Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has returned to the Magic Kingdom for the first time since 2019! We attended the first two parties of the season – both featured quite a bit of rain from Hurricane Nicole (one was pre-hurricane, the other just hours after the hurricane passed through).
This is my tenth year of posting Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tips and I’ve been attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for nearly 30 years now. This year is very similar to 2019. We will have a Mousesteps Weekly show this week all about the party experience. I will also be adding more videos to this article in the coming days.
1 – Plan ahead – Most nights are sold out now, the parties have been extremely popular this year. I often recommend two parties if possible because there is so much to see and do. I suggest figuring out priorities for the evening, since there is Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade along with the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show, stage shows, characters, a few ride overlays, treats to find and more. You can’t do it all in one night. But it is possible to see all you want to in one party if having a smaller list of must-do activities.
A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas – one of my favorite things to see at the party!
2 – Arrive early – Guests can arrive at 4:00 p.m. on a party ticket. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party does not officially start until 7:00 p.m., but there are some characters available to meet early, first photo locations and a special ornament this year! And of course, you can enjoy attractions in the Magic Kingdom for those few hours before the party starts.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide Map
3 – Head to the Market Street bypass for photos and a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ornament – Upon arrival into the park, you can head to the Market Street bypass to the right and pick up your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ornament! If you are already inside the Magic Kingdom, pick up your wristband and ornament in the Tomorrowland location set up across from Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.
4 – Meet characters such as Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws with Sally, and Mickey in his new holiday outfit – Jack Skellington is back as Sandy Claws and meets with Sally in Town Square Theater. They start meeting early. This is my favorite meet and greet at the party and it is very popular! Jack and Sally don’t sign autographs, but they do have a souvenir autograph card. We also met Scrooge McDuck, Donald, Daisy and Minnie in Storybook Circus and Mickey Mouse in his new holiday outfit in Town Square Theater.
Our video of Jack as Sandy Claws with Sally
Our video of Mickey in his new holiday costume
5 – View the second Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade for fewer crowds – This is only if the weather looks clear for the night. We encountered rainy evenings in both 2019 and 2022, so we ended up watching the first parade when it ran (as well as the second). Also, while we often watch the parade in Town Square, viewing it in Frontierland will be about 15 minutes faster since the parade starts there. With Cinderella Castle not lit up with the Dreamlights this year, we don’t put a priority on having a Cinderella Castle view as we have in previous years.
Our video of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
6 – Don’t miss Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks – This fireworks show was new in 2019. We watched it from Main Street during our first party night this year and then while riding the Tomorrowland Speedway on the second night (the latter was a fun view!).
7 – Stop for included treats – There are multiple locations in the Magic Kingdom for cookies, with an accompanying drink (hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog). The cookies are mostly different than in previous years and are individually wrapped. There are allergy-friendly packaged cookies as well as sugar-free Werther’s. Unlike previous years, there did not appear to be a healthy option (I asked and was given Homefree cookies and also the Werther’s in one location). The lack of a healthy option is disappointing.
Hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie at one treat location.
8 –Watch the last Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration show – The last Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration show starts at 11:55pm so it doesn’t take up any real party time and is much less crowded than earlier in the evening. That said, if it’s a must-do for you, I recommend watching it earlier in the evening as well (in case there are any issues with the last show, including rain).
Our video of Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration
9 – Ride the Jingle Cruise – This is not a party exclusive, so you can enjoy it anytime during your visit (from 4:00 p.m. and on). This is the holiday version of the Jungle Cruise and you may even want to ride both during the day and after dark.
Our video of the Jingle Cruise from opening day in 2022.
10 – Enjoy other ride overlays – Back in 2019, new ride overlays debuted for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. My favorite is the Tomorrowland Speedway, with decorations and holiday music throughout. Space Mountain, the Mad Tea Party and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor all have holiday twists as well.
Our video of the Tomorrowland Speedway holiday version – with a fireworks view!
11 – Ride the PeopleMover – While the PeopleMover itself doesn’t have a holiday ride overlay, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the season while passing by the Tomorrowland Speedway, through Space Mountain and you may catch a little of the “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” show and lighting on the exterior of Space Mountain. The TRON canopy (for the upcoming ride) was also illuminated on our first party night, with ride vehicles cycling through.
12 – Check out other entertainment – There are two dance parties for kids to enjoy: Club Tinsel at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe and and Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam in Storybook Circus. We stopped for the music of the Reindeer Wranglers and The Edge Effect, and found some characters roaming a bit (the Country Bears in Frontierland, Peter Pan in Adventureland).
13 – Walk around the park – I like to walk around to check out special lighting and entertainment. The lighting during the first two parties was actually pretty slim, but the lighting on Space Mountain is especially nice.
14 – Stay late – It is busier now than it was years ago late during party nights. I used to enjoy a near-empty Main Street, but now Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration ends around 12:15 p.m. and PhotoPass photographers are out much later. But it is still lovely to enjoy the sights and sounds of Main Street U.S.A. late at night (we left just before 1:00 a.m. both evenings to catch the last monorail).
Main Street U.S.A. late at night during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
15 – Stop for Photopass Magic Shots – We stopped for a PhotoPass Magic Shot in Liberty Square, themed to Muppets Christmas Carol. There are others as well, and we’ll check those out when we return to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for one more night in December.
Our Muppets Christmas Carol PhotoPass Magic Shot
16 – Pick up your 50th Anniversary Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party print on the way out of the park – This is a very nice souvenir of the party! On the second night we visited, we were told by Cast Members at the exit that prints had run out for the evening. After I noticed some guests carrying them from inside the park, we went to City Hall and they did have some on hand. So if you are told prints have run out, check with City Hall.
Have fun! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates for 2022 are:
I will be adding more videos, a few more photos and our Mousesteps Weekly YouTube Show into this article next week! And if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World this holiday season, we do partner with MEI and Mousefan Travel and highly recommend them.