Moonlight Magic Begins for 2024
A few thousand Disney Vacation Club members lived the dream at EPCOT. They wandered Walt Disney World’s most recently updated park to experience everything new.
Even better, these DVC owners didn’t need to face the crowds. The beauty of this event is that Disney rewards its most loyal customers with a few hours of private theme park time. Here’s what you need to know about Moonlight Magic in 2024.
What Is Moonlight Magic?
Have you ever attended a Disney after-hours event like, say, Disney After Hours? Effectively, a theme park closes at its regular time for most guests. However, a few lucky few stay and enjoy the run of the place.
During Moonlight Magic, Disney posts a velvet rope for regular guests but allows DVC members to enter. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., DVC members just roamed around EPCOT at a time when it was closed to everyone else.
What happens in those instances? Well, some live streams from the park showed guests maximizing their time. In one instance, someone entered the attraction queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. They were zooming down the roller coaster tracks within 20 minutes!
You can draw two conclusions from that statement. First, some virtual queue attractions during typical park visits switch to standby queues during Moonlight Magic. Second, if you know what you’re doing – and DVC members should – you can ride Test Track and Cosmic Rewind in 45 minutes!
Moonlight Magic is well-named. It’s a magical event for qualifying DVC members that we receive for free as a Membership Extra. Even better, Disney throws in snack coupons as part of the deal. So, Disney provides dinner with the show that is a theme park visit.
As a reminder, the qualifying park isn’t always EPCOT. Disney’s 2024 Moonlight Magic schedule includes dates for Disney California Adventure, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon as well.
Highlights of EPCOT Moonlight Magic 2024
For those of you who want to watch highlights of Moonlight Magic 2024, here’s a DVC Fan video:
You’ll find others on YouTube as well. Having watched several, I’ve noticed that Disney has done a much better job with crowd control this time. There’s ample space for everyone during the Luminous The Story of Us performance. Similarly, the attraction wait times were comically low.
Currently, EPCOT represents the best Moonlight Magic option when you prefer gatherings to rides, though. I say this because the 2024 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is ongoing.
DVC members can take full advantage of this fact in several ways. You can roam the World Showcase and appreciate the sidewalk art. All of it is visually impressive, but the 3D images of works are mind-blowing, especially the one for Wish.
How to Maximize Your Moonlight Magic Visit
Importantly, you can also use your snack coupons for some of the festival booths. There are several tricks and pro tips involved, but here are the basics.
Disney will hand you three snack coupons, which you can use for items like Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars and popcorn. However, you’ll discover better uses if you do some research.
Disney starts allowing Moonlight Magic guests into the park at 6:30 p.m., even though the event doesn’t officially start until 10 p.m. You’ll note that the back of the snack coupons list the participating restaurants.
Your options include:
- Regal Eagle Smokehouse – 6:30-9:00 p.m.
- Connections Eatery – 6:30-10:00 p.m.
- Sunshine Seasons – 6:30-10:00 p.m.
- Participating Festival Food Studios – 6:30-10:00 p.m.
- Canada Popcorn Cart – 6:30-1 a.m.
- Imagination Popcorn Cart – 6:30-1 a.m.
- Mission: SPACE Popcorn Cart – 6:30 — 1 a.m.
- Norway Ice Cream Cart – 6:30 – 1 a.m.
- Popcorn Cart Near Creations Shop – 6:30 – 1 a.m.
- Hot Dog/Pretzel Cart near DVC Kiosk – 6:30 – 1 a.m.
- Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe – 6:30 – 1 a.m.
- Connections Café – 6:30 – 1 a.m.
In reading these details, you can tell the best pro tip here. Presuming you arrive in time, you can order some of the decadent foods at the World Showcase with a single snack coupon. Disney will pay for your dinner at Moonlight Magic if you’re strategic about snack coupon usage!
If you possess park admission for the full day and not just Moonlight Magic, I’d strongly encourage you to be at EPCOT well before 6:30 p.m. If so, you can get checked in, grab your wristband, and head straight to your favorite festival food booth at dinnertime.
Here Are Some Other Moonlight Magic Pro Tips
Also, Luminous will operate twice during the event. You’ll find a better spot if you wait until during the Moonlight Magic event, but it comes at the opportunity cost of your spending ~20 minutes watching the nightly fireworks.
You can do a shocking amount during 20 minutes at Moonlight Magic. In fact, you can probably get in line and ride either Frozen Ever After or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in that timeframe. So, it’s a tough decision.
Perhaps the best news this year is that Disney has improved its park maps. They now list the names and locations of the character interactions. That’s new, long overdue, and oh so welcome.
By the way, as Paul Krieger notes in the video, Disney is using those new wristbands for Moonlight Magic. He offers a vital pro tip here. Don’t let the Cast Member make it too tight on your wrist. Otherwise, it’ll irritate you all night.
You should expect this to be true at all the events, not just at EPCOT. Disney has committed to these new wristbands, and they’re…not the greatest.