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    Fantasmic!

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Description And Comments

Off Sunset Boulevard behind the Tower of Terror,this mixed-media show is staged on an island opposite the 7,900- seat Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. By far the largest theater facility ever created by Disney, the amphitheater can accommodate an additional 2,000 standing guests for an audience of nearly 10,000.

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 combinations 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’s powerful.

A Pearland, Texas, mom found Fantasmic! too intense for her young child:

Fantasmic! should come with a warning label. The characters’ larger-than-life laser visages, loud and ominous music, and thundering explosions 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

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 Happily Ever After is to the Magic Kingdom: While it’s hard to imagine a 10,000-person stadium running out of space, that’s exactly what happens almost every time the show is staged. On evenings when there are two shows, the second will always be less crowded. If you attend the first (or only) scheduled performance, then arrive at least an hour in advance; if you opt for the second, arrive 50 minutes early. Fantasmic! was dropped from the FastPass+ lineup at press time, but even before that it wasn’t a good choice for an advance reservation.

A Cross Junction, Virginia, woman offers this planning tip:

Buy deli sandwiches outside the park, pack them with snacks and water, and get an early seat.

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!

Rain and wind sometimes cause Fantasmic! to be canceled; unfortunately, Disney usually doesn’t make a final ruling 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. In any case, 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 10–20 minutes or so before showtime; then head to the stadium to see what happens.

Exiting Fantasmic! via the show’s single exit can be hair-raising, as this retired schoolteacher attests:

It was like a cattle stampede, but at a snail’s pace! Twice I almost ran over toddlers whose mothers were too tired to carry them.

From a veteran of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World:

I visit Disneyland a lot, and their [crowd-control] cast members push the throngs of guests through the park like clockwork, even when it’s bursting at the seams. At Disney World, it’s basically every man for himself as the cast members retreat, leaving very tired, very cranky guests to duke it out. Such is the case at Fantasmic!— while I was very happy to see a backstage corridor wide open for a quick reroute, the presence of cast members was extremely rare.

Finally, a couple from Alberta, Canada, sums things up:

For a show so deservedly hyped, I would hope that WDW finds ways to make seeing it less stressful.

Attraction Photos

Special Comments

Fantasmic! Dining Package: If you eat lunch or dinner at Hollywood & Vine, The Hollywood Brown Derby, or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, you can obtain a voucher for the members of your dining party to enter Fantasmic! via a special entrance and sit in a reserved section of seats. In return for your patronage of the restaurant, you can avoid 30–90 minutes waiting in the regular line to be admitted. If you know you’re going to eat dinner at one of these locations, the dining package is a better way to see Fantasmic! than using FastPass+.

You must call ☎ 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463) 180 days in advance and request the package for the night you want to see the show. Note: This is a real reservation, not an Advance Reservation, and it must be guaranteed with a credit card at the time of booking. There’s no additional charge for the package itself, but there is a $10-per-person charge for canceling with less than 48 hours’ notice.

Included in the package are fixed-price menus for all three restaurants as follows; respective prices are for adults and kids ages 3–9: Hollywood & Vine: breakfast $46/$28, buffet dinner $60/$36; The Hollywood Brown Derby: lunch and dinner $63/$22; Mama Melrose’s: lunch and dinner $43/$18. Nonalcoholic drinks are included; tax, tips, and park admission are not. Some Disney dining plans are accepted. Prices may vary seasonally, so call ☎ 407-WDW- D I N E (939-3463) to confirm.

You’ll receive your vouchers at the restaurant during your meal; if you’re eating dinner, you’ll need to arrive no later than 2½ hours before showtime. Then, about half an hour before the show, you’ll report to the Highlands Gate on Sunset Boulevard, between Theater of the Stars and the Once Upon a Time store. A cast member will collect your vouchers and escort you to the reserved-seating section of the amphitheater. Though you’re required to arrive early, you can be seated immediately. The reserved seats are in the center of the stadium; you won’t have assigned seats—it’s first-come, first-served—so arrive early for the best choice. Finally, if Fantasmic! is canceled due to weather or other circumstances, you’ll get a voucher for another performance within five days.

Weather notwithstanding, a Waldorf, Maryland, couple thinks the dining package is the only way to go:

We booked dinner at Hollywood & Vine, got our passes for the package, and waltzed on in to the show. We felt like VIPs, and it was so relaxing to see the show without the rush of the crowds.

Special Needs

Additional Resources

Other Attractions in Sunset Boulevard

Touring Plans with Fantasmic!

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