before the Magic Kingdom closes for the Party and it will be lit up throughout the evening every night beginning in early November.   Other than the “snow” on Main Street, all of the other decorations are up during a regular night at the Magic Kingdom.  There aren’t special “Party-only” decorations.

Second, you can see the fireworks show from outside the Magic Kingdom, either at the California Grill or Contemporary Resort 4th floor lookout, the Polynesian beach, the Grand Floridian beach, the Fort Wilderness beach, and several other places throughout Disney World.  While it isn’t as awesome as actually being at the Magic Kingdom, it’s pretty close, especially considering the cost is zero additional dollars.

Third, you can ride all of the rides that will be open during regular hours.  If you follow my recommended Park advice and arrive at the Park in time for opening, you shouldn’t have any problem riding all of your favorite rides.  Since the Party isn’t available during the extremely busy Thanksgiving or Christmas weeks, you won’t have the opportunity to do the Party during an extremely busy time.  The other weeks in November and first two and a half weeks in December have fairly low crowd levels and you shouldn’t run into much difficulty riding the headlining rides.

Fourth, there are a lot of Christmas activities around Disney World to get you into the holiday spirit.  There’s Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios, and the Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World at Epcot.

Fifth, the price continues to go up at the same time that Disney removes some of the Party’s best features.  Gone are the free Christmas pins, free family photo, Christmas version of Country Bear Jamboree, and other past perks.

Sixth, Disney seems to sell more and more tickets to the event every year, which increases wait times at the characters and rides.

On the plus side, there’s no denying that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a lot of fun.  For those without budget constraints or for those who don’t mind spending $60+ per person for an additional five hours at the Magic Kingdom, the Party is a fantastic opportunity to ride the major FASTPASS rides and meet a lot of characters in a relatively short amount of time.  Wait times are especially short if you plan to attend a recommended night.  Second, if your vacation doesn’t include a day in the December 22-30 range, the Christmas Party will be your only opportunity to see Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Holiday Wishes.  Both are excellent and a lot of people will tell you that they’re worth the price of admission alone.  The Christmas Party can definitely be worthwhile if you pick a date that isn’t crowded, the weather is good, and you aren’t sacrificing an integral part of your vacation to attend.

Other Ways to Spend That $60 Per Person

For a family of four, tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party cost about $260 with tax.  In many cases, that’s more than it would cost to add another day and night to your trip at a Disney Value or Moderate resort.  Remember, the cost to add additional days on a Magic Your Way ticket is only about $8 per day after the third day and the cost to add an additional night at the resort is between $10-$120 at Value resorts and $170-$180 at the Moderates during Party dates.  For the same cost as the Party, you could feasibly spend an entire extra day and night at Disney World.  The cost to attend the Party is also the same or more than it costs to book the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package, which includes a three course meal at one of Epcot’s best restaurants, a prime seat at the Candlelight Processional, and private viewing area for Illuminations.  The Party costs more than adding the Park Hopper or Water Parks & More upgrades.

How to Maximize Your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Ticket Experience

  • Check the daily low temperature and plan to bring a sweatshirt, jacket, or sweater.  December lows are almost always in the mid-50s.
  • Make sure you take enough of a break in the afternoon so that you are ready to take advantage of the full five hours.  Plan to stay until 12am because crowds will be the lightest from 11pm-12am.  The best time to arrive is between 4:00pm-5:30pm.  Get your Party wristband as soon as possible.
  • Cinderella’s Castle Lighting Ceremony begins at 6:15pm, before the start of the Party.  The best place to see it is right in front of the Castle, where a short stage show will precede the lighting.
  • Eat dinner before the start of the Party.  Eating a counter service meal during the Party is a waste of time.  Both Pecos Bill and Cosmic Ray’s will be busy throughout the evening.  Consider getting a quick snack at one of the other food carts or horde cookies and hot cocoa.
  • Be prepared to get in line for the Seven Dwarfs at 5:45pm.  Wait times will be 60+ minutes all night.  For another popular character, get in line by 6:30pm.
  • There are two parades each evening – one at 8:15pm and one at 10:30pm; attend the second because it is always less crowded than the first.  Ride the headlining rides during the first parade (Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin).  Save the Fantasyland rides for after 11pm, when the majority of younger kids and their families will have left for bed.
  • Consider beginning your evening in Adventureland and move towards Tomorrowland.  The majority of people will start in Tomorrowland, making it much busier at 7pm than it will be at 10pm.
  • If the crowds to see the parade are heavy on Main Street, check Frontierland and Liberty Square.  While it won’t be “snowing,” the crowds will be much thinner and you won’t have to wait as long to get a good spot.

