Disney World Cancels ‘Night of Joy’ Christian Music Festival

A spokesperson for Walt Disney World has confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that last year was the final event.

The event began in 1983, and was largely held at the Magic Kingdom. During its decline over the past two years, it was moved to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Among the many Christian artists featured were Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Kirk Franklin, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, Stryper, Debby Boone, Toby Mac, and MercyMe.

The Disney spokesperson said that the decision was made in order to “continually [change] our offerings,” but has yet to announce any alternative religious event. Still, Epcot will host its annual “Eat to the Beat” concerts during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in September. The event will feature multiple Christian artists, including MercyMe and Tauren Wells.

Universal Studios will maintain its own tradition, started in 1998. “Rock the Universe” features Christian artists, and will take place on September 7-8, 2018. On the West Coast, Disneyland shows no sign of stopping its annual religious Christmas celebration. The “Candlelight Ceremony” features celebrities reading the Nativity from the Gospel of Luke.