Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: 2016 Photos & Report
Before we get to Holiday Wishes, now seems like a good time to address the reason most of you will be going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the first place: the cookies.
In addition to the classic snickerdoodle cookies, this year Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has added snowman sugar cookies, gingersnap molasses cookies, and peppermint bark cookies. The snowman sugar cookie is the outlier of the bunch, being hard and shaped like a snowman.
Also, it is an outlier in that it tastes like it was added because Disney got a great closeout deal on surplus ALDI inventory that was going to expire in September…of last year. Actually, perhaps that’s being generous. I could barely finish one of these. If you head through the Main Street bypass upon entering the party, they’ll also give you a larger version of this cookie there. Don’t take it; it’s a trap!
The other cookies are both good. They are comparable to the snickerdoodle in consistency, being semi-soft cookies that are roughly the same size. The gingersnap cookie was perfectly satisfactory, with nice texture, flavor, and moistness. I didn’t find these to be as good as the snickerdoodle or peppermint bark options, but that’s likely personal preference.
The peppermint bark cookie was without question the highlight. It was basically a sugar cookie with chunks of peppermint in it. It was the perfect Christmas-y treat for the party, and I had 12 during the party. Perhaps I live under a rock, but I had never had a cookie like this before.
I laud the scientific advancements that have allowed us to create “peppermint bark,” as well as those that have allowed us to infuse that substance into cookies. I may or may not have thrown a few of these cookies in my camera bag for breakfast this morning. (I also may or may not have crumbs all over my camera bag…)
Okay, that’s like 500 words on cookies. I think it’s time to move on to the fireworks…
Holiday Wishes is another favorite of mine, and I love seeing it every year. Again, though, I wonder how long until it receives a nice tech upgrade.
With Once Upon a Time just having debuted at Magic Kingdom (among other things), it’s clear Disney is moving towards more projections in its nighttime spectaculars, and those used in Holiday Wishes now seem quaint by comparison.
After the fireworks, we headed back to check out the situation for parade spots. To our surprise, many spots along Main Street were already being claimed. Now, I know we attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on an incredibly light night, so maybe that’s throwing off my frame of reference, but this MVMCP seemed moderately crowded. I was surprised, given that it was a weeknight in mid-November, which is not a historically popular time for the parties.
This was likely an anomaly and not part of some greater trend, so I wouldn’t read much into it. I know the IAAPA conference is in town, so maybe that’s the cause of last night being moderately crowded? The predictions in our Best Dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party still hold. At least, I think and hope that’s the case.
Before the parade, our friend Mark took this photo of us. Yes, I’m wearing a coat…in Florida. It was in the 50s last night, and over the weekend, the low is going to be 41 degrees. I can’t say this bothers me too much (or at all), as our last two trips the humidity has been through the roof.
Now is probably a good time for a reminder that you should consult our Winter Packing Tips for Disney post if you’re visiting anytime between November and February.
The one thing missing from the first time we watched Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade was the snow. Totally makes the experience.
What I miss most in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is the goofy reindeer designed by Disney Legend Bill Justice. The new reindeer are perfectly adequate, but that’s exactly the problem. They look like fake reindeer you could find performing anywhere, and lack the personality that define great Disney characters.
There’s a reason the pirates in POTC and bears in CBJ resonate with guests, and it is *not* because we are impressed with such accurate depictions of pirates and bears. They are charming, and have depth & character thanks to their caricatured appearance. Same goes for the Bill Justice reindeer. Same does not go for the new ones. With new shirts featuring these “Silly Reindeer,” maybe someday this version will return? #JusticeForReindeer
I have spilled a lot of ink on this blog defending/praising A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas. You’ve probably read that by now (and if not…you’re lucky), so I won’t rehash it here. Suffice to say, we are among a growing legion (yes, legion) of ATTC zealots, and the show is an under-appreciated for its zany, tongue in cheek charm.
There’s just something about A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas. I wouldn’t go as far as to say we enjoy it ironically, but it’s definitely on that spectrum. The weird Zurg dancers, the plot, and the dialogue that is quotable in the same sort of way that the “Must Do Disney” show is. It’s one of those things you either get and like, or don’t.
It would seem that most people don’t. We are totally fine with that. It means A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas will remain a laid back show that we can stroll up to right as it starts and still grab a prime view, seated on the pavement. (Another plus–you don’t have to stand up!)
