Villains Unleashed Event – Frightfully Bad!

In case you don’t read social media or have been offline recently, please allow me to report about Walt Disney World’s latest hard-ticket event called Villains Unleashed!, which was held on Saturday night.

Villains Unleashed

Those of you who follow me know I am a huge Disney theme park fan. While I try my best to be objective and fair, sometimes I follow the “if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it” line of thinking. Therefore, this blog may come as a surprise when you read the good, the bad and the ugly. I will share my experiences, some photos and video and comments and suggestions about how this could have been better.

I was actually quite excited and thought the event would be really fun. More than 50 villains, some never seen before, were going to appear. How could one not have high expectations? Announced in early June, this separate-ticket event would cost adults $67 plus tax and kids 3-9 $62 plus tax. There was even an early ticket purchase opportunity for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members, but no discount. The event was from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

The evening started off on a positive note when a terrible thunderstorm rolled through the area about 4:30 p.m. After it passed, temperatures dropped a good 10 degrees and for a while, the humidity was low as well. Perfect, I thought!

We arrived just before 7 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and once we were through the turnstile, we were given cool event “credentials” courtesy of PhotoPass. But then we looked for a map and couldn’t find one anywhere. We asked several cast members and were told they all were gone. HUH? The event start time was still one hour away!

Villains Unleashed

We were trying to hook up with friends, but that was tough given the crowds on Hollywood Boulevard. We expected this would be the case, though, and figured once the opening show was over, the crowds would disperse all over the park.

Villains Unleashed

The show was fun, perhaps the second-best part of the whole evening. Hades and Meg were the hosts and introduced the 50 villains who would be in the park. Most made a short appearance when they were called, but not everyone was on stage.

Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed

Once the show was over, everyone started to move. The line to get into “Club Evil” at the Brown Derby, which had special food and beverages, was long so we decided to bypass it and get in line for the 9:30 p.m. “Oogie Boogie’s Freaky Funhouse Show” at the Theater of the Stars.

Villains Unleashed

Actually, the pre-show entertainer there was much, much better than what followed.

Villains Unleashed

Wow, and not a good wow! If this show had been anywhere else except Disney, it might have been acceptable, but it was not. In my opinion, this was not family friendly, though it did live up to its billing as “freaky”! I talked to several families I know, and they all were extremely disappointed and left shaking their heads. Take a look below at some of the tamer acts. I’ve spared you several of the more risque photos.

Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed


Villains Unleashed

As we left there, we ran into friends who managed to see Constantine (from “Muppets Most Wanted”) because they got in his line before 7 p.m. and were in the second grouping. The meet-and-greet line to see Kermit the Frog’s alter ego was the first to close because it was so popular. However, there was a string of closures well before the event ended. (Twitter was very helpful in trying to figure out what was happening around the park.)

Next, there was a showing of Fantasmic at 10 p.m. A special pre-show had been announced, and some guests were told that villains would appear. From those I spoke with afterwards, the pre-show did not feature villains and they felt like they wasted precious time at a show they could see any other day.

So it’s now almost 10:30 p.m., and I am not feeling like I have even come close to getting my money’s worth. We decided to head to the “Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party.” Amazingly, it wasn’t too crowded. There was a DJ on stage playing tunes and there was air conditioning, which we fully appreciated! We quickly realized no one was dancing, though, and instead they were at the rope trying to get photos with Star Lord and Gamora. I never did get close enough to them but managed some video (see below).

Afterward, I considered going to check out the merchandise, but reports were that lines were long — no surprise — and many event-only items already had sold out.

Next, I headed over to the other side of the park in hopes of finding some characters to meet. The lines for the dedicated meet-and-greets were very long or long-closed due to capacity. I wasn’t about to wait two hours of my five party hours to see a character, but many guests did just that. Instead, I spent time roaming around and checking out the happenings. I watched Frollo quickly walk to and fro on the Streets of America, and he barely stopped for a photo. Stromboli seemed to be doing the same thing — only faster.

My must-see list, if there was such a thing, prior to the event included Constantine, Shenzi, Banzi and Ed, Captain Gantu, Shan Yu and a few other rarely seen characters. By the time I got to these character locations, the lines were long closed. I did see a couple of characters on my list from the sidelines, but there were no special character meet-and-greets or photo-ops for me this night.

Villains Unleashed

Villains Unleashed Character Appearances:

At 11:30 p.m., I was hot, tired and frustrated, so I headed out of the park. Part of me wanted to see the fireworks, but I wasn’t going to wait another 75 minutes for that. I had a fleeting thought to stop at Guest Relations and complain, but I saw a huge line, shrugged and kept walking.

