Once the Magic Kingdom trades in spooky pumpkins for holly and tinsel (and the Cast Members famously do this overnight between the park closing on October 31st and opening again on November 1st), it’s officially the holiday season at Disney World!
The beginning of the holidays at Disney signals the addition of fun seasonal items like merch, snacks, and desserts to the parks.
But the decorations are personally our favorite. Not only do they put up towering, beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the deluxe hotel lobbies and the parks, but the parks are also each decked out in their own thematically-appropriate holiday decorations.
We live for the retro-vintage Christmas decor of Hollywood Studios. 😍
Another cause for excitement is the annual return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), an event that runs during select nights at Magic Kingdom and requires a hard ticket, separate from regular park admission, to attend.
As with anything involving extra cash at Disney, the next question is always: Is it worth it?
Our short answer:
Much like the Halloween Party, we love MVMCP, and of the Disney park “extras,” we believe it is probably one of the most worth it to attend.
But if you aren’t sure about spending the extra money per person, we’ll break down the party’s pros and cons for you.
How to make the cost of a Disney party “worth it”
We all know Disney extras cost…well, extra on top of an already expensive vacation.
But if you want to go to the party and max out on value, the only thing you have to remember is this:
While the party normally “starts” in the evening (usually 7 pm), party-goers are allowed into the Magic Kingdom park as early as 4 pm.
With party hours normally ending at midnight, this amounts to a full park day of access to rides, characters, parades, fireworks, and more.
With that knowledge, we recommend staying within your budget by substituting a full-priced regular admission park day for a party night instead!
Trust us, you’ll want to avoid spending a full morning at another park, then trying to stay up late for the party.
Party day itinerary and ideas
The key to success (i.e., you and the kids lasting late enough to actually enjoy the party) is a chill morning/afternoon.
We have attended many Disney parties over the years, and these are our tried and true methods to spending the day:
- Take a shopping trip to Disney Springs, browse, then have a big lunch before heading to Magic Kingdom closer to 4 pm.
- Spend the day indulging in our favorite non-park pastime: resort hopping.
Check out the activities offered at other resorts, go check out the Christmas trees in the deluxe resort lobbies, buy hot chocolate from the life-size gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian, have lunch at Steakhouse 71, or beeline to Trader Sam’s at the Poly to get on the waitlist the (milli)second they open!
- SLEEP IN. This is unheard of advice at Disney. But remember – you have a full park day available to you with a party ticket.
So sleep in, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and go do something else on your Disney bucket list before the party!
Who we think would love the party
- School-age kids
- Christmas lovers/holiday nostalgics
- Night owls
- Magic Kingdom fans who want awesome seasonal theming and new ride experiences (some rides get holiday overlays during the party!)
- Those interested in the “exclusives” like party-specific snacks, parades, fireworks, and stage shows
- Those who want to capitalize on shorter waits for rides
Who we think should consider skipping the party
- Families with older kids or kids who are disinterested in the holiday appeal
- Toddlers and bebs with early bedtimes
- Those already planning on a full park day (it’s just too much to do that and the party)
Note: You know your family best! If this is something your kids would love and it would be worth it for you to attend, you should.
We only caution families with young ones attending MVMCP due to our experience witnessing countless pint-sized nuclear meltdowns from an overly long day or kids passed out in their strollers, missing the bulk of the events.
If you’re attending the party this year, you’ll continue to get tips (party and otherwise!) from us in our weekly Listletter.
And don’t forget: VIP Members will also receive full itineraries and strategy guides for the Halloween and Christmas parties! 😎