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AT A GLANCE...
- Disneyland Railroad
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- Big Thunder Mountain
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Car Toon Spin
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Dreams Come True
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- Believe... in
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Disneyland: Best of
- Remembering Disneyland
in the '50s
OTHER THEME PARKS
Rivers of America
Taking place on the Rivers of America, Fantasmic! is a nighttime show where the power of Mickey's imagination comes to life in an amazing spectacle of pyrotechnics, lasers, water screens, animation, fire and water effects and live action sequences featuring many favorite Disney characters and villains.
FANTASMIC! As the show begins the Rivers of America are dark and quiet. Mickey Mouse appears on the stage on Tom Sawyer Island and "conducts" the river to life in a blaze of lights, water fountains and fireworks. Three giant water screens rise from the river and a series of animations are projected on them.
The animated scenes shift to jungle images as fog rises on the river. Out on the stage Kaa, the huge snake from the Jungle Book, slithers across the island. On the river, floating barges carry King Louie and his cavorting day-glo-colored monkeys around the river.
Other scenes combining stage action and water screen animation include the pink elephants from Dumbo, Pinocchio and other huge dancing marionettes, and Monstro the whale.
There's the sound of cannon fire as the Sailing Ship Columbia, which has been transformed into Captain Hook's pirate ship, comes around the bend. It's an action-filled scene as Smee and the pirates swing on ropes and climb on the rigging as Captain Hook and Peter Pan pursue and duel each other. But following the ship is the giant crocodile, tick-tocking all the way as he attempts to get another taste of Captain Hook.
Mickey's dream continues as the "Imagination" theme plays and the "dream come true" couples float by -- Snow White and her prince, Ariel and Eric, and Beauty and the Beast.
Suddenly the Evil Queen from Snow White appears on stage, and the water screens reveal her animated magic mirror. The Evil Queen concocts a spell and transforms herself into the Wicked Witch who conjures up a series of villains to take over Mickey's dream. Ursula, Chernabog and other nightmarish images appear on the water screens until there is a burst of flame on-stage and Maleficent appears. Pointing at Mickey she laughs and in an amazing transformation sequence she becomes a 40' dragon who breathes fire and sets the water ablaze.
But Mickey is equal to the task and in a burst of pyrotechnics he defeats the dragon, who vanishes in a shower of pixie dust.
The water screens again rise and Tinker Bell flies on screen, waving her wand. Amidst a flurry of fireworks the Mark Twain Riverboat comes into view, and a host of Disney characters wave banners as they float by, with Steamboat Willie at the helm.
As the riverboat disappears, Mickey appears on the island stage and conducts a series of lasers and fireworks, even shooting fireworks from his fingers. He says: "Some imagination, huh?", and on a final musical note the lights go out.
You can read about Walt Disney World's version of Fantasmic! HERE.
Fantasmic! is a 25 minute show. It is presented seasonally -- every night during the summer and peak times. In the off-season it usually is presented only on weekends. There are usually two shows per night, and on very busy nights a third show may be added.
As of late 2014, a Fastpass is required to view Fantasmic!. Viewing spots along the Rivers of American are no longer available on a first come-first serve basis, and these areas will be roped off several hours before showtime.
Each performance day, starting at park opening, Fastpasses are available from a kiosk near the exit to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Each Fastpass designates a colored section and a recommended return time. If there are multiple shows, all Fastpasses for the first show will be distributed before those for the second show become available. Guests may only hold one Fantasmic! Fastpass per day - you can not get a Fastpass for the early show and then later obtain one for the second show. The earlier you obtain your Fastpass, the more near center the viewing area will be.
Those in the first few rows will be required to remain seated on the ground during the entire show. Those further back must stand. Seating is on cement and pavement, so you might consider bringing something to sit on.
If you're close to the water you may get sprayed with mist from the water screens.
There is some standby viewing for those who do not have Fastpasses. These areas tend to be off to the sides with a limited view. The locations seem to change, so ask a cast member for assistance. At this writing, even the cast members do not always have information about the standby areas, so you might have to ask more than one.
