We recently took an amazingly magical trip to experience Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Part of this delightfully spooky, frightfully fun night was the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular–a spellbinding show that welcomes back the Sanderson Sisters: Winifred, Mary, and Sarah. It’s been 23 years since we last saw the Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus the movie, but they are just as sharp, hilarious, and wonderfully wicked as ever. They have returned to make a Hocus Pocus party potion so that they can throw the “most villainous Halloween party this Kingdom has ever seen.” With the help of Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Hades, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, Jafar, and Lady Tremaine, they do just that.
We sat down with the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular Show Director Denise Case and Costume Designer Christine Burchett to talk about the show, and all things Sanderson Sisters. Then we made our way to the stage in front of Cinderella Castle to see the show for ourselves. Every second of the show was hilarious, spooky, breathtaking, and completely magical, all at once. Here’s all the things we learned:
1. The show features a giant cauldron that will absolutely delight you.
Winifred’s cauldron is one of many amazing design elements of the show that will have you in awe. The cauldron is huge and changes colors when Winnie adds various wicked ingredients into it. It perfectly suits the epic Disney Villains that gather to help the Sanderson Sisters make their Hocus Pocus potion.
2. When Winifred sings “I Put a Spell On You,” it will give you chills.
We’re not going to lie, we cried a little when Winnie started to sing because it was absolute perfection. Her voice is flawless, even after hundreds of years and that one incident where she and her sisters were turned into dust.
3. You will get to see Disney Villains in a way you won’t see them anywhere else.
The fantastic looks the Disney Villains are sporting in the show are uniquely designed and absolutely breathtaking. Case told us that “this is a really great opportunity to see so many Villains. Villains you don’t get to see very often who don’t normally come out of the shadows to play. And villains that we rarely see all together. So, this is great chance if you’re a big fan of the Disney Villains.” When we asked what went into choosing the Disney Villains that participated in the Sanderson Sisters’ evening of frightful fun, Case said they chose the Villains “who decided they want to place nice.” We’re sure it was a difficult task with all of those Villain egos involved!
4. The Sanderson Sisters’ costumes are exactly the same as the first time they appeared to us 23 years ago in Hocus Pocus.
Through Disney magic, Case and Burchett were able to examine the original clothes of the Sanderson Sisters so that they could make sure Winnie, Sarah, and Mary had every single detail of their looks exactly the same for their Magic Kingdom debut. As Case says, they created every detail “down to their stockings, down to their shoes…down to their earrings, the clasps, everything.” Burchett’s favorite element in Winnie’s outfit is from the first time we first saw her sing “I Put A Spell On You” in Hocus Pocus, and “Winnie grabs up her skirt and runs across the stage and you see this much of her beautiful orange trim above those tights. I said, that’s gotta happen.” And it did, and it was an amazing moment!
5. The first time Burchett saw Hocus Pocus was on a flight to her first Walt Disney World vacation.
Burchett originally joined the Walt Disney Company as a costume intern with Creative Entertainment. She said, “I’ve known I wanted to work for Disney since I was about 6 years old. I think after that first trip down here I knew this was what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be.” For the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Burchett was approached to “give some style tips to our fantastic Villains and of course to the Sanderson Sisters for their big Magic Kingdom debut.” She then added, “You know they’ve been wearing those outfits for a solid 400 years now at least and so, it just took a little dusting off of some cobwebs to get them show ready.”
6. Case and Burchett like to discuss which Sanderson Sister they are, just like us.
Burchett said, “I think I’m a Sarah. I’m just happy to be here!” While Case replied that she is a Winnie because “she has her moments but she’s really the one that stays the course and she’s moving her story forward.” We love that they’ve thought about this, and it further proves that they too are huge fans of the Sanderson Sisters!
7. Next up for the Hocus Pocus creative team is Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.
Case and Burchett are both working on creating the magic for the newest holiday show at the Magic Kingdom coming later this year. Case also helped open Shanghai Disneyland earlier this year. We absolutely cannot wait to see everything else that is in store from this amazing creative team!
8. It’s all about making guests feel like they’ve been to the best Halloween party ever.
Case told us, “Everything we do is for you guys. We want our fans and our guests to just walk away…feeling like they’ve had the time of their life. It’s very important to us. Whether you come once, whether you come five hundred times…that means so much to us and that’s what we strive for because we want everyone to be so happy and not so scary.”
We can certainly attest that the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular made us feel very, very happy. It was truly a magical experience and a dream come true to see the famous Sanderson Sisters in person, and to see our favorite Disney Villains come out to “play nice” with them. It’s safe to say we’ll be joyfully singing “I Put a Spell On You” throughout the Halloween season, thanks to Winnie, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson, and the amazing creative team that helped them “dust off their cobwebs” for their “spelltacular” Magic Kingdom debut.
Have you seen the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular? Tell us all about it in the comments!