Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

A Parent’s Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is back and we couldn’t be more excited! Disney invited us to attend opening night on November 9 and we’re dishing on all of the details to help you plan your family’s night.

This wasn’t our first experience with the party–in fact, we’ve been attending this event for several years for work and play, so we’ve pretty much got this covered for you.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of our favorite holiday events in Orlando and it’s a great way to experience the Magic Kingdom if you’ve been wanting to go with the kids.

Why? You still get to experience all of the magic of the theme park’s offerings, but you get the added bonus of event-exclusive characters and entertainment, unique photo opportunities, and somewhat cooler temperatures (by Florida standards, of course).

Before we dive into our favorite things about this beloved event, let’s first go over the Need to Knows…

When is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is being hosted on 25 select nights from November 9 through December 22, 2023. It is a special ticketed event, so you won’t be able to go to the park on a regular ticket during the day and expect to stay for the party. They will be checking at checkpoints throughout the park. Magic Kingdom closes early on event nights to make way for this most magical celebration ever.

Related: The BEST Christmas Events for Families in Tampa Bay

How much are tickets?

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party vary in cost, depending on the day you go. Prices for adults ages 10 and older range from $159-$199 per ticket, plus tax. Tickets for kids ages 3-9 range from $149-$189 per ticket, plus tax.

Disney Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can save $10 per ticket. You can purchase your family’s Mickey’s Very Merry Chrismtas Party tickets here.

What time does Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party start?

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party doesn’t officially start until 7 pm, BUT you can arrive as early as 4 pm which we recommend so you can get the most out of your day at Magic Kingdom…especially if you don’t have an annual pass. However, don’t feel rushed to get there right at 4 pm.

There was a pretty significant crowd waiting at check-in just before 4 pm on opening night which was sold out. In hindsight, we should have waited a bit for the initial rush to pass.

When you arrive, there will be an area designated for Very Merry ticket holders. This is where you will scan in with your ticket and get a special wristband for the event. The wristband is how cast members can ensure regular-day guests exit the park before the party starts–you will notice checkpoints throughout Magic Kingdom. Cast members will be checking for the wristbands, so don’t try to sneak your way in.

As you make your way into the park, you are guided to an area to pick up your free Toy Soldier ornament and even snap photos with the Toy Soldiers from the parade.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Guide and Ornament 2023
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide and Ornament 2023

The party ends at midnight.

Can you day trip a visit to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party from Tampa Bay?

Absolutely! We’ve done it a few times and even did it on opening night this year since we have a busy weekend ahead of us.

But, we’ve stayed overnight too over the years. It really depends on whether you think you’ll have the energy to make the drive back home to Tampa Bay. There is less traffic on I-4 at night, but driving tired is never a good idea. We got home to South Tampa in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Hotels at Disney

There are some amazing hotel options on the property. Some of our favorites include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs, and Contemporary Inn. We’re sharing even more of our favorite hotels to stay near Disney World during the holidays here.

Some of our other favorite resorts near the park: The Gaylord Palms which has an amazing pool (along with the popular ICE! exhibit) and the Marriott World Center in Orlando which also has an awesome pool.

Will toddlers enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

We first attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party when our oldest son was about 20 months old, so when people ask us whether toddlers will enjoy the event, we can say from personal experience of bringing two toddlers over the years, YES, they will!

Kids younger than 3 do not need a ticket, so that’s a big bonus.

While babies and toddlers may not be able to rally for the entire night, a reclining stroller will be a necessity to give them a place to snooze while the rest of the family continues to enjoy the party.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the Baby Care Center at Magic Kingdom–it’s a quieter spot to change diapers, buy any extra items you might need like diapers or snacks, heat bottles, access to high chairs for feeding, and there is even a nursing room. It’s right off Main Street to the left if you’re facing the Castle near Crystal Palace.

Can you have dinner at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Yes, in fact, you have several dinner options at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you decide to arrive early at 4 pm, you can use this time to sit down for a pre-party dinner. Honestly, this is probably a good use of your time since the ride wait times can still be on the high side since the normal day’s crowds are still there.

Plan ahead and book a dinner reservation at one of the table service restaurants of your choice through the My Disney Experience app. We’ve dined at Liberty Tree Tavern (all-you-can-eat family-style Thanksgiving-inspired dinner–best value in our opinion) and Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Italian food) in the past. We liked that we were able to order a beer or glass of wine at dinner…don’t judge. This year, the kids opted for corn dogs at a quick service in Liberty Square at Sleepy Hollow.

