When Will 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates & Tickets Be Released?
“When will Walt Disney World release 2023 dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?” and “why haven’t tickets for MVMCP gone on sale yet?” are reader questions we’ve been receiving more. We’ll try to answer based on what we know based on historical release dates, current trends, past demand, and more.
As with all of these speculative posts, we’ll start with the simple fact that Madame Leota is not employed by this blog–meaning that we don’t have a crystal ball. No one can give you a definitive answer about when Walt Disney World will announce 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates or tickets. The same holds true for pretty much anything that hasn’t been officially announced, released internally, or leaked.
So if you’re the kind of person who, in the past, has complained that this type of prognostication post is a “waste of time,” now is your chance to opt out. Consider instead subscribing to our free email newsletter for instant alerts, which will provide you an immediate update when 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates are officially announced by Walt Disney World. This post is most certainly not that, but rather, our long-winded attempt to offer insight in response the above reader questions…
With that out of the way, we have some good news: what’s past is prologue.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is hardly a new event, and there’s a ton of precedent regarding announcement and ticket sales dates over the years. One of big motivators for this post is compiling historical info. I always end up digging through past press releases to answer these questions, so rather than repeating that process over and over again, it makes sense to compile the last several years here. I’ve also added dates and pricing for those who are curious–or just want to contrast this year’s numbers with the past!
In 2017, dates and details for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party were announced on April 6; ticket sales started on May 10. That year, prices started at $89 for adults and $84 for children (3-9).
The 2017 MVMCP was held for a 21 nights, with events on the following dates:
- November 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28
- December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22
That sprung forward significantly the following year, with March 19, 2018 being the date that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets went on sale. MVMCP ticket prices started at $95 in advance or $105 at the gate.
The 2018 Christmas Party was held for a then-record 22 nights:
- November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30
- December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21
Both of those years, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets also went on sale the same day that MNSSHP tickets were released. This was a pretty common practice at the time, but didn’t always occur.
It also wasn’t always the case that the announcement and sales date coincided. For a few years, it was normal for dates to be released in late March or April and tickets going on sale in early May.
In 2019, tickets for MNSSHP were released in mid-January, which was too early for the release of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates and tickets. The MVMCP announcement came on April 8; tickets started at $99 in 2019, and that was after a pre-purchase discount of $10.
The number of event nights increased once again, hitting a then-record 23 dates:
- November: 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24
- December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22
It’s worth adding a “footnote” here that 2019 was not a normal year for Walt Disney World. That late summer and early fall was the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and many people steered clear of the parks (both in Florida and California) during that land’s opening months out of fears that it would be chaotic.
People pushed trips back to November or December for Christmas, and/or the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The end result was an atypically slow end of summer, and surprisingly strong holiday season. This really has more pertinence for the Halloween season, but it’s still noteworthy when discussing the second half of the year. Like the 2-3 years that followed, 2019 was not normal–in terms of attendance and demand dynamics–at Walt Disney World.
Fast-forward to 2021, when Disney Very Merriest After Hours was announced as a replacement for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party following a hiatus in 2020. That new event was unveiled on August 13, after the Disney After Hours Boo Bash had already started. Tickets went on sale beginning August 17 for on-site resort guests and August 20 for the general public.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours was held on 24 select nights:
- November: 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, 30
- December: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21
Ticket prices ranged from $169 to $229 plus tax for select November-December nights and $249, plus tax for late December dates in 2019. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members could take advantage of a $10 discount on select event dates in November.
The timing of this release was almost certainly an anomaly, as Walt Disney World was scrambling to bring back its normal offerings amidst staffing shortages and while trying to navigate an anticipated influx of crowds for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. As with 2019 and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, this didn’t materialize. This time, it was more about the Delta variant and reinstated face mask rules rather than “crowdpocalypse” fears, but the latter likely contributed slightly to lower attendance between October and December.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party made its triumphant return last year. This was announced during Walt Disney World’s “Halfway to Holidays” on June 23, 2022. Tickets went on sale beginning June 30 for on-site resort guests and July 7 for the general public.
