Night of Joy is the Magic Kingdom’s longest running event, and it’s shifting to ESPN Wide World of Sports in 2016. This new home means many advantages for those attending the popular Christian music concerts that run over a two-day span. Here are the top five advantages to have Night of Joy at ESPN Wide World of Sports:
- No parking fee. When Night of Joy was held at the Magic Kingdom, it required parking in the Ticket and Transportation Center lot, which meant a fee. If you attended both evenings, you had to pay twice. There’s ample parking and no fee at ESPN Wide World of Sports. If you’re driving, it’s also easy to get to, since it’s right off Osceola Parkway and very convenient to both I-4 and the 417 toll road. If you’re staying on Disney property, watch for transportation details as buses will be provided.
- Seats! The Magic Kingdom offers a great backdrop for concerts, especially with the main stage in front of Cinderella Castle, but it lacks one thing: seats. Each evening of Night of Joy is crammed with great acts, so if you come at its start and stay until the late-night bitter end, your feet are usually aching. All three concert venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports have seats, so you can kick back and relax while enjoying your favorite Christian performers. You can even upgrade to a premium experience; watch for more details to be released soon. Your feet will also appreciate a shorter walk to the parking lot vs. the long walk and having to wait for a ferry or monorail to get to your car at the Magic Kingdom.
- Indoor venues. Two of the three Night of Joy concert venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports (the Jostens Center and the HP Field House) are completely indoors. September at Walt Disney World can be quite rainy, so that means the weather won’t have as much of an impact. The third, Champion stadium, is the open baseball field, but some of the seating is under cover, and Disney always has a back-up weather plan. If it rains, you can choose one of the indoor venues or ride out the rain delay on the main field, where it will be much easier sitting down than standing.
- Food trucks. You’ll probably get hungry during the long evening. In addition to a sit-down restaurant (the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill), ESPN Wide World of Sports will host food trucks for Night of Joy. Watch for particulars on which food trucks will be on hand and bring your appetite to the concerts. The food trucks will allow an easy grab-and-go so you don’t miss too much show time.
- Daytime theme park options. One of the biggest challenges at Night of Joy is deciding which of the concerts to see, since three stages run simultaneously. When the event was at the Magic Kingdom, there was the added challenge of deciding between concerts and rides, since many of the major attractions were open. This year, you can buy ticket options that let you enjoy the Magic Kingdom or any of the other Disney theme parks during the day, then head to Night of Joy at ESPN Wide World of Sports and focus all your attention on the concerts in the evening. Yes, you’ll still have to choose between a great selection of artists, but you won’t be tempted by Space Mountain, too.
If you’d like to learn more about the big move, jump to this article. Never been to ESPN Wide World of Sports? Go here for a video tour. Meanwhile, enjoy the video accompanying this article, which has a clip from Matthew West’s 2013 Night of Joy performance.