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View Full Version : Villain's Event in the Studios - EPIC FAIL



Maleficent's Dad
08-23-2014, 10:59 PM
I'm home with my kids. DW is down for the Villain's Unleashed Event. It is a horror show (pun intended) for the guests. Being handled very poorly.

On phone with DW right now who is at the event. She is really upset - so much so that she left the park by 9:15. Waits are INSANE - She said there were waits of 45 minutes to get a drink!!! 2 hours or more for some characters. EPIC FAIL, Disney.

Most of the characters have enormous lines. Restaurants closed (wanted to order S'Mores at the 50's but couldn't). Rides even have long lines! (45 min for TSM when she left.)

I guess the "rumors" about Disney not limiting the ticket sales was correct. Very disappointing.

ibelieveindisneymagic
08-23-2014, 11:20 PM
Oh no! We're here now, and went back and forth about going, and finally decided to skip it. Glad we did.

But, this does explain the FULL busses coming back from DHS ... I think a lot of people are giving up and heading out. :(

garthbarth1
08-24-2014, 12:07 AM
I had a friend that went last year and said it was so packed and miserable! Sounds like they did not learn what to improve from last year :confused:

yankeesfan123
08-24-2014, 12:08 AM
Yup. Sounds very similar to last years event.

Big money grab.

Cool if you're super into it; not worth it if you're just a casual follower.

garthbarth1
08-24-2014, 12:17 AM
Yes i was referring to the Villans event. My friends decided to go to that instead of going down for MNSSHP and said it was mass chaos. Huge lines and didnt get to meet any villains.. big disappointment for them :(

hauntedmansiongirl
08-24-2014, 04:08 AM
That sounds awful! Your poor wife!!!

ransam
08-24-2014, 04:13 AM
My buddy is down there now, and he said it was packed, but said it wasn't as bad as some other events we've gone to.

Maleficent's Dad
08-24-2014, 09:05 AM
Lots of reports - both on other boards and Twitter - about people demanding, and receiving, refunds from last night's debacle.

I wasn't there - but got first hand reports on the phone from DW - estimated that by midnight about 70% of guests had already left in frustration. Before the "party" even started, there were waits approaching 2+ hours for both merchandise and the "hard to meet" characters.

Just scratching my head, wondering why Disney - who is very adept at handling large events - why did they drop the ball on this one?

Main Street Jim
08-24-2014, 09:36 AM
From one of my Disney friends' FaceBook:

"Holy Moses! The Villains Unleashed event tonight at Disney seems to have been an EPIC fail! Refunds being handed out to ANYONE at guest services & the line is looooonnnng! Seems the media reps are the only ones giving good reports. I have NEVER seen such horrid comments coming from such a large number of Disney guests! WOW!"

Was it *that* bad...?

It was only four hours, and guests were complaining about two-hour waits in lines for meet 'n greets, merchandise selling out, etc. What did Disney expect? The Villains are a hot property, and have been for quite some time. You should see the crowds just for the Villains Mix 'n Mingle at the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Hallloween Party.

Melanie
08-24-2014, 10:15 AM
I was afraid they might have oversold. Wow, just wow!

yankeesfan123
08-24-2014, 10:54 AM
So, what's the fix?

A) sell less tickets

B) hold "Villain's Weekends" for 2-3 weekends

C) cancel the event (ha)

PopPhan
08-24-2014, 11:04 AM
Sounds like something that could create a push toward a "Villains Area" in DHS! Maybe a couple attractions and regular M&G opportunities?????

Yes, I know, wishful thinking, but I would enjoy a section, like the kids section of DHS, to spotlight Disney villains. Would love a M&G with Chernabog!!!! He could take me 'under his wing'!! :)

DizneyRox
08-24-2014, 11:39 AM
Sounds like something that could create a push toward a "Villains Area" in DHS! Maybe a couple attractions and regular M&G opportunities?????

Yes, I know, wishful thinking, but I would enjoy a section, like the kids section of DHS, to spotlight Disney villains. Would love a M&G with Chernabog!!!! He could take me 'under his wing'!! :)
Why would they create a' free' area when they can con people into spending more money on an after hours event?

