Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom is a Walt Disney World onerous ticket occasion that runs from 10 p.m. till 1 a.m. and guarantees decrease crowds and particular leisure at this quasi-Halloween celebration. On this evaluate, we’ll share photographs from our expertise at Villains After Hours and supply suggestions about whether or not it’s well worth the cash.
At current, Disney Villains After Hours is scheduled to happen June 20 & 27; July 1, 11, 18, 25; and August 1 & eight, 2019. It has additionally been held every of the final two Thursdays. Admission might be bought upfront for $139 per grownup or youngster (plus tax) or day-of for $144 per grownup or youngster (plus tax). Annual Passholders and Disney Trip Membership Members can purchase advance buy tickets for $109 per grownup or youngster (plus tax).
I ended up paying $116.09 for my low cost ticket, as in comparison with $133.13 for an after-tax 1-day ticket to Magic Kingdom for a similar date. In fact, there are some key variations (which we’ll talk about beneath), but it surely’s nonetheless an attention-grabbing comparability. I attended the occasion final night time, leaving Magic Kingdom after 2 a.m. and principally pulling an all-nighter to edit some photographs and gather my ideas concerning the occasion. Jogs my memory of being again in school, besides with a much more essential and helpful project right now…
The primary distinction is that the Disney After Hours occasions supply three hours of time when crowds are low (plus one other three hours of early admission with common Magic Kingdom day company), which implies low wait instances on 24 Magic Kingdom sights, together with all headliners. On a standard day this time of 12 months (assuming no onerous ticket occasions are scheduled), Magic Kingdom is open for round 14 hours this time of 12 months.
One other distinction is that Disney After Hours presents limitless refreshments, soda, and ice cream. The ultimate distinction, and one distinctive to Disney Villains After Hours, is particular leisure distinctive to the occasion. Right here, that’s primarily the Villains Unite the Evening stage present, the Maleficent float from Competition of Fantasy rolling down the parade route at night time, plus particular atmospheric touches.
Let’s begin with the leisure and particular choices, as Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom is in any other case nothing new, so most of you’re in all probability occupied with what’s distinctive to this incarnation of the occasion. (Above is a park map with every part listed so I don’t must sort all of it out.)
When Villains After Hours was first introduced, my preliminary response was, “oh, a technique to run Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Social gathering even earlier, however with out calling it ‘Halloween’ in order to not catch the ire of individuals already upset that Halloween is beginning in mid-August.” (Mid-August!)
Whereas Villains After Hours undoubtedly has a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Social gathering meets After Hours vibe, it’s undoubtedly rather more of the latter than the previous. The truth is, my preliminary cynicism was in all probability misplaced–if something, the villains theme was chosen as a result of there’s visitor demand, and it’s a ‘protected’ possibility as in comparison with pirates or princesses.
Personally, I want these two have been chosen as an alternative of villains and a revival of the Pirates and Princess Social gathering have been launched. That occasion flopped onerous over a decade in the past, but it surely was additionally a really totally different time when up-charges weren’t the norm. You may say it was “forward of its time” in that regard–I feel it’d be a smash hit right now, because the parade, fireworks, and atmospheric choices have been spectacular. (And on account of it being a flop that hardly offered tickets, wait instances have been additionally non-existent.)
Again to Villains After Hours, the leisure is a pleasant value-add, but it surely’s in all probability not (or at the very least it shouldn’t be) the rationale to buy Villains After Hours tickets. I loved each Villains Unite the Evening and nighttime Maleficent, however they’re nowhere on par with Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular or a full parade. These are enhancements, not the center of the occasion as their counterparts are at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Social gathering.
The plot of Villains Unite the Evening is a few nonsense concerning the 5 planets aligning as a part of a prophecy that Hades–and subsequently Jafar, the Queen, Dr. Facilier, and Maleficent–every imagine foretells of them ruling the universe. In the long run, the true prophecy is one among friendship (or one thing like that), which I suppose is heartwarming in an evil sorta manner.
The plot will not be why I loved Villains Unite the Evening. Moderately, there’s some cool choreography, eye-catching projections, and a wholesome quantity of pyro and different visible results. It ended up being a enjoyable problem to , so I loved that part of Villains Unite the Evening fairly a bit. Your mileage could differ when you’re truly there for the story.
There are three showings of Villains Unite the Evening: 11 p.m., midnight, and 1 a.m. Maleficent runs at 10:40 p.m., 11:45 p.m., and 1:20 a.m. That is the place, for my part, the added worth of Villains After Hours comes into play…
The occasion formally ends at 1 a.m., simply as another After Hours celebration. Nonetheless, each items of leisure run after the official finish time, which means you possibly can lengthen your night by over 30 minutes simply watching these two issues plus the ‘farewell’ on the Fundamental Avenue USA Practice Station.