Taking place on 24 select nights, the 2022 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party set a new record for earliest start date and most event nights. It also returned to its standard schedule of hours from 7 p.m. to midnight, and was no longer capacity-constrained in the same was as Very Merriest After Hours.
As a result, ticket prices decreased as compared to After Hours the year before, but were still a record high (by a wide margin) relative to MVMCP in previous years, ranging from $149 to $199 per person.
Event dates for the 2022 MVMCP were:
- November: 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 27, 29
- December: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22
As you can see from the range of release dates above, when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets go on sale each year varies. It has happened in both early March and late August–but the latter was an obvious anomaly. Walt Disney World planners may bemoan this, as it makes planning difficult.
The good news is that a trend has emerged in the post-reopening era. That’s actually clearer with MNSSHP, as the last three years–including 2023–have featured a “Halfway to Halloween” week to build anticipation and excitement for spook season. The same thing was piloted last year with “Halfway to the Holidays,” and it’s highly likely that’ll return for Christmas 2023.
As for precisely when “Halfway to the Holidays” is likely to happen, that’s largely dictated by anticipated demand and sales projections. Last year, pent-up demand was still running hot; as a result, every single date of both MNSSHP and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party sold out in advance.
That’s not normal. While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party does usually sell better than its Halloween counterpart, the norm is for the first 2-3 parties to sell out, the first one after Thanksgiving to sell out (because parties aren’t held during the week of Thanksgiving), and then mid-December dates. In an average year, about half of the MVMCP event nights would sell out, with the parties least likely to sell out being mid-November and early to mid-December.
Usually, the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party would sell out in October or early November, with subsequent dates selling out between late November and early December. Last year, the first couple of Christmas Parties sold out in September, and every single date sold out before Thanksgiving. Most dates were gone by November 4. Again, this was not normal.
Point being, if you’re anxiously awaiting Walt Disney World to release 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates and tickets because you’re worried about it selling out, don’t. Even with last year setting the record for sold out dates, nothing was gone until September, and only the first two nights sold out that month.
Late October and early November is when most dates of last year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party sold out. And again, that all happened earlier than normal. Keep in mind that Americans were fully embracing in “revenge travel,” which resulted in freer spending as consumers sought to make up for lost time and were less price sensitive as a result.
In addition to that, there was pent-up demand for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in particular among Walt Disney World fans. Although Disney Very Merriest After Hours had a lot in common with MVMCP, it also had plenty of differences. The most significant of which was much later hours, making it a non-starter for many families with small children. This meant that there was ~3 years of fan demand for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party consolidated into a single year, plus elevated interest among the general public, in 2022.
Things have changed in a big way in 2023. If you’ve been following Walt Disney World news at all, you’ve likely seen the 5 Major Improvements for 2024 at Walt Disney World and all of the recently-released discounts for this summer and fall. After not “needing” Annual Passholders for over a year, Walt Disney World has pivoted strongly and resumed new AP sales while also rolling out AP appreciation days.
During the company’s latest earnings call, CFO Christine McCarthy warned of a slowdown at Walt Disney World in the coming quarters to soften the blow to investors. This wasn’t news to us–it’s already happening! We’ve been discussing the higher than normal post-spring break attendance drops in Sharp Shoulder Season Slowdown at Walt Disney World and Low Pre-Summer Crowds at Walt Disney World.
Suffice to say, the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not going to sell out within days of tickets going on sale. That applies to both the presale window and the general public window. We know many of you are planners who get anxious about not having every detail set in stone, but you really don’t have anything to worry about here.
Park reservations are not going to book up for November and December 2023 anytime soon–so you can either wait to make yours (there’s literally zero risk in doing so) until MVMCP dates are announced, or modify once they’re released. The Advance Dining Reservation window also won’t open before tickets go on sale. There’s absolutely no need to start planning your daily itineraries right now. (If you absolutely must, just consult last year’s MVMCP calendar–parties will likely be held on the same days of the week.)
