Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event held on select nights in November and December.  The party is similar to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with special shows and fireworks. the Magic Kingdom is magical any time of year, but when you add festive lights, music and special events, there is an extra magic to be seen.

Meet and Greets

There are a ton of meets and greets throughout the park during the party.  Most of the characters are dressed in holiday attire.  The Seven Dwarfs are a popular one, so get there early.

Other known meets and greets are:

  • Jack Skellington and Sandy Claws
  • Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tiger
  • Scrooge McDuck and Donald
  • Genie and Jasmine
  • Goofy
  • Moana
  • Belle
  • Captain Jack Sparrow
  • Aurora and Prince Phillip
  • Rapunzel and Flynn Rider
  • Ariel and Prince Eric
  • Mary Poppins and Bert
  • Peter Pan
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White
  • Tiana
  • Alladin and Abu
  • and of course  Mickey, Minnie and Daisy


2018 Events

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

You can tell when the parade is ready to start because each of the two scheduled times for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will be preceded by a snowfall! Experience the festive season with large floats, music, and yes, the big red-suited man himself!  For the best view watch from Main Street USA and arrival about 1 hour before showtime.

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration

In Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration we find Mickey deciding that the holidays are best celebrated with lots of friends.  The list of invitees includes well-known characters like Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Peter Pan and much more.  Together they ring in the holidays with more than a dozen carols, all in front of Cinderella’s Castle.  Of course, the castle is covered in ever-changing lights.  It is a spectacular show performed from the castle stage.

A Frozen Holiday Wish

This is a thrilling show starring Anna and Elsa in front of Cinderella’s Castle.  Get there early if you want a good viewing spot.  Anna and Elsa are joined by rugged Kristoff and the world’s most adorable snowman; Olaf.  Enchanting music and a spectacular light show that changes the castle into a glimmering ice covered palace will have every kid smiling, no matter how old they are. Expect to see lots of the Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie, Anna, Elsa, Olaf and much more.  There will also be dancing gingerbread men and reindeer.  Oh, and of course there will be a sleigh with the holly jolly old Santa himself!


Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season Fireworks

The highlight of the night is narrated by the world’s smallest announcer, Jiminy Cricket.  Most people like to find a place in front of the castle for this event, but the fireworks can be seen from just about anywhere in the park. During the show, there is plenty of storytelling and music.

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas

Join Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski (My favorite!!) and stitch at the Rockettower Plaza stage in Tomorrowland for a fun filled dance show with a storyline,

Between shows the acapella group, VoicePlay, performs at the stage. They are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Club Tinsel

Dance your night away at the Club Tinsel party located at the Cosmic ray’s Starlight Cafe.

Food and Merchandise

Savor many of the free yuletide treats throughout the park. Offerings change frequently, but past parties offered Santa Claus cookies, Peppermint cookies, hot chocolate, Ginger cookies, apple cider and eggnog.

There are other special treats available for purchase. red velvet Mickey waffles with ice cream, and Mickey cinnamon buns are among the selections.

There is so much activity you might want to consider the Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package for a little downtime.  This way you have guaranteed reserved viewing for the parade and fireworks while eating your way through a buffet of delicious holiday treats!

Limited edition MVVCP merchandise is also available.  This includes apparel, pins, and MagicBands.

Traveler Tips

  • Several of the most popular rides are open during the party.  Consider whether or not you want to use your time on these rides.  The events are only during the party and you may want to consider them as a priority. If you decide to go on the rides, be sure to get fast passes for them.
  • Get tickets early. They do sell out early.
  • There is so much activity you might want to consider the Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package for a little downtime.  This way you have guaranteed reserved viewing for the parade and fireworks while eating your way through a buffet of delicious holiday treats!
  • Be sure to remember your trip with the special PhotoPass opportunities.
  • Add to your festive experience by dressing up for the party. Festival matching pajamas are a crowd favorite!
  • Plan what is a priority for your family.  You will not see it all in one visit!


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets

You have to purchase tickets just for the show, and don’t delay.  If you want to be able to attend you need to buy your tickets in advance and they sell out quickly.  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is only on selected nights from 7 Pm to midnight, but with your ticket, you can enter the park as early as 4:00 PM.

Purchase your event tickets here

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Disney’s Keys to The Kingdom Tour

Disney’s Keys to The Kingdom Tour

 Keys to the Kingdom tour

Have you ever wondered what the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom is all about?  We took this guided tour (yes, it costs extra!) and this was time well spent for us!

Windows Keys to the Kingdom



The tour lasts about 5 hours. We were a little concerned it would not be very exciting and we would be stuck for the whole 5 hours. But, there was no need for concern.


We started at the Town Square Theater which is to the right after you enter the park and go under the Disney Railroad. They give you an appointed time to meet your group and guide.

