This will be the fourth year I have covered Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). However, I skipped last year because I needed a break from all the yuletide festivities. LOL. If you’ve read my previous blogs on the subject, you’ll notice that the event doesn’t change much from year to year. But that doesn’t stop MVMCP from being a favorite of many people. This seasonal event is a “must do” for many families. They wouldn’t dream of missing it.
MVMCP is held at the Magic Kingdom on selected nights between November and December. During these evenings, the park offers special theming and shows intended to entertain the entire family. But before I start with a detailed description of MVMCP, let’s take care of some logistics and answer the inevitable questions.
MVMCP is a “hard ticketed” event. This means you must purchase a separate admission ticket to attend. Your super-duper, all inclusive, park-hopper, Magic Your Way Ticket is NOT good for MVMCP. You MUST buy a separate admission ticket. Tickets can be purchased online, at any guest relations window, or at the TTC ticket booths.
Here are this year’s dates and prices:
Friday, November 9, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $58.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $53.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax
Friday, November 16, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax
Friday, December 21, 2012
Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $67.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $62.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $67.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $62.95 + tax
Disney limits attendance at these parties so in theory, the Magic Kingdom should be less crowded than usual. However, I have heard from readers who claim that sell-out nights are busy and many attractions have significant lines. I experienced this myself on opening night as it was a sold-out party. To give you an example, people were lining up for the parade on Main Street two hours before the event. Note, the closer you get to Christmas, the busier the party will be. The above prices should give you a clue. The more expensive the ticket, the busier the night. The parties are identical every night so it really doesn’t matter what day you attend. You might want to keep this in mind when scheduling.
This next piece of information is very important.
MVMCP and all of the special events, shows, and parades run from 7pm till midnight. However, you may enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm with your MVMCP ticket. If you call Disney and try to verify this, they will be evasive. All they will tell you is the “official” hours are 7pm till midnight. But trust me; you can enter as early as 4pm. I’ve entered at 4pm every year and I did it again this year on opening night.
Disney allows early entrance for a reason. Since the party is only five hours in length, they know that if they didn’t stagger the opening, they would be inundated with everyone arriving at the same time. They could not handle this onslaught of people in an efficient manner. By allowing guest admission starting at 4pm, it balances out the arriving crowd.
When you pass through the turnstiles, you will be given a wristband. This will distinguish you from the “daytime” guests. The Magic Kingdom will cease its normal operating hours at 7pm. At that time, the cast members will restrict access to the various lands. Only those with wristbands will be allowed on rides, in shops, and in restaurants. Those without wristbands will be asked to leave the park. Note, the wristbands change color from party to party to discourage gate crashers.
In past years, I have received a number of letters from readers complaining that Disney does not remove all of the “day” guests from the park -- and I’m at a loss on how to respond to your comments. All I can tell you is that Disney does the best they can. As far as I’m concerned, the cast members get a great big “A” in my grade book. At this year’s event, I saw several cast members checking for wristbands on those waiting for the parade and shows. Guests without were asked to leave.
Is it fair that the couple waiting next to you for the Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade didn’t pay to see it? Of course not. But you have a choice. You can either let these cheaters irritate you and allow them to ruin your night, or you can forget about it and have a good time. However, if you’re not able to release on this, then complain at City Hall. I cannot help you with this situation. Please note, if you send me a comment that contains references to this situation, I will either delete the reference or not publish your comment at all.
Some people want to spend the entire day at the Magic Kingdom, including MVMCP in the evening – and that’s fantastic. Of course, you will need two tickets to do this – your general admission ticket and your MVMCP ticket. Sometime after 4pm, you will need to get a wristband. To do this, you can either return to the main entrance or visit the FastPass area at Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland. The cast members here will process your party ticket and give you a wristband.
If you find you’re in the park on a party night and don’t have a MVMCP ticket, but want to honestly partake in the events, you can purchase a ticket at City Hall if the party is not sold out.
Most, but not all of the rides and restaurants will be up and running during MVMCP. Be sure to pick up a guide map when you arrive. It will contain all sorts of needed information. Here is a list of what will be available:
Swiss Family Treehouse
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café
Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart
Frontierland Churro Wagon
Buzz Lightyear's Ranger Spin
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor
Stitch's Great Escape
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
The Lunching Pad
“it’s a small world”
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Mad Tea Party
Peter Pan's Flight
Prince Charming Royal Carousel
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Storybook Treats Ice Cream
Pinocchio Village Haus (open until 8pm)
It is Disney’s intention to have portions of the New Fantasyland open to guests during MVMCP. HOWEVER, this area is still in “Dress Rehearsal” mode and there are no guarantees it will be open on the night you visit. In addition, the “Be Our Guest” restaurant MAY be open for dinner. Online reservations are NOT available. Guest wishing to eat here must check in at the counter located in front of the restaurant to see if tables are available.
