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Your Ultimate Guide to Fantasmic! at Disneyland Park 2024

Fantasmic!, Disneyland’s acclaimed nighttime spectacular, captivates audiences on select evenings along the Rivers of America in Frontierland. This immensely popular show seamlessly blends live performers, cutting-edge special effects, and beloved Disney tunes to narrate a tale of good versus evil within Mickey Mouse’s vivid imagination.

Steeped in Disney lore and nostalgia, Fantasmic! enchants with its dazzling spectacle. Our detailed guide delves into the show’s nightly schedules, offers insights on optimal viewing locations and seating maps, weighs the advantages and drawbacks of Fantasmic! dining packages, and explores the cherished history behind this Disneyland favorite.

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Disneyland Fantasmic Fire

Fantasmic! at Disneyland has been temporarily suspended following a fire incident that occurred during a performance in April 2023. The show will re-open on May 24, 2024. It’s been closed to allow for repairs, refurbishments, and potential changes in the wake of the fire. Disney has provided updates detailing the circumstances around the fire, as well as insights into prospective modifications planned for Fantasmic! upon its return.

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How to View Fantasmic at Disneyland

Fantasmic!, Disneyland’s captivating nighttime spectacular, unfolds on the iconic Tom Sawyer’s Island, overlooking the picturesque Rivers of America in Frontierland. During peak seasons like summer, holidays, and spring break, this 27-minute extravaganza typically offers two showings, one at 9 PM and another at 10:30 PM, delighting guests with nightly performances.

However, during less crowded periods, such as January and February, the show may have a single evening presentation or, in rare instances, be limited to weekend performances only. To ensure you don’t miss this enchanting experience, it’s advisable to consult the Disney website’s calendar for the entertainment schedule on your intended visit date. Alternatively, you can conveniently access this information within the park by inquiring with a friendly Cast Member or consulting the Disneyland app or park maps, which provide up-to-date showtimes and details.

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Disneyland Fantasmic 2024 Showtimes

Fantasmic! showtimes varies throughout the year depending on the anticipated crowd levels and seasonal events. Just like how fireworks at Disneyland are not shown every night throughout the year, daily showtimes for Fantasmic! vary too depending on the season.

While predicting the schedule isn’t always an exact science, you can expect to see daily showtimes or the potential for two nightly shows of Fantasmic! during these periods of the year:

  • Spring break season (March through mid-April)
  • Summer (mid-June through mid-August)
  • Halloween Time (most likely October)
  • Holiday Season (November through December)

When Fantasmic! is shown twice a night, the first showing of Fantasmic! will run at 9 pm, then the Disneyland Forever! fireworks will be presented, and then the second 10:30 pm show of Fantasmic! will perform.

During less busy times of the year, Disneyland will drop the Fantasmic! showtime to once per night. When Fantasmic! is shown once per night, the showtime is usually at 9PM. You might even see Fantasmic show Disneyland regulated to weekends only, which is something similar to World of Color at Disneyland.

To check the showtime for Fantasmic! during your trip, check the Disneyland daily calendar.

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Disneyland Fantasmic Viewing Area

With the triumphant return of Fantasmic! at Disneyland, the viewing areas have been updated to accommodate guests. There are two primary options for securing seating to witness this spectacular nighttime show: open seating or the convenience of dining packages. The map above illustrates the layout of the viewing areas surrounding the Rivers of America, where the main stage for Fantasmic! is situated under, “THE SHOW”.

However, the show’s elements extend along the entire river, with boats and projections visible throughout. Guests who opt for the dining packages are treated to the premier viewing experience, with a roped-off area directly across from the main stage, offering an unobstructed vantage point. This prime location guarantees not only the best sightlines but also the luxury of seated viewing, a coveted perk in itself. The seating arrangements for the various dining packages are as follows:

  • The Hungry Bear Fantasmic! Dining Package seating is located on the far left of the viewing area, where guests typically remain standing.
  • The River Belle Terrace Standard Dining Package is situated just off-center to the left in the viewing area, with guests seated on the ground.
  • The River Belle Terrace also offers a premium dining package, where guests are seated at 7:15 pm and remain in their seats through the first 9 pm showing of Fantasmic!
  • Beginning May 7, guests can once again reserve a spot at Blue Bayou Restaurant for a multi-course dining experience AND reserved seating for a viewing of Fantasmic! when it returns!

This updated map and seating information provide a comprehensive guide to securing the best possible viewing experience for the highly anticipated return of Fantasmic! at the Disneyland Resort on May 24!

