A very popular event with travelers and locals alike, this annual holiday event runs eighteen nights between November 13 and December 22, 2006. Tickets carry a base price of $45.95 plus tax (ages 10/up) and $37.95 plus tax (ages 3-9), though some discounts are available.
Main Street sports festive décor during the holiday season. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Here's a rundown on what's going on during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in 2006:
Schedule | Pricing and Discounts | General information | Free Refreshments | Holiday Wishes | Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade | Special shows and character appearances | Other Stuff | More information
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party takes place on November 13, 17, 27, 28, 30, December 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22. Traditionally beginning the week after Thanksgiving, the 2006 party gets off to an early start, with the first two dates earlier than ever before. The event then takes a break for the crowds of Thanksgiving week before continuing its run the following week. The party begins at 7:00 p.m., the same time as park closing, and run until midnight. Resort transportation runs until well after the event ends in order to get everybody safely back to their hotel rooms.
With the parade starting not all that long after the party starts and the park closes, it is a challenge for cast members to get the changeover done. Each land is "swept" of those without wristbands before a final sweep down Main Street by guest control cast members walking down the street in a line clearing out everyone who should not be there. The work appeared to go fairly smoothly during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, with all non-party guests generally being swept out of the park by around 7:45, leaving 30 minutes before the start of the first parade to get the ropes and other crowd-control measures in place.
If you're planning to attend the party, make sure that your wristband is visible and that you retain your park ticket. That makes it easier for you and quicker for the cast members.
Discounted advance purchase pricing is $42.55 for adults and $34.03 for children. Advance purchase discounts are not available for Fridays in December and all party nights from December 15 on. For those nights, as well as all tickets bought the day of the event (if available), the pricing is $48.94 per adult and $40.42 per child. Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members can get an additional 10 percent discount on November 13, 17, 28 and December 14. Those additional discounts must be picked up at will-call and require valid passholder or DVC member identification.
All prices listed above include tax. Child ticket prices are for ages 3-9, adult prices for ages 10 and up. Tickets went on sale on Monday, May 1. For more ticket information, call 407-W-DISNEY (407-9347693) or go to the event's page on the Walt Disney World web site (link).
Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is an extremely popular show at the Party. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a very popular event, with attendance capped at 25,000 people per night. Weekend dates are usually the most crowded, as locals bring their children to those events. A similar effect is seen for all nights in the week before Christmas.
A very popular bonus at the Party is the free hot cocoa and cookies. Multiple locations provide you with these refreshments, though lines can sometimes get a bit long. You can find the treats at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station and two locations in Liberty Square.
For those desiring more substantial fare, some dining locations remain open during the party. Tony's Town Square Restaurant and the Liberty Tree Tavern provide table service dining. Casey's Corner, Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe and Pecos Bill's Cafe are open for quick service food. Snacks are also available at scattered counter locations. Check you special park guide map for this year's locations.
A unique moment during Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas comes in possibly the only time that the public can see Mickey and Minnie in bed together. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
The Holiday Wishes fireworks show, introduced last year, returns to the Party this year. The show runs once nightly, at 9:30. The highlight of the show is arguably the 360-degree bursts, where fireworks launch from sites surrounding the Magic Kingdom. The show can be seen from anywhere in the park, but the best views are from the end of Main Street up to the Hub area, where you can see the projection effects on the front of Cinderella Castle.
The Christmas Parade runs twice nightly, at 8:15 p.m. and 10:45 p.m., stepping off in Town Square and ending in Frontierland. For a much easier chance to see the parade, watch the second performance. Make sure that you're there by parade start, even if you're far down the route.
The Christmas Parade always includes an appearance by the toy soldiers' marching band. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Along with the fireworks and parade, there is other special entertainment, such as Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, an extremely popular show that takes place at the Galaxy Palace Theater in Tomorrowland. In fact, it's so popular that the first show starts at 7:00 p.m. There are five performances each night, and the crowds keep growing, so early performances are highly recommended.
The Celebrate the Season stage show takes place in front of Cinderella Castle, and draws large crowds for its three performances. (Crowd control for the fireworks and two parades prevent there from being more showings.) MousePlanet's Mike Scopa recommends catching the last show of the night, at 11:40 p.m., for the smallest crowds and a nice way to cap off the evening.
Santa is available for meet-and-greets next to City Hall in Town Square, and Disney characters in holiday garb are located throughout the park. Holiday Brass performances in Tomorrowland and a holiday dance party in Fantasyland round out the entertainment.
While some go to the party for the smaller crowds, and hence the ability to ride attractions with a shorter wait (most, but not all attractions are open during the party), the real attraction is the special holiday entertainment. Though the entire park is decorated for the holidays with special Christmas theming, including wreaths, lights and that huge Christmas tree, those are there during regular park hours (as opposed to the Halloween decorations that are only set up for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party). The entertainment here really shines, much more than at the Halloween Party. Oh, and we almost forgot: It snows on Main Street, U.S.A.!
Make sure to get the special Party guide map as you enter the park for information on the various hot cocoa and cookie locations, entertainment, meet-and-greets and so forth, as well as confirm the time of all events.
The characters join together for the finale of the Celebrate the Season show. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.