When it comes to the best place to celebrate the holiday season, I’m a bit bias to New York. But Walt Disney World definitely ranks high on the list. The entirety of Walt Disney World from the parks to the resorts is decked out for the season; but when it comes to the ultimate Disney holiday experience, nothing beats heading into the Magic Kingdom after the sun’s already set and Main Street is lit up with Christmas lights from the tree at the entrance all the way down to Cinderella’s Castle.
While tickets can cost a pretty penny, especially for larger families (this year’s MVMCP tickets ranged from $89 – $99), the party is filled with fun and interactive activities that are worth experiencing at least once. The best part? You’re free to rock your favorite Christmas pajamas or ugliest holiday sweater while you take part.
Complimentary Cookies & Holiday Drinks
Similar to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP), where guests are given trick-or-treat bags to gather treats as they pass treat-spots, guests at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) can collect various cookie and holiday drink pairings at select outposts. But it gets even better, because you’re free to revisit any outpost as many times as you would like! This year’s pairings included a ginger molasses cookie and eggnog at the Liberty Square Ticket Office, a snickerdoodle and hot chocolate at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, a Santa Claus cookie and a snow-cone at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, dove chocolate and apple cider at The Friar’s Nook, a peppermint chocolate crunch cookie and a Nesquik at Pete’s Silly Sideshow, and a snowman soft pretzel and a snow-cone at Tortuga Tavern. I know, it’s a mouthful…literally. And I’m not ashamed to say that we grabbed a hot chocolate and snickerdoodle combination from Cosmic Ray’s three times in an hour.
Rare Character Meet & Greets
Holiday parties at Walt Disney World are an excellent time to snag that keepsake photo with less-commonly seen characters such as Jack Skellington, the Seven Dwarves, or my personal favorite Scrooge McDuck and his family. This is also a great opportunity to meet some male leads like Flynn Rider and Prince Charming, since one of the only opportunities currently available to meet some of the princes is the Bon Voyage breakfast at Trattoria al Forno. Wait times can get pretty long, so it’s best to choose one or two must-meet characters, and plan your night with their meet-and-greet schedules in mind.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
After the loss of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Magic Kingdom has remained without a nighttime parade for quite some time, but in my opinion Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade is even more magical. Visitors are able to enjoy all of the classic characters, like Cinderella, Belle, and the Fab Five, as well as newcomers like Vanellope from Wreck it Ralph; and of course the entire parade ends with Ol’ Saint Nick himself. I recommend grabbing some snacks trying to arrive about 45 minutes prior to the start time. While some nights are less packed than others, there is nothing better than grabbing that curb spot along Main Street. Warning, you’ll be humming “Once upon a Christmastime at Christmas” for about two weeks after leaving.
Shorter Wait Times for Attractions
For some, the best part of Disney holiday parties are the shortened waits for popular attractions. Once the party starts, only party ticket holders remain in the park; once the party crowd disperses between holiday shows, attractions, snack depots, meet and greets, you’ll find that many wait times are significantly shorter than usual. For those who may not have been able to snag a
Jungle Jingle Cruise Fast Pass during the day, or those who just want to ride Big Thunder Mountain three times in a row, this is a major advantage to purchasing party tickets.
It wouldn’t be a night at Magic Kingdom without a nighttime fireworks spectacular with Cinderella’s Castle as the backdrop. Personally, I don’t think anything can beat the original Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, though the Happily Ever After Fireworks were very well done. But there is something that warms the heart when you’re standing on Main Street with a hundreds of other families in their Christmas sweaters, drinking hot chocolate, watching the castle light up with some holiday tunes.
Snow on Main Street
Except for a few rare occurrences, I think it’s safe to say one doesn’t picture a “white Christmas” when it comes the holiday season in Florida. But at the Magic Kingdom, anything is possible. During our trip this year, it was actually colder in Orlando than it was back home in New York, and we ended up throwing on three or four layers at night. It may not have been what you’d expect during a trip to Florida, but it definitely made the snow feel that much more realistic.
There are a handful of other things that make the Magic Kingdom one of the most magical places to spend the holidays, from the family photo ops in front of the Main Street Christmas tree, to the seasonal lunches of red velvet Mickey waffles and ice cream, to watching your family and friends break out there worst dance moves at Club Tinsel. And remember, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party isn’t only for families of kids, but also families made up of kids-at-heart. After all “adults are only grown up kids anyway.”
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