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OK, so I've had a lot of help so far! Thank you everyone! I've narrowed down my DL itinerary. We will be spending next Saturday and Sunday at the parks - considering getting a 2-day park hopper.
I really want to experience Fantasmic! and the World of Color, but it does not look like I can do both as we have to be back in LA by 9pm-ish on Sunday night.
SO my question is: does anyone have an opinion on which one I should pick? Fantasmic!, or World of Color?
both are fun to go to and are different experiences, you should look at the info for both and decide which one you might like most.
imo, world of color is good if you like mostly a large water show, and fantasmic is better at showing alot of disney characters actively doing things.
heres some videos from the disneyland blog for you to watch on world of color and fantasmic,
if you want to see fireworks as well as fantasmic on that night, go to the later show of fantasmic, its also usually less crowded, and gives you more time inbetween the fireworks and tantasmic to get to that area.
i would not suggest trying to go to the earlier fantasmic show and then trying to make it for the fireworks, too many crowds leaving at the same time to make it over to the fireworks.
I love them both, but if I had to pick one, I would go with Fantasmic! A classic with about 100 Actors, as compared to a "water fountain" show with World of Color. And if you plan it right, you can see both Fantasmic! and the Fireworks from the same place. (Get a piece of pavement in the Rivers of America area and you can see both shows!)
I guess I am not really educated on what the "World of Color" is - it sounded cool, and I'm a sucker for Disney marketing.
As I stated in another post, I saw Fantasmic! at Disney World a few years ago and I really loved it. It would be cool to see the West Coast version.
Hence my issues with deciding :(
regarding fantasmic from what i understand disneyland does it much better!! ;)
I think I'm sold on seeing Fantasmic - I do really love the story and my husband has never seen it. Is there seating available, or strictly standing?
The way Fantasmic! works is that you basically sit on the pavement. (No real seats) Bu the employees/CM's make you sit on the ground.
But no standing is allowed.
I've seen Fantasmic. It was OK IMHO. I'm excited to see World of Color next month.
I have always stood for Fantasmic. Someone also recently posted they were made to stand while waiting for the show to start.
Do the times work for doing the first WOC show and the last Fantasmic show?
for fantasmic, usually they only ask you stand for the last 15 min or so before the show starts.i have never had to stand the whole time i was waiting,
even for world of color i have just sat and waited till right before the show starts and had no problems.
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Fantasmic! vs World of Color
Well, it's back! Bigger and better than ever. It's Fantasmic! Sound like a cliche? Maybe. But it's completely true. With our viral world anyone who cannot wait has watched videos of it since Disney released the first press night. I will not really give you too many spoiler alerts if you are like me and would rather be surprised and let something rush over you. But let me say this, the format of Fantasmic! is exactly the same and it works. Currently the original show of World of Color is playing again and side by side Fantasmic! works better and here is why.…
Sorcerer Mickey remains the star of Fantasmic. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The fountains of World of Color light the night. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
It must be noted and clear that both shows do not rely on plot whatsoever. Disney is masterful at telling a story. From its first feature length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , it was Walt's drive to only keep things that served the story that propelled the company into fame. But neither show relies on any story telling technique. That said, there is a formula of creating a program of music in a carefully scored and perfect order that creates a tension and a build that pushes a program to a dramatic rise, a crescendo and a thrilling conclusion. With the current refurbishment of Fantasmic! it is hands down the winner.
Fantasmic! works better because it has a much more defined order and build. There is an opening number that feels like a musicale (the "e" is on purpose pointing out the lack of plot) It introduces the theme of "imagination" and then we go into the four main sections of imagination: Party, Adventure, Love, Villains. We start the show with fun. Once we have danced and had a party, we are feeling daring and we have adventure: being chased by a whale and escaping the swashbuckling of pirates. We need a breather after that, so we experience the magic of love with four famous Disney couples. But then the bad guys wreck our reverie and we defeat them. That can only leave a final celebration.
Maleficent the dragon sets fire to the Rivers of America. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The character-laden Mark Twain remains an emotional high point of the show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
What it lacks in plot it makes up for in spades with character. Mickey is center stage. He is the mouse that started it all and the crowd immediately recognizes and accepts him. We have a narrator we can trust. Yes, there is a loose plot that the villains are trying to overtake his imagination, but that is flimsy at best. It's the way that special effects, lights, music and—most importantly—live performers, blend together to create excitement and tension. There is a clear opening number which is the Fantasmic! theme song and then it segues into the familiar Sorcerer's Apprentice and then the mood goes more sombre to a dreamy and ethereal variation of the Fantasmic! theme song, which brings us to the silhouette of Mickey walking into The Lion King 's opening number. That song is pure perfection of creating a mood and excitement and energy, and whether you've seen The Lion King 100 times or never, it affects you and you have an expectation of a lion cub. Visually and musically you know the style of song, and again whether you are a musician or not, your body, mind and gut have a human expectation of what is to come next. That is the first "reversal" you get. What you expect to come next doesn't happen. You get an abrupt mood change and a snake that isn't animated by projection but by human beings. Again this is something that we feel, that we connect to on a human level because humans make the snake.
Kaa prowls the Fantasmic stage. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
World of Color
World of Color is back to its original show, and when comparing it alongside Fantasmic! there is no contest that Fantasmic! wins hands down and hands out. You can hear it in the applause and see it in the wandering of the kids who lose interest in a show that has odd pacing and is full of false finales.
The thing that World of Color will never have over Fantasmic! is the human element. It just can't be beat theatrically. That said, the thing that World of Color has over Fantasmic! is that it can be changed quickly with rehearsal that only involves techies. And this advantage can and has worked beautifully, as demonstrated by last year's amazingly paced and clever holiday show and the beautiful and delightful Chinese Lunar New Year Tribute. World of Color has great things ahead of it. The 60th Anniversary was criticized by many as having too much Neil Patrick Harris, but the cohesiveness of that show was better and the fact that they tried to use a recognizable and talented host may have proved the theory of human beings on water screens just don't work as well as real humans.
