Fantasmic! at Disneyland Park: The Dazzling, Must-See Nighttime Show

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9.5

Fantasmic! is Disneyland’s longest-running nighttime spectacular, captivating guests with its emotional storytelling and stunning visual effects since 1992. Located along the Rivers of America in Frontierland and New Orleans Square, this 27-minute show transports viewers on a journey into Mickey Mouse’s imagination, bringing beloved Disney stories and characters to life right before your eyes.

Show Times and Location

During most seasons, there are two Fantasmic! shows per night at 9PM and 10:30PM. The viewing area opens 90 minutes before showtime. Fantasmic! takes place on the waters of the Rivers of America, with viewing from the walkways and lands surrounding the river. The best viewing spots fill up at least an hour early, so plan accordingly if you want to secure front row seats. Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs can access a reserved viewing section along the right side of the main viewing area.

History of the Show

In 1992, Disney tasked its creative team with developing an innovative nighttime spectacular to reinvigorate the Rivers of America. The result was Fantasmic! – the first Disney show to incorporate so many elements into a seamless outdoor event, including fireworks, pyrotechnics, lasers, lighting effects, live performers, water fountains, decorated rafts, projections, and animated figures. While originally intended as a 5-year production, Fantasmic! proved so popular that it became a Disneyland staple. The show has evolved over the years through various upgrades and enhancements:

  • 2009 – New digital projections and 45-foot fire-breathing dragon figure added
  • 2017 – New scenes and music from Aladdin, The Lion King, Tangled and more
  • 2024 – After a temporary hiatus, returns with updated special effects and battle scene

In its 30+ year tenure, Fantasmic! has performed over 13,000 shows and counting. It remains a beloved nighttime highlight for Disneyland guests of all ages.

Show Summary and Details

Fantasmic! tells the story of Mickey Mouse’s journey into his imagination, sparked when he brings magic to the waters of the Rivers of America. What follows is a vibrant dreamscape of Disney tales brought to life through dazzling visual wizardry. Scenes based on films like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and more play out on screens of water and mist. Disney heroes and villains alike make dramatic appearances, from Ariel perched atop a fountain to a 45-foot snake representing Kaa from The Jungle Book.

Mickey encounters many of his friends and foes before defeating the evil Maleficent dragon in a climactic battle. Set to an emotive musical score, the show culminates in a flurry of fireworks as Mickey’s dream comes to an end. Fantasmic! has no spoken dialogue – the soaring soundtrack and spectacular tableaux tell the entire story. From glowing water screens to bursts of pyrotechnics, the special effects and technical elements that bring Fantasmic! to life are unparalleled:

  • Projections: Advanced projectors display animated scenes and characters across water screens over 100 feet wide
  • Fountains: Erupting fountains of water dance and shoot jets as high as 150 feet in the air
  • Pyrotechnics: Fiery special effects like fireballs, fireworks and explosions punctuate key moments
  • Lighting & Lasers: Dynamic lighting transforms the landscape, while dancing lasers energize the production
  • Audio: An emotive musical score by composer Bruce Healey accompanies the visual spectacle
  • Performers: Talented performers like dancers and stunt actors play out live vignettes on decorated rafts and stages
  • Figures: Massive animated figures like snakes and dragons seem to slither and breathe fire across the water

Merchandise

Fantasmic! merchandise is available at select shops in Disneyland:

Disney Showcase: Located on Main Street, U.S.A., this store offers Fantasmic! shirts, pins, plush characters and more.

New Orleans Square: Pieces Fantastique carries exclusive Fantasmic! merchandise inspired by New Orleans and the show. During Fantasmic!, event-exclusive souvenir cups, popcorn buckets and glow toys are also sold at outdoor vending carts in the viewing area.

Dining Packages

Fantasmic! dining packages allow guests to enjoy a meal at a table or reserved viewing area for the show. Options include:

Blue Bayou Restaurant: A 3-course dinner inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride building, plus VIP viewing. Offered daily from 4PM. Pricing starts at $89 for adults and $35 for kids (3-9). Check availability!

River Belle Terrace: Dinner or dessert party with reserved viewing section. Standard pricing package starts at $55 for adults and $32 for kids (3-9). Premium package pricing is $75 per adult and $45 per child (3-9). Check Availability!

Hungry Bear Restaurant: Dessert party with reserved viewing. $38.00 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $27.99 per kid (3-9). Check availability!

Tips for Viewing

Fantasmic! is extremely popular, so viewing spots fill up early. Those wishing to see the show without a dining package should follow these tips:

  • Arrive early – At least 60–90 minutes ahead to claim good sight lines along the waterfront.
  • Scope out spots – Survey potential viewing spots in daylight before staking one out at night.
  • Pack light – Bring only essentials to your viewing area, as bags must fit at your feet.
  • Use restrooms beforehand – Access to amenities is restricted during the show.
  • Have kids in mind – Front spaces allow little ones to see despite spectators ahead.
  • Be prepared to stand – There is no seating except at Blue Bayou and River Belle with packages.
  • Stay put – Don’t lose your place if stepping away before showtime.

Fantasmic! lights up the Rivers of America with breathtaking Disney magic unlike anything else. With a perfect blend of music, storytelling, special effects and heart, it’s no wonder this spectacular show continues to draw crowds after 30 incredible years. Come witness Mickey’s journey beyond imagination for yourself!

Conclusion

With stunning visuals, iconic Disney characters and an emotional musical score, Fantasmic! has enthralled Disneyland guests since 1992. This beloved nighttime extravaganza brings some of Disney’s most cherished stories to life through a brilliant mix of water projections, pyrotechnics, lasers and other dazzling effects. Two shows run most nights during regular operation, with prime viewing spots filling fast. Guests can guarantee seats through special dining packages, or arrive early to stake out standing room space along the Rivers of America. However, you experience this spectacular show, Fantasmic! is a can’t-miss highlight on any Disneyland visit.

Fantasmic! at Disneyland Park: The Dazzling, Must-See Nighttime Show
The Final Word
Fantasmic! is a must see show when visiting the Disneyland Park! There's a reason it's been around as long as it has!
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