Future World by Moonlight
Up to this point, Moonlight Magic events have taken place at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disneyland, and Typhoon Lagoon; in some cases, more than once. For the first time (in forever) DVC held this popular event at Epcot on December 4th, 2017 which also happened to be the night of the Super Moon – how fitting – and I was there with the family in tow.
If you’ve been to a Moonlight Magic event before, many things were the same: unlimited access to the most popular attractions of the park, meet & greets with characters and DVC executives, tasty treats, and a swingin’ character dance party; but there were some special touches that made this one feel a bit different, and in a good way.
I hear you asking… “But what about the Member Mixer?”
I have read online postings by some members expressing dismay that this event replaced the “DVC Holiday Member Mixer” that took place at Epcot from 2004 to 2016. The Member Mixer was arguably the precursor of the “Moonlight Magic” series of events but was notably different in many ways. The Member Mixer took place in the World ShowPlace Pavilion and featured snacks, refreshments, entertainment, and a gift which was commonly a Christmas ornament. It was fun. I think the charm of this event was the intimate setting and the unique gift to remember it by.
By contrast Moonlight Magic is a substantial replacement in terms of scale and fun. Not that I didn’t love the Member Mixer, but this was no comparison. Every major attraction of Future World was open. In total, 11 attractions were available to guests including The Grand Fiesta Tour and Frozen Ever After in World Showcase.
Was this all just the same as other Moonlight Magic Events?
This being the 4th and final Moonlight Magic event of 2017, it shared many of the hallmarks of events prior. A super fun dance party, complimentary snacks, access to attractions, character meet-and-greets, and special fireworks show; but even the familiar parts had some special Epcot magic.
This was definitely the largest space for a dance party than any other park. Held at the Future World Fountain Stage the dance party extends as far as it needs to down the bridge between Future World and International Showcase. With the backdrop of the Epcot Christmas Tree on the other side of the bridge, this dance part was immensely fun and you’d have to be quite the Grinch not to get into the Holiday mood.
Complimentary Snacks were the same as other events with the menu consisting of: hot dogs, carrots, apples, cookies, chips, and fountain drinks. Service locations were the Electric Umbrella and Sunshine Seasons. I found that since Future World had lots of the action, the Electric Umbrella was quite packed during the first couple hours of the event whereas Sunshine Seasons with its expansive seating and somewhat out-of-the-way location was definitely the spot to sit and enjoy your snacks at a quiet table.
This was also a feast for fans of rare characters including Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, and the Three Caballeros were all present along with Soarin’ Pilot Minnie and Test Track Race Car Driver Mickey. The Toy Story crew was well represented with Buzz Lightyear, Woodie, Jessie, and Bullseye. Duffy the Bear, who you’d think would be in Andy’s room too, was at his usual spot in World Showcase. Speaking of which, Anna and Elsa were also greeting guests at their permanent home in Norway as was Joy, Sadness, and Baymax at their permanent (maybe?) homes in Future World. What was really unique was the Festival of Fantasy characters from the Little Mermaid section of the parade outside of, where else, The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Perhaps the only disappointment, and I’m being picky admittedly, were the fireworks. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is specifically designed for a more intimate environment. They can’t launch the massive 5 inch and bigger shells like they can at the other parks due to guest proximity; so, the show takes advantage of what they can with the smaller ordnance. This just lacked the story that makes Illuminations such a great and long-lasting show. Now it’s clearly not a show they run every day and can we really expect the same depth from a show that’s going to run just twice ever? All things considered, this was great; but it was just fireworks. Fortunately, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth ran with the Holiday performance which was beautiful; so it’s not like this event wasn’t without it a little extra fireworks panache.
Goodbye Moonlight Magic 2017!
As we welcome 2018 and bid adieu to the Moonlight Magic year that was, DVC closed out the year with an event that was familiar to the others while distinctly different, and in my opinion just a touch better. While a Moonlight Magic event is scheduled at Epcot for 2018, it will be held in summer and not Winter. Does this foretell an end to the last vestige of the Member Mixer? The Disney Parks Blog’s list of DVC Moonlight Magic events does not mention any December events and all four DisneyWorld Parks, plus Typhoon Lagoon, have confirmed dates in 2018. In fact, there are no announced DVC events past October 3rd. Will there be no DVC Holiday events at all? I suspect something will turn up. Disney loves the Holiday’s too much to leave us with nothing.
DVC Moonlight Magic is now booking for Magic Kingdom events for all DVC Members with or without an on-property reservation for Jan 11th, 28th, and February 6th. If you haven’t booked yet get on this now as this event absolutely will sell out soon. Click here to access the registration page.
From me and my family to you and yours, have a magical 2018!