But since the show that is there is the original, let's look at a few things that work and things that don't work.
World of Color fills the central lagoon with fountains of color. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
No one can deny that when it comes to scale and sheer power, World of Color has that over Fantasmic! The fountains are huge and we pretty much see all that they can do in the opening number scored to "Wonderful World of Color". By only using color and fountains we get a nice gentle opening and it is a bit long to sustain the little ones. The water screens are spectacular, especially in the opening sequence as The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo are mashed up to give us a wonderful undersea effect. The theme seems to be set until we head into space and Wall-E . After that we are in Andy's room and we get a fantastic laser battle between Buzz Lightyear and Zorg. This is where the effects of lasers, mist, water choreography, film clips, and a great button of the Aliens "oooooooohing" on the circle on the roller coaster California Screamin' are used to great effect. With bizarre segues like Up , which doesn't altogether work since the balloons disappear into the night sky it starts to become apparent that Disney is just going to throw as many movies into the show as they can. This might work, but some of the numbers are way too long and the pace becomes mired down and sluggish. The Fantasia 2000 sequence is beautiful, but the fountains are just doing the opening number again with projection and the redundancy sets in. "Colors of the Wind" builds to such a great crescendo and points out dramatically the Color part of the show, but unfortunately creates a finale feel. The segue of Bugs into Bambi into the Old Mill is great but just pushes into yet another finale feel with the Lion King stampede, which of course leaves us lingering on death. Not exactly where we should be at this point. Of course there is redemption with a magical sequence of rebirth and excitement with one of the best uses of the fountain in creating the Cheshire Cat.
Balloons from "Up" rise into the air and off of the water screens. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The Cheshire Cat makes a great use of the water screens. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The elements are all there but the final product is wobbly and out of balance. The newer shows show promise and maybe once the focus is on a show about five minutes shorter with better thematic control this reviewer will be back for more. Do you agree with these points? Who are the Fantasmic! freaks out there? Who are the World of Color winners? Who is such a fan that they can't choose? I would love to hear from you and hear your opinions here on MousePlanet.
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- World Of Color
I saw Fantasmic in 2008 at WDW. I saw World of Color last summer. I enjoyed World of Color, a lot. Even though Fantasmic started with a drawn out Pocahontas scene, I loved it so much more. It was amazing.
Agree completely about the thematic elements. Fantasmic has always been my favorite. I liked the original version better, but it still wins over WoC. World of Color is beautiful, but we discovered very quickly that it's not for our kids. First and foremost, it remains very difficult for them to obtain a good vantage point. The last time we tried, we thought we had a good spot - until the section in front of us (reserved for some purpose) filled in last-minute and people in front of us put their kids on their shoulders. We never feel comfortable doing this with our toddlers when people are standing behind us, and as far as our older child (currently age 9) he is far too big to be lifted in any way and far too short to see over the heads of adults, even on one of the higher "tiers". To be fair, we almost always do the Fantasmic dining package to get those front seated spots and this has been very successful at ensuring a wonderful view. We have not tried a WoC dining package, but I have never been convinced that even with the dining package we'd be able to have our kids see well. After that we could go into what I feel are completely disjointed scenes and transitions with WoC. (This is actually more of the case with the new Fantasmic as well, and that is something I don't like about it.) My husband has often joked that the "dead Mufasa" scene goes on and on. The timing doesn't seem right. At some points the show is too slow, other points too loud, other points too bright (that fire can be impressive but brutal; I want to see it but usually find myself shielding my eyes). I don't find Fantasmic as startlingly offensive to the senses.
First of all, they both have a huge negative and that is they don't have good seating. It's just hours of standing over at WoC, and then you sit on the hard cold turf for F!, and that's if you got FP for good sections. Wish they had a seating area like they do at WDW (DHS and AK). F! is clearly the favorite. But the latest version of WOC Christmas was amazing! The scene with Goofy doing Christmas lights is on par with the finale' of Illuminations, which is still the gold standard for eye candy.
Great article Todd! I'm waaaaaay behind on my WOC viewings but I saw the new Fantasmic its first weekend. Loved it and that's saying something as the old one was very nostalgic to me. Keep up the great writing!!
I thought the Pocahontas scene while cool seemed to be a mini-story stuck into something else. I concur.
Thanks wwu1990.....The new one is just updated BIGGER....BOLDER....etc..... I love that everything that they cut has little snack nods....that is really cool to pay tribute.
Absolutely agree with the standing....I get tired during WOC current show because it has a huge pace problem.....BUT.....some of the tips are always shoot for the second Fantastic! show as it is less of a wait and less standing. IF you are with a group of adults and no children you can walk up late for the second show and if you all pick a meeting place AFTERWARDS (or use those ingenious mobile phones for communique) you can all meander about for a standing hole in the crowd.....of course with the show just back this doesn't always work during the busy times. WOC tips are that the viewing from way back is just as good if not....BETTER....I saw it on an off day with my cousins (Their first time ever!) and the crowd rushed the front of the viewing area and we held back and leaned on the planters and there were NO HEADS in our way leaving a clear clean viewing area......PS The XMAS show last year was so good I think they can do that for a few years to come....maybe put a new segment in each year....but it was tight! The pacing was amazing.
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Fantasmic and World of Color Are Finally Returning to Disneyland
The Main Street Electrical Parade has also been updated for its 50th anniversary, with characters from Encanto and other Disney and Pixar movies.
The new finale for the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland.
Disneyland is bringing back all its nighttime spectaculars , almost a year after reopening following a yearlong COVID pandemic closure. Though it's been putting on the Mickey's Mix Magic fireworks show for a few months now, Disneyland on Tuesday said that the Disneyland Forever fireworks will return on April 22, along with the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade.
World of Color will also return to California Adventure on April 22, while Fantasmic will return to Disneyland on May 28.
