I recently attended the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The party was a sell out and I expected large crowds to meet Sandy Claws. Sandy Claws is the alter ego of Jack Skellington during Christmas season. It’s the first time he’s met guests at Walt Disney World and I knew that a lot of people would want to meet him. I arrived at the Christmas party a little later than I really wanted, but still had a great time.
The friendly Cast Members were decked out in their holiday finest and ready to assist guests at the touchpoints. I forgot my MagicBand, but had my party ticket and annual pass card. I found out that a party ticket alone doesn’t get you free parking and the guy at the toll booth made me show id as well at 5:00pm. I arrived at the Sandy Claws meet and greet area about 5:30pm and found about 15 families ahead of me. The place would become a madhouse by 6:30pm and people were waiting up to 2 hours to meet him.
Sandy Claws was a lot of fun and very interactive with guests. One guest bumped his Santa hat and he had to go offstage for a fixer upper that cost about 10 minutes. In all I ended up waiting 2 hours, but 90 minutes was before the party began.
I like to line up early for my preferred character in order to get the most out of the party time. I should have arrived at 5:00pm. If you have a family, people don’t seem to mind one person holding the spot for the others. Little kids don’t do very well with 2 hour waits.
Due to my later arrival and Sandy’s wardrobe issue, it put me arriving a little later for Minnie than I wanted. I really wanted to see her because this outfit is a new one for the party. I learned later that I could have also met her after 11:00pm with a little shorter wait, but I didn’t want to chance it.
While waiting in line Minnie, I began getting a bunch of reports that Olaf was offering meet and greets at Columbia Harbor House. I scrurried over to find that it was a very limited thing provided only for “media” members. Only one of them bothered to state that in their tweet, so a lot of people were confused by these tweets and Facebook posts. I get asked often why I place media in quotes. Many of those approved by Disney as “media” are far from media members or press members. They operate websites like I do and often just write a bunch of super positive garbel that just regurgitates Disney posts. It’s rare to see honest opinions when they are being wined and dined. Some think I’m bitter or something. I have NO desire to become a “media” person. I’d rather just share my opinions and rumors of things that might happen, rather than have my thoughts limited to overly positive things that keep me on some list for exclusive meets or rides with food and drink. Rant over.
After checking on that Olaf mess, I ventured over and met up with some friends so we could meet Clara Cluck. Clara very rarely appears for guest contact in any form, so I was excited to be among the first dance with her. When I arrived this is what I found. It was around the time for the first parade, so the place was a ghost town.
Any self-respecting pirate wouldn’t miss out on a performance by the Rusty Cutlass Pirate band in Adventureland. Their schedule is on CharacterLocator, but you won’t find it on the Disney map or their app.
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I got my regular spot between Casey Corner and the hub for Celebrate the Magic and Holiday Wishes. I had no problem getting a nice spot. Most people cram into the hub and end up with a bad view. This one wasn’t too bad, huh?
I really like the Celebrate the Season Show and could have easily watched it from the hub across from the Castle like I did for the Villains show, but chose to move up close to get semi-decent photos. If I had used my regular spot, I would have been in perfect position for the second parade.
Minnie rewards him for the ballerina she received. The man has some serious cheese to afford to buy the dancer for her. I guess MyMagic+ and the record attendance at Disney World provides nice gifts, but the dude still hasn’t given the lovely lady a ring!
Around this time some ginormous guy came and pushed his way in front of me with his horde of offspring and totally blocked my view, so I packed up and headed to Town Square because I knew it would be empty and I wouldn’t have to arm wrestle the giant to get my spot back. I liked WDW better when people used to be polite to one another. This dude looks like he would be polite
Hi, I’m Olaf and I love parades! Olaf is riding on the little house that I told you he was supposed to ride upon during the Frozen parade this summer. And to think that people thought I made that all up :) Olaf is really cute. Some think he’s too big, but don’t complain much about Doc McStuffins or Sofia the First, go figure. Olaf also appears in the uber popular Castle Lighting show twice each night.
The posted wait for Cinderella with Prince /Rapunzel with Flynn was posted at 10 minutes, but I bailed because the line wasn’t moving. Anna and Elsa kept their line open until at least 11:30, but the line got pretty long toward the end. You could meet them last and use up the remaining party if you desired.
They had to remove the garland that used to hang across Main Street. Some people were all up in arms about it, but I actually like this better because it opens up the view all the way down the street. They did this because the Festival of Fantasy floats are too tall.