Skillet at Night of Joy 2015

Skillet at Night of Joy 2015

This year marks a year of change for Disney’s Night of Joy, taking place Sept. 9-10, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. The annual event is moving outside the major theme parks for the first time in its 33-year history to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. Fifteen artists will play a variety of  indoor and outdoor stages across the sports complex property, which is used year-round for spring training, cheerleading competitions, tournaments and other sporting events.

Disney’s much-anticipated Night of Joy lineup was officially announced today (Mar. 17, 2016) on the Disney Parks Blog. MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Crowder, Matthew West, Stars Go Dim and Zealand Worship will perform on Friday evening (Sept. 9). Meanwhile, Saturday (Sept. 10) will feature Newsboys, for KING & COUNTRY, Hillsong Young & Free, Switchfoot, RED, Thousand Foot Krutch and Tim Timmons.

Inclement weather has always been a major factor at Night of Joy. In 2015, torrential rain reduced for KING & COUNTRY’s headlining set from 50 minutes down to 20 minutes. In general, rain seems to always accompany the outdoor event. Since the ESPN Wide World of Sports includes several indoor venues, this will undoubtedly help with any weather issues that arise. In addition, all Night of Joy stages have traditionally been standing room only, with the exception of the two years the the event moved to Hollywood Studios in 2008 and 2009. The sports complex will provide ample seating at each stage and has the capacity to accommodate larger crowds. In the past, including 2015, Night of Joy has sold out.

Night of Joy

Hillsong UNITED performs at Night of Joy 2014

With this news, comes the obvious question (especially for longtime Night of Joy aficionados)… What about my theme park time? Never fear, fans can hear their favorite artists and get some magic hours in, too. This year, Disney is offering a unique ticket option that lets Night of Joy ticket holders purchase a one-day ticket to any of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom).

In addition, a slightly cheaper option is also available for the first time, with Disney offering single-night tickets to Friday’s concerts for only $39, plus tax in advance of the event. Two-day tickets, which include both evenings of concerts and a one-day pass to a Walt Disney World Resort theme park are available for $119, plus tax and must be purchased in advance. For those who reserve their two-day tickets before Aug. 9, 2016, Disney will also offer admission to either Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. As always, group discounts are also available. All tickets are slated to go on sale in mid-April.

More details are forthcoming, but it appears Disney will offer transportation from the parks to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex for safety and convenience. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for the most up-to-date information. Visit to learn more.