Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!
This week, let's head over to Disney's Hollywood Studios for a little bit of nighttime entertainment. If it's night and it's the Studios, then, of course, I'm talking about Fantasmic!
If you haven't seen Fantasmic!, you're missing out. It's an incredible eye-candy production complete with pyrotechnical displays, water projections and just a tad bit of Disney magic.
The 25-minute spectacular "Fantasmic!" features 50 performers and combines dazzling special effects, colorful pyrotechnic explosions, well-known Disney characters, animation and dancing waters synchronized to the melodies of timeless Disney classics. The presentation lights up the sky on select nights above the 6,900-seat amphitheater behind The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror off Sunset Boulevard. The specially designed amphitheater also can accommodate 3,000 standing guests.
In addition to all the flames, Disney also uses three massive water projection systems to show clips from different Disney movies. The water screens work as a perfect curtain behind which, the set is changed for the next scene.
Fantasmic! tells an interesting story -- it's all about Mickey's dreams and how they can go awry.
It all starts with... well, I don't want to spoil it for you.
However, if you are planning on catching Fantasmic!, you need to keep a few points in mind. First, Fantasmic! isn't shown every night (like Wishes or Illuminations), so you'll want to check ahead to see when the show is playing. During the summer months, Fantasmic! often is shown twice a night (9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.). On nights where there are two showings, you stand a much better chance of getting a good seat by attending the 10:30 p.m. showing, which usually has a much smaller crowd.
If you are thinking about the 9 p.m. show, or there's only one show for that day, then you need to be at the Fantasmic! entrance between the Tower of Terror and Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage at least 30 minutes in advance. If you want to get a center seat - be at the entrance at least an hour early (90 minutes during peak times of the year).
So where do you want to sit? The best locations are in the center. In fact, for guests with VIP guides, Disney has a reserved seating area - no need to wait in line (it's really handy!). The other way to get a reserved seating area is to purchase a Fantasmic! dinner package. This includes dinner at a Hollywood Studios restaurant (Mamma Melrose's, Hollywood and Vine and the Brown Derby) and special seating. I've heard that some guests haven't been particularly thrilled with the reserved seating for the dinner package - it's apparently off to the side. I personally have never booked the dinner package, so I'm not sure what vantage point is offered.
Fantasmic! is a show that I recommend everyone see at least once. Is it a show that's a must do every trip to WDW? Not really. Now if you're talking about Wishes or Illuminations, then it's a different story.
Be sure to check out Fantasmic! on your next trip -- and remember the power of dreams!