There is also dinner service at Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table during the party, but you will need to book a reservation for this as they also book up pretty quickly.

Other upgraded dining options at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

In addition to the table service experiences, you can also upgrade to the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace.

The upgraded party ticket includes a wide array of desserts and drinks along with spooktacular views of the fireworks. Tickets with seating for the fireworks show (Tomorrowland Terrance) start at $119 including tax and gratuity for guests 10 and older and $75 for guests ages 3-9.

For the Plaza Garden Viewing, it’s $109 for guests 10 and older and $59 for ages 3-9. Check-in begins one hour before the fireworks start.

Event-exclusive food and treats are also available for purchase. We honestly didn’t try much this year since the kids were full from the Mickey ice-cream bars we buy every visit (it’s tradition), dinner, and complimentary treats. You can read the full food guide for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party here.


What’s there to do at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

There are SO MANY fun things to do at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! That’s why you’re thinking about going OR bought your ticket already, right??

In addition to the event’s exclusive entertainment and characters, the characters are dressed in their holiday best for Insta-worthy photos with you, and there are also some complimentary sweet treats to indulge in. And, let’s not forget about the beautiful ‘snowfall’ on Main Street!

Our 5 favorite things about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s dive into the details of our favorite things about the Very Merry Party!

ONE: The Complimentary Treats

I mention this first because our kids love the cookies and sweet treats. There are five Holiday Treat Locations this year throughout the park with each offering something a little different.

We got the Snickerdoodle Cookies and Hot Chocolate at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland–where the Disney Junior dance party was going on as we walked in!

2023 Holiday Treat Locations:

  • Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland
  • Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square
  • Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland: Hot cocoa and cookies
  • The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland: apple cider and cookies

There are also allergy-friendly and healthy substitutes available upon request which we LOVE!


TWO: The Entertainment at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 

There’s some pretty spectacular entertainment during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party like ‘Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration’ featuring all of your favorite Disney characters and princesses on the front stage of Cinderella’s Castle. There are plenty of chances to catch this show. Showtimes are 7:40 pm, 9:25 pm, 10:35 pm, and 11:55 pm.

NEW this year is Frozen Holiday Surprise at Cinderella’s Castle at 8:15 pm. We saw the first few minutes and it was cute. It’s a short show since it’s right before the first parade of the night.

Check out the full lineup of entertainment here.

Dance Party FUN!

Some of our favorite entertainment options include the dance parties to get the wiggle out! Over at Club Tinsel in Tomorrowland, the whole family can dance the night away with the characters of Zootopia!

The little ones will LOVE the Disney Junior Jingle Jam inside at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe featuring your child’s favorite Disney Junior characters. The dance party will be from 7 pm-12 am. It’s a chance for them to boogie on the dance floor with characters from The Lion Guard, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, Fancy Nancy and more!

Disney Junior Jingle Jam at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2023
Doc McStuffins at Disney Junior Jingle Jam at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023

Other Entertainment at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:

  • Reindeer Wranglers in Frontierland: 7:15 pm, 8:05 pm, 9:30 pm, 11:40 pm

There are a lot of special character appearances too so grab your event map and look for all of the Mickey icons for the hot spots!

The Parade is Magical: All about “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” 

Magic Kingdom never disappoints when it comes to its parades and this one is no different. You’ll love the sights, sounds, and SMELLS of “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade”!

Be sure to grab your spot early so you can get a front-row view because as parade time nears, it gets super crowded no matter where you find a spot! There are two opportunities to see the parade: 8:30 pm and 11:00 pm.

Your favorite Disney characters and princesses make appearances in this parade as well along with Santa, so get your camera ready for an up-close pic.

The Fireworks are Spectacular!

You’ll also want to secure a spot in front of Cinderella’s Castle for the awe-inspiring  ‘Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show” which lights up the castle at 10 pm during a  light projection and fireworks display that will knock your Christmas stockings off!


THREE: The Event-Exclusive Characters at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party…and Santa too!

YES, you can visit Santa at Magic Kingdom! You can find him at the Gazebo just behind Liberty Square. We got in line about an hour before he arrived at 7 pm since the kids were tired and we were the fourth family in line to greet him which was pretty cool.


Santa at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney World
Santa at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023

Related: Our favorite spots to see Santa at Walt Disney World!

And we can’t forget the star of the night….Mickey Mouse! You’ll find him dressed in his holiday best at the Town Square Theater on Main Street USA. When we first arrived just after 4 pm, it was more than a half-hour wait time for a photo, so we skipped and waited until after the party started and walked over just before the first parade began. We only waited 5 minutes to see him which was great!