The final kicker as I was leaving: No one was passing out Villains goody bags. I didn’t even realize there was a goody bag until I got back to the Boardwalk Inn. It wasn’t that I needed one, but it was the principle of the thing. I do like the pre-autographed cards from the event and wished I had gotten them.

Villains Unleashed

Overall, I did enjoy the opening show, and I now wish I had stayed for the fireworks. From what we saw from the Boardwalk area, they looked awesome.

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vu-fireworks1.jpg


So, why did this event fail?

Let’s start with the price. I don’t mind paying for quality, but this was far from a quality event. At $70 a ticket, I had expectations. And I don’t think they were unrealistic expectations considering the price is similar to tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which also features many character meet-and-greets, and is much better planned and executed.

Most importantly, the event seem to be oversold, yet I was told it never sold out. How then do you run out of maps before the event even begins? Cast members were handing out lanyards, so why wasn’t another group handing out maps? Don’t blame guests for taking multiples! If you’ve ever tried using one map to actually see what you want to do during an event, it’s a mess by the end of the night. I usually take an extra one for a souvenir.

Clearly someone should have done the math and realized there were way too many guests for the 50 villains. Plus, some villains were in small groups, so there weren’t 50 separate lines or areas.

This event was about the characters, not about the rides. Why would anyone spend $70 to ride attractions that can be enjoyed during any regular park visit? Walt Disney World seems to have underestimated the huge draw of the special characters. That seems impossible when the same chaos happened at last year’s villains event that was not a hard-ticket event.

My suggestion: Allow one FastPass+ per person for one character meet-and-greet during the event. Stagger the release of the FP+ to attempt fairness. Guaranteeing only one character meet might be frustrating, but isn’t it better to arrive with realistic expectations than to be continually disappointed as the night goes on?

Disney easily could have sold more food, beverages and merchandise — if they had been properly stocked. Special drinks and some of the food were gone long before the event was over. And the merchandise … It is rare that a special Disney event has sufficient amounts of special merchandise and enough cast members to check folks out, so it’s not another 30-minute wait.

My suggestion: Have a pre-order form for T-Shirts and other items, paid at the time of order and then have a package pick-up area. That, at least, would have helped with the merchandise shortage.

I also would recommend that these types of events be held in cooler seasons. Hot weather, crowds, families with young kids, serving alcohol and long lines don’t make for a pleasant experience for anyone. I love the Disney Parks and I love special events. Sometimes things are done well, like Frozen Summer Fun, and other special events have frustrated and disappointed me. Sadly, none have disappointed me as much as the Villains Unleashed!

Was your experience different? Tell us what you though of Villains Unleashed! in the comments.

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35 Replies to “Villains Unleashed Event – Frightfully Bad!”

  1. Agree with most of the opinions… too crowded… to expensive… and hardly any real opportunity to actually get close to any of the villians without spending an hour or 2 in line. NOT worth it. dg

  2. I too made a special trip down (7 1/2 hour car ride) just to go to the Unleashed party and was very very disappointed!!! Next time I will save my money and go to Mickey’s Halloween Party!! It’s not like they’ve never done a ticketed party before!! They should know how to handle things better than they did!! If not for my traveling companions the trip would have been a bust.

  3. Thank you for the review, and to all the others for the comments. This event took place the day we arrived. When it was announced, we considered it, but ultimately decided to spend the evening at Magic Kingdom with its extra magic hours. You confirmed that we made the right call. I wouldn’t say the MK was uncrowded, but it was definitely enjoyable. We left at midnight and got to see the Villians fireworks from our room at Art of Animation.

    We’ve only ever been to one hard ticketed event; MVMCP, early in the last decade when the travel and tourism industry was under stress. The crowds were light and it felt like all the cast members and characters were there for just us. That’s the way I want to remember these special events — but I guess we can’t routinely expect that level of pampering!

  4. Whoever is in charge of special events at Hollywood Studios should be fired. There is no excuse for this kind of mismanagement two years in a row. Unlike the wonderful Harambe Nights at Animal Kingdom, the person (or persons) planning and executing this HS event is clearly incompetent. The disappointment and ill will of Disney guests is damaging to Disney’s otherwise stellar reputation.

  5. I cant remember I looked so foward to completing a Disney survey as I did yesterday when it was sent by email. The survey did not give “fail” as an option so “poor” became a default choice for many categories.