Disney Parks has also unveiled a seven-segment "grand finale" float for the 50th anniversary of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Concept art for the brightly lit neon display includes Disney and Pixar characters like Mirabel and Antonio from Encanto, as well as Jasmine and Aladdin, Mowgli, Raya, Anna and Elsa, Pocahontas, Mulan, Moana, Tiana, Miguel, Hercules, Merida and the Blue Fairy.
Read more: Disney Wish: Everything You Need to Know About This New Cruise Ship
The characters resemble the childlike dolls from Disneyland's It's a Small World ride, and the float's design takes inspiration from Mary Blair's iconic Small World art. The parade will now finish with a stylized version of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
For now Disneyland Forever fireworks will run only on weekends, while Mickey's Mix Magic will be shown on Mondays through Thursdays until the end of spring. Disneyland Forever will become a nightly show in summer.
There is something utterly disarming about the beginning of Disney’s Fantasmic. When those lights rise, the chorus sings that familiar word, and Mickey Mouse appears in a fan of light, the world we know melts away. Every child’s eyes widen, and every adult is invited to dream like a child again. Some audiences erupt in cheers while others fall into mesmerized silence, and you can’t help but smile during Mickey’s beautiful and perilous journey into the world of imagination.
Fantasmic first premiered at Disneyland in 1992, a marvel of cutting-edge special effects and entertainment storytelling that solved a significant problem by utilizing the space of the Rivers of America . To this date, it might be one of the best nighttime spectaculars in Disney history, even beating out many of their more resplendent fireworks shows over the years. In 1998, the show was adapted for a specially built arena at Disney’s Hollywood Studios , with a third version premiering at Tokyo DisneySea in 2011 that utilized huge floats and a large version of Mickey’s hat for many of the projections. Finally, in 2017, the Disneyland version was given a complete overhaul with dazzling new effects perfected in the World of Color show, as well as a number of new scenes. Disneyland fans sometimes refer to this version as Fantasmic 2.0, and it’s hard not to say it’s the best one to date.
Image: Disney (Walt Disney World)
I love all of Disney’s parks, but when it comes to most things Disney, I usually fall firmly in the Walt-Disney-World-is-better camp-- unless we’re talking about The Indiana Jones Adventure or Fantasmic. All versions of the show are excellent in their own right, but despite having the advantages of a custom built stadium, greater freedom for pyrotechnics use, and the considerable resources of Walt Disney World at their disposal, it’s hard not to feel like Walt Disney World's Fantasmic falls a little short of its California counterpart. Bigger is not always better, and while Walt Disney World’s Fantasmic is undeniably grand in scale, there are just a lot of areas where Disneyland seems to have them beat. From crisper choreography to a story that makes more sense, Disneyland’s version edges out Walt Disney World's in almost every way.
We dipped a toe into exploring the differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World's versions of Fantasmic in our exploration of common misconceptions about Disney’s Hollywood Studios , there is a lot to unpack when you get into the details comparing the shows. For the sake of simplicity, we will leave Tokyo DisneySea’s version out of the discussion since it is significantly different but for some key plot similarities. We’ll also focus most of our analysis on the 2.0 version of Disneyland’s show, with some consideration for its predecessor as well.
What is it about Disneyland’s Fantasmic that edges out it’s Walt Disney World cousin? Let’s take a look at some specific elements to see which show is stronger.
1. The Rivers of America vs. Fantasmic arena
Video: YouTube, User: WDW Details
The first key difference between Fantasmic at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is location within the parks. Fantasmic was originally designed for the Rivers of America at Disneyland, and that specificity is obvious whenever the show has been adapted. There may have been logistical issues with trying to bring Fantasmic to the Rivers of America at Disney’s Magic Kingdom — its connection to Florida’s natural waterways would be one problem (a flaming river would probably mean a lot of dead anahingas and gators), and capacity might have been another issue. Whatever the reasons, Disney opted to move Fantasmic to its own private arena at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The Walt Disney World version holds two advantages: the stadium setting means that viewers can sit, a major advantage over Disneyland. Also, while the river and space itself may be smaller in the Walt Disney World stadium, the overall scale of the show seems larger, particularly in regards to stunts and fireworks displays.
Despite the stadium advantage, there’s something utterly mesmerizing about the original Rivers of America setting at Disneyland. The use of the Rivers and Tom Sawyer Island as a setting gives the show a distinctly organic feel—like when Mickey Mouse dreams, his dreams take place at Disneyland. While Walt Disney World's version utilizes its mountain stage heavily, in the Disneyland version, the Rivers and the island almost become characters unto themselves, perfectly integrated into the fabric of the show. The Rivers give the show its massive feel, and this becomes especially important since the show utilizes both of the park’s signature boats—the Mark Twain and the sailing ship Columbia—for key scenes.
2. The special effects
It’s hard to say which version of the show has the biggest effects. Compared to the original Disneyland version of Fantasmic, the water projections and fireworks in Walt Disney World's version are absolutely massive in comparison. However, Fantasmic 2.0 increased the scale of the show enough that it negates some of the difference.
It cannot be understated what an incredible job Disney did with the new effects for Fantasmic 2.0. The show was already eye-dazzling, but the new effects don’t just add spectacle—they improve the story overall. In the Walt Disney World version, the effects feel like the central focus of much of the show, even if the story doesn’t make as much sense. Part of this discrepancy has to do with the fact that Walt Disney World’s Fantasmic is still an adaptation of the original Disneyland version—there hasn’t been an attempt to update the show yet, which leaves it lagging behind it’s Disneyland cousin. While Walt Disney World's Fantasmic fireworks might be bigger and bolder, the more targeted effects at Disneyland still come out stronger.
Jett is a writer and lifelong Disney addict based in Florida. She loves vacation hacks and exploring Disney parks through lenses less-explored, especially with humor. When she and her husband aren't messing with stormtroopers in Galaxy's Edge, you'll most likely find her in Epcot, her favorite park.
If you enjoyed this article, you can follow Jett on YouTube (My Kingdom for a Mouse - Glimpses of Disney), Instagram (@mykingdomforamouse), Facebook , or Twitter (@invadervega).
