One of my favorite special ticketed events at Walt Disney World is Disney After Hours. I’ve shared with you how much fun I had at both the Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios versions. I have not attended the regular version of Disney After Hours at the Magic Kingdom, but it’s on my to-do list. Epcot does not have an After Hours event. When I was invited by Disney to attend the first ever Disney Villains After Hours for Disney Dining, I jumped at the opportunity. That’s not an exaggeration. I was told by a friend that she had been invited and I refreshed my email repeatedly for the next couple of hours, hoping that I was about to receive an invitation. I think I squealed when it came.
The idea behind all of the Disney After Hours events is great. For an extra price you and a limited number of other guests can visit the park in question for three hours. The number of guests is extremely limited, allowing you to see parts of the park nearly empty. A lot of the rides are walk on. (When we went to the one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, my daughter and I rode Slinky Dog Dash twice and got pictures with Buzz, Woody, and Jessie in the last five minutes of the night.) You can get into the park two hours early with your ticket. It is not like Early Morning Magic where you also need a park ticket for the day.
Once again, my daughter attended Disney Villains After Hours with me, and we had a great time. This was the first of the three events where I felt like we ran out of time. We could have easily spent another hour or two in the park. I think that’s because the Magic Kingdom is so big, and there is so much to do there. We still hit all of the major rides and some of the smaller ones, so we didn’t walk away disappointed.
If you’re headed to Disney Villains After Hours I have a couple of pieces of advice. First, make sure that you arrive two hours early! You don’t want to be entering the park when the crowd from the day is leaving. Arrive early, and hit a few rides or grab something to eat. Take advantage of those two extra hours.
Second, there is a stage show for Disney Villains After Hours called Villains Unite the Night. It’s a great show and has five of the most infamous villains, but it takes up a huge chunk of the evening. The final performance was at 1:00am, which is when all of the rides closed, so I would recommend that you see the last one. Stick around, because after the show Maleficent will make her rounds one more time. She follows the parade route a few times during the night (the times are printed with the map/guide) and you don’t want to miss it! There’s something fun about seeing Maleficent at night.
One of the extras that you will receive during any Disney After Hours event is Mickey ice cream or fruit bars, popcorn, and bottled water or soda. I saw fairly long lines at a couple of the stands, while others had no one. There are plenty of places to get your treats, you don’t have to wait in line.
There are no characters out and about during Disney Villains After Hours. You can still see some, they just aren’t posing for pictures with guests. The Main Street, U.S.A. Train Station is a great place to look.
Out of the three Disney After Hours events that I attended, this was my least favorite, but we still had an incredible time. It was fantastic. (The other two were just that good!) I am glad that Disney offered to sponsor us. I highly recommend any of the Disney After Hours experiences. Disney Villains After Hours is running only ten times total, and then it goes back to Disney After Hours, without the villains. Lighter crowds, great castle projections, popcorn and ice cream, and a fire breathing dragon; what a great way to spend an evening.