Moonlight Magic at Epcot
On our latest vacation to Walt Disney World, we went to one of the Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic events. This one was at Epcot. We got tickets to the event a couple months before. To get tickets we needed reservations at a Disney resort during the night of the event. The event sold out within a couple of hours. The event’s official times were from 9:30pm-12:30pm, with special character appearances, complimentary food, access to many of the attractions, a dance party and a fireworks show.
Members going to the event could either check in at Epcot or at one of the DVC resorts. We chose to check in at Saratoga Springs shortly after 6. We lined up in the lobby about fifteen minutes before and were chatting with the other members in the line. One of the members was waiting to find out if there were any cancellation tickets. We had a few extra tickets so we gave ours to her. Each ticket came with a complimentary quick-service meal voucher which included an entree and a fountain beverage.
We also received wrist bands that would gain us entry into the park. Once we had all our items we made our way to Epcot. There was a special entry for those attending the event. At a quarter to 7 there was a very short line at the ticket counter for those who were getting their bands at the ticket counter. We walked in, enjoying 2 and a half hours at Epcot before the event even began.
World Showcase was going to be closed for the event, with the exception of Norway and Mexico so we decided to spend our time before our dinner reservation exploring the pavilions. We watched some performers in China, walked through the shops in Germany and admired the buildings in Italy. It was much quieter than it had been when we were here in January so we were able to explore with ease. We made it to France in time for our delicious meal at Monsieur Paul, which is found on the second floor of Chefs de France. It was an incredible experience that made my top 5 meal list from our epic dining trip. We were able to enjoy Illuminations from the windows of the restaurant but made a poor decision to try to get the last of the show outside and ended up missing the grand finale.
As guests were exiting the park we made our way to The Land so Jeff could get on his favourite ride: Soarin. As people were heading into the cue, cast members were checking everyones bracelets to make sure they were attendees of the event. There were all kinds of groups with all kinds of ages. Families with young ones, older couples, teens and tweens. The place was crawling with members. It was really cool.
After Soarin’ we headed over to the Norway pavilion to ride the Frozen ride, but not before we stopped at the Moonlight Magic dance party taking place in front of the Future World fountains. Chip and Dale were in attendance shaking their tail feathers. The line for Frozen was about 30 minutes but it was worth it, as it’s such a sweet ride. But our wait for the Mexico ride was non-existent. We got right on. It always amazes me how few people choose to enjoy this ride.
The thing that surprised me when we entered these pavilions was the shops weren’t open. Which was disappointing. Some money would have definitely been spent on our end if the Norway shops had been open. Plus it didn’t give family members who weren’t going on the rides anything to do while they waited. A bit of a lost opportunity.
Next up on the schedule was the Fireworks display. We perched ourselves at Showcase Plaza, where there was maybe a hundred or so people. The fireworks display began and I was blown away. It was a short 6 minute display but as always it was accompanied by music and lit up the sky. It was so well choreographed with a variety of different colours and different styles. It was amazing. A fantastic way to end the evening.
Jeff then stayed to ride Test Track, while I went back to the resort. I waited for about a half hour for a bus, Jeff ended up waiting for 45 minutes to an hour. So a word of advice, stay at any other resort other than Saratoga Springs during a Moonlight Magic event. All the other lines for the other resorts were short and the buses were more regular because of their proximity. Of course it depends on which event you are attending and which location but Saratoga Springs is one of the biggest and the easiest to get reservations for so that means you’ll have a much longer wait time for the bus.
This event is a huge benefit of membership and there are more and more being staged, so be sure to cross reference your dates with the dates of the upcoming events to see if you can squeeze one in. We really enjoy our time at Epcot but it’s by far the most spread out park for attractions. So we feel like you could accomplish so much more in the three hours at one of the other parks. Also they do moonlight magic events at Typhoon Lagoon during the summer.
I felt very fortunate during our evening: to be a part of such a fantastic community of people and to feel so appreciated by the company. I can’t say the event is free, because we’ve payed our fair share in dues and purchase cost but it’s still nice to know that they value our investment. It’s certainly another positive on our list of reasons we are so glad we purchased our DVC membership. Happy Planning, Friends.