In recent years, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) has shown a deeper appreciation for its members. They’ve hosted more special events and exclusives to program participants on top of the delightful affairs that they provide for all Disney vacationers. Let’s take a look at some of the most important remaining dates for 2019.
July 18th, August 8th, and August 22nd
Disney will hold three more Moonlight Magic events this summer at a different location. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been the preferred destination of many vacationers since it added Pandora – The World of Avatar. The park is also open into the evening now, and Animal Kingdom after dark is a breathtaking, almost otherworldly experience.
Close your eyes and imagine having a nearly empty Animal Kingdom to yourself. It sounds incredible, right? And I have even better news. This Moonlight Magic evening isn’t sold out yet! It can’t be. Tickets for the events aren’t available until June 5th for DVC members with hotel reservations. All other DVC owners may book starting on June 12th. Since these dates are close, you will have to take what you can get in terms of booking DVC rooms.
September 18th and October 16th
Disney’s trying something different with Moonlight Magic as the calendar turns to fall. They’re holding a pair of events at Typhoon Lagoon. Starting on August 14th, guests with official Disney resort reservations can book this event. On August 28th, all other card-carrying members can join them.
A closed water park is an especially tantalizing proposition for DVC members. As this video shows from last year’s event, you will have no problem riding everything that you want. Plus, there’s bathing suit dancing at the park complete with a DJ! The only caveat here is that Florida weather is especially unpredictable. You may discover that the water’s a bit chilly if the temperature drops significantly after dark.
August 16th through November 1st and September 17th through October 31st
Everyone’s favorite ticketed event, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) will open earlier than ever this year. It’ll debut in mid-August, testing the accepted calendar concept of Halloween season.
As you know, MNSSHP costs about $100 for DVC members and isn’t available every night. It’s only open on days when Disney closes Magic Kingdom early to regular customers, giving the party-goers the run of the most popular theme park on the planet for several hours. I went this past Halloween, and I genuinely hated that the evening had to end. Cast members felt the same way, as they were singing and dancing desperately as the final minutes ticked down for the last MNSSHP of 2018. Due to the calendar configuration, this one will add the first day of November, too.
Over at Disneyland Resort, West Coast fans finally get their own version of the event. Disney recently announced Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party. On select dates in September and October, Disney California Adventure will close early for regular guests to host this soiree. It’s a ticketed event as well. You can read full details here.
November 8th through December 22nd
You may notice that I’m bouncing around the calendar event here. I’m trying to keep similar activities together in case you want to pick your best option among them. Along these lines, the other popular ticketed event at Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
This event will return in early November this year and has many of the same general features as MNSSHP. For about $100 per person, guests get to celebrate the holiday with Mickey and friends. While the Halloween version leans toward the spooky side of the spectrum, the Christmas party is like a warm yuletide hug.
The seven-month booking window is already open for at least a portion of all three events. What you’re realizing right now is that the 11-month Home Resort window is there for a reason. It gives DVC members a safe way to secure a reservation for any popular theme park event during the calendar year. Many long-time owners at Disney’s Beach Club Villas and Disney’s BoardWalk Villas specifically purchased there to guarantee a hotel room during Epcot’s various festivals.
Did you know that Disney will open a new themed land based on Star Wars? I’m kidding. Of course you do. It’s all anybody can talk about when they mention Disney vacations right now. From August 29th forward, all of your visits to Walt Disney World will include a stop at Black Spire Outpost, a settlement on Batuu, the final place at Galaxy’s Edge.
I can’t sugarcoat this one. Those of you who have your hearts set on visiting Walt Disney World for Star Wars Land need to book now. The seven-month window is already into December. You must act fast. Otherwise, you will likely have to wait until 2020 to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The good news is that most of the other dates here are one-time only or limited time excursions. Star Wars Land is forever!
