|By Rebekah Coley|
The Halloween season appears to come earlier and earlier every year. Thanks to lower crowds, moderate weather, and the scrumptious Food & Wine Festival, there are many reasons to visit WDW in the autumn. In addition to the unusually spooky ambience, special treats, and costumes, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party features exceptional entertainment. These special entertainment offerings include a Halloween-themed parade, fireworks display, and castle show. Until last year, the Boo-To-You Parade had been the crown jewel of this event, but now the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular has proven to be a worthy contender. Join us in today’s new article and find out why this production still has audiences spellbound...
|The Villain’s Mix & Mingle|
Before seeing the “Spelltacular," I had the opportunity to see the show’s predecessor, The Villain’s Mix & Mingle. Now I am not saying that this wasn’t an entertaining production; it certainly was. Considering that the love for the Disney villains is at an all-time high, many fans got a thrill from seeing so many rare characters in one place. Its weaknesses were found in the complete lack of storyline or narrator (granted, castle shows don’t need much of a plot to string the pieces together, but even this production felt a bit too disjointed). A refresh was needed.
|Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular concept art|
In addition to villain fever, someone at Disney realized another epidemic has been sweeping the nation – nostalgia fever. Made evident by the string of reboot shows clogging up our televisions, romanticizing the past (specifically the 90s) has become quite fashionable. And was anything more beloved than the family-friendly Halloween flick Hocus Pocus? I think not.
|Hocus Pocus movie poster|
As a result, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular was born. Narrated by the voice of Binx the black cat, this show focuses on the three Sanderson witches coming back to life for one night. Once again, they have to finish a special brew before dawn. In order to finish their concoction, they call upon several Disney villains to bring specific ingredients. This of course results in a musical number during each character’s entrance. Finally, once the potion is completed, the witches perform the movie’s showstopper, “I Put A Spell On You” for the grand finale. (I can’t even lie to you, readers – at that point, I fangirled with every other member of the audience). The show is a win by all accounts.
First of all, seasonal offerings tend to have more of a “punch” than the usual shows. Despite the general cheer of WDW performers, there is an unmistakable energy to the parades and shows that only happen on select nights of the year. (I can only imagine how cutthroat the auditions are to perform at these events.) As a spectator, it’s clear to me that the dancers’ kicks are a little higher, and the improv of the characters is just a little bit sillier. Such is the case with the new castle show. The dancing ensemble is explosive, the musical arrangements are unique, and all of the villains lap up the spotlight.
The crucial ingredients to this smash hit, though, are the Sanderson sisters. These actresses are so identical in their appearance, movement, and vocals to the women who starred in the original film. If I didn’t know better, I would believe that the characters had been ripped from the movie itself. In addition to the times I’ve seen this show live, I have watched more than one YouTube recording, and never have I found a hole in the performances of either Winifred, Mary, or Sarah. (It’s pretty clear why Disney opted out of having the sisters take pictures for meet and greets. I don’t know if any character attendant could control that mob.)
|The Sanderson sisters make this show a smash hit!|
Similar to my love for Boo-To-You, I am at a loss when I try to critique this show… even on the most insignificant level. The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is truly a masterpiece when it comes to seasonal offerings. This should be around for many Halloweens to come. If you can't make it to the Magic Kingdom this Halloween season but really want to see this show, take a look at the full performance in the video below. Happy Halloween everyone...
Rebekah Coley is a Pittsburgh native who has been obsessing over Disney films (and the corporation in general) for her entire life. Starting with a childhood of constantly dressing up in princess costumes, memorizing songs, and watching the newest Disney VHS tapes on repeat, her love and passion for Disney magic has not faded over time.
In addition to loving the most popular Disney movies, Rebekah has a soft spot for underrated works that didn’t receive the same fanfare (e.g. A Goofy Movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc.) It is a passion of hers to remind other fans of their existence and excellence.
By day, Rebekah works in professional development and holds a Bachelors degree in Human Resources Management from Point Park University. By night, she performs in community theater musicals, reads and exercises compulsively, and strives to stay on top of any Disney-related news. As a lover of entertainment, Rebekah’s blogs focus on reviewing Disney’s theme park productions, stage adaptations, films, and books.
You can find additional examples of Rebekah’s work on her personal blog- https://toeachhisownblog.wordpress.com/.
You can find all of Rebekah's articles here.