A Legendary Tale
A night when dreams come true.
The fantastic fantasy includes Disney Characters from some of your favorite animated films:
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Little Mermaid
- The Lion King
Know Before You Go
For showtimes, please check our Entertainment Schedule or the My Disney Experience app .
The amphitheater curves around the lagoon, so wherever you’re seated, you’re perfectly situated to experience the action. Guests sitting in the first couple of rows may get wet during the performance.
Please have your entire party together before entering the amphitheater. You may arrive as early as 90 minutes prior to each show. Be sure to arrive early to get a seat!
Since this is an outdoor show, it is also subject to cancellation due to inclement weather. Showtimes are subject to change.
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Fantasmic! Will Return to Disney World Later This Year with New Scene
by Timothy Moore | May 5, 2022 | Disney's Hollywood Studios , WDW Blog , WDW News
Wondering when Fantasmic! will return to Disney World? Scroll on to learn more about the return of this classic Hollywood Studios show — and what new things will be in store when Fantasmic! comes back.
The iconic Hollywood Studios show Fantasmic! has not delighted guests since the temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 . Slowly but surely, Disney World has been resurrecting discontinued shows and experiences, but Fantasmic! remains one of the last experiences still yet to be revived .
While Disney hasn’t announced a hard date, we do know that Fantasmic! will return to Disney World later this year — and when it does, it’ll have a brand-new scene.
Fantasmic! – Returning 2022
Fantasmic! is an epic entertainment extravaganza in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that is equal parts show and fireworks display . The experience includes more than 50 live performers, inspirational music, stunning pyrotechnics, and massive sets — all set over a canvas of water and light.
Fantasmic! will return to Disney World in 2022. Photo by Cliff Wang
Fantasmic! is a great place to see your favorite Disney Villains, including Maleficent in her 40-foot dragon form . You’ll also see characters from beloved Disney animated movies like Beauty and the Beast , Aladdin , The Little Mermaid , Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , The Lion King , and Sleeping Beauty .
The Evil Queen is one of many Disney Villains in Fantasmic! at Disney World. Photo by Cliff Wang
Maleficent appears in dragon form. Photo by Brett Svenson
And of course, this is the iconic place where you can experience Sorcerer Mickey , controlling water, color, and magic.
Check My Disney Experience for showtimes (Fantasmic! doesn’t run every night), and be sure to get to the amphitheater as early as 90 minutes before the show to get a good seat.
The show is outdoors, so if there is inclement weather, it may be canceled, or showtimes may change .
Sorcerer Mickey will return to Disney World with Fantasmic! later this year. Photo by Cliff Wang
Wondering where to find Fantasmic at Disney World? Check out the Hollywood Studios map before your park day. The amphitheater sits behind the Tower of Terror attraction at the front of the park. (Hang a right d
own Sunset Boulevard after entering the park and keep to the right.)
Updates to Fantasmic! in 2022
Fantasmic! returns as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Photo courtesy of Disney
The Fantasmic! stage has been dark for two years, so when Disney brings it back to life, it will do so with a whole new dose of magic. Disney has promised a new show sequence that includes some newer Disney characters: Mulan, Elsa, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Moana, all in the heroic moments of their own journeys.
Disney has also promised new technical enhancements.
Thanks to Disney for hosting us on a 2-night The Celebration Continues: Even More Magic Media Event where we got to conduct interviews, learn about exciting updates made for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, stay at Gran Destino Tower, and experience new entertainment offerings. #SaveTheGalaxyTime #CosmicRewind #DisneyWorld50
Today in Disney History, 1992: Fantasmic Premieres
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Authored by Timothy Moore
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UPDATE on Fantasmic! Construction at Disney World
Recently, Disney World has been welcoming many post-shutdown returns! Trams , character meet and greets , a reimagined Finding Nemo show …the list is pretty long!
But one thing has been missing from these exciting return announcements — Fantasmic! While the show has made its comeback in Disneyland already, Disney World guests continue to wait…and wait…for any sign of a return. And we might just have one!
We often look at construction to get an idea of how close we may be to an attraction or show’s opening. We did this with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind , and we’re currently doing it with the new Moana attraction coming to EPCOT ! So, let’s take a look at Fantasmic! to see how close (or far) we are from the show’s opening!
On Twitter, the account @bioreconstruct has provided refurbishment updates for the show. Recently, they noticed water return to the area after it was drained. They also saw a collection of trash cans that weren’t placed throughout the seating area like they normally are.
Aerial photo yesterday showing the Fantasmic pool is filled again. pic.twitter.com/nkU0e0Q9Mj — bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) May 28, 2022
And a couple days ago, the account noticed that the trash cans were staged at each seating section once again! They also pointed out that the canoes for the Pocahontas section were gone. This makes sense, as Disney already shared that this section will be taken out of the show.
