The Most Magical Season in the Most Magical Place on Earth: Christmas in Walt Disney World

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a fun, festive, food-filled Thanksgiving yesterday! I wanted to write a review of the 2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party AFTER Thanksgiving out of respect- Thanksgiving deserves its time too! And now that the holiday season is in full swing, I wanted to share my experiences with everyone getting excited to celebrate Christmas.

If you’re heading down to Walt Disney World between now and December 29th, you have the opportunity to purchase separate tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Full warning that some of the evenings are already sold out! For future planning purposes, however, I highly recommend attending this festive, magical party.

Review: 2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

I attended the first Christmas party of the season with my friends on Monday, November 7 following our Wine and Dine race weekend! It was the last evening of our trip and the perfect way to cap off our time in Walt Disney World. Throughout the weekend, we watched as more and more Christmas accents and decorations were being added day by day. After the Halloween celebration, cast members work overnight to overhaul Halloween and make way for Christmas!

Signage for the party outside of the Monorail/Water shuttle service

By attending the Christmas Party, your ticket allows you to enter the park as early as 4PM. This was great because our friends purchased the party tickets in lieu of two additional Parkhopper tickets. We decided to spend the day at the Grand Floridian to enjoy lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe and take in the splendor of the grounds. My boyfriend, Tommy, and I have very happy memories of staying at the Grand Floridian with our families so to share a bit of the experience with our friends was fun. We took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom and took our time taking in the scenery around the entrance/Main Street. I highly recommend walking up the stairs to the train station on Main Street too look over the balcony and see the gorgeous Christmas tree, the streets lined with lights and garland, and of course, Cinderella Castle in the background.

View from the train station on Main Street- gorgeous!

 

Following our swooning over Main Street, we went right to the attractions we either wanted to enjoy again or had missed during our other days in the park. Tip: With the Christmas Party tickets, you are able to make FastPass+ reservations throughout the duration of general admission park hours. As a result, we were able to secure FastPass+ for Pirates of the Caribbean, Jingle Cruise and The Haunted Mansion! These attractions were PACKED as guests who did not have party tickets were making the most of the time they had left!

Jingle Cruise Expedition!

Between Daylight Savings Time, which occurred the day before, and a 7PM park closure, it got dark quickly. Many guests, including ourselves, headed right to Main Street to watch the first castle lighting of the evening- “A Frozen Holiday Wish” starring our Frozen friends, Anna, Elsa and Olaf! By this time, everyone who was attending the party had to wear a special wristband, distributed by cast members once they checked your ticket status. The wristband was checked every time you moved through the different Lands or jumped in line for an attraction.

Thank you, Elsa, Anna and Olaf!

Following the show, and a PhotoPass photo opp or two, we made our way over to Tomorrowland for some more ride time! We went on Space Mountain, which had virtually no wait, and viewed the final Carousel of Progress performance of the night (not an attraction open for the duration of the party.) I really enjoyed that because I LOVE Carousel of Progress. It felt really special. Tip: When you attend the Christmas Party, make sure to pick up a guide to check attractions open for the night, stage shows, and times, etc. Some attractions are not open for the party and will close right at park closure.

Escaping the mob on Main Street to visit Tomorrowland

Following our time in Tomorrowland, it was time for the party to officially begin- which meant it was time to try the TREATS! We had learned just before arrival that the Christmas Party was now featuring NEW treats! Typically throughout the party, designated counter service restaurants are transformed to treat stations, carrying complimentary cookies and hot chocolate. This year they had hot chocolate, cider, eggnog, a few kinds of cookies and even SNOW CONES. Each station had a different variety (healthy options also available) at the following locations: Tortuga Tavern (Adventureland), Heritage House (Liberty Square), The Friar’s Nook (Fantasyland), The Lunching Pad (Tomorrowland), and Pete’s Silly Slideshow (Fantasyland). Yes, I went to every station and tried everything. 🙂 My favorite was the peppermint bark cookie and hot chocolate at The Lunching Pad. I don’t know what magic they put into that cocoa but it is my favorite hot chocolate in the world!

[This is where I would have a photo of the treats but I was so excited I ate everything before I could capture any of it- oops]

In addition to the festive decor on Main Street (and other attractions, such as Space Mountain, have holiday-themed lighting projections), treat stations, and opportunities to ride attractions with MUCH shorter wait times, there are character spot opportunities (All Seven Dwarfs make an appearance in Fantasyland- RARE! Long lines!), live music entertainment in Tomorrowland, such as live DJ dance parties and an A Capella group, the Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show, Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, and Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season! Phew. As you can see, there is a LOT going on during this party! Not to mention opportunities to shop for specialty party merchandise, and other festive food offerings for purchase.

2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide

We enjoyed watching the parade from Liberty Square and bee-lined it to Splash Mountain for one last ride of the trip! We made our way back to Main Street to cap off our evening with Holiday Wishes, the most spectacular fireworks show of the year! During the parade and following the fireworks, Main Street is aglow with Christmas lights and a gentle snow falls to the street. It is a truly magical experience that I recommend every Disney fan experience at least once! Every time I attend the Christmas Party, it gets me excited for the Christmas season and I enjoy looking back on the experience fondly throughout December and the rest of the year. Have you attended the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year, or are planning to attend soon? Share your comments below!

 Until next time! -#willrunfordisney

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