Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Experience Fantasmic! A Wait Beyond Your Wildest Imagination

On my last trip to Disney World I was playing "tour guide" to a Disney newbie.  It was fabulous.  There were a lot of experiences we just had to cram into our stay.  One of those was Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  I knew that Chelsea (the newbie) would LOVE this show because she is so musically inclined.  Also, she loves the classic Disney characters  and I knew that all these Disney characters in one place would create a memorable experience.  So here was the issue.   At the time we went to Disney World there were only two nights of Fanstamic! shows.  The night we went there was a show at 6 and a show at 8.  We knew that we only had those two slots to shoot for and that the parks were pretty populated.  I have never had good seats for Fantasmic!  and I really wanted to be able to see everything clearly.  So, like all die hard fans of this show we picked up from our lunch with the princesses at the Magic Kingdom and were whisked away to the land of glitz and glamor...Hollywood Studios. We promenaded down Hollywood Boulevard like stars and rubbed shoulders with the Citizens of Hollywood.  It was simply fabulous darling.  Until we saw it.

No, I didn't leave you hanging...this space was intended.  It was all for effect. 


What in the heck?  Now, like I mentioned back in the fall (read on)  I knew that in order to get "good seats"  you have to be early.  So, you can imagine my surprise when the line looked like this when I thought we were early (I thought 4:15ish would be plenty early for a show that doesn't start until 6).  Who were we kidding?  Apparently, everyone else had received the same message but, no fear, our story takes a turn for the best soon.  Once the gates were open (probably the only job at Disney World I would even be shy to take) the line became a traveling group.  Let me just take a moment to tell you that you have got to be aggressive in that mob.  People were stepping all over us.  It was fight or flight.  I chose fight!  So we elbowed our way through  (that is a bit dramatic but it sounds so good!  It was actually more like we walked elephant style (that is when you grab on to the person in front of you in order to form a human chain).  And we made our way to the arena. 
Once in the arena, there are cast members telling you to fill in the rows.  So we made our way down the great steps to the best view (while staying dry during the show (more on this below)) that I think you could just about get. 

That view was a view Fantasmic! and it was worth the wait but, now it was only 4:45 and we had to wait until 6 o'clock for the show to begin.  What to do?  We talked for a while, we facebooked on our phones, we made friends with the people around us (I even got a free Coke from my neighbor).  But, soon I began to watch my watch.  And, believe it or not, people were still filing into the empty seats.   

Just when it seems like there is a bajillion years of waiting...a Disney cast member started the MOST fun wave I have ever been a part of.  We did the fast wave, we did the slow motion wave, we did the roller coaster, we did it all.  It made the wait SO fun!  I am putting a picture of this below.  It is hard to see from here but this is mid-slow-mo-wave.  I also have a video.  Ignore us talking and laughing.  It was great! 

Video:  Bear with me on the filiming.  It is a bit unsteady...sorry.

Another thing that helped pass the time was the Christmas music playing while we waited and the talk about our day at Disney!  Then the show began!!!!

We had great seats!  We could see all the action and we stayed dry.  A lot of waterworks are used in Fantasmic! for example, the water spray on which the projections are displayed.  We really did have the best seats.  Here are some shots I snapped during the show!   

Steamboat Willie Mickey serves as captain of the character boat! 

What a great night for Fantasmic! 

All your favorites!
 Footnotes on Fantasmic!:
-Seriously get there early.  Two hours before the show is about the norm.  Be prepared to wait or at least take shifts going and coming for snacks/rr/etc.
-Consider sitting back a few rows (we were back about 15) to avoid getting soaked.  Of course, in  the summer that might be desirable?  Your call!
-Be prepared for the wait.  Especially if you have little ones.  You might want to pack some easy to carry and keep up with activities like coloring books/crayons, hand held video games, or you can go old school and talk.  I like the talk option the best!  You can talk about things you liked on your Disney vacation, restaurants you have eaten at, attractions you still want to see/do, souvenir items.  The list goes on and on!
-read up on my tips for Fantasmic! here!


  1. Ah, the memories: of those lines! and those people! As much as I love Fantasmic, leaving the park when it's over is an experiment in controlled frustration ... step-by-step, out of the amphitheatre, through the park, finally the buses in sight - with more lines! But great article, Ashley! Enjoyed it.

  2. I'd heard the same thing about showing up very early for you can imagine my disappointment when my boyfriend and I took a longer afternoon nap then expected and ended up getting there very late. When we returned to Hollywood Studios to a beyond ridiculous line, I was at the point of tears because I thought we'd miss it or have awful seats. Luckily, my boyfriend dragged me in and we ended up with front row seats. Nothing will ever beat the experience of front row at fantsmic. So if you get there late, don't give up! =)