Slowly however absolutely, Walt Disney World continues to revive normalcy. With this yr’s Halloween Occasion not simply returning to its 2019 state however really including new issues, we thought it’d be worthwhile to have a look at the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion to see what’s nonetheless lacking and what’s been added.
Now that I’ve attended the occasion, I plan on providing quite a lot of new posts and updates to our complete Information to the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion. Overlaying what’s been added, eliminated, and restored relative to each final yr and 2019–the final time MVMCP was offered in its “regular” type–looks like a logical place to begin.
Naturally, one factor that has not remained unchanged throughout that timeframe is costs. As in comparison with final yr, this really isn’t that dangerous. The worth vary for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion is just $10 larger on the low finish and unchanged on the excessive finish, for a value vary of $159 to $199. This comes as a slight shock as a result of final yr’s MVMCP was extra common than ever, with all dates promoting out. That was the primary time that had occurred, and it occurred regardless of the steepest value will increase for MVMCP ever.
That’s not likely the complete story, although, because the distribution of dates at every value level additionally modified this yr. Because of this when you attend the equal social gathering night time in 2023 as you went final yr, you may pay $20 extra for every ticket. In 2019, the worth vary for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion was $99 to $139. That’s proper, the very best value that yr was $20 decrease than the bottom value in 2023, and the very best value this yr is $60 extra.
All in all, MVMCP ticket costs elevated by about 50% final yr with the very best hikes coming after Thanksgiving. That didn’t appear to place a dent in demand as, once more, tickets offered out quicker than ever. In fact, that was additionally after Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion was on hiatus for two years, which distorted each demand and the diploma of the rise.
The purpose of all of that is that it’s price figuring out what you’re getting on your cash, and the way the substance of the occasion compares to the significantly cheaper Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion in 2019 and earlier. With that stated, the leisure slate is just about half of the equation. On the subject of the standard of the occasion (and in a means, additionally the ‘amount’ of it), the opposite large element is crowds.
We’ll have a submit on the crowds query very quickly. For now, right here’s a take a look at what’s new and nonetheless lacking from the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion…
What’s Nonetheless Lacking in 2023 from MVMCP
Cinderella Fort Dream Lights – Clearly, this isn’t unique to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion. The larger-than-life Cinderella Fort Dream Lights are a conspicuous omission from Magic Kingdom all through this vacation season. But when we’re taking a look at this by means of the prism of a MVMCP ticket being your solely go to to Magic Kingdom this Christmas, the Dream Lights can be one other factor you’d miss out on seeing this yr as in comparison with 2019.
For individuals who are unfamiliar with the Cinderella Fort Dream Lights, they have been completely wonderful and no quantity of phrases, images or video can do them justice. No projections can match the greater than 200,000 tiny white lights that illuminated Cinderella Fort and reworked it right into a veritable ice palace. The Dream Lights would cease you in your tracks, with the resplendent bodily show being an absolute jaw-dropper.
The Cinderella Fort Dream Lights have been the spotlight of the vacation season, and it’s an enormous disgrace that Walt Disney World has declined to spend the cash to deliver them again within the final couple of years. Make no mistake, cash is totally what this boils all the way down to. Each different excuse for not doing Dream Lights is simply that–an excuse.
Toy Soldier Marching Band – Over the summer season, there was a casting name for Faculty Program musicians on Disney Auditions. That particularly said that Disney Reside Leisure needed marching trumpet and percussion gamers to deliver again the Toy Soldier Marching Band to Mickey’s As soon as Upon a Christmastime Parade. As such, it appeared clear the complete Toy Soldier Marching Band would return for the primary time since 2019.
For no matter cause, that didn’t occur on the first few events. Notably, there additionally was not a full Toy Soldier Marching Band through the ABC Christmas Day Parade filming, and if ever there have been a time when Walt Disney World would’ve needed it, that may’ve been it! As for the why, that’s anybody’s guess. Perhaps Disney didn’t obtain sufficient pupil musician candidates from Faculty Program contributors? Perhaps they did, however coaching remains to be ongoing and so they’re not fairly show-ready?
