Villains’ Soiree – Wickedly Disappointing

| September 2, 2014 | 73 Replies

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite events of the year.  It marks the start of the fall season at WDW, it means Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival  is only a few weeks away, it means cooler weather is coming and before you know it – Christmas!  But beyond all that, I look forward to MNSSHP because it’s a consistently great experience and I always walk away feeling that I’d gotten my money’s worth.   Yes, it’s a $70 per person hard ticket event – but, in exchange for that you get some great entertainment, a great parade, amazing fireworks, trick-or-treating opportunities, a decent number of attractions with shorter than average waits and an overall vibe that could only be accomplished at the Magic Kingdom.   For me, that’s worth $70 and I don’t complain about paying it.

 

I was excited, intrigued and a little skeptical when I heard that Disney was adding a special VIP event to this years MNSSHP offerings.  Entitled The Villains’ Sinister Soiree:  A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle,” this special event consisted of a preferred viewing area for the “Boo To You” Halloween parade, as well as the HalloWishes fireworks show topped off with a dessert reception at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  The cost of the event is $99 (in addition to the $70 hard ticket cost) and runs twice each night during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party.

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My skepticism (and I was not alone on this) was based on two things.  First, the price point.  $99 is expensive for what amounts to a dessert party.  Second, I was fresh from licking my wounds after the debacle that was Villains Unleashed! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few weeks before.  Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try.

MNSSHP officially begins at 7pm, although your ticket will get you in the gates at 4pm.  You check in for the VIP party at the Main Street hub at 7:30, and linger in the expansive area in front of Cinderella Castle that is cordoned off exclusively for those who purchased the Villains Soiree ticket.  This area was large, not crowded and provided a great vantage point for the parade (one of my favorite parades, by the way).

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However, this is probably one of the worst locations to watch the fireworks as the castle obstructs the view of most of the ‘big’ explosions.  That being said, I completely understand why this area was chosen – it was a good choice logistically and even though it wasn’t great for the fireworks, they were still spectacular. I felt as though I had paid a premium price for an obstructed view – but I got over it quickly.  After all, the preferred viewing area wasn’t why I purchased this ticket – it was the Soiree itself in Cinderella Castle.  I had high hopes for this event, and unfortunately those hopes were dashed.

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There are two seatings for the dessert party each night, and ours was the first seating at 10:15.  We were told to check in at 9:55 and waited for them to open the doors.  Upon entering the foyer, a precursor of what was to come unfolded.  The foyer had several characters posing for photos – Judge Claude Frolo, the Queen of Hearts, and Captain Hook.  I was excited to get some photos, but from the minute we walked in, cast members were shouting at everyone to head upstairs because the “show” started in five minutes.  Five minutes??  I just walked in.  Why do you have characters posing for photos if you want people to rush upstairs?  We were assured that these characters would be around during the party (they weren’t) and were constantly encouraged to hurry up to the restaurant.  Like I said, this set the tone for the rest of the event.

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We arrived at our table to find a dragon cup filled with candy, as well as Lady Tremaine’s Classic Castle Favorites – a charcuterie board consisting of blue cheese with honeycomb, triple cream cheese with raspberry habanero sauce, black diamond cheese fondue, a selection of breads and some aged salami.  After being seated, what happened next was a blur.  An onslaught of servers, characters, managers, and songs all clamoring over each other in a disorganized and frenzied cacophony.   Upon being seated we were served Captain Hooks ‘Not-So-Poisoned’ potion – a tart, sweet green apple and lime punch that needed to be stirred to be enjoyed.  No straws were provided for this for some odd reason and if you tried to drink it without stirring, it had the distinct flavor of dishwater.

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Once the drink was served, Lady Tremaine took to the floor to sing us a song and introduce us to the ‘villains’ for the evening.  Those in attendance were Cruella DeVil, Dr. Facilier, the Evil Queen and Maleficent as well as Lady Tremaine’s daughters Anastasia and Drizella.  The opening ‘show’ was very cute – what we didn’t realize is that we should have been devouring our cheese and salami like hungry refugees because no sooner did the 5 minute floor show end then the servers were coming around to take away our plates.  Here’s a tip for servers – don’t ever pull a plate of food out from in front of a fat guy.  It’s a bad idea.  When the server attempted to take my plate, I made it clear I was not finished.  He advised me that they were leaving the cheese and salami, but they were coming out with dessert.  That’s nice, but salami, blue cheese and pistachio mousse aren’t exactly a great blend, so I’ll keep my plate thank you.