Should I Go (Conclusion)?

Mickey’s Christmas Party can be an excellent way to ride the headlining rides and meet a lot of Disney characters in a short period of time, provided you visit during a recommended date.  The Christmastime parade and Holiday Wishes fireworks are also spectacular in their own right.  It makes a lot more sense to attend the Party if you won’t be able to see those shows during regular Park hours.  If you enjoy visiting with the characters and Christmas is one of your favorite holidays then the Christmas Party may make a lot of sense, provided you have the budget that allows for the cost of the tickets.  Be aware that the last few Party dates and Friday night Parties are generally crowded.  If you follow the advice above and tour efficiently then you shouldn’t run into many major problems.  However, be aware that lines at peak times can be very long, including waits of more than an hour to see Mickey and the Disney princesses.  Overall, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a lot of fun, but the high cost and potential for heavy crowds makes me tentative about recommending it more strongly.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan September 25, 2010 at 8:30 am

Hi! Love your sight.

I just wanted to mention that my family and I went to WDW last November the week before Thanksgiving week (15-22 Nov, 2009) and attended the Christmas party. I cannot remember which night we went to the party, but it was horribly crowded. I was so surprised because we had longer waits at the party than we had any other days or evenings we had been at the Magic Kingdom with the “regular crowds.” I think this might have been one of those situations where people booked their tickets and planned to tour the Magic Kingdom during the party rather than visiting during normal hours because they expected lighter crowds. We could barely get a spot to watch the fireworks. It was crazy. We would have been better off using that money to book ourselves into the Contemporary theme-park-view 40% off room for the night and viewing the fireworks and Cinderella’s castle from there.

Other than that hiccup, that week was an excellent week to go. The lowest crowds I have ever personally experienced at WDW.

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Lisa M Davis October 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Thanks for these great tips!!! I wouldn’t have known we could enter the park early if I had not found this site!!!! We just got back from 10 days at WDW and really wanted to come back to enjoy the Christmas festivities….so we are driving down on Friday, Dec 3rd and going to MVMCP on Friday evening…we are purchasing 1 day park tickets and spending Saturday at DHS so that night we can see the Osborne lights… It will be a fast trip but we missed so many things at DHS when we were there a few weeks ago and One Man’s Dream was closed and so we will be able to see that attraction and the other shows we missed….at a leisurely pace! We spent 4 days in the MK when we were there but it’s a small world was closed and that ride will be open when we go to the party so we are elated!!!! Having your tips and an understanding of what might be closed during the party will help me plan our time in the MK to maximize our time there!!!! AND being able to get into the park at 4:00 will allow us to do the things that will be closed during the party!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I am printing this out and taking it with to to refer to!!!!

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JT October 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm

The week leading up to Thanksgiving and the week of Thanksgiving are some of the busiest times of the year. We always attend MVMCP, but we go the first 2 weeks of December, which are the least crowded. Our wait times for rides, yes even Peter Pan and Dumbo, has been less than 5 minutes. I suggest you change the time of year you go.

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Whitney October 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm

SO I have also heard that you could enter MK at 4 if you had a ticket to MVMCP however when I spoke to the ticket agent she told me that they use to allow that but have changed it this year– does anyonw know anything else about it??? Maybe someone who has gone to the halloween party> THanks

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Rob November 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I went to the Halloween party this year and we were all let in to the Magic Kingdom at 4 pm. This is a benefit to Disney because they would be overwhelmed if everyone came at 7 with only one path open into the park with thousands of day guests also leaving.

