Very Merry vs Jollywood: Disney World Christmas Parties Compared

Walt Disney World has released a new After Hours event at Hollywood Studios for the holiday season called Disney Jollywood Nights. The dates of this event land around the same dates we see for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Due to the cost to attend these events, many families will likely be comparing these two Walt Disney World Christmas party events and deciding which is the best fit.

Keep reading for our full comparison of Disney Jollywood Nights vs. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party including available dates, pricing, entertainment, and more as we rank these Disney World Christmas party events.

We’ll update this article based on our recent experience at both of the first nights of Jollywood Nights and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party soon, but for now read our recent review of Disney’s Jollywood Nights here and our take on if the event is worth it.

New Disney Jollywood NightsHollywood Studios Walt Disney World Christmas Party

Disney Jollywood Nights is a brand new Walt Disney World Christmas party that will take place at Hollywood Studios throughout November and December. Previously, the only Walt Disney World Christmas party at Walt Disney World has been Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom.

Now that there are two Walt Disney World Christmas parties thrown in the mix it’s going to be hard to pick one! If you can afford to go to both, then absolutely! But for many families, they will want to pick one or the other to attend. This new Walt Disney World Christmas party might draw some crowds away from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which might free up some availability for the Magic Kingdom event. Since that Walt Disney World Christmas party has only increased in popularity each year, it makes sense for Walt Disney World to create a second holiday-themed party for guests to select.

This is also a nice alternative to just raising prices at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to lower crowd levels. Adding a second Walt Disney World Christmas party will help disperse guests that want that ticketed holiday experience.

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Disney World Christmas Party DatesWalt Disney World Christmas Party

Let’s compare the event dates for Disney Jollywood Nights and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both of these Walt Disney World Christmas parties take place on select nights in November and December.

2023 Disney Jollywood Nights Dates

  •  November: 11,18, 20, 27, 29
  •  December: 4, 6,16,18, 20

2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates

  • November: 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 30
  • December: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22

You can quickly notice by comparing the two that Disney Jollywood Nights takes place on more select dates than Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which offers far more dates to pick from. The events do not happen on the same date in either November or December either which was likely an intentional choice by Disney when planning the new Walt Disney World Christmas party.

Both parties wrap up by December 22nd which leaves the rest of December “party free” so that’s a consideration when planning your trip.

One thing to keep in mind for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Once the last party ends, the week of Christmas all the same entertainment (fireworks, parade) will be available to all guests at Magic Kingdom. If you want to enjoy those special holiday entertainment options without paying the cost of attending the Walt Disney World Christmas party, visiting Christmas week is a way to do it.

Event Times

One of the biggest differences between these two events is the way they’re structured. Disney Jollywood Nights is set up similar to After Hours events at Walt Disney World with the Walt Disney World Christmas party taking place after the park closes. The event goes from 8:30PM to 12:30AM and guests can enter Hollywood Studios as early as 7PM.

Over at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the event takes place from 7PM to midnight and guests can enter Magic Kingdom as early as 4PM.

So if we compare available time in the park, Disney Jollywood Nights allows guests 6 1/2 hours of park time and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas allows guests eight hours of park time. That’s a decent difference there with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas giving you more time in the park although the duration of the event is the same as Disney Jollywood Nights.

Disney World Christmas Party PricesMuppets Disney World Christmas Party

The event tickets for both these parties vary by date and the dates closest to Christmas will also fall on the higher end of the spectrum of cost.

Disney Jollywood Nights range from $159 to $179 per person. In comparison, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party prices range from $159 to $199 per ticket.

So in terms of cost, both parties offer the same price for the lowest costly event nights. However, when it comes to the highest cost then Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party outpaces Disney Jollywood Nights to $199 per ticket.

The price for the new Disney Jollywood Nights is still similar to the traditional Walt Disney World Christmas party at Magic Kingdom costing just $20 more on select nights. So the next question, as these are still high prices regardless of how you look at it, which party offers the most value? That’s when we start breaking down the entertainment offered and what is unique to each party. I qualify anything unique as something that is not offered during regular park hours.

Disney World Christmas Party EntertainmentChristmas tree at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The entertainment at both parties is sustainably different as each has a bit of a different theme. Disney Jollywood Nights is selling an atmosphere of an old classic, Hollywood Christmas experience. While over at Magic Kingdom, this is the larger-than-life Christmas celebration with traditional favorites. Let’s compare the entertainment options and then discuss the difference in the atmosphere I expect to see.

