Magic under the Moonlight!- Disney California Adventure Moonlight Magic Review!

Earlier this month (Feb 1st), I had the opportunity to attend Disney’s Moonlight Magic Event at the Disneyland Resort, and it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a theme park in years!

Moonlight Magic is a specially-ticketed After Hours event hosted by Disney for DVC (Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s privately-operated timeshare) Members & their guests. Generally, these DVC After Hours events are held at Walt Disney World. Each park (besides the Magic Kingdom), including the water parks, typically host a Moonlight Magic event 2 nights a year. In late 2022, however, Disney announced that Moonlight Magic would also be returning to the West Coast for the first time since 2019 in the form of a single party at Disney California Adventure.

Moonlight Magic parties come with a bevy of perks, most notably of which are rare character meet & greets, free snacks (Mickey Ice Cream bars, popcorn, & soda!), & free entrance to the park for the duration of the party & up to 3 hours before the party, as well. Needless to say, it’s a pretty unique experience for those diehard Disney park fans.

Reservations for each event generally open up a few weeks to a few months before the party, but reservation times can certainly vary from park to park. For our Moonlight Magic event at Disney California Adventure, reservations opened early January, meaning I was up MUCH too early for my liking to secure our tickets! Reservations are limited and fill up quickly, especially as each Member can bring up to 5 guests total, including themselves.

Another big hit at most Moonlight Magic events – as was the case at this one in DCA, as well – is the unique entertainment. While there wasn’t quite the assortment of entertainment at this version as is typically the case, we still got treated to an incredible dueling boy band, a SPECIAL showing of World of Color, & a live DJ in Hollywoodland! As far as unique theme park entertainment goes, Moonlight Magic brings it home!

Easily the highlight of the West Coast version of the party was the $30 in food credits given to each guest in attendance, which can be used at ANY food vendor in the park!! These food credits are ON TOP OF the already-free & unlimited Mickey Ice Cream bars, soda, & popcorn available to each guest throughout the night! This is a great change to the perk at WDW, which is generally just 3 free snack items per guest. The downside to this perk, though, was it meant INSANELY long lines for EVERY single food vendor, from the traditional Quick Service spots to the Lunar New Year booths. Some of the lines were over 45min waits with no option to mobile order, which certainly put a hamper on an otherwise-incredible perk.

Another highlight to DCA’s Moonlight Magic event was an ARRAY of awesome rare characters! From Mickey & Minnie in their vintage 2001 DCA outfits to Max Goof in his Powerline costume, the amount of rare characters was fantastic. We even got an appearance from JIMINY CRICKET himself! If you’re a fan of character meet & greets, Moonlight Magic at DCA was the place for you to be.

Overall, each & every Moonlight Magic event is an INCREDIBLY fun (and free!) After Hours party. The event at Disney California Adventure this month didn’t quite hit the highs of the WDW events, but it was still amazing, nonetheless! The crowds at each Moonlight Magic event at WDW seem virtually non-existent for rides, snacks, & entertainment, and are usually only seen in lines for rare characters. At DCA, however, the lines were constant THROUGHOUT the party, no matter what you wanted to do. My assumption is that Disney handed out too many passes for this version of the event, or they were woefully understaffed. Regardless, though, the night was still a CLEAR success! From rare characters to unique entertainment to FREE FOOD, it was one of the best nights in a theme park & a welcome treat from Disney for DVC Members & their guests. Personally, I cannot wait for the next iteration of Disney’s BEST After Hours party!

Written By Shaun Knight

Follow @rankingthemouse on twitter for more Disney updates!


Learn All About Sea World San Diego’s Howl O Scream Halloween Event!

Sea World San Diego is hosting is first ever Halloween event next month and I did a virtual interview with Sea World San Diego Vice President of Entertainment Randolph Borden to get all the details of this super exciting new event!

  1. Are you excited to be hosting your first ever Halloween event?

“We are extremely excited to be hosting Howl-O-Scream, our first ever nighttime Halloween event! This event complements our existing family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular event which takes place during the day offering trick-or-treating and other fun activities for younger guests. Then at night, the park will be transformed into the intense, horror-filled haunt that is Howl-O-Scream. We’re eager to now offer Halloween-themed fun for guests of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a special family event to celebrate with the kids or a terrifying party for mature audiences only, we now cater to both.”