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Disneyland Fantasmic Viewing Tips

Disneyland has confirmed that there will not be a virtual queue system utilized for the nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” when it returns on May 24. This means that guests have two primary options for securing a viewing spot: staking out a location along the Rivers of America or purchasing a reserved dining package. To avoid spending an excessive amount of time waiting for “Fantasmic!,” a key recommendation is to attend the second showing of the evening.

For this later performance, it is advisable to watch the fireworks from the Frontierland area and then join the crowd moving into the “Fantasmic!” viewing areas once the pyrotechnics conclude. For general viewing without a dining package, those willing to line up a bit early can aim for a spot close to the fence along the water’s edge. If arriving later for the first show, lining up on the bridge over Pirates of the Caribbean offers a nice vantage point.

The “Fantasmic!” dining packages occupy a substantial portion of the prime viewing areas, with the Blue Bayou section directly across from Tom Sawyer’s Island offering the best sightlines. This coveted spot is within the River Belle Terrace reserved section on most nights. For guests opting to experience “Fantasmic!” without a dining package and targeting the second show, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Watch the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks from the area along the waterfront between Frontierland and Pirates of the Caribbean, directly in front of the River Belle Terrace restaurant.
  2. When the fireworks conclude, move into the general viewing area closest to the center, ensuring to ask a Cast Member where you are permitted to sit, as the dining package reserved area may not be clearly marked.
  3. Remain in this area for the approximately one hour until the show begins. Members of your group can take turns grabbing snacks or treats using the Disneyland mobile ordering system while others hold the spot.
  4. When selecting your viewing location, aim to avoid any obstructions of Tom Sawyer’s Island, as an unobstructed view enhances the overall experience.

While an obscured view can still provide an enjoyable way to end the day at the parks, the energy and atmosphere of the area are crucial components of the “Fantasmic!” experience.

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Fantasmic Virtual Queue

Contrary to earlier expectations, Disneyland has confirmed that they will not be utilizing a virtual queue system for the returning Fantasmic! nighttime spectacular in 2024. Previously, it was anticipated that Disneyland would implement a virtual queue process similar to the one used for World of Color, allowing guests to secure reserved viewing sections through the Disneyland app without having to physically line up hours in advance. However, as of now, Disneyland has no plans to offer a Fantasmic! virtual queue option.

Guests will need to secure their viewing spots through traditional standby lines or by purchasing a Fantasmic! Dining Package, which guarantees reserved seating. It’s important to note that while a virtual queue is not currently planned, Disneyland may still introduce this option in the future. If they do decide to implement a Fantasmic! virtual queue, it is likely to follow a similar system to the one used for World of Color and the previous Fantasmic! reserved seating process with FastPass.

In such a scenario, guests would have the opportunity to join a virtual queue from the Disneyland app after entering the park for the day, typically around noon. The virtual queue would assign guests to a colored viewing section, effectively saving their spot for the show without the need to physically line up hours in advance. It’s worth mentioning that being assigned to a virtual queue section does not guarantee seating during the show, and guests may be required to stand in their designated area.

The virtual queue process would operate independently from the Disneyland Genie+ service, ensuring that it does not impact any Lightning Lane selections made by guests.While a virtual queue option could provide convenience and flexibility for guests, as of now, Disneyland has not announced any plans to implement it for the returning Fantasmic! show in 2024. Guests will need to rely on traditional standby lines or secure a Fantasmic! Dining Package to guarantee their viewing experience.

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Disneyland Fantasmic Dining Packages 2024

Fantasmic! Dining Packages are available at Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, and Hungry Bear Restaurant!

Blue Bayou Fantasmic Dining Package

The Blue Bayou, one of Disneyland’s most sought-after dining experiences, offers an exclusive Fantasmic! package that combines a delectable 3-course meal with prime viewing for the nighttime spectacular. This indoor, upscale restaurant, renowned for its Monte Cristo sandwich and stunning view of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, provides guests with a truly immersive experience.

The Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Dining Package includes a starter, entrée, and dessert, along with admission to the reserved viewing area for a designated Fantasmic! performance that evening. While the dining location and viewing area are separate, Blue Bayou guests are treated to the coveted dead-center viewing section directly in front of the show. To secure the best seats, it is recommended to arrive one hour prior to the time listed on your Fantasmic! return ticket. For 2024, the package pricing is as follows:

  • Lunch: $67 per adult and $32 per child (ages 3 to 9), excluding tax and gratuity.
  • Dinner: $77 per adult and $32 per child (ages 3 to 9), excluding tax and gratuity.

