If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World this holiday season, Disney recently announced their holiday party for 2021. This year we welcome the Disney Very Merriest After Hours event in the Magic Kingdom, which is the replacement for the beloved Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It’s the perfect add-on to any holiday season vacation to Disney, so keep reading as we share everything you need to know about this party.
When Does the Disney Very Merriest After Hours Event Take Place?
The event will be held in the Magic Kingdom park on certain nights between November 8 and December 21. The event itself runs for four hours each night from 9 pm to 1 am, but ticket holders can enter the park as early as 7 pm each night to enjoy a few attractions and the fireworks before the party begins. The great thing about this party is that you don’t need to have a valid park ticket for the day you are attending, so you can add this to your trip if you want to skip out on park tickets one day.
The event dates are as follows for the Disney Very Merriest After Hours Party in 2021:
November Dates: 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, and 30
December Dates: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, and 21
How Much Does the Event Cost?
The Disney Very Merriest After Hours party certainly isn’t cheap. If you’ve attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the past, you’ll notice it’s quite a bit more expensive, with tickets starting at $169 plus tax per person. They increase up to $249 as you get closer to the holiday season, so we encourage you to take a look at the week of your trip to see the exact pricing. If you are an annual passholder or Disney Vacation Club member, you can receive a $10 discount on some dates in November. The number of tickets that are sold for each event is quite a bit less than a regular day in the parks, and it’s worth booking as soon as possible as some dates may sell out quickly.
What’s Included in the Price of Admission?
There’s a lot that’s included for the price of the event, and you’ll find that you can enjoy lower crowds and more holiday cheer. These are just a few of the highlights of the party.
Holiday Attraction Overlays
During the holiday season, one of our favorite things about visiting the Magic Kingdom is how the attractions are updated for the holidays. The Jungle Cruise will become the Jingle Cruise for the season, with added holiday touches and puns. Check out Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, which gets new holiday-themed jokes for the season.
Holiday Parade and Fireworks
One of the best updates to this year’s party is the return of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Enjoy seeing your favorite characters and Santa Claus around the park during this parade. Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show is also going to make an appearance this year, where you’ll celebrate the season with fireworks that are set to Christmas carols.
Ride More Than 20 Attractions
We all know how busy Walt Disney World can get during the holiday season, which is why we recommend the party for anyone who doesn’t like spending all their time in lines. Over 20 attractions are open for guests during the party, and you’ll find the wait times are significantly less than in the daytime. The later you stay at the party, the quieter the park gets. Highlights of the attractions that are open including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and The Haunted Mansion.
See The Disney Characters
One of the things we love the most about the party is the increased chances of seeing characters in the parks. While we are unsure whether traditional meet and greets will have returned by this time, you can be sure that you’ll see some of your favorite characters in their holiday gear roaming around the park. Even if you can just get a selfie with the characters still, it’s a fun way to see unique costumes and characters. They often bring out characters that aren’t usually seen in the daytime, so you may be lucky enough to experience some rare sightings.
Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks!
The Disney Christmas parties were always known for their abundance of free snacks. This year, the party offers the same snacks as the After Hours events, which took place regularly before the pandemic, plus a few seasonal treats. You can enjoy free ice cream novelties, popcorn, bottled drinks, and seasonal treats. Make sure you come hungry to make the most of this great perk of the party. They are available at select carts throughout the park, and you’ll never be too far away from your next snack spot. On top of that, they also sell some party exclusive holiday food and drinks that can only be purchased during the party. These aren’t included in your ticket price, so budget accordingly for these ahead of your trip.
Main Street, U.S.A. Snowfall
Main Street, U.S.A. is one of the best decorated areas during the holiday season, and when you attend this event, keep your eyes peeled for snowfall throughout the night. There’s nowhere more magical in the world than Main Street, U.S.A. when it has its holiday decorations up, and it’s the perfect spot for a family holiday photo.
Don’t miss the chance to capture a set of great family holiday photos at the party, thanks to the Disney PhotoPass photographers. They are scattered throughout the park, and one of the great things about the party is that they often set up unique stages and magic shots just for the occasion. These photos can’t be taken anywhere else, so make the most of some of the fun photos on offer during the night.
Club Tinsel Dance Party
No party would be complete without a dance floor, and so if you love to boogie, you’ll want to head to Tomorrowland. Club Tinsel dance party is located on the stage in the middle of Tomorrowland, and you’ll find this to be a great spot for little ones to burn off some energy. Keep your eye on the stage here, as there are often special appearances by characters throughout the night.
Who is the Disney Very Merriest After Hours Event Suitable For?
Visitors of all ages are welcome to this year’s event, but it’s important to note how late at night it takes place. If you are traveling with toddlers and young kids, you may find that they are exhausted by the start of the party at 9 pm, so you will have no chance of making the most of the four-hour event. Even for adults in your party, make sure you are planning to sleep in the next day, as it’s a late night for everyone by the time you make it back to your hotel.
The party is undoubtedly pretty pricey this year, so you’ll want to decide whether all of the inclusions we listed above are worth it for you and your family. We recommend doing this party on a day where you’ve skipped out on park tickets to avoid wasting a day of your tickets. You could spend the day at your resort or Disney Springs before arriving at 7 pm to make the most of the party. The prices are certainly much lower at the start of the season, so if you are a local, try to attend during this time.
The Disney Very Merriest After Hours event is an exciting addition to this year’s holiday line-up. We think it will be a wonderful event for anyone who is looking for another way to celebrate the holiday season, so make sure you book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment.