It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Walt Disney World! In fact, it’s been decked out for the Holidays since the beginning of November and guests have been enjoying the Very Merriest After Hours Event at Magic Kingdom. In this blog we’ll be sharing all things Holidays in Walt Disney World, including Very Merriest After Hours Event info, Holiday bites and a review from Disney Influencer Myles! Follow his Disney Lifestyle and Travels @wonderfulworlsofmiley on Instagram.
One of the most beloved Holiday Festivities returned this year – The Holiday Gingerbread Houses! These beautiful displays returned to three locations – The Grand Floridian, Disney’s Beach Club and Epcot American Rotunda. For more information on these beautiful displays click here.
Overview: Very Merriest After Hours Event
One of the best ways to maximize time and skip the crowds during the holidays in Disney World is to attend an after hours event. Very Merriest replaces Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) as an after hours limited capacity Magic Kingdom Experience. For More Info click here.
Very Merriest is a 4 hour Ticketed Event beginning at 9pm on scheduled evenings, running from November 8th to December 21st. With a Very Merriest Ticket you can enter Magic Kingdom at 7pm to enjoy park favorites. From a planning perspective, enter as early as possible to get some attractions with short lines out of the way or enjoy a meal before the event begins.
Included with a ticket are Snacks & Sips – ice cream novelties, popcorn, select beverages and a seasonal treat. You’ll also have reduce wait times for over 20 attractions as capacity is limited during after hours events. Remember to set intentions for the event so you maximize what’s important to your travel party. Maybe you’re focused on key attractions, shows or fireworks, whatever it is declare it and be sure to make it the best experience possible for you. Check out Blog #3: Setting Intentions for more details.
List of Events During Very Merriest:
- Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories (Cinderella’s Castle Performance)
- Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas Parade (Main Street USA)
- Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks (Throughout Magic Kingdom, Best Views from Main Street)
- Character Sightings & Musical Performances from The Reindeer Wranglers
- Club Tinsel Dance Party (Tomorrowland)
- Savor the Flavors of the Season – Click Here for a full list of Holiday Bites
- Holiday Decor & Overlays
- Snowfall on Main Street (Let it Snoap!)
- Holiday Magic Shots
A Very Merriest Review
Written By: Myles King @wonderfulworldofmiley
If there’s one thing Disney knows how to do well, its a theme. And when you combine Disney magic with holiday magic you get something truly special – Disney Very Merriest After Hours. Running through December 21, Very Merriest After Hours is the Magic Kingdom’s special Christmas offering for this year. Described in by Disney enthusiasts as a ‘light’ version of the previous Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, it does indeed boast a lighter version of MVMCP’s holiday magic, though not at a lighter price. As with any hard ticket event, the biggest benefit is no real crowd. In this regard, Very Merriest did not disappoint; even on a sold-out night crowds were very low, leading to minimal wait times and sometimes even an empty feeling.
Tickets for the four hour long Very Merriest After Hours range from $169 to $249, with Annual Passholders and DVC members receiving a $10 discount for many nights. With your ticket you get entry into the Magic Kingdom at 7 and then exclusive party events beginning at 9. The early entry at 7 is a nice touch as it allows you to see Enchantment at 8, though it does mean the mix-in time from 7-9 is extremely crowded, with both regular and event guests.
At 9 pm the holiday magic really begins, most evident by the first real parade since Disney World’s reopening – Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade. To be honest, parades have never been my priority. They tend to be SO crowded and take up a lot of valuable park time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect…but, I wasn’t about to miss the first parade in over a year. As it turns out, this parade may be my favorite memory from the night! With the smaller crowds we were able to arrive 10 minutes before the parade started and still got a great spot along Main Street. While it is a full parade with 5-6 floats and various dancer sections, it seemed to move a little faster, lasting about 20 minutes. All of your favorite characters don their festive best to welcome in the holidays, ending with Santa and his reindeer. There’s something truly magical watching the parade on Main Street with ’snoap’ all around you, even if the parade song is more of an ear-worm than ’Nothing Can Stop Us Now’.
There’s also a second fireworks show, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Though this show debuted in 2019, with no fireworks show at Christmas last year it feels brand new, and is definitely one of my favorite shows. Because it relies heavily on projections (which are expertly timed to the pyrotechnics and the music) you really need to see it from the hub or around Casey’s Corner for the best view. But once again, because of the low crowds we arrived only 5 minutes before the show and had a great view. Very Merriest also has the first stage show, Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories, shown 4 times each night. This cute, show features Mickey, Minnie, and all their friends singing in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Clarabelle cow singing Mariah Carey is definitely the highlight!
In addition to the shows there are several other party only offerings: a dance party, special character sightings (including Santa), overlays on Jungle Cruise and Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, snoap on Main Street, holiday projection on the Castle, and specialty treats. I would particularly recommend the Orange Bird Churro, found at the snack cart on the hub. You also receive complimentary popcorn, ice cream, bottled drinks, snickerdoodle cookies, and hot chocolate. The projections on the castle are also incredible, and while some miss the castle Dream Lights, I think the rotating projections are a really fun touch.
As with any after hours event, the biggest perk is the low wait times. Nearly every ride was a walk on, with waits really only impacted by the time it takes to walk through the queue and load and unload ride vehicles; the longest we waited was 10 minutes for Seven Dwarves Mine Train (SDMT). With nearly all rides open, ride junkies can get their fill of all Magic Kingdom has to offer.
All-in-all, Very Merriest is a fun after hours event that includes lots of Disney holiday magic, the return of entertainment like stage shows and parades, and crowds low enough the park sometimes seems empty, but there’s one drawback, and it’s a big one…..the price. With prices significantly more expensive than MVMCP or Boo Bash, it can be hard to truly recommend this four hour event. Perhaps if it was a little longer, or included just a little bit ‘more’…more characters, free photo pass, more ride overlays…it would be easier to justify the price. For a family, you could be spending over $1,000 to attend, and with parties lasting until 1 am, those with small children probably won’t even get the full experience. For me, I budgeted to attend both Very Merriest and Boo Bash, primarily for the holiday magic only Disney can provide, and the low crowds. With the parks getting more crowded than ever, being able to walk across Liberty Square without actually encountering another person was a luxury worth the price! Specially priced After Hours events seem to be here to stay, and Disney definitely uses them to serve up a special dose of magic, if it does come with a hefty price.
Myles is an avid Disney goer & fan. His Instagram Account @wonderfulworldofmiley showcases Disney Lifestyle & Style. As a Disney Influencer Myles visits Disney World often and shares all the Themed items he enjoys on his account.
“That’s not my Christmas! My Christmas is filled with laughter, and joy…and this: my Sandy Claws outfit. I want you to make it.” – Jack Skellington