Reservations for the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Dining Package open daily at 11:30 AM for lunch and 4:00 PM for dinner.Uniquely, Blue Bayou dining guests are the only patrons guaranteed seating during the Fantasmic! performance. The package includes cushions for each guest, one per meal purchased, ensuring a comfortable viewing experience throughout the show. With its exceptional dining, prime viewing location, and exclusive seating privileges, the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Dining Package offers an unparalleled way to enjoy this beloved Disneyland nighttime spectacular in 2024.

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River Belle Terrace Fantasmic Dining Package

Overlooking the serene Rivers of America, the River Belle Terrace offers a picturesque setting to savor classic American fare with a delightful Southern flair. Dishes like fried chicken and baked beans grace the menu, inviting guests to indulge in comforting flavors. For the 2024 season, the River Belle Terrace presents two tiers of Fantasmic! Dining Packages.

The Standard Dining Package includes a 3-course meal (starter, entree, and dessert) and admission to the reserved viewing area for a designated Fantasmic! performance that evening. While the dining and viewing locations are separate, this package ensures a prime spot to witness the nighttime spectacular. Pricing for the Standard Package:

  • Lunch: $55 per adult, $35 per child (ages 3-9), excluding tax and gratuity.
  • Dinner: $60 per adult, $35 per child (ages 3-9), excluding tax and gratuity.

For an elevated experience, guests can opt for the Premium Dining Package. This exclusive offering allows diners to enjoy their 3-course meal at 7:15 PM on the outdoor patio while remaining in their seats for the first Fantasmic! performance at 9 PM. Pricing for the Premium Package:

  • $80 per adult, $50 per child (ages 3-9), excluding tax and gratuity.

The River Belle Terrace’s reserved viewing section is adjacent to the Blue Bayou’s, ensuring an outstanding vantage point for the show. Guests with dining packages are typically permitted to be seated during the performance, adding to the comfort of the experience. To secure the best seats within the reserved area, it is recommended to arrive one hour before the designated time on your Fantasmic! return ticket. With its mouthwatering Southern-inspired cuisine and prime viewing location, the River Belle Terrace Fantasmic! Dining Packages offer an unforgettable way to savor the magic of this beloved Disneyland nighttime spectacular in 2024.

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Hungry Bear Fantasmic Dining Package

For guests seeking a convenient dining option paired with reserved Fantasmic! viewing, the Hungry Bear Restaurant offers the Fantasmic! On the Go Package. This package allows you to select one of four specially curated entrees: cedar salt-roasted sustainable salmon, barbecue chicken, blackberry barbecue pork riblets, or a mushroom and leek frittata.

Each dish is accompanied by a medley of wild rice and cranberry-apricot grains, as well as a kale and garbanzo bean salad. You can enjoy your meal at any of the restaurant’s tables or take it to go. The 2024 pricing for the On the Go Package is:

  • $35 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $30 per child (ages 3-9), excluding tax.

Reservations for meal pick-up times are typically available from 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM, though these may vary based on the Fantasmic! performance schedule for the day. When making your reservation, you’ll need to select a pick-up time that corresponds to the desired Fantasmic! showing:

  • Reservations from 3:00 PM to 6:45 PM will receive a voucher for entry into the reserved viewing area for the first Fantasmic! performance of the evening.
  • Reservations from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM will receive a voucher for the second Fantasmic! showing.

Upon picking up your meal at the Hungry Bear Restaurant, you’ll receive a voucher that grants access to the reserved Fantasmic! viewing area for that evening’s performance. The Hungry Bear’s reserved section is situated between the River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou’s dining package areas. It’s important to note that guests in the Hungry Bear’s reserved area are typically required to stand during the show.

To secure the best viewing spots, it’s recommended to arrive one hour before the time listed on your Fantasmic! voucher. With its convenient grab-and-go dining option and prime reserved viewing location, the Fantasmic! On the Go Package at the Hungry Bear Restaurant offers a hassle-free way to enjoy this beloved Disneyland nighttime spectacular!

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Disability Viewing Fantasmic Disneyland

Disneyland strives to accommodate guests with disabilities for Fantasmic! There is a designated viewing area between the River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou dining package sections that is reserved for guests with disabilities and their parties. This area provides an unobstructed view of the show and allows guests using wheelchairs, ECVs, or other mobility devices to remain in their devices during the performance.