Amazing article! In general, I've always preferred the original Disneyland version, although I love some of the upgrades done in the 2.0 version, like the Jungle Book/Lion King merger for the jungle sequence and the new Aladdin scenes (I do miss Peter Pan, though; much more fitting than PoC, plus it's my favorite Disney animated film). The only thing that I think WDW does improve upon is the addition of more classic villains (although I can do without the whole Cave of Wonders sequence). My ideal version of the show would be the original Disneyland version (with Peter Pan), plus the new jungle and Aladdin sequences from 2.0 and the villains montage from WDW.
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Magic Final Four Round 2: Fantasmic or World of Color? Vote for a Chance at a $150 Disney Gift Card!
in Disneyland Resort , Sports , Walt Disney World
Over 10,000 votes. That’s right, over 10,000 votes were tallied last weekend in the first round of our 2022 Magic Final Four tournament to help determine Disney’s greatest parade/show.
Round 2 has arrived which means you can once again lock in your votes and enter to win a $150 Disney gift card! Kick off your weekend by watching the Round 2 preview show, and comment on who you believe will win the tournament directly on YouTube!
Round 2 features some tremendous matchups. Let’s take a look at some of them below:
Dream Along with Mickey vs. Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire
For over five years Disney fans have argued over which Magic Kingdom castle show was superior. The Friendship Faire replaced Dream Along during the summer of 2016 and continues with performances in 2022 (though with an updated name, and theme song). Dream Along featured classic Disney characters from movies like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. The Friendship Faire goes with the more contemporary offerings of Princess & the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen.
Fantasmic (Disneyland) vs. World of Color
Two nighttime spectaculars from Disneyland Resort take center stage in round 2. Fantasmic remains as one of the heavy favorites in the tournament, but World of Color had a dominating win over EPCOT’s beloved Candlelight Processional in Round 1.
March of the First Order vs. Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Two bitter rivals that alternated performances with each other since their debuts in 2016. Both shows were essentially eliminated by the introduction of Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios. The March ended in the summer of 2019, and the stage show 6 months later.
Stay tuned to our video series to track the results and upcoming matchups throughout the tournament. Enter your email below for a chance to win the $150 Disney gift card, and look out for ways to earn even more entries. Good luck! It’s Magic Season!
Comments Off on Magic Final Four Round 2: Fantasmic or World of Color? Vote for a Chance at a $150 Disney Gift Card!
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Fantasmic or World of Color
- Thread starter meredith55
- Start date Aug 29, 2014
Earning My Ears
- Aug 29, 2014
We are going in October and were surprised to see Fantasmic scheduled for Thursday, the 9th. We had not planned on that, so now I'm torn. Not sure my kids will be able to stay up late two nights in a row to see WOC and Fantasmic. If you could choose just one, which would you choose? My kids are 6 and under if that makes a difference. Thanks!!
meredith55 said: We are going in October and were surprised to see Fantasmic scheduled for Thursday, the 9th. We had not planned on that, so now I'm torn. Not sure my kids will be able to stay up late two nights in a row to see WOC and Fantasmic. If you could choose just one, which would you choose? My kids are 6 and under if that makes a difference. Thanks!! Click to expand...
disney world dreamer
i'm not a fan of fantasmic. i absolutely loved world of color. i just had to see it twice while there!
I would pick Fantasmic, but I would never go to a first or only showing, due to not being willing to camp out to get a seat. So in your case, I would choose WoC. I also thing the Mark Twain is going under refurb soon, and in that case, the finale of Fantasmic is underwhelming.
I think I've give the nod to Fantastmic! because it's more character-centric and so might have more appeal to your kids. There are some scary parts (like any Disney attraction or show) but Mickey is the hero and it's just so exciting. But, with one showing it's going to required more planning and time to get a good spot. When there are two showings, the second show is much easier to get a spot with less than an hour wait time. With the first show, people start camping out spots in the late afternoon. I love World of Color, but my wife and I think World of Color is harder to see with small children. It's a standing show, so assuming you're not standing up against a railing, you're likely to have people in front of you, and you'll probably have to hold your kids up for the 25-30 minute duration. An advantage to WoC is that your FastPass admits you in the viewing area, so you'd be looking at an hour or so ahead of time to get into a viewing spot, and then you are also allowed to come and go if necessary. So from that perspective it's a little more organized/controlled than Fantasmic!
superlarz said: I would pick Fantasmic, but I would never go to a first or only showing, due to not being willing to camp out to get a seat. So in your case, I would choose WoC. I also thing the Mark Twain is going under refurb soon, and in that case, the finale of Fantasmic is underwhelming. Click to expand...
- Aug 30, 2014
I would do WOC just because of the crowd factor. I HATE being in New Orleans Square during that time because it is literally wall to wall people and I start to get panicky. To me, its more manageable over in DCA for WOC.
I love both, but if I could only choose one, it would have to be WOC. Fantasmic! is very nostalgic for me, but I also feel like the show is quite dated. Something else that may help you decide is to determine which type of characters your kids like more. F! doesn't have any of the Pixar characters, and it's more based on the classic, older movies. Think Peter Pan, Jungle Book, Sleeping Beauty, Fantasia. There is also a big princess chunk in there. WOC has more of the newer characters. So Pixar, Lion King, Little Mermaid, etc. I hadn't really thought about that, but when we took my DD (then 3) to see F! the first time, she didn't recognize a lot of the characters. But in WOC she recognized just about everyone.
I have never seen Fantasmic, on either coast. Maybe I have no say here because of that, if so, sorry. On the other hand I saw WOC (2 or 3 years ago) and I am not joking when I say that to this day I would pay my 2 day admission all over again just to have seen that show. Of course, that was like a once in a lifetime trip for me and the show was relatively new, and we had gotten the premiere viewing spot because we had dinner at Ariel's Grotto (which was just ok but worth the spot). So I guess it really depends on your circumstances. But I think this show shouldn't be missed.
- Aug 31, 2014
Reading Is Fundamental.
