This post rates the least and most-crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates, which is definitely something to consider before purchasing your tickets to this Magic Kingdom event. (Note: this post has not yet been updated for 2018 as party dates have not been released. We’ll notify subscribers to our free email newsletter as soon as 2018 MVMCP dates and tickets are released; subscribe if you’d like to be notified!)
In addition to offering tips for choosing the best days of the week to attend, we highlight the dates that should be the least-crowded Christmas Parties. As we share in our Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips post, not every Christmas Party (MVMCP) is equally crowded. Some are so packed for the first parade that they feel like a busy day in Magic Kingdom. Other nights, there is a ton of room on Main Street for Fireworks, and every attraction is a virtual walk-on by 10 p.m.
December 6, 2017 Update: We’ve offered a couple of updates to our newsletter subscribers and on our Facebook page already, but thought we’d update this post since a couple people have commented on it. This year’s MVMCP has been abnormally busy. After light attendance at the Halloween Party, the popularity of the Christmas Party has been somewhat inexplicable. While it can partly be explained by heavier attendance this holiday season in general, we would have expected ticket price increases to discourage some people from attending…
To the contrary, that has not been the case. Almost every single party has sold out this year, and while there are only two parties sold out for the rest of the season right now, that likely will change. We now expect every single remaining party to sell out; if not in advance, on the day of. Basically, if you’re thinking of attending one of the remaining Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates, you should be prepared for heavy crowds. When every night sells out, there’s no such thing as a “least-crowded” party.
Sorry that we don’t have better news, but that’s what you should realistically expect. While the following might be useful if (somehow) remaining dates don’t sell out, we would not count on that.
Since there are a lot of Christmas Party dates this year (more than ever before!), most of you planning week-long vacations to Walt Disney World probably have 2-3 options. If you only have 1 choice, well…this post won’t do you much good. (On the plus side, that means you don’t have to deal with 7 p.m. Magic Kingdom closings on other nights of your trip.)
There are two rules of thumb that almost always apply when determining which party nights will be the least busy. First, the cheaper nights are the less busy ones. There are several price tiers, so ranking the nights is a bit easier.
In general, the cheaper dates are in November and early-December, and the more expensive dates are in mid to late December. This first “rule” is not quite as hard and fast as the rule is for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and we’ll get to why in a bit.
The second rule is that school nights are the least busy nights, while Fridays and holiday breaks are the most busy times. A corollary to this rule is that Tuesday nights are historically the least crowded nights of the week. We’ve been attending the parties every year since 2007, and that rule has proven true in our experience and in what we’ve observed.
Going back to the first rule, the idea behind the price tiers is to encourage guests who have the option of considering multiple dates to choose the cheaper one. This demand-based pricing is the same idea behind the new park ticket Flex Pricing and seasonal hotel rates.
It works, but only to an extent. Plenty of people will pay a few dollars more on an already expensive ticket for a date that works better with their schedule.
Let’s start with the limitations. First, most locals planning on attending non-school night parties aren’t going to change those plans to save $5 or so. Second, tourists who travel during school breaks are essentially stuck traveling during those breaks, so they aren’t going to do a mid-December party as opposed to the December 22 one.
There are a few circumstances where I think you can use these two rules in concert to choose specific Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates that are likely to be the least busy. Let’s start by taking a look at the November dates.
Last year, there were 3 dates that jumped out as being a combination of slightly more expensive and on non-holiday period weeknights. This year, there’s only one such date: November 28.
Because of that, there are really no counter-intuitive best choices this year. Disney has wised up, and the cheapest party tickets are also the parties we anticipate being the least-crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates.
With that said, Tuesdays are typically the least busy parties and these Tuesday parties will have the benefit of cheaper (and thus more attractive to budget-conscious vacationers) alternatives in close proximity to them.
I’m not quite as high on November 26, and the reason-being is that this still fairly close to Thanksgiving, and there should be a lot of hotel bookings thanks to the Free Disney Dining Plan window right before then. I don’t think it’s a bad option, but I’d choose the next party over it.
If you are a local and can go whenever you want, I think the November 12 and 14 parties will be the least busy Christmas Parties of the year. These are after the initial rush of people (and bloggers!) wanting to be first to attend, but before most people really get into the festive spirit. If this is “too early” for you, December 3 and 5 should be good options, too.
As far as December goes, basically Tuesdays are the best days, followed by Thursdays, followed by Sundays. Earlier in the month is better, with the exception of the December 8 and 15 parties; there’s a reasonable probability that these will be the Christmas Parties that are heavily attended by the Pop Warner guests.
The December 22 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be the busiest of the year. Last year was the first time Walt Disney World did a Christmas Party this close to Christmas, and it must have been a “success” because they’re doing it again. In the past, they’ve avoided this because Christmas-week crowds make it impractical to close Magic Kingdom early.
There’s nothing unique about this year to make that not the case, so…good luck to anyone considering that party! I would recommend avoiding Magic Kingdom completely that day–and each of the last 3 party dates–transportation to get out of the park will be a nightmare.
Ultimately, you will have more considerations when planning your itinerary than just which Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is least crowded. Park hours will influence your decision. Weather might influence your decision. If you’re able to score an elusive ADR in a different park on a less-busy night, that might influence your decision.
We can’t stress enough that these predictions are exactly that. This is speculation, pure and simple. It’s informed by our experiences, not by any sort of insider information. We’re more than happy to offer a money-back guarantee (on our advice, not your tickets) should our predictions prove incorrect, though! 😉
We’ve updated our free Vacation Kingdom at Christmas eBook for the Christmas season! In order to receive your free copy, sign up for our (also free) newsletter if you haven’t already. You’ll receive a free download of that eBook, plus our Money-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World eBook as a thank you.
For comprehensive tips for planning your Christmas-time trip to Walt Disney World, check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Which days are your favorites for doing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Do you have any experiences that contradict or support our advice? When are you planning to go this year? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts on these questions, or anything else, in the comments!