Break in comfortable shoes: During Night of Joy, you’ll either be walking between the three concert venues (Cinderella Castle, the Galaxy Stage, and the Rockettower Plaza Stage) or standing during the performances. It’s not the time to try out a new pair of shoes! Make sure you wear comfortable, well-broken-in footwear. Otherwise, if you’re attending both nights, you’ll suffer with blisters on Saturday. It’s a bonus if you can manage water-friendly shoes, for reasons covered in the next tip…
Be prepared for rain: Night of Joy takes place in early September, which is the peak of hurricane season in Florida. While you’re not likely to get hit by a hurricane, it’s also still the rainy season in general. I’ve been caught in downpours in the Magic Kingdom in September more times than I can count. That’s why I pack a rain poncho and umbrella and why you should, too. Night of Joy goes on rain or shine, so it will make your experience a lot less soggy. You can buy rain ponchos at the park, but it’s a lot cheaper to pick them up at Wal-Mart or Target. Many stories also sell compact, easy-to-carry umbrellas. If you’re comfortable in Crocs or other shoes that don’t soak up water, all the better.
The video accompanying this article shows Chris Tomlin performing “Waterfall” at Night of Joy 2014. Although it’s hard to tell, the irony is that it was, indeed, a rainy night with a “waterfall” from the sky.
Do your homework and make a plan: Night of Joy is a whirlwind of concerts each night, with three stages going simultaneously. Check out the schedule, which you can view in this article, and decide where you need to be and when. You’ll likely be moving around between stages, so familiarize yourself with the location of all three. The main stage is right in front of Cinderella Castle at the end of Main Street, and the Rockettower Plaza and Galaxy stages are both in Tomorrowland. The Galaxy Stage has limited capacity, so you need to be at that one early.
Get to the Magic Kingdom early: Night of Joy officially starts at 7:30 p.m., but you can get in with your tickets after 4 p.m. That means extra time to enjoy the Magic Kingdom rides and attractions before the concert starts. That brings me to the next tip…
Skip the rides during the actual event: Many of the major Magic Kingdom rides remain open during Night of Joy, including the three Mountains and other rides like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and It’s A Small World, but I recommend skipping them once the event starts, even though a night ride on Big Thunder Mountain is always tempting. It’s hard enough to fit in all the concerts you’ll want to see, and adding in rides makes it well nigh impossible. Arrive early to get in some ride time, then focus on the concerts.
If you’d like to see the performers I’m most anxious to see this year, jump to this article.