First Timer Must Do’s: Fantasmic!


First Timer Must Do's: Fantasmic!

Photo credit: dragaroo / Source / CC BY-NC-SA

Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fantasmic is a show you will definitely want to add to your must do list. This spectacular nighttime extravaganza combines fireworks, live Disney characters, Disney animation on water screens, lasers, and so much more! Fantasmic may arguably be the best show at Walt Disney World.

When To Arrive
Fantasmic is the nighttime event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; it’s essentially the park’s equivalent of fireworks over the castle. Naturally, thousands of guests will show up to watch Fantasmic each night. While the theater is very large, it is not large enough to accommodate every guest in the park, especially on very crowded days. But don’t let that scare you; I’ve seen Fantasmic many times, each time being during one of the two most crowded weeks of the year. I have never once had trouble getting in to the show.

So what’s the trick to always being able to get in to Fantasmic no matter the crowds? Know when to arrive. I recommend arriving to Fantasmic at least one hour prior to showtime. Fastpasses and reserved seating are available for the show, but if you know when to arrive and where to sit, they’re really not necessary. Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘An hour is a long time to wait for one show.’ The wait for Fantasmic will go by fast, trust me. The line for Fantasmic is a great place to relax a bit and maybe even take a look at all those Disney photos you’ve been taking throughout the day. You’ll also hear wonderful versions of your favorite Disney songs while you wait. After waiting a while, guests will be allowed to enter the amphitheater and you will be able to select your seat for the show.

Where To Sit
Once you enter the amphitheater, you’ll want to find a good seat for the show. While I’m sure there are no bad views at Fantasmic, some seats might offer a better experience than others. My favorite place to sit for the show is near the center of the theater, about halfway up. I have also seen the show from the sides, and those seats do also offer a great view; I just happen to prefer the center. Finding a seat about halfway up is the most important part of choosing your seat. This show involves a lot of water and a good bit of fire. The water screens are amazing, but if you’re sitting close to the front, you will get a little wet. You’ll still get a nice mist about halfway up, but it’s just enough to cool you off on a nice warm Florida night. The fire used in the show is quite warm, even sitting halfway up; I can only imagine how hot it must be for the seats closer to the front. If you do happen to get into the theater too late to get your preferred seat, don’t worry – there really are no bad seats at Fantasmic.

First Timer Must Do's: Fantasmic!

Photo credit: asitrac / Best Modern / CC BY-NC-SA

The Show
Like any Disney show, Fantasmic comes with a great story. You’ll join Mickey on a journey through his imagination. The show opens with none other than Mickey Mouse who proceeds to conduct beautiful fountains in the water before him. The show continues with animation from some of your favorite Disney movies shown on several water screens.

In addition to these film sequences, the show also features several live scenes from great Disney films such as The Lion King, Pocahontas, and more. The Lion King puppets used for the show are simply beautiful! You’ll definitely want to have your camera ready. The Pocahontas section of the show is one of my favorites. Pocahontas and John Smith really know how to make great entrances!

You’ll also want to have your camera ready for when the Disney princesses arrive. This section of the show features several parade float style boats covered in beautiful lights. Each Disney couple recieves their moment in the spotlight as they pass the center of the theater. I love seeing my favorite princess, Belle, in this section of the show!

Of course, no good Disney story would be complete without a few villains showing up. The Disney villains decide they must take over Mickey’s imagination in order to destroy him. This section of the show does feature a few characters which might frighten little ones a bit, but for the most part it’s nothing they haven’t seen in Disney movies. The villains section of the show also involves Jafar as a gigantic snake on stage and a spectacular Maleficent dragon.

First Timer Must Do's: Fantasmic!

Photo credit: Michael Kappel / Source / CC BY-NC

In the end, good is able to defeat evil, as always. After Mickey’s triumphant return to the show, the Disney characters celebrate with a ride on Steamboat Willie. Characters seen on the boat include many favorites such as The Fab Five, Ariel and Eric, Snow White, Brer Bear, and more. My personal favorite character, Stitch, can also be seen taking a ride on Steamboat Willie. And of course, Mickey dressed in his Steamboat Willie costume can be seen steering the boat!

Fantasmic is a phenomenal show you and your family will not want to miss on your first Disney vacation. The use of its many elements, from classic Disney animation and live characters to fire and beautiful fountains, make it a show you and your family will want to see on each Disney vacation. Whether you’ve seen it dozens of times or you’re seeing it for the very first time, you are sure to enjoy Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic!

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Lee Beatens

I agree, Fantasmic (which is also a cool word to say!) is like a one-stop shop for seeing almost all of your favorite Disney characters. I’m a bit crowd phobic so don’t enjoy the leaving crush of bodies, but it is well worth it! How many times have you seen Fantasmic? Have you noticed any little changes?


It is a fun word! I would guess I’ve probably seen it around 10 times, maybe more if we saw it more than once on some trips. I’m sure there have been little changes over the years but nothing I can think of at the moment.

Emily Seto

I absolutely love Fantasmic! The Reflections of Earth show at Epcot and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios are my two favorite nighttime spectaculars, by far. Those two shows alone are worth the price of admission, in my opinion! I saw Fantasmic in Disneyland, too, and it was a bit different than in Hollywood Studios (smaller stage, different layout and choreography, etc). I liked the Hollywood Studios version better, but I’m partial to it since it’s the first version I saw. =)


I’ve seen a video of the Disneyland version, and I have to agree. The WDW version of Fantasmic seems bigger and more spectacular. Although, I do love the Peter Pan segment of the DL show.

Rosanne Mottola

I can’t wait to take my new son to Fantasmic this November. I think he’ll love it. It’s never been one of my favorites, but I’ve had a new appreciation for it lately. Great tip on the seating – once I sat too close and couldn’t get the whole picture of the show (and we got a little wet from the wind!).


I didn’t even think about being back far enough for pictures! Clearly, I’m not the photographer in my family! 🙂


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