Disney Villains After Hours brings the best of Disney After Hours and villainous entertainment together. The event runs on select nights at Magic Kingdom Park now through July 10, 2020. We’ve enjoyed this after-hours event three times now—twice in 2019 and on opening night in 2020. Here are the 13 things reasons you don’t want to miss this wickedly fun event.
1 – Disney After Hours
Disney After Hours is a separate ticket event that began in April 2016. Offered on select nights throughout the year, guests pay to have access over twenty attractions with little to no crowds in the Magic Kingdom Park. The event has now expanded to include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.
The event runs three hours long, but your ticket will grant you access to the park up to three hours early for a total of six hours. The most significant selling points to the Disney After Hours events are the low crowds and wait times. Disney caps the attendance for these events, so you get the benefit of riding multiple attractions throughout the evening with way shorter than average waits or even no wait at all.
Also included with your admission are unlimited novelty ice cream treats, select bottled beverages, and popcorn. A Mickey Bar now costs close to $6, and bottled drinks run $4-5 each. So, these included snacks are a great addition to the evening, and they help off-set the overall cost of the ticket. Granted, you might not eat four Mickey bars in one evening on a regular night, but when they are included in the ticket—why not? During these events, we took advantage of these items and left satisfied!
2 – A Villains Twist to Disney After Hours
While Disney After Hours events are usually not themed, last year, Disney introduced its first themed Disney After Hours event with Disney Villains After Hours. The Villains themed event offers the same great benefits of a regular Disney After Hours evening but adds in some really cool extras!
Disney Villains After Hours takes place from 9:00 pm to 12:00 am on the following dates:
- Friday, February 21, 2020
- Friday, March 6, 2020
Disney Villains After Hours takes place from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am on the following dates:
- Friday, February 14, 2020
- Friday, February 28, 2020
- Wednesday, March 11, 2020
- Wednesday, March 18, 2020
- Friday, March 27, 2020
- Friday, April 3, 2020
- Friday, April 10, 2020
- Friday, April 17, 2020
- Friday, April 24, 2020
- Friday, May 1, 2020
- Friday, May 8, 2020
- Thursday, May 14, 2020
- Friday, May 22, 2020
- Friday, May 29, 2020
- Friday, June 5, 2020
- Friday, June 12, 2020
- Friday, June 19, 2020
- Friday, June 26, 2020
- Monday, June 29, 2020
- Monday, July 6, 2020
- Friday, July 10, 2020
Guests with Disney Villains After Hours tickets can enter the park at 7:00 pm on the night of the event. You’ll want to enter at 7:00 pm to get the highest value out of your admission. Use the first three hours to do things that are not available during the event, like watching Happily Ever After and meeting characters. Then, when the party begins, you’ll be ready to enjoy the event!
3 – Cost of Admission
Not surprisingly, the Disney Villains After Hours event costs a little more than a regular Disney After Hours event. The Disney Villains After Hours is $145 in advance ($155 on event night), while a regular Disney After Hours event is $129 in advance. Disney Vacation Club Members and Annual Passholders pay $115 for the Disney Villains After Hours, while they will pay $99 for a regular Disney After Hours Event.
Here’s a look at the elements added into the Disney Villains After Hours:
- Disney Villains stage show – “Villains Unite the Night.”
- DJ Dance Party at Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage
- Enhancements to two attractions – Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain
- NEW – Villains Cursed Caravan
- Specialty food & beverage
- Event merchandise
- Special themed castle projections, other projections around the park, and special lighting on Main Street USA
- The Curse Goodnight – a villainous surprise at the exit
If you aren’t into the Disney Villains and are coming for the attractions and ice cream, we’d recommend a regular Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park—you get all the benefits of an After Hours event without the theming. Disney Villains After Hours is excellent for those who love the villains’ theme and are looking for some really unique villains’ entertainment. We thought getting all of the above for only $16 more was a bargain. If you’re a Villains fan, we feel this event is a no brainer, but let’s take a closer look at each of these extras.
4 – “Villains Unite the Night” Stage Show Returns
Villains Unite the Night is an all-new, 20-minute stage show staring Hades, Meg, The Queen, Maleficent, and Jafar. Disney cast member Shawn Slater describes the show:
Your “Caretaker” for the evening [is] the Lord of the Dead, Hades, who arrives in a burst of blue flames for the show, “Villains Unite the Night.” With Meg by his side, Hades sits atop his dark throne, awaiting the alignment of five planets, following a prophecy that states when the five come together, he will be able to rule the universe. But this dastardly plan doesn’t go quite as expected when an assemblage of Disney Villains interrupts his party. Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier, and Maleficent arrive with henchmen in tow, prepared to showcase their power with spine-tingling displays of skill. It seems these Villains have also heard the prophecy and believe they are the ones who will rule all.
