What’s new at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2012, as Walt Disney World guests see similar festive fun each year

in Disney, Entertainment, Events, Magic Kingdom, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Visitors to Walt Disney World in search of holiday entertainment will find it year after year at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. This after-hours separately ticketed event provides a special parade, fireworks show, character meet and greets, and more.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2012

Though guests can expect the party to offer essentially the same entertainment each year, a few changes are made to keep it feeling a bit fresh, with the return of some old favorites and the introduction of some surprising new offerings.

Scrooge McDuck

The Disney character most closely tied to the Christmas season has returned after a year off. Scrooge McDuck is meeting and greeting guests in Fantasyland during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Last year, construction of New Fantasyland prevented his appearance, but he makes a most welcome return to the party for 2012, even if tucked off in a corner.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2012

Also new this year: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Sadly, Oswald is not a meet-and-greet character in Disney’s parks (yet). But quite a few guests were spotted throughout the party with homemade Santa Oswald ear hats:

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2012

New Fantasyland

The biggest addition to the Magic Kingdom is clearly the New Fantasyland expansion, which is now open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. In addition to a new ride, restaurants, and other experiences, New Fantasyland also offers some unique new Christmas time views that go well with the party atmosphere:

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2012

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2012

Kringle Crew

This year the Kringle Crew is the most notorious addition to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Following in the footsteps of the Street Jam added to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party a couple months ago, the Kringle Crew is a similar street act, combining hip-hop elements with traditional Christmas entertainment. The result is a rather abrasive time killer that is meant to hold the interest of guests waiting on Main Street USA for the party’s parade to appear. The Kringle Crew features obnoxiously loud and often off-key renditions of Christmas songs, inviting the crowd to “ho ho hooooooo” along. A handful of kids seem to get a kick out of it, but many park goers are left wondering when it’s going to end.

Worst of all, this act replaced the Dapper Dans, who sang Christmas songs (quite well) on Main Street before the parade in years past. Now, there’s this…

Celebrate the Magic

Not exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party but making its debut there is the new Cinderella Castle projection show called Celebrate the Magic. It’s a new version of The Magic, The Memories, and You! that uses the castle’s surface as a giant screen, illuminating it in colorful animation from classic and contemporary Disney films. It’s not as moving as its predecessor but still enjoyable and during this season features a special holiday sequence.

Holiday Wishes

Though identical to past years of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I include Holiday Wishes in this list as something “new” only because the particular presentation that I attended a few weeks ago featured an unexpected new twist: fog. With low lying clouds nearly touching the top of Cinderella Castle, many of the show’s fireworks were obstructed by a grey haze. Though the fireworks themselves weren’t always visible, their effects were quite bright, causing the sky to shine in bold hues. It was a fun twist on a long-running show, courtesy of Mother Nature.

First-timers attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be impressed by the wide variety of holiday entertainment offerings throughout the evening. But, as with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, repeat visitors are finding the event to be, well, repetitive, longing for a few new twists – something more impressive than the Kringle Crew. There’s nothing wrong with the Very Merry party as is, but a sprucing up would surely draw even more locals and Walt Disney World regulars back again next year and for many years to come.

More photos from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2012:
(Photos by Michael Gavin and Ricky Brigante)


  1. There was also a lack of Belle in her Christmas dress this year thanks to her removal from Town Square, right? 🙁

    1. Ricky Brigante

      There was a lack of a lot of things. I didn’t want to beat it to death in the article above, but the overall feeling of Very Merry this year was… underwhelming. Beyond Main Street, there were little to no Christmas decorations. The Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show and dance party at Cosmic Ray’s were some of the few noticeable Christmas moments outside of the entrance areas. Also, the cookies weren’t as good as in previous years and the hot chocolate was rather dull.

      I also neglected to mention that the Dapper Dans used to sing Christmas songs on Main Street prior to the parade, now replaced by the Kringle Crew – a terrible decision.

      The event has been essentially reduced to a bare minimum – special parade and fireworks, free “treats,” and a bit of extra entertainment here and there. It never truly feels like a “party” as much as a night with a few extra bonuses.

  2. Jeff Lynch

    Yo yo yo! Diggitty diggitty! The Kringle Krew is phat, yo!

    I think it’s hilarious when a big company like Disney decides to force hip-hop/rap/street elements on its guests. Do you remember the episode of The Simpsons a long time ago when Homer got to voice a new Itchy & Scratch character named Poochie…who was a hip-hopping skate boarding dog who talked “street”? The executives in the cartoon thought it was genius…but the public hated Poochie.

    The public at large does not love hip-hop…and probably would have loved the Dapper Dans. Maybe bad feedback from this year’s events will end the “Poochie” experience of The Kringle Krew.

  3. Bah Humbug

    Great video of the fireworks show, but a pity you had a whining child near you.

  4. Stephanie

    I completely agree that the Kringle Crew is just…out of place. I saw them briefly before the first parade on the night we went, and most everyone just glared at them until it was over. I really dislike that whole, “Are we having a good time? I can’t heeeeeear yooou. I said ARE WE HAVING A GOOD TIME?” It’s a very in-your-face way of trying to force you into participating, when we’re all very aware that it’s a very bad attempt at just passing time. Honestly, I think some low Christmas music and the ability to enjoy the snow and atmosphere would’ve been a lot more effective.

  5. Nathan Za.

    I was just there a few days ago with family, and was blown away with all the activities and food that there was. Thanks Ricky for the update!

  6. Emily June

    I agree with you – underwhelming, blah cookies , same at every food stop. I suggest a different treat at every food station. Even the workers looked bored this year, like they knew it was nothing special. I see it as an evening of cut down crowds. This local won’t be going back for a while. Dislike hip hop at Disney.

  7. wish you a Merry Christmas

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