July 24, 2024

Merchandise Sneak Peek for 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

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It's time for Christmas in July at Walt Disney World, as the parks are now (more than) halfway to the holidays. The company has shared photos offering a preview of merchandise for the 2023 Mickey's

It’s time for Christmas in July at Walt Disney World, as the parks are now (more than) halfway to the holidays. The company has shared photos offering a preview of merchandise for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom, and we wanted to give you a first look at some of these souvenirs.

We don’t normally do merchandise updates unless the spirit (of the season) strikes us, as we’re not big on this stuff and it isn’t our area of expertise. In this case, many readers have asked us about merchandise for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so we figured it’d be worth making an exception and sharing.

The reason for those inquiries is because Walt Disney World didn’t offer a product line for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party last year. That came as a big disappointment and caught many fans by surprise, especially since Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party did have special souvenirs. It also seemed like a conspicuous omission, since so many annual attendees collect items from the paid parties–having exclusive merchandise is low-hanging fruit and essentially “free money” for Walt Disney World.

Given all of that, our stock answer up until now when readers have asked about merchandise for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is that we expect it. Although it’s odd that MNSSHP (the earlier of the two events) did have merchandise and MVMCP didn’t, it probably was still a supply chain or production issue.

Those disruptions plagued Walt Disney World for a surprisingly long time, even after most major retailers had put them in the rearview mirror and were dealing with the opposite problem–inventory overstock due to the bullwhip effect. Regardless, we saw it with delayed deliveries of 50th Anniversary items, limited selection of MagicBands, and more. It was also unlikely that Walt Disney World would deliberately discontinue merchandise for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party given its popularity.

Now we know that for sure–so let’s take a look at the Spirit Jerseys, shirts, mug, and everything else for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that Walt Disney World just shared…

First up is a child’s ringer shirt that has a Santa Mickey Mouse holding a present with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Magic Kingdom 2023 on its two tags.

I like the idea of this shirt. I’m a big sucker for this Mickey Mouse character model, and think it’s perfect for vintage-inspired souvenirs that have a mid-century vibe. I think this vaguely qualifies as that. I also appreciate that the year isn’t too prominent, but conversely, am not a fan of how small Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is. I’m hard to please, and recognize there’s a lot of personal preference at play. Fine.

Next up is the MVMCP Spirit Jersey. I’ve learned better than to speak candidly about Spirit Jerseys given their huge following.

To Disney’s credit, many of these puppies are offering more bang for buck now. They used to cost ~$40 but only said Walt Disney World on the back, making the cost approximately $40 per graphic. Now they’re like $90, but have the whole visual kitchen sink going on. A good example of Walt Disney World following the pricing policies of Dan Flashes. This Spirit Jersey costs more because the pattern is so complicated! (I’ve been advised to stop quoting ITYSL so much because ‘regular people’ don’t think it’s as funny as I do.)

Walt Disney World has also shared a pin with Santa Mickey and a not-so-silly reindeer, which appears to have Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and maybe Magic Kingdom 2023 on the present tags.

I shouldn’t have particularly strong feelings on any of the above merchandise, as there’s a zero percent chance I’d buy any of it regardless of the designs. Nevertheless, the degree to which Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is minimized strikes me as odd. If I didn’t know any better, I’d suspect that Walt Disney World wants to be able to throw this on the regular store shelves Christmas week if it doesn’t sell out by the last party. Hmmm.

Finally, there’s the coffee mug. Exact same design as the pin, but in mug form.

Okay, now I feel qualified to speak freely. Coffee mugs are something I do purchase with regularity, so long as they’re dishwasher safe. (It’s 2023–I’m not going back to the dark ages of washing things by hand.) There’s no way I’ll buy this. Honestly, even if this were a regular piece of Christmas merchandise, I wouldn’t buy it.

I’m so tired of the insipid sayings that feel like they’re pulled from a mood board or sign on clearance at HomeGoods. If people want a mug that says “Holiday Magic,” more power to them, I guess. But why can’t stuff with that generic slogan (or whatever you want to call it) be sold on shopDisney instead of Walt Disney World? It’s just so boring and bland. Give me a mug that pairs the fun retro-inspired art with a fun retro-inspired Walt Disney World or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party logo.

Perhaps this is a “me problem” as someone who (admittedly) has only a passing interest in merchandise. It’s entirely possible that Walt Disney World knows their audience and exactly what will sell. Eh, I’d be more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt if I didn’t have extensive experience with the Character Warehouse Outlet Stores, or if I hadn’t seen countless half-baked product lines over the years.

Walt Disney World has some truly exceptional merchandise lines, to be sure. Other times, they’re completely clueless, making the same mistake over and over again by producing stuff that does not sell–all while seemingly refusing to make items fans would love. (No offense to those who loved the “dropping beets” product line.)

Maybe Disney knows what they’re doing here and this MVCMP stuff will sell well. But perhaps the target demo actually is people like me, many of whom will be similarly disappointed that this doesn’t prominently say Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. (Don’t count on Walt Disney World learning the right lessons if this stuff fails to fly off the shelves during MVMCP. My guess is that making the party logo small was a deliberate hedge so it could be sold to day guests later.)

If I were in charge of merchandising for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, in addition to highlighting the event on the products above, I’d introduce several party-exclusive products not necessarily MVMCP-branded, but that guests would want to buy and wear during the party.

The first would be an ugly Christmas sweater. I have a huge collection of these that I’ve acquired over the years and wear to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and I’m often stopped and asked where I got them. Second, would be ear bands and coin/phone purses like what Sarah’s wearing above. Finally, a Santa hat with Goofy ears.

Make these things product lines that guests would wear and collect; do a fresh style each year, with the MVMCP logo and year somewhere on the item. (This could also help maintain interest in MVMCP whenever there is an economic slowdown and demand drops.) For what it’s worth, this is hardly an original or unique idea on my part. It’s a mix of the old Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party merchandise playbook, and what Tokyo Disney Resort still does each year for its limited-release holiday line.

Ultimately, maybe this is an unpopular opinion and diehard Walt Disney World fans are going to let me know in the comments just how off-base I am, and how excited they are for this 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party merchandise. Honestly, I hope that’s the case. It wouldn’t be the first time that my taste in souvenirs is dramatically different from pretty much everyone else, and I can handle being the odd man out on that.

Assuming that isn’t how the response to these items plays out, it’s also possible that this is a small sampling of an expansive product line for the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and the other merchandise will have distinctly Disney logos instead of vapid and generic pleasantries. Or at the very least, that there will be some great stuff along those lines for the broader Christmas 2023 merchandise lines.

There was a time when we bought a novelty hat, mug, picture frame, or shirt for every single Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party we attended both because the stuff was so good and to commemorate the event. (The above MVMCP mug is one of my all-time favorites, and still my most-used Christmas cup to this date!) If this sneak peek is any indication, we won’t be doing that this year. I guess that’s a silver lining for our wallets, though!

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Your Thoughts

What do you think of the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party merchandise? Do you have a favorite product? How do you feel about recent merchandise at Walt Disney World? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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