We are going to WDW in November and have tickets for MVMCP. I have tried to do some research to find out what to do at/during the party. I have 2 - 6 year olds and 1 almost 2 year old. It will be our last day at WDW as well. Should we plan on doing meet and greets during the party or rides? I have never been to any of the parties and have no idea what to expect. Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
If the party is your only time in MK, I would do rides and the fireworks. If you have other time at MK, I would only do "special" party things. If character pictures are your priority, you can spend the whole party time in line for characters. I highly recommend the parade so line up early if that is a priority.
I'm planning to focus on the party events, the shows, parade, fireworks and filling the in between time with a few rides. Personally I don't want to wait on long lines to meet character, but I know some people are all about that. And I'm hitting all the rides on our others days in MK. Think about what is you really want to be doing during the party.
It is our second time to Disney. The first time we definitely did not do it right. We arrived late. We had no idea about FPP. So I am trying to plan better this time around. We will have 6 days at Disney with the last day being MVMCP. I currently have planned one day at each park and a total of 3 days (including the party) at MK. So I don't think rides will be a big priority, but also will likely have done the meet and greets as well. I am considering changing one of my MK days to a split between to two other parks. Having never done one of the parties, I am not sure what to expect. I don't entirely understand what special things they have at the party that is not available during regular hours.
There are special, party only meet & greets. Examples include ALL 7 dwarfs, Jack Skellington, the princes are with their princesses, Santa, Scrooge McDuck, etc. This article shows all the ones out for last year's parties.
Again, this is for 2016.
From my experience, Main Street and the Hub (right in front of the castle) get very busy on party nights but as you spread out into the lands, crowds are much lighter and most rides are very low to no lines (7DMT is always the exception but it will be shorter than an average day).
A lot of characters to meet are unique during the party - only time you can meet all 7 Dwarves for example. The parade also can only be seen at a party. There's also "free" hot chocolate and cookies which is unique, but perhaps not all that. I think the fireworks are special as well for the party.
I would say do what makes your family happy - if they love characters, stand in line for some unique character visits you can't do elsewhere. Try to catch the parade if possible. Use the opportunity to re-ride favorite rides as well - it's your last night in the MK so revisit the family favorites. Once the party starts at 7, there are no FP's anymore so lines flow much quicker - take advantage of it if your family is into rides.
Personally my family isn't big on lines so we didn't do any characters. We enjoy them at character meals, but that's fairly time efficient as we need to eat and they visit us. My son and I rode rides while the others lined up for the parade - turned out we were able to hit Big Thunder & get back in time to see the parade anyway - perhaps not a perfect vantage point, but good enough for our purposes. We also did the fireworks in the hub, which we typically aren't interested in waiting for, but it was less crowded on a party night and well worth it.
Overall it's a fun night, but figure out what you enjoy the most and do that and you will appreciate the party the most...