In the interim, the characters were making their way from table to table and doing an amazing job of being engaging and entertaining in spite of the fact they all looked as though they were being followed by managers with cattle prods wanting them to hurry up.

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I want to pause here to heap high praise on the characters.  This is something Disney gets right all the time.  They were amazing – just as they were amazing at Villains Unleashed.   They were the highlight of the event.  You could have kept the dessert and the four pieces of salami on the charcuterie board and given us more time with these folks and I would have walked out feeling like I had gotten my money’s worth.

The desserts offered consisted of The Queen’s ‘Bleeding Heart Apple’ – a white wine poached apple with a rhubarb filling, Maleficent’s Dragon-toasted confection – a pistachio mousse topped with meringue, Dr. Facilier’s Chocolate Tarot Card – a dark chocolate covered pecan praline and flourless chocolate torte and Cruella De Vil’s Spotted Chocolate Mousse cake – a white and dark chocolate mousse with raspberry.   Generally speaking the desserts were good – some were outstanding (the pistachio mousse) while others were a bit odd (poached apple and rhubarb).  But overall, very good.

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Keep in mind, all the while this is being served there is an onslaught of characters coming to your table, singing going on in the hall, servers reaching in front of and around you – and then it ends.  Abruptly.  With Lady Tremaine literally saying “that’s it – get out.”  The characters that were in a manic dash just minutes before disappeared as though they were never there.  Servers begin clearing away dishes, and managers came to your table and wished you a good night with a passive aggressive tone that suggests your presence is no longer required.

We entered at 10:15 and were thrown out at 11:15 – whether we were finished or not.  For $99.  That was offensive.  Had we been given maybe another half hour to enjoy this, with the strength of the character interaction, I probably would have walked away feeling that it was expensive, but enjoyable.  Instead, I walked out feeling as though I’d just been ripped off.  I expected better from Disney.  Yes, nothing at Disney comes cheap, but I have always believed that there was quality for what you spend.  In the vast majority of situations, I still feel that way and it will take a lot to change that opinion.  However, where these ‘special events’ are concerned, I see an alarming trend.  Charge more, do less and completely ignore the guest experience.  It’s clear that a manager sat down and looked at the ‘elements’ of this party and determined that they warranted the cost, and on paper they probably do.  Unfortunately in the execution of the event, all value was lost – much the same way it was lost during the Villains Unleashed party.

By the time we left the castle, the Halloween party was close to being over.  I’d spent 4 hours of a 5 hour event on this and honestly, I would have had a much better time if I’d saved my money and just enjoyed an already great party.  Lesson learned – I won’t be doing this again.   I don’t recall ever leaving MNSSHP disappointed until this event.  I actually paid extra to get less.  The time spent on this party meant I wasn’t going on those attractions with low wait times, that I wasn’t going through the trick-or-treat lines or getting to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere that is a hallmark of the Magic Kingdom at Halloween.



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Category: Disney World

  • Vinny

    Personally I think that Maleficent looks awful!

    • Jennifer

      I thought that too when I saw her. What’s up with her eyebrows?!

  • Snaked

    Please Disney, go back into the theme park business and build a villains land people are begging for for many years. You know with a few fun and a bit scary rides, villains meet and greets all day and an appropriate restaurant with amazing food complementing the theme, right theme park stuff everyone who buys an entrance ticked can enjoy year long. And no more over priced and underdeveloped ticketed events that eventually hurt your brand.

    • Amanda

      Snaked, I agree having the villains year around would be great and making an entire theme park dedicated to them would be awesome as well. There is no denial that the villains are in high demand and just limiting them to these hard-ticked events like Villains Unleashed and MNSSHP are making them a hard to meet them, it just upsets me that they are making people pay extra to meet and greet

  • Jon Millwood

    sounds like they’ve got greedy with having two seatings and they need to get the first seating out by 11:15 to get ready for the second seating to arrive by 11:30. Therefore the second seating will be better value as the park is closing at midnight anyway so the Soiree isn’t eating into the rest of your park time and you get to leave around 1am in an empty Magic Kingdom.