Which may not look like a lot, however with every 30 minutes of the official occasion time being valued at ~$20-25 (relying upon if you purchased your tickets and low cost standing), that’s a pleasant bonus. It additionally signifies that Magic Kingdom is slower to clear, permitting you extra time to linger afterwards.
Furthermore, it makes the ‘technique’ for Villains After Hours fairly simple. Do rides through the official occasion, after which do the leisure as soon as the rides are closed. You need to be capable to bounce into line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice at 12:45 a.m. and be out in entrance of Cinderella Fort simply in time to catch the start of the present.
Along with the leisure, there are additionally attraction overlays on Pirates of the Caribbean and House Mountain. These are similar to overlays that debuted final 12 months for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Social gathering. You’ll need to save each of those sights for in direction of the top of the night time; there’s loads of rubbernecking visitor curiosity concerning the overlays, main to attend time spikes early on.
House Mountain consists of turning off the lights on the curler coaster and including some ominous music plus dialogue snippets from villains. It’s not horrible, but it surely’s additionally nothing to hunt out. Magic Kingdom’s House Mountain isn’t actually conducive to audio additions, and till Walt Disney World springs for screens within the journey (a la Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain at Disneyland), these are at all times going to fall flat.
Pirates of the Caribbean provides three reside actors to the attraction; two are giving foreboding warnings within the queue, whereas Barbossa lurks overhead on a bridge through the journey. Should you’ve expertise Pirates of the Caribbean lots of of instances, that is an “attention-grabbing” new twist. (It’s not good, but it surely’s undoubtedly superior to the Halloween model final 12 months.)
If it’s your first time on the journey, it’s a bizarre distraction that doesn’t mesh with the Audio Animatronics eliminates that essential suspension of disbelief. I’m going to guess/hope most company aren’t experiencing Pirates of the Caribbean for the primary time throughout Villains After Hours, so I’m going to offer Disney some factors for effort. It’s a type of weird issues I feel we’ll fondly look again on in a decade or two.
Lastly, there’s occasion unique meals, beverage, and merchandise accessible for buy.
I’m not solely positive why any non-blogger visitor would purchase snacks when there are free ones, however “you do you” as the youngsters say. If you would like a candy deal with, the Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake is a private favourite.
Circling again, the opposite query with regard to the worth proposition of Villains After Hours is whether or not 6 hours (three with low crowds, three with low to reasonable crowds) is healthier than 14 hours (or so) in Magic Kingdom. Even when you used an environment friendly itinerary for Magic Kingdom throughout these regular working hours, I feel the reply to that’s sure.
Whereas we don’t count on June by way of August to be notably unhealthy when it comes to crowds at Magic Kingdom, it’s not uncrowded both. You’re primarily ‘reasonable’ season this time of 12 months, dropping off as August approaches.
I attended the Villains After Hours occasion with Josh from easyWDW.com, a identified Dino-Rama advocate. He wished to spend the whole time seeing if he may break his earlier document of consecutive rides on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, whereas I wished to loop the TTA PeopleMover as many instances as doable. We compromised and did the next, on this order:
Minnie & Mickey Mouse at City Sq. Theater*
Enchanted Tales with Belle*
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin*
Fortunately Ever After*
“it’s a small world”*
Underneath the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Mad Tea Social gathering
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Tomorrowland Transit Authority
Buzz Lightyear’s House Ranger Spin
Pirates of the Caribbean
Peter Pan’s Flight (x3)
I can’t recall the final time I did that many rides at Magic Kingdom in a single day. All the pieces with an asterisk is earlier than 10 p.m., and every part after 10 p.m. was between a walk-on and 5 minute wait. We may’ve been extra environment friendly then if we additionally weren’t taking photographs of merchandise, random lighting results, and so forth.
We additionally needed to cease so Josh may get his face painted. He wished each the Jungle Tiger and the Darkish Raven, which I assumed could be extreme, but it surely turned out nice. He principally seemed like a elaborate tiger at a masquerade ball–$50 very effectively spent.
You’ll discover that we didn’t do Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice. Our plan was to do that instantly after our first journey on Peter Pan’s Flight proper at 12:45 a.m., however the line was filling the prolonged queue. We noticed a number of folks leaping out of line, grumbling about ready “X minutes for nothing.”
I’m guessing the journey was having technical difficulties, however I didn’t verify that. As a substitute, we did Peter Pan’s Flight twice extra. On a standard night time, you need to be capable to do Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice at the very least as soon as on the finish of the night with almost no wait.
Since our greatest enemy right here was time (quite than wait instances), we opted to concentrate on sights with shorter journey instances, with the one exception being the Peoplemover, since we would have liked to catch our breath in the course of the night. That is truly the precise reverse of what I’d do in regular circumstances, however I feel it makes extra sense for the After Hours occasions.
