A Disney Parks Blog Not-So-Scary Soiree

A couple of weeks ago, the Disney Parks Blog posted a sweepstakes for readers to try to win a spot in their next meet-up at Walt Disney World. It would take place at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on September 14th and include tickets to the new Villains’ Sinister Soiree hard ticket even within the party. I caught the window of the sweepstakes just in time and threw my name into the hat and surprising won a spot! I was thrilled because I probably wasn’t going to make it to the party this year otherwise, plus I was able to take my mom to her very first Halloween party!

The following is my recap of the event with a little review of the special ticket event. Also, check out the Disney Parks Blog recap with much better pictures!

CheckIn

The evening began at 4:00 PM when we were able to check in and receive our party credentials. After that, unlike previous meet-ups I have attended, we were pretty much free to enjoy the party as we wished. At least until 11:45, which was the assigned dessert party time for all meet-up attendees. The Villains’ Sinister Soiree includes a dessert party in Cinderella’s castle and there are two seatings per night. Ours was the later seating.

Credentials!
Credentials!

First order of business was to get some dinner before the party started at 7:00pm. Our go-to counter service meal is usually Columbia Harbour House so that’s where we headed. After that, we rode a few rides with little wait.

At 7:30 we were able to enter the reserved viewing section for the first Boo-To-You parade. This section is reserved for anyone who buys tickets for the Villains Soiree and is located in the Hub in front of the castle. If you’ve ever had a Fastpass+ reservation for the Festival of Fantasy parade, it’s that same area.

Once we showed our credentials and got into the area, we were offered to take water bottles from the ice coolers. They were the small, kid-sized bottles, but we were able to take as many as we wanted which was welcome given how humid it was. Then a lovely cast member from New Zealand asked us if we wanted to know what the best spot for the parade was. Of course we said yes, and he led us over to the Liberty Square side of the Hub, right in front of the bridge. This way we could see them coming head-on and then make the turn to go in front of the castle.

Our View
Our View
Jester Goofy behind us
Jester Goofy behind us

The spot was great and my mom loved her first parade experience – especially the Haunted Mansion section! Here are a few of the pictures I took.

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Next, we had to decide if we wanted to stay on the reserved section for the fireworks. I was worried we would be too close to the castle, but we opted to stay since we had plenty of space to move around. We also caught the Villains Mix and Mingle show while we waited. It ended up being fine and we had a great view.

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We then had a couple of hours to kill before the dessert part so it was time for trick-or-treating. If I’m not mistaken, there are few more treat stations this year. The party wasn’t crowded at all so the cast members were being very generous with their handouts! At one point we decided to sit in the relative coolness of the Tomorrowland Terrace and rest a bit, Our timing was good because we ended up being able to see a little bit of the second parade as it travelled down Main Street!

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Candy!
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Cadaver Dans!

Soon it was time to head to Cinderella Castle for the main event: the Villains’ takeover. Once we were let into the lobby, the Queen of Hearts and Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine were meeting. If no one went up for a picture, they would heckle the crowd. For example, I was wearing a villains t-shirt that did not include the Queen of Hearts. She was not pleased! I was also wearing Maleficent Mickey ears and Drizella told me about Maleficent being her and Anastasia’s babysitter when they were little and let them have all the candy. Ha!

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Finally we were let up to the main dining room. We had assigned tables and footmen led us to them. We got a table by the windows! On the table was a personalized menu, an autograph card, a Maleficent cup filled with candy, and a plate of cheeses and meats. We were also given a drink named after Captain Hook named the Captain’s Not-So-Poisoned Potion. It was pretty sweet, but I thought the poisoned apple glow cube was cute.

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Around this time, the villains made their grand entrance and presented their themed desserts. They also made their rounds at the tables. This was definitely the highlight. Great interaction with all of the villains! At one point, Lady Tremaine and her daughters performed a musical number for us: a mash-up of Sweet Nightingale and Royals by Lordes. Hilarious! I wish I had a good video of it.

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The desserts themselves were awesome in their presentations and just okay in taste. Nothing really stood out.

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Soon, it was time to leave. Keeping in character, Lady Tremaine basically just kicked us out! We were given parting gifts of posters and a hitchhiking ghost from the Parks Blog (these things do not usually come with the Villains’ Sinister Soiree ticket, but everything else I’ve mentioned does).

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Cute vinylmation

We walked out to a pretty empty Magic Kingdom since the party had been over for almost an hour. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I didn’t have to get up for work the next day!

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I had a really fun time at this meet-up. So grateful to the Disney Parks Blog for hosting us, with the help of some pretty cool villains.. I know the big question is whether or not the Villains’ Sinister Soiree ticket is worth the extra cost on top of a party ticket. Honestly, it probably depends on what you want out of it. For me, it wouldn’t be. The reserved spots for the parade and fireworks are really worth much, especially at a party that isn’t very crowded. The party in the castle is a lot of fun, and being in the castle is special and the atmosphere with the villains is awesome, but for me it wouldn’t be worth the $99 extra. And if I were buying a ticket, I would definitely want the later seating so I could still enjoy most of the party. If you really want to spend some quality time with these villains though, it might be worth it for you.

Have you been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? Would you or have you attended the Villains’ Sinister Soiree? Who is your favorite villain?