August 29th through November 23rd
The final few days of August will be crazy this year, y’all! In addition to the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, August 29th marks the start of the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. As any self-respecting DVC owner knows, this festival is one of the greatest aspects of being a member. Anyone lucky enough to stay at a monorail resort or Disney’s Beach Club Villas or Disney’s BoardWalk Villas has convenient access to Epcot and all of the treasures inside.
The Food & Wine Festival has staked a claim as one of the most significant activities at Walt Disney World during the fall. This year’s version will have a record-setting 87 days for you to eat the magnificent cuisine from the pop-up restaurants at the World Showcase. The one irregularity this year is that the Eat to the Beat concert series will end before the actual festival does. Its last day is November 19th, as Disney needs time to set up Candlelight Processional. Speaking of which…
November 29th through December 30th
Disney’s other popular festival at the end of the year is Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays. One of its beloved activities is the aforementioned Candlelight Processional. Due to Disney’s scheduling for this year, you won’t even have a week between the end of one festival and the start of the next.
The Festival of the Holidays is one of my favorites, as I love the yuletide activities here. Various countries have cast members recite (or act out) stories involving their own versions of Christmas. It’s a fascinating insight into cultural approaches regarding the same subject matter.
For those of you who want to visit during one of the festivals, you’re already within the seven-month window for Food & Wine. You could start booking your non-home resort for Festival of the Holidays on April 29th. In other words, it’s time to take action.
I cannot stress enough how much DVC rooms will be at a premium this year due to the arrival of Star Wars Land. Pandora almost singlehandedly increased traffic Animal Kingdom traffic by 25 percent. Star Wars makes Avatar look like a Police Academy movie. Disney parks will be insane during the fourth quarter of the year.
The DVC Condominium Association Meeting isn’t an event most members regularly attend. It is, however, something that everyone should do at some point in their lives. It’s an enlightening discussion of the ins and outs of DVC ownership during a calendar year.
You’ll learn about your upcoming maintenance fees while getting a detailed explanation of what goes into the pricing calculations. You’ll also be one of the first to hear about upcoming DVC events, changes, and new resorts/amenities.
Disney doesn’t add new properties to its lineup often. It’s even rarer for them to construct an entirely new property that’s primarily for DVC accommodations. That’s what we have with Disney’s Riviera Resort, the 15th DVC property. It is now taking reservations in anticipation of an opening date of December 16th.
I’m not going out on a limb when I say that this place will book quickly for its first few months of operation. As such, you should schedule your reservation as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the Disney Skyliner should be open by this point, although we don’t have an official date yet. All park officials have indicated is “fall 2019,” but the testing phase right now suggests that they’ll have no problem making that deadline.
With the advent of the Skyliner, the Riviera becomes arguably the best place for Star Wars fans to stay at Walt Disney World. You’ll receive direct transportation to and from Hollywood Studios. I say again that this place will book quickly.
Special Holiday Events
On many major holidays, DVC hosts unique events for card-carrying members. Many of them cost extra, although some are free. Here’s a quick list of potential offerings throughout the rest of 2019:
- June 18th: DVC Father’s Day Lunch – Location to Be Announced at Disneyland
- July 3rd: Independence Day Dessert Party – Contemporary Resort
- October 31st: DVC Halloween Dessert Party – Location to Be Announced at Disneyland
- October 31st: DVC Halloween Dessert Party – Contemporary Resort
- November 28th: DVC Thanksgiving Dinner – Contemporary Resort
- December 24th: DVC Holiday Dinner – Contemporary Resort
- December 30th: DVC New Year’s Eve Party – Contemporary Resort
Special note: The events held at the Contemporary Resort are located in at least one of these three places: the Ballroom of the Americas Porte Cochere, and Fantasia Ballroom.
Okay, there you have it. You now know precisely when you should book your DVC reservations for the rest of 2019. It’s poised to be a historic year in many ways, so don’t delay! You don’t want to look back with regret later, knowing that you could have gone to Star Wars Land during its first few months but didn’t.