Disney Jollywood Nights Entertainment

  • “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” is a nighttime spectacular with music, fireworks, special effects, and projections on the Chinese Theater- where Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is located
  • Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggie hosting a live holiday special at Theater of Stars
  • Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-along at the Hyperion Theater including Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie
  • Live DJ and dance party
  • Latin Street Fair on Commissary Lane
  • Jazz Lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby and “other-worldly soiree” at the Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard
  • Unique character meet and greets like Powerline Max

Based on the entertainment that has been shared so far for Disney Jollywood Nights, the two main hits from this list are Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, and the Muppets live holiday special. Well, and if you’re a Nightmare Before Christmas fan the sing-along counts too! The rest of the offerings could also be great and it’ll be easier to speculate when we get more details. I can see adults enjoying the jazz lounge and the Latin Street Fair so as we get more details, I imagine many of these offerings will appeal to an older audience. Not that I don’t think kids will have fun, they’ll have a blast! But some of these entertainment options are created with the “older kids” in mind.

Disney World Christmas

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Entertainment

  • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Complimentary cookies and cocoa
  • Stunning “snowfall” on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show
  • Dance parties featuring characters and Disney Junior
  • Christmas overlay attractions only available during the party
  • Unique character meet and greets like Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas

The entertainment for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party leans into the traditional Christmas at Walt Disney World. Both Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and the holiday fireworks are both central parts of celebrating Christmas at Walt Disney World. In addition to those two classics, you will also see snowfall on Main Street, stage shows, and popular attractions (Space Mountain for one!) with holiday overlays.

In the entertainment category, it’s hard to beat what Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers for a Walt Disney World Christmas party but we also will get more details about Disney Jollywood Nights soon that will even the playing field a bit. Since this is a new Walt Disney World Christmas party, we don’t fully know what to expect quite yet. I am impressed to see the Muppets as a part of the Hollywood Studios event which is always a great integration.

You also have the After Hours vibe of the Disney Jollywood Night where a key driving force to attend may also be experiencing attractions with lower wait times. Some of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World are at Hollywood Studios including Rise of the Resistance, Slinky’s Dog Dash, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Being able to access all these hit rides with lower wait times is a huge perk in itself for a Walt Disney World Christmas party. While you have the same advantage at Magic Kingdom, you also have so many more attractions to spread out crowds which makes getting on your favorites more attainable during regular park hours. At Hollywood Studios, you have fewer attractions to space out the crowds so that is one reason you see longer lines at these theme parks and increases the appeal of this limited capacity access to the rides.

Disney Jollwood Nights vs. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas PartyMickey Holiday Parade

So should you attend Disney Jollywood Nights or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party when picking which Walt Disney World Christmas party to attend?

The answer to this question depends on if you are a first-time Walt Disney World visitor and what your interests are! If you have never been to Walt Disney World and this is your lifetime big Christmas trip then you should definitely stick with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This traditional Walt Disney World Christmas party has all the classics like the holiday parade, fireworks, themed attractions, and snow on Main Street, U.S.A.. When you think of Walt Disney World at Christmas, this is the party that is typically seen advertised. This is also the party that kids will likely get the most enjoyment out of with the entertainment options offered.

Holiday drinks

Now if you have already visited Walt Disney World before and perhaps even experienced Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, then you might want to consider Disney Jollywood Nights as your Disney World Christmas party choice. This is a new event that brings back some familiar favorites but also gives you access to some of the most popular attractions in Walt Disney World with lower wait times. The style of Disney Jollywood Nights might also appeal to adults with the concept of the different jazz lounges. You cannot drink alcohol at Magic Kingdom unless you’re at certain table service restaurants so adults looking for holiday cocktails will appreciate the freedom with your beverages and the cocktail offerings at Disney Jollywood Nights.

If your priority is attending a Walt Disney World Christmas party just to take advantage of low wait times for attractions, this is also where Disney Jollywood Nights may have a better edge. Even though Hollywood Studios has fewer attractions than Magic Kingdom, it also has some of the most popular ones at the resort. So it really comes down to prioritizing which attractions at each park are important to your group!

Overall, Disney Jollywood Nights is a nice addition to the Walt Disney World Christmas party list and is a good way to help spread out crowds during the holiday season. Guests that may be looking for a new experience from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party can try this new After Hours styled event (although it is not technically an After Hours event!) and take advantage of the lower ride times too. But guests that prioritize the classic Walt Disney World Christmas party experience, will still likely prefer to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to see those iconic holiday traditions.

Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation

We offer plenty of the best tips, tricks, and advice to make your trip wonderful for the holiday season at Walt Disney World. Be sure to subscribe to our FREE newsletter to be the first to know about all the exciting holiday news at Walt Disney World this year! Check out our other guides to help plan your trip here:

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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