Christmas Staple Finally Returning to Magic Kingdom

in Walt Disney World

Toy Soldiers march through Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella Castle's Dreamlights

Credit: Disney

For the first time since 2019, a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party staple is finally making its big return to Magic Kingdom.

Every year, November 1 marks the end of Halloween and the beginning of the festive season at Walt Disney World Resort. Overnight, Disney’s Cast Members whisk away the pumpkins and orange decor and instead bring out the Christmas trees, garlands, lights, and copious amounts of gingerbread – all ready for one of the Resort’s most spectacular holiday celebrations.

Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime fireworks
Credit: Disney

While plenty of festive magic is available to all Guests for free, Magic Kingdom reserves some of its most enchanting features for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. On select nights in November and December, Guests can pay for an after-hours celebration that includes Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show, exclusive character interactions, Christmas cookies and cocoa, and other yuletide touches.

One of the most anticipated features of the evening is always Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. A Disney Christmas staple since 2007, this sees the likes of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and, of course, Santa Claus decked out in their holiday best as they spread Christmas cheer throughout the Park.

While the majority of characters featured in the parade originally stem from classic Disney movies, there’s one Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime staple that’s unique to the Park: the Toy Soldiers. Inspired by The Nutcracker, these figures usually act as an actual marching band towards the end of the parade, playing instruments as they go.

Toy Soldiers march through Magic Kingdom
Credit: Steven Miller via Flickr

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However, when the parade returned in 2021 with the rest of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time since the onset of COVID-19, the Toy Soldiers functioned only as characters without an instrument in sight.

But now it seems like we’re about to see the return of another Disney Park Christmas staple. According to a recent listing on the Disney Auditions website, Walt Disney World Resort is looking for Disney College Program participants who play trumpet or percussion instruments to audition for the parade.

Screenshot of the Disney Auditions listing
Credit: Disney

This audition is only seeking performers participating in the Disney College Program. This cross-u opportunity is available to domestic College Program participants currently on a program (regular or extension) OR arriving on a program no later than August 25th, 2023. We will not be accepting any performers interested in Full Time, Part Time or Seasonal work at this audition.

Disney Parks Live Entertainment is seeking marching Trumpet and Percussion players for the traditional Toy Soldier for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade, performed at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, FL.

Daisy Duck walks through Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
Credit: Disney

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As the listing stresses, this opportunity is currently only available for existing Disney College Program participants or those arriving by August 25, 2023. It notes that auditionees must be between 5’8” – 6’, hold previous marching band experience, and have the ability to sight read. They must also be able to deal with “wearing potentially heavy costumes,” having “limited vision and range of motion,” and withstanding “hot and humid weather.” Auditions are currently set to be held on July 15, 2023.

That’s one more Magic Kingdom Christmas staple checked off the list. Fingers crossed that the next favorite to make a return is the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights!

Are you planning on attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year? Let us know in the comments!

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