Walt Disney World is known as “The Most Magical Place on Earth” and it somehow becomes even more magical each holiday season. From special shows and ride overlays to seasonal foods, Disney World adds festive holiday experiences throughout their parks every year from November through early January. Disney’s premiere holiday event, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 as a response to Covid-19, but the specially ticketed experience is making a grand return for the 2022 Christmas season.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special after-hours event that requires a separate admission ticket and takes place exclusively in Magic Kingdom. According to the Official Disney Parks Blog, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will run on 24 select nights between November 8th and December 22nd for the 2022 season. Each party begins at 7 pm, although guests are allowed to arrive starting at 4 pm, which allows them to experience some of the park during the daytime. While some of the festive flourishes will be available to guests visiting Magic Kingdom during regular operating hours, there are many exclusive holiday experiences that will only be available to those attending the party.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Exclusives
Magic Kingdom transforms into a winter wonderland for the holidays with larger-than-life decorations taking over the entire park. Nutcrackers, Christmas Trees, Mickey-shaped wreaths, and millions of lights are just a few of the festive Christmas decorations on display. There is even a snowstorm on Main Street that brings a mini-blizzard to Florida several times per night.
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade features holiday versions of favorite Disney characters and a special appearance by Santa Claus himself. Several characters will also appear at Cinderella’s Castle for Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, a stage show filled with holiday music and dancing. For the holiday party, Disney’s Enchantment fireworks show is replaced with Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, which is set to seasonal songs and features holiday projections and specialty lights on Cinderella’s Castle.
Several rides will also receive holiday-themed overlays, including Jungle Cruise, which becomes Jingle Cruise for the entire holiday season. Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Mad Tea Party will all be receiving exclusive holiday overlays that can only guests attending the party will be able to ride.
Partygoers can also expect unlimited hot cocoa and cookies, specialty character interactions, holiday dance parties, exclusive seasonal treats, and special holiday merchandise only available during the party. Everyone attending will also receive a keepsake souvenir and have the ability to take 3 special photo opportunities, in honor of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Holiday Magic Throughout Disney World
While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party only takes place at Magic Kingdom, there are festive holiday decorations and Christmas celebrations throughout Walt Disney World, including all 4 theme parks, Disney Springs, and even the hotels. Restaurants throughout the massive Disney property add seasonal items to their menus, and nearly every single establishment on property decorates for the season. One longstanding tradition is that each Disney hotel displays an oversized Gingerbread House in their lobby, each themed to the individual resorts.
At Disney Springs, you can also purchase seasonal merchandise, as well as special holiday treats at restaurants like Jack Lindsey’s Hanger Bar, which transforms into Jack Lindsey’s Holiday Bar for the duration of the yuletide season. AdventHealth is again sponsoring the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll, which features dozens of elaborately decorated trees inspired by various Disney properties. Guests can even enjoy a meet and greet with Santa, while shopping for some Christmas gifts.
Holiday Magic At Disney’s EPCOT
EPCOT features an incredible lineup of holiday fun, although their festivities usually don’t begin until later in the season. On November 25th, the 2022 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays kicks off the beloved tradition of the Candlelight Processional, which showcases different celebrity narrators telling the story of Christmas alongside a full orchestra. EPCOT also features storytellers around the World Showcase telling guests about holiday traditions in each featured country, plus a special appearance by Santa Claus telling his own stories. This year will also see the return of the EPCOT Holiday Cookie Stroll, which is essentially a cookie scavenger hunt with the grand prize being a specialty cookie!
Magic Kingdom won’t be the only park with rides receiving holiday makeovers. Disney World’s newest attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will receive a festive update to its soundtrack. The ride, which is based on the popular film and comic series, is a family roller-coaster set to a randomized soundtrack of hit songs from the 70s and 80s. During the holiday season, Peter Quill’s playlist will include some holiday mashups making for a unique ride experience.
Holiday Magic At Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Tower of Terror will receive a gift-wrapped look thanks to projection mapping, and Santa will cruise down Hollywood Boulevard during the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade. There have been no announcements regarding holiday decor in any of the themed areas, such as Avatar’s Pandora, Star Wars: Galaxy Edge or Toy Story Land, although Toy Story did have some very unique oversized decorations on display last year. One confirmed holiday exclusive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the extended ending to the show For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, which will feature Olaf performing some holiday tunes.
Holiday Magic At Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom features some of the most unique decorations and performers during the holiday season. 2022 will see the return of the Merry Menagerie, a roaming showcase / street performance featuring beautifully crafted life-size animal puppets. Santa can also be seen in Animal Kingdom, floating on sleigh-style raft as part of a flotilla on the Discovery River. Thrillseekers can also take a ride on Expedition Everest, which is not changed for the holidays but does feature a frightening visit from the Abominable Snowman.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets
Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be available starting June 30, 2022. Prices will range from $149 – $199 per person. Event dates are:
- November: 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 27, 29
- December: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22
Until then, there’s still some year-round Christmas fun to be had for guests at Walt Disney World. You can always visit one of their many holiday stores for Christmas ornaments and seasonal décor or try your hand at a round of mini-golf at the holiday-themed Winter Summerland Miniature Golf.
Anyone unable to attend the Disney Parks this year can still enjoy some signature Disney-style Holiday Magic at home. In addition to an already impressive catalogue of holiday content, Disney has several new Christmas films and specials releasing in 2022, including the upcoming limited TV series The Santa Clauses!