There’s a phrase in my family to indicate that something was not very good. Since we’re positive people, we put a positive spin on it and say that it was “really average.” Hence my assessment of the Villains Unleashed event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 23, 2014.
What made it less than the usual Disney level of awesomeness? In a word, crowds. Since this was a hard ticketed event, we were led to believe that only a set number of tickets would be sold, justifying the rather steep price per ticket, and ostensibly leading to a lower crowd than on a normal evening. Our suspicions were aroused when we went to Hollywood Studios the day before the event and saw “Villains Unleashed – tickets still available!” signs all over the park. This did not bode well for our low-crowd plans.
We caught some of the opening show, hosted by Hades, which was cute. The crowd was so massive, however, that we could only get a good view on the big screen. Two members of our nine-person group went to Oogie Boogie’s Freaky Funhouse and said that it was, indeed, freaky – featuring such things as fire artists and a sword swallower. Did they like it? Kind of. At least parts of it.
As for the special hot dogs with villain-themed buns, we tried to order them, but were told that they were out of the buns. Note that this was three hours before the event ended.
As for most of the event-specific offerings (merchandise, specialty drinks, entry to “Club Evil” for special food and drink items, meet-and-greets with the villains), the wait times were at least an hour. In most cases, the wait times were multiple hours. I’m not going to stand in line for four hours out of a five hour party to meet Maleficent. Would you?
The swag bags given out as guests departed were nice. However, only two out of our party of nine received them. Try explaining that to the kids.
Okay, enough of the negative. Let’s get back to the positives. In my opinion, there were two:
- The wait times for Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Star Tours were virtually nonexistent. They were pretty much walk-ons. (Toy Story Midway Mania still had quite the line.)
- It was super fun to wear costumes into a Disney park.
Yup, that’s it. Worth the hundreds of dollars we dropped on event tickets? No way. Not even close.
Oh, one last thing… I heard the fireworks were really good. A couple members of our group stayed for them. The rest of us had gone back to the resort long before the closing fireworks, disheartened by the lack of Disney magic on a very expensive evening.