I fell in Love with Disney (AGAIN!!!) as I wrote the review of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
This separate ticket event runs on select nights in Nov and Dec from 7PM to Midnight at the Magic Kingdom. My husband and I went in early Nov 2011 (without kids!) and simply loved this event. We planned ahead to find out online when all the shows, parades and fireworks would be and decided in advance to watch the 2nd parade at 10:30 ( we heard it would be less crowded – which it was) and watch the fireworks at 9:30.
We were clued in that you can arrive and enter the park as early as 4PM with this ticket, so we arrived by ferry from the TTC at 3:50, and were allowed in right away. If arriving prior to 7PM, go to the turnstiles to the right, and Cast members in Christmas garb will be there to give you your wristband for the party. WOW – for less than $60 each, we were granted over 8 hours of Disney Magic!
When we arrived, I was first amazing by the BEAUTIFUL Christmas decorations all over the place. I didn’t know where to look first, decorations were everywhere! Even though it was still daylight, I was itching for the sun to set so the fabulous Christmas lights would be illuminated.
Because the park closes early to non-MVMCP guests, upon arrival, we found the Magic Kingdom to be quiet and not very crowded at all, and we walked on nearly every ride.
After waiting in a short ( less than 5 minute) line to get our picture taken on Main Street with Photopass where all the wonderful decorations were, we took a leisurely stroll down Main Street and stopped to listen to the Main Street Brass Band play a medley of Christmas Carols. What a way to get into the spirit. I took a moment to look around me and noticed that nearly everyone had a smile on their face.
For our ride agenda, we started in Frontierland, and literally walked on Splash, Big Thunder, Haunted Mansion, Hall of Presidents, and then we took a break for some yummy burgers at Peco’s Bills (we didn’t want to ‘waste’ precious time at a sit down restaurant during this event). Upon exiting Splash Mountain, we saw signage that Snow White and all 7 Dwarves would be out starting at 7PM in the little alcove near the Train Station in Frontierland- Ya-hoo!
After a quick bite, we made our way to Adventureland, rode Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise (we had to hit this favorite before the park officially closed to non MVMCP guests, as it and a couple others – like the WDW Railroad, the Carousel of Progress and Tom Sawyer’s Island are closed during this event). While in line for The Carpets of Aladdin, the sun was starting to set, and as we cruised around in the air on our carpet, I caught a glimpse of the castle, illuminated it all its holiday glory. I gasped and shouted out loud like a child “The Castle is lit up!!” to my husband.
After a quick stop at Aloha Isle for some Dole Whip, we made our way to ogle at the Castle and snap some more pictures, then we were off to Fantasyland for some classic Disney fun. At this point, it was probably 6:30, and we were still walking right onto rides, with little to no wait. Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, It’s a Small World and Mickey Philharmagic were waiting for us! The longest line we had at this point was waiting for Donald in his winter coat to appear, and that probably set us back 15 minutes. The Princesses and the Princes, in the Holiday gowns were also greeting guests in Fantasyland.
According to the special event map, there was free hot cocoa, apple juice and cookies to be had for free at a variety of locations, marked with a candy cane light fixture outside the restaurants. There was no limit to the # of times you could indulge, and there were very fast moving lines for these free goodies.
We made our way through Fantasyland and headed towards the Tomorrowland Speedway. By this time, it was probably 8PM, and what a great decision to skip the first parade – Tomorrowland was nearly empty, and it seemed like we had the place to ourselves! By 9PM, my hubby went to get some more hot cocoa, and I went to the Lunching Pad to buy a Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel (one of my faves). We decided to meet on the bridge, just above the old Swan Boat launch area to watch the fabulous Castle Lights and Fireworks Show. Have you ever seen the Castle look like a giant Gingerbread house, or a Candy Cane Castle? All I can say at this point is WOW!!! The Holiday Wishes were even more magical than the regular wishes!
After this show, we made our way around the castle hub, and back over to Liberty Square ( don’t forget to stop and take some pics of the castle, especially from the bridge to Liberty Square, just outside the Sleepy Hollow restaurant, you can get some great pictures with the castle reflecting in the water!). Once in Liberty Square, we secured our spot for the 10:30 parade and enjoyed our time people watching, and noshing on some MORE free Cookies and Hot Cocoa before the parade.
Everything about this parade screamed Christmas, and it was fabulous. I don’t know if I was dreaming or not, but the Mickey and Minnie float had a huge Christmas tree on it, and I swear it smelled like Pine as it passed us. From the skiers, to the Marching soldiers to all the terrific Holiday floats, this parade is now my favorite of all Disney Parades I’ve ever seen. To top it off, the big guy himself, Santa Claus brings up the rear.
After the parade, we had less than an hour of magic left; so we took another ride on Peter Pan, and queued up in front of the castle for the final Celebrate the Season castle stage show of the evening. Seeing the Fab 5 in the Holiday fashions put an even bigger smile on my face. A leisurely stroll around the hub found us back on Main Street, where IT WAS SNOWING! Yes, I live in Buffalo NY, where snow is second nature to me in the winter, but this Disney snow, it was something else, I was never more excited to see snow before!
From the special shows, rare character meet and greets, cocoa and cookies, snow on Main Street and the special MVMCP only holiday souvenirs, this was a totally magical event that I would do again. My only regret is that our children weren’t there to share it with us! This gives us more reason to go again.
Check out details on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.