Regardless, it is a greater loss than it might sound when you’ve by no means seen Mickey’s As soon as Upon a Christmastime Parade. The veritable military of Toy Troopers was spectacular, and listening to them carry out music as they marched was so downright magical. The Toy Soldier unit remains to be cool, but it surely doesn’t have the identical wow-factor in its present type.
A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas – The quiet lack of this campy, cult-classic present was an enormous blow for us and different enjoyers of enjoyable the world over. When ‘A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas’ initially debuted over a decade in the past, it changed Mickey’s Twas the Night time Earlier than Christmas, to the angst of many followers (together with us). Mickey’s Twas the Night time Earlier than Christmas was a wonderful, legitimately good present.
We step by step warmed to ‘A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas,’ and developed a keenness that fell someplace between ironic and earnest enthusiasm. The present doesn’t get numerous love as a result of its plot is primary, the jokes are tacky, and the dance numbers are so eclectic that you just marvel why they’re even taking place–and whether or not you missed a narrative beat (you didn’t).
That was the brilliance of ‘A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas.’ It was Bizarre Disney World at its best–a present that youngsters a decade from now will watch on YouTube, TikTok, or no matter and develop a keenness for because of its coronary heart and madcap allure. I’m utterly assured on this evaluation as a result of we’ve already seen it occur. ‘A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas’ began out being fairly unpopular and grew right into a reasonable draw because of its campy high quality. It already has a cult following, which is why it’s so unusual to kill it now. It could’ve made extra sense to retire it a couple of years after it debuted!
I may go on and on about what made ‘A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas’ an underrated, sleeper sensation. The showdown between Buzz Lightyear and the Zurg Dancers was a type of issues no phrases can do justice. Loopy, chaotic power and downright hilarious. Mike Wazowski’s dance quantity was not practically pretty much as good, however nonetheless enjoyable, with numerous corny jokes that any good dad would steal so as to add to his vacation repertoire.
Ultimately, ‘A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas’ was loads like Sew: endearing mischief. It by no means went utterly off the rails, however turned a fan-favorite because of its inarticulable x-factors. In not taking itself too significantly whereas providing some enjoyable segments, it snuck up on company–you ended up loving it for all its good-natured ridiculousness and allure. Maybe if it solely added Santa ALF, Sinclair, and Rockettes dressed as cats–as we recommended a couple of years again–A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas would’ve survived.
What’s New for 2023 at MVMCP
“Frozen Vacation Shock” (Kinda) – This new stage present options Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff on stage in new costumes. Be a part of within the celebration as Olaf and greater than 100 of his Snowgie siblings adorn Cinderella Fort with festive touches. ‘Frozen Vacation Shock’ festivities culminate as Elsa provides glowing ending touches, reworking Cinderella Fort right into a shimmering crystallized palace.
‘Frozen Vacation Shock’ is the direct alternative for ‘A Frozen Vacation Want,’ which debuted in 2014 and was final carried out in 2019. I’d would hazard a guess that 99% of informal guests who noticed the ‘want’ model of the present can have a tricky time distinguishing the 2.
Effectively, except for the finale, which now not culminates within the Cinderella Fort Dream Lights being illuminated for the primary time by Elsa. That was just about the entire level of the previous present, and the explanation for its existence. The entire manufacturing lacks virtually all of its punch with projections as a substitute.
Dance Occasion (Sorta) – By advantage of ‘A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas’ ending, there’s now a dance social gathering on Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland in addition to one inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Neither of those are essentially new–they’ve principally been relocated.
The argument could possibly be made that these dance events now have better visibility and visitor participation because of this. That will be my commentary, albeit with a really restricted pattern dimension. The case may be made that two dance events in Tomorrowland and a complete of zero within the entirety of the remainder of the park is an imbalance. I don’t agree with that; after years of attempting completely different places, I feel Disney has decided these are the optimum spots.