The provided headsets allowed us to hear better in noisy places and the guide can speak lower in public areas. Right from the beginning, we learned about the many hidden messages along the street. Take note of the windows and all the writing on them because they all have hidden meanings. Additionally, we learned about Liberty Square and Frontierland.


Our “off stage” experience was a backstage ride in the Jungle Cruise and the Haunted Mansion. The tour guide gave us lots of information about special effects that Disney uses.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour


We toured the area where they maintain and store the parade floats. We were able to watch various groups practicing their acts for the parade.

For me, the famed tunnels were the highlight of the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. They are comprised of a series of interconnecting tunnels, with many rooms off to the sides of them.

Cast members dressed in their themed costumes use the utilidors to get to other parts of the park. Down in the utilidors is many offices, hairdresser, cast member cafeteria. It is also the place where all food and merchandise come into the park. It is then distributed into the park thru secret stairways.

Frequently, we had to move to the side to allow an electric cart laden with merchandise to pass by. The tunnels are quite busy.

Something I found very interesting is that the tunnels are actually the first floor of the park. They were built first and then the ground level was brought up to the top of them. What we know as the Magic Kingdom park is actually on the second floor.

There is a separate charge of $99 per person for the tour plus you need a park pass for the day as well.  For this, you get the 4 to 5-hour tour, lunch at one of the restaurants, a few keepsakes and everything described above. If you like everything Disney, this is a must for you.

To book your tour, visit Disney’s website.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Once again, in 2018 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  This after dark special event draws a large crowd even though you have to purchase a special ticket.  And that reminds us to tell you to be sure to purchase your ticket in advance, while they are still available.  You will not need a park pass for this event.  The Not-So-Scary Party is held in the fall on select nights.

Children and even adults can Trick or Treat their way through the park while enjoying all the rides and special activities.  Activities include the “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks show, Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.  If you time it right you should even be able to catch Cadaver Dans barbershop quartet of dead cowboys.  They will be singing in the style of Dapper Dans, but with haunting melodies.

As you wander through the park you will notice Halloween lighting and music effects that are not normally used.  They help transform the park into a haunted, but a happy ghost town.  It should be noted, that all the references to horror and haunting do not mean it will really be all that scary.  After all, it is meant for children as well as the adults.


“Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”

The mischievous Sanderson Sisters (Winifred, Mary, and Sarah) visit our mortal world for a Halloween party.  They starred in Disney’s Hocus Pocus.  The sisters will enlist the help of various other Disney villains to brew up some magical fun.  But watch out because they may put a curse on everyone in the Magic Kingdom park!


Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade

You will know this truly spooktacular procession is starting when you see the infamous Headless Horseman ride down the parade route.  This grim grandmaster will be closely followed by a selection of hauntingly decorated floats.  Many of the usual Disney characters will be on and around the floats dressed in Halloween costumes.


“Happy HalloWishes” fireworks show

One of the highlights of the night is the Happy HalloWishes fireworks show.  The Haunted Mansion sends the Ghost Host over to invite you to watch the sky light up with goose-bump producing pyrotechnic effects while listening to haunting melodies.   Creepy colors will be crawling over the Cinderella Castle and Disney villains will be crooning scary tunes.  You will hear tunes like “Never Smile at a Crocodile,” from Peter Pan and “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” from the Haunted Mansion attraction.

Expected Showtimes

Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade – 9:15 p.m., 11:15 p.m.
Happy HalloWishes Fireworks – 10:15 p.m.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – 8:15 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 12 a.m.
Cadaver Dan’s – 7:15 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:50 p.m., 9:55 p.m., 10:50 p.m.

Ticket Prices and Dates

Dates for the 2018 events are

August 17, 24, 28, 31
September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31

Advance ticket prices are $75. As of this writing (April 2018), tickets have not gone on sale yet.

To read more about the Orlando area, please visit our Orlando Insider’s Guide

Wishes ending at the Magic Kingdom

Wishes ending at the Magic Kingdom

This week marks the last week to see Wishes at the Magic Kingdom.

Debuting in October of 2003 at Walt Disney World, this nightly fireworks display has been a fan favorite. Its final night will be Thursday, May 11, 2017.
The show tells the story of Disney’s character’s wishes. Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy host the show. As the character work thru their wishes, Cinderella’s castle will change colors. Tinker Belle also makes an appearance as she flies from the tallest spire of the castle.


Over the years Wishes has been the backdrop for many memories made by millions of people. The most popular event is a marriage proposal. Thousands have said their ‘I Do’s” with the fireworks with the spectacular backdrop.


Beginning on Friday, May 12, 2017, the newest of the fireworks displays Happily Ever After will begin.


