The holiday season will be returning to Walt Disney World this year! However, this year, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be replaced with Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours event. Both events are separate ticket events at Magic Kingdom. The question now is, what is the difference between the two events? Let’s break it down for you!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party would typically run from 7 pm to midnight with guests being allowed to enter Magic Kingdom 3 hours prior to the event. The new Very Merriest After Hours event will take place much later, running from 9 pm to 1 am and guests will be able to enter the park at 7 pm. In terms of party time, you’ll get less time in the park with the Very Merriest After Hours event.
Parades & Shows
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party featured a show in front of Cinderella Castle as well as a holiday parade. Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration was a show in front of Cinderella Castle starring favorite Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse (as Santa and Mrs. Claus!). The holiday parade, Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, is a classic featuring toy soldiers, reindeer, lots of Disney characters all dressed up for the season, and even Santa himself!
Right now, there is no mention of a show or parade being offered during Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours event. This could obviously change, but for now, plan on no parades for this event.
Fans of Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks will be happy to know that this show will return to Magic Kingdom for Disney World’s Very Merriest After Hours event! This holiday spectacular features classic Christmas songs along with beautiful fireworks. This is a show that was available at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as well.
Guests attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party were able to see lots of favorite characters dressed in their holiday best and also get some festive photos with them. They even saw some special characters like Jack Skellington dressed as Sandy Claws.
As for the Very Merriest After Hours event, all we know is there will be characters out around the park. The Disney World website says “Spot some favorite Disney friends as they spread their holiday cheer throughout the park.” We don’t know if guests will be able to get close to characters for pictures or if they will continue to keep characters socially distanced.
In previous years Elsa used her powers to light up Cinderella Castle during the Frozen Holiday Wish Show. This year, it looks like guests will be treated to castle holiday projections like last year. Disney has said that during the after hours event the castle will alternate between holiday projections and a Beacon of Magic, the 50th anniversary celebration decor.
Holiday-Themed Photo Ops
At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party guests have had holiday-themed photo opportunities throughout the park, including some special Magic Shots. Similar holiday photo ops will be available during Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours event as well!
Also known as “snoap”, fake snow typically falls on Main Street U.S.A. during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Disney has confirmed that guests will once again get to experience “Snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.” during the After Hours event.
Guests will have access to multiple rides and attractions during the Very Merriest After Hours event just like they did at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. In the past, attractions have received special holiday overlays. Disney has announced that attractions will have holiday overlays during the After Hours event though there are no specifics. The overlays are typically exclusive to the event, so you won’t see them during the day.
At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party cookies and cocoa were included with other exclusive holiday treats available for purchase. Disney’s After Hours event includes more than just cookies and cocoa in the cost of admission. During the event, guests will get holiday treats, ice cream, popcorn and bottled beverages. There will also be special holiday treats and beverages for purchase.
Those are the main differences between the two holiday events. The Disney Very Merriest After Hours event will take place on select nights from November 8 to December 21, 2021. Tickets will go on sale next month and there will be early purchase access for guests of select Walt Disney World hotels.
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