Moonlight Magic parties are back again at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort in 2024, with dates at EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, and California Adventure! During these free after hours parties, DVC members can experience a night full of fun: attractions with short wait times, rare character sightings, exclusive entertainment, and free food!
We cannot wait–we absolutely love Moonlight Magic, having done this many times in the past, including both this year at Disneyland Resort and last year at Walt Disney World. We’ve attended Moonlight Magic at every WDW park except Blizzard Beach (I don’t think they’ve ever done the event there…but I could be wrong) and usually have a blast. More on that in the commentary.
During a Moonlight Magic event, eligible Disney Vacation Club Members can visit a select theme park at Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort for a special celebration after the park has closed to the public! Enjoy an evening of enchantment, entertainment and so much more as the park becomes your playground.
Highlights for DVC’s privileged partiers include:
Shorter-than-usual wait times for popular park attractions
Disney Characters greetings
Complimentary special treats and delectable delights
Note: Activities and offerings are subject to change without notice.
Here are the event dates for the 2024 Moonlight Magic parties at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort:
Animal Kingdom Moonlight Magic Dates:
December 13, 2023 (this year, not next)
February 27, 2024
April 23, 2024
EPCOT Moonlight Magic Dates:
January 25, 2024
March 1, 2024
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Moonlight Magic Date:
August 27, 2024
Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Moonlight Magic Dates:
June 4, 2024
July 11, 2024
Disney California Adventure Moonlight Magic Date:
January 29, 2024
Only one event date for each participating park will be available per Disney Vacation Club Membership, per calendar year. Meaning that, in theory, you could do both the December 13 and February 27 Moonlight Magic parties at Animal Kingdom since one is this year and the next is in 2024.
Moonlight Magic Eligibility – To be eligible for Moonlight Magic, you must be a “blue card” Disney Vacation Club member, meaning that you purchased directly from Disney or bought before the resale restrictions were implemented back in April 2016. If you have a member card, you’re good. This also means that anyone renting Disney Vacation Club points is not eligible for Moonlight Magic. Unlike other on-site perks, Moonlight Magic is based on the membership and not the stay.
Party Size Limits – A Member can register themselves and up to 4 additional guests per Membership (for a total of 5) —or up to the number of Guests on their Resort reservation. Children younger than 3 years of age do not need to be registered for this event.
Modifications and Cancellations – This event cannot be booked or modified through Member Services. If a Member wishes to change their party size or the date that they are attending Moonlight Magic, they may modify their event registration through the link found in their confirmation email.
If you cancel your Resort reservation, your event registration will be cancelled automatically.
Cancelling and rebooking an event registration increases the risk of losing one’s registration.
Modifications or cancellations of an event registration cannot be made the same day as booking.
We request that Members cancel at least 48 hours in advance.
Other Important Information
Complimentary admission to the after-hours event is valid for the duration of the event. If you wish to enter a park before the event, valid theme park admission and reservation are required.
This offer is complimentary, nontransferable and cannot be sold. It is subject to availability, change or termination without notice.
Attendees under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a participating parent or guardian.
This is a rain-or-shine event; some experiences may be cancelled due to inclement weather.
Disney Genie+ service and Lightning Lane are not available for use during Moonlight Magic Events.
Resort reservations must be made by the person listed as the “owner” on the Membership.
Event registration is required to attend the 2024 Moonlight Magic events. Register online when your registration window opens. Registration periods for guests with and without resort reservations will vary, as will the window for various parks.
(Unless we missed something, DVC hasn’t released any registration windows for the 2024 Moonlight Magic events yet. We’ll update this once registration dates are released for these upcoming parties.
All of the below info is boilerplate based on how things worked this year. One thing we’d note is that registration can be very competitive, so you want to be online and ready to join the virtual queue ASAP when your window opens. Even then, you risk being shut out!
Register for Moonlight Magic:
Visit this page and select “RSVP Online”. Be sure to have your Member number ready.
You will enter a virtual waiting room, which secures your place in line. Do not refresh the page.
