I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that a single day ticket to Magic Kingdom now costs over $100. Well a little known way to potentially save some money on a day visit to Magic Kingdom is to attend one of the hard ticket events at either Halloween season or Christmas season. A hard ticket event is a separate ticketed event in which passholders or day ticket holders are not able to attend. So we decided to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party for an event cost of about $75. Much cheaper than the $100 for a day ticket. The event runs from 7 PM to Midnight and all major rides are open, the other little known fact is event ticket holders can get into the park at 4PM on the day of the event. So that’s a full 8 hours of Magic Kingdom at a fraction of the cost. Plus don’t forget the free hot chocolate and cookies during the event. So let’s check out our visit to the Magic Kingdom!
Starting out a cool morning was walking around our hotel complex the All Star Movies and checking out the pool.
The All Star resorts at Disney are highly themed on the outside but the rooms are really nothing special. Standard hotel room it’s just the benefit of staying on property and taking advantage of the extra perks that come with that like free parking at all the theme parks during your stay.
One of the other perks included in our vacation package was a free round of mini golf. So we headed for the Winter Summerland mini golf course near Blizzard Beach.
We arrived right at opening so there was no waiting in line!
The mini golf course was very neat and also highly themed.
The theme was Santa on his summer vacation.
The finale of the two courses, one being Summer the other Winter met inside a pavilion where there was a Christmas tree set up.
After that it was time to head to the Epcot Boardwalk for some lunch.
Walking around the Boardwalk we spotted the National Championship trophy which Ohio State football ending up holding up just a month later! OH……. IO!
The helmets of all four college playoff teams, the only one that matters is the Ohio State one. 😛
After lunch we used another perk included with our package, free Disney Quest admission.
Disney Quest is like a huge arcade that’s all included in admission but the real star here is CyberSpace Mountain where you get to design your own roller coaster AND then ride it!
The design options are a little limited but there a still fun elements such as a barrel roll that I made sure to add.
After designing your coaster and getting your card it was time to ride your creation.
These are the simulator pods you ride in, and wow! When you put a barrel roll in the coaster the pod actually goes upside down when you ride it! Very very neat and there’s even an E Stop button in case you get sick from your own creation. I did not however as I felt the simulation really matched the elements and what they would feel like in real life. I need one of these at home! haha
Lastly we gave a spin on the Virtual Jungle Cruise which all in all was kinda lame.
It was almost 4 PM and time to enter the Magic Kingdom!!!!!
Instead of parking at the transportation and ticket center we parked at the Contemporary Resort instead so that we were within walking distance to the park.
Sorcerer Mickey outside of the Contemporary.
The famous wall of goats that the Contemporary is known for.
We’ll be taking the monorail over to Magic Kingdom and you can see Cinderella’s castle as well as Space Mountain.
Bay Lake Tower is a recent addition to the Contemporary resort with a walkway to get between the two buildings.
Well the monorail is here, let’s continue on to Magic Kingdom.
We stopped off at the Grand Floridian for a quick look inside to kill a little more time before 4 PM.
Inside the lobby is a massive Christmas tree as well as…..
… a massive ginger bread house!
At last we’ve finally arrived!
The Magic Kingdom.
Another Christmas tree at the front of Main Street USA.
Cinderella’s castle as seen from Tomorrowland Terrace.
So the other great thing about getting in at 4 PM was we were able to book Fastpass Plus selections for the three hours before the event started at 7 PM. So naturally I booked Fastpasses for Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Splash Mountain. When the party starts at 7 PM lines are virtually non existent on everything besides Seven Dwarfs which was a 45-60 minute wait all night.
First up we used our booked flash pass for Space Mountain. We walked past the new interactive queue for the regular standby line. Disney does do a great job of keeping you entertained while you wait in line.
Ready for take off.
Enjoying Space Mountain.
Space Mountain is a fun ride as always, although I still think the version at Disneyland is just a bit smoother.
After Space Mountain the exit ramp shows you a look at the “future” as it was envisioned when the ride was built.
I think it’s about that time!
The new hotness for the year… Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Luckily we had booked Fast Passes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as it had about a 65 minute wait when we rode it. We only waited about 10 minutes.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’s mountain is heavily themed but the ride doesn’t present much. The ride has a dark ride section that when you go through it seems like it’s really about to pick up, and then the ride is over. Both our reactions were like is that it?!? Definitely a little disappointing for a Disney ride, I expected the length to be longer than it was.
Going down the drop in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Another camera location on one of the turns of the ride.
After riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train we decided to take a walk around the rest of New Fantasyland to see it before it got dark. Up on the hill is Beast’s castle.
There’s a close up shot of the castle, it’s really not all that big but it’s a nice detail.
Gaston’s which is another place to grab a quick snack.
The outside facade of the Little Mermaid ride, we’ll be returning here later.
Ariel’s Grotto is a meet and greet place for the kids to meet Ariel.
Goofy’s Barnstormer! I actually have already ridden this kiddie coaster so there was no need to ride it this time around.
It’s a small world after all…. yeah we’ll be skipping that one today as well.
Tangled Toilets! So this is the tower from the movie Tangled and instead of a ride or even a gift shop by it. There’s toilets themed to Tangled. That’s one way to get a movie into a theme park I guess. 😛
Haunted Mansion which sadly was under refurbishment and that’s why the employees are standing guard telling people that it’s closed for the time being.
So onto our next destination…
The Hall of Presidents which we also didn’t visit today.
It wasn’t too warm out so we obviously didn’t need our booked Fast Pass for Splash Mountain, but we might as well use it.
