Description And Comments

Off Sunset Boulevard behind the Tower of Terror, this mixed-media show is staged on an island opposite the 8,200-seat Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, by far the largest theater facility ever created by Disney.

Fantasmic! is 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.

Touring Tips

Most of the year, Fantasmic! is presented one or more times each evening, but Disney has been known to change the schedule. Verify before you go. Fantasmic! is to the Studios what IllumiNations is to Epcot. While it’s hard to imagine an 8000+ person stadium running out of space, that’s just what 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, arrive 50 minutes early.

Disney offers FastPass+ reservations for Fantasmic!, but we don’t think it’s useful. For one thing, your FastPass+ reservation doesn’t guarantee you a seat; you must still arrive 30 to 60 minutes beforehand to guarantee a good spot. Arrive 5 minutes before the show starts and you’re likely to be turned away, even with FastPass+. Also, there’s no special section reserved for FastPass+ guests, whereas there is for guests who’ve booked the Fantasmic! dinner package. So using FastPass+ at Fantasmic! doesn’t guarantee you a seat, doesn’t save you any time in line, and prevents you from using FastPass+ at Toy Story Mania and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.

From a Yorktown, Virginia, mom:

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—and this was during the off-season on a slow day.

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:

Bring pillows or towels to sit on. We were sitting on those benches from 6 p.m. for the 7:30 show, and boy, did our rears hurt by the end!

Rainy and windy conditions sometimes cause Fantasmic! to be cancelled. Unfortunately, Disney officials usually don’t make a final decision about whether to proceed or cancel until just before showtime. We’ve seen guests wait stoically for over an hour with no assurance that their patience and sacrifice will be rewarded. We don’t recommend arriving more than 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, 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+, this wait is unnecessary— just have guests go to FastPass+ kiosks at their convenience during the day 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!:

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! Twice I almost ran over toddlers whose mothers didn’t have the sense or energy to 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.

Nowadays, Disney will indeed reduce that stress (for a price) in the form of the Fantasmic! Dining Package, which provides a fixed-price restaurant meal and guaranteed Fantasmic! seating in a prime-view section reserved for dining package purchasers. No queuing is required, although you must still arrive early, and seating is first-come, first-served within that section.

Special Comments

Disney's only seated nighttime event.

Special Needs

Additional Resources

Other Attractions in Sunset Boulevard

Touring Plans with Fantasmic!

What is a Touring Plan?