With a strong rope drop technique you possibly can definitely get lots performed, so possibly I may surpass this in a full day if I actually gave it my all. In actuality, I’d in all probability simply surrender by noon and concentrate on issues with minimal waits (and air-conditioning), doing Carousel of Progress, Nation Bear Jamboree, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room repeatedly. On second thought, this full day itinerary sounds pleasant.
The opposite factor that it’s essential to not overlook is the truth of Florida in June, July, and August. Even at rope drop, humidity might be oppressive this time of 12 months. To make sure, it’s nonetheless unhealthy at night time, however at the very least the solar is down and it feels higher. Between that, the decrease crowds, and a gentle breeze, Villains After Hours was a downright nice expertise.
The truth is, that is essentially the most nice time I’ve had in Magic Kingdom in a very long time–maybe because the final DVC celebration we attended. The occasion had a relaxed, low stress and strain vibe, and simply sufficient extras to offer it a “particular” vibe. It ended up being a reasonably superior night, and I stayed till the very finish–the primary time shortly I’ve seen this:
I’m undecided the final time I may write such optimistic phrases a few June, July, or August go to to Magic Kingdom. Though I really like/want them, Villains After Hours was an objectively higher expertise than the (over-crowded) Halloween and Christmas events we attended final 12 months.
Positive, evenings within the park are at all times nicer than the daytime hours, however the sensible actuality is that night Further Magic Hours have change into manner too busy and common late nights (particularly on weekends) are likewise packed. It’s not the identical expertise it was even just a few years in the past.
On that notice, I’d be remiss if I didn’t level out that each one of this comes on the expense of the common visitor expertise at Magic Kingdom. Not too way back, Magic Kingdom closed at midnight in the summertime and those self same nights the park had Further Magic Hours till three a.m. (Night Further Magic Hours was once three hours lengthy).
Furthermore, this was through the Nice Recession when attendance was decrease than it’s now, so daytime crowds have been comparatively mild. Now, attendance is considerably greater (by a number of thousands and thousands of company per 12 months), and common park hours have been diminished by a number of hours per day. Extra folks crammed into fewer hours, which doesn’t compute.
The truth is that these upcharge occasions would disappear if company mentioned, ‘sufficient is sufficient’ and didn’t attend. To not fixate on the Pirates and Princess Events an excessive amount of, however that’s precisely what occurred there. Extra lately, we’ve seen Walt Disney World drop different upcharges prematurely when gross sales didn’t meet expectations.
The apparent downside with that is that you simply or I can’t dictate the change on a person stage. You’re voting along with your pockets by hook or by crook. I’d love for Walt Disney World to ship an distinctive, free-of-charge night Further Magic Hours expertise to all on-site company as was the case within the latest previous; I’d definitely want it to dropping $100+ on this.
Nonetheless, so long as shopper confidence is powerful and company are spending freely, your choices are principally to partake and have an enjoyable expertise or maintain out and miss out on what’s change into the easiest way to expertise Magic Kingdom.
Attempt explaining the idea of ‘principled nonviolent theme park resistance’ to your children as the rationale they will’t have enjoyable. 😉
Finally, that’s my foundation for recommending Villains After Hours to first-timers to Walt Disney World with restricted trip time. Throughout the summer season months, that is the very best expertise you’re going to have at Magic Kingdom. It’s undoubtedly costly, however it is a quasi-VIP expertise with out having to be accompanied by a tour information or having to pay much more cash.
On high of that, Villains After Hours happens at night time, so the “finest expertise” line right here is true when it comes to climate, crowds, wait instances and (on account of all three) simply normal pleasantness. You’re prone to take pleasure in Villains After Hours an incredible deal, particularly as in comparison with a standard day within the park.
Should you’re an Annual Passholder, are a repeat customer, taking an extended trip, or match into some class aside from the above, Villains After Hours is a a lot more durable promote when it comes to worth for cash. That’s principally since you’re paying the total/discounted worth (or near it) of this ticket on high of your present admission. I feel it’s pretty plain that you simply’d likewise have a greater time at this occasion than by making an attempt to contort your schedule to make your time in Magic Kingdom this nice (or near it), however the tickets aren’t low-cost.
Total, when you arbitrarily put aside the associated fee or simply need to splurge, it’s onerous to argue with Villains After Hours. That is now essentially the most pleasant technique to expertise Magic Kingdom, and there’s definitely one thing to be mentioned for nighttime in Walt Disney World’s flagship park whereas it’s just about devoid of individuals. I personally want the Halloween and Christmas events for his or her leisure and ambiance, however I don’t care about doing sights as a lot. Villains After Hours takes a splash of these occasions and supplies a pure ‘worth add’ above the traditional Magic Kingdom After Hours.
Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about accommodations on our Walt Disney World Lodges Evaluations web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Evaluations. To save cash on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets publish. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys publish takes a singular take a look at intelligent objects to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Journey Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the very best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for every part it’s essential to know!
Have you ever attended Villains After Hours? What did you consider the occasion? Would you attend, or is it too dear? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we can assist you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even if you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!