Doesn't surprise me about the media... A they are usually invited to screenings, which are devoid of real crowds, and B, they'd get invited to future events if they pan it.


Just scratching my head, wondering why Disney - who is very adept at handling large events - why did they drop the ball on this one?

Because they are constantly trying to figure out how cheap they can go and get away with it. They guessed wrong this time.

The MNSSHP event used to be spectacular. Over the years it's become a very faint shadow of itself. I noticed that this year Halloween is a Friday, I thought for a few seconds about trying to make a trip out of it since it's been almost 4 or 5 years now for me I think. Then I remembered the price and all the reports on how it's changed, crowds, etc. Meh, we passed... If I do Halloween, it will be for Universals event..

Christine
08-24-2014, 12:10 PM
I'm sorry for OP's wife and all the folks that were disappointed & frustrated last night. Sounds exactly like the Friday the 13 disaster that I attended- and truth he told, left on the verge of tears. I spent ONE HOUR circling the parking lot, just to funneled back out the exit and told to park at Epcot and ride a bus back! I had been pushed, yelled at, & cursed by other frustrated guests, and couldn't find a drink or anything to eat.
From what I read last night, sounds like it was quite similar. Only at least Fri 13 was free. If I'd spent $213 for my family of 3 for that- I'd have been devastated!
The only positive I hear is the fireworks, but that's not enough to justify the rest.
At least at mnsshp there are shows, parades, fireworks, trick or treating, etc.
This was a dance party and M&G with fireworks at 12:45am! (which my dog was not too happy to hear, scaring him out of his sleep!)

This event needs to be scrapped. Now.

yankeesfan123
08-24-2014, 12:42 PM
I'm sorry for OP's wife and all the folks that were disappointed & frustrated last night. Sounds exactly like the Friday the 13 disaster that I attended- and truth he told, left on the verge of tears. I spent ONE HOUR circling the parking lot, just to funneled back out the exit and told to park at Epcot and ride a bus back! I had been pushed, yelled at, & cursed by other frustrated guests, and couldn't find a drink or anything to eat.
From what I read last night, sounds like it was quite similar. Only at least Fri 13 was free. If I'd spent $213 for my family of 3 for that- I'd have been devastated!
The only positive I hear is the fireworks, but that's not enough to justify the rest.
At least at mnsshp there are shows, parades, fireworks, trick or treating, etc.
This was a dance party and M&G with fireworks at 12:45am! (which my dog was not too happy to hear, scaring him out of his sleep!)

This event needs to be scrapped. Now.

I couldn't disagree more with your final statement.

It is an immensely popular special event. Why would they scrap it?

It should be handled better, yes. Maybe limit tickets and charge more. Maybe extend the event.

But scrap an event because it was "too popular"?

Not happening, nor should it.

(btw, I agree with the rest of your post about how poorly it was handled).

DonaldDuck1117
08-24-2014, 01:16 PM
Simple solution-do this more often. Once a month, OR have this several times at the studio throughout September and October like MNSSHP.

Scrap it? Heck no. This is a huge potential revenue source, increase the number of times yiu hold this event.

TheVBs
08-24-2014, 01:53 PM
Such a shame. :( I feel awful for all those who bought tickets and were disappointed. I would have asked for my money back as well! I think if they continue to hold these events, they need to really limit the number of tickets available and perhaps offer it more often, as others have suggested.

We did MNSSHP a few years ago, and while we had a good time, it was disappointing that we had to pick just ONE villain to stand in line for, or we wouldn't have been able to enjoy the other things. I think they need to consider reducing the number of tickets available for that as well.

PirateLover
08-24-2014, 02:11 PM
There is no excuse for not getting it right this time with the prior, free Villains event under their belts. I think that is why Christine said to scrap it. If they don't want to make it a longer running party with multiple dates, one night a year is not gonna cut it. I think it's pretty telling that they gave refunds so easily. That's very A-typical.

Christine
08-24-2014, 02:29 PM
There is no excuse for not getting it right this time with the prior, free Villains event under their belts. I think that is why Christine said to scrap it. If they don't want to make it a longer running party with multiple dates, one night a year is not gonna cut it. I think it's pretty telling that they gave refunds so easily. That's very A-typical.