    • Nanzees

      Hi Jon,

      I just saw this on another website. It looks like most of the dates only have a 10:15pm seating. So hopefully no rushing for photos or dessert. We have a Oct 5th reservation. Maybe all the kinks will be ironed by then. Enjoy !

      “The Villains’ Sinister Soiree takes place at 10:15 and 11:45 PM on
      September 1, 9, and 12. For all other nights of Mickey’s Not So Scary
      (Sept 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, Oct 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19,
      21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 31), the dessert party will only take place
      at 10:15 PM. Check in will take place from 4-6:30 PM at Will Call
      outside the main entrance to Magic Kingdom. “

      • jayneaves

        We have tickets on the 30th for the late seating 11.30, so this is not correct

        • Nanzees

          ohh. Bummer. I think one seating per night would be much better.
          Enjoy the event. It is our first time so I hope all good things come our way…and yours!

  • Linda Walker

    Wow, shame that they rushed you through so quickly. We have a second seating booked on the final night of the party so I hope they listed to the feedback and try and resolve this

  • Ruthie

    I like this report, it seems you went in with an open mind wanting to like it. I have questions though. Are you saying the characters that are initially the greeters when you first entered did not take pictures with party goers? What about the the villains inside ? When they come to each table are pictures just being taken OF them and not WITH them ? Thanks Pete, Ruthie

    • http://www.wdwinfo.com Pete Werner

      Yes, they were taking pictures with guests. It was that we were being rushed past them as we entered. Some people were taking pictures with the characters. I wanted to as well, but they were saying the show was starting upstairs and I didn’t want to miss it. The characters in the dining room were coming to each table and taking pictures with guests as well. As I said, the characters were fantastic and I have nothing but high praise for them.

      • Ruthie

        Thanks Pete. I am hopeful that since we have the last seating for a night in October we may have a better shot at getting those pictures
        in the entrance. That was pretty lousy that they rushed everyone upstairs and then you never saw those villains again.
        Ruthie

  • Gregory

    Pete you are absolutely right, I’m seeing a trend also and not in the right direction. Between Epcot dessert party and all these other special ticket events which are flopping, time to get some new planners if they are going to do these events who are interested in the guest having a good time.

  • Linda (Auntie L.)

    Nothing worse than paying extra money for an experience and then being rushed out! I agree that MNSSHP is a great time and it adds insult to injury to miss some of it to go to an inferior event – that you PAID FOR – sheesh!
    Thanks, Pete – great blog as always!

  • Jennifer Ososkie

    The concern has been that the villains will be confined to soiree, and if you want to see them at the Halloween party, you’ll have to pay to attend. Can you speak to this? Did you see them out on the park anywhere?

    • Sally

      Maleficent, Evil Queen, and Hook are indeed confined to the Soiree now with the new change.

  • Jennifer Kidd Byus

    Is the rushed experience the same for the late seating?

  • Nikki

    Did you get to take pics with them and their autographs?

  • JoshK47

    I went last night and had an absolute blast. I think they should drop the price point to the 60-70 range, but all in all, a great experience, and I had plenty of time to eat the charcuterie, desserts, take photos with all of the characters, etc. I also found out a tad too late that they offered refills on the “potion, ” alas.

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy your time as much!

    • EmilyR

      Were you able to take pictures with each character (from the entrance and throught the “show” and also get autographs? Thanks

  • Chad

    I agree with this report i had the second seating at the dessert party!! They were rushing us up and out as well! Caused many problems and many people were complaining in our seating especially because our party started late!

  • AliceMouse

    Agreed, Pete. The fact that they charge so much in addition to the event ticket and then you basically miss the event was what turned me off in the first place. Why not offer just the castle portion for like $49, offer it on a regular park night, and actually do it right?

  • Mary Ellen Nunes

    Sad that I am not surprised to read your review after the experience at Villians Unleashed. When I read that they were doing two seating a night, I knew that it would have to be a rushed sort of event from a catering perspective. And you’re right, why did the rush you past the character greeters? Was yours the very first party? I’d like to say maybe they were working out the kinks, but this is Disney…..the expectation is that they worked out the kinks before hand doing trial runs with cast members! Did you get to keep the dragon cup? it looked very cool.

    so let me get this right…you showed up at the party at the onset, were ushered to a spot where you had to wait (some time from the sound of it) for the parade and then fireworks, then shuttled in to the party? that seriously bites that you had to pay for a MNSSHP party because you didn’t get to attend it!