With the trash cans being placed properly in the seating sections, and the area looking ready for the current show (a.k.a. the Pocahontas canoes are gone), we’re hoping to hear a reopening announcement soon!
We’ll continue to keep you updated with the latest on any Fantasmic! news! In the meantime, if you want to learn about more reopenings, check out details on the return of Victoria & Albert’s ! Or, check out the return info for Harmony Barbershop!
And, as always, stay tuned to AllEars for the latest Disney news!
Join the AllEars.net Newsletter to get the free list of the Best Hollywood Studios Snacks! Click here to get started!
When do you think Fantasmic! will return? Let us know in the comments!
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Viewing Guide for Fantasmic at Disney World
This viewing guide features tips & tricks for watching Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This covers the best & worst views, seating locations to see the nighttime spectacular, whether dining packages are worth the money, and suggestions for taking better photos of Walt Disney World’s best nighttime spectacular. ( Updated May 23, 2023 .)
For those unfamiliar with it, Fantasmic is a nighttime spectacular performed nightly in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After a multi-year hiatus, it was reimagined and reintroduced at the end of last year, and is now arguably the must-see nighttime spectacular at Walt Disney World. Right up there with the iconic Happily Ever After fireworks that fill the sky above Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom.
Another version of Fantasmic is also shown along the Rivers of America at Disneyland; the two are similar but sufficiently different that both are worth seeing. While Fantasmic includes pyro among its elements, it is not a conventional fireworks show. Instead, it’s more like a stage show at night, at an epic scale with wow-inducing wizardry, visuals, and performers.
May 23, 2023 Update: We’ve revised some of our strategy below, but also wanted to offer a quick note up top since we’re discussing the Disneyland version of Fantasmic. Due to Maleficent catching on fire last month, Fantasmic at Disneyland is dark until at least Labor Day .
There’s been some confusion about this, but the California closure does not impact Fantasmic at Walt Disney World in any way, shape, or form. Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is being presented 100% as normal, including all fire effects, Maleficent, and everything else. It’ll continue to be performed–hopefully with two showtimes–throughout Summer 2023.
For those who are unfamiliar with it, Fantasmic is, for lack of a better term, an evening extravaganza. It combines various elements–fire, water projections, lasers, and fireworks–for a show that uses dreaming and the power of imagination as a jumping off point for montage scenes with various heroes and villains.
The latter characters turn Mickey’s dream into a nightmare, and the little mouse uses the power of his imagination to overcome them! The elaborate production also features dozens of live performers, massive sets, and rousing music to produce a larger-than-life show.
The premise of Fantasmic is that Mickey Mouse is fast asleep, dreaming of being the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with the power to control water, color and magic. This sets the stage for a series of scenes from other films, some of which Mickey Mouse appears inside, including Moana, Frozen 2, Mulan, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid , and the Lion King.
This takes a dark turn and becomes a nightmare fantasmic when the Evil Queen from Snow White conjures up some of Disney’s most dastardly villains, including Maleficent as a 40 foot tall fire-breathing dragon! He must then use the power of his imagination to bravely vanquish his foes and save the day–don’t underestimate the power of Mickey’s imagination!
For those who are familiar with Fantasmic but haven’t seen it since its return in 2022, a lot has changed. The nighttime spectacular has been reimagined with stunning new effects, upgraded audio & visual technology, and a brand-new heroes montage scene. This brings to life heroic moments from Moana, Mulan, Aladdin, Frozen 2 , and Pocahontas . The heroes medley replaces an extended, all-Pocahontas scene, and is a huge upgrade.
Through this sequence, the audience goes on a journey with heroes, watching as they find the strength within themselves to push through in a truly spectacular way. The new heroes part features a high-energy Aladdin chase stunt session, a powerful scene with Elsa set to the song “Show Yourself” that is sure to thaw the most frozen of hearts, and stirring moments with Pocahontas, Moana, and Mulan. Without question, this is better than the Pocahontas standalone scene that it replaced.
With the basics of the nighttime spectacular out of the way, the first thing to determine is figuring out whether you want to purchase the Fantasmic Dining Package. For what it’s worth, we recommend booking the cheapest Fantasmic Dining Package and guaranteeing yourself a great seat that way!
Participating restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and dining package prices, which exclude tax and gratuity:
In the past, we only recommended the Fantasmic Dining Package to those on the Disney Dining Plan, as there was no extra cost for it. It was a “free” bonus for those on the DDP. However, that’s in part because it was fairly easy to get a good spot for Fantasmic via standby, or a great spot via the free FastPass+ service.
Unfortunately, the Disney Dining Plan is still temporarily suspended, so obviously it’s not possible to get the Fantasmic dining package for “free” with the DDP right now. Moreover, FastPass+ has been permanently retired–and Fantasmic does not have a Genie+ Lightning Lane entrance ( yet ), so that’s also not an option.
