Is Club Villain worth the price? Review & photo tour!

The Club Villain Dining Event debuted last night, Saturday, January 16th, 2016 at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park. This is a brand new event that, as of now, is only scheduled on Saturday nights thru the end of February. The host is Dr. Facilier aka The Shadow Man from The Princess and the Frog. He has gathered his “friends from the other side” for a special entertainment filled party. Here’s what you need to know about Club Villain:

Villains you can meet and take photos with: Cruella Deville, Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, and the Evil Queen

The cost: $99 per person plus you will need a park ticket to enter Hollywood Studios

What it includes: All you can eat buffet dinner, all you can drink open bar including specialty villain cocktails, meet and greets with four villains, and several singing/dancing/entertainment numbers by the villains and additional performers.

Length of party: About 2.5 hours depending on when you came in. (We were able to enter a little earlier than our seating time)

I didn’t really know what to expect at this event and I was blown away by the high quality of the experience. It’s expensive, let’s just be honest about that. By Disney standards, it’s on par with the pricing of the other special ticket events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party and therefore not completely shocking. What impressed me most was the exclusivity of the event and the high quality of the food and entertainment.

When you first arrive you are given champagne or bottled water while you wait to go in. Each table seats four people so if your party is smaller than that you will be seated with others. This really isn’t much of an issue since you aren’t sitting all that much. Or at least I wasn’t. The party is not very big, I’d estimate maybe 150 people or so. It feels very intimate. This was definitely the smallest size event I’ve ever been to at Disney. It gave the event a very exclusive feeling that I really liked. Being able to get food and drinks, meet characters and take pictures with no crowds or very minimal lines was a real treat and helped ease that $100 price tag.

Each person is given an invitation with their table number on it. This will determine the time you go to meet each villain. This works out really well because you won’t ever have to wait a long time to see anyone. Once you go inside and get seated you are able to help yourself to food and drink. You can also take this opportunity to grab a picture of yourself on the various villain thrones before they come in the Club. Soon after Dr. Facilier begins the show by introducing his new club manager, Kanzo. You will be inclined to ignore Kanzo but let me tell you this guy is the real talent. While the characters are impressive in taking on the larger than life personas of these villains, Kanzo is a Broadway level singer and performer. This guy will knock your socks off. Seriously.

Kanzo and Facilier will then introduce the other four villains- don’t miss this part because each one makes a dashing entrance that is uniquely their style. The four ladies will then retire to their respective thrones to meet with you and take pictures. They do have photopass available for these.
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Once the villains were out we visited the food tables. They are set up on stations around the room. The food is New Orleans style and let me tell you, it is top-notch. This is not theme park food. Creamy Polenta with Sauteed Spicy Shrimp, Herb-rubbed Strip-loin of Beef, Black Eyed Peas, Cajun Chicken Gumbo, and Sticky Pig Wings. Everything was full of flavor, hot and fresh looking. No stale buffet food here. I personally didn’t care for the gumbo, but others in my group loved it. The beef was wonderful and the Polenta and Shrimp was probably my favorite. Each of the four lady Villains had their own special dessert table, and their own signature cocktail. Queen of Hearts had Red Velvet cupcakes and Red Macarons on a little heart plate. Cruella had White Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate Tarts with paw prints on them. Evil Queen had Green Apple Mouse with glitter glaze (way tastier than it sounds!) and Green and Red Chocolate Truffles. Maleficent’s was Cheesecake push-ups with Raspberry Glaze and mini cupcakes with green frosting and little chocolate horns. All of them were good, but the standouts to me were the Queen’s truffles and the Macarons.

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Next the cocktails! These were so much fun… Maleficent had the Cursed Violet: Citrus Vodka, Creme de Cassis and Blackcurrent Syrup. Good, but a tad sweet and you couldn’t really taste much alcohol. Cruella’s was my favorite, The Devious Dalmation:Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, Coconut Milk and garnished with Boba Pearls that when stirred looks like spots on the white drink. Pretty cute, huh? The Queen of Hearts had Bleeding Heart Sangria- self-explanatory and very good. Just the right blend of fruity while still tasting the wine. The Evil Queen had Poisoned Cinnamon Apple: Fireball Whiskey and Hard Cider. It was all right, but tasted mostly like cider with very little whiskey. The bar also had a selection of beer and wine as well as bottled water, sodas tea and lemonade.

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In between all the eating and drinking you meet the villains and take pictures with them. They are fabulous. Seriously. Here is what is so unique about this event two characters are different than I’ve seen them anywhere else. The Queen of Hearts is no longer behind a stiff mask, she is now a “face character” that can talk and interact. Her personality is somewhat like Cruella’s but with a little more crazy. We had fun with her in our group shot as she got irritated that we were blocking her too much and had to push to the front of the shot. And Maleficent! She’s not green. What?! I know. She looks more like the Angeline Jolie movie Maleficent. And she is regal and aloof and perfect. Complete with high cheekbones and long, thin, elegant fingers. Flawless. (Sidenote: she looks a little greenish skinned in the photos but it was more that she was very pale and her lighting had a green cast to it.) Cruella was a ball, with dramatic expressive eyebrows, a coat she loved to work while she posed, and a fainting couch she liked to occasionally throw herself upon in a fit of pique. The Evil Queen was probably the least interactive, at least for us but personally I was more excited my her magic mirror. You could pose with the mirror and the “face” would randomly float to the service along with swirling smoke. So cool.

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Throughout the night you will meet with characters, eat and drink and then Dr. Facilier will come out onto the stage and begin a musical number. Remember when I said that Kanzo was the real star? Well prepare to be entertained. This is not the Disney you’re used to. This is grown up, sophisticated and posh.

So, is Club Villain worth the money? If you are a Villain fan, then yes. If you like getting to meet rare characters and interact with them without long lines and heavy crowds then yes. If you like to drink fancy cocktails when you go out and order expensive meals and dessert then yes. If you had more than one yes I’d say it would be worth your money for sure. You would easily pay close to $100 a person at a fine dining restaurant like California Grill with appetizers, drinks or wine, and dessert. And that would just be dinner. No show or character meets.

I will also say this: while you can bring your younger children you will still pay the same adult price for them. Make sure they aren’t freaked out by villains. Anyone 10 and older is no problem….younger than that and I’d think twice about bringing them. The vibe here, while still being family friendly, is decidedly more adult. Club Villain is only scheduled through February at this point. Maybe it will be extended, who knows. But if you have an opportunity to go I say do it. And if it’s booked, keep trying. There are cancellations all the time. If you do go please let me know what you thought! I’d love to hear from you.

Love characters? We did an entire day of nothing but characters- 30 in one day at Magic Kingdom! Check it out: Character Day Challenge at Magic Kingdom

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