That is exactly why I said they should scrap it. They clearly learned on Fri 13 that they don't have the ability to handle the high volume response from fans for this one night event.

Knowing that, they still set a high ticket limit on this one night event. That's either greed or stupidity. But to reproduce the same exact problems as last time? Only a fool doesn't learn from their mistakes. That's just insane. And now they have lost revenue by refunding tickets.

But I don't know that this event warrants multiple nights like mnsshp. Maybe more along Star Wars weekends or Frozen SummerFun - a non-ticketed event. Who knows. But this clearly doesn't work & needs to stop.

Tink1
08-24-2014, 03:06 PM
This should show them that there *IS* an interest in villains/other characters and stop shoving princesses down our throats. IMHO.

Nanc

Maleficent's Dad
08-24-2014, 04:45 PM
Here's a tiny update that'll give some perspective.

DW & her friend left VU early due to the chaos. By this point, Guest relations had a rather substantial line (easy assumption was that there were MANY folks complaining about the evening). DW & friend had had enough and needed to just get back to their room to decompress.

After reading online about the refunds being handed out with barely an explanation, they decided to go to GR at DHS this afternoon. At 3:30 PM today, they were refunded - directly to their CC's, the cost of the party.

Still unhappy with the way the event was handled, but at least it wasn't a total loss.

RunDMV
08-24-2014, 07:21 PM
Another "its all about the bottom line Disney debacle."

It reminds me of having a dictatorial boss. Eventually, the good people (in this case long term guests) all leave and the high turnover results in falling productivity.

joanna71985
08-24-2014, 09:00 PM
I was there last night. Yes, some of the character lines were long (but I had gone in expecting that, especially for the rare ones). I had a blast, and would definitely go again if the event was brought back

dnickels
08-24-2014, 09:12 PM
I haven't followed the lead-up to the event very closely, but I thought I remembered people posting just days ago that they were shocked the event hadn't sold out yet right? Did it ever show as sold out?

Whether that was a pure money grab or incompetence (or both) on Disney's part I don't know, but something like this should have been a very limited ticket event. That'd keep the buzz alive for the next time they wanted to do it. Then again, we all know that short term profits tend to trump long term quality and goodwill nowadays.

AgentC
08-24-2014, 10:24 PM
I'm feeling very glad I decided not to go but I am glad they gave refunds.

I went to the first Christmastown at Busch Gardens two years ago. The tickets were considerably cheaper- $20 or $25 a person. It took us almost 2 hours to get into the park due to massive traffic jams going into the parking lot and all we got was a sorry.

Disney (and other theme parks) really need a plan for handling crowds when they do these events.

beksy
08-25-2014, 12:19 AM
[QUOTE=AgentC;2430295]
I went to the first Christmastown at Busch Gardens two years ago. The tickets were considerably cheaper- $20 or $25 a person. It took us almost 2 hours to get into the park due to massive traffic jams going into the parking lot and all we got was a sorry.
QUOTE]

I was at that one! I thought it was a mess too, but at least cheaper. However, we'd just come from the MVMCP and I thought it was a poor imitation of that...I thought maybe my view was just skewed from coming from Disney! From the reports, I'm glad I didn't try to arrange my schedule to get to the VU.

Cheshire_Girl
08-25-2014, 10:22 AM
Would love a M&G with Chernabog!!!! He could take me 'under his wing'!! :)

*le sigh *
I would stand in line a loooong time nestle in under Chernabogs wing!
Has there ever been a M&G with Chernabog? I keep trying to figure out in my head how they would do that costume !

PopPhan
08-25-2014, 10:57 AM
*le sigh *
I would stand in line a loooong time nestle in under Chernabogs wing!
Has there ever been a M&G with Chernabog? I keep trying to figure out in my head how they would do that costume !

I think it would be really tough to pull that character off. I would have loved to just be able to stand in front of him on the float they used for Spectromagic and had someone take pics!!

Katzateer
08-25-2014, 01:01 PM
I haven't followed the lead-up to the event very closely, but I thought I remembered people posting just days ago that they were shocked the event hadn't sold out yet right? Did it ever show as sold out?

