Disney World Christmas party comparison: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party versus Jollywood Nights

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My family loves visiting the Walt Disney World Resort around Christmastime.  We love seeing the Christmas trees at the resorts and Disney Springs, admiring the decorations at all the parks, and hearing Christmas music throughout the parks.

But my favorite reason to visit the Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  This is the party that takes place on select nights at Magic Kingdom.  I look forward to the party all year.  It is so much fun to enjoy all the extra festivities.  You can read about it in our Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide.

But this year, Disney is adding another party to the mix.  And that party is Jollywood Nights!

Jollywood Nights take place at Hollywood Studios (which is good, because, with that title, it would be quite confusing if it was at Epcot or Animal Kingdom) and it is also at night (which, once again, makes sense given the title).  We talked about Jollywood Nights a few days ago in our Jollywood Nights Guide.

So the addition of a new party means if you are planning a Disney World trip this holiday season, you have a few options.  You could, of course, not attend either.  You could attend both.  Or you could choose just one.

But if you decide to choose just one, the question is, which one do you choose?  Well, obviously since this is a new event, I have never been to Jollywood Nights.  But I have visited Hollywood Studios for many years during the holiday season so I am familiar with a lot of the festivities planned.  And based on everything they’ve told us (which you can see in the guide), I can see some differences between the two parties.

Pricing

So the pricing for the parties is quite similar.  Ticket prices range from $159 to $179 for Jollywood Nights.  Ticket prices range for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party range from $159 to $199.

Now, the tickets are not on sale yet so I can’t tell you how much each night costs.  But based on my experience, the prices range because Disney typically charges more based on how popular the date you go is.  That means you’ll pay less if you go early November, and you’ll pay more the closer to Christmas you go.  So if you are planning say an early November trip, it probably won’t make much of a difference for the pricing.

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But if you are planning a trip right around Christmas, you will pay more for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  So this of course makes Jollywood Nights more appealing.

Winner: Jollywood Nights

Length

Despite the similarity in price, the length of each party is actually different.  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party lasts from 7:00 PM to midnight.  Hollywood Studios lasts from 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM.  So Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is an hour longer.  So you get more bang for your buck in that sense if you choose Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Winner: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Thrill Rides

Both Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom are theme parks.  And people have different reasons to visit theme parks.  But a big reason for a lot of people is the thrill rides.  But thrill rides tend to have long lines.

That is one great thing about this event.  Because it is a special ticketed event, less people will be there than on a normal day during the holiday season.  And because there are so many things going on, lines for the thrill rides tend to be shorter.

And Magic Kingdom does have some great thrill rides.  There’s Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and even the brand new Tron rollercoaster.

But Hollywood Studios is really the best park to visit at the Walt Disney World if you like thrill rides.  This means you can get less wait times for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Slinky Dog Dash and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.  Wait times for these attractions (especially the latter two) can get long so just the opportunity to ride these attractions without the lines can make this party attractive.

Winner: Jollywood Nights

Variety of Rides

Now, Hollywood Studios definitely have more thrill rides.  But they don’t have that many rides.  Magic Kingdom has a lot more rides.

So if you want to be able to skip lines and quickly from ride to ride to ride, Magic Kingdom can be a bit more fun in that respect.

Winner: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Rides for Kids

If you’re visiting the party with young kids, then Magic Kingdom has a lot more rides they can ride.  Hollywood Studios has shockingly few rides young children can do.  Even two out of the three rides at Toy Story Land have a height requirement.

Winner; Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Time of Night for Kids

On that note, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starts at 7:00 PM.  Jollywood Nights starts at 8:30 PM.  Not all kids can stay up very late.  So if you want to go to this party with your kid.

Winner: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Amount of Parties

There are ten different nights where there will be a Jollywood Nights party.  In comparison, there are twenty-five different nights this holiday season with a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Now, you may be thinking, I’m only planning on attending the party once.  Why does it matter how many parties they’ll be holding?  And in that case, it probably won’t matter to you.

But here’s why it would.  The more parties there are, the easier it can be to fit the party into your schedule.  And if you wait to be your ticket and the date you want is sold out, there might not be any other available dates during your trip.

So while this will probably not affect your trip, I thought it was worth noting.

Winner: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Parade

My very favorite party of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has always been the parade.

Mickey & Minnie's float at Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Disney World

A picture of Clarabelle at the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Disney World in Orlando, FL

A picture of Max in the Parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL

A picture of Cinderella at Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom in Disney World

Elsa is one of the Disney characters that have been part of past parades at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom in Disney World in Florida

I absolutely love seeing the parade each year and revolve my whole night at the party around getting the best view.

But there is no parade at Jollywood Nights.  So to me, that is a negative of the event.

Winner: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Uniqueness

This is the first year of Jollywood Nights.  That means that once this holiday season is over, relatively few people would have attended the event.

But Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has been going on for years.  So a lot more people have attended this party.  Especially since, as I said earlier, there are a lot more Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights than Jollywood Nights.

So if being one of the few to attend an event sounds cool to you, that is an advantage for Jollywood Nights.

Winner: Jollywood Nights

Conclusion

Both Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Jollywood Nights should be a lot of fun.  But both have some strengths the other has which could make that party more appealing to you.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Advantages:

  • More rides for kids
  • Earlier in the night which is better for kids
  • More rides
  • Available on more dates, so it is easier to fit into your schedule
  • Longer party

Jollywood Nights Advantages:

  • More thrill rides
  • Cheaper at peak times
  • You get to be one of the first and only people to attend an event