  6. I mostly agree. The FastPass would be a great idea. I guess, comparing it to the previous villain-ish even they did last year, it was a vast improvement but still lots more to do. Since it’s an advanced ticketed event, maybe if you got to pick two villains and you got an appointment window for when to meet the villain and only had to wait <30 minutes? A huge issue I had was the scheduling: times in the disney experience app and posted signs were way off for character meetings, schedules were kabluey, lots of the staff was misinformed or entirely uninformed. I wrote my own recap and review, I wasn't as disappointed but that's probably because I went in with very low expectations.

  7. We were also extremely disappointed. We were actually planning to visit WDW the week before, but moved our trip once we heard about this event. Our family is Sabbath observant, so we spent about 20 minutes at Guest Relations Friday morning trying to get as much information as possible, since we’d be arriving an hour late. Luckily, this paid off as we were able to procure a map, and plot our route in advance. Since we only arrived at 9:00, we missed the opening show which was a shame. We headed to the Fantasmic! preshow, never intending to stay for the Fantasmic! (they had told us it would be the same), but after a few minutes we left. We waited for probably 45 minutes to an hour for Jafar, and we took turns swapping out to chase the roamers (we were able to take pictures with Stromboli, who our two year old thought was a pirate, and Frollo.) After Jafar, we headed back towards the dance party because we heard Captain Hook and Smee were supposed to be there. Unfortunately, they had apparently just swapped out with Gov. Ratcliffe (which was the same thing we were told when we checked as soon as we got into the park.) We really though these “roamers” should remain in one place for a bit more time. Thankfully, our two year old wasn’t too upset, because we told him Stromboli was a pirate (he kind of looked like one.) After this setback we meandered around a little, and checked on Constantine’s line. We were very upset to see it was closed, but the cast member told us that if he moved really quickly, we should come back later and they might let us on. Fine. We briefly checked out the Guardians of the Galaxy dance party, but as Star-Lord and Gamora weren’t there, we didn’t stay long. After that, we decided to backtrack to Streets of America to check if Captain Gantu and Dr. Hamsterviel were still there. We found the area closed off for fireworks, though on our way we did get a picture with a roaming Stormtrooper. (Those were the only roamers it was easy to get a picture with- probably because everyone was lined up for that photo op by Star Tours.) We popped into the Animation Courtyard to see if we could get a glimpse of Maleficent (we knew her line would be closed by now, and we probably could have gotten on earlier, but I wasn’t waiting that long for this new version. I was very upset, actually, that it was “Maleficent from the Moors.” What, the cast members are too good now to wear green face paint?) The cast members didn’t let us look, but did tell us she’d be onstage before the fireworks. After that, we kind of hung around Hades hangout, and tried to stake our spot for the fireworks. we saw the end show, and the fireworks. The fireworks were great, but I liked the Frozen ones better. When we left, we were lucky enough to get a goody bag, and the chocolate was very uplifting for the disappointed children.

    Overall, we though we didn’t get our money’s worth at all. Yes, we were able to meet 2 characters (Jafar and Gaston, who was hilarious) Still; the party was oversold, even if it wasn’t sold out, and Disney truly underestimated the popularity of its villains. We would not consider buying tickets to an event like this again.

  8. I also booked tickets for this event and looked forward to it for a couple months. We arrived during the Monsoon that hit Florida and we were in the park by5:15. Not sure what to do but had heard that this was a popular event last year and didn’t want to be stuck trying to get in as the event started.

    So we wandered around and decided that even though there was free face-painting my 12 yr old really wanted to have her face painted so we paid for it so we wouldn’t have to wait in a line. We were inline for Darth vador by 7:40 and he did not show until 8:25. We waited an hour for a photo with him caught a few wandering Star Wars characters but all moving too fast to get a picture other than a blur. Tried for Maleficent but her line was 3+ hrs long and we only had 4 hrs left of the party and didn’t want to kill 3 with that wait. Did manage to grab a adult drink which was WAY too strong. Friends of ours waited over 2 hrs for ant shirt they ended up running out of so not enough merchandise to cover the crowds. Attempted to see Constantine but even though his line wasn’t closing for another hour due to fireworks his line was closed. The roaming characters on the streets of America were roaming crowds for people. We did wait another hour for the voo do guy from the princess and the frog and decided at 12:20 am that we had had enough lines were crazy and we managed to get 2 pictures with Villains for $67 a ticket. When I got back to the resort I checked my photo pass since I had bought the photopass plus for my 11 day vacation I’m currently on not one picture was on it because you were to scan you lanyard tag when the photos were taken. I have been to several other Disney events and have never been left with such a feeling of being robbed by Disney. I did write them and was sent a confirmation email that they had received my email and I should here from them in 72hrs. Well I’m still waiting.

