This Halloween – the Disney Villains took over Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris for a brand new meet and greet experience.
We were really looking forward to meeting the Villains and this meet and greet even featured on our bucket list for the trip:
Related Post: Disneyland Paris Halloween/October 2020 Bucket List
Where Can I Meet the Villains?
The Villains meet and greet is located in the Studio Theatre in Walt Disney Studios (next to Studio D/Disney Junior). This theatre was previously home to the characters from the Marvel universe.
When Can I Meet the Villains?
Unfortunately at the time of writing, the Walt Disney Studios Park has significantly reduced opening hours during the week (11am – 4pm). This means that the window for meeting villains during the week is pretty small.
The Villains are available from 11am until 1:30pm and then again from 3pm until 3:30pm. We made sure to go first thing when the parks opened but even then, the queues were LENGTHY and were often closed off early if there were too many people waiting.
At the weekend, the park is open from 9:30am until 6pm. This means a longer set for the Villains but there is also a huge increase in guest attendance at the weekend so I imagine the lines will be just as long, if not longer!
How It Works
Guests meet 4 Villains per set in groups of 2. There is the option to take both selfies and “proper” photos (at a distance) using your phone and there are two Photopass photographers on hand too.
Due to COVID-19 – you can’t get too close to the characters, however you are close enough for them to be able to hear you and vice-versa. We didn’t find that the interaction/banter was impacted at all.
Every 30 minutes there is a loud clap of thunder and the current set of villains exit the stage. Then there is a short introduction spiel and the next set of villains come out and take their positions on the stage.
We went to the Villains Meet and Greet twice during our Halloween 2020 trip and were lucky enough to meet two different sets of villains.
On our first visit to the Villains our set was: Cruella de Vil, Gaston, Governor Ratcliffe and Jafar.
Cruella was the stand-out for us. She was hilarious. By the end of the meet she had made me promise to let her know if I spot any puppies on the resort who may make a nice coat! Between meeting individual guests – she heckled the queue and made the wait far more enjoyable.
Gaston was also brilliant. He was a complete distraction when we were getting our photos taken.
“TRY and look at the camera, but I know it’s hard when you could look at me!”
Then we moved over to the non-speaking characters. Amy is more of a Pocahantas fan than I would be so she was chatting away to Governor Ratcliffe about his quest for gold. Aladdin is my favourite Disney film, so I had plenty to say to Jafar.
We were lucky enough to get a completely different set on our next visit.
The first two that we saw were Lady Tremaine and The Evil Queen. They bounced off each other brilliantly and spent most of the meet roasting me! My black and orange t-shirt wasn’t up to their standards, apparently “poison apple red” is the colour of the season. Who knew?!
Then we moved along to my FAVOURITE villain Captain Hook. He loved that my lanyard was packed full of Captain Hook pins and I’m looking forward to hanging out with him in Neverland someday soon.
I was in double-trouble with the Queen of Hearts. First, I didn’t curtsy to her quickly enough and then I admitted to painting the roses red earlier that day… OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!
I am aware that Frollo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Dr Facilier from The Princess and the Frog have been swapped into sets on occasion. Sadly we did not get to meet them on our trip. We didn’t think it was worth standing in potentially 2 more hour-long (or longer) queues with no guarantee that we would see either of them!
NOTE: At the time of our trip – guests met the “face/speaking” characters together and followed by the non-speaking characters. However, it has now been confirmed by DLP Report that the character types are now mixed.
The Good Bits
Excellent Interaction – We felt that in ALL of the meet and greet locations at the parks, the characters have been going above and beyond to give the best interaction as possible. We found this really made up for not being able to hug the characters and we had some of our best interaction yet.
Great Opportunity to Meet Rare Characters – With the exception of Jafar and Captain Hook, the Villains aren’t around in the parks during the year so this meet and greet is a great opportunity meet new characters.
PhotoPass Location – The lighting in the theatres isn’t always brilliant, so it was really handy to have Photopass Photographers around to ensure that you get clear, high quality photos.
The Not-So-Good Bits
As with everything, there are a few elements of the experience which could be improved.
Long Queues – If you’re keen to see the villains, know that you are likely to face a long wait. The first time that we visited the villains, we queued for 1 hour and 15 mins. The next time was 50 minutes. If you’re visiting on a weekend, expect twice this if not longer.
The Afternoon Slot during the Week – It’s only 30 minutes long, which will only allow a handful of groups to attend. Although there is not much that can be done about this when the parks close at 4pm. I would recommend going to the earlier session to avoid disappointment.
No Guarantee That You Will See a Particular Villain – As the villains switch in and out every 30 minutes, there is no way to guarantee that you will see the character you want. Chances are, the characters on stage when you enter the theatre won’t the ones you meet.
Overall, we thought the experience was great and we were able to add 6 new characters to our meet and greet list! (We had met Captain Hook and Jafar on previous trips!)
We loved interacting with the villains and both agreed that we would love to see some sort of villains attraction/meeting space in the parks on a more long-term basis. Although the queues were long, the interaction was worth waiting for.
This new meet and greet is just one example of how Disney have successfully adapted to challenges presented by COVID-19 and created a magical and memorable experience for all guests.