After 34 years, Walt Disney World has ended its annual Night of Joy event showcasing Christian music artists.
“Last year was our last event,” a spokeswoman for the Florida resort confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel. She added that the decision was made in the interest of “continually changing our offerings.”
Rikki Niblett of the blog TouringPlans.com notes that the announcement follows the deletion of the Night of Joy’s official Facebook page.
The resort has hosted the Christian concerts in September since 1983, mostly in Magic Kingdom but with two years at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and at ESPN Wide World of Sports complex for its final two years.
Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Kirk Franklin, Michael W. Smith, and Debby Boone are among the major names to perform over the years. Its final 2017 showing, which had to be canceled after its first night due to Hurricane Irma, featured TobyMac and MercyMe.
The Sentinel notes that in 1998, Orlando’s Universal Studios launched its own competing Christian music event, also in September, called Rock the Universe. Universal’s festival will continue in 2018. SeaWorld still hosts a yearly Christian music fest as well, called Praise Wave, in February.