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Review: Walt Disney’s World re-imagined ‘Fantastmic!’ is simply spectacular

by Tharin White

“Fantasmic!” is back at Walt Disney World, and super-fans, fear not, for you will be very happy with these new changes and updates. The classic storyline holds strong, the music is just as iconic, the new lighting and projections enhance the story, and the updated scenes were done just right. Walt Disney World just solidified this classic, fan-favorite show for many years to come, and I couldn’t be happier.

New Fantasmic! hero scene includes Elsa, Mulan, Moana and Aladdin.

“Fantasmic!” has been closed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since March of 2020. Closing in on three years later, the show has returned stronger than ever. I expect that major Disney fans, and first time viewers, will both be really satisfied with this new version of the show. Warning, spoilers for this new show lie ahead. Head to our Instagram page to see a line-up of clips from the show.


NEW Fantasmic! Pocahontas, Aladdin, Moana, Elsa and Mulan Hero Scene at Disney's Hollywood Studios

New heroes scene

New Disney heroes showcase their skills in the replacement for the longer “Pocahontas” fight scene. But fear not, Pocahontas still has a highlight scene to start it all. Aladdin swings overhead. Moana jumps into the water. Elsa controls the elements. And Mulan begins her training. Each hero is highlighted with a signature song from their film. And the use of the upgraded lighting and new lasers amplifies these scenes even more.

New Fantasmic! projections, lasers and water screen majorly enhance the show.

Upgraded projections, lasers and lighting

One very noticeable change was the upgrade to the lighting and projection effects, and the addition of numerous lasers. These new, vibrant spotlights, combined with the fog and mist from the water projectors, set the mood of a scene very quickly. And finally, the water projection screens have been upgraded and now offer a near crystal-clear video of the projections. Special lighting effects are done for each scene, but the Elsa and “Pocahontas” scenes stood out most. They excellently used these new effects to their fullest and brought the action closer to the guests. The entire “Fantasmic!” mountain shimmers and illuminates with each scene.

Classic storyline and music

Many people were worried a new show could mean a loss of the classic storyline and music. But don’t be scared, for this show generally runs the same way as it did before the reimagining. The iconic music still blasts in the stadium, and the grand finale is the same as you have seen before, but with new lighting effects. I think this will keep most fans quite happy, as many parts of the show were loved, but just needed some updating.

Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse, finale for Fantasmic!

Tips for attending

As you may know, “Fantasmic!” is a massive show, with a outdoor stadium holding close to 10,000 people. If you have not been before, or not for many years, be prepared; this show will be packed for many months to come. It is usually recommend you head towards the show about an hour before it begins (the theater opens 90 minutes ahead of time.) Remember, guests sitting in the first few rows may get wet during the performance.

Once inside the stadium, there are places to buy snacks, drinks and merchandise. And, you won’t want to miss the famous crowd wave. You can also get a reserved seating area by purchasing a dining package. They are available to reserve now for dates starting Nov. 30, 2022. You can book in the MyDisneyExperience app or at DisneyWorld.com.

“Fantasmic!” Facts

  • “Fantasmic!” originally opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Oct. 15, 1998.
  • The show features animation and characters from more than 25 films.
  • The moat surrounding the “Fantasmic!” island stage contains 1.9 million gallons of water.
  • Maleficent, in dragon form, stands 40-feet tall.
  • In addition to Maleficent, 10 other villains appear in the show.
  • Mickey Mouse and 35 other characters appear on a steamboat inspired by the one seen in “Steamboat Willie.”
  • Located off Sunset Boulevard, the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater seats 6,900 guests with additional standing room for about 3,000 guests.

Steamboat Willie, and this huge cast of characters, are ready to welcome you back for dreams and imagination. This show officially returns Nov. 3, 2022 and is expected to offer at least two shows a night for the foreseeable future.

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