Easily World Of Color.
I would for sure watch a youtube of fantasmic. There are some clips they show projected on the water that are about 3 minutes made up of every scary Disney scene with red eyes or an angry face. DS5 has been a fan of hm and every scary thing there is since he was 2 and fantasmic scares him a little. That's all aside from the giant dragon but he loves malificent. I personally think fantasmic is really dated. We both really love world or color. Read the word of color super thread on here to help you get a good spot. If your stroller is the kind you can, I always have my son stand on his stroller seat and I put my arm around him. Then he's about the same height as the adults and I don't get dead arm holding him that long. Grabbing dinner to eat in your spot is a great way to pass the time and you and another adult could tag team the kids to the bathroom. Ds5 usually ends up making friends with the kids waiting near us and the time flies. So if it's just about getting a good spot, fantasmic may have a slight edge, but I think woc definitely has the edge in terms of the show unless your desire to see peter and hook fight on the pirate ship (best 2 minutes of fantasmic IMHO) or see a lot of characters wave as they float by outweighs scary clips, neon monkeys and really really bad music. Plus the herding before and after fantasmic can be a rough crowd.
Fantasmic hands down. But only with dessert package.
World of Color, definitely.
I personally enjoy Fantasmic much more than WOC. For some reason projections on water is just dull for me despite the music and fire effects, though many love the show. However, as a child Fantasmic terrified me! My parents waited awhile before they took us again lol. (If only WOC had been an option a couple decades ago.) As previously recommended YouTube is a great option for previewing the shows, though nothing compares to seeing the shows in person.
To all who come to this happy place, welcome.
- Sep 1, 2014
How to see World of Color without leaving your home. 1. Turn out the lights, or move your big screen tv outdoors at night. 1. Put on a DVD or Blu-Ray of your favorite non-classic Disney/Pixar film. 2. Using a spray bottle filled with water, or a garden hose, simply spray water in front of your tv, creating a "screen" of water with the movie playing behind it. Tip: For an even more realistic experience, invite every person in your neighborhood to cram into a tight space to watch the presentation, and be sure to stand behind all of them. Or, take your family to a nice, expensive dinner before your show, and then return home, but have everyone in your neighborhood stand behind you and your family as you watch the presentation. DONE!! Now...If you want to see real characters, dancers, live action and fireworks, Fantasmic is the only option. Sure, it will be crowded, but by the time the show comes around, you will be used to crowds.
Fantasmic dessert package is the way to go
Fantaluminishes said: How to see World of Color without leaving your home. 1. Turn out the lights, or move your big screen tv outdoors at night. 1. Put on a DVD or Blu-Ray of your favorite non-classic Disney/Pixar film. 2. Using a spray bottle filled with water, or a garden hose, simply spray water in front of your tv, creating a "screen" of water with the movie playing behind it. Tip: For an even more realistic experience, invite every person in your neighborhood to cram into a tight space to watch the presentation, and be sure to stand behind all of them. Or, take your family to a nice, expensive dinner before your show, and then return home, but have everyone in your neighborhood stand behind you and your family as you watch the presentation. DONE!! Now...If you want to see real characters, dancers, live action and fireworks, Fantasmic is the only option. Sure, it will be crowded, but by the time the show comes around, you will be used to crowds. Click to expand...
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Disneyland | disneyland brings back ‘world of color,’ ‘fantasmic’ and main street electrical parade, “world of color,” main street electrical parade and the “disneyland forever” fireworks show will return on april 22 while “fantasmic” will be back starting on may 28..
Disneyland plans to bring back “Fantasmic,” “World of Color,” Main Street Electrical Parade and the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show after the nighttime spectaculars that draw large crowds were put on hiatus by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“World of Color,” Main Street Electrical Parade and “Disneyland Forever” will return on April 22. “Fantasmic” will be back on the Rivers of America starting on May 28.
“World of Color” and “Fantasmic” will resume their regular run. Main Street Electrical Parade and “Disneyland Forever” will have limited time runs.
The Electrical Parade will introduce a new seven-segment grand finale sequence that will replace the 108-foot-long patriotic American flag float titled “To Honor America.”
SEE ALSO: Where Disneyland could add a nighttime drone show
The new 118-foot-long “Togetherness” finale will feature doll characters inspired by the It’s a Small World designs of Disney Legend Mary Blair. The new float will include more than a dozen Small World dolls based on characters from “Encanto,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Coco,” “Brave,” “Moana,” “Frozen,” “Mulan,” “Princess and the Frog,” “Aladdin” and “Jungle Book.”
The new finale sequence will be led by Blue Fairy float and conclude with a 19-foot-tall tribute to Sleeping Beauty Castle as it parades along Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland.
The fan-favorite Blue Fairy float has led off past versions of the parade. The 2022 version of the Electrical Parade will kick off with the train and drum unit.
The COVID-19 pandemic put fireworks, nighttime spectaculars, parades and live shows on hold during the phased reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure due to the large crowds they attract.
Since the parks returned, Disneyland has brought back fireworks in time for the Fourth of July and resumed the first parade as part of DCA’s Oogie Boogie Bash in early September.
SEE ALSO: Galactic Starcruiser: Everything you need to know about Disney World’s Star Wars hotel
Fantasmic” will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the nighttime spectacular in May. The Main Street Electrical Parade will mark the 50th anniversary of the venerable nighttime parade in June.
Disneyland crews have been working on the “World of Color” projection towers in Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure. The “Fantasmic” water screens have been undergoing an extensive rehab in recent months on the Rivers of America at Disneyland.
The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show from the park’s 60th anniversary celebration in 2015 last returned to the skies above Disneyland in summer 2019.
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Things to do | instant analysis of 49ers’ third straight loss, a 31-17 stinker vs. bengals, things to do | disneyland to bring back ‘fantasmic,’ ‘world of color’ and main street electrical parade in 2022, the covid-19 pandemic put fireworks, nighttime spectaculars, parades and live shows on hold during the phased reopening of disneyland and disney california adventure..
