Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns to Magic Kingdom beginning in November 2022! This takes a sneak peak at the entertainment lineup and dates for the hard ticket event, plus our commentary, including why Walt Disney World is retiring Very Merriest After Hours to bring back the fan favorite event.
This announcement of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party’s triumphant return occurred as part of the Disney Parks “Halfway to the Holidays” celebration featuring special announcements, recipes for delicious dishes from the parks, and a live tweeting of a Santa Clausevirtual watch party coming tonight.
Before we dig into the details, let’s start with the basics. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) will be held on select nights in Magic Kingdom from early November through the week of Christmas 2022. This is the first time that fan-favorite MVMCP will be held since 2019. Here’s the full text of the announcement from Walt Disney World, followed by our commentary…
Holiday joy will unfold at Magic Kingdom as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns this year!
On 24 select nights, November 8 through December 22, 2022, this separately ticketed event will invite guests to Magic Kingdom for an evening of merriment.
Join Mickey and his pals at the Cinderella Castle stage for the ultimate must-watch Christmas extravaganza – “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.”
The show features nostalgic and modern medleys of holiday music paired with dance performances.
Minnie Mouse orchestrates a sparkling spectacle over Magic Kingdom as a part of “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.” Full of holiday magic, the show includes dazzling castle projections, fireworks and seasonal songs.
With his famous flying reindeer leading the way, Santa Claus will join Mickey Mouse and friends in the must-see “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” as it makes its way through the park.
Speaking of Santa Claus, he isn’t the only one who likes cookies during the holidays.
Partygoers can indulge in complimentary cookies and hot cocoa at locations throughout Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom attractions will get a special dose of yuletide cheer. As an exclusive treat for event attendees, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Mad Tea Party will all receive a special holiday makeover.
Holiday magic will once again transform the Jungle Cruise into the Jingle Cruise–but this is not exclusive to MVMCP.
Also at Magic Kingdom, dance the night away alongside favorite Disney characters during an out-of-this-world holiday show, “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” on the Rockettower Plaza Stage. (YES!!!)
Nearby, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café becomes the coolest place to get down when denizens of the North Pole drop by for an intergalactic dance party!
The fun continues for young partygoers and Disney Junior fans of all ages at Storybook Circus during the “Disney Junior Jingle Jam” as Disney Junior characters take part in a fun-filled dance celebration.
Finally, in honor of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party attendees will discover three jolly new photo opportunities. Guests will also receive a special 50th Anniversary commemorative keepsake, themed for the holidays.
Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party may be purchased online or by calling 407-939-4240 beginning July 7, 2022. Guests of all Walt Disney World resorts and other select hotels (see below) can begin purchasing tickets as early as June 30, 2022. Ticket prices will range from $149 to $199. The event dates are:
Below is date-by-date pricing, along with other additional details about the 2022 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that Walt Disney World has released:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will take place from 7 pm to midnight. Ticket holders will be admitted to Magic Kingdom as early as 4 pm on the valid date of their ticket–giving them even more time to enjoy park favorites before the event begins! These date-specific event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or theme park reservation.
Discounts – Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can save $10 per ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, valid for select event nights.
Purchase Tickets Soon – Guests of select hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort can begin purchasing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets as early as June 30, 2022.
The advance purchase window is available to guests of ALL Disney-owned resort hotels, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin (including Swan Reserve), as well as Shades of Green at Walt Disney World Resort.
All other guests may purchase tickets beginning on July 7, 2022.
So there you have it: the full Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns for 2022, with pretty much all of the entertainment from the last time it ran in 2019.
Despite featuring a parade, stage show, and event-exclusive fireworks, the 2022 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will have a lower starting and average price, plus a peak price that’s $49 lower than Disney Very Merriest After Hours. Does this all sound a little too good to be true? Wondering what gives? We’ll cover that in the commentary, along with other thoughts on the return of MVMCP, which is pretty similar to our assessment of the return of MNSSHP.
Despite the lower average ticket price and added entertainment, I pretty am confident that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is more lucrative for Disney than the After Hours events. You may think that’s some “fuzzy math” on my part, but it’s pretty easily explained.
In the past, Walt Disney World has capped capacity at a significantly lower level for the After Hours events than for the Halloween and Christmas parties. We’re talking less than half. Part of this is that there’s more to absorb crowds during MVMCP–everything from more entertainment to attraction overlays.
With that in mind, you should go in with realistic expectations about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party if you’ve never attended, only done Very Merriest After Hours, or haven’t done MVMCP in the last several years. In the last two years the Halloween and Christmas parties ran, attendance levels absolutely exploded from October through December. See “Is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Too Crowded?” for a look at what we mean. Obviously, that covers MNSSHP, but it also applies to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
If past precedent is any indication, attendance caps for hard ticket events only increase and never decrease. Both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party have gotten progressively busier over the years. That’ll undoubtedly be true once again in 2022.
