This rainy day report offers a recap of our experience at the first 2019 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. In it, we share commentary and dozens of new photos from this year’s holiday party at Walt Disney World. Before we even get started, we’ll preface this by saying it was an incredibly wet night–a downright “Disney Deluge” you might say–and consequently, this report is a bit incomplete.
If you’re looking for background info about the event, strategy for seeing as much as possible, or even addressing the threshold question of whether MVMCP is worth the money, consult our 2019 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Info & Tips post. We’ve already updated that following our experience at the first party night of 2019.
Essentially, this is run-through of our evening at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party–like a trip report except for only the special event. It’ll be rambling, anecdotal, and sometimes off-topic. Moreover, since we didn’t do everything during the MVMCP we attended, it’s incomplete and non-exhaustive from an advice and planning perspective…
In addition to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we spent the weekend doing as much new ‘seasonal stuff’ at Walt Disney World as possible. We’ve already covered the Animal Kingdom’s Awesome Christmas Additions. Aside from Epcot and some of the resorts, the Christmas season is already in full swing at Walt Disney World. As such, we’ll have many new and updated Christmas posts in the near future, so stay tuned for that if you’re hyped on the holidays!
On that note, a quick plug before we get started: I’ve been working on our free 2019 Walt Disney World Christmas eBook, which is out now! It’s 100 pages with 200+ photos and tons of great tips & info for the holiday season at Walt Disney World. For more details on how to get this totally-free ebook, click here.
This Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was a roller coaster of emotions for us. Never ones to pass up a chance on procrastinating, it sold out before we purchased tickets. This caused a mild freak-out, as the first night is literally the only one of the next several that we’d be able to attend. Fortunately, a friend came through in the clutch and was able to get us tickets.
After that, disappointment shifted back to excitement, especially as we watched the local news. The words “cold front” kept being thrown around for Friday. It sounded like rather than being hot and humid, the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party would offer sweater weather!
Then came the news of scattered showers. That would’ve been a downer, but if we’re being honest, we totally ignored that. The words “scattered showers” don’t catch our attention as much as “cold front.” The latter is about as rare as a unicorn, whereas the former is about as common as lovebugs in May. I didn’t even bring an umbrella to Magic Kingdom.
Of course, in hindsight this turned out to be a colossal mistake and oversight. This was not a passing afternoon shower, which was what appeared to be originally forecast. Instead, it was basically a drizzle cloud (scientific term) that parked over Magic Kingdom for the entirety of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Throughout the night, it opened and closed its valve (more science) to release precipitation of varying degrees of intensity.
After eating our way around Magic Kingdom, we ended up in the hub shortly before A Frozen Holiday Wish, which was absolutely chaotic. We quickly left, taking a comparatively quiet vantage along the bridge to Tomorrowland:
If you don’t care about seeing the performers on stage, this is definitely a good alternative viewing option. You can see the projection mapping, castle lighting, and pyro at the end. Plus, the angle for photos is better.
We started our night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party by heading back to Storybook Circus to meet Donald Duck & Scrooge McDuck, plus Daisy Duck & Minnie Mouse. These characters have moved inside under the big top of the Dumbo interactive queue, so now you get four characters while only waiting in one line.
The line was predictably long, but we raced back here right after A Frozen Holiday Wish, so we beat most of the crowd.
All told, I think we waited just under an hour for these 4 characters. That’s not terrible when considering that half of that time was before MVMCP even started.
I’m guessing we could’ve trimmed that down even further later in the night, but we’d rather spend more “normal day” time in Magic Kingdom than waste valuable party time. YMMV.
After that, it was off to Tomorrowland, which is home to the biggest additions of the 2019 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There, you’ll find what we’ve dubbed the Totally Tinsel Tomorrowland Trio.
This consists of overlays to Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, and Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. The latter two have done overlays for different events–we really enjoyed the Monster World Halloween overlay, whereas the past Space Mountain “overlays” at Magic Kingdom have been unequivocally bad.
During this Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we only had a chance to ride Tomorrowland Speedway. There isn’t an official name for this overlay (to my knowledge), but I did read an interview with one of the overlay’s designers who referred to it as Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays. That has a nice ring to it, so we’ll go with that.
I love the idea of Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays. In commentary for the announcement, I described what I envisioned for this overlay: “In my dream scenario, this is like a drive-through version of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, albeit scaled back considerably. Canopies of lights overhead, spinning globes, giant trees, and of course, Baby Sinclair.”
Unfortunately, everything in the second sentence is missing entirely (including the unconscionable omission of Baby Sinclair), but the first sentence nicely encapsulates Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays. It’s probably a bit more sparse than I’d like, but it’s still good.
In fact, Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays exceeded my expectations in terms of design. A lot of the props and lighting enhancements appear to be custom-made, and have a beautiful mid-century modern style to them. I figured these would be mostly off the shelf additions, so it’s nice to see some truly eye-catching stuff.
This approach makes sense, as having scenes with focal points helps carry the Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays overlay in areas where the lighting is more sparse. Around every turn, your eye is drawn to something new, and the final result is something that feels mostly complete. It’s a solid showing, and instantly the best party overlay for any Walt Disney World attraction. (Not that the bar was super high before.)
With that said, Race Through the Holidays has room for improvement. To draw a comparison, it’s not as comprehensive as the Villains Grove overlay of Redwood Creek Challenge Trail that Disney California Adventure did for Halloween. Villains Grove used a variety of projections and unique lighting effects so that almost every inch of Redwood Creek had new and mesmerizing lighting. It’d be cool to see some of that tech ported to Florida as Walt Disney World iterates on this overlay for next year.
However, the bigger problem with Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays isn’t the overlay–it’s Tomorrowland Speedway. I only ride this attraction when absolutely “necessary” and I’m reminded of why that is every time I do. There’s nothing futuristic about these stinky, headache-inducing vehicles. Their noise and smell definitely puts a damper on the holiday overlay.
In fact, we actually enjoyed watching Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays while devouring a Christmas Cookie Sundae from Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies under the covered tables near the Speedway than we did riding it. From this spot, we had a great view of our favorite decorations, and were directly under a speaker playing the ride’s music.
Speaking of which, I’m about 75% sure the Tomorrowland Speedway: Race Through the Holidays ride music is the Tokyo Disneyland Tomorrowland Christmas Background Music. That’s one of my favorite loops, and I really hope Walt Disney World completes the effect next year by doing dancing lights projected onto the roof of Space Mountain.
We’re looking forward to doing the holiday editions of both Space Mountain and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor next time.
Unfortunately, the wait for Space Mountain was prohibitively long early in the event. By the time all of the waits dropped later in the night due to hours of the Disney Deluge, we were ready to just get out of there. Next time.
Assuming one of the other two overlays is good (my money is on Monsters), that means the Totally Tinsel Tomorrowland Trio is batting .667. Throw the criminally underrated A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas into the mix, and this is the unexpected powerhouse land of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. (Well, aside from Main Street.)