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will bring back a host of fan-favorite nighttime entertainment in 2022 that has been sorely missing from the Anaheim theme parks since they returned from a 412-day pandemic closure.
“Fantasmic,” “World of Color” and the Main Street Electrical Parade will return in 2022 as part of a phased reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, according to Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro.
D’Amaro made the announcement on Saturday, Nov. 20, during the Destination D23 fan convention at Walt Disney World in Florida.
The COVID-19 pandemic put fireworks, nighttime spectaculars, parades and live shows on hold during the phased reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure due to the large crowds they attract. Since the parks reopened, Disneyland has brought back fireworks in time for the Fourth of July and resumed the first parade as part of California Adventure’s Oogie Boogie Bash in early September .
D’Amaro announced “Fantasmic” will return to the Rivers of America at Disneyland and “World of Color” will return to Paradise Bay at DCA in 2022 — without mentioning a specific return date.
“Fantasmic” and “World of Color” went into hibernation during the 13-month coronavirus closures of the Anaheim theme parks and have not shown any signs of life in the nearly seven months since Disneyland and DCA reopened in late April.
Extensive fountain refurbishment has taken place on “Fantasmic” with work continuing on “World of Color.”
The Main Street Electrical Parade will be back in time for the 50th anniversary of the beloved nighttime parade.
The Main Street Electrical Parade will celebrate its 50th anniversary in summer 2022. The parade debuted at Disneyland on June 17, 1972.
Disneyland famously held a heavily-promoted farewell season in 1996, promising the Main Street Electrical Parade would “glow away forever.” But much like the farewell tours by rock bands like Kiss , Motley Crue and the Eagles, farewell never means goodbye forever.
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Disneyland Fantasmic! 2023 Guide – Viewing Areas, Times, Dining Packages, No Virtual Queue
Disneyland Fantasmic! is the most popular nighttime spectacular at the Disneyland Resort. The show takes place on select nights on Rivers of America in Frontierland.
Fantasmic at Disneyland is popular for a good reason! The show brings together incredible performers, the latest in special effects technology, and the incredible Disney songbook to tell the story of good vs evil inside Mickey Mouse's imagination.
This show is steeped in Disney history, nostalgia, and features fabulous special effects. This Fantasmic! Disneyland guide has information on the nightly showtimes, tips on Fantasmic! viewing areas and map, the pros and cons of the Fantasmic dining packages, and information on the history of this beloved Disneyland show.
This is truly my favorite nighttime entertainment at Disneyland and my top can't miss if the show is performing.
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Disneyland Fantasmic! 2023 Closure
Fantasmic! is paused until at least Labor Day due to a fire that broke out during the performance April 2023. You can read the full update of this fire and all news regarding Fantasmic! return in our article along with Disney's commentary on potential changes coming to the show.
Disneyland Fantasmic! Show Times 2023
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! 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.
How to Watch Fantasmic! at Disneyland
Fantasmic! takes place on Tom Sawyers Island and looks out over the Rivers of America in Frontierland. The length of the show is 27 minutes and during peak times of year there are two show times at 9PM and 10:30PM. If you're visiting during a peak time of year (summer, holidays, spring break) you can expect nightly showings and mulitple shows. During less crowded times of year (January-February) you might see only one evening performance or in rare cases only showings on the weekends.
Your best bet to plan for watching Fantasmic! is so check the Disney website calender for the entertainment schedule on the day of your visit. You can also easily find this information in the park by asking a cast member or consulting the Disneyland app or park maps.
Disneyland Fantasmic! Viewing Areas
The below viewing area information has been updated now that Fantasmic! has returned. There are two options for seating to watch Fantasmic! at Disneyland: open seating or dining packages.
Based on the first night of the run of the show we have updated the above Fantasmic! viewing area map. The show takes place in and around the Rivers of America. In the graphic above, the Fantasmic! main stage is directly under the “AS” in the title on the graphic though boats and projections can be seen all along the river.
Guests who secure a dining package have the best view of the show directly across from the main stage.
Those with the dining packages have the best view with their area roped off right in front of the main stage. Dining package viewers are also guaranteed to be able to sit during the show which is a nice perk in itself.
- The Hungry Bear Fantasmic! Dining Package seating is located on the far left in the viewing area and typically guests will remain standing.
- The River Belle Terrace Standard Dining Package is just off center to the left in the viewing area and guests sit on the ground.
- The River Belle Terrace also offers a premium dining packag e where guests are seated at 7:15 pm and then remain in their seats through the first 9 pm showing of Fantasmic!
- Though the Blue Bayou has not yet announced their dining packages details , we expect that the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! viewing area will return to the center as it was during the previous run of the show. These guests sit on the ground. It has been announced that Blue Bayou will have a dining package when it returns.
We'll go deeper into all of the Fantasmic! viewing area options in the following sections.
General Disneyland Fantasmic! Viewing Tips
A representative from Disneyland Public Relations has confirmed that there will NOT be a virtual queue utilized for “Fantasmic!” when the show returns.
This means that your options for viewing the show are staking out a spot along the Rivers of America or getting a reserved dining package.
Our key tip for avoiding spending a lot of your time waiting for a seat for Fantasmic! is to see the second show of the evening. For that show you'll want to watch the fireworks from the Frontierland area and then join the mass of people moving into the Fantasmic! viewing areas.
For general viewing if you are willing to line up a little bit early, we like to get up close to the fence along the water. If you are arriving later for the first show, line up on the bridge over Pirates of the Caribbean for a nice view of the show.
As you can see in the map shared above, the Disneyland Fantasmic! dining packages take up a large chunk of the prime viewing for the show (the best prime seating for the show is where the Blue Bayou section is listed on the map, directly across from Tom Sawyer's Island).
Here is a view from that prime spot. You'll locate this spot within the section as it is directly in front of the light board. Currently this is part of the River Belle Terrace reserved section most nights.
For guests who want to experience the show without a dining package and are aiming for the second show, you should follow these key steps.
