Joe and I have gone to many Moonlight Magic events for DVC members, several of which we reported here at Your Mileage May Vary:
- Magic Kingdom (January, 2017)
- Typhoon Lagoon (July, 2017)
- Epcot (December, 2017)
- Magic Kingdom (Compared to 2017) (January, 2018)
This visit was a lot of firsts for us, though – it was my friend Scott’s first Moonlight Magic event (Joe wasn’t able to go this evening due to work commitments), it was my first Moonlight Magic event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, AND it was my first time exploring “Pandoraland” and Avatar Flight of Passage. Here are the highlights of the evening:
By now we’ve seen that the Moonlight Magic events tend to follow a similar pattern, albeit with a few small changes and/or special additions here and there (i.e. for the Epcot event, they had a special, event-only fireworks show).
The event started at 9:30pm, although members were allowed to enter as early as 7:30pm (Scott and I both have annual passes so we got there a while before that, to have dinner). Most attractions that were ride-based were open, including:
- It’s Tough To Be A Bug
- Na’vi River Journey
- Avatar Flight of Passage (more on that later on in the post)
- Killimanjaro Safaris (until 10pm – animals had to go to sleep)
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain (a.k.a. Disco Yeti, the mountain of hair scrunchies and missing bird on a stick)
- Primeval Whirl
- TriceraTop Spin
- DINOSAUR (a.k.a. this ride was a whole lot more fun during previews when it really whipped you around and Mrs. Cosby hasn’t looked that good in a LONG time)
There were 4 restaurants that were open (Flame Tree BBQ, Pizzafari, Harambe Market and Restaurantosaurus), and they all had hot dogs, snacks and fountain beverages. Similar to all free food places at these events, the lines were crazy busy for the first hour, then practically empty for the rest of the night. Just like the most recent Magic Kingdom event, the food came pre-packaged (hot dog, cookie, baby carrots and apple slices, with the chips added on top at the end so they didn’t fall out of the box). Also similar to some of the food locations, the baby carrots and apples were eschewed and left en masse where the condiments can usually be found ;-).
Creature Comforts is where they had ice cream novelties (a.k.a.) Mickey Bars. It’s usually known as the Starbucks for DAK and it was frustrating to walk in there, smell that wonderful coffee scent and not be able to buy any of it LOLOL! By the way, shout out to the Cast Members who were VERY excited to be giving away free ice cream, WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! LOLOL!
Another “free” thing for this event was a coupon for 1 game credit for Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama. Scott and I thought this was ingenious – give people 1 free game and if they don’t win, they might just put out money to try their luck (or skill) again. I don’t know how much money was spent, but there were more people at Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama than I had seen in YEARS ;-).
Just as with past Moonlight Magic events, you were invited to meet DVC Executives from 9:30pm to 10:30pm (and just as with pas MM events, we skipped that). There was also a dance party, complete with a DJ and classic Disney characters (this time in their pajamas!) at what they called the Prehistoric Pajama Party. The music was hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s and it was kind of fun to watch Goofy, Donald and Daisy do the Macarena as we walked by ;-).
The Tree of Life Awakenings show ran every 10 minutes or so from 9:30pm to 11pm, and there was a special showing of Rivers of Light at 10:30pm.
The highlight of past Moonlight Magic events has been the meet & greets with characters, some who you don’t get to see very often, and this event was no different. From 9:30pm to 12:30am, you had the opportunity to meet Jiminy Cricket, Koda & Kenai, Tarzan & Jane, Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse, Pocahontas & Meeko, Thumper & Miss Bunny, Dug, Russel & Carl, Rafiki & Timon, Scrooge McDuck & Launchpad McQuack, and Darkwing Duck.
So, about the lines for Avatar flight of passage…
Almost every ride had 5-minute waits. Except Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage. Now I admittedly didn’t pay attention to Na’vi River Journey because although I’m sure it’s a fun ride, my main goal was Flight of Passage. Apparently it was everyone else’s goal too because not only did this event sell out earlier than any other Moonlight Madness event I’ve ever seen, the lines for FOP still never went below 60 minutes. I kept checking the wait times and keeping track of same (Note: the park closed to regular guests at 8:30pm):
- 5:05pm (when I first arrived): 120 minutes
- 6:05pm 105 minutes
- 7:10pm: 95 minutes
- 8:00pm: 115 minutes
- 8:50pm: 90 minutes (this is when we went on. The actual wait time to the pre-show was 53 minutes)
- 10:00pm: 60 minutes
- 11:00pm: 90 minutes
- 11:30pm: 90 minutes
- 12:15pm: 65 minutes (this is when we left)
So yeah…if you planned to go to either of the next two DVC MM events at DAK with the hope of no line at FOP, well, sorry :-(. That being said, we managed to do everything we wanted to, even with a 53 minute wait for FOP. 😉
Overall, it was another fun night and it’s cool to experience the park later than normal, as well as enjoy the special things they manage to throw in here and there. There are more MM opportunities later this year and we’ll definitely be there, if we can!
Photos of map & key for map included by request for Sue, one of our readers (click on them to make them larger):
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