With that said, the popularity of last year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party should not be minimized. Don’t look at the looming summer slowdown and assume the same will be true for November and December.
Those months will probably be slower than their counterparts last year, but they won’t be as bad as right now or August and September. The holiday season is always busy; it’s a fan favorite, and Americans find money in their budget for Christmas even when cutting back at other times of the year.
In other words, there are explanations for the popularity of last year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that may not apply in 2023. However, it would be foolish to forecast significantly lower sales as a result.
There were many factors driving the popularity of MVMCP last year, and far more demand for tickets than supply. Even 25% less demand for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party could still mean many or most dates still selling out over the course of the event.
Our expectation is that “Halfway to the Holidays” is moved forward in 2023 to provide a longer “runway” for 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket sales. This is given the likelihood of decreased demand and slower sales.
Again, this year is already proving very different from last; more resort discounts have already been released, and they’ve come earlier and been better than historical norms. If there are internal concerns about even MVMCP doing softer numbers due to fizzling pent-up demand, it would behoove Disney to move faster and lock-in MVMCP ticket sales ASAP. Capture some of that revenue before consumers become even more price sensitive and cost-conscious.
No matter how or when the announcement is made, I’d further predict that tickets will go on sale a couple weeks after the announcement and once again be staggered for on-site and off-site guests to create a sense of urgency and perhaps demand for on-site accommodations.
Here’s my specific prediction: Walt Disney World will announce dates, prices, and when tickets will go on sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on June 8, 2023. This is exactly two weeks earlier than last year, but still a few months later than when the announcement was normally happening pre-closure. Honestly, these are hardly bold predictions given the precedent set by “Halfway to Halloween.”
With that in mind, I’ll throw in a couple of more bold wildcards. First, I don’t think there will be price increases to the ticket price range for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. I’ll actually go a step further and call a $10 drop on the low end. Decreasing prices would be very out of character for Walt Disney World, but if the ticket deals released in the last week are any indication, they’ve hit a wall with prices. Maybe that doesn’t apply to hard ticket events, but maybe it does. Hence this being the more bold prediction.
My next prediction is that, if prices do increase, sold out dates will decrease. To offset this, it could mean the return of discount tickets for Cast Members or the last-minute introduction of a new rare character meet & greet–anything to entice additional demand. One way or another, I think Walt Disney World will see a return to normal after the sky-high sales and popularity of last year’s event.
Looking forward, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Walt Disney World drop the “Halfway” events for both Halloween and Christmas next year, or at least not tie those to the release of ticket sales. They could still be used to announce new entertainment offerings or otherwise build anticipation for the holiday season. But there was a reason that dates and tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party used to be released much early, and as things return to normal, so too will that. Those are just my guesses, though–we’ll keep you posted when something is actually, officially announced for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!
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When do you think 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates will be announced? Expect ticket sales to start the same day, or with a delay? Did you attend MVMCP at Walt Disney World last year? Planning on attending again this year, or were you part of the ‘pent-up demand’ crowd? What did you think of the ‘sold out’ crowds? Think it was worth the high ticket price? Any entertainment additions you’re hoping to see for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Any other tips, likes or dislikes? 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!
Do you feel they will limit the number of tickets to keep crowds down this year as they did last year? Otherwise it is too crowded and not worth the prices for me.
Thank you Tom for the insight into the potential release. We are waiting here in Australia for the dates to be released. Pleased to hear dates won’t sell out straight away. Means we don’t need to purchase tickets instantaneously. Been reading the blog for just over a year, it’s been incredibly helpful. Thank you!
I was wondering if there is any word on whether 1900 Park Fare will be opening back up ?
I enjoy your take on things!
In the more recent past there have been parties on the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. Do you think that is not going to happen again? I am hoping it does! Thank you!
I think Walt Disney World will do everything possible to squeeze more party into the schedule this year than last year, especially if attendance is tracking to be softer. I don’t know where they’ll find room in the schedule to accommodate that with MNSSHP running until Nov. 1, but probably safe to assume a party will happen the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.