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Are You Ready To Party?

‘Cause it’s Mormon Night at Disneyland!

  

It’s a sultry Friday evening in 1981 and you’re spoiling for fun – what better to do than head on over to Mormon Night at Disneyland!

Yes folks, for the low, low price of $7 you can spend 7 PM until Midnight enjoying all the delights of Disneyland – provided they fall within the parameters of the “L.D.S. standards” which will “be observed.” Your ticket covers all the park’s attractions save, of course, the shooting galleries, and don’t forget to thank the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion which sponsored your exciting evening!

For completists, the backs of the tickets:


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5 comments to Are You Ready To Party?

  • Mark W

    Wow. I’ve always found the intersection of religion and the parks to be pretty interesting. We currently still have the annual “Night of Joy” at WDW, which so far as I know is currently the only explicitly religious observance in the parks (unless one counts the IMHO excellent Candlelight Processional).

    The inception and continuance of Night of Joy has always been a topic of interest of mine – one that I’ve not been able to find much on. For one thing, what is its relationship to official park management? It doesn’t appear to be “organized” by Disney, but AFAIK the MK closes for it, so there’s at least a degree of cooperation between the festival and resort management. I had always assumed that Al Weiss had had something to do with its founding, himself a very devout Christian (who co-founded a Christian ministry called Vision360 which Jim MacPhee is also involved in), but apparently Night of Joy pre-dates Weiss’ executive status. I’m very curious as to how it was originally started and why it wasn’t quashed by politically correct, progressive, Jewish Eisner – it just doesn’t square with him personally, the “tone” of ’90s Disney, or his propensity to micro-manage things of that nature. Would you happen to know anything about this Michael?

    And, back to the original topic, do you know anything about the origin of “Mormon Night?” I’m not sure which surprises me more – that it happened or that it wasn’t more euphemistically titled.

  • Another Voice

    From the 1960’s until the 1990’s, Disneyland offered groups and conventions special events when the park was normally closed. It was a very effective way to make a lot of money. Groups would buy a certain number of tickets and then resell them or give them away to members or participants. They kept the difference between what they paid for the ticket and what they sold it for. In addition to the ticket sales, Disneyland would also have food and merchandise revenue. People LOVED these events because attendance was very limited yet the park was in pretty much open. No lines anywhere*.

    Any big conference in town – such as the Seminaries and Instututes of Religion – could and would hold such an event, as well as the American Medical Association, the Elks, or the plumbing fixtures conventions. Large companies in Southern California would also hold similar events for employees and their families – often annually.

    Way back in Walt’s time Disneyland hosted a series of special musical nights – a lot of jazz and swingtime. These gradually expanded into gospel and others. I know ‘Night of Joy’ has been around for a long time (at least the 1980’s at Disneyland), and it seems to have come out of this process. I don’t think it has anything to do with Disney and religion – just as special Mexican and Korean cultural events have nothing to do with political correctness. It’s an identifiable market and Disney is catering a special event.

  • Another Voice

    * – at the time, Disneyland would hit financial breakeven with a shocking low number of people. Thanks to DCA and annual passes, I don’t think that’s true any longer.

  • I just had to comment on Disney’s relationship with Night of Joy. Night of Joy is an official Disney hard ticket event (like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween or the Very Merry Christmas Party). It was started in 1983. As far as who runs the event, it is Disney’s Youth Programs, who also run Grad Nites and the Magic Music Days program, that seems to have the most direct control on the event.

    While I enjoy Night of Joy, I would love to see Disney expand their nighttime events to include things like the old Dixie at Disneyland, or have other musical genres represented at such events.

  • Mark W

    Thanks Scott – I was almost positive that it was an official hard ticket but wasn’t sure. That, to me anyway, implies a degree of “endorsement” that’s surprising, and also separates it from the aforementioned cultural events. Not to derail this post, but I’d love to find out more about how it came about and if there’s ever been any internal controversy regarding an overtly religious event occurring inside the MK/DHS

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