  9. My family was so upset about this event that I wrote an email and letter to guest relations and copied Robert Iger, Thomas Staggs and Meg Crofton. Here is a copy of what I sent to them.

    Dear Disney Guest Relations,

    I would like to register a complaint regarding the Villains Unleashed Party which my family and I attended last Saturday. From the beginning to the end of the event, we were serious upset and disappointed with the events of the night. To start when we were arriving to the park for the event there was very confusing signage relating to how to get into the park. Because of the confusing detour signs and the confusing road blockages by the police, we became lost twice and took an additional 20 minutes to get to the park. When we entered the park there were no event brochures to be found so we were not sure of everything that was offered for the evening’s events. My children who were interested in meeting some of the villains were very upset when they saw how long the lines were to meet any of the characters and decided not to stand in line to meet any of the characters because they felt that it wasn’t worth to miss other events. Next after reading in several places that the Fantasmic show would possibility be somewhat different then what was normally presented we sat through an extremely bad pre-show and then where extremely disappointed to find it was the very same show that we have seen time and again. I then went looking for the event merchandise and after a 15 minute search finally found it shoved in a back out of the way corner of the park and waited in line for 30 minutes only to discover that Men’s size XXL were available and only a few pins left for purchase (this was around 10:30 pm which was about 2 1/2 hours after the event had started and with 2 1/2 hours still to go). We fortunately did find a few characters roaming the park but found the people playing the Big Bad Wolf, Captain Hook and Mr. Smeed incredibly rude and more interested in turning their backs to the crowd to listen to the band then allowing people to pose with them. The final insult of the night was discovered after we left from the park. We were informed by several bloggers that goody bags were supposed to be handed out. We did not see any of the park attendants handing them out but that could also be because the 12,000 other people who attended this event all left the park at the same time creating a very dangerous crowd situation.

    In all this was the worst event I have ever attended at a Disney park. My children had the most undisneyfied experience of their lives and I would seriously think twice before doing it again.

  10. I am so glad to read this post and know that even the experts agree with me! There were definite pros and cons, and I hope Disney takes these reviews to heart.

    We wasted so much time at the Fantasmic disaster, thinking that it would be “taken over” by villains. We should’ve walked out like many did! I’m very disappointed in the fact that there was no additional villain merchandise available, and that what little was offered required a “stand-by” line that rivaled Toy Story Mania. Does Disney not understand how much money they could’ve made from people like me, who would’ve likely bought multiple villain items/souvenirs, if they’d been offered?!

    My daughter and I traveled down just for this event. I can’t say that it was a complete bust because we love Hollywood Studios anyway, and we were excited to just be in Disney after a spontaneous decision to go for the weekend! We were able to ride anything we wanted, that’s for sure! My daughter was able to have her picture made with Gaston and Cruella, so she was happy. The fireworks truly were awesome, and we were glad to have gotten a glimpse of Maleficent on stage. I did get lucky and stumble upon 50’s Prime Time selling the special drinks with the glowing eyeballs at their bar! Pretty sure that wasn’t common knowledge.

    Again, we did enjoy our trip, but only because we love being in Disney anyway. I would definitely do another spontaneous weekend getaway, but not for a special ticketed event like this one.

  11. I don’t like posting on blogs, but the negative attention in this blog is “slightly skewed.” My fiancee and I actually had a great time at this event, and we will buy tickets in a heartbeat if they do it again. I’m not trying to offend anyone, but if you have been to Disney World before (I am just going to assume all of you have), then you know that these events require planning on your part. Further, all of you know that characters are a HUGE part of people’s plan. This event was designed to tailor to different people, and I think it was implemented fairly well (see below for complaints). They had multiple shows, an enormous amount of characters, fireworks, and special dining (although that part could have been done better).

