A one day ticket to the Magic Kingdom and a ticket for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are close in cost. The early Christmas parties cost a little bit less, but overall the cost is comparable. So which is a better value, especially if money is tight?
Let me start by telling you what the extras are that you’ll receive at Mickey’s Christmas Party. Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration is a stage show that features Mickey and some of his friends. A Frozen Holiday Wish stars Anna and Elsa. (Last year the first show was held at 6:00, which was when the park closed to the public, so you didn’t need to have a party ticket in order to see it.) Once Upon a Time Christmas Parade features toy soldiers, gingerbread men, popular characters, and Santa. Holiday Wishes is a magical fireworks show. There are also special characters, “snow” on Main Street, U.S.A., and a couple of dance parties. Lots of cookies and some drinks are also included in the price.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs from 7:00 until midnight, but that doesn’t mean that you get only five hours of fun. You can enter the park with your party ticket starting at 4:00, so it’s good for eight hours. The park closes to the general public at 6:00, making that hour a great time to try to hit a couple of rides as people are leaving. Weigh that against the number of hours that the park will be open on non-party days. Often the Magic Kingdom will be open 12 hours or longer, but the crowd level will also be higher because there’s a limited number of tickets sold for each party.
If you’re just looking to enjoy a fun day at the Magic Kingdom and want to see the Christmas decorations, buying a ticket to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party might not be necessary. You’ll probably end up with more value that way. If you’d like to really get into the holiday spirit, then buy the party ticket.
There is one thing that I wouldn’t recommend if you plan on spending only one day at the Magic Kingdom and buying a single park ticket. If you can avoid it, don’t go on a day when there will be a party held that night. You’ll have to leave the park at 6:00, and you won’t see any fireworks. There’s a thought by some that the Magic Kingdom isn’t as crowded during the day on a party day, but I haven’t found that to be the case. It’s still crowded, but then many people will Park Hop once they have to leave the Magic Kingdom. If you ever buy a one day ticket, it’s a smart idea to check park hours anyway. There’s no discount for a short day.