  • Disneytourist

    Sometimes things that Disney does or offers isn’t always magical.

  • Katie

    This unmagical experience you had makes me so sad. I hope that Disney has a division that studies the reactions of guests in order to revamp this to make it a magical experience.

  • Paul Saint

    I had a feeling this was something that was put together a bit too quick. I hate to agree with some. But it DOES seem that some in the Disney management are simply thinking in terms of money. They are the ones that tend to forget that the reason Disney has gain such a following is the fact that it was earned through the Magic of the originator, Walt Disney. With Uncle Walt, QUALITY was what was important to deliver a good show, no matter in what aspect. Let us just hope that the “higher-ups” have begun to learn from this experience and either improve or cut it from the already popular events at WDW.

  • stevenw

    I wonder if the “Soiree” had anything to do with there being no Villains mix and mingle after the “Villains mix and Mingle Live on Stage” show? In past years the villains would come down from the stage after the performance and meet people and pose for photos. This year they just kind of disappeared. There was no clear end to the show. People were standing around wondering if the performance was over or what.

    • Amanda

      Stevenw, It probably does they are encouraging people to pay extra to meet and greet with the charachters. I love Disney but that is just too much. I am really bummed out about it too because I wanted to meet Maleficent and now I learned that they will only be at this dessert party, she and the Evil Queen were originally supposed to be at the Princess Fairytale Hall with Snow White and Aurora but no, they were yanked from there because they figured we’ll charge guests a heaping $99 for an exclusive event, and if you are paying $99 you would EXPECT at least some time to meet and greet

      • Amanda

        (cont). With the charachters from this review it sounded like there wasn’t any. Why Disney? People are ALREADY paying extra for the party, why make them pay more to meet and greet with the chars and have dessert with them. Ugh this just irritates me.

  • TryingToMakeSenseOfIt

    An hour seems like plenty of time to eat some desserts & meet a few characters. Of course they have to get ready for the next round of people coming in… it was stated originally that the castle portion would be an hour long. You wanted to stay later in the castle but you also complained about the whole thing taking 4 hours of your time. So which is it?

    • Josh

      Even at Crystal Palace you get an hour and a half to meet 4 FUR characters who will already have limited interactions for around $40-$60. When you’re paying $99 and supposed to meet 7 FACE characters who will talk to you and have the ability to have longer interactions, you should get that time. I can tell you managers are pushed to make interactions as short as possible and encourage cast members to “sign the book, take the picture and move.” People are 100% correct in saying the magic is harder to find. For the cast members, it can be just as hard to find too.

    • Matt

      Maybe you like to spend $99 to be herded like cattle for an hour, but most of us expect more than that.

  • Ryan

    It seems like service at Cinderrelas’s castle isn’t very good in general. When I ate there recently, they told us to go upstairs instead of getting in line for our photo and the servers weren’t very friendly at all. It felt very rushed also.

    • Clare

      We ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table last week and were very impressed by the service. The only minor disappoint was that we weren’t offered swords or wands when other couples were, but we asked and were willingly given, so I suspect it was a mere oversight (happens to the best of us!) The only bad service we had all week was Mama Melrose.

      • Ryan

        That’s good. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It is a lot of money. Maybe we just had a crew that wasn’t as good. They did remember our wand and sword though. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we did it, but I probably wouldn’t go again for a long time. I do wish character meals had photo pass photographers.The dessert was fantastic!

  • Katie

    All of the shouting and rushing the CM’s were forced to do did not make the experience very magical is what I’m getting out of this more than the timeframe allowance. There has to be a way of being efficient without making guests feel rushed and ripped off.

  • Ghost Man

    I have to agree with your statement about Disney nowadays. “Charge more, do less…” seems to be the norm for Disney these past few years. Although I haven’t been to any of Disney’s Halloween events, I’ve been to plenty of the Christmas events and such. They too seem to becoming more of a disappointment. I know some people will differ, but this is my opinion on the things we have done the past 25 years at Disney World.

