Hey everybody! Recently I have been thinking a lot about one of my favorite shows in the whole wide world ever, Fantasmic! So I thought, what better way to start my blog off than on this fantastic show!
Fantasmic! is arguably the best show on the Disney World property. It has been there since October 15, 1998 when it replaced the fireworks spectacular, Sorcery in the Sky. However, this is not where this show began. To see that, we have to go back to the root of all Disney parks, Disneyland.
Fantasmic opened at Disneyland on May 13, 1992 on the Rivers of America. It was a technologically amazing show using mostly equipment (rafts, location, etc.) that was being used for another purpose in the daytime. However, many things that were already there had to be reworked, such as the location on Tom Sawyer's Island. Well, this show obviously became a hit, and when MGM in Florida needed a new show, the choice was obvious.
When the show was duplicated in Florida, several things changed. First of all, in California, whenever pre-show work was done during the day time, anyone could see it. This is an extreme breach in the Disney laws. Also, there were capacity and crowd control problems since the show happens right there on the river. This was easily fixed with a state of the art amphitheater created specifically for Fantasmic! Thus the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater was born. This theater contains a 60 foot mountain littered with trap doors, elevator lifts, and special effects to make this complicated show run.
Several scenes of the show also changed in the process. Disney CEO at the time, Michael Eisner, wanted to incorporate some of Disney's newer movies into the show, so new scenes were added in the movie montage, and the Peter Pan sequence in California was added. Also, the Pinocchio puppets were replaced by puppet animals from the Lion King.
Another notable difference is the inclusion of several more villains. Jaffar plays a large and crucial part in the MGM/DHS incarnation of the show, where in California he is almost non-existent. Ursula's rendition of poor unfortunate souls was sacrificed in order to include a wider cast of Disney villains.
All of these changes resulted in the fantastic show that we know and love today. Some people have seen both Fantasmic! shows and often debate about which Fantasmic! is better. Well, here is how they stack up in the numbers:
Disney's Hollywood Studios:
Show Length-26-27 minutes
Cost per show-approx. 25,000
Show Length-22 minutes
Cost per show-approx 30,000
If, like me, you have not seen both versions of the show, I highly recommend that you go to YouTube and watch it. The two shows vary in some sections, but more often, you will be reminded of a similar show closer to home. Now, just don't base your judgement off of a video because there is nothing like actually being there.
The one thing that I dislike about this show is it's infrequency. I have missed out on seeing it several times due to Disney cutting back the shows to twice a week. Now I understand that this is to save money, but I also understand that when Fantasmic! is showing, Mickey's nightmare isn't even close to the one you will experience while trying to find a seat. In my opinion, this was a bad Idea on Disney's part but that is just me.
Anyway, Fantasmic! is an amazing show that should be seen on ALL trips to the World. I'll see you next time and remember, keep it magical!