Whether that was a pure money grab or incompetence (or both) on Disney's part I don't know, but something like this should have been a very limited ticket event. That'd keep the buzz alive for the next time they wanted to do it. Then again, we all know that short term profits tend to trump long term quality and goodwill nowadays.

They took down the part of the signs advertising tickets still available for the Villian party the day of the party. The other days before the party it said tickets still available. I saw 3 or 4 signs spread throughout the park during the week.

LittleDreamer
08-25-2014, 01:03 PM
It's terrible to hear that they didn't improve anything from the previous Villains event. I'm glad they were handing out refunds.

On the crowd: The do tend to oversell these events and it's probably has a lot to do with Fantasmic! That theater has room for 7,000 - 10,000 people and if Disney is going to put on the show they want that theater as full as possible.

On lines: There is no excuse for lines when it comes to merchandise and food, that is just poor planning. For the Villians, I can understand. I wonder how many costumes they have for these characters in storage. Especially since most of them have specialty head pieces.

Mfarquar
08-25-2014, 02:23 PM
I wonder what the tipping point will be for Disney regarding this/these sorts of events wherein they reevaluate the "bottom line" approach they've been taking in many instances over the customer service reputation.

Will the crossroads of refunds and a customer service reputation that is beginning to seriously waffle on social media and online reviews inspire a change due to the potential for short-term (refunds) and long-term losses (the loss of repeat business due to said reputation)?

Hopefully, the next time they host this event, they will make improvements via several methods - if for nothing more than seeing the forest through the trees!

DonaldDuck1117
08-25-2014, 08:50 PM
There is no way Disney took a financial loss on that night. Did they lose potential revenue? Sure, they refunded tickets, but overall, at the end of the night Disney stil made money on the evening.

I agree with an above poster who said this should be a giant signal to Disney that there is a major demand for Villians by the public and there is money to be made here. It should probably be looked at as a minor short term failure, but could potentially turn into a major long term success if they plan accordingly.

Katzateer
08-25-2014, 10:45 PM
I didnt think the lines and crowds were any worst than a MVMCP or Halloween party. And I am shocked Disney would give a refund. We went to a few hard ticket parties where it poured a lot of the evening and no refunds were given that I know of. A lot of people left early on those nights too.

My main complaints were not enough activities to make it worth the $$$ and only one spot to get the tshirts. I really liked the design but not enough to stand in line 2 hours.

Aurora
08-26-2014, 12:36 PM
I wasn't there but watched the video of the opening ceremony "show." It looked incredibly un-Disney. Mostly a colored strobe light and guitar show with lame introductions of the characters. Not much energy, too talky, and ... dancers twerking with Cinderella's stepsisters??? Ugh. Zero magic there.

If this is an indication of the future of Disney's hard-ticket events, no thank you very much.

Mfarquar
08-26-2014, 02:48 PM
I wasn't there but watched the video of the opening ceremony "show." It looked incredibly un-Disney. Mostly a colored strobe light and guitar show with lame introductions of the characters. Not much energy, too talky, and ... dancers twerking with Cinderella's stepsisters??? Ugh. Zero magic there.

If this is an indication of the future of Disney's hard-ticket events, no thank you very much.

Twerking? Ugh. I'll have to check it out on YouTube just to see it with my own eyes. I expect something more creative out of Disney. Sure, it would be cool for Disney to be kinda edgy with this - afterall, it is villains. But twerking? No longer edgy. So 12 months ago and so awkward - I know they "discovered" Miley Cyrus, but eek.

cer
08-26-2014, 02:53 PM
I wasn't there but watched the video of the opening ceremony "show." It looked incredibly un-Disney. Mostly a colored strobe light and guitar show with lame introductions of the characters. Not much energy, too talky, and ... dancers twerking with Cinderella's stepsisters??? Ugh. Zero magic there.

If this is an indication of the future of Disney's hard-ticket events, no thank you very much.

I have also read reports that the Oogie Boogie show was NOT family friendly.

"LEAVE IT."

EDIT: In fairness, I just read that this show had posted that it might not be suitable for children.

Still I say..." LEAVE IT."

