Did you ever have one of those dreams—the ones where all kinds of random bits of your life get mixed up together? The script for Fantasmic!—starring Mickey Mouse—is a bit like that. Scenes are borrowed from Disney films and brought to life with live actors, water effects, fire, boats, and rafts.
It all starts when sorcerer's apprentice Mickey Mouse goes to sleep. His overwrought dream conjures up pink elephants, enormous puppets, princesses, and more. The fantasies reach their apex when a 45-foot-tall dragon five times Mickey's size appears. As the fire-breathing monster meets its end, the show also ends with fireworks.
Fantasmic! at Disneyland
How often Fantasmic! happens depends on the season. It may run twice a night during the busy summer season, but only on weekends at other times of the year.
For even more fun while watching, you can buy glowing mouse ears that change colors to complement the show and light up as Mickey faces off the Evil Queen and other products at many Disney gift shops.
The new show uses video mapping technology to bring new life to the mist screens and fireworks, making it brighter more modern-looking like its sister show World of Color in California Adventure. Most casual viewers will notice few changes, but hardcore fans may find things a little more traumatic, especially the fact that Peter Pan and his pals have been replaced by Jack Sparrow and company on the Sailing Ship Columbia. But maybe the new flying carpet special effect will make up for it.
What You Need to Know
- Rating: ★★★★
- Location: Rivers of America
- Show Time: About 25 minutes. You can find out when it is scheduled by checking the Show Times Guides at the entrance, or most Disneyland apps.
- Recommended for: Fun for everyone, but if you have to choose between Fantasmic and the fireworks, go for the fireworks
- Fun Factor: Moderate
- Wait Factor: See the note below
- Seating: Viewers stand around the Rivers of America to see the show.
How to Have More Fun
Several years ago, it was almost impossible to get a good spot to watch this show unless you wanted to stake out a spot hours in advance, competing with season pass holders who didn't care how long they had to wait.
To make all that easier and give everyone an equal chance, you now need a FASTPASS to get into the reserved viewing area. A Fantasmic FASTPASS will not keep you from getting a pass for the rides.
As soon as the park opens, passes are available from machines at Frontier Landing near the Mark Twain Riverboat.
As long as they don't run out, you can get them up to one hour before showtime. Each pass has an assigned show time. If you want to see the first show, go there as soon as you arrive in the park.
If you didn't get a FASTPASS, a non-ticketed area is available on a first-come, first-served basis. On nights when there are two shows, you may be able to get a good viewing spot by hurrying into place there as soon as the first show ends but plan to be somewhat assertive and unafraid to move quickly to make this work best.
You can also get a “Fantasmic!” FASTPASS when you buy a dining package at Blue Bayou Restaurant or River Belle Terrace or an on-the-go meal from the Hungry Bear Restaurant. You can reserve your package at participating restaurants online or call 714-781-DINE (714-781-3463).
Guests may remain in their wheelchair or Electric Conveyance Vehicle (ECV) during Fantasmic! Audio Descriptions and Handheld Captioning are also available. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV.
Fantasmic! originated at Disneyland in 1992 to reinvigorate the space in front of Rivers of America. Walt Disney Creative Entertainment created the nighttime spectacular involving water and fireworks.
Fantasmic! opened in 1992, just a few days before the riots that erupted after the acquittal of the Los Angeles police officers involved in the Rodney King beating. For obvious reasons, promotional materials with the catchphrase "Be Here When the Night Ignites" quickly disappeared from public circulation.