First up though was a visit to the Swiss Family Treehouse.
The tree-house is a neat walk through attraction that actually takes you up pretty high.
There’s all kinds of interesting sights to see.
Bridges to cross.
Even a base camp to check out.
Let’s keep climbing.
Looking through the trees down to Adventureland.
Remember when I talked about being up high? Well there’s Space Mountain and Tomorrowland.
Of course let’s not forget Cinderella’s Castle.
Splash Mountain off in the background.
One of the final sights you see along the tree house tour.
Next up was a visit with some Tiki birds….
Wonder what’s behind that waterfall?
Some birds of course to tell us the rules of the Tiki room.
After everyone is seated the birds of course start their singing.
There’s a lot of stuff going on and it’s a classic Disney attraction, still fun even after all these years.
After leaving the Enchanted Tiki Room it appears that the Christmas party has started!
Now seemed like a perfect time as any to revisit Splash Mountain.
Which way should we go?
The train rolls by as we walk through the queue.
Going up one of the multiple lifts of the ride.
The view you get going around the mountain.
Let’s keep climbing.
Rounding some more corners at the top of the mountain.
Brer Bear trying to get some honey.
Brer Rabbit says hello.
Uh oh seems someone is in trouble.
Oh no! Brer Rabbit is in trouble as well.
After climbing up to the laughing place and escaping the crows, Brer Rabbit returns home and we are treated to Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah as the finale to the ride.
Us enjoying our first ride on Splash Mountain.
Since there was no wait and we didn’t get too wet, we decided to ride a second time!
Splash Mountain is consistently one of Disney’s best attractions. In this case the Disney World version is actually much better than the original version at Disneyland. However they are both fantastic rides, definitely don’t want to miss them.
Inside the Tortuga Tavern was the spot to grab free cookies and hot chocolate that was included in the party admission.
It’s a pirate’s life for me!
Some of the canons you see while walking through the queue.
That doesn’t look like the Black Pearl.
Tortuga is on fire.
These pirates aren’t going to escape.
Jack Sparrow is enjoying his spoils.
Pirates of the Carribean is another classic Disney attraction that shouldn’t be missed.
Time to take a spin on Jingle Cruise.
It was too dark to take pictures of Jingle Cruise which is really Jungle Cruise with a few Christmas lights and jokes added to the normal formula. Nothing too special but it was neat that the ride was changed up just a bit.
The castle is lit up for the night.
Next up was a visit to Stitch’s Great escape the former Alien Encounter attraction.
The pre-show explains that there is a dangerous alien that is being transported which ends up being Stitch. The ride is alright but it is nothing near what Alien Encounter used to be. I thought Alien Encounter was pretty awesome and scary but granted I was much younger. I understand that they probably had to make it more kid friendly but that’s a Disney attraction that I will surely miss.
Outside in Tomorrowland there is a show going on playing some Christmas song favorites.
Take a ride on the Peoplemover.
There was no wait to ride the Peoplemover and it gives you a great tour of Tomorrowland.
Space Mountain is lit up red and green.
Flying over the Disney Vacation Club booth.
Cinderella’s Castle as seen from the Peoplemover.
Another look at Space Mountain from the Peoplemover.
More of Tomorrowland.
After the Peoplemover we took a spin on Buzz Lightyear and fought Zerg and his minions! Look how locked in I am, trying to get that high score. 😛
Next up was one of my recent favorite additions to Magic Kingdom, the Laugh Floor!
The Laugh Floor uses digital animation but there is voices doing the live voice work during the show.
The show plays out as a stand up comedy routine and there’s interaction with the audience. It’s a whole lot of fun, and different every time you go. Hope this one sticks around for a long time.
After the Laugh Floor we return to New Fantasyland to grab a ride on the Little Mermaid.
Look at this stuff isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collections complete?
Say hello to Ariel.
Ursula shows up to some ominous music….
…and then it’s happily ever after?
Such a quick abrupt ending just like the California version. Decent ride but the ending still baffles me.
After getting off the Little Mermaid it was about time for the Holiday Wishes Fireworks to start.
And the show begins…
Oooh look at all the red.
The castle even has a few tricks of it’s own.
The grand finale of the show.
And that’s a wrap.
Disney always puts on incredible fireworks displays and Holiday Wishes is no different. You may have to line up for awhile to get a decent spot to see the fireworks but you don’t want to miss them!
After the fireworks we decided to check out Winnie the Pooh.
A fun ride that certainly has that classic Disney dark ride feel to it.
The backside of the castle as seen from right outside the exit of Winnie the Pooh.
Here’s an amazing surprise!!!! They must have finished up with their refurbishment early because Haunted Mansion is now open!
So this picture looks normal and then…..
it appears to stretch…..
Is the room really stretching?
Haunted Mansion is another staple classic Disney attraction that you don’t want to miss. It’s truly still amazing after so long.
Next up we gave Big Thunder Mountain Railroad a spin, one of my personal favorites. Such a great mine train coaster, and still leagues ahead of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
To end the night we sat in on a performance of Country Bear Jamboree. Nothing too special but it’s a nice way to relax.
Goodnight Cinderella Castle it’s been fun.
Main Street USA all lit up for Christmas.
Santa Claus says goodnight everyone.
And that’s a wrap from the Magic Kingdom and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Magic Kingdom is still the best park at Disney World and it’s a great time. With ticket prices as high as they are now, it’s definitely a great deal to get a ticket to one of the exclusive parties and still get a full 8 hour day at Magic Kingdom along with little to no wait on most of the major attractions. Plus it’s a great way to see the park at night!