Description And Comments
Fantasmic! is a mixed-media show presented one or more times each evening that the park is open late (10 p.m. or later). Staged at the end of Tom Sawyer Island opposite the Frontierland and New Orleans Square waterfronts, Fantasmic! Was at its debut the most extraordinary and ambitious outdoor spectacle ever attempted in any theme park. Starring Mickey Mouse in his role as the sorcerer's apprentice from Fantasia, the production uses lasers, images projected on a shroud of mist, fireworks, lighting effects, and music in combinations so stunning that you can scarcely believe what you have seen.
The plot is simple: good versus evil. The story gets lost in all the special effects at times, but no matter -- it is the spectacle, not the story line, that is so overpowering. While beautiful, stunning, and powerful are words that immediately come to mind, they fail to convey the uniqueness of this presentation. In recent years, the production has been upgraded with brighter high-definition projectors and a 45-foot-tall full-bodied fire-breathing dragon (nicknamed Murphy) for the finale. It could be argued, with some validity, that Fantasmic! alone is worth the price of Disneyland Park admission. Needless to say, we rate Fantasmic! as not to be missed.
It is not easy to see Fantasmic! For the first show particularly, guests begin staking out prime viewing spots along the edge of the New Orleans Square and Frontierland waterfronts as much as 4 hours in advance. Similarly, good vantage points on raised walkways and terraces are also grabbed up early on. A mom from Lummi Island, Washington, dismantled her Disney stroller to make a nest:
We used the snap-off cover on the rental stroller to sit on during Fantasmic! since the ground was really cold.
Along similar lines, a middle-aged New York man wrote, saying:
Your excellent guidebook also served as a seat cushion while seated on the ground waiting for the show to begin. Make future editions thicker for greater comfort.
The best seats in the house are at the water's edge. For adults, it is really not necessary to have an unobstructed view of the staging area because most of the action is high above the crowd. Children standing in the closely packed crowd, however, are able to catch only bits and pieces of the presentation. Note that in the center of the waterfront, you must sit to be in the section closest to the water's edge. The best elevated view can be had from the bridge over the Pirates of the Caribbean queue.
Probably the most painless strategy for seeing Fantasmic! is to attend the second show. Usually, the second performance follows the first performance by about an hour and a half. At the second Fantasmic! fewer people are in the park and viewing conditions are less crowded. If you let the crowd for the first show clear out and then take up your position, you should be able to find a good vantage point, as a Salt Lake City reader found:
During the first showing, I perused the shops in New Orleans Square and then found a place to sit for awhile. When the show was almost over, I worked my way to Pirates and stationed myself in front of the entrance. When the show was over and the crowd started to disperse, I worked my way down to the riverfront and into prime seating where I was able to watch the fireworks and the second showing of Fantasmic!
Another good strategy is to board the train as the first show is concluding and disembark in New Orleans Square. Rain and wind conditions sometimes cause Fantasmic! to be canceled. Unfortunately, Disney officials usually do not make a final decision about whether to proceed or cancel until just before showtime. We have seen guests wrapped in ponchos sit stoically in rain or drizzle for more than an hour with no assurance that their patience and sacrifice would be rewarded. Unless you can find a covered viewing spot, we do not recommend staking out vantage points on rainy or especially windy nights. On nights like these, pursue your own agenda until 10 minutes or so before showtime, and then head to the waterfront to see what happens.
You can view Fantasmic! from a special reserved viewing area located near the Tom Sawyer Island raft dock. To make reservations, call (714) 781-7469. The price for the dock-viewing area runs $60 for adults and $50 for children ages 3-9. A dessert box is included. However, be aware of this Petaluma, California, family's experience:
We did the reserved seating for Fantasmic!, and that was pretty much a waste of money. After picking up our tickets earlier in the day, we stood in line at the designated spot at 7:50 p.m. for the 8 p.m. opening of first-come, first-serve seating. Somehow every seat was taken by the time we got to the front of the line at 8:15 p.m., except for four seats in the very back. When the show began at 9 p.m., we had a terrible view of the show between the light pole and people's heads in front of us. Note that they serve hot coffee/chocolate and give a dessert box, but bring your own treats for the kids -- the dessert box is full of fancy desserts that no child recognizes or wants to eat.
By the way, the $25 color-changing "Glow With The Show" mouse ear hats introduced for DCA's World of Color show work here too, and do an even more impressive job of synchronizing with this show.
- We rate this attraction as Not To Be Missed.
Make sure to hang on to children during Fantasmic! and to give them explicit instructions for regrouping in the event you are separated. Be especially vigilant when the crowd disperses after the show.
Other Attractions in Frontierland
|Shows at 8:45pm, and 10:45pm|
|Opening Date||May 13, 1992|
|Scope and scale||Headliner|
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