The good news is that we finally have official confirmation that Walt Disney World is bringing back the Disney Dining Plan in 2024! Hopefully a Lightning Lane entrance will also be added for Fantasmic at some point this year or in 2024, too.
All of this changes the equation, and makes us much more inclined to recommend paying out of pocket for the Fantasmic Dining Package. As far as recommendations go, our biggest advice is…NOT Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano!
Seriously, we really like all of the Fantasmic Dining Package restaurants except Mama Melrose, and all for different reasons. Hollywood Brown Derby is one of the few in-park Signature Restaurants, and it’s generally really good. Of course, it’s also far and away the most expensive, but that’s also true when paying out of pocket at the restaurant. So long as you order one of the $40+ entrees, Brown Derby is still a pretty good value via the Fantasmic Dining Package despite the higher cost.
We also really love both 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. As noted above, the latter is the cheapest Fantasmic Dining Package, and the former is only a few dollars more expensive. We’ve said for years that you should disregard the negative reviews, as the experience at both restaurants is the star of the show. Both serve pretty good comfort food, too.
I’m inclined to pick Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater over 50’s Prime Time Cafe, but other Walt Disney World fans favor 50’s. I can’t fault them for the preference–you really can’t go wrong, either way. Both are among the pinnacle of themed dining at Walt Disney World and are well-worth experiencing at least once. (We’ve done both many, many more times than that! )
We also love the various Minnie’s Seasonal Dine options at Hollywood & Vine. While we cringe a bit at that $71 price for adults, we absolutely love Minnie’s Holiday Dine –as well as the Spring Time and Halloween options.
Hollywood & Dine is another restaurant that gets mixed reviews, with some Walt Disney World fans ardently opposed to it. To be sure, this is not the height of haute cuisine at Walt Disney World. It’s a character buffet. The food is familiar and comforting, and in no way whatsoever envelope-pushing, but generally good. We are big fans. (Overall, I think the table service ‘scene’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios doesn’t get nearly enough credit. It’s no World Showcase, but almost everything offers something worthwhile.)
Not everyone will have the vacation budget or time to do the Fantasmic Dining Package. Table service meals are expensive and, equally as important, time-consuming. On top of that, availability is exceeding limited for the Fantasmic Dining Package, with exponentially more demand than there is supply. As a result, many visitors who do want to book the Fantasmic Dining Package will not be able to do so.
Which brings us to the other viewing options for Fantasmic at Walt Disney World.
Let’s start with whether you should catch the first or second performance of Fantasmic. On nights when there’s only one showing of Fantasmic, that’s the one you’ll do (obviously). Pretty open and shut recommendation.
While you can line up to see Fantasmic up to 90 minutes in advance, we recommend showing up around 30-45 minutes in advance if there’s only one showing of Fantasmic. You won’t get a great seat, but most views in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater are “good enough.”
By arriving at least 30 minutes before showtime, you should get a spot that is not in the far left or right second. (During peak season travel dates–the weeks of Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, Spring Break, July 4th, etc–consider arriving earlier.)
On nights when there are two showtimes of Fantasmic, it’s common for the second one to occur at park closing or 30 minutes after. If the second showtime is at or after park closing, you should see the second one. It’ll effectively extend your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by 30 minutes to an hour, which is more than you’ll get by jumping in line for a ride at the end of the night.
Equally as important, we’ve managed to see the second showing of Fantasmic from spectacular seats without arriving more than 5 minutes in advance of showtime. This has been the case even on evenings when the first performance was quite busy and seats filled up 30 minutes before showtime.
On those same busier days, the late performances of Fantasmic had multiple entire sections that went unfilled. I was able to snag the third row of a great section at (literally) 2 minutes before showtime, and that was on a busy day. We’ve done this repeatedly in 2023, including during the peak of spring break–and we’ll be trying it again this summer and holiday season when there are (presumably) multiple showtimes again.
If there are two showings of Fantasmic and the second is scheduled for 30 minutes or more before park closing (this pretty much only happens in the winter), we’d recommend seeing the first showing! This is despite it always being the more crowded of the two. Other planning resources, like the above, are going to recommend seeing the second show for the exact same reason–the second showing is always less popular.
During the second showing of Fantasmic, the rest of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also significantly less crowded. This allows you to knock out headliner attractions with minimal wait–we’re talking posted wait times under an hour for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash, with actual wait times typically around half of what’s posted.
Now let’s turn to where to sit for the best view of Fantasmic. At Walt Disney World, this is pretty simple. Fantasmic’s viewing area is set up like a normal stage show, with the action taking place mostly on a stage, and in the water in front of that stage.
The seating area is literally an amphitheater, with benches for seating. My preference is as close to center as possible, and near the front, but not all the way at the front. Roughly 3 to 10 rows back, give or take. Personally, I like to be a few rows back to have clearance over the handrail for photos and also to be on a straight-plane with the main stage. That’s probably splitting hairs a bit too much, though.
