Tis the season to be jolly—and head to a magical Disney theme park! Disney parks are going all out for the holiday season, offering after-hours events at the two major Disney destinations in the U.S.: California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Magic Kingdom.
Although similar holiday parties have been offered in the past, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort are offering two brand-new events this year.
We’re diving into everything you need to know about them!
Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Walt Disney World Resort
Instead of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney is hosting Very Merriest After Hours throughout November and December. This event is described as an after-hours event rather than a Christmas party. This word choice is intentional, as the event is more aligned with the pared-down Boo Bash of 2021 vs. the more lavish parties of the past.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours offers much of the entertainment previously enjoyed during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, albeit on a smaller scale. Guests can still expect to see Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, which marks the return of WDW parades for the first time since they were suspended amid the pandemic, and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show. In addition to this, attendees will be treated to a festive performance on the Cinderella Castle stage, which is said to have been “inspired by beloved Magic Kingdom holiday shows of the past.”
Tickets for Disney Very Merriest After Hours are still on sale at the time of this article’s publication and range in price from $169-$249 (with a $10 discount for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members).
The essential details to know before you go:
- The event runs from 9 p.m.-1 a.m., though guests with event tickets can enter Magic Kingdom as early as 7 p.m.
- Guests can enjoy Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, and Minnie & Mickey’s Very Merry Memories stage show.
- Beloved Disney characters will make appearances throughout the theme park all evening long.
- A musical group called the Reindeer Wranglers will perform seasonal songs in Frontierland.
- Complimentary ice cream novelties, popcorn, select beverages, and a seasonal treat are included in the event ticket cost.
- Guests can take advantage of short wait times for over 20 attractions in Magic Kingdom.
- Feast on seasonal treats available for purchase at select dining locations.
- And of course, take in the wondrous sights of Magic Kingdom completely decked out for the season, with lights and garland galore!
While the event is undoubtedly expensive, early attendees look to be having a blast, and it could be worth attending if it fits within your budget and you are looking to add some more holiday cheer to your vacation. Click here to purchase tickets!
Disney Merriest Nites at Disneyland Resort
For the very first time, Disneyland is hosting a magical, holiday after-hours event called Disney Merriest Nites. What makes Disney Merriest Nites such a unique after-hours offering is that it is six parties in one:
- A Victorian-themed party on Main Street, U.S.A., featuring Mickey Mouse and Muppets characters
- A Felix Navidad party in Frontierland featuring Miguel from Coco
- A New Orleans holiday party in New Orleans Square hosted by Princess Tiana
- A Frozen-themed party in Fantasyland featuring Elsa
- A Tropical party in Adventureland hosted by Lilo and Stitch
- A Tomorrowland party featuring Buzz Lightyear
One of the key differences between the Disneyland and Walt Disney World events is that Disneyland is only offering five event dates — and at this time, all five are sold out.
However, if you did manage to get a ticket (which ranged in price from $165-$175 per person), here’s what you can expect.
- The event runs from 8 p.m. to midnight, though your ticket allows you to enter up to three hours ahead of time.
- Guests can experience six parties in one, with an appearance from Santa Claus, of course!
- There will be a special performance of A Christmas Fantasy Parade
- Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy many of their favorite Disneyland attractions with minimal wait.
- Rare characters will appear throughout the park all evening.
- Guests can feast on holiday eats available for purchase at select dining locations.
- Special Disney Merriest Nites holiday merchandise will be available for purchase exclusively at the event.
Overall, we’re thrilled to see Disney bring the magic of the holiday season to the theme parks this year, especially as Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort have continued to navigate the effects of the pandemic. If you haven’t yet snagged tickets, note that there are still a variety of event dates available for Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Walt Disney World in Florida.
And of course, you can always head to any of the theme parks throughout the holiday season for festive fun, even without a special event ticket.
Follow Perfecting the Magic for more Disney news throughout the holiday season and beyond!