Disneyland held its first after-hours holiday event last night (November 11th, 2021), Disney Merriest Nites. Tickets are now sold out for all six nights, a small number of dates compared to Oogie Boogie Bash during Halloween. This season was likely a test to see how popular the event would be for more nights in the future. For those of you heading to one of the event nights, or are simply curious to see what was available, here’s a look at Disney Merriest Nites at Disneyland!

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Know Before You Go

Mix-In Time

Those attending one of Disney Merriest Nites are allowed into Disneyland park at 5pm, three hours prior to the start of the party. If you are already in the park before that time, you can also pick up a wristband and lanyard from Launch Bay. However, we found that the easiest (and shortest!) way was to gain the party materials from the main gate. Doing it that way was half the wait of Launch Bay.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
There were only 4 cast members scanning everyone in at Launch Bay. That’s why it took so long as opposed to the front gate.

Party Perks

Disney Merriest Nites promises special character sightings, exclusive photo ops created by artists featured at the WonderGround Gallery, a showing of A Christmas Fantasy Parade for party guests, live bands, dance parties, snowfall on Main Street, plus food and merchandise offerings created just for the event.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Snow falls on Main Street, USA, at the start of Disney Merriest Nites.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Courtesy of PhotoMatt

Guests also get unlimited downloads of PhotoPass pictures taken during the Merriest Nites. And because this after-hours event is separately ticketed with limited capacity, wait times for available attractions were much lower than usual.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
One of the photo backdrops for Disney Merriest Nites. This one was designed by Jayson Ratner.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

What’s Missing?

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toon Town, and Critter Country are not available during Merriest Nites. Additionally, parking is not included with your event ticket. AND, due to an unfortunate flood in it’s a small world, the holiday layover is temporarily not available either. 

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Disneyland News: Small Issue Results in Big Problem for Small World Holiday

The Themed Holiday Parties at Disney Merriest Nites

There are six different parties, each hosted by different Disney characters, taking place throughout Disneyland during the event.

Main Street, USA

This party is Victorian-themed and hosted by Mickey Mouse, accompanied by carolers. If you’re paying attention to details, the characters are dressed like characters from Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983).

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Special entertainment such as carolers at the train station.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

The Muppets also make an appearance on Main Street aboard their Christmas Caroling Coach. 

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Feliz Navidad: 

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Deck the Halls… and watch out for chickens…

Our friends the Disneyland Insiders got some great video of the whole Muppets merry singalong for you: 

Frontierland

The “Feliz Navidad” party stars Miguel from Disney-Pixar’s Coco.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
At various times throughout the night, a mariachi band will play from the balcony of The Golden Horseshoe
Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
One of the photo ops for this area

New Orleans Square

The holiday party in this area is centered aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat, with Tiana hosting the shindig.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Courtesy of PhotoMatt

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Jack and Sally are also chilling by Haunted Mansion Holiday. Courtesy of PhotoMatt
Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Photo op for New Orleans Square

Fantasyland

When it comes to Frozen, Disney just can’t let [it] go of an opportunity for an appearance by Anna and Elsa. The sisters are accompanied by Olaf at their party.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
We found Donald in the Fantasyland Theatre as well!

Adventureland

Lilo and Stitch are the hosts for this tropical celebration. 

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

 

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
There was a band playing Hawaiian music above the stroller parking for Jungle Cruise.

Tomorrowland

Buzz Lightyear is joined by a DJ to create a disco-like dance party.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Party-Exclusive Food

There are over 20 different dishes that you can only find during Disney’s Merriest Nites. Here are some of the ones that we tried:

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
The Thanksgiving Leftover Burger at Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland
Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
The Coffee Nog at Red Rose Tavern in Fantasyland

Merchandise Made for Disney Merriest Nites

There are several event-exclusive pieces of merchandise, all of which are sold at the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland. Those items are a long sleeve unisex shirt, a women’s short sleeve shirt, a tumbler, an ornament, a phone case, and a trading pin.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

If the line to purchase merchandise gets long enough, Disney will activate the use of a mobile waitlist. In that case, guests can add their name and cell phone number and receive a text when it is their turn to enter the store. 

Thoughts on the First Merriest Nights Event

The party started off a bit rocky, with a huge line to get party credentials during the mix-in at Launch Bay (a one hour wait). But for the most part, I enjoyed myself. I was pleased to see that Disneyland was as uncrowded as had been promised. And there were so many aspects, from decor to characters to musical talent, to take in at every turn. The Cast Members brought a smile to my face so many times over the course of the night. I especially got a kick out of the ones dancing to the Tomorrowland DJ outside of Little Green Men Store Command.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
The projections on the buildings of Main Street, USA, were especially festive. Courtesy of PhotoMatt

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland

I will say that there are some not-so-nice bits. One of the party’s headlining attractions, “it’s a small world” Holiday, is currently suffering from technical issues and was not available for opening night. I know that I am not the only one who was eagerly anticipating that attraction. The other issue, which cropped up several times over the course of the night, is how long the lines for food were at most dining locations. If you can, mobile order your meals early into the party to avoid this headache.

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Courtesy of PhotoMatt

But, if you enjoy Disney characters and love the holidays this event has those things in abundance. 


Merry and Bright Theme Park Ticket and Travel Deals

(Black Friday Deals Have Arrived EARLY!)

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at DisneylandOur travel partners at Get Away Today are here to help you make new family memories with discounted theme park tickets and hotels. Extra days, big savings, travel packages and more.

Snap up those deals to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line and other family travel destinations while you still can, with your MiceChat partners at… Get Away Today- HERE

 


The World-Famous MiceChat Gumball Rally Returns!

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Event Information

After a long hiatus, it’s time for the big return of the MiceChat Gumball Rally at Disneyland. The event is a competition to see who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day. Guests compete in small groups of 2 to 4 members and spend the day doing what Disney fans love most… riding the attractions!

So, say goodby to those nice people on the dock… because the Gumball Rally is rolling your way on February 12th.  

Due to the need to book theme park reservations, we recommend signing up for the Rally now so you’ll have plenty of time to secure your spot. We are also offering discounted theme park admission and discounted hotel rooms this year via our partners at Get Away Today.  Don’t miss out! 

Gumball Rally Event information * HERE *


Let’s Hear from You

Disney Merriest Nites, First Look: Disney Merriest Nites After-Hours Event at Disneyland
Courtesy of PhotoMatt

Did you experience Disney Merriest Nites? Do you have a ticket for later this season? What do you think of its offerings for the money (tickets started at $165 per person, getting more expensive closer to Christmas)? Is there anything you would like to see changed or added? And do you hope to see a holiday after-hours party like this return next year? Let us know in the comments below!

Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort starts today, November 12th. For the long list of events, festivals, fireworks, parades, food, merchandise and more, please be sure to check out our guides: 

UPDATED! Disneyland Resort 2021 Holiday Food & Festival Guide

UPDATED! Disneyland Holiday Merchandise Guide 2021

Much thanks to our photographers, PhotoMatt and David Yeh for all the help pulling this together!

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A native to Southern California, Natalie’s first visit to Disneyland was on her second birthday. She has been returning regularly ever since. With a love of toys and collectibles, she is constantly scouring the shops to see what is new and fun. When she isn’t in a store, you can usually spot her in line for The Haunted Mansion. Follow Natalie on Instagram @TravelswithToys and @kipperbun.