Disney Dreamlight Valley: A Rift in Time DLC – PC Review

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The latest update Disney Dreamlight Valley (DDLV) welcomes Jack Skellington and the addition of a brand new paid expansion pack, A Rift in Time.

Published by Gameloft, Disney Dreamlight Valley was first released in early access on September 6th, 2022 for most consoles and PCs. Since then, Gameloft has steadily released free updates every 3 – 6 months, including new characters, stories, quests, and more. The game officially came out of early access on December 5th, 2023. A Rift in Time is the latest addition and is the first paid update that is currently retailing for £24.99 on PC. It is important to note that this does require the base game which is £33.49.

The playable character in Dreamlight Valley A Rift in Time. You can see the pet companion sitting on her shoulders dressed up a jester. The character stands in the entrance of Eternity Isle, where you can see water falls, market huts and greenery
Just monkeying around at Eternity Isle

Disney Dreamlight Valley – Scrapping Free-To-Play Model

Originally Disney Dreamlight Valley was marketed to be a Free-To-Play game once it was out of early access. Many players purchased Dreamlight Valley to play the game early, support the project, and get exclusive items only given to those who purchased the game during the early access phase. Throughout its journey, there have been several free content updates to coincide with holidays or certain themes, allowing players to have access to new characters, and furniture. Players also saw the introduction of a premium item shop where they could purchase in-game currency to buy exclusive furniture, character outfits, decor, and clothing.

Recently, however, an announcement that informed players about the current trajectory of Dreamlight Valley roadmap was published on October 27th, 2023, and fans were not pleased. The update announced that the game would be leaving early access on December 5th, 2023 which is fantastic. The main concern was that the Free-To-Play model was scrapped and that Dreamlight Valley would be a paid game for the foreseeable future. The update mentioned that this was to ensure they were providing players with a premium gaming experience and still be able to provide free content updates. This left most players extremely disappointed, as throughout the whole journey of Dreamligth Valley, it was marketed that the game was going to be a Free-To-Play game similar to Disney Speedstorm.

Speaking to fellow content creator and avid Dreamlight Valley fan, TisSarahBarah, in regards to the update, she said “When Gameloft announced that Disney wasn’t going to be free, I was upset. Gameloft spent the past year marketing a free-to-play Disney game with in-game purchases, and I was sold. I LOVE Disney, and the game looked absolutely adorable…then they went and decided within a month of launch that they were changing their minds and gave no explanation. Their update was a pre-recorded video with no transparency behind the decision, told us the DLC was going to be the same price as the base game (which you still had to pay for), and as a previously devoted player, I am hurt.”

A lot of players chose to be patient and wait till the game was released for free and were left quite disappointed, and understandably so. Anticipating a game for over a year, to then be told that this would not be the case is not an ideal situation. Having the game be free-to-play with optional in-app purchases, would have made the game more accessible to everyone, especially younger audiences due to its Everyone ESRB rating. Now interested players will have to pay almost £60 to have the game and expansion pack.

What are your thoughts on the new expansion? and will you be picking it up?


Disney Dreamlight Valley combines a life/farm simulation and an adventure game. Players can decorate their valleys, gather resources, craft, cook, and farm. There are also quests to progress the story, that can be unlocked by increasing friendship levels with popular Disney characters. You have access to a variety of tools such as a watering can, pickaxe, shovel, and fishing rod as well as a camera to switch into photo mode. The main addition to this latest update is a brand new map, a new quest involving the character Jafar, three new characters to join your valley, and a new tool called the Royal Hourglass. Quite a hefty list of things already, but the new map also brings new fish, gems, ingredients, resources, and recipes. Safe to say, this expansion is jam-packed with new content.

A screenshot of the player character in Disney Dreamlight Valley. You can see a wild jungle as well as aboat floating in the area, situated on a cliff. The character is wearing a cream shirt and blue trousers that is decorated in gilded gold accessories.
Floating boats and wild jungles, oh my!

A Rift in Time introduces players to a new location called Eternity Isle, which has become lost in time as a result of Jafar messing with magic. Players assist Jafar, who communicates to you through a hologram, to find Three Jewels of Time. The new story occurs over several quests and requires players to increase their friendships with all the new available characters on Eternity Isle and unlock various biomes by collecting mist, a type of currency in the game.

Disney Dreamlight Valley: A Glitch in Time?