After that, it was back to the Castle Forecourt for the final showing of Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration. Even for the midnight showing, this still drew quite an audience. This is going to be a popular show for years to come.
We ended the night by slowly making our way to the front, lingering for photos and to enjoy the background music. As we were making our way out, we saw Brett (@guybehindthecastle), who is one of the nicest Cast Members at Walt Disney World; the kind who embodies the Disney tradition of exemplary guest service. He’s always friendly…even when he’s probably a little sick of seeing me. 😉
Overall, we had a great time at this year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party despite our own decisions to camp out for parade and fireworks spots for inordinate amounts of time. We probably could’ve shaved off 2 hours of waiting and still had perfectly satisfactory spots.
This year saw the largest price increase for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party since we’ve been attending it, possibly ever. I know that same price increase resulted in far fewer sellouts and lighter attendance, generally, at the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but I have no clue what the impact has been (so far) on the Christmas Party. Attendance certainly did not seem lighter at the party we attended.
Still, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recommend these hard ticket events. I can certainly find ways to justify it (if it’s this or a comparably price dinner, I’d choose this every single time; it’s ~$10/hour if you enter right at 4 p.m., which doesn’t seem too excessive) but the reality is that this party is really expensive. Since we’ve been attending, it has gone for an justifiable add-on experience to a splurge.
For us, it’s still worth it. In fairness, though, we are hopeless Disney addicts who also happen to be Christmas addicts. Additionally, we don’t have to purchase tickets for kids, so the price doesn’t sting quite as much for us. With all of that said, we find this to be the best holiday offering in all of Walt Disney World, with exceptional entertainment and a festive atmosphere. Your mileage will certainly vary on the ‘worth it’ status. Hopefully this recap’s glimpse into our night at the event will help you decide.
FYI – We will have several more large photos from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party–including of Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, the parade, and fireworks–in our updated (and totally free) Walt Disney World Christmas eBook, which we’ll release Thanksgiving weekend. For more details on how to get this totally-free ebook, click here.
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 Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.
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Have you attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World this year? In previous years? Any thoughts of your own to add? Agree or disagree with my assessment Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, the new cookies, or anything else? Hearing from you is half the fun, so if you have questions or comments, please share below!
We attended last year’s party on Dec 5th and loved it. We dutifully lined up early for the Seven Dwarves at 6 pm, and waited until 7:15 to get the photo. Much later in the night we walked by and the line was very short, so we were mad that we waited. However, I’m sure you can’t plan on that and the photo was a “must” for me, so I’m glad I got the photo. I really enjoyed dancing with the reindeer and bears at Tomorrowland, that was a surprising highlight, though i stepped on a hoof and that reindeer avoided me from then on. The cookie recommendations are spot on. I love the meet and greets. The Ducks were hilarious. It’s fun to play with the characters. I will be buying the special ornament for the party again this year. If you’re into photos, make sure you wear something that will make you look good! iPhone photo tip: buy one of those cheap mini tripods that have bendable legs. Place it on a trash can on the parade route, use your earbuds volume button to click the photos of the parade like a remote shutter release. I got great photos!
Hi! I love your advice and it is always spot on! I have read all of your holiday posts and yet, since I have never been to WDW during the holidays, I am very confused and need to ask a “stupid” question. How do the tickets to “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” work? Is it in a separate section of the park? Do they make everyone else that doesn’t have a ticket for the party leave early? Is one still able to go to the park during the day? I’m sure the answers are obvious and that’s why no one mentions it, so please excuse my ignorance. Thanks for your reply!
Hello! Not a stupid question at all! At the main entrance, there will be cast members dressed in christmassy attire holding signs for the Christmas party, follow these cast members to enter via your party ticket. Since party guests can enter as early as 4 pm, there will still be some regular park guests coming just to attend magic kingdom for another few hours, they have to enter the park via the regular turnstiles, and will be ushered out of the park come party time. (No party wristband, no party!) I made the mistake a few years ago of excitedly entering in magic kingdom for the party via the regular turnstiles instead of making sure I was at a special “party entrance turnstile.” This burned one of my park hopper days off of my magic band instead of zapping my party ticket! Guest relations quickly made everything right again for me though, so no problem. The party entrances are well marked, but hey, I was excited to get partying! Hope this helps!