As I mentioned last week, I’m taking two of my kids for a special birthday trip this fall on a 3-night Disney Cruise. I was planning on staying near the airport the night before the cruise on points or using a Marriott gift card I have to stay at a hotel near the cruise port. However, I can’t get MVMCP out of my mind!
Bigtime Disney fans know exactly what MVMCP is. It stands for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and it’s a separate ticketed event inside the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. It just so happens that there is a MVMCP the night before our cruise, and I’m considering adding it on to our birthday trip adventure.
What’s So Special About MVMCP?
MVMCP is a separate event that runs from 7:00 p.m. to midnight on select days during November and December. The price varies depending on the day, but it starts at $99 for adults and $94 for kids.
Since it’s a separate ticketed event and has a limited number of tickets, crowds are lower than typical Magic Kingdom crowds. Past guests report that most rides have short lines. MVMCP has its own Christmas parade and special Christmas fireworks as well as unique character meet and greets not available outside of the party.
In addition, MVMCP includes complimentary holiday treats at multiple locations throughout the park. In past years, these treats included things like Mickey Santa sugar cookies, snowman-shaped soft pretzels, eggnog and hot chocolate.
The Case for Attending MVMCP
Even though I’ve been to Disney World over 20 times and I’ve even been there close to Christmas, I’ve never attended a MVMCP. It would be a new experience for me as well as my kids.
It would be cool to get some photos with characters we don’t normally see in the parks or on the cruise. For example, at MVMCP you can get a photo with all Seven Dwarfs together and Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws.
My kids would go nuts at all the included holiday treats. I might go nuts, too.
The MVMCP the night before our cruise falls into the cheapest price category of all the dates. Unofficially, cast members let MVMCP guests into the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 p.m. (instead of 7:00 p.m.). We would be allowed to book a couple of FastPass+ reservations between 4-6 p.m and get an early start on rides.
A few weeks ago, my daughter said, “Mom, when can we go back to Disney World?” I told her we were that we went last summer, and that we’d probably go back next summer. “Mom, another year is such a long time to wait!” I thought about that for a moment. For an 8-year-old, two years between trips is a very long time. And we only went to Animal Kingdom the last time, not Magic Kingdom.
The final consideration for attending MVMCP is…YOLO. You only live once. When else will we be in Orlando during the dates of MVMCP? Now that my son is in high school, we can’t travel outside of school vacations. And MVMCP does not happen during Thanksgiving week or Christmas week due to high crowds. We’re already going to be in the area, why not add on MVMCP?
The Case Against MVMCP
It will cost us ~$300 to add MVMCP to our trip. It ends at midnight, which means we may not get back to our hotel until 12:30 -1:00 a.m. We need to hit the road by 9:15 a.m. the next morning to maximize our 3-night cruise time, so my kids might be short on sleep and grumpy. That’s no way to start a cruise! (Of course, we don’t have to stay until midnight).
If I buy tickets in advance and it rains, we can’t get a refund. MVMCP happens rain or shine. If I wait longer to see the weather forecast, tickets for the night might sell out. Buying tickets on the same day is more expensive.
We are planning to go to Disney World next summer. Of course, there will be nothing Christmasy about our next visit. But still, my kids aren’t going to die if we skip MVMCP. They don’t even know it exists right now.
Over the past few years, people have reported MVMCP being more crowded than in years past. My guess is that Disney is increasing the number of tickets available to make more money. So, ride queue times might not be as short as we expect.
If you have been to MVMCP, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Was it worth it? Magical? Would you go again?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.