However, most players and I were immediately halted when trying to play the new update, as there were plenty of bugs and glitches. This included spawn rates of certain resources, such as Tropical Wood, being non-existent. As a result, Gameloft had to send resources to the player’s mailbox. Whilst this was helpful, many players who accepted these resources through their inboxes found that the wood was not stored in their inventory. As a result of being unable to progress, many players and I were left to attend to other things instead of trying to complete the main quest till the bug was patched. This type of bug is prevalent throughout the history of Dreamlight Valley, as there were issues with clay spawns as well as issues with the rocks in the Frozen biome not respawning if players made the mistake of cooking the Stone Soup before the next part of the quest was activated. Whilst bugs like this are addressed fairly quickly, it is a recurring issue. So much for a premium gaming experience. Other bugs like not being able to exit out of the main menu and the game freezing/crashing were equally frustrating. Though the majority of these issues have been fixed through patches, it has become a running theme with updates.

The new update also included the highly anticipated option of multiplayer. Players can visit each other’s valleys similar to Animal Crossing. Whilst there is not much players can do except tour the island and pick up items left on the floor, there is a new resource that is spawned called Pixel Shard, which can be used to craft an enchantment buff to double the amount of food made. This does make bulk cooking in the game easier, however, it does take 5 minutes to spawn a single shard. I think an overall improvement to make the cooking experience more enjoyable, Dreamlight Valley should implement a quantity slider to adjust how much you want to cook as this can already be done with crafting furniture, materials, and potions.

Graphics & Audio

For this review, A Rift in Time was played on a PC. In regards to the map, the new location is visually stunning. The overall level design encourages exploration and gives a reason for players to work on obtaining Mist to quickly unlock these areas. Each biome is accompanied by a score and a special ambiance of critters that matches the theme, similar to the base game. The biomes are heavily decorated and feel quite lived in, especially the Wild Tangle biome, really capturing the story of the isle being lost and forgotten. The new characters have more developed animations, and this is seen mostly with Rapunzel as she can be seen painting on a canvas when idle.

A screenshot of Disney Dreamlight Valley A Rift in Time. The character is wearing a cream shirt and blue trousers, with gilded gold accessories. They are placed in the sand biome with a large sand dune thats shaped into a tiger.
Gorgeous desert biome with a sand cat-stle


As this is a life sim, many players can dig in as many hours as they want. There a various goals to complete, such as the mist stretch goals as well as a ton of new cooking recipes and upgrades to the Hourglass. Also included is new furniture to create from resources that can only be found using the Hourglass craft. The new quest lines mean that there are several hours to put in to increase those new friendships as well as unlock quests from the characters in the base game. Depending on the individual’s play style, whether that is relaxed or to run full-steam ahead, the new expansion pass can clock in a huge chunk of time. Looking at my playtime hours, it is currently sitting at 267 hours. A Rift in Time sort of acts like a part two to the base game and there may be theories and speculation in more areas being added beyond Eternity Isle. Looking at the entrance to the new map,  it appears there are several spaces available for potentially new worlds. In the screenshot below, there are two more archways and three more on the other side, which could mean players may see more locations in the future.

Screenshot of Disney Dreamlight Valley. The player is standing in a marble walk way with several marble and gold arches. You can see several topiary bushes dotted around
A Port to Many Worlds

Final Thoughts

Whilst there is a lot to criticize in regards to how Dreamlight Valley has been handled, especially in terms of scrapping the free-to-play model, the new expansion pack is a great extension of the game. Two things can be right at the same time, so whilst it is a fantastic addition to the base game, the choice that was made for this to exist is unfair. It captures the excitement that was initially there when players were first introduced to the valley. The previous free content updates were great at bringing new familiar faces, such as Belle and Beast, however, there was a sense of monotony with these updates. It mostly consisted of players just trying to increase their friendship to complete the quests. A Rift in Time has recaptured that sense of exploration with the inclusion of a decent library of new items and hopefully, a future of new locations. I hope there is more work being done on the multiplayer aspect, as its current state doesn’t give enough incentive to play online with others. One major request is that extra effort be put into releasing updates without major bugs, as for now many players like myself may wait till new patches are released before considering purchasing any more expansions. Disney Dreamlight Valley: A Rift in Time gets a platinum award, though the game is not perfect, many fans of Disney and the life sim genre will enjoy what this has to offer if they can spare the premium cost.

Many thanks to Sarah for sharing her thoughts on the current update, You can find her across all social media, @TisSarahBarah, everywhere. If you would like to read more about Life Sim expansions, check out Olivia’s review of The Sim 4: For Rent expansion pack.

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