Town Square is also where you’ll find Jack and Sally from “Nightmare Before Christmas”. While we’ve seen very high wait times in the past, it wasn’t too bad on opening night. In fact, during the first parade, it was only a 15-minute wait.

There are a total of 44 characters to snap photos with at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, including Santa Claus! This does not include characters at the dance parties like the Disney Junior characters and the stars of Zootopia at Club Tinsel –both in Tomorrowland.

Here’s the full line-up of the characters you’ll meet at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2023:


Main Street USA:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Jack Skellington and Sally
  • Mary Poppins


  • Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
  • Alice and White Rabbit
  • Winnie the Pooh. Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet
  • Ariel and Prince Eric
  • Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Cinderella and Prince Charming
  • Snow White and Prince, Aurora and Prince Phillip
  • Belle
  • Merida

Storybook Circus:

  • Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck
  • Scrooge McDuck
  • Santa Goofy
  • Seven Dwarfs


  • Aladdin, Abu, Jasmine, and Genie
  • Captain Jack Sparrow
  • Peter Pan
  • Stitch


  • Country Bears: Liverlips, Shaker, Wendell, and Big Al
  • Tiana and Naveen

Liberty Square:

  • Santa


FOUR: The Magical Holiday Atmosphere at Magic Kingdom

You are greeted by the holiday magic as soon as you walk in.  We also loved the snow flurries along Main Street! Disney didn’t miss a thing when decorating for the holidays, but one of our favorites was Cinderella’s Castle.

Cinderella's Castle at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2023
Cinderella’s Castle at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023

It is breathtaking…and we got some major holiday decor envy! Be sure to grab a family photo with one of the Photo Pass photographers with the castle in the background! They’ll add some extra magic to your photo too!

You’ll also notice that some of the rides get a holiday transformation like The Jingle Cruise’s holiday puns, Space Mountain, and the Mad Tea Party.

FIVE: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not as crowded and sooo much cooler at night

You’ll still be joined by a crowd of other Very Merry partygoers, but it’s not as crowded as weekend daytime visits. Even though there are no Fast Passes (now called Lightning Lane and Genie +) during the Very Merry Party, lines moved along pretty quickly.

We didn’t see waits exceed 5-15 minutes on most rides, however more popular rides like the “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” was up to about 50 minutes at one point in the night. 

We recommend going early at 4 pm so you can go on a few of the traditionally less crowded rides like ‘It’s a Small World’ and ‘Dumbo” and then save the time later for the entertainment and other rides like ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’ and ‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’! Wait times for the more popular rides will be noticeably shorter when the party starts.


What to bring to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:

  • A full belly. Eat a healthy dinner before you go so you don’t overindulge on all the complimentary hot cocoa and cookies!
  • Glow sticks and light-up toys. We stopped by our local craft store to pick up a lighted bracelet and glow toys for our kids to play with at the park–it also allows us to easily spot our kids in areas that aren’t as well lit. Disney also offers holiday-themed toys and gear at the theme park, which we have purchased in the past, but figured we’d save a bit here since our kids can be really hard on their toys.
  • A rain poncho. It’s Florida. It rains sometimes. In fact, it has rained during previous visits over the years, but thankfully our kids LOVED it! Our puddle jumping 4-year-old thought it was the best thing ever. The silver lining, folks. Ponchos are also much more courteous than umbrellas when you are in a crowded environment. Save the eyeballs.
  • A fully charged camera. Whether you are using your cell phone or camera, make sure the batteries are fully charged because there are photo opps around every.single.corner.
  • A backpack. This is a MUST if you don’t use a stroller to schlep your family’s stuff. It’s much easier to navigate the park when you’ve evenly divided the weight of your stuff across your shoulders.

Attractions and rides open at Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2023:

One of our other favorite things about the Very Merry Party is the rides–you don’t have to wait as long. Just like every other year we’ve attended, we didn’t wait longer than 15 minutes to get on a ride. We don’t usually ride Space Mountain or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so my guess is, those will have a higher wait time.

You can’t use Lightning Lane or Genie + during the party, so you’ll have to wait in line just like everyone else. Lines won’t be as long and it’s not as hot since it’s at night, so it’s more tolerable for all.



Liberty Square


Storybook Circus



Map of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023:

Here’s a picture of the guide we picked up on opening night. The Mickey icon with Santa hat are where you’ll find the characters and the candy cane icons are the Holiday Treat locations.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2023 map
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023 map


Disclosure: Walt Disney World provided us with tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but our opinions are strictly our own.