The show was energetic and fun. The castle projections were stunning, as always. Hades was great, and the skills of the entertainers were outstanding. I kept waiting for them to break out into song, though! It was a bit weird to have a stage show with no singing, but it worked. And it keeps it different from the absolutely fantastic, “Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular” at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
In 2020, the show runs only twice rather than the three times it was offered in 2019. For our party that ran from 9–12 pm, the show was offered at 10:00 pm and 11:30 pm. We recommend the 11:30 pm show since the Villains’ Cursed Caravan will follow shortly after that. You’ll spend the last 30 minutes of the event watching some great entertainment. While the Caravan also follows the 10:00 pm show, there is a longer time gap between the two, taking up more of your precious time.
5 – Villains Cursed Caravan
You do not want to miss the all-new “Villains’ Cursed Caravan,” which also is offered twice in the evening. The procession features Maleficent the Dragon, Gaston on horseback, Oogie Boogie, Cruella DeVil, Captain Hook, Ursala, and more! Ursula was absolutely amazing. She floats around very much like the Haunted Mansion Bride does at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. In 2019, only Maleficent went on procession, so the addition of the other villains is an excellent upgraded offering. Be aware that the caravan has two different routes based on the time. The early caravan begins and ends in Frontierland. The last caravan begins in Frontierland and ends on Main Street USA. The caravan is short, and they pass by within five minutes. So be sure to make time to catch them!
I do want to give a shout out to Disney for upgrading the Queen of Hearts. This was the first time I have seen the queen as a “face” character. Gone is the plastic, and the result is fantastic. She interacts with the crowd during the parade and Curse Goodnight (#10), and it’s such a better experience for the guests. The cards that follow her also were the perfect addition.
6 – Villainous Enhancements to Fan-Favorite Attractions
During the 2018 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, new enhancements were added to Pirates of the Caribbean and Spaceship Earth. Disney has added these enhancements to both attractions during Disney Villains After Hours.
When riding Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll find live pirate actors in the attraction. We encountered one in the queue and two during the actual ride. The pirate we met in the queue was so fun. We talked with her for a minute, and she didn’t’ think it was a good idea for us to keep going. Oh, and she wanted to know if we had any rum to share. She, along with the other pirates, did enhance the ride experience for us. We walked onto the attraction, so experiencing this one won’t take too much time, and we think it’s worth it!
One of the highlights for us in 2018 during the Halloween Party was riding in “deep space” on Space Mountain with all lighting effects off in complete darkness. During the Disney Villains After Hours, you’re still traveling in almost complete darkness, but the soundtrack has been changed, and you’ll hear Disney villains throughout the ride. We love riding Space Mountain in total darkness and love that they’ve added this to the evening’s offerings.
7 – Wickedly Good Food & Beverage
Even though the novelty ice-cream bars, select bottled beverages, and popcorn are included with your admission, there are some party exclusive food and beverage items that are available for purchase. If you’re looking for an exclusive treat, then you’re in luck with Disney Villains After Hours. Click here for the Foodie Guide for the 2020 Disney Villains After Hours event.
8 – Event Merchandise
Also available to purchase are event-exclusive merchandise. You’ll find these items throughout the park. We had the chance to speak with Disney cast member Steven Miller, who walked us through some of the great items that are available this year. Catch the video below.
9 – Special Castle Projections, Lighting & Mood Music
Magic Kingdom is transformed for the party. Throughout the night, Cinderella Castle has special “spooky” projections that are unique to Villains After Hours. Main Street USA has a different lighting theme that is also different than the Halloween Party. The logo of Disney Villains After Hours is projected on walls and sidewalks. There are event-exclusive photo opportunities, including Magic Shots. You’ll also hear “malevolent music” that sets the tone for the evening. Simply put, Magic Kingdom does look and feel different than normal and certainly is different from the Halloween Party and a regular Disney After Hours event.
10 – The Curse Goodnight
At the end of the evening, we were treated to some Disney Villains that were interacting with the crowds from the train station as we were leaving the park. The Queen of Hearts, Gaston, Anastasia, Drizella, the Evil Stepmother, Cruella Deville, were all there talking to the crowds. We saw the villains after we followed the Villains’ Cursed Caravan down Main Street USA. Our event ended at midnight, and they stayed out there until 12:20 pm. This was a nice treat at the end of the evening.
