Fantasmic! A Disney Hollywood Studios Nighttime Spectacular

When the sun goes down at Walt Disney World it doesn't have to be time to head home. My family loves to spend nighttime in the parks and explore all of the magical details of Disney after dark. Fans know that some of the most spectacular shows and effects that Disney has created to entertain the masses happen at the end of the night. Fan favorites include "Wishes" Magic Kingdom Fireworks, Epcot's "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth", and my favorite at Disney's Hollywood Studios "Fantasmic!"

Billboard Outside the Hollywood Hills AmpitheaterBillboard Outside the Hollywood Hills Ampitheater
I must admit that I'm a sucker for this classic theatrical extravaganza of good vs., evil that I first saw on the shores of the Rivers of America at Disneyland when it first opened. When the production was brought to Florida, Disney Imaginers created the massive and unique Hollywood Hills Theater to showcase this magical flight of fancy at it's very best.

Hollywood Hills opens 90 minutes before the show begins, but my experience is that the line starts even earlier than that and you may want to block out up to three hours to see this extravaganza. In an effort to keep guests as comfortable as possible while wait they are welcome to bring in outside food or purchase snacks inside. In addition a number of priority seating spots are available if you and skip book the show with a Fantasmic! Dining Package.

The amphitheater consists of long rows of metal benches banked up the hills for ease of viewing. Designed to be reminiscent of the famous Hollywood Bowl, only Hollywood Hills can seat 10,000 guests. I've spent many an hour on these benches, and every night the show is completely worth it.

Beauty & Beast Dance with the Waters as they Float By On Their BargeBeauty & Beast Dance with the Waters as they Float By On Their Barge
As the show starts are welcomed to Fantasmic! And here the narrator expresses his optimism and caution, for "Tonight, our friend and host Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to create magical imagery for all to enjoy". Fireworks, live actors, water effects, fire, music, boats, rafts and cinematic projections onto mist screens delight the crowd who sits in rapt attention.

Guests are further told that "Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exciting adventure. But beware, nothing is more powerful than the imagination, for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare." Viewers are left to revel in the unfurling of Mickey's worst fears and hold their breath with anticipation to see if he will be able to defeat his darkest foe.

Can Mickey Save Us WHen The River is Set on Fire?Can Mickey Save Us When The River is Set on Fire?
Fantasmic! Works as a classic Disney show because once again they've melded state of the art technologies with really strong storytelling that takes the guest on a journey unlike anything they have witnessed before. Fantasmic! is preformed on select nights at Disney Hollywood Studios, please check the Disney Parks showtime schedule to make sure you won't miss it.

Do you have a favorite Disney nighttime spectacular? Leave me a comment and let me know which on captures your wildest dreams.

JeffC wrote on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 02:25:

You can't make me pick just one!!

We make it a point to see Fantasmic once a trip. We just love it. From the images in the water spray fountains to the blast of heat with the fire, it's a thrill from start to finish!

We usually try and get there 45 minutes to an hour before the show. It's not as hard for just 2 of us to find a seat.

We did the Fantasmic dinner package once with Mama Melroses. Only thing I did not like was they made us eat dinner really early. The seats are no better or worse that non-package, you just don't have to show up quite as early.

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