    To some people characters are the most important aspect of Disney, and they are going to line up as soon as they can. They don’t particularly care about shows or other entertainment. If you chose to arrive after 6pm and/or watch the opening show, then that is your choice. You have to decide which is more important to you. Just like life, you can’t get everything you want. Last year, Disney had only three character lines, they didn’t tell you who you were going to meet, and the characters rotated (with a “common” villain who most people didn’t even want which resulted in a line within a line). This year they had 17 different set meet and greets. 17! They had roamers on SoA, roamers at the dance party, Star Wars roamers, and Star-Lord and Gamora. Last year people waited 3 1/2 – 4 hours to get ONE CHARACTER, who they might not have even wanted (we ended up with Maleficent when we wanted Oogie Boogie). This year the longest line was probably 2 hours, and that was only for a select few characters. I heard Constatine was obnoxious, but that is because Disney decided to have the puppeteer do it, and I think most people wanted to interact with the puppeteer, not Kermit (nobody is going to see that dimple). Gantu and Hamsterviel were slightly annoying because they rotated the characters. However, we did Shan Yu around 10, and only waited about 35 minutes (compare to almost 4 hours last year).

    The roamers were a little annoying, but with a little bit of patience you could have easily gotten all of them SoA. We did five of them in about 20 minutes around 12. I do think the roamers should have slowed their pace a little. The Tremaine family just stopped on the corner and didn’t even move. Judge Frollo barely stopped, and was probably the most annoying roamer.

    The Guardians dance party was cool, and it is actually the best dance party Disney has ever put on. We have been to so many dance parties and NOBODY dances. They just swarm the characters and try to get pictures. When they took their break, the DJ had everyone dancing, and then literally everyone sang Hooked on a Feeling when Star-Lord came out. I will admit, people did swarm Star-Lord and Gamora by the front. However, they were behind a rope, and they did go back and forth and take pictures with everyone who was in the front. The row was only two people deep, and everyone was getting their picture. It could have been implemented better, but it was okay. Was it annoying? Yes, extremely. Was it fun? Yes. Is the picture framed in my living room? Absolutely.

    I keep hearing complaints about the Oogie Boogie show, and how people thought it was too much for little children. WARNINGS WERE PLACED EVERYWHERE! It was on the official Disney Blog, it was on the event website, it was on every Disney blogger’s website, it was on the brochure, and I think there was even a sign by the stage. I’m assuming you read warnings in everyday activities, and I don’t know why this would be any different.

    The event could use some changes though:

    -The Brown Derby concept was awesome, however, a lot of people didn’t go near it because it was too crowded. We would have liked to go in. I think the only solution is to offer the novelty food items in multiple locations around the park.

    -The rotating characters of Gantu and Hamsterviel were poorly executed. We were one of the first people in Gantu’s line, and a group of about 10 people in the Hamsterviel line had someone in Gantu’s line (pretty much near the front). These people took their picture with Hamsterviel, and then jumped to the front of the line and proceeded to take individual pictures with Gantu. These were grown adults too, not kids. The one group took almost half of Gantu’s first set, and we were lucky enough to make the first set. I felt terrible for the people in the second row. If you are asking why Gantu’s line closed early…you can blame these grown adults who decided they each needed individual photos, and then multiple group photos. Disney has to draw the line somewhere. Thanks.

    We tried to make the dance party by the stage, but they apparently closed it around 11:30 because too many people were lined up for the fireworks. I think it might need a a designated, roped-off area by the stage next year.

    The hyenas were supposed to be roamers, and Disney didn’t realize that they are really popular. I can only assume that they came out…over 100 people rushed them, and then the CMs were forced to make it an actual meet and greet. We didn’t get to meet them because they cancelled them as roamers, and we didn’t plan on a meet and greet. Had we known, we would have changed our plans.

    I don’t know how to improve merchandise. People are always going to be rude and purchase merchandise just to sell. They did limited it to two per person, and I was able to get a shirt for both of us. Keep in mind, they did open the line around 5:15, unlike last year when the store didn’t open until 8 and there was a three hour line to get in. I waited around 30 minutes, and I wasn’t in line until around 6:30.

  12. I am so glad somebody also feels the same that this party was a FAIL…at the time I got there(which might have been the same time you did, Deb),I went on the TOT…and the guy at the gate was telling people who didn’t have the lanyards they could still get tickets to the event…and I thought NO! How is this supposed to feel special if you keep selling tickets up to the time the event starts? I saw the map prior to the event on another website, and was STILL confused by the layout…it’s obvious Disney didn’t learn from last year’s event on how to make this year’s better-

