Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-Trip Report 2017

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I must preface this entire post by making everyone aware that I am a Christmas nut. I love anything having to do with Christmas. Just as I love anything to do with Disney. So when you put Christmas and Disney together in one gorgeous package, I am in heaven. Spoiler alert: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was pretty much guaranteed to make me incandescently happy, without much effort. But it far exceeded all of our expectations. This post will focus mainly on our anecdotal experiences and overall views of the party itself, while another post will focus more heavily on the strategies for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Every other year, Doug and I are lucky enough to be able to take the kids down to his family’s vacation home in southern Florida over the Christmas break. Along with Disney, this is our happy place. Last year was our year to visit, and being new Disney Vacation Club members, we decided that we would spend 3 nights at the beginning of the trip visiting Disney World. We had the points, so why not? Any excuse to visit Disney. We drive down to Florida so we simply stopped in Orlando before continuing down south a few days later.

We had also decided that we wanted to begin making Christmas more about family experiences and less about toys the kids never seem to play with much. With this new mindset, we decided to splurge on MVMCP tickets as our Christmas gift to the kids. The rest of the trip centered around checking out the non-park Christmas offerings that Disney World Resorts have, with no plans to enter any of the parks. As far as the kids were concerned, there would be no rides during this visit. Surprise!​

We very wisely planned for a low key morning and early afternoon the day of the party. We wandered over to Disney Springs from our resort (Saratoga Springs) for some food, then unleashed the kids in the resort pool for some fun and relaxing. I stayed back in the room and set up the surprise reveal. Long story short, our Elf on a Shelf left a note telling them of the surprise and leaving them some light up necklaces and Santa hats to wear to the party. Needless to say, the kids were ecstatic at the opportunity to go to Magic Kingdom for a special Christmas party.​

Shortly before 3:00p we were on the bus making our way over to Magic Kingdom. I knew from research that we could get in at 4:00p with our party tickets and given the astronomical price of those suckers, we planned to maximize our time there. This is perhaps immediately counteracted by our decision to have a sit-down dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern as soon as we arrived, but for us it was definitely the right choice. Our rationale in making this choice basically boiled down to the fact that this whole party was our Christmas gift to the family. A sit-down meal of traditional holiday foods just fit perfectly.

We ended up very happy with this choice in the end as the food was fantastic, and very important to me, a gluten-free eater’s dream. I knew my choices for eating would be very limited later on, so filling up on a big meal early was ideal. My biggest regret is actually that I didn’t eat more when I had the chance. I was absolutely starving by the end of the night.​

After the meal, I had a FastPass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train set up for us before the FastPass window closed for the night. We walked on a couple other rides before the first Castle Lighting show took place.

This chunk of time is perhaps the busiest of the day. The day guests are still there on their regular park tickets, though they are being herded towards the Hub and Main Street by now, as well as the party guests who are entering for a night of fun. We stayed away from the main areas until the first show and fared just fine. We really enjoyed the Castle Lighting show and it marked the beginning of our official party experience. I also snapped what has become one of my favorite pictures of the kids. The utter joy that they experienced at this moment made everything worth it.​

Waiting for the Castle Lighting, MVMCP

After this, we were off and running. If you have read many of my posts, you probably know by now that I am in favor of having a pretty solid plan of attack, and this party was no exception. I think I managed a pretty decent balance between having a firm strategy of which sections of the park we wanted to be in when, without being too militant and outlining every moment of the trip. Considering the level of success we achieved in accomplishing our goals, it was the right approach to take.​

While planning our strategy for MVMCP we prioritized which parts of the party we wanted to experience, and which we did not. There is way too much going on to be able to do it all. For our family, this included as many rides as we could manage, a couple of shows, the parade, fireworks, and snacks. We have no interest in waiting in line to see characters so that was an easy elimination for us. I then prioritized which rides we definitely wanted to do, and which ones would just be bonus rides if we managed.​

Since this party was before I decided to start this blog, I don’t have detailed notes on everything that we managed to accomplish, but it was a lot. We hit all of the major rides, some of them twice. We are a coaster loving family, so those were the obvious priorities. Riding all of the rides in the park was not possible, but we still hit most of them, so we were satisfied with our success.​

Haunted Mansion Photo Op

The kids and Doug enjoyed the snack stations placed around. We brought ziploc baggies with us so we would be able to keep any extras and eat them later. This turned out to be a brilliant idea as we ended up with more cookies than they could possibly eat in one night. Since this was the last party of the season I think they were handing out even more to everyone. They ate those cookies for days afterwards and really enjoyed them.

I, of course, did not since I can’t eat them. They did have Enjoy Life allergy-friendly cookies available if you asked, but I didn’t bother. Besides that, I was able to have a sno-cone (which I didn’t bother with as I never understood the draw of them) and some chocolates. Perhaps now you see why I was starving by the end. I did purchase the Yule Log dessert they were selling at Pecos Bill as that was gluten-free and quite tasty.​

The crowd definitely started to thin out after the fireworks, which were at 10:00p. We decided that we would try to stay as late as the kids could manage. With the cost of the tickets, we wanted to maximize the experience. My kids are usually in bed by 8:00p at the latest, so we didn’t know how they would hold up. The kids held out to the end of the party at midnight. With so many things to do, it kept them well entertained. The time between 10p-12a was probably my favorite part of the whole night. The crowds were smaller and you could get a whole lot more done.​

There is not enough that I can say about being in the parks late at night. I just love it. It allows you to really soak up the atmosphere that is Magic Kingdom at Christmas. We have established that I am a nut about Christmas, so to me this was worth it’s weight in gold. We meandered our way through the park and down Main Street. There was snow falling on us while we made our way towards the exit and admired the huge Christmas Tree. It truly was a magical night for us that my kids still talk about constantly.

They Partied hard at MVMCP

Due to the late hour, we were able to hop on a bus back to our resort with no lines. The kids were pretty much toast at this point and began dozing off on the ride. Nolan especially was just tuckered out. Even though the walk from our bus stop to the room was relatively short they passed out in the stroller. This one of my main reasons for still getting a double stroller, even though my kids are getting older. The whole family was exhausted but in the best way possible. This was definitely our best Christmas gift yet.​

I would love to hear about your experiences at MVMCP! Did you have a great time like we did, or was it a disappointment? Please put your comments and questions below!

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