We were so excited this week to attend the brand new Villains After Hours event at WDW – Magic Kingdom Park.
Announced just a few weeks ago, the traditional After Hours event has taken on a new theme for the summer months. This event began June 6th and continues on through the summer. Most Thursday evenings from 10pm to 1am, through August 8th, with the exception of one Monday night on July 1st.
Unite the Night
Unite the Night is the storyline of this event’s main castle show which happens at three separate time slots throughout the night. It is most definitely one of the longest special castle shows I’ve seen with an approximate running time of close to 25 minutes.
There are also 3 special appearances of the fire breathing Maleficent dragon throughout the night as well, which makes for an unusual experience seeing her against the backdrop of nightfall.
Filling in the spaces between these event is a DJ dance party from the castle stage. Also during the event, there are special villain overlays in both Space Mountain and Pirates if the Caribbean.
While I think most folks assumed this party would be comparable to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, this is nothing further from the truth. In fact, these two special ticketed events have very few things in common if any. While Mickey’s Not So Scary is very happily decorated and lighthearted, Villains is anything but!
I found it to be a drastic difference in ambiance, theming and crowd. Most of us are familiar with the MNSSHP music like Boo to You and other whimsical tunes, the music being played throughout each land in the park and during the DJ dance party had an obvious edge to it. All the light projections, marquees, and signage definitely had a much darker edge. Mickey’s Not So Scary is very geared toward the little ones with its lighthearted charm, but I felt Villains may be something to strike a chord with adults and older tweens and teens which is a nice option for an event at the Walt Disney World Resort. I definitely enjoyed the change of pace with the experience.
While complimentary snack locations are all throughout the park during After Hours with bottled water, Sprite, Coke, Diet Coke, popcorn, Mickey bars and ice cream sandwiches, and strawberry frozen fruit bars, there was a wonderful list of specialty drinks and snacks to enjoy during the party.
There was definitely not enough time in the evening to enjoy them all, but we did give a few a try! Isabella tried the Yzma’s Llama potion from Cool Ship located in Tomorrowland. This was a strawberry chilled concoction that bubbled with smoke! Jennifer tried the Dragon’s Breath float from Storybook Treats in Fantasyland. This was a lemon soft serve with cherry syrup and Sprite topped with green cherry dragon eyes!
I could tell an obvious crowd level difference from both Mickey’s Not So Scary and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party attendance. The longest wait time on rides and attractions was 7 Dwarfs Mine Train at around 20 minutes, but most every other ride had around a 5 minute wait time. With the absence of character meet and greets during this particular party, I feel you can really make the most of enjoying tons of those Magic Kingdom attractions that have long wait times during typical park attendance times.
Three new villain themed magic shots were available and we all know that I love a magic shot!
- Fight off Maleficent as the dragon in Fantasyland
- Be shocked by Scar in Adventureland
- Make a deal with Oogie Boogie in Tomorrowland
I found the wait times on these limited time shots were less than 1-2 minutes each. They were using two photopass photographers at a time, which I have never seen done before. This may be a trial run for new procedures to come and I must say it was seamless and aside from stopping to pose it was a very fluid move thru.
Merchandise for this event
Merchandise for this event prior to the 10pm hour was roped off as usual protocol and only those with wristbands could access the shopping area.
Tees, pocket tees, tanks, slouchy style shirts, hats, tumblers, and cell phone cases were all black with hints of blues and purples. Most carries pictures of the host of our event, Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Passholder discount did apply to the merchandise.
Once the night was winding down and we were preparing to say goodbye, you are wished farewell from the top of the Main Street train station by various villains throughout the night. At our particular juncture, we were not so politely told to get out by Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Druzella, along with Captain Hook and the Queen of Hearts.
There is a lot of comical interaction between these villains and the departing guests. This was an appropriate ending to a delightfully evil event! Overall, I truly enjoyed Villains After Hours and I am so glad we made the quick trip down to try it out!
I loved the change of pace in theming and the alternative take that this party gives on some of our love to hate Disney characters. I think this would be a great event to take advantage of if you are bringing older teens or tweens with you or also for a date night or adults trip.
My only real complaint, as with all After Hours events at Walt Disney World Resort, is that it is most definitely not long enough.
As I had mentioned, the stage show was quite long and if your goal was to enjoy both that and Maleficent’s ride or rides, it does take up a considerable amount of the actual event time. Luckily, they do allow event guests into the park 3 hours ahead of the event so we did have a good amount of time for a quick service dinner and a few attractions prior to the official start time of the event. I do feel that that was a factor in us being able to accomplish all of our goals for the night!
If you are a true fan of the villains as a whole this is certainly the event for you! All the baddies are well represented and ran a appropriate amount of muck! So if you are looking for an out of the box experience at the Magic Kingdom, this May just be the event for you and your family!