I’m just curious how the staggered park closing/party starting times are going to work. I’m guessing it’s going like EMH, where they check at the ride entrances to see if you’ve got the wristband, beginning at 6? This makes me wonder how it will affect my TP and predicted wait times during that period.
Also, after having absolutely no consensus between CMs (over at least 5 different calls, all of who were citing different authorities) over whether the Holiday dessert premium package still includes reserved parade viewing or not, we’ve decided to cancel that in on 11/26 favor of going to the party on the less busy 11/28 date.
I am not sure what your looking for here. So let me tell you my experience with MVMCP. I and my wife bought this package in 2016. Cost us $100 a piece. At 7 pm the park was supposed to clear so only the MVMCP guest could stay. Now mind you that Disney is closing the park to the paying public that should have had it till 9 pm. Get my point. We had to ask a number of people just where and how we got these party bands. We finally got them and let the party begin. The place was packed and I mean packed. There was a long line for Hot Chocolate and another for a couple Christmas cookies. The line for rides were also longer than normal. We lined up for the Big Christmas party at the Cinderella Castle. People were pushing and shoving for a spot about an hour ahead of time. After waiting in front of the castle for about one hour many young girls tried to push their way in front of the older people and were down right rude. Merry Christmas party my butt! I and my wife for one would never go to another one and pay that type of extra money for time we were supposed to have had at the park in the first place. Who would stand to gain here. Disney of coarse You paid them and extra $100 for a cup of hot chocolate and two cookies. So if you think this sounds like the Merry Christmas Party your looking for you and your family, sign on and I hope you have a better time than we had.
Haven’t gone this year- but have been to a few. ‘Less busy’ is a relative term. As the PP said, they are oversold IMHO- we will be there at exactly the same time as you and will be avoiding those parties like the plague now that our kids are grown. You will not notice any difference for fireworks viewing between a regular park day and MVMCP, since almost everyone at the party participates- and the hub will be jammed to capacity. For parades- go to the second one- will be much less crowded. If you can’t, and ‘have’ to go to the first one- plan on arriving an hour early for a good spot. As to attractions- they are pretty much walk on, except for the most popular rides, earlyish (6:30 on for this year) when people are doing character M&Gs. After the fireworks, there is a mass exodus of families with little kids, as it is quite late and many of them will have had enough. At that point- the rides everywhere are walk on, or have very short waits.
They police the wrist bands quite well. After 6, you won’t have to be concerned with the ‘regular’ park goers- but that is a small concern compared to the mass of people there for the party. People coming in for just the party can arrive as early as 4 PM. From 4-6:00, park attendance will swell and you will feel like you are there on an 8/10 (or more) day. Many of the people coming in will start lining up for characters about an hour or so before they are scheduled to appear- so the ride lines aren’t impacted too much- but you will ‘feel’ a difference. My advice would be to tour the less popular attractions unless you walk by and there is a ‘sweet spot’ or have FPs until 6:30ish. After that all of the above should apply. My 2 cents.
Thanks to you both, but I’ve been to the party several times before, and I was just wondering if anyone’s been yet this year, since they switched to the new staggered times for when the park closes (6:00) and the party starts (7:00).
Until this year the park always closed at the same time as the party started so non-party gusts would be getting in line right up until the party start time, which meant that anything with a 40+ minute wait would still be expected to have that wait until 40+ minutes after the party started. The new policy changes that, but the TP algorithms haven’t been updated, as far as I can tell… for instance, Peter Pan is expected to have a 37 minute wait at 5:45, 6:05, and 7:05 but at 7:15 it’s gone down to 12 minutes, and at 7:45 it’s 7 minutes.
It is my understanding that anyone without a wrist band will not be allowed to ride an attraction, etc. This is a new procedure so there is no historical data to use in an algorithm. I am attending 12/1 and I am curious how this new procedure will affect wait times, etc.
We went and took the family this year, bought 12 MVMCP tickets, about $1,200. We went at a slower period, Tues, Dec 5, 2017. The MVMCP ticket allowed entry to MK at 4p, and we understood that the park was to close at 6p to the general public. We got our special bands for the party upon arrival, but they were never checked again during the evening.