I don’t like being much farther back than 10 rows. The Hollywood Hills Amphitheater is absolutely colossal, and the farther back you get, the more impersonal the venue feels. Being closer doesn’t just put you closer to the action–it makes the show feel more immersive. This is one of the big strengths of the Disneyland version, which is often described as intimate as a result. (Much like the park itself.)
It’s impossible to replicate that feeling at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as the venue is not an organic part of the park. However, the upside is that it’s a lot easier to watch Fantasmic at DHS and the crowd for the nighttime spectacular does not impact the rest of the park. In my opinion, you can come pretty close to having that sense of intimacy and immersiveness by getting a good seat close to center stage.
Speaking of which, Hollywood Hills Amphitheater seats 6,900 guests with additional standing room for about 3,000 guests. That should put into context the size of the venue, which is like a small (half) stadium.
The nearly 10,000 person capacity is massive number–larger than how many guests can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from Main Street–and one that allows a good percentage of all guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic–especially when it has two nightly performances. By that time of the night, there typically are not that many guests still around in DHS, so the second show seldom fills up the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, front and center should be pretty easy to locate. Note that in the very front row will get you wet, and slightly off-center is no problem. As of Fantasmic’s return in Late 2022, the Sorcerer Mickey and Scar sections are reserved for the Fantasmic Dining Packages. Without a doubt, these are the best views of the show.
However, they are not the only great views. Just as good as the Scar section is the Pocahontas section, especially the seats towards the Sorcerer Mickey side. The case could be made that Pocahontas is ever-so-slightly superior to Scar in terms of the view of center-stage.
It’s also worth noting that not all of the action occurs on the center-stage. To the extent that there are off-center scenes, these occur disproportionately to the Sebastian section side. That also makes this a great section, especially if you’re a fan of Moana or want a great view of Mickey during the climactic battle sequence.
Honestly, though, don’t overthink it. These are my personal preferences as an obsessive photographer who aims for the perfect conditions and viewing angles. For 95% of guests, any view is going to be a great view, and Fantasmic will impress regardless.
As such, my more “mainstream” advice is to arrive early enough so that you’re not seated far back, or in the far left or right (Hades/Beast and Ursula/Witch) sections. Every other viewing area is great, and I’d personally trade a slightly off-center view for a view that’s closer to the stage.
Overall, Fantasmic is an excellent nighttime spectacular and the perfect way to end a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It has always been a not-to-be-missed experience at Walt Disney World, but that’s truer than ever thanks to the new heroes sequence and improved effects. Even if it means spending more for the dining package or committing time to securing a spot via standby, Fantasmic is worth it.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews . To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What’s your favorite viewing section for Fantasmic in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater? Prefer Sorcerer Mickey, Scar, Pocahontas…or some other section? Do you typically do the dining package, standby, or have a different strategy for seeing the show? Bummed that there’s no virtual queue or Genie+ for Fantasmic at DHS? Would it be worth the surcharge to guarantee that you’ll have a good spot in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater to see Fantasmic? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Written by Tom Bricker
Tom, If the WDW calendar is to be believed, Fantasmic will be shown only at 8:30 starting on Aug. 27 and continuing through Sept. 18 (after which it will return to 9:30), with the park closing at 9:00. That would make it a high price to pay to attend the show, as by arriving in advance and staying through the 29-minute extravaganza, it would eat up the whole last, best hour at the park (in terms of lines and atmosphere). Any thoughts on dealing with that situation (without shelling out for the dinner package for a family of four)? Fantasmic or a prime hour of rides? Or would it be possible to leave, say, 3-5 minutes early from the show and get to Slinky Dog (or at least to Tower of Terror) a minute before closing? Any advice would be most welcome.
Just booked our ADRs for our trip in August and was hoping they’d add Roundup Rodeo to the package because we really want to try that restaurant but 2 table service meals for 6 people would cost way more than we want to spend in one day. Thanks for the tips on seating though, that should help!
Just watched 9pm showing of Fantasmic last night (5th May) at WDW and Maleficent was not in use! I asked a cast member afterwards and apparently after the down time (1st & 2nd May) it hasn’t been used due to technical difficulties!
Great info! What’s your recommendation for when the park closes at 10 and the second showing is at 10:30? Would you still recommend seeing the first showing?
I have the same question! Noticed they’ve shifted the timing of the 2nd show and given that an curious if that changes the recommendation. Also wondering if there’s enough time to leave the show and hop in line for one last ride.
Super helpful article. Booked the dining package for Jan. 23 at Hollywood and Vine for myself, hubby and kids. Super excited. Your recommendations and tips helped me so much. Cheers!
