Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World is an extra cost event. If you’re already planning to spend some time in the Magic Kingdom during regular park hours, is it worth buying another ticket? After all, you can see the decorations, and even Elsa’s magical lighting of Cinderella Castle, during normal hours. What, exactly, makes the party so popular, and should you consider going? Here are the top three reasons it’s worth springing for a ticket:

Special experiences at the Magic Kingdom

Yes, you can have some seasonal fun during the day at the Magic Kingdom, and all of the Walt Disney World theme parks have their own holiday celebrations.

For example, Epcot has the Candlelight Processional, which is included in your ticket cost, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the brand-new Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM show this year, with fireworks and projections. However, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has some exclusive activities that make it worth your while.

Imagine the kids’ delight when they find out they can enjoy all the cookies, hot cocoa, and other select snacks that they can consume in one night at select Magic Kingdom locations. They’ll also love the parade and holiday fireworks show, and Mickey and his friends gather on the Cinderella Castle stage for a brand new show this year. If you’re a Clarabelle the Cow fan, you’ll be pleased to know that she has a big role, and she’s quite the diva.

You’ll also get to meet Nick and Judy from ‘Zootopia’ and get photos with other Disney characters in their holiday suits.

Lower crowds during the Christmas rush

While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has started already, it runs on select nights through December 22. That covers much of the busy holiday season at Walt Disney World, when crowds are thick and lines are long.

Disney limits the number of tickets sold for each party, so you get to enjoy many of the Magic Kingdom attractions with shorter waits. The only problem with that strategy is that, with so many special party activities, it’s hard to find time for the regular rides.

Early admission to the Magic Kingdom

While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starts at 7 p.m., you can get into the park as early as 4 p.m. with a party ticket. If you’re on vacation and don’t want to use a full day’s park ticket, do something else earlier in the day. For example, you can shop at Disney Springs or just enjoy your resort and still enjoy three bonus hours at the Magic Kingdom before party time. Use it to ride as many of the regular rides as you can to conserve more time for the parade, fireworks, and other exclusive activities.

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