Come to find out, the band allowed you to go on certain attractions, and get cookies, etc but no one that we know of was asked to leave the park. Even tho it was a low crowd day (4), the park was packed for the early Christmas parade, and I mean utter chaos. I would recommend the Christmas parade, but would never buy a MVMCP ticket, you can attend the parade for the price of regular admission, and buy 7 dozen cookies for the price of the MVMCP ticket.
As I stated in the past, doesn’t it kind of get to you that you paid admission for MK which usually lasts until 2100. They just charged you $100 each to stay at a park you already paid for. Oh I forgot, you did get hot chocolate and a cookie.
While I do understand your point, it’s not like DIS sold you your ticket in December with promises that MK is open until 9 every night and then sprung the Xmas party on you by surprise and thus limited your hours. They are very upfront in telling you that in December hours at the Magic Kingdom are limited due to the party. You have a choice to not go then if that’s an issue for you. Of course, early December is less crowded and offers all of the Xmas decorations which is trade-off versus more limited park hours due to the parties…
No, that’s never been a problem for me because at the slowest times of the year (which is when they have the parties to begin with) MK tends to close earlier anyway. That’s one of the things you know to expect If there were no parties then I’d probably expect MK to close at 8 on weeknights at those times.
From an operations & budgeting standpoint it doesn’t make sense for them to have longer hours if attractions are operating with little to no waits. They can reduce operating units on some attractions and they’d certainly reduce the staffing for cleaning and maintenance to a degree, but for the most part the way the majority of MK attractions operate means that staffing remains largely the same regardless of crowd levels. That means that on a CL 1-2 day when the park is at 20% capacity they’re spending nearly the same amount on labor & operating costs per hour as they are on a CL 9+ day when the park has easily 5 times as many paying guests. There is a financial break even point, and on CL 1-3 days they’re very likely operating in the red. Yes, those CL 9+ days help recoup that, but I’m positive that the parties definitely help to reduce further cost-cutting measures (like having fewer food & beverage options available at slow times, park hours that are further reduced, fewer buses, etc.) that affect the guest experience.
How did you find things with the 6pm “closing time”? Better?
We ended up adjusting our schedule that day (it was a little busier than expected, so our morning plan took about an hour longer than planned so we stayed later, took our break later, and didn’t go back for the party until right around 6:00) so I didn’t even really experience much during that time.
I am glad you believe you got your monies worth. Thanks for the lesson in Disney economics. Unfortunately my experience with MVMCP was nowhere near what you apparently experienced. Crowds were not lower but rather extremely crowded. Lines were long and the party at the Castle was a push and shove match. During the time we were there in 2016 park hours normally were until 9pm. Because of the party it closed to those that didn’t buy a MVMCP wristband at 7pm. If you put out the extra money the party lasted until 10pm. Did I know that the party would cut my hours at MK? Yes. Was I happy about it NO. As you can see I bought the wristband and paid Disney the extra for that night. Of coarse this was not the only night of our stay that was affected. We generally stay for a 14 day period, and we went then because it was the only time we were free that year. We also might notice that MNSHP and MVMCP dates are getting longer and longer ever year. We were there the end of Nov. 2016. Personally I would not waste my money again and I would definitely not go during these party dates again. On a daily basis I pay plenty for tickets, food, and resort costs. I love Disneyworld as you do but I like to get the hours of availability without having to pay and extra fee to remain in the park.
we’re planning on going now 11-17 2018, and I’m concerned about my time in MK. From what I hear the non party days are packed and I don’t know if MVMCP is worth it. We don’t like meet and greets, don’t really care about cocoa and a cookie, but we would like the Christmas parade and short lines for rides. My kids will be 8 and 12, so maybe we’ll stay for the later parade. Idk
I had just the opposite experience and I believe most will agree that MVMCP is generally packed. I don’t know where they get this shorter lines for rides thing as we didn’t experience this at all. More people, longer waits in line. I’m sure there may be some days where this is not true but I wouldn’t count on it. Here’s the big question. Are you willing to bet $100 per person on it. Many are, I will never again. Good Luck.
What were the crowd levels like during regular park hours when you were there at the end of Nov '16?