However, we’re here today to take a Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour to get to the bottom of a different Magical Moment. We’ve seen this one sporadically several times over the years. To my knowledge, there’s no documentation online about what it is, when or why it happens, or anything else. It’s a small thing, but it’s snowballed into something bigger (at least, for me).
It all started last weekend, when against our better judgment, we headed to Magic Kingdom on Saturday night. We knew it was bound to be busy thanks to being sandwiched between Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights and the midnight closing. However, the weather was perfect and the nearly full moon would make for some nice photos, so we opted to brave the crowds…
Due to waits (35 minutes posted for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!), no attractions were on the agenda. Well, aside for the Main Street vehicles, which were operating at night. Instead, we soaked up the Christmas ambiance and lingered around the Central Plaza for a bit.
While walking to Fantasyland, I noticed the Dream Lights go dim and music start to play. I think it was music from Mary Poppins, but I’m not 100% sure. For reasons unknown, I didn’t really give it much thought. It was too late to stop and set up for photos, and my mind was preoccupied with another shot idea, anyway.
Later that same evening, I was on the Liberty Square Bridge set up for photos of the moonrise over Cinderella Castle. This time, I was “stuck” in one spot as the Magic Kingdom Mystery Magic Moment began. I still didn’t photograph it, but I caught the whole thing, which was roughly a 90-second light show set to a medley of music from Pinocchio. Again, for reasons unknown, I didn’t think to take video of it. (I did capture the photo below and at the top of the post, though.)
Sarah was doing her own thing at the time (she doesn’t just stand at my side and cheer me on while I stand around and take photos), but I later mentioned it to her. She reminded me that we’ve seen something like this on a handful of occasions, but probably not for at least a few years.
At some point, we had asked Cast Members about it, but that yielded no results. (I believe I asked readers about it in a trip report ages ago, too.) I was troubled by the fact that we’ve visited Magic Kingdom more times than I can count, seen the Kiss Goodnight literally over 100 times, but I have no strong recollection of this Mystery Magical Moment that we, apparently, haven’t even seen in a few years.
Upon getting home, I spent a lot of time on Google and searching various Disney forums, with no success. After that, I decided to fall down the YouTube rabbit hole. I wasted wisely invested several hours searching, which was a difficult task since pretty much any relevant keyword you can imagine is dominated by videos of more popular things (namely, the Dream Lights, fireworks, and various projection shows over the years).
It became one of those situations where I knew I was throwing good time after bad, and I should just cut my losses, but I was obsessed. In fairness, I was probably going to waste that time online one way or another, so I might as well spend it solving a bona fide mystery.
Before we go any further, I should warn you not to get too excited. Whatever this is, it’s not as special as the Kiss Goodnight. The Kiss Goodnight is a seemingly small thing, but the circumstances are such that it’s immensely fulfilling and endlessly endearing. It’s pure elation and euphoria–providing the little spark you need to make it last a bit longer, savoring the slow stroll out of Magic Kingdom.
The Kiss Goodnight is like an emotional gut-punch after a long day in Magic Kingdom. It hits you right as you’re simultaneously exhausted and satisfied from spending an entire day in the park. It’s like you’re already on the ropes, and all it would take is a slight nudge to leave you a joyous mess, but the Kiss Goodnight comes along and delivers a haymaker. It’s impossible to describe the feeling to those who haven’t experienced it. But if you have, you know.
By contrast, these Mystery Magical Moments seem to happen randomly after Happily Ever After on nights when Magic Kingdom is open late. They come at a time when most guests are racing around to hit a last attraction or two as the lines are finally starting to die down. You’re fighting just to stay awake but have a sense of urgency to get to another part of the park.
At least, that has been our experience with Magic Kingdom’s Mystery Magic Moments. There’s also not really any emotional weight to it. No touching narration or no musical crescendo. It just sort of…happens, and then is over. People move on and quickly forget about it, if they even stopped to begin with. This isn’t to say these moments aren’t heartwarming or touching, but they’re not in the same ballpark or even sport as the Kiss Goodnight.
In other words, don’t go on this same wild goose chase. Even if you do see this, it’ll be a disappointment in proportion to the effort. These lighting and musical vignettes are neat, but they’re best enjoyed by happenstance.
Still, this only confirmed that this exists (which I already knew), that I’m not crazy (debatable), and that another Person of the Internet has seen this. It didn’t answer the questions of what this is, why it exists, when it happens, etc. With renewed energy, I redoubled my quest for answers.
So, we once again returned to Magic Kingdom this week while staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort. (Had to “test” bus service anyway since times weren’t working for Riviera in MDX, so two birds with one stone.) Thanks to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights, it was our only chance to do so before heading home for the holidays.
Magic Kingdom wasn’t open super late and we didn’t have a ton of time to loiter about. Nevertheless, we wandered around Main Street to soak up more yuletide atmosphere, while also keeping an eye on Cinderella Castle for another magical moment. Nothing. After around an hour of this, we headed back to the resort.
Ultimately, that’s where things presently stand. What started a mystery remains a mystery. My hope is that one of you has the answers I seek. As you can tell by this very long-winded post, I’ve become singularly fixated on this Magic Kingdom Mystery Magic Moment. It’s not in any way important or significant, but I must know more. When do these happen? Why do they exist? What other musical medleys are there? For how long have these existed?
Seriously, someone out there must know–it’s not like the castle is enchanted and expresses itself by producing these moments when the time is right. It must’ve taken a team of Cast Members a bit of time to program the music, lighting, and effects. It takes someone to schedule this, maintain it, etc. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels, trying to uncover the truth about UFOs. Here it shouldn’t take storming Cinderella Castle to get to the bottom of this mystery.
So…anyone have any answers to this mystery? Have you seen the Magical Moments described here? Know anything about their existence? Anything?!?! This time, we need you to help us answer questions. We’d love to hear your feedback about when you’ve experienced this (or if you have not), what movies/songs you might’ve heard–anything that can help us get to the bottom of this mystery! If not, I fear one of my 2020 New Year’s Resolutions is going to be getting to the bottom of this mystery.