11 – What You Won’t Find at Disney Villains After Hours
Speaking of seeing the villains do not expect to line up for character greetings during the event. They are not out. Disney has tried to get the message out that villains are not there for meet & greets. If you read about the event information on Disney’s website, they do warn you that villains will not be greeting guests. So, while you can see them in the stage show and at the end of the night, you won’t get to meet them.
Also, be warned that you will not find any other characters to meet during Disney Villains After Hours. During a regular Disney After Hours event at Magic Kingdom, you’ll find characters like Mickey and the princesses at various locations. We spoke to some Disney cast members responsible for managing the event, and they told us they ultimately decided not to include regular Disney character greetings because they don’t go well together. Mickey Mouse is not a villain. So, when attending the event, if you want a photo with Mickey and Minnie or any other Disney character, be sure to do that during the regular operating hours before the party begins.
12 – Let’s Talk About Wait Times
Overall, we really enjoyed the evening. You’ll be amazed though, how quickly three hours fly by. We’ve attended many Disney After Hours Events, and every time we are more and more impressed with these events. When they say little to no wait time—they mean it. We’ve attended sold-out nights and nights where the park seemed empty. Even on the sold-out nights, we have been able to walk on to almost any attraction. At most, we waited 5-10 minutes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. However, as I write this, the current wait time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train the day after the party was 165 minutes. So, a 5-10-minute wait is excellent. Do note that in the first thirty minutes of the party, you may experience longer wait times while the regular day guests are finishing their rides. I overheard conversations between other guests at the end of the party, and everyone agreed that doing the party was “totally worth it.”
So, while the cost of admission is more than a day ticket, your waits are going to be significantly less than you would experience during regular operating hours. You will get to experience more rides in a shorter period of time. Add in the included ice cream, drinks, popcorn, and the villain’s theme, and you’ve got yourself a great value. We got so much done and enjoyed some really great entertainment along with it.
13 – Overall Thoughts and Recommendations
As you might surmise, you’ll be staying up late. We left the park at 1:00 am (we were one of the last to leave). Parents might want to consider the ages of children and how they would handle such a late night. You’ll also want to plan the next day accordingly. For instance, you won’t want to schedule an 8:00 am breakfast the next day. Be mindful when you select your next-day FastPasses, so they aren’t in the morning.
We’ve given some tips throughout the article, but here they are for quick reference:
- Be at the front gate just before 7:00 pm, so you enjoy all of the available time of the event.
- During the regular operating hours, do what you can’t do during the event.
- Come hungry and thirsty to take advantage of the included ice cream, popcorn, and drinks.
- Expect the first 20-30 minutes to be a bit more crowded as regular day guests are leaving.
- Catch the second Disney Villains Unite the Night Stage Show, so you have more time for attractions.
- End the evening following the Villains’ Cursed Caravan down Main Street USA.
- Stay to enjoy the “Curse Goodnight” from the Disney villains at the Main Street USA train station.
- Be mindful of your schedule the next day so you can recover from your late night.
Disney Villains After Hours was a well-done themed evening. You get the benefits of a Disney After Hours event such as low wait times and included treats, as well as some great villainous entertainment. We think this one is a real winner!
Bonus Tip – Character Couture
If you’re looking to show up to Disney Villains After Hours looking your villainous best, then you’ll want to consider booking a Character Couture Disney Styling experience. Getting a Disney makeover isn’t just for kids anymore! When you book this experience, you’ll be able to get professional, one-of-a-kind beauty looks inspired by iconic Disney characters. This styling experience is available at four different salons throughout Walt Disney World and start at $50. You can choose any character you like (it doesn’t need to be villains themed). Disney stylists recommend having a photo for guidance. The stylist will work with you to come up with the look you want. My daughter was able to get a salon experience. She challenged the stylist with the character Bill Cypher from Gravity Falls. Even though the two stylists had never heard of the character, they were able to do a fantastic job with her styling. Check out the photo gallery below to see her transformation. To make a reservation, call (407) WDW-GLAM or (407) WDW-4526. Or learn more at DisneyCharacterCouture.com.
Editor’s Note: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products provided us with complimentary Disney After Hours passes and a Character Couture styling session. However, the thoughts and opinions contained in this article are completely our own.
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