This post rates the best & worst Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates based on which are likely to be the least and most crowded. November and December can have roller coaster crowds at Walt Disney World, so this is worth considering before buying tickets if your dates are flexible.
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 Guide to the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, 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.
With that said, we should note that last year, MVMCP was abnormally busy across the entire calendar. We mention this to prepare you for the reality that the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is likely to have heavy crowds. If you’ve done the party before but not since ~2018, you’re likely to experience a busier event than in the past, irrespective of which date you choose. “Least-crowded” here is a relative term.
Last year, every single MVMCP sold out. There’s a reasonable probability that the same will occur with the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Given that, you might think that this post is pointless. After all, sold out is sold out, right?
Maybe. For one thing, there’s no guarantee that every date of the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will sell out. Although last year’s MVMCP sold out every single date, that was also during a period of pent-up demand–both for travel in general and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, specifically, as it had not occured in the prior 2 years.
With that said, it’s likely that Walt Disney World will increase prices significantly for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party given how quickly last year’s event sold out. Higher prices mean a smaller pool of consumers will be willing/able to buy tickets. That pool still might be larger than the number of tickets available on some or all dates–but we don’t know that yet.
Beyond that, we’ve noticed in prior years that “sold out is sold out” is not entirely accurate when it comes to the Halloween and Christmas Parties.
Sold out dates closer to holiday weeks (e.g. Thanksgiving and Christmas) had significantly higher feels like crowds than those mid-week party nights in early November or December. We have no way of proving this, but a similar phenomenon has occurred with Disney Park Pass reservations. “Fully booked” doesn’t always have the same crowd levels or wait times.
Since there are a lot of 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates, 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 6 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. We often say that Walt Disney World doesn’t offer discounts out of corporate benevolence–it’s in order to incentivize bookings. That same philosophy holds true with party ticket pricing (or even regular ticket pricing and hotel rooms).
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 the week of Thanksgiving and throughout the month of December.
The idea behind the price tiers is to encourage guests who have the option of considering multiple dates to choose the cheaper one. 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 21 one.
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 and Thursday 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, in what we’ve observed, and what we’ve heard from readers who have attended other evenings.
Putting these two rules together, it should be easy to spot the four best dates. Last year, those ideal Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights were:
November 10 (Thursday)
November 14 (Monday)
November 15 (Tuesday)
November 17 (Thursday)
While dates have not yet been released for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, expect them to follow a similar pattern, within a day or two of the above dates.
If you are a local and can go whenever you want, I think these parties will be the least busy Christmas Parties of the year. In particular, I really like the November 14 and 15 party nights. 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.
The November 9 night does have me a little nervous because that’s one day before Veterans Day, which is always a busy long weekend at Walt Disney World. That holiday always seems to catch people by surprise–including Disney’s internal crowd forecasters. It’s still likely to be a good party to attend since it’s a Thursday so early in the season, but it could surprise on the high side.
All bets are off the following week. Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest weeks of the year at Walt Disney World, and there are fewer parties that week as a result of the crushing crowds (Disney doesn’t schedule MVMCP when regular crowds will be too high to allow for closing Magic Kingdom at 6 pm).
Consequently, the November 20 and 22 parties are both bad options. Ditto November 27. As the first party in several days, that’s going to be the only night many families can attend during their trips.
As far as December goes, basically Tuesdays are the best days, followed by Thursdays, followed by Sundays. Earlier in the month is better than later. Even though Pop Warner is now hosted at Universal, it remains a wildcard; there’s a decent chance they’ll do a group night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
The final Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be the busiest of the year. With that said, there won’t be any material difference in crowds for any of the last 3 parties. They will all almost certainly sell out (even at those prices) and be busy. That is, unless there’s a freak blizzard that keeps crowds away–basically, something we couldn’t predict at this point.
Up until a few years ago, Walt Disney World didn’t do MVMCP that close to Christmas. 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.
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? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!