Event: Disney’s Night of Joy

August 11, 2017
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The long-running Christian music festival seeks to deliver ‘the ultimate music mix’ for its 34th edition

Believers can expect their spirits to soar as popular Christian bands and singer-songwriters light up the stages during the annual Disney’s Night of Joy concert series.

On Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9, the two-night Christian music festival will be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., near Orlando. Touted as “the ultimate music mix,” the evenings will feature gospel, hip-hop, pop, rock, praise and adult contemporary music from the industry’s top artists.

Scheduled performers for Friday, Sept. 8 include TobyMac, MercyMe, Zach Williams, Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey, who will perform on the Champion Stadium stage. Matt Maher, Colton Dixon and Rend Collective will play inside the HP Field House, all starting at 5 p.m. that night.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, Night of Joy artists will be Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin and Jordan Feliz, who will perform at Champion Stadium. Crowder, Jeremy Camp and Tye Tribbett will take the stage at the HP Field House that evening. Grant will perform at Night of Joy for the first time since 1984.

The event will be emceed by Matthew West both nights. MercyMe, which will perform at Night of Joy for the 12th time, is the only act to return from last year’s event.

“I love the energy and the excitement that all these youth group and young people bring,” West said in a video posted on the official Disney Parks Blog that showed him walking through the grounds of the ESPN athletic complex.

Along with the wide spectrum of musical genres, the event will feature a family activity zone, food trucks and complimentary transportation from select Walt Disney World Resorts for attendees staying in those places.

Single-night tickets purchased in advance are $45 plus tax and $69 plus tax for both nights. Attendees can pay $62 more apiece to add a day’s worth of entry at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom. That day must fall between Sept. 8 and Sept. 30.

Night of Joy competitor Rock the Universe, which still takes place inside Universal Studios Florida, will also be held Sept. 8-9. Base tickets, which begin at $67, include admission to Universal Studios after 4 p.m.

In 2016, Disney’s Night of Joy moved from its longtime location to the ESPN athletic complex for the first time.

In 1983, the event debuted at Magic Kingdom (aka Disney World) and remained there until a two-year period at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2008 and 2009. It came back to Magic Kingdom from 2010 to 2015. Both nights of the popular event sold out in 2015, drawing thousands of church and youth groups.

For more information or to buy tickets, go to www.nightofjoy.com or call 407-934-7639.

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Eric Tiansay is a freelance writer with more than 20 years experience working as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor as well as writing for numerous Christian publications. Originally from Reno, Nev., Eric moved to Florida, where he became a Christian. An avid angler, film aficionado and fitness buff, Eric is an active member of his church along with his wife and five children.

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