Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours Review
Disney has premiered a new event this holiday season, The Very Merriest After Hours. The Very Merriest After Hours features entertainment, fireworks, character meetings, snacks, and low wait times for attractions.
In 2020 due to COVID Disney had to cancel the event the typical Very Merry Christmas Party. In 2021 Disney started a new but similar event named the Very Merriest After Hours. The event started November 8 and will continue until December 21st. Currently Disney has sold out most dates except for December 10th.
The event lasts for 4 hours with scheduled dates throughout November and December. The events begins at 9 pm and lasts until 1 am. Guests that do not have day tickets to Magic Kingdom can enter the park starting at 7 pm.
Pricing for the event ranges from $169 to $249 a person. We attended during Thanksgiving week and paid $229 per person. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members can receive a $10 discount but only on select dates in November.
Included in your ticket is unlimited popcorn, ice cream novelties, hot cocoa, snickerdoodle cookies, and bottled sodas and water. Quick service locations throughout the park serve the hot chocolate and cookies. Snack carts are located throughout the park to provide the other snacks.
Disney also has limited time food offerings available for purchase. Highlights included a Gingerbread Almond Cake Pop, To Be Jolly Float, Ginger Apple Funnel Cake, and an Orange Bird Churro. We personally did not try any of the specialty treats as there were many free items included with admission.
Entertainment is one of the best features of the after party. Disney features a holiday stage show, Mickey and Minnie’s Very Merry Memories. The story was enjoyable and featured dancers, Disney characters, and favorite holiday songs. Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Clarabelle, Daisy, Pluto, Chip, and Dale were featured during the show. Santa’s reindeer also danced throughout the show.
The show runs throughout the evening at 9:25, 10:35, 11:45, and 12:50 am. We caught the first and second show. The first show was more crowded than the second show. As the night progresses the entertainment becomes less crowded as families with young children return to their hotels.
The popular Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade also runs throughout the night. It features Disney princesses, dancing reindeer, toy soldiers, Mickey and friends, Frozen characters, and Santa himself. The parade is offered twice throughout the night at 9:45pm and 12:05 am.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show was the highlight of the event for us. The show lasted about 15 minutes. The show features fireworks and holiday projections along with Minnie herself narratting the show. We actually enjoyed the Christmas fireworks more than Enchantment. It was a great show and made the price of the party worth it.
Also available throughout the night were the Reindeer Wranglers and Club Tinsel Dance Party.
Guests are treated to several character interactions throughout the night. The highlight of our character experience was meeting Santa. Disney had Santa greeting guests in the Gazebo near Liberty Square. The setting was really beautiful and a Photopass photographer was available to take pictures.
During our visit, we also visited Cinderella, Elena of Avalor, Rapunzel, and Tiana. We walked right up to the Princesses with no wait. Mickey was also available in the Town Square Theater. Children and Adults could interact and take pictures with these characters although masks were required indoors.
Jiminy Cricket, the Country Bears, and characters from Winnie the Pooh were also featured in the park in their holiday best.
Disney Photopass photographers were located throughout the park to capture special holiday Magic shots. One of the shots that we enjoyed was the Rapunzel lanterns in Fantasyland. This particular magic shot often has long lines when offered throughout the year. On the night of our party, we had no wait for this experience.
The event map designates the Photopass locations throughout the park.
Magic Kingdom had over 20 attractions open during the event. Popular rides like Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Peter Pan, and Jungle Cruise were included. Jungle Cruise has a holiday overlay, Jingle Cruise, as well as the Monster’s Inc Laugh floor. Pirates of the Caribbean also had a holiday projection outside the ride queue.
My advice would be to focus your time on the holiday offerings instead of the attractions. The attractions are available throughout the day but the holiday offerings are only available during this event.
Overall, we really enjoyed the after hours event although we did not accomplish all the activities. Although 4 hours is a significant amount of time, if you are traveling with younger kids, adjust your expectations on what you can reasonably accomplish throughout the night.
As you exit the park, cast members will provide you with a chocolate covered marshmallow Mickey. It’s a great way to end the night!
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