Review: Villains Unite the Night Stage Show

Villains: Unite the Night is a Magic Kingdom stage show performed exclusively at the Villains After Hours events. As mentioned in our full review of Villains After Hours here, the show is one of two pieces of entertainment added for the premium price over the standard After Hours event.

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In this post, we will take an in depth look at Disney’s newest castle stage show, including over 70 photos from the show. We’ll also dig into how it compares against other recent castle shows.

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The show runs 3 times each event, with the last show beginning right as the event ends. This allows you to extend the event by an extra 20 minutes (30 with Maleficent’s last ride through) if you choose to wait for the last showing. For a supposedly hard cap on attendance, the hub around the stage was packed for all 3 showings.

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While its tempting to try and get as close as possible, I recommend staying back a bit and watching from the other side of the street in front of the Partners statue. You will be far less likely to have your view blocked by cell phones and shoulder kids from back here. You will also have a bit more breathing room as it can get really crammed in at the area right in front of the stage.

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The show is started off by Skeleton Faced DJ Fella (I can only assume that’s his actual name). Soon, the nameless dance ensemble makes its way on stage for an opening number. This follows the same basic show starting formula as the most recent castle shows for the holiday parties.

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Judging by their outfits, this group would feel right at home in the Foot Soldier hangout from 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

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Soon enough, the stars of our show arrive. Hades is your main host for the show, with Megara close by his side. She’s not there by choice as the show takes place during the time where she was still in debt to Hades for saving her ex and was trying to earn her freedom.

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The general plot is that all the planets are aligning which for some reason will allow Hades to take over the world. It has something to do with a prophecy of some sort. It’s a thinly thrown together plot which isn’t really important in terms of enjoying the show.

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Hades has a few good lines thrown in, but most of his dialogue isn’t all that great. Disney definitely isn’t hiring James Woods back at this point, which i get, but his replacement here doesn’t bring the same charisma to the character.

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More villains begin to show up and each seems to think the prophecy is about themselves. First up is everyone’s favorite evil sorcerer, Jafar.

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In lieu of song / dance numbers as found in the recent holiday party shows, this villain show opts for some circus like stunt performers instead… think the blade / fire twirling guy from Festival of the Lion King. It’s a creative idea, but with mixed results unfortunately.

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Jafar brings along these sword twirlers.

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Frankly, these guys were pretty boring to watch. I’m sure the swords are heavy but the twirling seemed very slow. They didn’t bring anything I hadn’t seen before and honestly, the Festival of the Lion King guy does the same type thing but much better.

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Hades isn’t all that impressed… I don’t blame him.

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The Evil Queen is next up.DSC_5670

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She brings along her buddy The Huntsman.

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Megara is a fan…

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Hades is not…

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Instead of swords, this guy twirls and axe, as well as throws it in the air and catches it from time to time.

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He was a much faster twirler than the sword guys but he dropped his axe at least 4 times. I kinda felt bad for him by the end.

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I’m impressed they were able to get the Winter Soldier to play this role though…

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Luckily, the criminally underrated Dr. Facilier (from the also underrated Princess and the Frog) shows up to save the show.

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The Shadowman has come to fulfill the prophecy for himself…

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Thankfully, he finally brings along some awesome entertainment.

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These fire manipulators were a delight to watch.

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Their performance was both visually stunning and looked legit dangerous.

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Seriously, look at how awesome this is!

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Dr Facilier is ready to strike a deal but Hades isn’t so sure…

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Finally, Disney’s best baddie arrives to bring everyone together.

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Maleficent convinces everyone that the planets aligning is not the prophecy, but rather its that all of the villains coming together (to align?).

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This leads to a pretty solid pyrotechnics finale. I was impressed by the amount of fireworks in each show. They are all launched from the castle and don’t last more than a minute or so, but its definitely more than the typical castle show.

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In the end, all the villains “unite” and decide to take over the world together.

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The end… The show ends with us all about to meet our doom I guess. All’s well that ends well I suppose.

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Overall, while the show has its moments, the full package leaves a bit to be desired. The villains actually don’t do much themselves, instead leaving most of the heavy lifting to the stunt performers. Since we found the quality of those performers to be mixed, that’s our general feeling of the show as a whole.

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When compared to the Hocus Pocus show at MNSSHP or Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration at MVMCP, this show does not live up to either of those. It’s not even in the same ballpark. It’s disappointing since Disney has been hitting it out of the park with most of its recent stage shows. This has more of the feel of Disney throwing together something quick in order to charge more for its After Hours event.

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If you are already attending Villain’s After Hours, I fully encourage you to check this show out. However its our opinion that this show, along with the Maleficent dragon float appearances are not enough to justify paying the premium price for the Villains version of the event.

 

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