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Dear Disney Dreamlight Valley characters: Stop going to bed so damn early

Mickey, wake up! I don’t like this

mickey mouse looks up at a female player character in a long red dress in Disney Dreamlight Valley Image: Gameloft via Polygon
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Like many other Disney lovers, I have fallen down the rabbit hole of Disney Dreamlight Valley. It has all the coziness of a life simulation game where you rebuild a town, with the added bonus of Disney characters bouncing around and greeting you. I fish with Goofy. I buy items from Scrooge McDuck. I cook with Remy. I see Ariel swimming around the beach. All is well in Dreamlight Valley, except for the fact that I never fucking see Mickey Mouse.

Mickey lives right across the street from me and he is always asleep when I play. Now, I might be a Disney fan, but I am also a working adult and a night owl, which means that I usually play the game after 11 p.m. Much like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Disney Dreamlight Valley follows real time, which means when it’s day time in real life, it’s day time in the Valley. And when it’s 11 at night and I’m on my couch in cozy pajamas with a mug of tea, Mickey is fast asleep in his house. I guess I’ll never get to level up our friendship.

A popup window in Disney Dreamlight Valley that says “Mickey Mouse is sleeping. Come back later!” The player is trying to enter Mickey’s house. Image: Gameloft via Polygon

He’s not the only character with an early bedtime. Moana and Kristoff also tuck in early. Moana operates a canoe for the player to catch fish from, and interacting with it means that Moana shows up for a second to say hi — no matter where she is or what she was doing. I feel really guilty about yanking her from sleep, but a gal has got to get her rainbow trout, y’know?

The most egregious example, however, came when Anna asked me to search inside her house for a quest. But she shares her house with the other Frozen characters, and because Kristoff was asleep I couldn’t enter, which meant that I had to wait till the next day to progress.

I could play the game earlier — and I do, when time allows — but there is something very soothing about playing a game where you run around collecting little things and helping characters right before bed. It’s calming. It helps me turn my anxious brain off and get to sleep. So I’m going to continue this nighttime ritual of playing Disney Dreamlight Valley. I just really wish Mickey Mouse kept the same hours as me.

mickey mouse fishing on a beach, except he faces the sand. a figure in a long red dress stands over him
In one of our rare meetings, Mickey fishes backwards
Image: Gameloft via Polygon

When I do play a little earlier and manage to catch him, he always yawns and says something like “GAWSH IT’S GETTING LATE.” Sometimes, this is at 8 p.m. (Notably, Goofy once greeted me at 6:30 p.m. with a cheery “Good morning!”; I knew we were kindred spirits.) And I can’t even unlock Minnie till I progress more with Mickey. I need a Disney version of New HorizonsNight Owl Ordinance, which lets me force my villagers and the local businesses to keep the same hours as me.

I should be thankful that at least Scrooge’s store and Goofy’s stall are available 24 hours a day (capitalism never sleeps, babyyyy), and that I can pick up fish from Moana and crops from WALL-E’s garden whenever I want. The villains are night owls too, and I can always count on Gothel to make a passive-aggressive dig at me when I walk past her. And Elsa seems to keep the same hours as me, so we can hang out together anytime I want. Admittedly, it is remarkably in character of Mickey to be an “early to bed, early to rise” sort of person [ed. note: I’m pretty sure Mickey is a mouse, as indicated in his name] and even though his hours frustrate me, he’s just so dang endearing that I can’t get mad.

Perhaps I shouldn’t force these characters to cater to my whims, like I did to my New Horizons villagers. Perhaps they will teach me to be patient. Or perhaps Mickey should just stay up late for one dang night so I can finally get his girlfriend back.