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3 Reasons NOT To Buy Tickets To Jollywood Nights, Hollywood Studios Christmas Party (2023)

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Walt Disney World is a favorite holiday destination for families around the world, and this year doesn’t look to be any different! With the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom and some tempting Disney hotel discounts, many of you are eyeing a trip to Orlando this fall. Add in the newest Hollywood Studios Christmas party, Jollywood Nights, and you might be thinking “SOLD!”. Not so fast. Here are 3 reasons not to buy tickets to Jollywood Nights Disney Christmas Party in 2023. This is our review after the first night of November 11, 2023.

Hollywood Studios Christmas party, Jollywood Nights: 3 reasons to skip this disney christmas party.

Walt Disney World Christmas Parties

The Disney holiday experience is like no other!

If you are a big Christmas person and a Disney person, spending the holidays at Walt Disney World or Disneyland is on your bucket list.

Walt Disney World Christmas parties are impressive and offer a ton of great memory-making moments for the whole family.

But what about the newest party, Jollywood Nights? Is this Hollywood Studios Christmas Party on your “must-do” list?

While we think this party holds some promise of magic for some parkgoers, we also don’t think it will be for everyone.

Here are three reasons you may NOT want to buy tickets to Jollywood Nights Disney Christmas Party in 2023.

hollywood studios christmas fireworks: jingle bell jam returns for hollywood studios jollywood nights.

3 Reasons NOT To Buy Tickets To Jollywood Nights, Hollywood Studios Christmas Party (2023)

It’s super easy to get caught up in the shiny new thing, especially when discussing Disney World events.

But is Jollywood Nights worth it?

The event sounds promising, but as with all things new, there are often issues.

And sadly that was the case for the first night at Jollywood Nights.

The Hollywood Studios Christmas Party may not be a fit for everyone!

reasons to skip jollywood nights

1. Reason NOT To Buy Jollywood Nights Tickets: Costs

And you’re thinking, sure sure, it’s going to cost a lot. We know this!

But something to point out: there are no kids tickets for this event.

Unlike all the other Disney after-hours events and special event tickets (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for one) this party does NOT distinguish between a child ticket and an adult ticket.

The tickets are going to cost the same for everyone and that price is fairly high at $159 to $179 per ticket, plus tax (prices vary by event date).

tip top club jollywood nights

We also noted that this event doesn’t allow *as* early entry as other specially priced ticketed events.

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party allow entry to Magic Kingdom starting at 4 pm on the party date. The party does not officially kick off until 7 pm, giving you 3 full hours of unfettered access to the Magic Kingdom rides, shows and attractions.

This adds additional value to those tickets’ cost if you’re breaking the cost down per hour.

Jollywood Nights, on the other hand, will not allow entry to Hollywood Studios until 7 pm with the special ticket.

This event officially kicks off at 8:30 pm, which means you only have 1.5 extra hours inside the park.

jollywood nights review

2. Jollywood Nights Announced Events Skews For An Older Crowd

Jollywood Nights could be absolutely fabulous- for the right guest. But after the first night, reviews were overwhelmingly negative.

Based on the events and entertainment, we think the Hollywood Studios Christmas Party is leaning toward older teen and adult enjoyment more than young children.

And after our first night experience, we stick to this.

If you have little kids (say 12 and under), this may be a reason to SKIP Jollywood Nights in 2023.

As we noted, it’s an expensive party to begin with. And the entertainment value may just not go as far with younger children- of course, you know your kids best.

There are character meet and greets- with very long lines.

jollywood nights phineas and ferb

And yes, there is going to be a Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along and a Muppet Variety Show (also with very long lines).

The “jazz lounge” was nothing more than Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant with a piano singer. It was completely underwhelming.

The Tip Top Club was really just a line for pre-made bar drinks, with a singer and quartet in the Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard.

The band was excellent, but the experience was not near what we hoped for with the lore of the Tip Top Club.

Disney is encouraging guests to Dress to Impress, leading to a feeling of Dapper Days for us.