  1. How will this event separate itself from the rest? How will it be unique?

“This Halloween event is the only one of its kind in San Diego as it offers guests all the terror of your typical Halloween event along with the thrilling rides and high-quality entertainment of a theme park. Guests will brave through our petrifying haunted houses and scare zones, and no one is safe with our eerie roaming haunts moving throughout the park. However, even amid so much horrifying mayhem, guests can enjoy nighttime rides on Electric Eel, Manta and Journey to Atlantis, amazing shows, dance parties with live DJs, and themed bars. ”

  1. Will there be live entertainment?

“In addition to the immersive scare zones, roaming haunts, haunted houses and rides,Howl-O-Scream will feature Vampire Circus, a high-energy, suspenseful live show that will leave guests in awe. In addition, our underground, steam-punk themed dance club, with its heart-pounding dance beats will become the ultimate hang and party zone, you’ll also find themed haunted bars throughout the park for spirited libations.”

  1. Will it be similar to the other Howl-O-Scream events at other SeaWorld entertainment parks?

SeaWorld San Diego’s Howl-O-Scream will be set-up similar to other Howl-O-Scream events at our sister parks, however we are offering unique themes at our park.

  1. How many mazes and scarezones will there be?

“We will have a total of three haunted houses, six scare zones and four roaming haunts that will wander throughout the park. Our three featured haunted houses include Nightmare Experiment, Death Water Bayou and Simon’s Slaughterhouse. Each are guaranteed to give guests will a bone-chilling experience as they go face-to-face with our scare actors. Be sure to follow along on social at @HowlOScreamSD or #HowlOScreamSD to stay up to date on all the terror.”

  1. How much will tickets be?

“Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event for mature audiences with tickets now available for purchase on our website at”

  1. How long will the event run?

“The event will run from September 17 through October 31 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and select Thursdays.“

  1. Are you still hiring scare actors?
    “Yes, we are still hiring for a variety of positions including scare squad performers, make-up artist, technicians and stage managers! For a limited time, the park is providing a $500 hiring bonus for applicants that secure a position for Howl-O-Scream and a $100 referral fee for employees that refer a friend or foe to join the Halloween crew. Seasonal positions are posted online at”
  2. What’s it like to design a maze? What is the thought process behind choosing each maze theme?

“Designing a maze, or in our case a haunted house, is an incredibly fun process, however it does require well thought-out planning. You must map out the way you want your guests to move through the house and devise ways to distract them so your scare actors can perform the best scare possible. We achieve that by placing a prop, installation or another scare actor to create the atmospheric scare. That said, you also must incorporate little nooks and areas where your scare actors can hide to execute the classic startle scare. For reference, the atmospheric scare is the scare that sets up the guest for the startle scare. Think of the atmospheric scare as the distraction, the person that will draw the guest’s attention away from the real scare, the person rocking in the corner, the creepy eye contact that a scare performer makes to pull the guests attention. The startle scare is just the opposite, it’s the scare that the guest doesn’t see coming or expect, the scare performer behind a drop door, or the one lurking in the bushes waiting for the right time to jump out. We chose the Nightmare Experiment, Death Water Bayou and Simon’s Slaughterhouse themes for our haunted houses because we are playing on classic horror themes such as the gory slasher films, the mystery and supernatural nature of voodoo and the frightening mad scientist/doctor persona. These are classic haunt themes, genre’s that everyone will be familiar with, but we are putting our own spin on them so that there are unexpected surprises around every corner. All of our haunted attractions are designed by experts in the industry and some of the biggest haunt enthusiasts you’ll ever meet. We deliberately set out to create haunts that we ourselves would want to walk through! We’re really excited to welcome our fellow Halloween and haunt fans to what will surely become a yearly, must-experience event!

  1. Lastly, will the rides and attractions be open during the event?
    “Yes! Our roller coasters Electric Eel, Manta and Journey to Atlantis will be open during the event.”

Taste of Knotts Merry Farm Cancelled Through Christmas

Knotts Berry Farm just announced that its food festival, Taste of Knotts Merry Farm, will be closed from December 11th through December 26th to comply with the state’s new Stay At Home order.

As of now dates from December 27th to January 3rd remain unaffected. Knotts has said they will refunds to anyone that has purchased tickets for that time period and that refunds would take five to seven business days following processing.

Knotts has also stated that the California Marketplace will remain open with all retail locations at 20% capacity and takeout only at all dining locations.

First Look at Belle’s Village at Tokyo Disneyland

The Oriental Land Company last week shared that their New Fantasyland expansion would be open on September 28th. This area includes Belle’s Village as well as the highly anticipated E-Ticket attraction, Enchanted Tales of Beauty and the Beast.