What are your favorite memories of Wishes?

The Rain Survival Guide; 5 Ways To Enjoy The Rain In Orlando

oh boy its raining
Oh no! You’ve arrived in Sunny Florida to find out there is a rainy day in the forecast.   Although the Florida sun does shine an average of 300 days per year,  there are also many rainy days.  During the summer months,  from June to September, the heat can spawn daily afternoon showers.  These showers are usually short and intermittent. Here are several ideas to help you enjoy the rain.
raining poncho

Be Adventurous and Go To the Parks Anyway

Break out that rain poncho you brought with you  (What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You; 12 Must Haves For The Parks) and enjoy the smaller crowds in the parks.  Most queues are covered and there are plenty of indoor attractions:  It’s Tough To Be A Bug! at Animal Kingdom, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor at the Magic Kingdom, Muppet Vision 3-D show at Hollywood Studios are all indoor attractions to enjoy during the heavier rains.  If you are playing the Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at EPCOT game, head for the Mexican Pavilion and play entirely indoors.

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Photo Credit: mcchots   Creative Commons License

Go To I-360 Drive

There are numerous places to visit in this area for indoor activities. Madame Tussauds, Skeletons: Animals Unveiled, WonderWorks Orlando, iFly Orlando and the SeaLife Aquarium are all indoor activities in the I-360 drive area. There are plenty of entertainment and learning venues to be found.  See our Insider’s Guide: I-360 Drive for more details.


Shop Until You Drop

Orlando is known for its theme parks but it  also known has great shopping centers and malls that cater to all preferences and budgets. In addition, Highway 192 is lined with numerous gift shops to bring back that special Florida souvenir.  See our Insider’s guide: Shopping page for information about several of the area malls.
day trip

Take a Day Trip 

Check the weather radar often because the rain can be local to certain areas.  Just an hour drive may bring you back to the Florida sun that you are seeking. If you travel west, explore the gulf coast beaches.  Our favorite is watching the pelicans dive into the water on Anna Maria Island’s Holmes Beach.  Traveling east will take you to Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach or Daytona Beach.  The Kennedy Space Center is located on Cape Canaveral. If you drive north to Ocala, you can see some of the finest horse farms in the country.  The nationally renowned horseman, Pat Parelli, has a ranch in the Ocala area that we visit when we are up there.
reading wine

Plan for Some Down Time

A trip to Orlando and its theme parks can often times leave you feeling like you haven’t had time to rest and relax. Instead of rushing off to do more, enjoy a day at your vacation rental home. You will be glad you didn’t rent a cramped hotel room.  Let the kids play in the home’s game room, curl up with your favorite book and a cup of tea or rent a Disney movie that features your favorite attraction from the parks; our favorite is Monsters Inc.  Making a special family meal together in the fully-equipped kitchen is a great way to connect and make memories.

No matter what your family decides to do on a rainy day in Orlando, you are sure to find something for everyone. Have fun playing in the rain!

Contact us for vacation rental homes in the Disney area at https://vacationorlando.rentals

So, what about this myth of the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game?

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: Does it really exist and is it really free?  Well…………yes and sort of.  It has existed since February 22, 2012, and although it is not quite free, it is covered by the park pass. Since you already paid for it, it is well worth participating, even if just to collect the cards.

Sorcerer of the Magic Kingdom


In order to play, you must stop by either the Firehouse or the outpost behind the Christmas Shop. From there the adventure begins and by all accounts, the kids are loving it, as well as many adults. When you register to play the game you will be given a Key Card with an embedded chip and five spell cards. The spell cards are yours to keep, and indeed are being sought after by collectors. You will also be giving a stylized map showing the various portals which are located in all the lands except Tomorrow Land.


Now the fun begins. When in possession of the spell cards you become a Sorcerer and will use the spell cards to duel with Hades and his recruited Disney evil villains to keep Hades from taking up residence in the Magic Kingdom. Merlin, who is fighting with Hades will recruit you to use the spell cards to duel with the evil villains at the various portals in the park. When a Sorcerer finds the first portal they will tap the indicated area with the key card and the portal will open up and start interacting. With your spell cards, you will end up battling the evil villains and hopefully save the park from having Hades take up residence.


There are 70 different spell cards that may be given to you at the start of the game, and there is at least another ten that are available for purchase in bonus packs at various places in the park.  Each day you go back to the Magic Kingdom you can get a new deck of cards free.  If you buy a bonus pack it will also include one of 4 different game boards that can be used at home along with instructions and tokens.


For a complete list of the playing rules to the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and more information you can go to this link: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Sorcerers_of_the_Magic_Kingdom

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Contact us for vacation rental homes in the Disney area at https://vacationorlando.rentals