A limited number of companions are permitted to accompany and remain in this section as well. Remember, guests can now get Disability Access Service 30 days before their visit by meeting with a cast member through video chat! You can also request DAS in-person at any Guest Relations location!

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Fantasmic Show Tips

  1. Arrive early to the viewing areas, even before Cast Members allow lining up. People will be hovering and waiting to secure spots.
  2. Consider purchasing a Fantasmic! Dining Package for guaranteed reserved viewing and to avoid long standby waits. The Blue Bayou package offers the best center viewing section.
  3. If not doing a dining package, aim to see the second Fantasmic! showing. It’s easier to get a spot after the first show’s crowd exits.
  4. For the second showing without a dining package, watch the fireworks from Frontierland first, then quickly move into the Fantasmic! viewing area as soon as the first crowd leaves.
  5. Ask Cast Members about the best standby viewing spots and where you’re permitted to sit, as dining package areas may not be clearly marked.
  6. Guests with disabilities can use the designated viewing area between River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou dining sections. Arrive very early to secure a spot along the railing closest to the water.
  7. For standby, the areas closest to the center and at least halfway back tend to be the best views in the general viewing sections.
  8. If doing standby for the first show, line up at least 60-90 minutes early as the viewing areas can fill up quickly within 30 minutes of opening.

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History of Fantasmic! Disneyland

Origins and Debut (1992)

The idea for Fantasmic! originated from the success of the nighttime shows “Laserphonic Fantasy” and “Illuminations” at EPCOT, which used advanced water projection technology. Disney wanted to create a similar show on the Rivers of America at Disneyland. After several concepts were explored, including shows based on the Haunted Mansion and a live Fantasia orchestra, the idea of Mickey Mouse battling Disney villains while scenes from animated films played out won out.

Originally titled “Imagination,” it was renamed “Fantasmic!” for trademark purposes.Construction began in 1991, with the Rivers of America drained and Tom Sawyer Island expanded to accommodate the show’s infrastructure, including control rooms, backstage areas, and a 45-foot-tall dragon animatronic on a cherry picker rig. The $30 million production cost was more akin to a new attraction than a show at the time. Fantasmic! had a scheduled press premiere on April 29, 1992 but was postponed due to the Los Angeles riots over the Rodney King verdict that same day. It officially opened to the public on May 15, 1992 to huge crowds and success.

Original 1992 Show

The original 1992 Fantasmic! show consisted of the following scenes:

  • Mickey dreams he is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Fantasia
  • Appearances by characters like Kaa from The Jungle Book, King Louie, and the Jungle Book monkeys
  • A Peter Pan vs. Captain Hook ship battle on the Rivers
  • Scenes from Fantasia like the dancing mushrooms
  • The Mark Twain Riverboat gets piloted by a horde of sea creatures
  • Ursula from The Little Mermaid makes an appearance on a giant float
  • The massive Pinocchio marionettes perform
  • Mickey battles the 45-foot-tall dragon animatronic Maleficent at the climax

While a major hit, Fantasmic! had some technical issues in the early years, like the dragon’s fire-breathing effects not always working and the fragile Pinocchio marionettes frequently breaking down.

2009 Upgrades

In 2009, Fantasmic! received a major upgrade as part of Disney’s “Summer Nightastic” event. This included:

  • A new fully animatronic and improved 45-foot-tall fire-breathing Maleficent dragon to replace the original cherry picker rig version
  • New Flotsam and Jetsam eel animatronics added
  • The use of digital projection mapping technology

While the new dragon wasn’t ready for the June 2009 debut, it was finally implemented later that summer.

2017 Updates

After an extended refurbishment coinciding with construction for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a new version of Fantasmic! debuted in July 2017 with more changes:

  • New scenes based on Aladdin, The Lion King, Tangled, and Pirates of the Caribbean
  • An increased presence of Mickey Mouse throughout
  • An updated soundtrack and audio system
  • Enhanced projection effects

This brought Fantasmic! to its current state as Disney’s longest-running nighttime spectacular, having performed nearly 11,000 shows at Disneyland since 1992. The show was temporarily suspended in 2023 after the dragon animatronic caught fire during a performance. It is scheduled to return on May 24, 2024 with a new restaged version after extensive refurbishments.

