My family’s usual Disney World vacation schedule does not overlap the Christmas holiday season so we have never attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. As an annual passholder this year, I got away for a few days to visit Disney World at Christmas and attended the party solo. Here’s what I planned and what I accomplished as a solo attendee at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
With the expectation that this would be the first and only Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I had a few priorities for events and activities that can only be experienced at the party:
See the “snowp” fall on Main Street USA
Watch Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime parade
Meet at least one party-specific character
Experience Holiday Wishes
Enjoy as many free treats as possible
Buy a party pin
Early party reviews were reporting heavier crowds than previous years. I knew my party experience would be all about managing expectations so I simply chose to save the particularly crowded activities for later in the evening when party goers started leaving.
For example, I knew “free” treat lines would be long for at least the first half of the party (and, indeed, they were!) so I didn’t even plan on visiting them until the last hour or so. This plan worked out amazingly well. I filled the early evening with activities that I knew could be accomplished even in heavy crowds and waited until later to do everything else after lines and crowds thinned out.
The one exception to this plan was watching the parade, which runs twice nightly. Any list of party tips will recommend avoiding the first parade from Main Street USA due to crowd congestion, but Main Street parade viewing with all that snow falling was my highest priority activity. I didn’t want to wait until the second parade for two reasons: 1. Being towards the end of the parade route, the parade finishes up later at Main Street than other viewing locations and that would mean less final-hour party time to enjoy other low-crowd activities, and 2. With its location at the front of the park and expecting most second parade watchers to leave when it concluded, walking “upstream” to remain in the park would be nearly impossible. So I accepted the high crowd levels and watched the first parade on Main Street, arriving in plenty of time to get a curb spot. If I was going to wait an hour, I definitely wanted to be sitting while I waited so I simply gave myself that much time.
Here’s what I accomplished on a Thursday evening party in early December:
5:00 // After finishing dinner, I boarded a boat from the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom.
5:30 // Through the crowded tapstiles (seriously, SO crowded!) and party wristband obtained, I entered through the bypass.
5:35 // I rushed over to the “Jingle” Cruise where my FastPass window ended at 5:30. Thank goodness for the grace period!
6:00 // During the sweet spot between day guests leaving and party guests still arriving, I rode Pirates of the Caribbean on stand-by with a 5-minute wait.
6:30 // After leisurely meandering all the way across the park, I got a peppermint cookie and applesauce pouch from the treat station in Storybook Circus and then sat in line to meet Daisy and Minnie beside the Fantasyland train station.
7:15 // Fifteen minutes after the party officially started and the characters arrived, I met Daisy and Minnie in their pretty “girls night out” holiday dresses.
7:20 // I purchased a party pin at Big Top Souvenirs. By now, the wait for Daisy and Minnie looked to be close to an hour and the line for the treat station I visited earlier was ridiculously long.
7:30 // Snow was falling on Main Street USA and I arrived to find a small space at the curb all the way down on the right in front of the Emporium. The next hour of waiting was so enjoyable and festive with snow falling, Christmas music blaring, and making friends around me while giving my feet a rest for an entire hour!
8:00 // The bypass party entrance closed and cast members passed out all their remaining “starter cookies” to everyone waiting for the parade. Yay! More cookies!
9:15 // The parade was over and rather than facing the crowds following the parade down Main Street to leave the party early, I got the limited edition Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card from the firehouse.
9:30 // I headed to Tomorrowland and rode the PeopleMover with a short wait.
9:50 // It was time to hit up the treat stations, starting with Auntie Gravity’s (cookie and skipped the snow cone) and Cosmic Ray’s (cookie and definitely got the hot cocoa!)
10:00 // Holiday Wishes fireworks began as soon as I reached Fantasyland and I watched the fireworks all around near Enchanted Tales with Belle. Without the castle projections of Happily Ever After, the choice to watch Holiday Wishes from behind the castle without crowds instead of being sardined into the hub in front of the castle was an easy decision!
10:15 // The fireworks are over and I headed to Pinocchio Village Haus where all four cookies are given.
10:20 // It’s A Small World had a 5-minute wait so I hopped on the Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed.
10:40 // On my way to find a spot for the second parade, I noticed a PhotoPass photographer with no one waiting in Liberty Square so I got my photo taken with a ginormous ornament.
10:50 // I found my parade spot in front of the Hall of Presidents sitting nearly front-row looking down the route, precisely the view I had hoped to get!
11:35 // After the Once Upon A Christmastime parade ended, my mission was to get a warm pretzel from the Tortuga Tavern treat station. No wait! And SO delicious! On my way back to Fantasyland, I visited more treat stations, all of which now had little to no wait – cookies and eggnog at Diamond Horseshoe, another quartet of cookies from Pinocchio Village Haus, and Dove chocolates from Storybook Treats.
11:50 // Ten minutes before park closing, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had a half hour posted wait. This ended up being quite accurate as my ride photo had a 12:21 AM timestamp.
12:40 // The party was officially over at midnight so I headed back to the hub and Main Street USA to soak in the Christmas atmosphere before leaving to the resort buses.
Overall, I had a wonderful time and accomplished everything I set out to do without any stress or rushing around. I enjoyed both parades from two spectacular viewing locations, watched the fireworks with space to breath, and left with plenty of cookies in my backpack to bring home to my boys.
I expected this to be my first and only Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party but enjoyed it so much – even more than the Halloween party – that I hope to be able to attend again someday.