On the Ground: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World

by  Christine Dayao | Nov 28, 2016
Cinderella Castle's holiday lights
Cinderella Castle's holiday lights / Christine Dayao

A trip to Walt Disney World is magical any time of the year, but a visit during the holidays is especially charming thanks to special events and decorations across the resort. One of the most beloved events, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, pulls out all the stops during its annual November and December run at Magic Kingdom. Here's a look inside this year's celebration.

Town Square / Christine Dayao

Party tickets, which are sold separately from park admission, are released several months prior (usually in the spring) and are priced from $86 for adults and from $81 for kids ages 3 to 9, depending on the night you're attending. The event kicks off at 7 p.m., though guests with tickets to the party can enter the park as early as 4 p.m. Non-ticketholders will have to exit the park by the time the event officially starts; ticketholders are given special wristbands that indicate they're attending the party.

Snow falling on Main Street, USA / Christine Dayao

Once you enter the park, you'll find Town Square and Main Street, USA dressed up in garland, wreaths, and bows. A massive Christmas tree, plus the "snow" that's pumped out overhead, make for some festive Insta shots.

To make the party even sweeter, several stations throughout the park distribute complimentary treats. In years past, the offerings were limited to just hot cocoa and snickerdoodle cookies. In 2016, however, you'll be able to snag eggnog, gingersnap molasses cookies, snow cones, sugar cookies, spiced apple cider, and peppermint bark cookies, too.

Trader Sam at the Jingle Cruise / Flickr

Being that a limited number of tickets are sold to get into the party, guests will find that lines for attractions are much shorter than when the park is open during normal hours. (For instance, we were able to ride Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and it's a small world without even having to wait.) We highly recommend riding the Jungle Cruise, which turns into the Jingle Cruise once it gets all decked out during the holiday season.

Toy soldiers / Flickr

You can't forget about the entertainment. Disney presents some of its best shows during the Christmas party, including the new-for-2016 Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration in front of Cinderella Castle and Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Many of your favorite characters make an appearance in the parade, and they're joined by dancing reindeer and gingerbread men, marching wooden soldiers, and of course, Santa himself. There are two nightly showings for the parade; the second one is usually much less crowded, so plan accordingly. For one-on-one time with the characters -- including ones who rarely make appearances, like Santa Jack Skellington and Scrooge McDuck -- make sure you look out for the meet-and-greets throughout the park.

Holiday Wishes / Christine Dayao

Cap off the night with a viewing of Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, which is set to the tune of Christmas music and is hands-down one of the best Disney fireworks shows ever -- and don't forget to wave to Tinker Bell.

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