Monday, December 5, 2011

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party: Time for Redemption!

So last week I wrote about our upcoming trip to Disney World (which is now in only 9 days), and how we will be experiencing many firsts on the trip. One of the things that will not be a first for us-but will be the first in a long time- will be Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

For those of you who are not familiar with it, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate hard ticket event that runs a few nights a week through all of November and most of December. On party nights the Magic Kingdom closes at 7:00 pm, and only people who have purchased tickets for the party are allowed to stay in the park. The party goes until midnight, and there are special character meet and greets, shows, dance parties, two parades, and a special holiday version of Wishes fireworks.

The Christmas Party was actually our family's first Magic Kingdom experience back in November of 2007. We had just gotten off of a 4 night Disney Cruise, and wanted to add on some park time, but didn't want to rush from the ship to the resort. This was a great way to do it. We got back to the resort and relaxed (and napped) for a couple of hours before we headed to the Magic Kingdom for the evening.

Looking back at that night, I had no idea what the heck was going on, or what I was doing! All I knew was that we could get into the park at 4:00, before the party started at 7:00. When we got there we were given a map and schedule of events, but I had not done any prior research of how to maximize our party experience. What a newbie I was back in 2007!

We got to the park at 4:00 and walked down Main Street. This had been my first time in the Magic Kingdom since 1986, when I was in 3rd grade, so it was like experiencing it for the first time! We didn't really take advantage of the smaller crowds and only hit three attractions, Swiss Family Treehouse, the Haunted Mansion, and Buzz Lightyear. I'm sure we will be taking full advantage of the shorter queue lines this time around, especially since it will be our first time back in the Magic Kingdom in 10 months!

One thing that we did get to experience then that we won't be able to this time was a special stage show that used to run in the now gone Tomorrowland theater, Mickey's Night Before Christmas. I'm pretty bummed by this since it was a very good show and was always filled to capacity. Not knowing how popular it was, we tried to slide in at showtime of the first showing (there were 3 or 4), but were told it was full. So we stayed and waited for the next show. I'm not normally a big fan of waiting on line for a show, but this was really worth the time invested. Here is a video shot by the Dis Unplugged from before the final curtain dropped on this holiday classic...

Something that we tried to do unsuccessfully was grab some dinner at what I had heard (and now agree) was the best counter service location in the Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbor House. It wasn't open because of the party, so we had to hike over to Pecos Bill's which we enjoyed.

We really enjoyed seeing the Christmas Parade (even though someone spilled hot chocolate on my foot), and the special Holiday Wishes. At the end of the post I'll attach the video I made of Holiday Wishes, which is the same fireworks as they show during the party and in late December now.

So we are really looking forward to returning to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party after a four year absence. I am really looking forward to experiencing it as a Disney World veteran , not a rookie!

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