'Sup! Tad here. Are you ready to take a walk on the sinister side? For select nights this summer, you can stay past park hours and party with your favorite Disney villains! It's about time they get some recognition, right?
Magic Kingdom is transformed at night thanks to special lighting and music throughout the park, creating a foreboding atmosphere before Hades, Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent take over the universe in a brand-new stage show.
In addition to the Villains Unite the Night show, Maleficient the Dragon stalks the park at night for the first time ever. You may even see some surprise villains before you leave. (Just know that the villains aren't available for meet-and-greets.)
With special merchandise and food offerings and an after-hours atmosphere fitting of the most vile villains, there's fun for every froggy at Villains After Hours events. Let's hop into all of the dastardly deets!
Guide to Villains After Hours Events
Villains After Dark Overview and Dates
When my parents told me I'd get to experience yet another After Hours event, I was already stoked. When they told me it had a special villains theme, I leapt with excitement! (I also practiced my best evil laugh. When in Rome, y'know?)
Just like After Hours events at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests get to stick around long after the park has closed (1 a.m. to be exact!), making lines super short, and ice cream, soda and popcorn are all included with your admission. At Villains After Hours, though, the villains take over Magic Kingdom with special entertainment, ride overlays, food and merch.
The events themselves take place on Thursday evenings from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., though party guests can enter Magic Kingdom as early as 7 p.m. (extra ride time, oh yeah!)
Disney Villains After Hours Events at Magic Kingdom (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
- 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, Aug. 1, 2019
- Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019
Tickets are limited for each date and can sell out, so be sure to plan ahead and buy them in advance. Villains After Hours tickets can be purchased in advance for $139 per adult or child (plus tax), or $144 per adult or child (plus tax) for same-day admission. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can purchase tickets in advance for $109 per adult or child (plus tax). Or, you can save some extra green and purchase through your favorite theme park frogs!
Arriving at Villains After Hours
Villains After Hours guests are able to enter Magic Kingdom as early as 7 p.m. You'll see cast members directing party-goers to a specific entry lane with an After Hours sign; once you scan your MagicBand or ticket, you'll also receive a wristband. (If you'll already be at Magic Kingdom during the day, there are wristband stations set up around the park, as well. No need to exit and re-enter!)
Your wristband is your golden ticket, as once the park closes, you'll need to show your wristband at each ride or land that you'd like to access, while guests without wristbands will be corralled towards the exit.
Once the park officially closes, the castle will change to more creepy colors and malevolent music will fill the park. The villains have arrived!
Attractions and Entertainment at Villains After Hours
Attractions and Wait Times
Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain each get a slightly wicked makeover with special enhancements. We thought the Pirates of the Caribbean overlay with live actors was super cool. The actor somehow still looked like he was an animatronic on the ride! There are no jump scares, so this is safe for tadpoles, though the live actors do issue some warnings in the queue that can be a little foreboding. (This ride overlay is similar to what happens during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.)
If you're a Space Mountain fan like me, make sure you hop on that rocket ship! Riding in complete darkness — and not knowing what would come next — was so rad! (Lily sat that one out with Mommy Frog.)
In total, we were able to hit about 10 attractions during this event! You could definitely do more if you hop to it, but we took our time to enjoy the entertainment and treats, as well as the decor, so we weren't the speediest frogs at the event. We also rode Pirates about four times in a row, but that's besides the point. A Pirate's life for me! Over 20 attractions are open during Villains After Hours, including:
- Haunted Mansion
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jungle Cruise
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Pirates of the Caribbean*
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Mickey's PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan's Flight
- "it's a small world"
- Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid
- The Barnstormer
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Space Mountain*
- Astro Oribiter
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
*Villainous Adventure Overlays
Wait times were minimal. Most were 5 to 20 minutes, with the longest at 35 minutes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. The lines also waned as the night went on.
Villains Unite the Night Stage Show and Maleficent at Night
At 11 p.m., 12 p.m. and 1 a.m., you can catch Hades, Meg, Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier and the original baddie herself, Maleficent, for an all-new stage show at Cinderella Castle. The planets have aligned and Hades is ready to take over the universe! Too bad the other villains feel their evil calling, too. Who will reign as the ultimate villain? For parents of tadpoles, Lily was toadally fine with this show. While the villains are present and their nature is a little, well, evil, there's nothing overtly scary hoppening. (In fact, you may even find yourself chuckling at Hades' rapid-fire one-liners.) The stage show itself is nothing to write home about, but the fireworks and projections on the castle are worth catching!
For the first time ever, Maleficent is stalking the night in her dragon form. Her route begins and ends in Frontierland at 10:40 p.m., 11:45 p.m. or 1:20 a.m. (We highly recommend catching Maleficent, but if you've got a tadpole, step back from the route a little. Some of the henchmen get a little too close for comfort, and there are some loud noises.) If you really want to make every minute of your night count, having Maleficent escort you out of the park at the end of the event is the way to go. That'll put you out of the park closer to 1:30 a.m. rather than the "official" party end time of 1 a.m.
Face Painting ($)
From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., for an additional charge, you can show off your sinister side with face painting designs at Fantasy Faire. Lily thought it was a fun way to enhance her Descendants-inspired outfit!