Fantasmic dining was released for Jan 2023 today, however I tried all day and nothing available. Tried to transfer the dining res I already have to the dining package and was told I would have to rebook to do that, but there haven’t been any dining reservation available for quite a while, so I’m not sure how that works.
I haven’t seen anything actually available either, and my mousedining alert never pinged. I’m wondering if it was actually released or if they just finally put the times in. It’s been a headache either way…
Just checked as well and I also get the impression they didn’t actual load in the packages, only the times. We’ll keep checking!
I had luck with fantasmic dining package through “mouse watcher”, it is a paid service but it was effective. There are other sites out there that are free.
I don’t think they are actually released yet…got up this morning and checked for the newly released day and nothing comes up.
I attempted to reserve a Fantasmic dinning package today, Was online from 545AM until 7 AM when I called the ADR number/.When I complained the packages weren’t being offered for 2023. Their answer was….” Why don’t you try every other day.”\ REALLY!!!!!! They tell you ADR is available 60 days prior to you reservation. DVC member becoming VERY disenchanted with the enchanted world
Hi Tom, Thanks for the great article! I am visiting Hollywood Studios in early Jan and have been monitoring the website for Fantasmic Dining Packages. For some reason, it does not appear that they have been released yet for 2023. Do you have any insight into when these packages may be released, as we are clearly inside of 60 days…
What is the running time?
I just went last night, it was 30 min.
This show was my only must-do at DHS on our last trip and I was not disappointed! I actually planned on the 2nd viewing thinking I wouldn’t have to stand in such a terrible line earlier in the evening; but as everyone started walking toward the amphitheater, we had nothing to do and easily got to sit not too far off from center with zero planning. Of course it was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving so a little bit lower crowds…when I return in May w/first-timer friends I’ll for sure try to snag Sci-fi dining with it!
Curious what your complaint is about Mama Melrose’s. My family rather likes the place.
We just got back from a week at WDW. We went to DHS Wednesday for a member of our party’s birthday. We haven’t seen this show before even thought we’ve been to park 5 times. We aren’t sure why we missed it, possibly location and not planning and it wasn’t available when we went last year. We went to early show because exhausted and arrived in line 20 minutes before start. We were the very far left section when you walk into the theater. Not very good for seeing the stage, but with it being first time we thought show was amazing. I tried hard to get fantasmic dining and wasn’t able to. We aren’t regular visitors and I’ve read your blog for a while. The crowds were higher overall than last year and we were disappointed with several things related to that and changes to MVMCP over last year’s after hours party. would like to visit again next year, but our group is done for a while. We all ranked Fantasmic as one of our top three things of the week. Loved it! You had some amazing seats!!
As of now, there is no way to book a fantasmic dining package after December 31, 2022. Why would they have this feature return for literally one month? Two answers from cast members have said “just keep checking the website” for further availability. This is very frustrating.
I asked dining this same question yesterday morning and was told that Disney hasn’t firmly decided if they will have one or two shows in Jan and that that put a hold on them releasing dining packages…she did not have any solid info beyond “keep checking”
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Farewell, Fantasmic! — Disney Reveals Plans for Fan-Favorite Nighttime Show
in Disneyland Resort
Disney has shared disappointing news, as the park has announced its official plans around Fantasmic! Will the fan-favorite return?
Iconic rides and memorable character interactions are only a few of the many magical offerings guests can enjoy when visiting Walt Disney’s Original theme park — Disneyland Resort — in Anaheim, California. One of the main attractions of the Southern California Disney Park is its unique entertainment.
Entertainment at Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Park is home to breathtaking parades that flood Main Street, U.S.A., with music and joy as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and many of your favorite Disney characters dance and party, world-class live performances throughout the day, and fireworks shows that illuminate the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle , making every last minute of your visit to the park a magical experience.
And Disney California Adventure doesn’t fall behind. The innovative theme park, mere steps from the gates of Disneyland Park, is packed with live performances that capture the essence of different cultures — although some consider the offerings a missed opportunity for representation.
Related: Gross Incident Brings Disney Parade to a Complete Stop
Being home to Avengers Campus, Disney California Adventure also houses thrilling shows featuring your favorite superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Spider-Man — who recently got a disappointing update — Doctor Strange, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Dora Milaje — Black Panther’s loyal bodyguards.
And let’s not forget the breathtaking immersive areas in the park, like Cars Land, Pixar Pier, and the reimagined San Fransokyo Square , each with their own unique experiences and interactions with beloved characters.
A Fantasmic! mishap, tragedy at Disneyland
Unfortunately, a fan-favorite offering will remain suspended through 2023 and early 2024, with no official return date.
For over 30 years, Fantasmic! has illuminated the Rivers of America with laser and projection effects, fireworks, and a breathtaking use of water and fire.
Sadly, the latter caused a tragic accident during an iconic scene of the show , forcing the indefinite cancelation of the nighttime spectacular — as well as a global cease to all fire effects — and triggering a highly criticized “memorial” for the show.
