Ron and I started our week long Walt Disney World vacation out with Night of Joy. Night of Joy is a two-night hard ticketed Christian music event. This event began in 1983 (I was there!) and has continued ever since. From 1983-2007 and 2009-2015 the event was held at the Magic Kingdom. In 2008 is moved to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a year. This year the event moved to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, marking the first time it hasn’t been held in a theme park. Back in May I told you about the venue change and shared with you what I saw as the pros and cons of this change of location.
I am pleased to say that, in my opinion, moving the event to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex was a wonderful idea. Holding the event at WWoS (Wide World of Sports) had some positives I hadn’t thought of originally. All 3 venues had seating available and 2 of the venues had air conditioning! On top of that, they were just better concert venues. As awesome as it is to worship in front of the castle, it isn’t awesome if you are in the throngs of people packed in all the way down Main Street USA.
The headliner concerts were held in Champions Stadium, a baseball stadium where the Atlanta Braves hold their spring training. Here we saw Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, For King and Country and Newsboys in a stadium concert setting with great audio and lighting effects. VIP floor seating was available for an additional $20 per person per night.
The HP Fieldhouse was home to concerts by Matthew West, MercyMe, Switchfoot, Red, and Thousand Foot Krutch. In this building the floor was open for standing and the arena seating was open. The Jostens Center was a multi-purpose venue holding concerts for up and coming acts like Tim Timmons, Veridia and Zealand Worship. Unfortunately, the audio in this venue wasn’t nearly as well done as at the other locations. It was very bass heavy and often downright painful to listen too. This stage was also used for some artist Q & As on Saturday night. This building was also home to character meet and greets, classic video games, Minute to Win It competitions and the first ever artist merchandise tables at Night of Joy.
Down on the “Fields of Joy” were food trucks for additional dining options, a great DJ and from 5-9pm there were fun athletic competitions. While the “Fields of Joy” activities couldn’t take the place of a ride on Space Mountain, it was nice to have some activity options for kids who wanted a break from the concerts.
It has already been announced that Night of Joy 2017 will again take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and that there will be even more musical acts. Mark your calendar now for September 8-9, 2017. Event tickets aren’t on sale yet but its not too early to book your Walt Disney World Resort Stay. Just Email Me for more information!