Description And Comments
Fantasmic! is presented one or more times each evening when the park is open late. Off Sunset Boulevard behind the Tower of Terror, this mixed-media show is staged on an island opposite a 6,900-seat Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. By far the largest theater facility ever created by Disney, the amphitheater can accommodate an additional 3,000 standing guests for an audience of nearly 10,000.
Fantasmic! is far and away the most innovative outdoor spectacle ever attempted at 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 combination so stunning you can scarcely believe what you're seeing. The plot is simple: good versus evil. The story gets lost in all the special effects at times, but no matter; it's the spectacle, not the storyline, that is so powerful. A mom from Pearland, Texas, found Fantasmic! too intense for her young child:
Fantasmic! should come with a warning label. The show features a multitude of characters in various vignettes interspersed with water and laser-light interludes as Mickey Mouse begins his lighthearted and fanciful dream. Unfortunately for the impressionable and tender of mind, the dream becomes a nightmare as the evil villains take over Mickey's imagination. The combination of actual characters, their larger-than-life laser visages, loud and ominous music, and thundering explosions with blinding flashes of light, fire, and sparks sent hordes of parents with screaming children fleeing for the exits.
We don't receive many reports of young children being terrified by Fantasmic!, the reader's point is well taken. Spend some time preparing your children for what they will see. You can mitigate the fright factor somewhat by sitting back a bit. Also, hang on to your children after Fantasmic! and to give them instructions for regrouping should you get separated.
As a day-capping event, it's to the Studios what IllumiNations is to Epcot. While it's hard to imagine running out of space in a 10,000-person stadium, it happens almost every time the show is staged. On evenings when there are two performances, the second show will always be less crowded. If you attend the first (or only) scheduled performance, then show up at least an hour in advance. If you opt for the second show, then arrive 50 minutes early.
From a Yorktown, Virginia, mom:
I think you seriously underestimated the time when people should arrive to see Fantasmic! if they want to get a seat. The stadium was already full when we arrived 45 minutes before the show was scheduled to start, and the remaining seats filled up quickly. Keep in mind this was during the off-season on one of the slower days of the week at DHS.
A Cross Junction, Virginia, woman offers this tip:
It's a good idea to buy deli sandwiches outside the park, pack them with snacks and water in your backpack, and get a seat early.
A multigenerational family from Barrie, Ontario, makes this suggestion for guests who are short on nature's upholstery:
I would bring pillows or towels to sit on during Fantasmic! We were sitting on those benches from 6 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show, and boy, did our rears hurt by the end!
A mom from Virginia warns about sitting too close to the action:
Avoid sitting near the front. We were stuck in the fourth row, and despite no detectable wind, we were constantly sprayed by the fountains during the show. That might feel good after a hot summer day, but it was very unpleasant on a cool fall evening.
Rain and wind conditions sometimes cause Fantasmic! to be cancelled. Unfortunately, Disney officials usually do not make a final decision about whether to proceed or cancel until just before showtime. We have seen guests wait stoically for over an hour with no assurance that their patience and sacrifice would be rewarded. We don't recommend arriving more than a 20 minutes before showtime 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 stadium to see what happens.
A Franklin, Tennessee, family of five describes what you might be in for on a rainy night and offers Disney a suggestion:
The week we were there, it rained every afternoon for several hours--and the Fantasmic! audience had to sit in the rain for 60-90 minutes until Disney figured out whether they would do the show. (Most times, it was cancelled--so they got soaked for nothing.) With Fastpass system, this wait would be unnecessary--just have guests go to kiosks at their convenience during the day, put in their pass, and get a "reservation" for Fantasmic! Then the guests could enjoy the park or choose to stay dry until 15-20 minutes before showtime, giving Disney time to make announcements about the show's status.
A Wisconsin family reports that rain isn't the only thing that can have a dampening effect on Fantasmic!:
You should warn your readers that on a night with even a slight breeze, the mist from the water on which the projections are cast drifts over the theater and gets you wet. We were sprayed with a mist of cold water for 25 minutes. The show was hard to enjoy when it was already cool and then this cold spray of water was added. I don't know how many rows behind us were affected, but it was very uncomfortable.
Exiting Fantasmic! via the show's single exit can be hair-raising, as this retired elementary-school teacher attests:
It was like a cattle stampede, but at a snail's pace! You felt as if you were suffocating. Twice I almost ran over toddlers whose mothers didn't have the sense or energy to pick up their children and carry them.
Finally, a couple from Alberta, Canada, sums it up for all of us:
For a show so deservedly hyped, I would hope WDW finds ways to make seeing it less stressful.
- We rate this attraction as Not To Be Missed.
Disney's best nighttime event.
Disney Dish with Jim Hill
What with the way that World of Color has been wowing the crowds out at Disney California Adventure, Studios management has been giving some very serious thought lately to giving Fantasmic! a face-lift. But Disney is also allegedly toying with the idea of adding an elegant new outdoor-cafe area to the multimedia spectacular's arena. Guests would pay a premium to gain access to this new viewing area, where they could wine and dine while they enjoyed a fantastic view of the show.
- Fantasmic! (StudiosCentral.com)
Other Attractions in Sunset Boulevard
Touring Plans with Fantasmic!
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Touring Plan for Tweens and Parents
- Disney's Hollywood Studios Unofficial Guide Touring Plan
- Disney's Hollywood Studios Happy Family One-Day Touring Plan
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Holiday Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Holiday Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Late Arrival Touring Plan for Adults
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Late Arrival Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Late Arrival Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Holiday Touring Plan for Adults
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Not-A-Touring-Plan Plan for Adults
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Not-A-Touring-Plan Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Disney's Hollywood Studios One-Day Late-Arrival Not-A-Touring-Plan for Adults and Parents
- Disney's Hollywood Studios Afternoon Touring Plan
- Ultimate Touring Plan: Hollywood Studios Standard Hours
- Ultimate Touring Plan: Hollywood Studios Morning Extra Magic Hours
- See all Touring Plans...
|Shows at 9pm, and 10:30pm|
|Opening Date||October 15, 1998|
|Scope and scale||Super Headliner|
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