I attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion on November 15, 2018, and thought I’d share a recap of Magic Kingdom’s onerous ticket particular occasion, protecting my ideas, observations, and experiences–plus over 50 new photographs from this yr’s vacation celebration at Walt Disney World.
For those who’re in search of step-by-step technique, seek the advice of our Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion Ideas put up as an alternative. Principally, it is a journey report…however for simply the Christmas Occasion. Like our different journey experiences, this received’t get all the way down to the brass tacks these of you attempting to shortly plan is perhaps in search of. It’ll be rambling, anecdotal, and typically off-topic. Form of like vicariously experiencing the occasion for these of you who will not be attending this yr, or who’re going later and wish extra of a ‘actual world’ tackle how issues occurred.
Along with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion, we spent the weekend doing ‘vacation stuff’ at Walt Disney World (and can proceed to take action this week), and may have much more new and up to date Christmas posts within the close to future, so keep tuned to the entrance web page of the weblog.
The largest distinction in my expertise at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion this yr was going with out Sarah. We have been debating between a handful of dates, half-procrastinating on shopping for tickets, half ready to see if any of our dates bought out, when a really beneficiant reader contacted us and provided to present us tickets that she and her husband couldn’t use.
We took her up on the supply, however since that celebration isn’t till a bit later within the season and I “want” new Christmas photographs (heavy air quotes there), we determined it’d make sense for me to attend an earlier celebration. Nevertheless, since a single ticket was $94 after low cost, we each thought that perhaps I ought to simply go alone.
In earlier years, we’ve attended (and paid for!) as many as three events in a single calendar yr. These have been the times when full value celebration tickets have been beneath $50 every, and crowds have been nonexistent. Sadly, these days are lengthy gone, and it’s now fairly troublesome to justify shopping for tickets for a single celebration.
I’m debating whether or not to do one other of those Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion experiences from the one we attend collectively. It’ll seemingly hinge on whether or not I’ve photographs to share and something new to say. To that finish, when you have any questions, stuff you’d wish to see us cowl, and so on., please point out it within the feedback. We love Christmas and I’m all for any excuse to do extra posts about it, so please assist me provide help to.
Upon coming into Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion, I headed down the parade crowd circulate hall, which had some photograph ops, and the primary of the night’s free cookies.
The cookie was onerous and didn’t style superb, however I ate your entire factor on my strategy to Cosmic Ray’s “accidentally” as a result of I used to be so hungry.
The “plus” aspect (once more, heavy air quotes) of attending MVMCP alone is that once you order one thing just like the Vacation Burger at Cosmic Ray’s and spend 5 minutes photographing this culinary mutant from each angle proper in entrance of Sonny Eclipse, everybody takes notice of how cool you might be.
Not that I don’t do loads of the awkward stuff you see on the weblog on my own, however a number of occasions I make a degree of getting Sarah with me. With character dance celebration photographs, for instance, there’s a sure “security in numbers” kinda deal. As a pair, we’re only a bumbling duo that may’t actually dance, and might be there for photographs of characters. On my own, I’m a weirdo with a large digicam probably attempting to take photographs of their youngsters as a result of why would anybody need photos of that Coca-Cola Polar Bear knock-off?! (However extra on that later…)
However I digress. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion began pretty uneventfully. After consuming the Vacation Burger (and residing to inform about it), it was nonetheless solely like 5:30 p.m., so I made the rounds and took some sundown photographs. It was an distinctive sundown, however that’s probably not related to the occasion.
Following that, it was Important Road Bakery time for some Starbucks and the Yuletide Log. This was in all probability the longest line I had seen in Magic Kingdom up to now, which was in any other case fairly quiet. (With regard to the Yuletide Log, we’ll have a full put up on Christmas desserts quickly.)
I largely simply wandered round from then till the official begin of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion. I watched the lighting of the Cinderella Fortress Dream Lights from a distance, took some photographs in Tomorrowland, and checked out the character traces in Fantasyland.
Usually, we might line up for one in every of these meet & greets, however because it was simply me, I opted to skip them. Fortunately, I’d add, because the traces have been actually lengthy.
As soon as the celebration formally kicked off at 7 p.m., I headed to Frontierland to see the Nation Bears and watch the Reindeer Wranglers carry out.
This dwell band, which performs throughout each the Halloween and Christmas events, and the Nation Bears are two of my favourite issues about MVMCP.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion instantly bought off to a fantastic begin, as I used to be in a position to expertise each of these issues concurrently.
It was hilarious watching Shaker and Wendell actually entering into the dancing, taking part in air guitar and actually busting some strikes. This additionally bought the gang into it, most of whom in all probability questioned which Disney film these loopy bears are from.
I additionally managed to get some glamour photographs of some of the Nation Bears. As we’ve talked about numerous occasions elsewhere, the Nation Bears supply the greatest interactions of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion.
I do know lots of you’ll assume I’m biased, however I swear to you I’m setting that apart right here. For those who’re in search of character interactions, what you’ll discover in Frontierland with zero wait is 1000% higher than what you’ll have with the Seven Dwarfs with a two-hour wait.
For those who merely know the names of the Nation Bears, they are going to bathe you with consideration. It’s possible you’ll not get the most effective photographs of it because of the lighting outdoors in Frontierland (I’d advocate doing video as an alternative of photographs in case you’re utilizing a cellphone), however it’s a lot extra enjoyable–and once more, with no wait.
