Fantasmic is back! The classic battle of good versus evil continues in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater as Mickey dreams a fantastic dream that now includes new characters from Frozen, Moana, and Mulan, among other updates that bring an enhanced lighting package to the show. Massive crowds descended upon Disney’s Hollywood Studios as guests tried to be among the first to see the show after years of closure and months of delays. In this article, we’ll take a look at the new show and offer some initial reactions to the changes.
We’ll start outside of the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater on Sunset Blvd where thousands of guests lined up in a matter of minutes as Cast Members did their best to control crowds. As we noted in our “How to Watch Fantasmic” article, Cast Members were not allowing guests to line up early due to restrictions on how a shared queue with the nearby Beauty and the Beast show could be used. Instead, guests flooded Sunset Blvd and were allowed entry into the first sections of the official queue for Fantasmic around 5:35pm yesterday. We’ll be attending Fantasmic a few times over the coming days to get a better idea of how it might fit into your overall plan at Hollywood Studios and when to arrive. Suffice it to say that you’ll have to devote at least a couple of hours of waiting in line during the reopening period.
Once Cast Members began allowing guests to fill in the queue for Fantasmic, things were pretty smooth. We were held for about 10 minutes at two different hold points before being let into the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater around 6:05pm. From there, Cast Members directed the initial wave of guests into a center-ish section. There was a reserved seating area in the dead center of the amphitheater, but that was likely only for the return show. With no Genie+ Lightning Lane access, and no dinner packages until later this month, the vast majority of the 6,300-person seating area should be utilized by standby guests. There is an additional 3,000-person standing room capacity in the theater as well.
There were two showtimes last night – 8pm and 9:30pm. The 8pm show ran only a few minutes behind as guests were seated, but the 9:30pm show was 20 minutes late as operations struggled to clear the theater after the first show, and didn’t seat guests on time for the second show. We anticipate that operations for the show will improve as Cast Members get back into the swing of things.
As the lights dimmed for the first time in more than two years, lighting effects were the first indication that the show has received some much-needed tech improvements. Spotlights roamed the stage before an iconic swell of music and the appearance of Mickey Mouse, front and center.
The opening number is exactly as you’d remember, with some lighting enhancements. Water plays a big part in the show, with water screens playing clips from some of Disney’s animated films. A burst of pyro from Mickey’s gloves kicks off the show, and last night the crowd was electric during the nostalgic and new moments in the show.
Sorcerer Mickey throws water around the theater before the show catches its breath for a moment before jumping into a Lion King section with blacklight animals and energetic monkeys passing by on floats.
Another bit of clips takes us to the next section of the show, which is completely new. Disney removed an extended Pocahontas scene and replaced it with a heroes section that starts with a focus on Pocahontas and removal of the colonial invasion.
A quick transition takes us to a fight scene featuring Mulan!
Next up is an extended scene for Aladdin that involves two swinging maneuvers and some impressive trampoline work from the bad guys in pursuit of Aladdin.
The next new segment is a Frozen segment, and more specifically a Frozen 2 segment featuring Elsa singing “Show Yourself”.
Perhaps the most natural fit of the new scenes is Moana as she breaks past the stage and jumps right into the water! Impressive use of laser projections uses the water curtain to great effect as Moana sings “I Am Moana”.
Moana wraps up the hero section before we jump into the classic princesses section with pairs of characters on floats. The three couples are Belle/Beast, Ariel/Eric, and Snow White/The Prince.
After 18 minutes, it’s finally time to introduce some villains. We start with The Evil Queen as she summons villains to turn Mickey’s dream into a nightmare.
A giant snake takes the stage and chases Mickey Mouse around before he finds a magic lamp and only compounds his nightmare by rubbing it and releasing even more villains.
Finally, Maleficent arrives in particularly evil fashion, summoning her dragon form before Mickey decides to take back the power of his own dream and defeat the evil!
The finale segment features Steamboat Willie Mickey and all of the heroes and friends that helped Mickey along the journey.
Sorcerer Mickey closes out the show with a bang!
Here’s our video of the full show!
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!