Denise's Corner

Review: Disney Villains After Hours at the Magic Kingdom (w/Photos, Video)

Hi everyone!

We were invited to experience the first Disney Villains After Hours event at the Magic Kingdom. Jeff and I had just arrived back from Anaheim (we changed our flights to attend), and even tired we stayed until just about 2:00 a.m. in the park. For those who may want to attend this event, Disney Villains After Hours runs officially from 10:00 p.m. through 1:00 a.m., but you can make the most of that ticket by arriving at 7:00 p.m. (mixing with other guests) and by viewing the last Villains Unite the Night show (at 1:00 a.m.) and staying for Maleficent as a dragon breathing fire as she travels through the park at 1:20 a.m. Of course, this is dependent on not having rain during the night, so watch the weather just in case it may rain later in the evening. But really, you can get almost 7 hours of fun on a ticket if you plan it right.

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I will say first that Disney villains do not meet at all during this event. That will matter to some guests. And also, this is a Disney After Hours evening like others in that unlimited select ice cream treats (Mickey bars, Mickey ice cream sandwiches and fruit bars), bottled sodas and water as well as popcorn are included during the three official hours. But unlike other Disney After Hours evenings, there is a dedicated stage show and more that revolve around one theme – villains. And as of this writing, there are only 9 more nights through early August for this event. Keep reading for photos, video and much more information with our review.

I mentioned that we were invited – Disney hosted us for this. But we have paid for most of our own event tickets through the years (we still do for most events at various Disney parks) and I will focus more on what is included and a few tips to make the most of your Disney Villains After Hours evening. Tickets for Disney Villains After Hours cost $139 plus tax in advance or $144 plus tax on the event night. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can purchase advance tickets for $109 plus tax. It really pays to be an Annual Passholder or DVC Member for events like this.

My first thought when entering into the Magic Kingdom was that some of the lighting reminded me some of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. But the music and many other elements are otherwise nothing like that event.

Cinderella Castle has special projections for Disney Villains After Hours. It looks great, really. And during Villains Unite the Night, Cinderella Castle projections change.

Here is a closer look at the castle.

The DJ entertained guests who were waiting for the first Villains Unite the Night. Weather permitting, viewing the 1:00 a.m. show means not missing rides and snacks you might want to enjoy in the three hour official time period.

The DJ can be seen on the stage here.

We had special viewing for the second Villains Unite the Night, and I also took a few photos of the first before walking around to get a feel for crowds and lines (Jeff recorded that one). First, here is Malificent as she travels past Cinderella Castle. This happens three times total during the night. Only during the last time does she head down Main Street. Otherwise, you can see her from Frontierland to the hub. It is cool to see her breathe fire at night.

None of the three shows were too crazy for finding a spot, but the third show should be the least crowded.

Disney says about 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.

Here is our video of the show and more photos.

Hades and Megara.

Cinderella Castle projections change a number of times during the show.

Meg and Hades.

Jafar is a face character as we’ve seen before.

The castle looks really colorful for Jafar.

While the show itself doesn’t (in my opinion) have a strong storyline, there are a lot of elements that are interesting in it. Projections, stunts, some fireworks at the end – they all make the show an easy watch.

Jafar’s sidekicks offer up some stuntwork.

Jafar with Megara.

The Evil Queen is the next to show up.

Cinderella Castle turns more of a purple.

The Evil Queen brings her henchman.

He twirls two axes much of the time.

Fog envelopes the stage.

Hades with Meg.

Dr. Facilier is up next, and Cinderella Castle again changes projections.

Dr. Facilier.

There are fire twirlers on stage.

Maleficent is next.

And there is a nice shoot-off of fireworks, which I was not expecting.

Here are a few more photos of the fireworks.

I didn’t indulge too much in treats for the evening, but we picked up a popcorn, drinks and a Mickey bar. These are included unlimited during the three official event hours.

I bought a treat I’d not had before, the Headless Horseman Brownie. It is said to be half cookie and half brownie. It was nothing too special, there are other more interesting items if you want to purchase a unique dessert. Or you can eat as many Mickey bars that you want with the ticket, the choice is yours!

Pirates of the Caribbean has an “overlay”, which consists of having a number of actors in the queue and Captain Barbossa (live) in the ride. Honestly, it was a lot better than the Halloween version and fun. We didn’t have a chance to ride Space Mountain, which is mostly in the dark during the event. Pirates had a line earlier in the evening but no line when we arrived near the end of the night.

Here is our video of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction with villainous additions!

When I went walking during the first show, Liberty Square was almost empty and there was no line for Haunted Mansion.

“It’s a Small World” had no line.

Peter Pan’s Flight was one of the few attractions that I saw with a bit of a wait. This was early on in the evening and it probably was nearly empty later. There are around 20 attractions open during the event, and most should have little to no wait. We didn’t ride much, but if I went back just for fun, I’d spend a lot of the evening on attractions I can’t ride often.

There are projections in the park.

Maleficent was coming back.

And later in the evening during the third Villains Unite the Night, here is my view of fireworks from Town Square.

We watched Maleficent as she traveled down Main Street. This only happens during the third procession.

What I did not expect and was one of my favorite parts of the evening was the “kiss goodnight” of characters on the Main Street Train Station.

Here is our video from this character farewell.

The characters did change some over the timeframe they were there. Gaston is one of the characters who say goodbye and interact with the other characters and crowd.

And when Maleficent as a dragon went by, I was able to capture a little video if it with the villains in the background (this is a more extended video of Maleficent including that clip).

Cruella is another villain here.

Queen of Hearts and Bowler Hat Guy.

Captain Hook, Anastasia, Drizella, and Lady Tremaine are all here as well.

Gaston with the sisters and Lady Tremaine.

The Big Bad Wolf arrived.

By the time we were done, it was about 1:50 a.m. on Main Street. There was a decent amount of entertainment for almost an hour after the event officially ended, which offers a lot more value for the money.

As far as recommendations – this was a fun event and if we’d paid for it, I would feel we had value from the amount of time we spent (we are Annual Passholders so would spend the less expensive price). I wouldn’t really recommend it for most families with young children as the offiical event doesn’t even start until 10:00 p.m. and I believe that staying until nearly 2:00 a.m. offers the best value for money if you are interested in villains. It would have been nice if there were meet and greets but the lines would have been so long since most villains aren’t out on a regular basis at Walt Disney World. If I was to attend as a regular guest, I would put most of my time into rides the first few hours and catch Villains Unite the Night, the Maleficent dragon (which arrived at about 1:35 a.m. to Town Square) and the train station villain character goodbye at that last hour (weather permitting). Don’t ride Pirates of the Caribbean first thing, it was a walk-on later.

Dates are:

  • Thursday, June 6, 2019
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Monday, July 1, 2019
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019
  • Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Thursday, August 8, 2019

There is also merchandise available, including a Tervis.

Thank you to Disney for inviting us out, all views and tips are mine.