Early Access Review: Disney Dreamlight Valley

Disney Dreamlight Valley is a life sim game that’s available in early access.

Reviewed on Xbox cloud gaming

In March of 2020, there were events out of our control that kept us inside. Also in March of 2020, Nintendo released Animal Crossing New Horizons and it became an obsession in our house. I know Animal Crossing has been a thing for a long time but it just never was for me until then. Since putting hundreds of hours into Animal Crossing I have been searching for another game that’s similar to help fill the void. Disney Dreamlight Valley might just be that game.

I’m sure it helps that I am a Disney nerd, but it’s hard to play this game without smiling. When the game starts you make your character and meet Merlin who fills you in on some of the details of the events that unfolded in Dreamlight Valley.

After you’re done talking with Merlin you will get some tasks to do but you are free to wander and explore. If you played Animal Crossing as I did I’m sure you will get right to picking up as many weeds as you can.

What you are trying to do is unlock memories and rebuild the town of Dreamlight Valley. You will do that by meeting some of your favorite Disney characters that are still in the town and then going into different Disney worlds to recruit characters to come back with you. For example go find Remy, learn to cook some dishes with him, and then return home to build him a house. Now Remy will remain in your village.

You will also need to build up different currencies to expand to other areas. This part can be a bit of a grind but just remember to keep looking at your task list and complete what you can.

Running around with different characters is not only fun but it’s helpful. Characters will help you with some of your tasks and then in return, you will level up that character to earn some goodies.

You come equipped with a phone and my favorite thing to do with it was to whip it out for some selfies with my favorite characters.

You will get all the basic tools you have come to expect in a game like this. The biggest problem I have with it is how small your inventory size is. You use energy to use your tools, energy is restored by eating food. Food takes up storage and so does whatever task you are doing so it does become a game of juggling inventory until you have enough money to upgrade it. Sadly even the upgrade doesn’t help as much as you would like.

This is still early access so expect a lot of changes. The game will have its full release next year and at that point it will be a free-to-play game. At the time of writing this, it does not appear that microtransactions are needed to progress. Let’s hope it remains that way.


With so much to do and more things already announced for the future, Disney Dreamlight Valley is a game I look forward to living in for the foreseeable future. At its core, it is just a non-apologetic clone of Animal Crossing with a Disney coat of paint, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. If you’re a Disney nerd like me this is a game you have to try out.

Final score 8.5/10

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