Related: Mickey Takes Dangerous Fall During Nighttime Performance, Seconds Away From Catastrophe
Speculation on the future of the beloved show quickly arose, with some saying that Disney would permanently replace the show following the disastrous mishap.
These rumors weren’t entirely false, as an all-new nighttime show recently debuted at Disneyland Park , bringing the Rivers of America to life once again with the music and soul of New Orleans.
The new show, The Heartbeat of New Orleans – A Living Mural, may not be directly inspired by The Princess and the Frog . Still, by featuring a frog as its main character, it’s inevitable to see the new show’s relation to the current transformation of Critter Country and New Orleans Square at Disneyland Park.
You can take a peek at this new nighttime spectacular in the video below, shared by Disneyland Resort :
The Heartbeat of New Orleans – A Living Mural is, per Disney, “a limited-time experience [that] pays tribute to the spirit of New Orleans! Set to a dynamic jazz score, colorful projections on the Rivers of America will tell a short, whimsical tale of a mischievous little frog from the bayou that leaps into the lively heartbeat of New Orleans when he is lured by the jazzy sounds he hears in the distance.”
The new nighttime show will animate original artwork by Disney Live Entertainment graphic designer Marcella “Marci” Swett, best known for her chalk art at Downtown Disney District during Celebrate Soulfully , making it a unique art installation.
This all-new nighttime spectacular is the perfect addition to New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park. It adds to the Louisiana-inspired culinary adventure guests can embark on at Blue Bayou Restaurant as they watch the boats in Pirates of the Caribbean .
The Princess and the Frog take over Disneyland Park
The Heartbeat of New Orleans – A Living Mural coincides with the recent opening of Tiana’s Palace in New Orleans Square , a reimagined restaurant inspired by The Princess and the Frog, and a shop inspired by Tiana and her mother Eudora , Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets.
These recent changes accompany the divisive retheming of the former Splash Mountain attraction , which is currently being reimagined as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure , set to open in 2024 at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney has not shared an official schedule for The Heartbeat of New Orleans – A Living Mural. And while the new Disney show is currently replacing Fantasmic!, it’s unlikely it will replace the fan-favorite permanently, as Disney stated it is a “limited-time experience.”
What happens with Fantasmic!?
Unfortunately, fans of Mickey Mouse eager to journey into his imagination will be disappointed to hear that Disney has officially suspended all performances of the show for the remainder of 2023 and early 2024.
The official Disneyland website states, “With the goal of delivering the best possible show for our guests, performances of Fantasmic! are currently paused until Spring 2024.”
However, the website does not state if Fantasmic! will resume performances during early or late Spring. This means that guests could see Fantasmic! again as early as March 2024 or as late as June 2024 — with high chances of the pause being extended by Disneyland officials. Additionally, reports have stated that the show will return without a crucial element.
But for the immediate future, fans, yours truly included, will have to say “farewell, Fantasmic!”
Dream a fantastic alternative!
However, guests can still enjoy performances of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort, which recently modified its schedule to allow more guests to enjoy this magical experience.
Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort features over 50 live performers, larger-than-life sets, stunning effects, dazzling pyrotechnics, and heart-stirring music that make the world-class show the perfect way to end your day at the park and a must-do for every guest during their Disney World vacation.
The unforgettable show features Mickey Mouse along with some characters from your favorite Disney movies, including Moana, Frozen 2, Mulan, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King, all painted on a grand canvas of dancing water, light, and even fire!
But what is Fantasmic!?
Of all the entertainment offerings at the Disney Parks in California and Florida, Fantasmic! is perhaps the most popular. Fantasmic! is an emotional extravaganza of colorful Disney-animated story scenes choreographed to an exciting musical score.
The nighttime spectacular makes the waters of the Rivers of America come alive as Mickey Mouse dreams he is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and faces dastardly villains, using the power of his imagination to save the day. Along the way, fantastic events and images as seen in stories like Fantasia, The Jungle Book , and more, come to life with live performers, character appearances, enhanced special effects, and pyrotechnics.
If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy this fan-favorite nighttime spectacular at Disneyland Park, Disney describes Fantasmic! as follows:
When Dreams Come to Life
As darkness falls, dazzling special effects transform the Rivers of America into an epic canvas for this extravagant live show. Fast asleep, Mickey dreams he is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. With a wave of his hands, he conducts scenes from Fantasia across enormous screens of water while brilliant sparks burst overhead. Pink elephants, swashbuckling pirates, princesses and more—including memorable scenes from Disney classics such as Aladdin, The Lion King, Tangled and Pirates of the Caribbean—appear on and around the Rivers of America. Credit: Disney When Mickey is suddenly pulled into the Magic Mirror, his dream takes a dark turn. The Evil Queen from Snow White conjures up some of Disney’s most dastardly villains! Mickey must use the power of his imagination to vanquish his foes—and save the day. Featuring a fantastical array of live performers, beloved Disney characters, enhanced special effects, state-of-the-art projections and superb pyrotechnics, this show will wow the entire family.