  • deedee1662

    This turned out EXACTLY as I predicted!!

  • Lawboy

    They could charge 149$ next year and just as many sucke…uh people would line up to pay.

  • Sarah

    From what I understand, these new, rushed-out, extra-cost, hard-ticket events are a direct result of Disney trying to rapidly pad financial metrics for Wall Street.

    A key metric Disney is using to report the “success” of MyMagic+ is per-guest spending, which Disney claimed would increase with the introduction of MyMagic+. Reports are that per-guest spending is not increasing, though. So… adding more and more hard ticket events etc. is an effort to massage that per-guest spending statistic upwards, so that Disney can tell Wall Street the multi-billion dollar MyMagic+ is having a positive financial effect.

    I guess to me it’s becoming really obvious and somewhat egregious. All of these new extra-cost events and “pay extra to reserve your seat for fireworks/etc” things… they seem to be planned on the fly to pad the bottom line.

    Of course, Disney’s a business and I don’t fault them for making money, but it’s sad to hear the negative impressions they’re giving guests.

    • stevenw

      Disney wouldn’t be the first company ruined by bean-counters who decided to wring the last nickel out of a product by cutting corners. It’s all about value: Disney has always been expensive, but people were happy to pay because they were satisfied by the quality of the experience and went home happy. Increasingly, people aren’t going home happy. It’s far from too late, but there is a trend here where clearly Disney executives are fixated on the bottom line and losing focus on the core of Disney’s success, the quality guest experience. Hope somebody in Disney corporate wakes up.

  • Joe

    Sort of off/on topic, but, can someone tell me when Disney started using female CMs for the stepsisters? It’s been so long since I’ve seen them that the last memories I have were of males. Thanks.

  • mealtrip

    That’s why sites like this are so important. Some of these events are great and some… not so much. It’s nice to be able to read about them first, and THEN make the decision to book, or not to book. I thought The Frozen Dessert Party Plus+ was a decent experience as far as “put together quickly” events go (and at half the cost).

    That’s the real danger with these hard ticketed events though, they ALL have to live up to that “wow, that was Dis-mazing” quality level that we know Disney can do. Once a few of these get out there and are sub-par, the whole idea of EventsPlus+ will backfire. And that’s too bad, because it is (in principle) a great way to raise capital. The value for the guest HAS to be there though.

  • Anne

    We did this last night. The managers were very rude! We asked a question (waiting for the fireworks, in our VIP section) to one of the managers, and she just said “I don’t know”. (Ok it was the first night…maybe she didn’t know.) But….. A great cast member (by the name of Megan) came in, and told us everything we needed to know. For the rest of the viewing, we stood and watched the managers huddle in a group and chit chat with each other. It was VERY annoying. Almost as annoying, as cast members yelling at the guests, to stand inside the tape line!
    We wont be doing the VIP event again. It was a waste, and really just took more time away….from the party.

    • mealtrip

      Increasingly, I’m finding that the on-stage management staff is disconnected from these event, and not actively taking part in anything that’s going on. Which is too bad. That should be their whole purpose for being there… that is a huge management, culture-related problem.

      Occasionally, you’ll find a genuine “bad apple” (villains pun intended) among the event staff (i.e. treating guests in a tackless manner), but on the whole… they are just doing what they’re told to do (often times, and surprisingly, with less information than what you have going into the event). In my mind, the event staff and the Disney contract and employed performers, are simply the brightest spots at most of these event. Any criticism that I have, is directed to levels higher than those executing the events.

  • Joe

    I would like to remind everyone who post on this that it’s Disney! If you don’t like the way things are going, don’t come!
    Also….I have friends that worked the desert party event. THEY NEVER….I repeat NEVER throw anyone out! I just asked them and they said no one should ever do that! Also….a remind! This was the FIRST NIGHT! If you want to do a review….give it a few test runs before you post a review!!!!
    The characters in the beginning before you go upstairs are there to help get you ready! You don’t have to rush, you weren’t forced to go up there!
    These events are special for a reason! Go to guest relations if you really have an issue but overall, this is what happens at Disney!!!

