Disney Villains After Hours has begun! I am a huge fan of the Disney After Hours events, so when Disney offered to sponsor my daughter and me for the first evening of the latest version, I jumped at the opportunity. I was not disappointed.
Disney Villains After Hours is similar to the regular Disney After Hours in many ways. It is a special ticketed event. You can enter the park two hours before the event starts, and then once it does you have three hours to enjoy everything with a limited number of other guests. The only park that does not hold Disney After Hours events is Epcot. Most of the time at the Magic Kingdom there is no special theme for Disney After Hours, but for ten nights this summer, villains have taken over.
With Disney Villains After Hours, more than 20 attractions are open, and since the number of guests is way down, the lines are a lot shorter. You’ll receive a wristband (either at the front gate or at one of several stations throughout the park) and then you’ll show it each time you get on a ride or head into an area that closed once the park closed. There were plenty of Cast Members on hand, making sure that the only people there had wristbands.
For Disney Villains After Hours, there are a few special enhancements. Both Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain receive a villainous makeover. It’s similar to what they did last year during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. For Pirates, there is an actor in the line, and another in the middle of the ride. Space Mountain turns off all the lights. There’s eerie music playing, and plenty of evil laughs throughout.
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There are special food items for sale, and the event merchandise includes T-shirts, cell phone cases, hats, mugs, and the like. Three times there is a special show on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle called Villains Unite the Night. It lasts about 20 minutes, and it features five infamous villains. My favorite extra for Disney Villains After Hours was Maleficent. It’s not a parade, but three times during the event she roams through Frontierland and heads to Main Street, U.S.A. It’s short, so it won’t take a lot of time out of your three hours, but it’s really fun to watch; especially when she breathes fire!
With any Disney After Hours Event, you can have your fill of ice cream novelties, plus popcorn, and bottled drinks. There were kiosk set up all over the place, so if there is a line at one just head to another.
One thing that you need to do if you attend is to look up at the train station once you enter the park! There will be a group of villains standing up there, interacting with the crowd below. There are no meet and greets during the event, so this is a fun way to be able to see some extra Disney baddies. The villains change throughout the night, so you might want to stop by more than once.
There are also special MagicShots throughout the park for Disney Villains After Hours. For the most part, these had short waits. MagicShots are always fun, but we were limited on time so we only decided to do one of them.
If you plan to attend Disney Villains After Hours, you’ll need to have a game plan. My advice is to arrive two hours early. Hit some of the smaller rides that have short Wait Times immediately. When the park closes for the night to everyone else, try to stay away from Main Street, U.S.A. There will be a mob trying to get out, and you’ll be swimming upstream if you’re trying to get in.
Also, I’d recommend watching the last Villains Unite the Night show. Last night the final one was held at 1:00, which was the same time that the event ended. Maleficent then had one final sweep of her route at 1:20.
The other strategy is to get into the longest line of the night right before the event ends. That is what we did. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had a posted time of 30 minutes, but we waited just over half that. That was by far the longest line that we saw all night.
With the Disney After Hours events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I felt like there was plenty of time to do everything that we wanted to do. Last night, I was wishing for one more hour. It’s not that three hours isn’t enough time to hit all the major rides (we walked on to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad), it’s that there is so much to do during this event that I didn’t want it to end.
I highly recommend Disney Villains After Hours. It runs on select nights through August 8. The cost is $139 per person in advance, $144 if you wait until the day of the event. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members receive a $30 discount. With Disney Villains After Hours, you can enjoy short lines, eat lots of ice cream bars, see a limited time stage show, and watch Maleficent literally light up the sky. I’d like to thank Disney for inviting my daughter and me. This is one event that you don’t want to miss!