How can I enjoy Fantasmic!?
Unfortunately, guests visiting Disneyland Park cannot enjoy Fantasmic! as the show remains paused in the Southern California theme park. But guests had several options to enjoy the show when the nighttime spectacular had performances.
Guests could enter the general viewing areas for the nighttime show after waiting in the standby queue. However, guests could also access exclusive viewing areas by purchasing a Fantasmic! Dining Package — a three-course meal usually available in Blue Bayou Restaurant and River Belle Terrace — or a Fantasmic! On-the-Go Package at Hungry Bear Restaurant.
While Disneyland gears up for the return of the fan-favorite show, you can enjoy Fantasmic! through the eyes of Inside the Magic in the video below! Even if it doesn’t include a meal from the Blue Bayou Restaurant or River Belle Terrace.
Will Disney reimagine Fantasmic! to bring it back to Disneyland Park? Or will the company scrap the eventful show altogether? Let Inside the Magic know what you think in the comments below!
UPDATE (April 27) - It has now been announced on the official Disneyland Resort website that Fantasmic! will be performed at 9:00PM and 10:30PM from Saturday May 28, 2022. These showtimes are subject to change so be sure to check out the calendar before you go just in case a change has been made.
Walt Disney World fans are still eagerly awaiting news of when Fantasmic! will restart at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately there still hasn't been an official announcement from Disney regarding a reopening date and on the official Walt Disney World website it continues to just say "Returning 2022!".
February 23 - We found out back in November 2021 that Disneyland would continue its phased reopening of its nighttime spectaculars in Spring 2022.
It has just been announced that the extremely popular nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic! will return to Disneyland Park on May 28, 2022. This is great for Disneyland fans as the news seems like it has been a long time coming.
Fantasmic! first premiered at Disneyland in 1992 with cutting-edge special effects and storytelling using the space of the Rivers of America. This iconic show has changed through the years and was finally given a complete overhaul in 2017 including a range of new scenes. Disneyland fans sometimes refer to this version as Fantasmic 2.0.
Fantasmic! will be performed nightly from May 28 in Frontierland with scenes from Disney classics including The Lion King, Tangled, Aladdin and Pirates of the Caribbean, all appearing on and around the Rivers of America.
We are still waiting for news of when Fantasmic! will return to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World but with the return date announced for Disneyland, we are hoping we will have an answer for you very soon.
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- On 10/26/2022 Christine from CO Asked: Hello! I just made Fantasmic dining reservations for 6:30 pm on 12/10. Should it show up or be labeled as "Fantasmic Dining Package" on My Experience/Plans page? Thank you!
- On 5/19/2021 Kara from IL Asked: Are the parks open on Christmas Day? If so, do they close early or are they open the full day/evening?
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‘Behind The Attraction’ is Back with More Disney Parks Secrets in Season 2, Premiering Nov. 1 on Disney+
by Rex Rainey , Manager - Content, Programming, and Media Networks Synergy – Yellow Shoes Creative Group
It’s back! Season two of the original series “Behind the Attraction” will premiere Nov. 1 on Disney+ with six new episodes featuring legendary Disney Parks attractions across the globe!
The series from Disney Branded Television is executive produced by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia from Seven Bucks Productions, and Brian Volk-Weiss from The Nacelle Company. Narrated by Paget Brewster (“Criminal Minds”), the original series gives viewers an exclusive peek “behind the curtain” of the most beloved attractions and destinations at Disney Parks and Resorts around the world.
Season two takes a look at six brand new storylines from your favorite attractions, food, and nighttime spectaculars! These episodes include:
Pirates of the Caribbean
It’s a pirate’s life for everybody aboard Pirates of the Caribbean! Walt Disney loved adventure stories, especially ones that featured swashbuckling pirates. That inspiration led to one of the most beloved attractions in Disney history. Initially conceived as a wax museum, technological advances convinced Walt that a more sophisticated attraction could be created using state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronics figures. The classic version in Anaheim proved so successful it spawned a hit movie franchise and iterations in Disney parks around the world, including the cutting edge reimagining at Shanghai Disneyland.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Step aboard the wildest ride in the wilderness! Based on a concept by Disney Legend Marc Davis, Imagineer Tony Baxter reimagined this mountainous thrill ride that is sure to float your goat! Inspired by the American West, this attraction has spread around the world. The version at Disneyland Paris is on an island and is connected to Phantom Manor, while the ones at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Park are inverted versions of each other on opposite coasts. Hong Kong Disneyland Park even boasts a sister attraction – Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has it all – runaway trains, mining town Rainbow Ridge, disturbed spirits, and spinning possums! Rumor has it there’s even a secret goat trick…
Indiana Jones Adventure
Crack the whip and join Indiana Jones on the adventure of a lifetime – just beware of the snakes! Following the success of Star Tours, Michael Eisner and Frank Wells thought it was time to have George Lucas bring another cinematic hero to the Disney parks. With action sequences in every Indiana Jones movie that seemed like blueprints for exciting attractions, the choice was obvious. Indy is everywhere in the parks, from a live action stunt show, to Disney’s first inversion roller coaster at Disneyland Paris, to the thrilling Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park that proved so popular another one was built at Tokyo DisneySea. These attractions are so good, they belong in a museum!