    • Weak Knees

      I’m sorry, but “don’t come” is not the answer. Disney has survived and thrived on magical experiences, and first night mistakes should not be expected for $99.00 a pop. And as for being thrown out of the dessert party, I’m certain that no one manhandled anybody, but there are inferences and tones which tell you that a person is no longer welcome. Any negative feelings should never occur at Disney ~ that’s not how Walt envisioned his world at all.

    • Deb Medley-Kammerer

      So Joe—you’re saying that Disney, who has been doing this for a very long time, needs a few trial runs to get it right? Wrong. Even the first run cost people $99. That is a lot money for a trial run. I for one am pleased that someone has posted an OPINION piece on this event before I paid $396 for my family of 4 to attend. Knowing now that it takes up the majority of the party time I will not be attending, even if they get the bugs worked out before I get there.

    • mealtrip

      Yeah, I have to say, the whole notion of “it’s the first night, cut them some slack” excuse doesn’t hold water. Disney’s been here 43 years, while it is the first night for the Villains’ Soiree Dessert Party overlay, it’s not the first event Disney has ever hosted. If we’re saying they need a “test run” for every event, before it’s good… then do so with other cast members in attendance, not with paying guests.

    • Heart1lly

      “I love Disney and anyone who criticizes it should be talked down to, possibly silenced” – that’s pretty much what I’m hearing from your comment, Joe. We all loved Disney World. Obviously we do, otherwise we wouldn’t be checking out the blogs and commenting. But they are not above criticism. That’s how things get better – constructive criticism. It’s what makes the world go ’round.

      Saying “don’t come” is basically saying “shut up, they are perfect.” Not the case.

    • MCK

      In a word: NO.
      In more detailed words: We get that “it’s Disney.” In fact, we get it so much that we know what we should expect in terms of customer service and value. We expect that because they are the ones that set the bar high. When they do not follow their own standard, we, as paying guests, have every right to speak up about it. And yes, that includes the first night. If they decided the first night was a test run, then there’s no excuse for charging $99 for it. I mean you do understand they charged a high amount for a lackluster event, right? I don’t know about you, but if I am paying $99 for the soiree on top of the $70 just to get into the party, I’m not going to sit back and shrug over it with some off the wall idea that “this is what happens at Disney.” I don’t consider $169 a drop in the bucket (and that’s just for one person), so I won’t buy into the excuse of “this is what happens.”
      And really…telling people to just don’t come is not only rude, it’s an absurd way to blow off genuine criticism and concerns over a paid event.

      • Josh

        It wasn’t a “lackluster” event. It was amazing. Well worth the $99.

        • MCK

          That is YOUR opinion. But I haven’t just seen a review like this here. I’ve heard from others who were there as well who just weren’t impressed. As for myself, I can see the parade in one of many great spots along the route. I’m not particularly keep on watching an obstructed view of the fireworks. And a few desserts and meet & greets just doesn’t justify the cost to me. We are not just talking $99. It is the $99 PLUS the cost of the party ticket. And for those “eh” amenities, Disney would have to really amp up their game to have me justify spending $169 for those few desserts and meet & greets, along with a VIP section that doesn’t appear to be that special. But obviously you’re free to spend that kind of money. I am a big villains lover, but nothing about the soiree seemed to justify the total cost, even before this review was published.

  • <Matday

    So did you just completely miss out on those characters at the beginging or did they also come around to the tables (Queen of Hearts,ect) Also did the characters pose with you for pictures and sign autographs?

  • Kelly Butaud Rogers

    Sounds like they should just do 1 a night and not 2, then it would not be so rushed. We did the Star Wars dessert party and it was a blast. Granted it was different than the villains soiree.

  • grammy

    I haven’t attended this event, but I did attend my first Christmas party with mickey this past December. I gladly paid the price to get in for my husband and I and the parade and fireworks were unbelieveable. but that’s about the end of it. there were so many people you couldn’t even get to a ride and the merchandise was sold out in about 20 minutes. It was on my bucket list so I had to do it. Once was enough. I have been going to Disney since 1982. the prices are much to high and going ever higher.
    I don’t mind paying for the trip (always when free dining) but I will never again go for a hard ticket event. Walt, i’m sure this is not what you had in mind when you built this fantastic dream of yours. Disney is pricing families right out of the park. All the execs think about is money. They have millions in profit. Give the guests a little break.

