Which Disney World Holiday Party Is Best for You?
Disney recently announced that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is returning for 2023, and Hollywood Studios will have a brand new party: Jollywood Nights! Both of these hard ticket holiday events take place after the parks are closed to the general public and offer special shows, character meet and greets, food, and more. Let’s compare what the two parties have to offer.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party truly shines when it comes to shows! It offers all of the classic holiday festivities in the Magic Kingdom. There’s the beloved “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” the incredible “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks,” and festive “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration” castle stage show. This year, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, and the Snowgies will also illuminate the castle with the “Frozen Holiday Surprise.”
Jollywood Nights features the “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” nighttime spectacular, a special variety show at Theater of the Stars with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and a “Nightmare Before Christmas” singalong at the Hyperion Theater where you may get to see Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie.
For entertainment, Mickey’s Very Christmas Party hosts a couple of dance parties, including Disney Junior Jingle Jam with Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, and Doc McStuffins as well as Club Tinsel with Santa’s elves and reindeer at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
Jollywood Nights is heavy in entertainment experiences! In addition to a DJ spinning holiday music, Jollywood Nights offers two limited-capacity experiences: a jazz lounge at the Hollywood Brown Derby and a Tip Top Club-themed soirée at the Hollywood Tower Courtyard. Fans of the Tower of Terror will recall that the Tip Top Club is the club on the top floor of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Over on Commissary Lane, guests will find the Latin street festival with live bands, food, and drinks.
With both holiday parties, you’ll have access to the attractions with shorter wait times. This includes TRON Lightcycle / Run at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Rise of the Resistance at Jollywood Nights, both of which will use virtual queues during the parties. At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you can also look forward to special holiday overlays on rides like the Jungle Cruise and Space Mountain.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party typically includes lots of character greetings. You’ll find Mickey and pals, Winnie the Pooh and friends, the princesses and princes, the country bears, and of course, Santa! One of the most popular character meet and greets is Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws and Sally.
At Jollywood Nights, Mickey and friends will take photos with guests at Animation Courtyard with new costumes and backdrops. Rare characters from the 1990s and 2000s like Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, Powerline Max, and Phineas and Ferb will meet with guests at Echo Lake and show off the Christmas trees they have created. Lastly, Edna Mode and Frozone from “The Incredibles” will have a meet and greet with music, food, and drinks at Pixar Plaza.
No Disney World party is complete without treats, and both parties will offer plenty! With Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, there are complimentary cookies, hot cocoa, and eggnog plus other holiday goodies for an extra fee.
Disney Parks Blog has given a sneak peek at some of the Jollywood Nights treats, which include Spicy Korean Chicken on a Mini Funnel Cake, Christmas Tree Cookie Stack, and cocktails and holiday beverages.
All in all, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party may be the better option for guests looking for those classic Disney World Christmas moments like “snoap” on Main Street during the parade and holiday fireworks over Cinderella Castle or those who have younger kids in their travel party.
The glitzy and slightly more sophisticated Jollywood Nights with its jazz lounge and Tip Top Club soirée is great for travel parties with adults only or older kids. It’s also good for guests who have already done Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and are looking to try something new since the Christmas Party is largely unchanged from year to year.
Tickets for both of these holiday events are available to Disney Resort guests starting June 29 and to the general public starting July 6. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party costs $159 to $199 per person while Jollywood Nights costs $159 to $179 per person.