- Watch the Disneyland Forever fireworks from directly in front of the River Belle Terrace restaurant. This is in the area along the waterfront between Frontierland and Pirates of the Caribbean. You'll want to be lingering a little ways from this area during the show to be able to move in.
- When the fireworks end, move up into the general viewing area closest to center right here. Make sure to ask a Cast Member where you are able to sit for the show as you are doing this. Sometimes the dining package reserved area is not clearly marked and you'll accidentally end up there and have to move.
- Hang out for the ~hour or so until the show starts. You'll be fine having members of your group head off to grab a churro or nighttime treat ( use the Disneyland dining mobile order ) while a majority of the group stays here to wait.
As you are thinking about the best spots for Fantasmic!, you'll want to keep in mind that you should be aiming to avoid any obstructions of Tom Sawyer's Island.
At the end of the day, the energy in the area is the most important part of the show and even an obscured view is a nice way to end the day at the parks.
Is there a Disneyland Fantasmic! Virtual Queue?
Previously we had expected that Disneyland would utilize a virtual queue for Fantasmic! in the same way that they are for the World of Color virtual queue process . The virtual queue process is not an extra charge . However, Disneyland is NOT currently going to be offering a Fantasmic! virtual queue .
Disneyland may still introduce a Fantasmic! virtual queue option. Below is information on how a Fantasmic! virtual queue option would function if they were to follow the system utilize for World of Color and the previous Fantasmic! reserved seating option using FastPass.
Disneyland could eventually offer a virtual queue viewing for Fantasmic! which gives guests the opportunity to secure a reserved seating section from the Disneyland app and not have to stake out a seat for Fantasmic! hours before. Basically, your virtual queue would assign you a colored viewing area and this is a way to save your spot for the show in advance. Be prepared that you may be asked to stand when you're in the virtual queue section and there is no guarantee of being able to sit during your Fantasmic! viewing.
We expect that the virtual queue option for Fantasmic! would match World of Color and that you will be able to join a virtual queue from anywhere after you have entered the park for the day at noon when the queue opens for the show. The virtual queue fills all the spots for the first show and then fills all the spots for the second show. You do not have the option to select which show you want to view.
I personally like being able to watch the first show and then the fireworks and then see the Main Street Electrical Parade .
The virtual queues works independently from the Disneyland Genie Plus service so you don't have to worry about this impacting any of your Lightning Lane selections.
Disneyland Fantasmic! Dining Packages
You can purchase Fantasmic! dining packages for the Blue Bayou Restaurant, the River Belle Terrace, and at the Hungry Bear Restaurant.
Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Restaurant Dining Package
The Blue Bayou Restaurant is one of the park’s most popular dining experiences. The Blue Bayou is an indoor, upscale restaurant with a view of Pirates of the Caribbean. Their Monte Cristo sandwich is a crowd favorite! This package includes a 3-course meal, which has a starter, entrée, and dessert.
This package includes admission to the reserved viewing area for a designated performance of Fantasmic! that night. Please note that the viewing area is separate from the restaurant location. Blue Bayou guests receive the best viewing location: dead center in front of the show. If you want the best seats, make sure to arrive one hour prior to the time on your return ticket for Fantasmic!
- Price: Lunch is $62 per adult and $29 per child (ages 3 to 9) and dinner is $72 per adult and $29 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax and gratuity not included.
- Reserved seating at Blue Bayou Restaurant begins daily at 11:30 AM for lunch and 4:00 PM for dinner.
Blue Bayou cushion for Fanstasmic!
Blue Bayou dining guests are also the only guests guaranteed to be able to sit down during the show. The Blue Bayou dining package comes with cushions for guests to sit on during the performance: one per person, per meal purchased.
Check out our most recent review here.
River Belle Terrace Fantasmic! Dining Package
The River Belle Terrace enjoys a picturesque view of the Rivers of America. Dining options include classic American dishes like fried chicken, baked beans, and more with a Southern flair. Each dining package includes a 3-course dinner (starter, entrée and dessert). The River Belle Terrace package includes admission to the reserved viewing area for a designated performance of Fantasmic! that night. The viewing area is separate from the restaurant location.
- Price: Lunch $50 per adult; $30 per child (ages 3 to 9). Dinner is $50 per adult and $30 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax and gratuity not included.
- Guests can upgrade to premium 7:15PM seating for an additional $25 per adult and $15 per child (ages 3 to 9) and enjoy their meal as well as the first performance of Fantasmic! from their seat on the outdoor patio.
The River Belle Terrace dining package guests sit adjacent to the Blue Bayou dining packages which allows for a great view of the show. River Belle Terrace dining package guests are typically allowed to sit during the performance. If you want the best seats, make sure to arrive one hour prior to the time on your return ticket for Fantasmic!
Check out our most recent review of the dining package with the upgraded seating!
Fantasmic! On the Go Package at Hungry Bear Restaurant
There is also a Fantasmic! On the Go Package at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. Guests can choose one of 4 entrees from a menu created especially for this event. Options include cedar salt-roasted sustainable salmon, barbecue chicken, blackberry barbecue pork riblets or a mushroom and leek frittata. All dishes are served with a medley of wild rice and cranberry-apricot grains as well as kale and garbanzo bean salad. Guests can dine at any of the restaurant's tables or take their meal to go.
- Price: The cost for this package is $30 per adult and $25 per child (ages 3 to 9); tax is not included.
- Reservations for meal pick-up times are normally available from 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM. However, times may vary based on the Fantasmic! schedule.
- Reservations made for 3:00 PM through 6:45 PM will receive a voucher that permits entry into the reserved viewing area for the first performance of Fantasmic! that evening.
- Reservations from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM will receive a voucher permitting entry into the reserved viewing area for that night's second show.
When picking up their meal at Hungry Bear Restaurant, guests will receive a voucher that allows entry to the reserved viewing area for that evening's performance of Fantasmic! Hungry Bear's reserved viewing is sandwiched on both sides of the River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou's reserved dining areas. Keep in mind you will likely be asked to stand in this viewing area. If you want the best seats, make sure to arrive one hour prior to the time on your return ticket for Fantasmic!