FANTASMIC! DINING PACKAGES
Fantasmic! is free with park admission, but there are several dining packages available for those who wish to guarantee themselves a Fastpass and a better viewing location. All of these packages can be booked up to 60 days in advance by calling Disney Dining or booking online at disneyland.com. In the descriptions below, the prices do not include any applicable tax or gratuity.
The Blue Bayou offers a 3-course dinner package: appetizer, entree, and dessert. It is $61 for adults and $23 for kids ages 3-9. A Fantasmic! foam seating pad is included.
River Belle Terrace also offers a 3-course meal: on evenings when Fantasmic! is performed, this restaurant, normally counter service, becomes a table service location beginning at 3:00 p.m. The price is $41.99 for adults and $21.99 for kids ages 3-9.
A Dessert Package is available at the Hungry Bear Restaurant for $29.99/person. Guests receive a dessert sampler tray and beverage. Starting 90 minutes before show time an area of the restaurant is reserved for package guests to sit down and enjoy their desserts before moving to their designated viewing area. To-go boxes are available for any leftover desserts.
A Grab-and-Go meal is available at Aladdin's Oasis. $19.99 for adults and $13.99 for kids. When making the reservation guests will schedule a time to pick up their meal, sometime between 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The meal is served in a to-go tray, with a bottled beverage but a dining area is available in the Oasis, and it's expected that most guests will choose to eat there.
The area around the Rivers of America gets extremely crowded and congested before and after Fantasmic! Before and during the show Cast Members maintain a walkway all the way around so that there is some flow of traffic, but afterwards the area can turn into complete gridlock where it's impossible to move. Keep your parties together as best you can and especially keep a tight hold on children - it's very easy to become separated.
If you see the first show, stay in place, and you will be able to see the Disneyland fireworks.
Fantasmic! takes place during the night-time hours and is very dark in some places. Some scenes, especially those including the giant snake and the black dragon, and also the "nightmare" water screen sequence, may be too intense for children and some adults.
There are viewing areas available for guests in wheelchairs/ECVs and their parties - see a Cast Member for assistance.
Visitors with hearing impairments can arrange for a complimentary sign language interpretation of this show by calling Guest Relations at least a week in advance at 714-781-7290, or 714-781-7292 (TTY).
During the show, kids will be delighted to see Mickey in a few different costumes: in a tuxedo, as the Brave Little Tailor, and of course as Sorcerer Mickey. Some favorite Disney character couples -- Snow White and her prince, Belle and Beast, and Ariel and Eric -- drift by on brightly lit floats during one dreamy sequence. The pirate ship scene features Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee. During the finale, a parade of characters sail by on the Mark Twain, ranging from classic favorites like Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Geppetto and Pinocchio, to more recent faces such as Stitch and the Toy Story gang.
As mentioned above, the area can be very dark -- parents of children with a fear of the dark should be aware of this. In addition, there are lots of people crowded into a relatively small area -- please be sure to keep your children near to you at all times.
There is a wide variety of counter service restaurants available in the New Orleans Square area. These restaurants get extremely busy and with the crowds it can be very difficult to get back to your party with food, so you might want to consider eating well before the show -- or before you stake out your spot for the show.
Le Bat en Rouge in New Orleans Square may offer some Fantasmic! merchandise.
Fantasmic! premiered at Disneyland on May 13, 1992. The current version of the show, featuring the new fire-breathing dragon and the crocodile, premiered on June 12, 2009.
The Florida version of the show opened at Disney-MGM Studios in October 1998 where it is presented in the specially designed Hollywood Hills Amphitheater which seats 6500 people.
Fantasmic! features a cast of 50 performers, most of whom have multiple roles. In addition there are 50 crew members.
Kaa the snake is 100 feet long, the crocodile from Peter Pan is 21 feet long and 12 feet tall, Flotsam and Jetsam are 37 feet long and the Maleficent dragon is 40 feet tall.
The three water screens are 35 feet tall and 50 feet wide.
Additional water effects include 21 fountains and six "whale tails" in the scene when Monstro the whale charges across the Rivers of America.
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