Freebies (Fairly A lot) – Let’s begin with the dangerous information inside the excellent news. The slate of complimentary cookies and different free treats–and places the place they’re obtainable–remains to be about half what it was in 2019, which was arguably the yr that it peaked. There have been extra cookie varieties (together with my private favourite, peppermint bark) in addition to different choices like snowman pretzels, eggnog, and extra.
The excellent news is that company are actually given a memento decoration when getting into Magic Kingdom’s bypass hall as a welcome to the occasion. It’s a toy soldier this yr and, when you ask me, higher than final yr’s fiftieth snowflake decoration. Not like final yr, no fancy poster print on the way in which out of the occasion, however regardless, that is nonetheless a web addition as in comparison with 2019.
Characters (In a Sense) – At minimal, there are extra characters on the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion than there have been eventually yr’s occasion. That’s by advantage of the Seven Dwarfs in Storybook Circus, which is a single meet & greet however–by my depend–quantities to a +7 character addition.
Whether or not there are fewer or extra characters than on the 2019 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion is tough to discern. At the very least for me. “Skilled” character hunters most likely know the exact depend at each occasions, however my view is that dance events and free-roaming characters could make it robust to inform.
Probably the most notable additions this yr are Mirabel from Encanto, Sew in a vacation aloha shirt, Alice and White Rabbit, Toy Troopers, Snowflake Stilt Walkers, and Chip ‘n’ Dale in scarves. The largest losses are Moana and Princess Elena of Avalor. Nevertheless, these aren’t the one losses. The previous model of the Cosmic Ray’s dance social gathering additionally featured bootleg Coca-Cola polar bears and reindeer, and different offbrand characters.
On steadiness, I’m inclined to consider there was a web addition of a minimum of a couple of characters to the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion as in comparison with 2019. I don’t know the precise quantity, however my guess is that it’s round 3-4 core characters, and presumably 6-8 when you depend ancillary ones that roam, seem with out attendants, or add to the combo at dance events. This can be a web win.
Finally, not an entire lot has modified within the substance of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion between 2019 and 2023. There have been some minor additions within the final couple of years, however no main sources of pleasure that may promote tickets. Though the lack of A Completely Tomorrowland Christmas is an enormous blow for us, in equity, I don’t assume that’s going to be a widely-held opinion by the common visitor. Its reputation had grown through the years, however that was arguably it gaining a cult-following for its camp issue. It wouldn’t shock me if common company have been nonetheless largely ignoring it and/or didn’t charge it extremely.
As repeat guests, our view is that the occasion is beginning to really feel stale. Final yr, we and different longtime Walt Disney World followers have been simply excited to have it again–it was like a vacation homecoming of types–so what was lacking or unchanged bought a move. That’s much less the case this yr, and shall be doubly true subsequent yr.
Our hope is that, at minimal, the 2024 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion receives a shot within the arm on par with what Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion obtained this yr. Frankly, it wants rather more than that–the occasion may actually use a brand new piece of main or a minimum of medium-tier leisure, particularly after dropping a stage present this yr. Refreshing the parade, swapping out some characters, and smaller-scale modifications also needs to be thought of.
With that stated, it’s vital to underscore that this isn’t a solution to the query: “Is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion price doing or definitely worth the cash?” Should you’re a repeat customer, you most likely already know the reply based mostly on seeing the lineup. Or a minimum of, you may assume you do, however there’s really extra to it than that. I’m really fairly pleased that I did the Magic Kingdom occasion this yr, particularly contemplating how a lot Disney Jollywood Nights underwhelmed and since crowds have been decrease at MVMCP. Should you’re a first-timer, what’s new or unchanged is kind of irrelevant, since every thing is new-to-you!
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What are your ideas on what’s lacking and been added or restored to the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion? Excited to attend this yr’s occasion? Will your loved ones be shopping for or sitting it out? What are your ideas on additions and subtractions relative to cost will increase for MVMCP since 2019? Do you agree or disagree with our perspective on this? Any questions we may also help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even while you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!