Which is awesome for all ages, but tends to bring out an older crowd.

We dressed up and loved seeing all the other partygoers in their finery as well. And we took LOTS of pictures.

But if this isn’t your thing or you don’t love pictures, you may not see as much value in this after-party.

jollywood nights 2023

There’s also easily accessible alcohol at this park which you won’t find at Magic Kingdom on party nights.

There isn’t anything given away for free (cookies and cocoa at MVMCP or trick-or-treat candy at MNSSHP) for kids to enjoy nor is there a special holiday parade.

And Jingle Bell Jam, while super cute and fun for kids, may not be the big WOW your youngest kids are looking for.

We think Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is likely the better option if you have younger kiddos.

santa gertie cookie at jollywood nights
The Santa Gertie cookie was a big hit for us, however! She was delicious and adorable.

3. Reasons NOT To Buy Tickets To Jollywood Nights, Hollywood Studios Christmas Party: The Unknowns In 2023

There are some concerns about this party since it’s brand new for 2023.

With only 10 nights on the calendar, there’s a good chance Disney doesn’t have enough time to course correct should early party feedback be a bust.

And honestly, it was a bust.

We knew it might be the case, but the earliest party date was our best option- so we took that gamble.

powerline max jollywood nights

Some concerns:

  • Will there be too many people at the party without enough to do? The big “people eater” events at other special event parties are not happening here (no parades, no big fireworks to line up for and Rise of the Resistance will be Virtual Queue only on party nights). People flooded to Sunset Blvd and Echo Lake, but the rest of the park was completely empty because there wasn’t anything Jollywood-specific happening there.
  • Will the timing of party entry conflict with non-party goers exiting after Fantasmic every night, making transportation a nightmare? Yes, yes it was. The mix-in hour and a half was pretty terrible, to be honest. Getting to the park early did not help ease any crowding and you still had a long line to get your wristband inside the park (only one location- at the Mickey’s Shorts Theater). And we think anyone coming in as the day guests left may have had some issues with transportation.
  • Will the character lines be incredibly long? They absolutely were. And this could have been avoided by adding more characters to other locations in the park. There simply were not enough!
jollywood nights mickey mouse
  • Entry to The Hollywood Brown Derby piano lounge was a hit or miss. You had to literally be standing in front of the restaurant when the Virtual Waitlist opened to get a spot. You could not join from other locations around DHS. But in the end, people who did go inside did not seem to think the time spent there was worth the trouble.
  • The Tower of Terror Courtyard was also a mess. There was a line for a single drink cart and then a mass of people trying to listen to the band- as guests exited the ride. It was all in a small space and really wasn’t enjoyable.
  • The lines for the shows were long with people reporting 40-minute waits to get into the Muppets. I don’t think this can be changed up, to be honest, but it’s something to keep in mind. We loved the Muppet show but thought the Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along was not worth waiting around for.
muppets at jollywood nights

Is Jollywood Nights Worth It? (2023)

Is Jollywood Nights Worth It? That’s going to be subjective, of course, but the cost of the ticket was pretty steep for what it ultimately ended up giving us.

And we wanted to love it- we really did.

With this being an inaugural year, we just can’t say jumping right into the Hollywood Studios Christmas Party is going to be worth it for everyone.

If you are all about short ride lines, however, this event is TOTALLY worth it. Most lines were 5-minute waits with Tower of Terror posting a night-long 13-minute wait and Slinky Dog a 15-minute wait.

We hope that Disney is listening to the feedback and making some changes for the rest of the parties, because, well, it just wasn’t well done.

And that means there’s a chance Disney doesn’t bring this back for 2024 (see the Disneyland Christmas Party that only happened in 2021 for example).

thanksgiving popover jollywood nights

We did love the food we had a chance to try, however, but wish the mobile order system had been in place.

The 30-35 minute wait for the popover and donut at Fairfax Faire took a big chunk of time… from waiting in other lines? Because honestly, that’s what this party ended up being.

If you want to talk more about this party or anything Disney-related, head over to the Facebook group for more discussion.

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