I love getting email from readers and am happy to answer them if I can. Here’s the latest:
I noticed you had a post up about Disney during the holidays where you mentioned Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). My family is going to the Disney World for the first time in December and we are thinking of going to MCMCP. Do you think it’s worth it? We would be taking our preschooler.
I love MVMCP, so I’m probably a bit biased, but I think it’s a great event. You’ll see parades and shows you won’t see during regular hours and depending on the night, you can walk on many attractions. Cast members give out free cocoa and sugar cookies and there’s “snow” on Main Street. It’s just a beautiful, festive atmosphere. Crowds tend to vary and for this reason, it shouldn’t be the only day you allow for visiting the Magic Kingdom during your trip, nor should it be your first foray into this park. Some nights, you’ll walk on every attraction as I did a couple of years ago when the park was practically empty and we rode Buzz Lightyear about 15 times in a row (and my score barely improved, but that’s a different, sad story). This is when you really see the Magic Kingdom and its cast members at their finest. Other nights can be really crowded. At $59 for adults and $53 for children (plus tax) , the price is a bit steep so you’re gambling on lower crowds and your kids’ ability to stay up later. On a good night, MVMCP is a fantastic experience and worth every dime.
As far as taking a small child goes, I would use that day as a rest day and save your energy for that night. Maybe do some shopping at Downtown Disney or a little bit of resort hopping; the decorations are beautiful at Christmas. Even if your child has given up her nap, taking some quiet time in the afternoon can help. Finally, go into the party knowing that it’s likely you won’t stay until closing. Resist the temptation to “get your money’s worth” and go back to your resort when the kids are ready.
I’ve had a couple of people ask me what I think are the best nights to go as far as crowds are concerned. I don’t think there’s any real pattern that you can predict, other than the fact that weekends and the last night of the party are usually more crowded, but the truth is, I’ve been there on a Tuesday night in mid-December and could barely walk the crowds were so thick. For the most part however, crowd levels are not that high. Disney only releases a certain number of tickets but it’s hard to get an official number on how many that actually is. I’ve heard from pretty good sources that it’s around 25,000, which seems like a lot but then again, it’s a big park. Even on busier nights, the crowds tend to thin out after 9:00 or so. If you happen to go on a night that’s very crowded, you will still enjoy the party. There are touring plans available that can help you make the most out of your experience or you can do like I do when it’s crowded and slow down and enjoy being in the park for a completely different experience than you would have during the day.
Rumor has it that ticket sales for this year’s MVMCP have been down. This is based on the fact that Disney recently opened up more nights for cast members to attend with discounted tickets. You can still buy tickets to most nights at the Disney website.
Good luck. I’d love to hear how it works out for you!