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by Fantasmic Diva

Last night I was one of the privileged few who got to attend the Unleash the Villains event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I say lucky, because, due to disorganization, a lot of people were turned away because the parking lot reached capacity long before the event even started. This is a review, and an honest one at that. We at Disney Diva are committed to giving you HONEST reviews to ensure that you don’t waste time and valuable money while on your next Disney vacation. 
I will start right off by saying, I had an amazing time and none of the following changed that. It was a “wickedly” excellent party, hosted by the god of the underworld himself and a cult favorite villain of many, Hades. He was joined by his henchmen, Pain and Panic and his lovely assistant, Meg! It was amazing to see these rare characters in person, as they are seldom in the parks or in parades for that matter.The other villains that were out and about as Hades 12 invited guests were Maleficent, the mistress of all evil herself, the Wicked Queen, Shan Yu from Mulan, the Big Bad Wolf, Cruelle De Ville, Governor Radcliffe from Pocahontas, Judge Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dr. Facilier, the Shadowman from the Princess and the Frog, Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas, The Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons and Jafar from Aladdin. They all looked great…however, I only got to meet the Shadowman.

I will explain my criticism of the event by saying how things could have gone differently.It should have been a ticketed event like the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The park was far too crowded for anything to run smoothly and the traffic was beyond awful! Luckily I took the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center from the Magic Kingdom and then took a bus to Hollywood Studios and arrived by around 9:30 pm. Getting through security and ticketing was pretty simple.

There should have been a schedule for the villains meet and greets. They were a fiasco. Frollo, Shadowman, Big Bad Wolf, Radcliffe and Cruella were only taking photos on the dance floor in front of Hades Hang Out and trying to get to them was a nightmare. I manager to hip check my way to Facilier but after him I gave up. I have to admit though, watching Frollo break it down to the DJ’s music was really funny!

The other villains were set up in an awful queue. Guests waited in a line to get to a cast member who asked them which villain they wanted to see. Once they chose, they moved to another line where they would meet the villain they wanted OR the villain who was switching out with them…ummm no guarantee that I would meet a specific villain, I don’t think so!! The pairs were Maleficent OR Bowler Hat Guy, Oogie Boogie OR Jafar, and Shan Yu OR Evil Queen. It was a mess and there was no knowing who you were going to see.

I got in the line around 11:30 hoping to meet Maleficent and was told by a cast member around 11:45 that I was wasting my time and I would not meet the characters. At first they were handing out the cards with the email address to send an email to to get an autographed photo of whoever you wanted to see…however, they ran out of those too. So I walked away empty handed to enjoy the rest of the show at Hades Hangout. There should have been a line similar to the Princesses in Town Square Theatre where the villains were all in one area and you moved through a queue to meet a bunch of them. There could even have been two of them, anything to make it more efficient.

And forget about asking a cast member for help, there was a huge disconnect between the cast members and the information, NO ONE knew what was going on, there should have been more meetings or something to make sure everyone had accurate information. Honestly, I felt very sorry for those working the event.

Merchandise was totally sold out before the event even got started. Any of the exclusive merchandise that was supposed to start being sold at 8pm when the party began was being sold beforehand and there was no chance of getting my hands on any of it. Luckily, it will be on this week and for a few weeks to come.

It all boils down to the level of unpreparedness for the event. Disney did not anticipate the event being this popular or crowded. They have always underestimated the fandom for the villains. Villains fans are devoted because the villains are hard to come by and an event created just for them was the chance of a lifetime for villains fans and they should have anticipated the popularity of the event.

With all of that said, it had the potential to be an amazing event! Hades and Meg were amazing hosts, the DJ and the band, the Brimstones, were absolutely awesome!! The stage was incredibly cool! It was nice to see Hercules characters and to hear Hades actually be able to talk. He was great!!The fireworks were the best part of the whole night, I would estimate that they used 3-4 times the amount of fireworks that are used for Wishes. They were all set to Villains music like Chernobog’s theme, Hellfire, Be Prepared and the Fantasmic Music.

All in all, a wicked night and a great concept! I recommend Disney do it again, but make it a ticketed event and spend much more time ensuring that it is organized.