Food and Merchandise at Villains After Hours
Unlimited popcorn, ice cream bars and drinks (bottled water and Coke products) are included with your admission. But you can also find some specialty themed food and drinks around the park at the following locations:
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Main Street Bakery - Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake
- Casey's Corner - De Vil's Treat (brownie topped with black and white icing)
- Tortuga Tavern - Hades Nachos and Hades Temptation (frozen non-alcoholic purple cosmo topped with a gummy worm)
- Liberty Square Popcorn Cart - Headless Horseman Brownie (half cookie, half brownie topped with Headless Horseman chocolate piece)
- Sleepy Hollow - Dr. Facilier's Tarot Card Tart (chocolate tart shell, peanut butter filling and dark chocolate ganache with tarot card chocolate piece) and A Drink From the Other Side
- Storybook Treats - Maleficent Cone and Dragon's Breath Float (lemon soft-serve, cherry syrup and Sprite topped with dragon's eyes ... aka green cherries)
- Cool Ship - Intergalactic Noodles and Yzma's Llama Potion ("transformative" strawberry chilled concoction covered by an evil cloud)
We found some of the drinks a little sweet for our taste (even that sugar-fiend Lily), but our fave was Dr. Facilier's Tarot Card Tart. On a hoppy note, most portions are large enough to share (if you're in a giving mood, that is).
Villains After Dark Merchandise
A super hopful cast member let us know that some of the villainous merchandise is available anytime. If you want merchandise exclusive to the event, look for the tumbler, t-shirt and ornament featuring the event logo. Most of the merchandise can be found at Fantasy Faire, though you can also stop by Plaza el Sol Caribe Bazaar, Memento Mori, Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. and Mickey's Star Traders.
Villains After Hours Tips and Strategies
- We really loved the DJ at Cinderella Castle! He played some songs that made Mommy Frog groove, but also some jams for Lily and me. There are treat carts all around the hub, which meant it was a great place to get our sugar fix in and then dance it off (or so Mommy Frog said!) If you time it right, you can also catch Maleficent come around the hub before the first showing of Villains Unite the Night. (We caught the early show just in case Lily was too tired later, but for big frogs, you can also catch Maleficent at the very end of the night!)
- While Lily came with us and stuck around because, well, vacation, this event runs later than the other After Hours events, so it might not be right for some little ones with early bedtimes. (Mommy Frog was ready to hop back to the hotel with Lily just in case.)
- If you aren't into the stage show, skip it. Seeing the castle lit up in villainous colors was toadally awesome, but if rides are your priority, hop to those instead.
- Be sure to take advantage of early admission, and grab some dinner before the party starts to maximize your in-park time ... and to save room for treats!
- Speaking of treats, it's smart to plan what you want ahead of time. Just wanting to fill up on Mickey Bars? Cool! Looking to get a couple of villainous extras? Go easy on the Mickey bars! Pick up a special event map at the entrance. Knowing where to find your faves helps make sure you don't miss it amid all of the fiendish fun going on. (Mommy Frog took notes ... she's serious about snacks!)
- If you don't care about catching Happily Ever After, it's a great time to hop on some rides! (Just know that parts of Fantasyland will be closed off for safety purposes, so be sure to plan your route accordingly.)
- Keep an eye out for special decor throughout the park! There are Easter eggs around every dark and ominous corner ;)
- You won't bump into any villains outside of the stage show, though. There are no meet-and-greets available at this event.
- Stick around after Maleficent finishes her final trek in Town Square. A surprise ensemble of villains say farewell from the train station upstairs. We saw the Bowler Hat Guy, Queen of Hearts, Gaston, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook and the Big Bad Wolf. Some of them even had microphones and were bantering with guests!
- If you plan on attending Villains After Hours, consider not visiting with your regular park admission during the day. Instead, sleep in, enjoy your resort or Disney Springs, and then head to the park at 7 p.m. to get the party started. That way, you aren't paying two admission prices and will also be well-rested for the festivities.
- Be sure to double-check your resort transportation home! While limited buses will be running, other modes of transportation may not be. For example, we were staying at Fort Wilderness and were told the ferryboat would be around to take us home (spoiler: it wasn't). Especially if you have littles like Lily, it may be worth getting an Uber or Lyft (Minnie Vans may not be running that late) to avoid tacking on extra travel time at the end of a long night.
- Dress your worst (or best)! Feel free to Disneybound for this event, but keep Disney costume guidelines in mind.
Is Villains After Hours Worth It?
This question is always tough to answer, as it varies by family. For us, since we had another day at Magic Kingdom to get our "daytime" park fix in, we thought this was a great enhancement. Of all of the After Hours events, Villains has wicked fun theming, the most rides open (with special overlays on a couple) and villainous extras like sweets and treats to make things extra enjoyable. Who could say no to staying in Magic Kingdom after it closes?! We think you'll enjoy it, too, if:
- The rides offered are on your must-dos and you're ready for low wait times.
- You don't mind missing some of the daytime park features, such as Festival of Fantasy or Move It, Shake It, Mouskedance It. If you've got another full Magic Kingdom day, this is a great fit for you.
- You're a villain at heart! The themed aspects you can't find on other nights, including the atmosphere and specialty food and beverage, are calling your name.
- You're a night owl looking to beat the heat AND the crowds.
Have you attended Villains After Hours? What did you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!