Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets for 2017 are now available, and those of you planning Walt Disney World vacations should consider the least-crowded Christmas Party dates to attend the party before purchasing your tickets.
As we share in our Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2017 Tips post, not every party is equally crowded. Some are so packed for the first parade that they feel like a busy day in Magic Kingdom. Other nights, there is a ton of room on Main Street for Fireworks, and every attraction is a virtual walk-on by 10 p.m. For this post, I’ll offer some tips so you can choose the least-crowded Christmas Party to attend during your visit.
Since there are a lot of Christmas Party dates this year (more than ever before!), most of you planning week-long vacations to Walt Disney World probably have 2-3 options. If you only have 1 choice, well…this post won’t do you much good. (On the plus side, that means you don’t have to deal with 7 p.m. Magic Kingdom closings on other nights of your trip.)
There are two rules of thumb that almost always apply when determining which party nights will be the least busy. First, the cheaper nights are the less busy ones. For 2017, there are several price tiers, so ranking the nights is a bit easier. In general, the cheaper dates are in November and early-December, and the more expensive dates are in mid to late December. This first “rule” is not quite as hard and fast as the rule is for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and we’ll get to why in a bit.
The second rule is that school nights are the least busy nights, while Fridays and holiday breaks are the most busy times. A corollary to this rule is that Tuesday nights are historically the least crowded nights of the week. We’ve been attending the parties every year since 2007, and that rule has proven true in our experience and in what we’ve observed.
Going back to the first rule, the idea behind the price tiers is to encourage guests who have the option of considering multiple dates to choose the cheaper one. This demand-based pricing is the same idea behind the new park ticket Flex Pricing and seasonal hotel rates. It works, but only to an extent. Plenty of people will pay a few dollars more on an already expensive ticket for a date that works better with their schedule.
Let’s start with the limitations. First, most locals planning on attending non-school night parties aren’t going to change those plans to save $5 or so. Second, tourists who travel during school breaks are essentially stuck traveling during those breaks, so they aren’t going to do a mid-December party as opposed to the December 22 one.
There are a few circumstances where I think you can use these two rules in concert to choose specific Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates that are likely to be the least busy. Let’s start by taking a look at the November dates. Last year, there were 3 dates that jumped out as being a combination of slightly more expensive and on non-holiday period weeknights. This year, there’s only one such date: November 28, 2017.
Because of that, there are really no counter-intuitive best choices this year. Disney has wised up, and the cheapest party tickets are also the parties we anticipate being the least-crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates.
With that said, Tuesdays are typically the least busy parties and these Tuesday parties will have the benefit of cheaper (and thus more attractive to budget-conscious vacationers) alternatives in close proximity to them. I’m not quite as high on November 26, and the reason-being is that this still fairly close to Thanksgiving, and there should be a lot of hotel bookings thanks to the Free Disney Dining Plan window right before then. I don’t think it’s a bad option, but I’d choose the next party over it.
If you are a local and can go whenever you want, I think the November 12 and 14 parties will be the least busy Christmas Parties of the year. These are after the initial rush of people (and bloggers!) wanting to be first to attend, but before most people really get into the festive spirit. If this is “too early” for you, December 3 and 5, 2017 should both be good options, too.
As far as December goes, basically Tuesdays are the best days, followed by Thursdays, followed by Sundays. Earlier in the month is better, with the exception of the December 8 and 15, 2017 parties; there’s a reasonable probability that these will be the Christmas Parties that are heavily attended by the Pop Warner guests.
The December 22 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be the busiest of the year. Last year was the first time Walt Disney World did a Christmas Party this close to Christmas, and it must have been a “success” because they’re doing it again. In the past, they’ve avoided this because Christmas-week crowds make it impractical to close Magic Kingdom early.
There’s nothing unique about this year to make that not the case, so…good luck to anyone considering that party! I would recommend avoiding Magic Kingdom completely that day–and each of the last 3 party dates–transportation to get out of the park will be a nightmare.
Ultimately, you will have more considerations when planning your itinerary than just which Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is least crowded. Park hours will influence your decision. Weather might influence your decision. If you’re able to score an elusive ADR in a different park on a less-busy night, that might influence your decision.
We can’t stress enough that these predictions are exactly that. This is speculation, pure and simple. It’s informed by our experiences, not by any sort of insider information. We’re more than happy to offer a money-back guarantee (on our advice, not your tickets) should our predictions prove incorrect, though!
We will soon be updating our popular, free Vacation Kingdom at Christmas eBook for the 2017 Christmas season. Once it’s available, we will notify our newsletter subscribers, so sign up for our free newsletter if you haven’t already. You’ll receive a free download of our Money-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World eBook in the meantime as a thank you.
For comprehensive tips for planning your Christmas-time trip to Walt Disney World, check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Which days are your favorites for doing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Do you have any experiences that contradict or support our advice? When are you planning to go this year? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts on these questions, or anything else, in the comments!