  • Drago Harley

    Sounds like the cheese at the beginning was too much and would not have been missed if not included. Skip that part, serve the desserts sooner, and then let there be more time for character interactions and everyone would leave happy. One hour for a special dessert thing is plenty. I think the cheese part adds more time, as people munch on that and a lot of people eat very slowly.

    • Matt

      Unless it is a near private event, it needs to be longer than an hour for $99.

  • Disneyesque Warning

    I’ve been a Disney fan since the 1960’s and have been going to WDW since the 1980’s. Obviously, I’m a huge Disney fan. That being said. This past year it seems that I’m noticing a little bit of a pattern developing within Disney. It seems that money now supersedes the experience. We’re all used to a premium price, but with that came a premium experience.
    The new Halloween events has thrown the usually impeccable Disney experience right out the door. Most of you are aware of the Villains Unleashed fiasco and now this.
    And there’s other things that are becoming more and more, for a lack of a better term, un-Disney like.
    For instance, the Frozen franchise has become so disgustingly commercial and in your face that when I go to the parks I cringe whenever I see “them” or hear that “song”. And you know who they are and what song I’m talking about.
    Has there been a change in management? Did Disney’s Wall Street expectations fall flat? Has anyone elsa, no-no I mean, else, noticed a change? Or, is it just me?

  • FLtourist

    Also heard, through the grapevine, to show you how bad or poor decisions Disney makes(and only sees/wants $$) The villians were taken out of Fairy Tale Hall(they were going to take it over) because some higher up didnt like it and wanted that extra money dessert event. Sad. Only till the guests complain and complain( in that constructive manner) will things ever change. I have friends who are CMs and hear this and are dumbfounded by what gets done. Those in charge are so out of touch of how and what makes a good Disney experience.

  • Chris

    Pete, you mentioned the whole night was lost to the Soiree after check-in. I’m confused by this because after checkking in you were not confined to the VIP area. You could have freely enjoyed the party until the first parade.

    • Josh

      I went to the same Soiree and got to experience everything. This guy is a wet diaper.

  • Ep77

    Thank you! You answered my question and saved me $400!

  • luanne78

    Never would I pay so much for crummy fattening desserts yet so late at night. Disney acts like it’s some big thing but yet it’s only promoting bad health at a hefty pricetag

    • steve james

      Wow. Do you honestly go to Disney for rice cakes? How do you know they are crummy if you haven’t had them? Each one of those desserts are upscale and would cost you $12-$20 a piece in an upscale restaurant. Being on vacation and not worrying about counting calories is what you are supposed to do at Disney! No offense intended luanne78 but I find that view odd in this context.

  • Sweet Thing

    We were at the second seating and did not feel rushed at all. We enjoyed most of the cheese plate and desserts. The gourmet cheeses and toasts were delicious. My favorite of the desserts were the Queen’s Apple and Maleficent’s Pistachio Mousse. The servers brought boxes for us to take our leftovers home. The villains were milling about and not being rushed by anyone. We had the opportunity to see all of them including the villains in the lobby. I thoroughly felt that this was well worth the price.

  • Josh

    HOLD ON. I was at this same exact Sinister Soiree and MNSSHP and I had an AMAZING night. This article’s author has a bitter vibe of someone who didn’t plan their night accordingly but expected the world.

    We arrived at the park around 5pm, and we got to experience everything that night. Trick-or-treating, rides, almost an hour at the Club Villain, Mix&Mingle, Parade, and Fireworks. The VIP section allowed us to rush into the parade as it was starting and get a good view. We left and explored a little, then swooped right back into the VIP Section with a lot of ease.

    After the fireworks, we left and got in line for the Soiree. Because we arrived to the Soiree early (like the invite told us to do), we were able to have ample time with the welcoming villains before we were seated. We then headed up the castle and were seated immediately. We had a good amount of time to nibble on the appetizers before the show started. Lady Tremaine and her crew came in and put on a good show. Cruella, Maleficent, the Sisters, the Queen, and Dr Facilier all took a lot of time to walk around and greet all the tables and take pictures of everyone while Lady Tremaine sang. We had a lot of time eat our desserts and mingle with the villains. We even got a lot more souvenirs than they originally stated,

    At NO POINT, did we feel rushed or unhappy about anything. My wife and I felt like we were in some kind of amazing dream, because everything was so wickedly magical.