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Jen November 14, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Any theory why Tuesday, December 7 is expected to be such a busy night compared to the 5th? It is after all a *Tuesday* which is considered to be the best night to go … and has been our traditional night to go in past years. I had decided on 12/5 initially (in theory, tix not yet purchased) but I am concerned that the 5th – and 9th – will actually be made busier by those who wanted to save a few bucks on tix. I’d appreciate any thoughts on this. Love the site!

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Andy November 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm

This site says that the park will allow guests to enter starting at 4 p.m.! http://www.wdwinfo.com/holidays/mvmcp.htm

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Irene December 3, 2010 at 9:18 am

Hi! Can anyone tell me what the rules are about bringing in you own soda, water and food?

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Deborah December 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

My family is going tomorrow night for the first time to Mickey’s Christmas Party and we are so excited! This has been so helpful to read – Thanks for the great tips!
I know in the past we have not been able to bring in liquids, but we always bring our own snacks.

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Janna December 9, 2010 at 10:04 am

We are doing a girls night this Friday night! I hope it isn’t too crowded! I have attended the Halloween party, but have always wanted to attend the Christmas! We are huge Disney fanatics and usually go at least once or twice a year! But these tips have certainly helped me plan for an even more spectacular night! Would anyone advise us to try Epcot on Sat?? What can we look forward to as far as “extra” for Christmas?? Once again we are avid attenders anyway, will it be worth it??

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josh December 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Girls night means I’m not invited I assume???

I’ve written an overview of the Christmas activities at Disney World here: http://www.easywdw.com/category/worth-2/holidays/

I would recommend the Candlelight Processional and taking in some of the holiday storytellers. You might also want to exit through the International Gateway between the United Kingdom Pavilion and France Pavilion to see the Epcot area resort decorations.

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Mark December 19, 2010 at 9:19 am

I am going to MVMCP tonight and everyone at Disney tells me we cant get in til 7 but several comments were left that stated we could get in earlier. Can someone please advise?

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Josh December 19, 2010 at 11:47 am

The official line from Disney is always that the Party begins at 7pm and that is when the tickets will become valid. However, you can actually use the Party tickets to enter the Park as early as 4pm, as others have stated.

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Patricia December 20, 2010 at 10:07 am

Attended MVMCP last night. It was my grandaughter’s birthday. The crowds were horrible.
Could not see the parade because of the number of people lined up on the parade route.
You would have to find a place to stand an hour before the start of the parade if you want to get a good view. Waited in a long line and then paid $8 for a hotdog and a dozen french fries. There should be grandstand seating for that event. Everything at WDW is spectacular but the throngs of people, waiting in line, high cost of everything requires more tolerance and patience than I have. There are places outside Magic Kingdom to view the castle and the fireworks, both of which are awesome sights. Families spend thousands so their kids can experience this!!!

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Neil September 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

Disney claims the fireworks and parades from Dec 20-30 will not be the same as what you get at the Christmas Party. Is this a change in policy, or are they just so similar that they are basically the same, but Disney claims they are different? This is important to me, because our first day at Disney will be the last of the Christmas Parties. So we want to decide if we should pay the extra money for the party (because we don’t want to miss the special fireworks and parades) or just see them on a night later in the week.

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Dave October 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Still trying to decide on this, our vacation is 14-23 Dec 2011, so conceivable, we will be there for the “free” versions of the parade and fireworks and we are currently planning on being in the Park on the recommended 21 Dec date. That being said, the 16th, we are currently planning as our first day in Magic Kingdom and that would make for one spectacular end of the day compared to a relatively early 7PM night early in the vacation when the whole family is full of energy and excitement. Tough Decision :)

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Sarah October 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

we are headed to WDW for the first time November 8th-13th, made dinner reservations months ago, so the days we are at each park were predetermined by the reservations, the two days we were going to MK are MVMCP nights! was upset when i first found out, but have warmed up to the idea and will probably be going wed the 9th-thanks for all of the tips, we will wait to purchase tix until closer to the date.

dining question: we had two family members from another part of the country decide to join us after i made all of the reservations. our party is currently 7 and i’ve tried to change some of the dining reservations but there hasn’t been availability. do you think they would be willing to accommodate us at the door? having worked in the food industry for years, i know going from a party of 7 to 9 is not as bad as say 4 to 6, but i also know WDW is it’s own world-literally. anyone have any advice?