  13. I went with 4 other adults and we were highly disappointed. Well the ones that go on a regular basis. My 2 friends and I go to the Halloween Party each year and we are huge fans of the Villains. So we were more than elated to hear of the party and very eager to buy our tickets. We did so and once we got there things were okay, until the party started. The rain beforehand didn’t put to much of a damper on us. We charged forth and used our fastpasses before the party started. We like most others who have commented walked around aimlessly trying to find something to do. We found the food inside the Brown Derby to be over priced during the event and weren’t willing to stand around to order anything we were paying an arm and a leg for. We also saw the Oogie show since my best friend LOVES anything Nightmare before Christmas. We all kept looking at one another wondering what was going on. It was the most unDisneylike show I had ever encountered. Had it been Universal, I’d have expected it, but not at Disney. I felt like it was very inappropriate. I did however, love the guy with the balloons in the beginning. We did end up getting our faces painted towards the end of the night since the lines for that like everything else were insanely long at the start of the party. The fireworks were amazing and I’d love to see them again, but not paying what we did for them. That was one of the biggest wastes of money for me. I am a huge Disney fan and will continue to go to the Halloween and Christmas Party when money allows. I was upset because I chose this party over the Halloween Party this year and it was definitely not worth it at all. At least during Halloween I get some candy to sweeten the deal.

  14. I personally did not go but I have talked and seen reports from other people, some say good, some bad. The thing that stuck with me was people complaining that Disney did not put out enough maps, pins, shirts, etc. I do not blame someone who grabs a couple extra maps, one to keep, a couple to use, etc. I do blame the people that go and grab GOBBS of maps, shirts, pins, all that they can carry, then go sell it on ebay. That takes away from people who legitimately want those items for souvenirs. We run into that at the Halloween and Christmas party’s. A lady jumped in front of me and grabbed up half a rack of clothes, almost more than she could carry, all sizes. Obviously going to sell on ebay. So most people had to wait until another rack came out, some did it again, and some were left without a shirt. That is the problem. It’s not Disney’s problem, though they could help stop it if they put a limit of 2 or 3 of one item per person. The long lines and etc, yeah, Disney should have planned better. But running out of shirts and other merchandise is not on them. It is on all the ebayers that are now selling a shirt for 50.00, a pin for 50.00, and a map for 20.00.

  15. So glad we missed this–our experience was so horrible at last year’s Unleash the Villains event that we really, really wanted to go to this. However, it wasn’t in our budget, so we missed it. I was so hopeful it would go well and become a regular fixture, maybe a few times a year, but if Disney tries it again, they’re going to be lucky to get anyone to buy a ticket!

    We tried to talk them into a single ticket for MNSSHP last year after Villains was such a disappointment, but the best they could do was give us VIP for Illuminations–they first tried to give us the standard Family FP, but I talked them into more. Even when they fail, they’ve gotten really chintzy with making it better. I hope you’ve contacted them with all of these notes and comments–I know my comments last year included MANY suggestions for improvement (signs directing you to parking would have been nice, for example!), and I hope some of them were used for this event, even if not all of them were. Thanks for posting this blog!

  16. Thank you for the honest review. I was really really hoping Disney had learned after last years Villains night failure, but it looks like the notes got lost.

    I have to admit I am nervous about the up coming pin event, as this is the second bad event in a row I have heard of.

  17. leave it to deb to “tell it like it is” that’s why we all love her. thank god she is “all ears” to the goings on at disney, thanks for all your hard work and dedication..

  18. I feel better knowing this didn’t get good reviews because I thought it would be cool. I love the villains big time and wish Disney would show them a lot more love than they actually do. There’s always a huge line for them at the Halloween Party and the Rock Your Disney Side was a big success because a lot of people were excited about the villains. However, even that pre-parade parade thing they did was really underwhelming. There are tons of characters that I feel like Disney is too stingy with and the villains certainly qualify. But my all time favorite is Scrooge McDuck and they only bring him out for Christmas. I wish Disney would give more access to the more obscure characters to please the hardcore fans that are so loyal to them.

  19. I could not agree more. The oogie boogie show was not only unsuitable for families, it was just not entertaining. We got some character photos at club evil, but had to fight for a table and the prices were outrageous. We, like you, also paid for two nights so we didn’t have to drive over or leave the day of. The entire event was a complete nightmare, and not the good kind.

  20. Deb,
    Our party of 3 adults totally agrees with your comments! This was our first hard ticket special event at WDW, and will be our last based on this experience. Long lines for Food and Drinks?? Disney knows how to do this during regular hours, so what happened during the event? A total waste of money and time. And a very un-fun evening!