When it’s your turn, you’ll be sent to the registration form to sign up for a night of Moonlight Magic!
Important Registration Information
Registration is required and limited. Unfortunately, walk-ins will not be permitted.
The Member who registers must be in attendance and be the person who checks in their full party.
When checking in, please keep in mind:
Your valid Disney Vacation Club Digital Membership Card and photo ID are required at check-in.
The Member who was selected during the event registration process must be in attendance to check in their full party.
The entire party must check in together to gain access to the event.
Entry prior to the event mix-in time requires a separate paid theme park admission and park reservation.
As noted at the top, we’ve attended many Moonlight Magic parties since the event began several years ago. We’ve had many highlights, from stumbling upon rare characters from “a bug’s life” with zero lines to playing mini-golf with Disney Afternoon characters at DCA to being offered an entire box of cookies from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Most recently, we did Moonlight Magic this winter at Disney California Adventure. One highlight of that night, for me at least, was using all of my meal credit vouchers for a glorious feast at Award Wieners. (For like the tenth time, Award Wieners is actually good!) A mutual highlight was finally getting to meet circa-2001 Disney’s (possessive) California Adventure Minnie & Mickey Mouse.
It was also incredibly memorable for us as being our last night as a carefree couple. The following morning, we “discovered” Megatron. Just look at those faces above: totally free of stress and well-rested; one belly full of hot dogs, another with baby. Here’s hoping that the first 2024 Moonlight Magic party is a full circle moment, and is her first hard-ticket event!
In looking back at some of our party reports, I see there were downsides to each event. There have been instances of surprisingly long lines for food, characters, or attractions since the beginning. There were also events early on when some members literally brought coolers to stock up on ice cream and other snacks, causing the kiosks to run out.
However, we largely ‘smooth over’ the negatives in our minds, fondly recollecting the positives–special fireworks, rare characters, free food, and other unique moments enjoying (mostly) empty parks. Even with issues here and there, the Moonlight Magic events are absolutely fantastic.
Perhaps its recency bias, but the last couple years seem to have had more problems than normal. There were still some rare characters, but not as many. Entertainment was lighter than normal, particularly exclusive nighttime spectaculars or special fireworks. The distribution of special popcorn buckets and snacks at times left something to be desired.
a lot of that can be attributed to staffing shortages that meant fewer Cast Members for character meet & greets and to operate more food & beverage locations. (To DVC’s credit, we didn’t notice any of these issues–except the long lines at restaurants later in the night–during the DCA Moonlight Magic this year. They seem to be getting better.)
There’s also the reality that there were fewer Moonlight Magic events than pre-closure, which is a trend that continues in 2024. Due to there being fewer Moonlight Magic parties, I also suspect that Disney Vacation Club increased the attendance caps, resulting in larger crowds. (Perhaps that’s simply my perception, though. Not 100% sure on that one.)
This is also notably occurring as Disney Vacation Club continues to open new properties and sells more points. Disney’s Riviera Resort, Villas at Disneyland Hotel, and Villas at Grand Floridian all are new or newly-expanded. By the time some of these 2024 parties roll around, there also may be new additions for sale at the Polynesian and/or Fort Wilderness, too! All of this means more members consolidated into fewer nights.
Ultimately, Moonlight Magic is still great, and the pros of the free event far outweigh the cons–even last year. I’m hoping that Moonlight Magic goes smoother in 2024, with improved staffing remedying some of these issues and lessons learned from last year fixing others.
Even with the hiccups, Moonlight Magic is a great event that is essentially a free version of After Hours for DVC Members, with a few extra enhancements that make it better than After Hours, in our view. It’s a great perk for those who are able to take advantage; we’ve loved attending over the years, and hope the 2024 Moonlight Magic parties have a few surprises in store!
Planning on registering for one of the 2024 Moonlight Magic party nights? Excited to see this free event returning as a benefit for DVC members? Have you attended one of the Moonlight Magic events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland? Did you meet any rare characters or enjoy special entertainment? What did you think of the experience? Any questions or thoughts about anything in this party report? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!