Where can you both glimpse the future and travel the world without leaving Florida? At the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, where the impossible becomes possible! When it opened in 1982 at Walt Disney World Resort, EPCOT was the biggest Disney park yet. At its heart stands the astounding architectural achievement that is Spaceship Earth. Arrayed around the lagoon, World Showcase features pavilions that celebrate nations from around the world. Some even host attractions, like Norway’s Frozen Ever After and France’s Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in the World Discovery neighborhood. As long as there is imagination left in the world, EPCOT will never be complete.
Churros, DOLE Whip, turkey legs, and more… Discover the stories behind these tasty treats! Walt knew food was crucial to the park going experience. From walk-around snacks to themed dining experiences like the piratical Blue Bayou Restaurant, there’s something for everyone. Learn how the churro debuted at a Disneyland teen nightclub, how the Central Bakery makes all of Disneyland’s sweets, and what goes on at the secretive Flavor Lab at Walt Disney World. What’s the Flavor Lab? That would be telling! Globally, explore how Disneyland Paris puts their twist on Walt’s favorites, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort creates character-shaped dim sum, and Tokyo Disneyland reimagines popcorn, to name a few. Food keeps the story going beyond the attractions!
The magic continues after dark with Disney Parks’ nighttime spectaculars. What began as a fireworks show in the skies above Disneyland Park has evolved, over the years, into a wide array of shows at Disney parks around the globe. Thanks to technological innovations like projection mapping, mist screens, and even drones, they have become more spectacular with every passing year. Longstanding Disney favorites like the “Main Street Electrical Parade,” “Fantasmic!,” and “World of Color” have been joined by newer dazzlers like “Momentous” at Hong Kong Disneyland Park and “ILLUMINATE!” at Shanghai Disneyland. Come for the attractions, stay for the shows!
Prepare for the upcoming season by watching season 1 of the series, now streaming on Disney+. In season 1, the series looked at favorite questions, like how was Haunted Mansion filled with 999 happy haunts? How was The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror transformed into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!? And season 2 will answer, when did the Pirates of the Caribbean set sail for Anaheim?
Watch Nov. 1 on Disney+ .
How exciting, I love these series- they’re the best content on Disney+!! Do we know if this will also be streamed on UK Disney+ too? 🤞🏼
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FULL List of 2023 Fantasmic! Showtimes in Disney World
By Emily Burrus Leave a Comment
People come to Disney World for many things including the rides , the food , the atmosphere…but many come for the entertainment!
Whether you’re a fan of the fireworks shows or you love stage productions like Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage , there are tons of options to choose from in the Disney parks. One of the most popular is over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — that’s right, we’re talking about Fantasmic!
Fantasmic! returned in November 2022 with some new songs and scenes that amped up the show . You’ll now see characters like Moana, Mulan, and Elsa with songs from their movies! So when can you see this fan-favorite show? Let’s take a look.
- October 1st – 31st*: 9:30PM
* PLEASE NOTE that there will be no showing of Fantasmic! on October 17th, because the park is closing early at 5PM on that date .
- November 1st – 10th: 9:30PM
- November 11th*: 7:15PM
- November 12th – 17th: 9:30PM
- November 18th*: 7:15PM
- November 19th: 9:30PM
- November 20th*: 7:15PM
- November 21st – 26th: 9:30PM
- November 27th*: 7:15PM
* PLEASE NOTE that Fantasmic! is scheduled for an earlier time on evenings when Hollywood Studios is hosting the new Jollywood Nights event later on those select nights.
Mickey in Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios
The calendar currently only goes through late-November (as of our most recent update of this post), and we’ll continue to update this post throughout the year. Also, Disney can change showtimes for various reasons and at any time — check the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date information when you’re in the park!
If you don’t want to miss out on anything else at Hollywood Studios, be sure to check out our FREE Hollywood Studios checklist below!
As more showtimes are released, we’ll continue to update this post. Stay tuned to DFB for the latest in Disney World entertainment!
See All of the CHANGES Made to Fantasmic! in Disney World
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Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.
Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!
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Is Fantasmic! a must for you in Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments!
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