Okay. Now that we have the logistics out of the way, let’s have some fun.
The merriment begins at the TTC where signs welcome us to the event (or not).
Upon arriving at the Magic Kingdom, more signs and poinsettia trees greet us as we approach Bag Check.
Disney has come up with a special cast member costume just for this party. Here we have two of Santa’s helpers sporting the latest in Christmas fashion.
Main Street is where you find the bulk of the holiday decorations. Its Victorian architecture lends itself perfectly to this time of year. And don’t forget to check out the windows. Many of them have been made over for the holidays. You might even discover snow falling from the sky as you walk this famous thoroughfare.
Note, the Christmas tree is not placed in Town Square until after the Christmas Parade has been filmed sometime in early December.
Although Christmas merchandise is available at WDW year round, you’ll find even more holiday decorations than normal in many of the shops.
On The Hub you’ll discover a number of poinsettias trees and in Adventureland, lights add a snowflake design to the pavement.
At 6:15 each night, the Castle Lighting Ceremony takes place. On the castle stage, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy argue how to best decorate this imposing structure. When an impasse seems certain, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother appears and leaves the decision up to Cinderella who wishes it to be covered in ice. The Fairy Godmother then waves her magic wand and the castle comes to life in thousands of sparkling lights.
Since this show takes place before MVMCP officially begins, it is available for all guests to enjoy.
At 7pm, a park-wide announcement is made informing everyone that the party has begun. At this time, the regular background music is discontinued and Christmas music is played throughout the park. Of course, it’s all themed accordingly. The holiday tunes in Frontierland have a western tone while the music in Adventureland is tropical in nature.
MVMCP features two Character Dance Parties. The first takes place at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland and is called “Club Tinsel.” At precisely 7pm, Sonny Eclipse ascends to the heavens and an energized DJ and a sparkling stage appear from the depths below. The DJ is quite animated and leads Goofy, Pluto, kids, and their parents in an easy to follow line-dance.
The other Character Dance Party takes place at the Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square. At “Woody’s Hootin’ Holiday Open House,” Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye kick up their heels as a western DJ keeps things moving.
Throughout the park, a number of character meet-&-greet areas can be found.
Of course, the most popular meet-&-greet spot is located next to City Hall. At Candy Cane Garden you can meet ol’ Saint Nick and let him know exactly what you want for Christmas.
Throughout the park, cookies and cocoa are handed out by Santa’s helpers. These locations are marked by large, lit balloons. This is an all-you-can-eat proposition and there is no additional charge. Note, the hours vary from spot to spot. This information is available on your guide map, but I’ll repeat it here.
The Crystal Palace: 9pm – 11pm
Sunshine Tree Terrace – 7pm – midnight
Columbia Harbour House: 7pm – midnight
Pinocchio Village Haus: 7pm – 10:30pm
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café: 8pm – midnight
Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant: 7pm – 12:30am
MVMCP features two stage shows. “Celebrate the Season” takes place on the Castle Stage and features Mickey and the gang along with a few high-steppin’ dancers performing to some of your favorite Christmas tunes. This show is presented at 7:45pm, 10:05pm, and 11:20pm. Arrive early as this is a popular production.
Over on the Tomorrowland Stage, “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show” is presented at 7:45pm, 8:45pm, 9:55pm, 10:50pm, and 11:45pm. This cosmic encounter stars Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski, and Stitch. Once again, an energetic group of singers and dancers help out with the festivities.
The highlight for most folks attending MVMCP is “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” and “Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks display. The parade is presented twice nightly at 8:15pm and 10:30pm and is 20 minutes in length. I can’t stress enough, attend the second showing. During the first parade, the attraction lines are significantly shorter. In addition, you can usually snag a good spot to view the parade in Liberty Square or Frontierland just minutes before the second parade begins.
The fireworks show is presented at 9:30pm. Holiday music and pyrotechnics are synchronized into a dazzling holiday treat that always coaxes a few ooos and aaaws from the audience. This show is best viewed from The Hub or on Main Street.
I have filmed the parade and the fireworks display for you and they can be viewed below.
That’s it for my overview of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a holiday tradition for many and party nights often sell out. If attending is something you’re thinking about, plan accordingly.
Check out the AllEars Holidays Around the World pages for all that is happening this holiday season!
The previous post in this blog was Studio Statues.
The next post in this blog is Cast Member Service Anniversary Event.