Are Disney’s Holiday Parties Worth It?

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It’s party season–starting next week in the Magic Kingdom, you can attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and then in November, you can celebrate the holidays at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Both are special ticketed events, which means that you’ll pay around $65 per person most nights just to attend the party. The good news is, you don’t need a regular park ticket that day and while your admission ticket says that entry begins at 7:00, Disney has always allowed guests to enter the park at 4:00.  You’re then welcome to enjoy the festivities until midnight.

What will you see at these parties? Well, both have fantastic parades and special fireworks, as well as dance parties and character meet and greets with more obscure characters like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Belle in her Christmas costume.  At the Halloween party, everyone is welcome to trick or treat and it’s your one chance as a grown up to dress up in costume, so if being a princess has always been your dream, this is your time.  While Disney doesn’t release exact numbers, the party is rumored to be capped at 25,000, so this means that you’ll walk onto a lot of rides, particularly after the fireworks when parents start to take little ones home. Even better, most nights the parties don’t sell out, so you never really have to worry about crowds. It’s also a good way to enjoy the parks at night during a time of year when they don’t stay open as late.

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So is it a good deal?  No question these parties are fun and you’ll see some very creative, unique things there that you won’t see anyplace else. Still, I tend to not recommend the parties to families with young children because they can’t stay up late.  I also think that if you’re on a budget, you should skip the parties. That’s really the most simple advice I can give. I’d rather see a family spend the $200 plus that they would spend on a few hours entertainment on a park hopper instead, which can give them a ton of flexibility (and more park hours), or go out for a nice dinner. Yes, the parties are great, but don’t stretch your budget to attend. Your daily park ticket gives you more entertainment than you can possibly enjoy in one day.

What’s your take on the holiday parties? Have you ever been and if so, did you think it was worth it?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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About Christina Wood

For more travel planning articles by Chris, check out her Disney travel blog, Everything Walt Disney World. Chris is also a member of the Mouse Chat podcast team and an authorized Disney travel planner with Pixie Vacations, and visits the parks about 55 days each year. To get free planning and assistance with your next Disney vacation, please call her at 919-889-5281 or email at ChrisW@PixieVacations.com. You may also fill out a quick Disney Vacation Quote form here.
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5 Responses to Are Disney’s Holiday Parties Worth It?

  1. Gregory Wright says:

    The parties really have gotten very expensive. I usually went to them because it was the only way to get more park time in the Magic Kingdom. But the tickets were much cheaper then. Mostly what you get are unique Christmas themed shows and parades and the ability to walk onto most attractions. The snow on Main Street is really awesome and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. But, you can go get that same snow over at the Osborne Lights at Hollywood Studios…I would say that it is NOT a good value, but if you’re not that concerned about the hefty price-tag you will enjoy your evening. But you will probably say that it wasn’t worth the price.

  2. Jim Robinson says:

    The parties are an amazing deal, here is why…

    One of the non advertised features is the park hours for the party. While the posted time for the event is 7pm, MK tickets operators often honor tickets as early as 4:00 PM and “officially” honer them at 5:00 Pm. At $62 per tickets, and having the event on historically the slowest days of the year, and the park is open late where there are also fewer people there and no lines, you can see the entire park, at two-thirds of the normal admission price.

    It’s ideal for someone who would normally pay for a full admission ticket.

  3. Disney Mike says:

    I fall into the “poor value” category. These hard-ticketed events are just too expensive for a relatively short number of extra hours in the park, and the “special” events aren’t worth more than $60 extra.

    But we’re annual passholders, so we’re used to paying essentially nothing to get into the park. We would go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party occasionally more than 10 years ago, when it cost around $30, and we would certainly enjoy the lack of crowds, but it was hard even then to justify that much additional expense per person when we could go any day we wanted without paying anything.

  4. Trish says:

    We love the Halloween party and go every year on the last night. We like the trick or treating, the parade is awesome and the fireworks too. To us, the Christmas party was not worth the money at all. We enjoy going to Hollywood for the Christmas lights so much more. Maybe we feel like we are getting something of value (even if it is candy that we hardly ever eat). Maybe it is the costumes. Maybe we just love everything related to fall. I just don’t know.

  5. Janet Reddick says:

    When we first started going to these, we DID look at it as a decent value – because you CAN get in at 4. And honestly eight hours of MK is a lot.
    But for us, we go for the extra magic. The special fireworks, the great parades, and a chance to get us into the spirit of whatever season we’re celebrating. It’s a family tradition now that really gives us a chance to step away from the every day. No, it’s not cheap, but what is at Disney any more.
    I think it really depends on what your priorities are. For us, it’s not about the rides. It’s about creating special moments. And that’s why we’ll keep going back year after year. I understand why some people don’t do it any more – but my advice is go on weekdays, earlier in the season. Demand is less, crowds are fewer, and tickets are cheaper. Take advantage of discounts offered by Visa, DVC and APs, too.

Comments are closed.