Maleficent's Dad
08-26-2014, 04:08 PM
And I am shocked Disney would give a refund. We went to a few hard ticket parties where it poured a lot of the evening and no refunds were given that I know of. A lot of people left early on those nights too.
I know for a fact that Disney has given refunds to some due to weather conditions at Hard Ticket Events. Basically, you have to jump through hoops in order to get refunded, but it does happen. And it has happened due to weather.

PirateLover
08-26-2014, 04:11 PM
I know for a fact that Disney has given refunds to some due to weather conditions at Hard Ticket Events. Basically, you have to jump through hoops in order to get refunded, but it does happen. And it has happened due to weather.

Yes, I know someone who put up a huge stink after a total washout on MVMCP and did get a refund. However, they do give a rain or shine disclaimer on those tickets, so a lot of people probably don't even try, or don't try very hard. Weather is also outside of Disney's control. Ridiculously long lines/oversold tickets are not.

Aurora
08-26-2014, 09:38 PM
Twerking? Ugh. I'll have to check it out on YouTube just to see it with my own eyes. I expect something more creative out of Disney. Sure, it would be cool for Disney to be kinda edgy with this - afterall, it is villains. But twerking? No longer edgy. So 12 months ago and so awkward - I know they "discovered" Miley Cyrus, but eek.

Awkward is right. It looked like a Six Flags show. Just cringe-worthy. I don't know -- maybe in person it looked better, but it didn't sound like the crowd was that into it either.

As for edgy, eh. They have so much great material. They could go for mysterious, menacing, etc. Looked like a totally missed opportunity.

DonaldDuck1117
08-26-2014, 10:46 PM
I just finished watching Hades' opening show and Oogie Boogie's freaky funhouse, and I really don't see what was so bad about them? I mean the Hades opener was a bit long, but served its purpose, I rather enjoyed Oogie Boogie's show.

Kenny1113
08-27-2014, 12:19 AM
I just watched villians in the sky. Looked amazing. I think the best fireworks show I have ever seen! I would have loved to see it in person, but don't know if I would pay the extra money to have to battle the crazy crowds mentioned here(if they offered it again)

mickeyman42
08-27-2014, 12:53 PM
So i just read the three pages of comments, and need to chime in. We were there, actually in the plane going home now. It was me, dw, dd12, and dd8. I knew the lines would be long but dudnt expect every character to have a loooooing line. It was 2 hour waits for jafar, cru Ella de Bol, and other classic villians, we waited 45 mins for boler hat guy which was when the line was the longest. I think the worst wait was actually for Constantine who had 2-3 hour waits all night because he was allowing 15-20 min interactions with eveyone as you went through. We only got in one line as it just wasn't worth it. The opening show was ok, nothing too terrible, and the Oogie boogie show was good, edgy but there was a disclaimer posted everywhere thst it wasn't suitable for all ages so you couldn't not know that it could be intense. I wouldn't do it again but it was no worse than any other hard ticket event. Overall I'm done with hard ticket events.

Katzateer
08-27-2014, 01:06 PM
We only got in one line as it just wasn't worth it.

Overall I'm done with hard ticket events.

I agree other than maybe MVMCP. In December we may go. No more dessert parties and events like the Villian party.

I wanted to see Barbosso but he was in the building where the Jack Sparrow attraction is. I bet that was a cool photo op but we didnt want to stand in the line.

Katzateer
08-27-2014, 01:12 PM
I just watched villians in the sky. Looked amazing. I think the best fireworks show

I agree! We left early and watched it from 4th floor at POP. You could hear the crowd and Hades. It was a very good show.

Also loved the Frozen fireworks. Disney certainly gets it right with those. It is a company out of the Dayton OH area that makes the fireworks for Disney.

Kenny1113
08-27-2014, 06:33 PM
Disney certainly gets it right with those. It is a company out of the Dayton OH area that makes the fireworks for Disney.

Interesting!

That is where I am originally from , maybe that's why I love fireworks so much! ;) Haha!

CaptSmee
08-30-2014, 01:36 PM
Wow...I went last year when it was a free event & imagined that it was like what it must be like at Xmas time. You would think they would have prepared after that for this year. And them giving refunds? Unheard of! In other words they didn't know how to handle this