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Joanne October 26, 2011 at 6:33 am

Thanks for the great info! We live in the Orlando area and we are on a pretty tight budget, so we aren’t planning a WDW “vacation”, but we are thinking about attending *just* the MVMCP on 12/9/11. Our logic…if we arrive at 4pm, that gives us 8 hours in MK (we’re usually worn out after 8 hours on a regular day at MK anyway) and access to most of the rides too. For our family of 5, that would save us about $70 vs purchasing 5 regular Magic Your Way base tickets.

So I think this is a smart way to do it, but is there anything I’m missing? Would it be smarter to go a different route?

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Vicki October 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Do you think people with just MVMCP will be able to get in before 7pm this year? We are going the first night,..but don’t want to be standing around hours with little ones waiting to get in early if we cannot.

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Mike November 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

This will be our 10th year of MVMCP. It is our “Family Christmas Present” from my mother. My kids can’t tell you what Santa brought them last year but they can tell you all about the MVMCP! We are a “Grand Gathering” of 16! We make fantastic memories each year. I would recommend this to anyone thinking of going to WDW. The Character dinning is always a big hit with us as well. We have kids ranging from 14-5 (not to mention us the big kids) and they all love the Disney Magic! We’ll be there Dec.18 see ya there!

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Faryl Budoff November 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

All right up my ally

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AJ November 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm

In 2010, the Christmas Party was typically held on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays during the holiday season. We attended the Thursday night party and had a wonderful time. In 2011, however, the Thursday night parties were moved to Friday nights. I don’t know why they did this, but it ruined the experience. The Thursday night party we attended had open streets with small crowds, short lines for big rides (10 minutes for Space Mountain), and an easy-going feel to the evening. The Friday night party drew every early bird who had just arrived for the following week. You couldn’t move on Mainstreet USA without bumping into someone, and the Mountains (Space, Splash, and Big Thunder) all had 60 minute lines. If you are planning to do this (and I think you should at least once), then choose the Tuesday option. DO NOT book the Christmas party for Friday.

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Jennifer December 26, 2011 at 6:27 am

Thanks for the information. I used it to help plan our trip we just went on Nov. 25 to Dec. 4. The Party was an amazing experiance for my husband and I. We loved having the park to ourselves on the Nov. 29th date. Our longest line was 40 minutes to see ALL Seven Dawrfs. In general we had no wait. We did miss the fireworks on that night but at the end of our stay we were at the Contemporary and saw them from our room. For us it was well worth the extra money to have the extra hours.

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LisaCat August 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I’m hoping you will be attending one of the first parties and giving us your (always excellent) review and tips! I’m looking at Nov 27th for my trip and have my “attack plan” done based on the 2011 party, but with the Fantasyland expansion now opening Nov 19th, it’s anyone’s guess how this will change things. Especially Belle and the Dwarfs which are the number 2 and 1 on my list!

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Laurie October 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Our last night in Disney will be on Dec. 18th. 2012 Can we attend the Christmas Party without paying for a day ticket? It would be great to have a leisurely day/have a nice early dinner and enter the park at 4pm without having to pay for a day ticket and an extra ticket to attend the after hours festivities. I know that you said Tuesdays are usually a good night to attend the party but did I read earlier that there is a crowd expected to attend on that particular night?

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siskaren October 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

@ Laurie -
You can enter the MK with just a party ticket as early as 4:00.

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Sidra Zion October 31, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I am debating between sun dec 16, 2012 and Tuesday dec 18, 2012. Any thoughts?

