With the holiday season behind us but lots of winter still ahead, it seems only fitting that I’m using magical Disney memories to keep my heart warm. This past November I was lucky enough to join my sister, mother, and grandmother (affectionately known as Grandy) for a long weekend at the Walt Disney World resort. In addition to visiting all four theme parks, my sister and I stayed out late one night to attend a special ticket event called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This was an extra $80 each, but we decided that it was worth every penny!
After a very magical day at Magic Kingdom, we said goodbye to Mom and Grandy before using our last FastPass+ reservation of the day to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. We bounced around the blacklights in our honey pots and then exited the ride just a bit before 6pm, with the party festivities set to being at 7pm. There were little stations popping up around the park now where partygoers could get their special wristbands and timeguides for the party, so we stopped at one in Fantasyland and waited in a short line. Once we were all sorted it was off to the circus!
Grandy had given us each $20 to buy a special party souvenir- you are never too old for gifts from grandma! We happily purchased light up necklaces of big colorful Christmas lights at the Big Top souvenir store to get in the spirit. We were just in regular park clothes but were amazed by the custom shirts, Christmasy PJs, and elaborate outfits we saw! We explored the circus area a bit, enjoying short wait times for the Barnstomer mini-coaster and classic Dumbo rides. People were already lining up for a character meet-and-greet that would be taking place there during the party, but when consulting the map we found that there was actually no specific info given about which character would be there. We gave it a miss, deciding we would rather ride rides and see shows than wait in line for characters.
It was about 6:45pm now, and my sister checked Disney parks app to find that the ever popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride had only a 20 minute wait! We dashed there along with many other guests and a cast member waiting out front warned us it may have gone up to 30 minutes. No bother, we hadn’t been able to reserve a FastPass+ for it so we were just happy to get to ride. I really enjoyed the queue area here, it is so beautifully crafted and really feels like you are in a scene from the movie! There were a few interacting activities along the way too, to keep idle hands busy. We ended up waiting almost exactly 25 minutes and really enjoyed the tame little coaster.
The Christmas party was in full swing now, cast members checking your wristband every few steps and escorting wristbandless guests out of the park. We realized we had time for one more ride before the first Christmas show, so we went for the Tomorrowland Speedway. We sat in the car together and I let my sister drive which may be what led to major whiplash.
We ended up right on time for the 7:40pm performance of A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas, an adorable song-and-dance show with characters like Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, and Mike Wazowski. Since we were in the front of the crowd, we were able to take seats on the ground and rest our feet a little. After that one was over we stayed put for the performance of VoicePlay, an acapella group who were super fun to watch and very, very talented. They sang a great mix of traditional and modern Christmas favorites. Check out their opening number in the video below.
After sitting for the two shows we decided we were ready for more rides. Wait times were very reasonable because the party is an extra ticket event with a capacity cap, so we waited just 5 minutes for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We battled it out with our laser blasters in this video game come to life, and I emerged victorious (admittedly for once in my life). Only 10 minutes to wait for Space Mountain, one of our all-time favorite rollercoasters and quintessential classic Disney. Next we ended up at the Astro Orbiter, a Dumbo-style ride a few stories in the air that you need to take an elevator to. The “bigger person” was supposed to sit in the back of the tiny rocket, and my sister and I were far too similarly sized to figure out how to get in. We were surrounded by couples and adult-child pairings who had no issues with this, so it was quite hilarious for everyone watching. We were still laughing as the ride began and we enjoyed the view from the rocket.
Main Street was already filling up for the late parade! We shopped at the emporium and got treats at the bakery before scoring what I believe were the last two seats on the whole curb! Yes, we had to sit next to the trash can, but we were so happy to have spots. We stood up about 30 minutes later to watch the Holiday Wishes fireworks show over the castle, and then sat back down to enjoy the snow (!) and watch the early crowds funnel out.
A little after 11pm, some dancers with giant snowballs came around to do a little pre-parade show. They were super cute and a nice distraction while we waited for the parade to make its way to us. It was about 11:25pm by the time we saw the start of the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade coming up Main Street. It was really magical, seeing all the characters dancing with the castle behind them. Disney really knows how to do parades! Mickey and Minnie led the procession while the grand finale was Santa Clause himself. Watch some parade highlights below!
After Santa passed us, we took one last look around before darting past the crowds and out to the bus stop. Luckily we only had to wait a few minutes for the bus back to our hotel. We were exhausted, but Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was well worth the extra money and late night. The magic of Christmas and the magic of Disney are truly a match made in heaven!