My parents are Disney Vacation Club members and in addition to living vicariously through them when they go to Disneyland without me or “borrowing” their points for my own trips, I try to find ways that our whole family can enjoy the DVC perks together. For the past year, we’ve been planning a big family trip to Walt Disney World to celebrate my parents’ 40th anniversary- so the seven of us, my parents, and my sister, her husband, and my niece. As soon as I found out that there would be a DVC Moonlight Magic event at Typhoon Lagoon during our trip, I got to work trying to make it happen since it was definitely a Disney Bucket List item for our family.
For those of you that don’t know, Moonlight Magic is an exclusive event for DVC members. On 14 nights of the year, DVC members have the opportunity to attend a limited ticket, after-hours party at a Disney park and over the course of the year, it’s offered at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, and even once at California Adventure Park. (Updated for 2019: only 12 nights and none at California Adventure)
When registration opened for the event, I was tasked with signing up our group, and after an hour of entering the info, having the site timeout, refreshing, etc, our registration was secured! With all of our Disney World trips, we’ve never made the time to go to a water park so I was super excited to take the kids to Typhoon Lagoon for the event, and even more excited that it would offer a rare nighttime experience since the party was from 830-1130pm!
We spent the day of the event at EPCOT and while I would have preferred to do Moonlight Magic on an off-day, it wasn’t really possible to rearrange our trip since our dining reservations and FastPass+ was already booked. We did so much walking at EPCOT that when it was time to head over to Typhoon Lagoon, my mom, my sister, and her family bailed on the plans, so it was just our family and my dad.
We drove over to Typhoon Lagoon, and while parking was a huge headache– not enough staff directing traffic and the staff that was present wasn’t communicating with each other– we were all excited to get checked in and start having fun. Check-in was a breeze; IDs were checked, we were given wristbands and we were in! I’ve heard reports of Moonlight Magic at other parks having really long check-in lines but this one seemed to run smoothly and had a very minimal wait.
We didn’t have a chance to eat dinner before we left EPCOT, so that was our first stop once we changed into our swimsuits. We ordered burgers and fries to split amongst us- nothing super special but they got the job done!
One of the perks of Moonlight Magic is the FREE, unlimited Mickey Ice Cream bars and other frozen treats! Ellie had one while we were ordering dinner, and then had a popsicle after she ate dinner! They also had complimentary chips, popcorn, and lemonade, and in hindsight, we probably could have skipped dinner and just had snacks and ice cream bars.
We headed to the wave pool and the kids had SO. MUCH. FUN! While we have wave pools at home and they’ve been to other water parks, the Typhoon Lagoon one is so much better. The waves are perfectly timed and are HUGE! I think they could have spent the entire party in the wave pool if we didn’t suggest checking out the slides and the lazy river.
The big kids (minus Ben) went to do water slides with Grandpa while Jacob and I took Ben and Ellie to Castaway Creek, the lazy river. It was the biggest lazy river I’ve ever been on and when we got out of it (because I thought it was where we got in) I realized we never made it all the way around– apparently it takes about 20 minutes to go around the whole thing!
We got out of the lazy river to stop and take a picture with Elvis Stitch. Another one of the perks of the Moonlight Magic events is the chance to get photos with rare characters– or common characters in rare outfits! Stitch is Ben’s all-time favorite character so there was no way we were going to miss this chance!
The line to meet Stitch was about 25 minutes long so while Ben waited in line, Ellie joined a group of kids and hula-hooped. She kept the crowd entertained since she’s pretty good at it! Unfortunately, my phone was in our locker so that it didn’t get wet so I don’t have any pictures of her entertaining the crowds. If you’re planning to go to a Disney water park, I’d definitely recommend a waterproof camera or at a minimum, a waterproof phone case so that you can safely get pictures.
Elvis Stitch was so much fun- he pretended to surf with Ben and danced around with Ellie a bit!
By the time we decided to get more frozen treats, they were completely out of Mickey Ice Cream bars so we had to settle for Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches. Next time we’ll make sure to get them earlier in the event since they’re far superior to the ice cream sandwich version!! It was nice being able to take an ice cream break and not have to worry about paying for it though. With a family of 7, those ice cream treats can really add up!!
We met up with Grandpa and the big kids at the Crush-n-Gusher, roller-coaster-like raft slides, and then ran into beach Goofy! Since it was so late in the party (around 11pm) and he had no line, Goofy was wandering around taking silly pictures with the guests. One gentleman was resting on a lounge chair (with his eyes closed) and Goofy laid down on the chair next to him, tapped him on the shoulder, and completely startled him– all with a PhotoPass guy taking pictures! The characters were definitely having a fun time at the event, as were the guests!!
The kids wrapped up the night with a ride on Miss Adventure Falls, a 4-person raft ride with a unique conveyer belt lift system so that you don’t have to climb any stairs since it loads at ground level! It also boasts the longest ride time (around 2 minutes) for a slide at either Disney water park and the kids all said it was awesome!
We had a great time at the Moonlight Magic event at Typhoon Lagoon and I hope that we’re able to attend other Moonlight Magic events in the future!! I really appreciate that Disney holds events like this for DVC members since they are a group that spends a considerable amount of money on Disney vacations!
Things to Remember if You’re Attending a Moonlight Magic Event
- For 2019, Moonlight Magic will be held at Typhoon Lagoon on September 18 and October 16.
- Registration is done online, about a month before the event. There is no walk-up registration allowed and the events fill up quickly (often within an hour of registration opening)
- You can check-in for the event at a DVC resort or at the park but arrive early. Check-in started at 8pm and we arrived right around then and the parking lot was already a madhouse though the line to get in was minimal. I’m guessing that arriving at 730pm would have eliminated the parking lot issues and gotten us an extra 45 minutes of party time since it clearly started before 830pm.
- This year there were no Moonlight Magic pins, just ornaments. Keep that in mind if you’re interested in “Moonlight Magic” souvenirs.
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Have you ever attended a Moonlight Magic event?? Which park would you be most interested in an after-hours event at??