After watching their set and goofing round with the bears for a bit, I headed to Important Road to camp out for the primary parade. Sadly, my favourite spot for Mickey’s As soon as Upon a Christmastime Parade was reserved for media.
One of many different causes we had waited to buy MVMCP tickets was to keep away from media day. It’s not that they add to the crowds or in any other case hassle me, it’s that a number of of my favourite photograph spots are roped off for your entire occasion on nowadays.
It’s dangerous sufficient that common paying friends already must work across the barrage of upcharge events throughout the celebration and different reserved seating for the most effective views. Having much more of these unpredictably roped off is irritating.
I fully perceive and recognize why Walt Disney World does it–media then have a glowing impression of the occasion as a result of they didn’t encounter any of the friction encountered by common friends like crowds, traces, or “paying for it.”
Whereas standing in my alternate location, a household confirmed me the above image of myself from our MVMCP Ideas put up and requested if it was me.
There’s rather a lot unsuitable with that goofy photograph, however the worst factor is that I used to be carrying the very same shirt for this celebration. As I used to be preparing, I requested Sarah if she thought I had worn that shirt for the celebration earlier than, and her response was, “I don’t assume so, however perhaps…it’s your Christmas shirt.”
So to that household, or anybody else aghast that I’d dare put on the identical outfit to a subsequent Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion (particularly when seemingly everybody else makes a concerted effort to decorate ‘cute’), you’ve got my honest apologies.
I additionally apologize to anybody I met if I used to be awkward or inept. “Pleasant conversationalist” is without doubt one of the roles Sarah fills and the wheels can fall off quick if I’m compelled to fend for myself.
After the parade (I’ve lumped all photographs from each parades collectively on web page 2), I headed to Membership Tinsel, as one in every of my priorities for this celebration was getting photographs of the dancing polar bears. I’ve no clue what, if something, they’re based mostly upon, however they remind me of bootleg Coca-Cola polar bears.
This actually amuses me as a result of Cosmic Ray’s is sponsored by Coca-Cola; why not make a cope with Coke to make use of the true factor? They may as nicely additionally add a merchandising cart promoting half-price cans of Sam’s Cola whereas they’re at it.
My odd pleasure about photographing these knock-off polar bears slowly subsided as they’d by no means take a look at me. Look, I get that it is a dance celebration and the idea is ineffective if everyone seems to be simply stopping for selfies and so they do a protracted photograph shoot with some middle-aged dude brandishing a DSLR. Nevertheless, there have been double the variety of characters on the dance ground that there have been people (none of whom have been dancing, I’d add).
These dumb bears have been going out of their strategy to not have their photograph taken, and whereas a rational individual in all probability would’ve given up and moved alongside at that time, I didn’t. Already having handed the purpose of awkwardness, I dug in, ready for a bear to show and make unintentional eye contact with my digicam. That by no means actually occurred, however a minimum of I’ve 56 ‘candid’ photographs of them. You’ll have received this spherical, bootleg Coke bears, however the struggle is much from over.
My collection of unlucky occasions continued, as I headed to Pinocchio Village Haus (the most effective spot for refreshments) solely to seek out they have been fully out of the Peppermint Crunch cookies.
For those who learn our Moonlight Magic Journey Report from earlier this yr, that I’m a massive fan of those cookies. Though I in all probability ate my weight in these cookies and didn’t ever must eat one other one after that occasion, I used to be nonetheless disillusioned that Pinocchio Village Haus had run out.
Round this level, it was time for fireworks.
To be trustworthy, photographs of Vacation Needs don’t look a lot completely different than “common” fireworks, save for a few scenes–just like the snowflakes projected on Cinderella Fortress (above).
…or the ‘O Christmas Tree’ scene (above), which is one in every of my favorites.
This additionally demonstrates the acute cropping powers of the Nikon D850. The primary photograph is cropped to a modest diploma, with the second photograph cropped considerably. But, on this model you undoubtedly can’t inform, and even within the full dimension model, it’s not readily obvious.
Previous to selecting this spot, I had raced up and down Important Road, attempting to determine from the place I ought to shoot Vacation Needs. It was extra crowded than I had anticipated, and spots farther up Important Road have been taken, leaving me with one thing both off-center, or in the midst of Important Road.
Having a “sensible” thought, I made a decision to double down on the poor location and go practically to the tip of Important Road. Virtually nobody was standing right here…for good purpose, because it’s a nasty spot. It labored for me as a result of I deliberate on taking pictures a lot of the present from right here, after which racing again to the Christmas tree for the grand finale with perimeter bursts. It could’ve labored, too, if it weren’t for these meddling youngsters!
…Err, meddling kicks. Nobody was additionally at this spot, and I bought my digicam/lens switched and tripod arrange simply in time for the perimeter bursts within the finale. All was going completely, till I stepped again and kicked my tripod over…
Fortunately, I did catch it and was in a position to get every part again into place for a few photographs after the above one. On reflection, this was overzealous and a dumb thought.
Even when it had gone completely, I wasn’t in a position to totally get pleasure from Vacation Needs’ finale, which is one in every of my favourite ‘moments’ of MVMCP. For the following celebration, I’d simply put down the digicam fully; it’s not like I’ve a scarcity of Walt Disney World fireworks photographs.