Since joining DVC we’ve had the opportunity to take part in two DVC Moonlight Magic events: EPCOT last year and Animal Kingdom this year. These events are a fantastic perk of membership but are only open to those who have purchased a direct membership contact and have the infamous blue card. The events include access to most rides, a counter service meal and free Mickey bars or strawberry frozen lollies. Before you go, you have to register a few months ahead to gain access, this is the hardest part because the events are limited in number. You receive earlier access to the registration if you have an onsite DVC stay booked but even with this, we have heard of members finding it difficult to reserve a spot. You can also only reserve spaces for the number of people registered in your room for the stay.
The Moonlight Magic Event
The event this year, started at 9.30 and went on through to midnight, you can pick up your registration wrist bands from either the front of the park or from your resort reception from 7pm, this is the option we opted for as there is very little wait to get your bands and meal vouchers. You can also enter the park from 7pm so if you do not have a park ticket for that day, this means you can get in and enjoy the attractions that are not operating during the event.
Due to this happening at night, the ride options were quite limited compared to normal park operation, the animal based attractions were not open so after park closing there was no Safari or the walking trails; Festival of the Lion King, Nemo and Kali River Rapids were also not operating. We found the same last year at EPCOT’s Moonlight Magic last year, where the majority of World Showcase was closed except for Norway and Mexico. Of course there were the obligatory dance parties-what’s a Disney event without a character dance party! In Dinoland, Chip and Dale were dancing away in their dinosaur costumes and having lots of fun. Over in Africa, Goofy and Pluto were partying in the street and on Discovery Island, Timone and Rafiki were dancing away.
There are extra character photo opportunities during the event with Mickey and Minnie moving out of their outpost hut into the park and Pocahontas & Miko and Tarzan & Terk, taking their places. Near Dinoland, Brer Bear & Brer Fox could be found, they were lots of fun and outside the Nemo musical building, the bears from Brother Bear could be found. Near the Tree of Life, Flik and Atta were meeting guests along with Baloo & Mowgli further round. On Discovery Island, Russell and Dug were joined by Carl for a great Up! photo opportunity.
Using Your Dining Voucher
There are four main places to use your dining voucher, all with their full counter service menu available to you: Pizzafari, Restaurantosaurus, Flame Tree BBQ and Satu’li canteen. As you have a meal voucher each, you can actually eat at more than one location. Me and Ava ate at Flame Tree, while Ben and Vikki fancied burgers and went to Restaurantosaurus. We decided to eat before the party started, which from comments we’ve seen on Facebook was a good idea as locations started to limit the menu later in the evening as they began to run out of prepared food. Creature Comforts Starbucks location was the place to go and get Mickey bars and ice lollies. We ended up going twice once at the beginning of the party and then again towards the end of the night. There are no drinks included in the event unlike the paid for After Hours; however, there are plenty of places to purchase drinks and there are chilled water barrel stations dotted all over the park to have a quick drink.
River’s of Light
There was also a special showing of River’s of Light, we decided not to view this but used the time when lots of people were there to take the opportunity to experience the Flight of Passage queue line; we have only ever been through the Fastpass line for this ride. The wait was about half an hour but we used the Disney Play app to explore the interactive features, the queue line is stunning and I’m glad we’ve finally seen it; however, we will not be waiting in the usual 2 hour line again any time soon…we’ll stick to Fastpass! Expedition Everest was a walk on, and we must have been on the ride 3 or 4 times because it was so quiet.
Overall the event was great fun and as an included member perk, it was superb. Particularly early on, it can be very busy but just remember, as with all of these types of events, the later you wait the quieter it gets- in fact at the end of the evening, poor Pluto and Goofy were dancing on their own in Africa and made a huge fuss of anyone who came near them. The buses back at the end of the night were very busy but because it was the only park open at the time, they came very quickly. If you they are on while you’re there and you can get tickets, make sure you go.
- Pick up your event passes and meal vouchers at your DVC resort.
- Use your meal voucher before the event starts.
- Don’t forget your Mickey bars!!!
- Remember that not everything is open the same as during normal park hours.
- The last half hour is the quietest, if you can stick it out and are not too tired it is worth while.
- Go with a relaxed attitude, remember you’ve not paid extra to go so if something’s busy don’t let it bother you.