It’s hard to believe but the Christmas Season is again upon us! At this, the happiest time of the year, millions of families have their plans to celebrate and traditions to follow. For my wife and me, that means two things…Attending two of our favorite holiday parties at the Magic Kingdom- “Mickey’s Not-so-scary-Halloween Party and our favorite, “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” And we are not alone. Countless families have included these venues as part of their traditional Holiday celebrations.
Walt Disney above all was the quintessential American family man. Family and the Holidays were always first in his mind. The rich tradition of Celebrating Christmas at Disneyland came about from The Mickey Mouse Club Circus in 1955, which evolved into a group of 12 Dickens Carolers who performed throughout the park. Guest choirs were also invited to perform daily in the Main Street bandstand that had been recently moved to the Magnolia Park area of Adventureland.
By 1956, the event was known as “The Christmas Bowl” This was so well received by the guests, and it grew so big that by December 1958, the first evening Candlelight Processional was held with singers from sixteen choirs moving down Main Street to the Plaza where they performed a full concert with the Dickens carolers singing from the Sleeping Beauty Castle balcony above. Now at Walt Disney World, we have the Osborn Family Lights at the Studios, the Candlelight processional at the American Gardens Theater at EPCOT, and of course Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
As a member of the media, I was an invited guest for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at this year’s press event. The party is a separate hard-ticket event in addition to any regular park pass. Guests wanting to attend the parties, which are held on select nights from November 8 to December 20, should realize that the Mickey’s Christmas party is extremely popular and advanced booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased on-line (Your best bet to get the date you want!), in person at the Ticket and Transportation center or at Guest Relations. You can purchase tickets on the night of the parties, but if they are sold out, as many dates are, you will be disappointed.
So what is in store for Christmas partygoers? Plenty. I have broken down the activities to give you an idea what’s in store…NOTE-Be sure to obtain a park guide map for the party!
ADVENTURELAND…Swiss Family Treehouse-Magic Carpets of Aladdin-Pirates of the Caribbean-A Pirates Adventure and New for this year, the “Jingle Cruise” The classic Jungle Cruise has a Holiday storyline. The skippers are homesick for the holidays and have decorated the loading area and boats (Check out the new “Holiday Names” for the boats, i.e. Poinsettia Sal and Berrrr Bertha) In addition, some new Holiday Jokes are added to the spiel and Christmas music can be heard in the background. FRONTIERLAND…Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Country Bear Jamboree. LIBERTY SQUARE…The Haunted Mansion. FANTASYLAND…It’s a Small World, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Regal Carrousel, Princess Fairytale Hall, Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, The Barnstormer, Casey Jr. Splash and soak, Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto and Enchanted Tales with Belle. TOMORROWLAND…Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, Peoplemover, Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear, Stitch and Monsters Inc.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE…Again, select eateries are open… MAIN ST. USA…The Bakery and Casey’s Corner. FRONTIERLAND…Churro Wagon-Turkey Leg Cart-Westward Ho and Pecos Bill. LIBERTY SQUARE…Sleepy Hollow and Liberty Square Market. FANTASYLAND…Friar’s Nook, Storybook Treats and Gaston’s Tavern. TOMORROWLAND…The Lunching Pad and Cosmic Ray’s. There are of course the unlimited free hot chocolate and sugar cookies available throughout the night at select stations! (Check your park map for locations)
And what is a Christmas party without the parties and shows? There is entertainment galore all night, starting out with the decorations, Christmas Carols and snow all along Main St. USA. And, in my opinion, the focal point of the whole evening, Cinderella Castle. Nothing gives that warm Christmas Feeling all over than seeing the Castle all lit up and sparkling in millions of lights and colors. And what a beautiful picture it makes! The kids can Meet Santa next to City Hall at the Candy Cane Garden. There are two character dance parties…One is at the Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square. Dance with Woody, Jessie and the gang to country tunes and then head out to Tomorrowland at 7pm when an animated DJ takes over for Sonny Eclipse and the kids and parents along with Goofy and Pluto get a chance to do a little line dancing.
In Tomorrowland, on the Tomorrowland stage is a High-energy stage show with Mike Wazowski, Stitch and Buzz Lightyear; along with a fine dance troupe, celebrate Christmas in “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show” Times 7:45pm-8:45pm9:55pm-10:50pm and 11:45pm. On the Castle forecourt is the extremely popular (Get there EARLY for a good spot!) “Celebrate the Season” show. Again with a talented cast of Dancers and singers, Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang celebrate the season in high style. ShowTime’s are at 7:45pm-10:05pm and 11:20pm.
And the headliners of the night are “Mickey’s Once upon a Christmastime Parade” starting off at Frontierland, the first one is at 8:15 pm and the second one at 10:30pm. Mickey, Minnie, Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow and all your favorite characters in special Christmas Floats help bring in the Christmas Season in style. “Celebrate the Magic” show as the Castle is transformed into an amazing light and video show. And the crowd pleaser is “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Season” fireworks show. This is an amazing pyrotechnics display, choreographed to music, not to be missed. The show will be all around Main St and the Castle. Time is 9:30pm. Here is a hint…Many guests begin to leave after the Fireworks. The best opportunity to see the parade and get a good viewing spot is at the second showing. One of my favorite spots is the mezzanine level in the Train Station. You get there a bit early and get an amazing unobstructed view of the parade and it’s a perfect place for pictures.
And don’t forget your Christmas shopping! There are plenty of presents to be had to fill those stockings up. The following merchandise stores are open…Emporium, Main St. USA, Frontier Trading Post, Frontierland, Heritage House in Liberty Square, Big Top Souvenirs, Fantasyland and Mickey’s Star Traders in Tomorrowland.
Since this is a separate ticketed event, the crowd levels are a bit lower than a normal day. Lines for attractions and other venues are a little lighter. But it can still be crowded, especially on sold out nights. But even on busy nights, the lines are not that bad. As with regular days at the Magic Kingdom, the best time for your favorite attractions is during the parades and major shows. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins at 7pm and runs till 12am. But you can enter around 4pm. All ticket holders must get a wristband at the event entrance. Without one, you will be asked to leave the park. Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at 407-w-disney. Here are all the dates and pricing details…
November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20
Advanced Purchase pricing is available for all events except 11/22, 12/6, 12/13, 12/19 & 12/20. For events on these dates, only Same-Day Sales Pricing applies.
Ages 10+ – $62 + tax- Ages 3 to 9 – $57 + tax
Same Day Purchase…Ages 10+ – $67 + tax –Ages 3 to 9 – $62 + tax
Premium Night… December 20 2013- Ages 10+ – $71 + tax- Ages 3 to 9 – $66 + tax
Passholder and DVC Discounts
Specially priced tickets are available to Disney Vacation Club Members and Passholder with the following Annual Passes – Premier Passport, Premium Annual Pass, Annual Pass, Seasonal Pass, Weekday Select Pass, and Epcot After 4pm Annual Pass for the following event days: 11/8, 11/11, 11/14, 11/15, 11/17, 11/21, 12/1, 12/3, 12/5 & 12/10.
Ages 10 + – $58 + tax
Ages 3 to 9 – $53 + tax