  21. We were there with our 2 young girls, ages 2 & 4. We too were at the 930 Oogie show as well (I love Oogie so we had to go) and yeah, some of it was un-Disney & my kiddos were really not interested. We actually got into the park at 6 and there was already a line for Maleficent. We wanted to go to the Art of Animation character meet & greets before they closed for the night (why we got to the park early) but because my oldest was dressed as Maleficent everyone assumed we were getting in line to see her. When I asked what time she would start greeting I was told 8. There was no way my kids going to wait 2 hrs so we decided to try later (which didn’t work because almost 2 hrs before official end of party they had closed her line). We left and saw Muppets to kill some time. When we came out if Muppets (about 730) Constantine’s line was already long….as well as most other character meet & greet spots. We ended up riding Toy Story partly because it had a 35 min wait and partly because there was absolutely no where for us to see the opening show. This was 5-10 before official party start time. We ended up meeting with friends who had gotten into the park after 8 and received a times guide but they said they had to hunt it down. We saw one villian, Cruella DeVil, because my youngest was dressed like her and I wanted that picture. We waited right at an hour for that less than one min interaction and a few pictures. That’s when we tried Maleficent but was turned away. At that point both my girls were sleeping and we we’re tired and hot and annoyed so we left at 1130-ish. We did not receive a goody bag (although my friends stayed until the end and they got a goody bag, go figure) either. I had no clue there were any goody bags until you tweeted about it. I’m sad we missed the fireworks as they seemed to have been the best part if the night but there was just no way we could have made it until 1245. All in all, we were disappointed in the event as well. Oh, and at one point we were told (by a cast member) that it was a sold out event with 12,000 tickets being sold but you’re the second person that said they heard it was not sold out so I don’t know what’s going on with that.

  22. Boy, did you hit that nail on the head!…my first bad experience was taking the bus from Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios…because of the traffic restrictions, the driver had to pass the entrance to the Studios, traverse the entire length of the Caribbean Beach resort, enter through the grounds of Boardwalk Resort and finally arrive at the Studios…because I arrived early, wandered back to the Prop Shop which had already been selling merchandise before the event opened and waited in line for 90 minutes for the 3 pieces of merchandise available…by that time, it was 8PM and forget trying to see any of the opening show…even if they had a few more video screens around it would have been better than hearing it from a distance…and you’re right, the characters were the reason for being there…if the event is only one night and everything runs out or the lines get closed, what’s the point…a very expensive fireworks show…and least with the holidays and Star Wars Weekends, you have more than one chance…don’t think I would attempt this again

  23. I was really hoping that Disney had learned some lessons after the fiasco of last year’s Friday the 13th event but after seeing this, it doesn’t appear that any changes were made. I missed this by a few days but am now glad I didn’t waste the money on the ticket and extending my stay.

  24. Sorry to hear you had bad experience I thought it was great. We stayed at a resort hotel and left for the park at 7:00 on a Disney bus. Got to the park and made it half way down street to watch opening show on the jumbo TV’s they had set up. Nice touch! As soon as opening was over we found map no problem and quickly headed to Oogie Vogue fun house. Saw the 8:30 show and we were told by car members as we walked in that this may not be appropriate for small children. The show was on dark side of entertainment but that was what we expected from a night dedicated to villains. We were able to walk right on to several rides that normally take up to an hour to get on. We enjoyed the free villains face painting that was behind The Great Movie Ride. We headed over to the dance party around 11:45 and there was lots of people there dancing. At 12:15 we headed over the main stage and listened to band play. They did a whole beetles tribute. Then as promised out came Malificent and she owned the stage. The fireworks she released were best fireworks Disney has done recently. When we left at 1:00 there were slot of car members giving out the goodie bags. We had a great time but we weren’t fixated on signatures. If that was your purpose for visit I could see some of the lines would be long and aggravating. I am a Halloween favorite so I thought the event and just being not normal Disney warm fuzzy was a hit. My children enjoyed it and we would do it again.

  25. I wholeheartedly agree that there is no point to paying $70 for a hard ticket event to ride rides or see Fantasmic! On the one hand, Disney should be ashamed for expecting people to see attractions. But on the other hand, there wasn’t really anything else to do if I wasn’t waiting in long line for merchandise, food, or characters.

    I knew the fireworks were going to be good, but I felt like I was “trapped” in the park with nothing to do for 6 hours while waiting for the fireworks. They should have scheduled the fireworks for 10 pm, then families with kids or those refusing to wait hours for one photo op could just go back to their hotel and at least have been partially satisfied. I was determined to stay for the fireworks but I can’t blame anyone who left early. I was just sitting around for two hours waiting for the fireworks. I certainly would have been willing to spend that two hours waiting in a line for characters (plural, as in more than one in that time span) but alas almost all of the character lines were closed by that point. I also would have been willing to stand in line to spend money for merchandise, but alas, everything was gone by then. And I would have even been willing to stand in line for the special food and beverages, but again, they were gone too. So I sat around with nothing to do but listen to the loud, annoying dance party on the main stage for two hours while staking out my spot for the fireworks.