    I would HIGHLY suggest this to any villain-lover. It is well worth the $99. My only suggestion is to plan your night accordingly and intelligently. Because if you don’t, you’ll be miserable like the author of this review.

  • Lisa Perkins

    I was also at this event and I think if I had planned better I would have had a better time. I arrived at the park at 7:00 because we had been there that day anyway and we left to go back to the hotel and to get dinner. We checked out a few stores on Main street and headed to the area where we were going to watch the parade. We DID have an excellent view of the parade and after it was over we rushed around to do some trick or treating before the fireworks. I thought the placement of the candy was odd and hard to find especially at splash mountain and liberty square.(actually those were the only two we got to go to). Then all of a sudden we heard the fireworks start so we had to rush back to the viewing area for that and it was hard to squeeze through the crowd that had already gathered. By the time we got there they were almost over. Then after the fireworks the cast member that was in charge of the Soiree group told us to wait there until the crowd dispersed and she’d lead us over to the castle. Once we got the castle we waited outside for quite awhile until they let us in, but we did get pictures with the villains, then we went upstairs. I thought it was fun but it did seem a bit rushed, but I also realized it was the first night and there were cameramen taking pictures and it was all new so the kinks probably need to be worked out but all in all it was fun and something different. I have to add that I much prefered the dessert party at commission’s terrace it was much more relaxing. So anyway by the time we got out everything was just about over. But I think with a little planning it would have gone better and I think I should of picked the later seating so I could have enjoyed the Halloween party in the park.

    • Jill Parks

      Lisa,
      We have tickets for Oct 13 — what would you have done differently?

    • Lisa Perkins

      What I would have done differently is I would have been at the park at 4:00 and done trick or treating and I would have gone to some of the shows. I also would have gone to the later soiree if you have a choice on the night you’re going, then you’ll have time to see the parade and fireworks without rushing. I REALLY didn’t have time to go on any rides because so much time was spent waiting for the parade the fireworks Then getting in to the party!

  • tniagirl

    thanks for the pics and review. I was debating whether or not to pay the extra $300, but after seeing your blog, I’ve decided against it. I’m sure my daughter would enjoy the villan show, but she wouldn’t touch any of the fancy desserts, and neither would my husband. LOL. So we’ll grab an ice cream cone and enjoy the rest of MNSSHP! Thanks!

  • Dr. K McDisney

    Went to the Soirée on Tuesday Sept. 23rd and had a WONDERFUL time!!! For anyone who can stay up late and is worried about missing party time- go to the later party- it is definitely worth it! We did not have to go to the castle until btw 11:15-11:30pm. They did not push ilia out or make us feel rushed- we were in magic kingdom until 1am when everyone else had to leave at midnight for MNSSHP. Amazing picture opportunities at castle and Main Street when there is no one in the park!!! The view of the parade and fireworks wS great- we did not arrive until 8pm and there was still plenty of room in the reserves area. Big Hint: stand to the left of the castle- you can see parade cross the bridge and it’s the best few of fireworks- castle doesn’t obstruct them at all if you are standing at an angle. The castle show is amazing and seeing the villain concert from reserved area is a nice bonus. Desserts were phenomenal and cast members very attentive. Drinks come with a dragon stir stick and for the drink to be good you want to stir it! They also give plenty of ice water refills and will box up any left over dessert. Biggest disappointment was that there was no photopass photographer at the party- but cast members all took pics of the whole group wit whatever phone/camera you brought. The ticket willcall was poorly labeled and no cast members knew anything about villains soirée unless it was the three people working at the check in site or special event willcall. Other than that we had a great time! And we are two adults in our thirties in cases you want to know :-) obviously it’s expensive, but it is so much better than things like illuminations dessert event, if you want to ensure a great Halloween night (especially if there is rain), I recommend the villains soirée if you can afford it!

    • Dr. K McDisney

      Also wanted to note that the cheese board was delicious (strong blue cheese but paired great with the fig). We could have used some crackers or more toasts because it is a lot of cheese. You can request a cup of coffee if you need to. In addition to the dessert party, you also get unlimited bottles of water and Mickey suckers when inside the reserved viewing area for parade and fireworks- great to have while standing around!