by Emma Godbold
My favourite time to visit Walt Disney World is during the holiday season. The magic filling the parks seems to double, even triple, around Christmas time.
My favourite event to attend at Walt Disney World has to be Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. And if you happen to visit WDW without children like my partner and I, I can assure you that this isn’t a reason to stay away from this event! Want to know a secret? Attending MVMCP as a couple can feel like the most romantic date night ever!
The last time I attended MVMCP it was December 2010 and it was unseasonably cold in Orlando, I mean colder than it was in the UK! We knew that to be able to enjoy ourselves at the party and to stay out as late as possible we needed to wrap up warm, really warm. Just getting ready for the party, putting on our gloves, scarves and Mickey Santa hats made us giggle like excited children.
We were staying at Wilderness Lodge so we decided to take the boat over to Magic Kingdom. When we had attended the party in a previous year we had arrived at Magic Kingdom at around 4pm as we had park hopper tickets and wanted to get into the park before the crowds, you can then just pick up a wristband to show that you can stay in the park for the party. But this year we decided to arrive at Magic Kingdom at around 7pm when the party started.
The first thing I noticed on the boat over to MK was how everyone was wrapped up in warm clothes and even blankets. It gives you a sense of belonging, knowing that everyone has had the same thoughts about trying to beat the cold for a fun evening. But the second thing I noticed as the boat began to fill up was the atmosphere. Everyone was excited to be going to the party. It didn’t matter whether they were 5 years old or 50; everyone had a smile on their face and an excited glint in their eye.
As we arrived at Magic Kingdom we could see the crowds flocking in; it was very busy but again, there was that atmosphere. As it was just the two of us it was nice to stand in the queue and watch the crowds whilst waiting for our turn through the turnstiles. It was great fun to say hello to all the cast members dressed up in their special Christmas party outfits. One of the things I enjoy about visiting Walt Disney World as an adult is that the cast members take time to say hello and chat; they don’t just interact with the families.
After getting our wristbands we wandered down Main Street taking in the sights and sounds; making our way to Tomorrowland, leaving the crowds behind. As the daytime crowds had left and the families attending the party were in other parts of the park we pretty much had the Tomorrowland attractions to ourselves. Know what it feels like to run from attraction to attraction in Tomorrowland, in the dark, just the two of you? Well if you don’t you need to try it, we were big kids again!
After riding the attractions and watching the snowflake projections on the outside of Space Mountain we made our way over to Cosmic Ray’s for our first complimentary cookie and hot cocoa stop. As it was pretty busy and noisy in there with a big dance party going on we sat outside, enjoying the peace and quiet. It’s lovely to stop and look around you whenever you are in Magic Kingdom but being able to do it during a party seems extra special.
After we had been warmed by our cocoa we headed off to Fantasyland to meet the Seven Dwarfs; MVMCP is one of the few times when you can have your photos taken with all of them together and it was a must do for me.
Joining a queue to meet your favourite characters when you haven’t got a child in your party is an interesting experience. It’s something which I have always done, and it always makes me smile. There you are a grown adult standing in line between families with excited children who can hardly believe that they’re about to meet Mickey, Cinderella, Lotso or Stitch. But why shouldn’t the grownups get to meet their favourite characters too?
We ended up queuing for forty-five minutes for our turn to meet the Seven Dwarfs. This meant that we had very little time to get back to our regular parade viewing spot on Main Street before Holiday Wishes began so we decided to watch from Fantasyland. I think this was the most magical decision we had made all night. The Christmas version of Wishes is truly spectacular…just how do they get fireworks to form the shape of presents as they explode??! The fireworks lit up the sky all around us and as I looked round I could see other guests looking left then right trying to catch the next shimmering image in the sky. It doesn’t get much more romantic than standing side by side in your Santa hats watching Disney fireworks together!
After Wishes we decided to stay on that side of the park for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade. We made our way to Liberty Square and easily found a space on the parade route. The parade takes place twice during MVMCP and the crowds are often smaller for the second one, mainly because it’s past lots of little people’s bedtimes!
While we were waiting for the parade to start a nearby cast member started chatting to us. Whilst still remaining ‘part of the show’ she seemed very interested in talking to us about where we came from, how much a WDW vacation cost from the UK and then told us some very fun stories about her work; conversations that may not have been quite so appropriate if we had had youngsters with us!
The Christmastime parade is just wonderful and fills you with so much holiday cheer. You find yourself totally immersed in the moment, waving at characters and dancers as they pass you by. The music, the lights, the costumes….you start to feel like that child on Christmas morning again.
After the parade was over the crowds started to head out of Magic Kingdom. We walked slowly around Frontierland, stopping to look at what was left of the party merchandise and making the most of quiet time in the park before making our way to Adventureland and then onto Main Street; back into the hustle and bustle of guests full of Christmas cheer.
It was nice to end the evening in the shops along Main Street, after all every good date night deserves at least one Christmas gift! Then it was time for one last look back at the Castle Dream Lights before heading out of MK and sleepily looking for the bus back to our resort.
Visiting Walt Disney World as an adult gives you the chance to believe in your imagination; attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party makes you believe that Christmas wishes can come true…even for grownups!! It’s certainly a different experience attending without children but if you fancy a Christmassy date night during your vacation then this is one I would highly recommend! Merry Christmas xx
Have you ever attended MVMCP as an adult–without children? What did you think? Share your memories below!