Higher crowds than the After Hours events is not the only downside of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Due to the earlier start time of the latter, there’s suddenly a paywall around fireworks, other entertainment, and evenings in general at Magic Kingdom several nights per week.
From the perspective of a non-attendee, which you almost certainly would be some other day during your trip, After Hours is inarguably the better option. On After Hours evenings, Magic Kingdom would have normal fireworks and nighttime entertainment for day guests, the park would close at 9 pm, and it wouldn’t screw with crowd distribution over the course of the entire week.
On a MVMCP night, there will be no Disney Enchantment fireworks or nighttime entertainment for day guests and Magic Kingdom will close at 6 pm.
Because of that earlier closing time and the lack of fireworks, it would push crowds to non-party nights, making them miserable. One of those scenarios is objectively better for Walt Disney World guests who choose not to pay upcharge prices.
As for why Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is returning, there are several reasons. The most straightforward one is that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is returning, so obviously it makes sense to bring back MVMCP along with it.
Another is that last year’s Christmas After Hours was substantially similar to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Unlike Boo Bash before it, most entertainment was restored for the holiday incarnation. In fact, it felt almost like a hybrid event, offering the core elements of an After Hours event and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party…while charging the combined cost for both!
Nevertheless, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party would return for 2022.
Last year, Walt Disney World opted to hold the After Hours events because there was the expectation that the 50th Anniversary’s opening months would draw colossal crowds. This would’ve been problematic because Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires closing Magic Kingdom at 6 pm several nights per week.
In a year of normal attendance levels, this creates a logistical nightmare. The event artificially manipulates attendance patterns to an extreme and almost unmanageable degree. By contrast, the After Hours events occur–as the name suggests–after normal operating hours have ended. Regular day guests were still able to see fireworks every night, which prevents a roller coaster crowd dynamic with low attendance on party days and heavy crowds on non-party days.
As it turned out, crowds were low through October, but attendance picked up considerably in November and December. With August and September always being the fall off-season months and attendance typically not increasing significantly until October, a similar concern could’ve existed this year–making MNSSHP feasible from the perspective of crowd dynamics, but not MVMCP.
The opening of TRON Lightcycle Run is another wild card, and it looks increasingly likely to debut this year–potentially during the holiday season around when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened a few years ago. This was another factor that could influence the After Hours v. MVMCP decision. Thankfully, Walt Disney World has opted to hold both seasonal events.
As for the other reasons why Disney is opting to bring back Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, one is undoubtedly guest satisfaction. Although there have been complaints about it in more recent years (we’ll get to those below), MVMCP is a fan favorite. Bringing it back is a huge win for Walt Disney World at a time when the place could really use a win. Some might even say it’s a Christmas miracle!
For its part, Very Merriest After Hours was reasonably well-received by those who attended, but also garnered a lot of criticism. For one, there was the threshold matter of cost. Not only was it was priced as an After Hours event–meaning more expensive than MVMCP, but it was the most expensive After Hours event ever, with a price range of $159 to $249.
For another, Very Merriest After Hours was a non-starter for many parents with small children due to its later hours and shorter runtime. Aside from price, this was the #1 complaint we heard about the event–that the target demographic for the holiday party couldn’t partake because their kids would fall asleep before or shortly after the After Hours event started.
With all of those pros and cons in mind, we welcome back Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with open arms. Don’t misconstrue us pointing out the negatives (everything has ’em) with criticizing this decision. WE ARE VERY HAPPY. You can plan around MVMCP with a little effort and it will not negatively impact your Walt Disney World vacation.
There are other ways to outsmart the crowds aside from After Hours events. (In fact, MVMCP creates a crowd dynamic that works well for planners with Park Hopper tickets). By contrast, the experience of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is irreplaceable. Everything in life involves trade-offs, and the ones here to get MVMCP back are well worth it.
Ultimately, we’re incredibly excited about this news that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is returning for 2022. Like so many Walt Disney World fans, attending MVMCP was a fall tradition for us, and we really missed the event the last two years. We also missed all of its entertainment and it’ll be great to see that again. As insignificant as it might sound, we’re especially hyped that “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” is returning!
If you’re already planning ahead and thinking about when to do the 2022 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, your best bet from a low crowds perspective is attending on a Tuesday night. If you’re a local with even more flexible dates, attending one of the earlier events in November (but not the very first night–that’s the “blogger bash” that’s attended by sites like this, vloggers, influencers, and every other diehard local who wants to be first, which is why it’s more expensive than the following nights) is your best bet for avoiding the crowds.
What are your thoughts about all of this? Excited that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is returning this year? Will your family be buying or sitting this holiday event out? Do you agree or disagree with our perspective on this? If you’ve done both, which did you prefer: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Disney Very Merriest After Hours? 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!