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Unleash The Villains With Kelly (@kelbelle)

Unleash The Villains Set Up

Kelly Hicks takes us along as she went to

Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Unleash the Villains!

When Disney first announced their Limited Time Magic celebration last year, I thought it sounded like so much fun. As a local, I knew I would be able to experience the majority of them and I was really looking forward it. The offerings have been a hit or miss for me, but I have been able to take part in most of the ones I have been interested in. Highlights for me have included Long Lost Friends week, the special President’s Day Voices of Liberty concerts, and Merida’s coronation. Each week I look to twitter to see what will be announced for the upcoming week’s Limited Time Magic.

One of the events mentioned in the original Limited Time Magic presentation immediately caught my eye and I would have to wait almost a year for it to take place: Friday, September 13. It would be called Unleash the Villains and would be held at Hollywood Studios until 1 a.m. I knew that I wanted to try to attend this one when the time came.

Leading up to last Friday, I started getting a little anxious about getting to the Studios for the villains event. I wasn’t able to take off work and I knew it would be crowded. The Studios parking lot has been known to close due to reaching capacity before.

As soon as the clock struck 5:00 that afternoon, I was out of the office, home to pick up my mom and to change into villains wear, and out the door again by 5:20. We were approaching the parking tollbooths by 6:00 and I knew luck and good timing were on our side. It wasn’t too backed up yet and soon enough we were walking through the gates.

Since we knew crowds would probably be crazy, we definitely had our priorities. I wanted to go to at least one character meet and the Villainy in the Sky fireworks show was a must see. Beyond that, anything else would be bonus.

After a quick dinner at Fairfax Fare, we decided to head of to Echo Lake to wait for the character meets. From reading Twitter earlier in the day, I knew that there were only three meet and greet locations so lines were sure to be long. After winding our way through the crowd gathering at the stage in front of the Sorcerer hat, we got in line at the first location. Characters were due at 8:30 and it wasn’t even 7:00 at this point. Lines were already outside the queues that were set up so it was basically just a somewhat organized mass of people. No one knew at that point which characters would be meeting where and since the lines were so long we figured we’d wait once, move on and be happy with the outcome. It felt kind of like Let’s Make a Deal and we chose door number one!

The event officially started at 8:00 p.m. at the stage, but from where we were we couldn’t see what was happening over there. Due to the amount of people there, characters didn’t arrive until almost 9:00.  I imagine they had a very hard time making it through all the people. While waiting, we found out that we were in line for either the Queen from Snow White or Shan-Yu from Mulan. The other two locations would feature Jafar or Oogie Boogie, and Maleficent or Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons. Each pair would switch off with each other every 30 minutes.

Unleash The Villains Meeting Shan Yu

We were lucky enough to be able to meet Shan-Yu! He was appropriately intimidating and gave us a creepy red-eyed stare. From where our line was situated, we were also able to get some good pictures of Oogie Boogie and Jafar.

After that, we decided we needed a break from the crowds and something to drink before grabbing a fireworks spot. This is where we encountered our major issue with the event: not enough food and beverage locations. Everywhere we tried, it was either closed or the lines were very long. We could have used a few extra carts set up.

I found a fireworks spot in the street, while mom decided to stick to the sidewalk where she could have more breathing room. While we waited, we could finally enjoy some of what was going on onstage. They had a giant screen set up so even those of us further back to see well. I hope they add this to Star Wars Weekends next year!

Unleash The Villains DJ Iggnite

DJ Iggnite alternated with Bernie Briquette and the Brimstones for musical entertainment. Hades, Meg, Pain, and Panic from Hercules also made appearances onstage. These entertainers did a fantastic job and even grabbed the attention of those of us further back.

Unleash The Villains Hades

Unleash The Villains Megara, Pain, and Panic

Unleash The Villains Villainry in the Sky

Finally it was fireworks time! Such an amazing show! This alone was worth it for me. Villainy in the Sky featured an incredible musical score, including music from The Hunchback of Notre Dame – one of my favorites! I would love to see these fireworks used again some time!

I knew the crowd would thin out some after the fireworks, so we walked around some to take some more character pictures and grab autograph cards that we missed the first time around. We hung out around the stage for the rest of the event. Some villains, like the Big Bad Wolf, Cruella, Captain Hook, and Frollo, wandered around and dance with the crowd. Each of them were followed by waves of people trying to get pictures.

Unleash The Villains on Stage

Unleash The Villains Hades getting down

Unleash The Villains Oogey Boogey

Unleash The Villains Jafar

The band and Hades led sing-a-longs with songs by The Beatles and Queen. As we approached the end of the night, Hades re-introduced all of the villains that were present, some of whom I hadn’t seen yet. There was a fun party atmosphere through the end.

Unleash The Villains Bowler Hat Guy

Overall, I had a great time at this event. Yes, it was incredibly crowded and there were problems associated with that. The meet-and-greets could have been organized a lot better and setting up more food and beverage carts would have helped alleviate the long lines. I did see cast members throughout the night that worked incredibly hard to keep the crowds organized and moving.  I would still do it all over again and I hope Disney will feature villains and other rare characters more often in the future.

Thanks to my mom, Sherry (@sbeanyears) for hanging out with me that night. Also thanks to Heather (@heatherw25) and Dave(@fotodave) for keeping me in the loop with what was going on.

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