Now a pair of Disney Imagineer’s are giving us a first look at Belle’s Village and the brand new area so check out the video below!

BREAKING NEWS: Chadwick Boseman Has Passed Away and I am Balling My Eyes Out!!

AP: Black Panther Actor Chadwick Boseman Dies After Cancer Battle

OH MY GOODNESS! I am so incredibly sad right now! This news came so out of left field that I am still incredibly shocked by it.

It was announced just moments ago that Chadwick Boseman, our lovely Black Panther, has passed away from colon cancer. Apparently, he was diagnosed with the cancer four years ago and has kept it quiet ever since.

Chadwick Boseman was a great actor in many great movies and of course shined and had his big break with the over one billion dollar Black Panther movie. From what I have seen on interviews with him, he seemed like a very humble and genuinely nice dude and it is such a shame that he passed so gosh darn early in his life. Please take a moment and let me know your favorite Chadwick Boseman moment below! #RIPChadwickBoseman

Mulan to be Released on Disney+ Sept. 4th For Additional Cost

Mulan Full Movie 2020 - Celebrity Tadka

It was just announced on the Disney earnings call that Disney plans to release Mulan on Disney+ Labor Day weekend, but for an additional cost. To be able to see the film you MUST be a Disney Plus subscriber but then have to pay an additional $29.99 to purchase the film.

It is a PVOD exclusive to a streaming service and I think that is a very interesting way to release movies for the time being. I wonder if other major Disney movies such as Black Widow will be doing the same thing if the situation does not improve in November? What do you think?

Knott’s Scary Farm 2020 Cancelled!

It was just announced today that Knott’s Berry Farm has decided to cancel its haunt event for 2020. There was some hope it could happen due to them doing Taste of Knotts and still erecting haunted house facades, but unfortunately that is not the case.

Six Flags is still looking to do a modified version of Fright Fest in some markets so we shall see how that goes! What do you guys think of this decision?

Peoplemover at Magic Kingdom To Get an Extensive Refurb

VIDEO: Take a 360° Ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ...

Earlier this year the Tomorrowland Peoplemover was having several issues that led to multiple unexpected down times. That had caused Disney to close the attraction up until the eventual theme park closure which closed due to covid-19.

Well the theme parks have reopened, but the peoplemover is still closed and many guests have been wondering why the attraction has not been open recently. Well according to insiders, Blog Mickey, and Cast Members at the entrance of the attraction, Disney has decided to a full refurb of the attraction starting soon and lasting for nearly two months.

During this refurb Disney will replace every single LIM (Linear Induction Motor) along the track and these motors are custom made leading the ride to be down for a pretty extensive time period. At one point it was also rumored that the scenes inside the attraction were going to be updated for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, but due to budget cuts those additions have been cancelled, so this will be a purely maintenance based refurb.

Downtown Disney Rule Updates and Restaurant Openings!

Disney today updated their face mask policy for Downtown Disney and the rest of the Disneyland Resort. Disneyland now matches Disney World with the mask restrictions that include the banning of neck gaiters and bandannas. Guests must also be stationary while eating and drinking. This avoids people walking around without their mask on and will be enforced when the parks reopen as well.

On some other news, two restaurants reopened in the shopping district with takeout and limited patio dining available. Those restaurants are Ballast Point and Tortilla Jo’s. Disney has plenty of seating set up in the AMC courtyard for guests on the West side of Downtown Disney to enjoy their food. Guests on the East side will struggle a bit with limited seating and to solve I suggest Disney set up tables in the Esplanade so guests can enjoy their meals while looking inside their favorite theme parks!

What do you guys think of the updated mask policy? What do you think of the outdoor seating situation at the district?

Hong Kong Disneyland To Temporarily Close Again After Jump In COVID 19 Cases

BREAKING: Hong Kong Disneyland to Reclose After Increase in COVID ...

Starting on July 15th Hong Kong Disneyland will close after Hong Kong is experiencing a spike in Covid 19 cases. After three straight weeks of not recording a single case, the city now has over one hundred new cases. In response, the government has tightened restrictions of gatherings limiting them to 10 people instead of the previous 50 people.

These restrictions will be in place for seven days and then will be re-evaluated, so it is possible the park will be able to open up in the next week or two. Hong Kong and China in general has excellent contact tracing and they have been able to nip any local outbreaks quickly and I expect the same for Hong Kong.

During this time, the resort hotels will still be operating on a modified schedule and adjusting their needs based on demand.