  26. I could not agree with you more. This event was a disaster. The costumes of pain and panic were also clearly ripped and could be seen from the jumbo trons. The freaky show was not disney at all. Fantasmic was the exact same. The pre show had the same pre-show, the hosts were just in poor costumes! I love disney but this was nothing but a disappointment.

  27. Deb –
    It was great seeing you even if we didn’t talk. I was in line behind you when you got front of line access to meet Dr. Hamsterviel. It’s cool they gave you that privilege! It beats waiting 45 minutes like I did. Hopefully you were able to knock out a lot of the character meet & greets that way!

    DEB: actually I did NOT get front of the line access. I was on the side waiting for Dr. H to come out to get some video. When a Cast Member told everyone to move forward I did, video camera still on. As soon as I realized what had happened and I ended up in front of the line, I went back the way I came in. I did not take anyone’s place and did not have a meet and great.

  28. My wife & I purchased tickets at the time they went on sale for pass holders. We had looked forward to the event for month, but ended up very disappointed. Like you, we seemed to wander aimlessly around the park looking for something to do. We got in line for the 930 Oggie Boggie show & then realized that Fantasmic only had one show, so we moved to that line.

    We had thought the preshow would include villians, but to our surprise we got 3 crowd cheerleaders. I asked a worker if the Fantasmic show was any different than normal & when we learned it was the same we left & went back to Oggie Boggie.

    We like the Oggie Boggie show, but I can see how those with kids would be upset with the risqué dancing girls. After that we rode toy story & watched the fireworks.

    $140 for both of us was not worth one show & a ride we can ride with our AP. We won’t do any one night ticket events in the future.

  29. Thank you for your frank and honest review. I think if I were a family attending that event, I would be furious. Over priced and over booked. Maybe some of the event organizers need to be there with 2 or 3 children who are in a line for 3 hours just to see a character. I sincerely hope they rethink this event if they wish to continue. DHS is to small for a huge event like this, and perhaps it needs to be held a number of nights and have a smaller limit to the number of tickets sold. Your review was spot on… I hope Disney pays attention to sites like this and social media.

  30. I agree Deb this was one of the biggest let downs for me. I bought this ticket purely to see the characters, and didn’t get to meet any of the “hard popular ones” The event was oversold even if they didn’t “sell out”. I also couldn’t get a map at 7p. I also didn’t care for the Oogie Show, it didn’t say “Disney to me” not a bad show just not “Disney”. The lines were insane. One FP+ was suggested also by a person standing in a 15 min line with me for Dr Hamsterviel.

    I also would have liked to have seen a parade or the Hades show being offered multiple times like the Castle Show at MK Parties.

    On a bright note the event fireworks were awesome, and for once the parking lot had it together. We lingered for about 30min after the fireworks and the parking lot was cleared. Unlike what I had experienced in the past this was a pleasant surprise.

    Overall though, not a pleasant experience. Definitely not worth the price of admission.

  31. It sounds as disappointing as the similar event they had for free last year. That one was a terribly un-fun disaster and this one doesn’t sound too far off. One of the draws to these events is the special merchandise and running out before the event even starts is really just unacceptable. Fortunately, last year they were selling the t-shirt online at the Disney Store so I got it that way (I actually bought the Disneyland version instead because I liked the characters on it more.). Maybe Disney will get it right next year (a big help would be having more the event on multiple nights to avoid the horrendous crowds).

  32. Deb, I wholeheartedly agree. We were sorely disappointed in the closure of lines, lack of merchandise, and sold out specialty food quite early. Our saving grace was riding Tower of Terror with a few villains, however, I know this was not a typical experience. Hopefully Disney will take the social media commentary as constructive criticism.

    DEB: How cool to ride TOT with Villains! What a magical moment!

  33. Thank you so much for this review! I had hoped to be in town for this event, and was so disappointed to miss it – and by only a week! As much as I love Disney, I appreciate reading honest reviews of things when they don’t work, especially by people who love it as much as I do. I feel like even Disney can learn to do some things better, and it’s people like you, the really die hard fans, who can help them see the mistakes and make the experience even better next time. This was great to read!