Guests with Disabilities Fantasmic! Viewing
Disneyland strives to accommodate all guests and this includes those with disabilities. There is a special area between the River Belle Terrace dining section and the general viewing area that is reserved for guests with disabilities. This section is typically reserved for those in wheelchairs and ECVs along with their families.
For dining packages, guests in wheelchairs or ECVs are seated near the back of the section so they're not blocking the view of other guests so these areas are all seated.
Pro Tips for Fantasmic! at Disneyland
- The first viewing of Fantasmic will always be the most crowded so similar to the advice we give for fireworks, we recommend watching the later showing if you don't plan on purchasing a dining package. If you have your heart set on the dining package experience, the first show is the best choice since the dining package viewing areas can often be combined for the second showing making your view a bit more crowded.
- If you are at the first show time of Fantasmic! and fireworks are scheduled that night, then stay where you are to watch the Rivers of America put on a magical show with projections that play against the screens of water in sync with the fireworks show.
- Be aware that Fantasmic! may be scary for small children. The show can get bright, loud, and a bit scary at times.
- Blue Bayou is currently the only dining package that offers guests a complimentary seat cushion.
- Since the show takes place on water, guests in the very front may get wet.
- The only option for chair viewing is the upgraded package for River Belle Terrace. All other options, dining packages included, only offer seating on the ground.
- All non-dining package viewers should be prepared to stand throughout the show.
- Always arrive early to the viewing areas- even if cast members aren't allowing guests to line up yet, you will see people hovering about waiting to jump in line when they do.
History of Fantasmic! at Disneyland
Disneyland's Fantasmic! debuted in 1992 and has been a beloved part of Disneyland entertainment ever since.
Fantasmic! includes fireworks, live performers, water effects, pyrotechnics, music, watercrafts, decorated rafts, animatronics, and projections! When Fantasmic! first debuted it was the first of its kind to incorporate so many different elements into one performance. The addition of Fantasmic! to Rivers of America meant that some reworkings of Disneyland had to take place including terracing the walkways to accommodate viewing and changing the front section of Tom Sawyer Island (now named The Pirate’s Lair) with the goal that it could act as a stage for most of the show's live action.
Fantasmic! was well received and now has regular showings more than 20 years later at Disneyland in the Disneyland Resort, Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World and Tokyo DisneySea in Tokyo Disney Resort.
I never recommend watching YouTube videos or reading a synoposis for any entertainment or ride you're experiencing for the first time. The surprise is half the fun! But since Fantasmic! does have moments that might startle small children, it might be helpful to know what the show will feature so you can be prepared.
Since its debut in 1992, “Fantasmic!” has performed nearly 11,000 shows at Disneyland and has received numerous enhancements such as the fire-breathing Maleficent dragon in 2009 and the addition of new songs from Aladdin, Tangled, and more in 2017. We can't wait to see this beloved nighttime spectacular return to Disneyland!
Warning: synospis and video below feature spoilers, scroll past if you'd like to be surprised!
Fantasmic! starts with the imagination of Mickey Mouse set within the water of Rivers of America where he transforms into Sorcerer Mickey and takes us on a trip to some of our favorite Disney movies like Fantasia , Aladdin , The Lion King , Tangled , and Pirates of the Caribbean – featured on state of the art water screens.
Fantasmic! also features beautiful live action scenes such as Aladdin and Jasmine delighting guests on their musical carpet ride, the Sailing Ship Columbia with action packed moments from Pirates of the Caribbean, rafts lit up with lights and well adored Disney princesses including Belle, Rapunzel, and Ariel.
The show includes the classic good vs. evil struggle when Mickey is pulled through the magic mirror and enters a world of Disney's most famous villains. The show stopping villain here is none other than Maleficent as Mickey gears up to fight the 45-foot dragon.
Of course, with all things Disney, the good prevails. In an epic finale, the Mark Twain Riverboat paddles its way along the river dotted with every Disney character imaginable. Words alone cannot materialize the images all the fascinating water effects, lasers, pyrotechnics, fireworks, and live action scenes Fantasmic! brings to life.
For a literal play-by-play of the show itself, check out this Wikipedia article.
Or if you prefer to watch it all play out on video, watch the video below!
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About Lindsay Brookshier
Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.
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What about the Premium Dining Packages at the River Belle? Do those allow you to just continue sitting at your table to watch the show?
Genie, you are correct- the premium Riverbelle Fantasmic! dining package allows you to remain at your seat while you watch the show from the restaurant patio. If you book the standard Riverbelle Fantasmic! package then you are seated by the the water front.
How do you get premium Riverbelle fantasmic dining packages it seems to be sold out within seconds unless Im doing it wrong
Hi Kathy, definitely follow our tips for getting dining reservations . There are two tools shared there that will send you an alert when there are reservations available.
No space for das pass in the area for disabilities? Why?
Is this the same for other shows?
There is no specific DAS reserved area for nighttime spectaculars or parades. There is a wheelchair/scooter accessible area provided but it’s first come, first serve and once it’s full they can’t allow anymore guests.
Thanks for your posts. You’ve given a lot of tips and information that I wouldn’t have thought which have been a great in help in planning our trip. Any suggestions on getting reservations at River Belle Terrace? I literally spent an entire day starting at 3 am trying to get a reservation and got nothing. Any help would be great! And the Disneyland dine number tells you you have to make reservations online or on the app.
Hi Jen, definitely follow our tips for getting dining reservations . There are two tools shared there where you can get notifications when reservations are available.
Currently unable to make Fantasmic dining reservations for January 2023. Called Disney yesterday and they confirmed that they could not see it either and that they are being flooded with calls asking the same question but the only answer they could give was “I don’t know.” Has anyone heard anything different?
I know it is currently closed until at least Labor Day, but when does Fantasmic normally run? We are thinking of going mid September…and just wondering if in September it is normally on weekends only or also on weekdays. Thanks
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