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Disneyland Fantasmic Storyline

Fantasmic! takes place on the Rivers of America in Frontierland. The show begins with Mickey Mouse in his iconic Sorcerer’s Apprentice role from Fantasia, playing with magical powers he doesn’t quite control yet. This leads to the appearance of Disney villains like Maleficent, who transforms into a 45-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon animatronic. The main storyline follows Mickey having a dream where he is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice battling the Disney villains and their evil forces. Here are some of the major scenes and elements:

  • Appearances by characters like Kaa the snake from The Jungle Book, King Louie and the Jungle Book monkeys, and the dancing hippos and alligators from Fantasia.
  • A massive ship battle between Peter Pan and Captain Hook’s pirate crew on the Rivers of America, with stunt performers sword-fighting on one of the ships.
  • Scenes recreated from Fantasia like the dancing mushrooms and the bucket-carrying brooms and mops.
  • The Mark Twain Riverboat gets piloted by a horde of sea creatures and monsters like the giant whale Monstro from Pinocchio.
  • Ursula from The Little Mermaid makes an appearance on a giant float, singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”
  • The massive Pinocchio marionettes perform on the island, controlled by nine performers.
  • Mickey battles the 45-foot dragon animatronic Maleficent at the climax, finally defeating her with a sword and magic wand.

Throughout the show, the waters are utilized with fountains, water screens, pyrotechnics, lasers, and projection mapping to create the various effects and scenes from the Disney films. Live performers, character appearances, enhanced special effects, and a musical score combining songs from the movies bring the entire experience to life. Fantasmic! originally debuted in 1992 and was updated with new scenes in 2017, including additions based on Aladdin, The Lion King, Tangled, and Pirates of the Caribbean. It is considered a landmark in combining so many different entertainment elements into one nighttime spectacular.

Mickey with fireworks at night

Disneyland Fantasmic Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Fantasmic?
    Fantasmic! is Disneyland’s long-running nighttime spectacular featuring live performers, water effects, pyrotechnics, music, and projection effects depicting a battle between good and evil within Mickey Mouse’s imagination.
  2. Is Fantasmic back at Disneyland?
    Yes! Fantasmic! returns this year on May 24, 2024!
  3. When does Fantasmic! take place?
    Fantasmic! typically has two showings per night around 9pm and 10:30pm on the Rivers of America in Frontierland. Showtimes can vary based on the season, so it’s best to check the schedule during your visit.
  4. How do I get good seats for Fantasmic?
    You can purchase a Fantasmic! Dining Package which includes reserved viewing. Or you can join the standby line, which often requires arriving 60-90 minutes early for a spot.
  5. What dining packages are available?
    Dining packages are offered at restaurants like Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, and Hungry Bear Restaurant. They typically include an entree, dessert, and reserved viewing.
  6. How scary is Fantasmic! for kids?
    Fantasmic! depicts a battle with villains and pyrotechnic effects that may be scary for younger kids. Previewing videos online beforehand is recommended.
  7. What happens if Fantasmic! is canceled?
    If the show is canceled due to weather, dining package vouchers are invalid and cannot be reused or exchanged.
  8. When did Fantasmic! debut?
    Fantasmic! first opened at Disneyland in 1992 and was updated with new scenes in 2017.
  9. Is Fantasmic! worth the cost?
    Reviews generally praise Fantasmic! as an entertaining value, especially if purchasing a dining package to guarantee viewing access without an extremely long wait.

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Final Thoughts

Fantasmic! has truly cemented itself as an iconic Disneyland experience over its 30+ year run. What began as an ambitious and groundbreaking concept in 1992 has evolved into a spectacular multimedia extravaganza that seamlessly blends cutting-edge technology with classic Disney storytelling. From the massive 45-foot fire-breathing Maleficent dragon to the swashbuckling ship-to-ship battles on the Rivers of America, Fantasmic! transports guests into the vivid imagination of Mickey Mouse.

The show’s creative blend of live performers, beloved Disney characters, dazzling pyrotechnics, powerful musical scores, and immersive projection effects make it a feast for the senses. Whether you’re a lifelong Disney fan or experiencing Fantasmic! for the first time, the show promises an unforgettable journey into the magic that has defined Disney Parks for generations.

As the lights go down and the music swells, get ready to be swept away into a world where dreams become reality and good ultimately triumphs over evil.Fantasmic! is a shining example of Disney’s commitment to innovation and world-class entertainment. With its triumphant return in 2024 after an extended refurbishment, this nighttime spectacular will undoubtedly continue inspiring awe and wonder for years to come at the Disneyland Resort!