It may seem early to some, but the holiday season is in full swing in Orlando and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has the perfect way to celebrate.

Starting November 8th, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will take place on select nights in November and December and tickets are anywhere from $99-$140 depending on the night. The party starts at 7 p.m. and runs until midnight, but your party ticket gets you entry into the park starting at 4 p.m. that day.

If you’re on vacation, I highly recommend not using a normal day ticket for Magic Kingdom the day of your party. You will have plenty of time if you enter at 4 p.m. to experience the park and still enjoy the party. I also recommend that you take full advantage of the whole party time. If you are planning to leave early, you won’t have much free time to experience the event.

There is so much to do at the party that there would have to be two of you to get it all done. I suggest before you even go, take a look at the top things you want to see or do during the event so you aren’t overwhelmed.

The hardest show to see and get a good spot for is the 8:15 showtime of A Frozen Holiday Wish. Because the Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration happens at 7:40, the people who want to see the first showing will already be at the castle waiting, and they will stay put for the Frozen castle lighting. I highly recommend getting into the park prior to the party starting to watch the 6:15 showtime of A Frozen Holiday Wish that they put on for regular park guests. This way, you don’t have to worry about seeing that one showtime during the party.

The three most popular events are Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. You have four chances to see Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, so take your time getting to that show.

Unless you really want to see the first parade, wait for the second one. Most guests will already be waiting for the first parade by 7:30. And if you’re on Main Street, keep in mind the parade starts at 8:30 in Frontier Land, meaning it won’t be getting to you until about 8:45. If you wait for the second parade, you will have a much easier time finding a great spot about 20-30 minutes prior to the parade.

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks is a new nighttime spectacular coming to the event this year! You will be able to view the fireworks from anywhere in the hub or on Main Street. Standing further back for this one is better since they have half perimeter fireworks, I’d say prime location is behind the partner statue or right before Casey’s on Main Street.

Here’s the good news! Everyone basically leaves after the fireworks. You won’t have nearly as much of a crowd as you did when the party started. This is about the time you should find your spot for the second parade.

You also get free snacks during the event, so take advantage of them! I’m talking delicious cookies, snowman soft pretzels, hot chocolate and more. There will be lines for these snacks, but if you go later in the event you typically won’t have to wait as long or at all.

Another tip: dress for the weather! It’s fun to dress up in your holiday best, or Christmas PJ’s, but this is Florida and it will most likely be 80 degrees during your Christmas Party.

The rides will have shorter than average wait times, so take advantage of it when you can! Space Mountain had a 5-minute wait at 11 p.m., Seven Dwarfs was never above 30 min, Jingle Cruise was only 15 min. Peter Pan was 25 min consistently. You can’t make fast passes during the event so that also aids in the shorter wait times. And don’t forget about the fun overlays! Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Tomorrowland Speedway and Mad Tea Party will be decked out for the holidays.

My last and most important tip to you is to have fun and take it all in. Chances are you are only going to be at this event once this year and Magic Kingdom is the most magical place during the holiday season. The Castle, adorned with Dream Lights, is one of the prettiest sights in the world so don’t be stuck behind your phone lookup everyone once in a while. Enjoy time with your family and friends, you paid to be there, so be there!

Jess Mack

Jess is an adventure-seeking, theme park loving, star gazing, geek from New Jersey who moved to Florida to never be bored. She is constantly outside, and you can usually find her at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando when she’s not working.