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What is the difference between Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Disney Very Merriest After Hours

What is the difference between Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and Disney Very Merriest After Hours
Credit: Disney

In case you missed it, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is canceled for 2021. However, a new event will replace it! Let’s explore how these are events are the same and different so you know what to expect this year.

First, for more details on the news of the party cancelation, check out our post HERE.

While we do not a lot of information on Very Merriest, we do have a pretty good idea of some of the offerings we can expect to see. We will hopefully know more in August when event dates and ticket sales go live. Those staying at a Disney Resort Hotel will have first dibs on tickets. I will keep this information up to date as more details are revealed.

Let’s look at the offerings for Very Merriest

Like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (or MVMCP), Very Merriest will take place on select nights from November 8 to December 21. Typically, events like this take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. We will have specific dates next month when ticket sales go live.

However, unlike MVCMP, Very Merriest events will be shorter. Disney shares that the event will take place for 4 hours. Guests will be able to enter Magic Kingdom at 8 pm with an event time of 9 pm to 1 am. You will not need a separate theme park ticket or park pass for this event.

Character Spottings

During Very Merriest, we can expect to see character spottings throughout the park. Last year Disney had holiday character cavalcades and distanced meets. It was actually one of the longest cavalcades I’ve ever seen, and it reminded me of the Christmas parades!

Hopefully we will have the same (or a better) cavalcade and some random pop up meets we can snap distanced selfies with.

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show

Yes, we will have Christmas fireworks back! Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash will not have Halloween fireworks, and I was worried a Christmas After Hours event would suffer the same fate. However, Disney has announced that Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show is returning for this event!

Minnie hosts this magical holiday nighttime show, and I am happy to see this offering from the Christmas Party make its way to the After Hours event.


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Photo: Disney

Like regular After Hours events, we will also have free popcorn, ice cream, holiday treats, and bottled beverages. These are all you can eat so be sure you come in with an empty stomach!

There will also be other holiday treats and drinks that will be available to purchase.

Holiday Overlays and Short Wait Times

One of the biggest benefits of After Hours events are the fact that admission is very limited. Many attractions are considered walk-ons or have a wait time of only a few minutes. You can ride the Mountains, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and other popular rides over and over!

Some attractions will also feature holiday overlays like Jingle Cruise. I would love to see something for Haunted Mansion like they do at Disneyland so we will see what else Disney comes up with.

Castle Projections, Snow on Main Street, PhotoPass opportunities

Unfortunately, we will not have icicle lights on Cinderella Castle again this year. It makes sense with the 50th anniversary. We will have holiday projections again this year that alternate with the 50th Beacon of Magic transformation.

Snow will also fall on Main Street at Magic Kingdom so if you were hoping to be covered in “snoap”, don’t you worry!

Finally, holiday PhotoPass opportunities will be available to help you capture the perfect shot for your Christmas cards.

So, how does Very Merriest compare to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Credit: Disney

The parties at Disney World are top notch. Disney really does go all out to provide a one-of-a-kind event that you can’t experience the rest of the year.

MVMCP boasted a stage show featuring Elsa lighting Cinderella Castle up, the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade, and extremely rare character meet and greets.

The fireworks show even had a dessert party that granted reserved seating and all kinds of food to munch on while watching the fireworks. We will have special holiday fireworks as I mentioned above, but I have not seen anything for dessert parties yet.

These parties had become more popular in recent years, and many Guests complained that there were too many tickets sold for these events. Oftentimes, you would be able to walk onto most rides. It seems that Disney had increased capacity for MVMCP, and even then many nights sold out. On the other hand, After Hours events are typically more limited.

Christmas parties cost anywhere from $90 to $130 depending on the night, and if Boo Bash is any indication, Very Merriest will cost more than MVMCP.

It looks like Very Merriest will have some of the same elements as the Christmas Party, but will definitely be slimmed down. I will undoubtedly miss Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade the most. That is my favorite part of MVMCP. Hopefully we will have some cavalcades.

Do you have plans to attend Very Merriest After Hours this year? How do you think it compares to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Do you think these types of events are here to stay? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.


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  1. You mentioned parties on Saturday. But have they ever had them on Saturday? I have seen them on Sunday. Just trying to get a feel for the after hours event.

  2. Off topic, but do you get free unlumited ice cream, popcorn etc. at Boo Bash too? I wondered bit they never stated that.

    • Mostly for the low wait times. After Hours events have very limited capacity. They are including the Christmas fireworks and character greetings to call it a Christmas event.

  3. You are never able to officially get in before 7pm. We always get in at 4 as well but if you pay attention to posted times it was always 7pm. 4pm is an unofficial time and might still be the same.

    • Disney specifically announced that entry would begin at 8 pm for 9 pm start time. I don’t see that changing, but we will know more once Boo Bash starts next month.

  4. Okay, you didn’t mention the FREE cocoa and apple cider along with cookies that we got at MVMCP. we used to be able to get in a 4pm and stay until midnight so that would be 7 hours. once again for no good reason disney has taken away things like the great parade and charged us more for less. we won’t be going this year. I am not waiting until 9pm to get into the park

  5. I think I am pretty angry the Our beloved Castle will be lit by Ellsa and Not Cinderella. They are changing too many things and now they have gone too far. It should never be anyone but Cinderella who lights the Castle. There is absolutely No reason to have Elsa light Cinderella Castle. It belongs to Cinderella . No one else.
    Elsa took away Norway’s ride and now there is no history to learn there. Pretty soon they will take away Mickey Mouse and even Walt Disney himself. Enoughv.is Enough. Stop the changes now .

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