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brian martin November 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm

So were going to Disney Nov 29th. We already paid for our trip. We want to do the very merry Christmas party. We have the park hopper. Do we still have to purchase tickets separately? We will be there till Dec 7th.

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vonny February 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

when do tickets normally get released

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Melissa March 30, 2013 at 10:52 am

just a question- why is it that the nights that do not offer the advanced reservation and discount are more crowded? wouldn’t it seem to be the opposite?

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Beth June 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Planning to attend the party on Dec 5, 2013–my daughter’s birthday. Do you think crowds will be OK? I had thought less crowded than an “average” night but not I’ve been reading mixed reviews..

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Thia July 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Good Question Beth!
I looked up the “2013 Crowd Levels” for December 5th and this is what Josh posted
“Magic Kingdom is recommended today, which is rare for a day with a morning Extra Magic Hour attached. However, the 9am to 7pm operating schedule and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the evening make the Magic Kingdom significantly less crowded.” What??!!?! Mickey’s Halloween Party on Dec. 5th??? Josh, hello where are you?

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jessica August 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

We are planning our trip Nov. 11 to Nov. 16. We were planning on going to party on Thursday Nov. 14, but D.H.S. is closing at 4. This only leaves Epcot or MVMCP party for that night. Do you think this would be a crowded night? We went MNSSHP last year, and loved it.

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LORI September 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

we are going nov 17-23. Is this a good time. Someone said the week leading up to thanksgiving is busy. Does anyone know where you should stand for the xmas party parade.

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LORI September 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Are the characters dressed in xmas outfits in the park, animal kingdom at this time nov 17.Or do you just see them in xmas outfits at the xmas party.
Where can you find mickey in xmas outfit.

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Crystal November 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

We (2 adults 1 7yr old) would like to go to Disney, definitely Magic Kingdom, for Christmas Day. I’ve read over many pages on this site and haven’t found many tips on this high volume day. My fiancé is a vet and I will not be riding any of the rides (if that helps any). Any tips on places to stay and which tix to purchase for us Military/Florida/College families? Thanks all!

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Layla January 3, 2014 at 7:56 am

I agree with Megan, we also attended the week before Thanksgiving week and it was very crowded. If you don’t pick a spot on Main Street and set up camp, you will not be able to view the parades or Holiday Wishes. You will glimpse them but not be able to enjoy them. I got the feeling there were more seasoned vets there than there were first timers. Also, the blankets and ice chests brought in by the campers may have given it away! Pick a spot and camp out, visit the park on another day!

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Anonymous May 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

Your site is without a DOUBT the BEST Disney information site out there! I am so impressed. I come back to it time and time again.

This will be our third trip to Disney; our second at Christmastime. My advice, take your kids out of school for a week and go before the Christmas break (as schools) begins. It was well worth them missing one week of school for the lower crowds, short lines, etc. In 2012, we did this (took kids out of school one week before the school break began) and Monday-Thursday was incredible. We went to the mid-week MVMCP and some rides had zero lines while others had 5-15 minute waits. I was so happy we chose that week/night to go.

I will say that on Friday afternoon after school let out, we saw a significant increase in the crowds. This was also the case on Saturday (all day) and Sunday until the evening. So we chose the typically “lower-crowd-on-the-weekend” parks such as Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

This year we are going Dec 12th-19th. The first and last days arrival and departure days, and attending MVMCP on Tuesday, Dec 16th.

I hope this helps. I know not everyone has the option of taking their kids out of school, but if you can swing it, DO IT.

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Andrea June 11, 2014 at 6:41 am

If I want to just go to MK for the party, do I have to purchase a park ticket on top of the MVMCP ticket or can I just buy the ticket for the party and arrive at 4pm?

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RebeccaMcK June 19, 2014 at 9:23 am

Andrea,
If you’re just planning to arrive at 4 pm on the day of a party, you’d just need to get the party ticket. No additional ticket for that day beyond that purchase.

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