Information to Fantasmic at Disneyland: Finest Viewing & Seating Spots

On this information, we’ll supply ideas & methods watching Fantasmic at Disneyland, finest & worst views, sitting & standing areas to see the nighttime spectacular, whether or not eating packages are definitely worth the cash, and options for taking higher pictures of this spectacular Disney nighttime spectacular. (Up to date April 23, 2023.)

For these unfamiliar with it, Fantasmic is a nighttime spectacular carried out most nights on the Rivers of America at Disneyland. A variation of the identical present–albeit with completely different and a few newer scenes–can be offered in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. It was beforehand proven at Tokyo DisneySea, earlier than being changed by Imagine! Sea of Desires.

Fantasmic is a night extravaganza combining numerous parts–fireplace, water projections, lasers, and fireworks–for a present that’s loosely in regards to the energy of creativeness. Disney Villains flip Mickey’s dream right into a nightmare, and the little mouse makes use of the facility of his creativeness to beat them! The frilly manufacturing additionally options 50 stay performers, large units, and rousing music to supply a larger-than-life present.

The premise of Fantasmic is that Mickey Mouse is quick asleep, dreaming of being the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This units the stage for a collection of scenes from different movies, a few of which Mickey Mouse seems inside. He conducts montage moments from Fantasia, Aladdin, Lion King, Tangled, Magnificence and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Jungle Ebook, Winnie the Pooh, and lots of different motion pictures.

Probably the most memorable moments happen with the arrival of pink elephants on parade, swashbuckling pirates doing battle, princesses and princes dancing, and monkeys doing monkey issues. When all of a sudden, Mickey Mouse is pulled into the Magic Mirror, his dream takes a darkish flip and turns into a “nightmare fantasmic.” The Evil Queen from Snow White conjures up a few of Disney’s most dastardly villains—together with Maleficent as a 45-foot, fire-breathing dragon! Mickey should use the facility of his creativeness to conquer his foes—and save the day! Talking of Maleficent, that brings us to our 2023 replace…

April 23, 2023 Replace:  The Maleficent dragon lovingly recognized by Disneyland followers as “Murphy” caught fireplace in the course of the second exhibiting of Fantasmic at Disneyland late final evening. The hearth erupted when Mickey Mouse shot sparks on the big dragon’s head to defeat it within the storyline of the present.

The Anaheim Hearth Division responded to the scene. Disneyland officers stated all Solid Members have been safely evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island. “Because of smoke and wind, points of interest close to the island have been safely evacuated of any friends, and the reason for the fireplace stays below investigation right now,” learn the assertion from Disneyland Resort (h/t Scott Gustin).

Whereas the trigger stays below investigation, pictures and video on social media present Maleficent leaking fluid earlier than Mickey Mouse was set to defeat her together with his spark-shooting sword. Between that and the truth that Maleficent breathes fireplace, it stands to motive that the mix of the leak plus the sparks have been the trigger. It could appear that Mickey Mouse defeated Maleficent as soon as and for all–or no less than for some time–final evening. Fortunately, Mickey and everybody else is protected.

In any case, Disneyland has eliminated Fantasmic from the schedule between at this time and April 27, 2023. It’s essential to emphasize that that is totally tentative at this level. Fantasmic might return earlier or later relying upon how the security inspections goes and the way rapidly interim replacements for the broken showpieces may be ready. Judging by the character and extent of the fireplace harm, it’s doubtless that the Murphy Audio Animatronics determine of Maleficent will likely be lacking for much longer.

Sarcastically, this isn’t the primary time {that a} fire-breathing Maleficent has caught on fireplace throughout stay leisure at one of many Disney parks. Again in 2018, the Maleficent float in Competition of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World caught on fireplace, in circumstances that have been extremely comparable.

That Maleficent float ended up disappearing from the parade for about 8 months at Walt Disney World. At this level, it’s unattainable to foretell how lengthy it’ll take for Disneyland to restore the Murphy AA. On the one hand, the harm seems far worse right here than it did with the Walt Disney World parade float. However, the Murphy AA is integral to the plot of Fantasmic than the float is/was to a parade, which is just a collection of loosely-connected floats with out a narrative.

Our expectation is that Disneyland will restore or substitute Maleficent as expeditiously as attainable, with a less complicated backup dragon showing as a replacement within the interim. Nonetheless, it might nonetheless take months–if not till 2024–earlier than a sophisticated, fire-breathing Maleficent Audio Animatronics determine returns to Fantasmic at Disneyland.

Within the meantime, this viewing information nonetheless applies (nicely, as soon as Fantasmic returns) as does our effusive reward for Fantasmic. Though Mickey Mouse defeating Maleficent is the climactic scene and the spotlight of the nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic as an entire continues to be superb, and a ten/10 manufacturing even with that eliminated or closely modified.

As well as, we might extremely suggest making some extent of seeing the brand new Wondrous Journeys fireworks from the entrance of the park if in any respect attainable. See our Disneyland Fireworks Viewing Information for the perfect and worst areas–the suggestions right here merely cowl the best method for seeing each Fantasmic and the fireworks in the identical evening, however Wondrous Journeys is such a superb nighttime spectacular that it deserves to be seen up shut from its supposed viewing angle. This new fireworks present is on par with Fortunately Ever After, arguably the perfect fireworks present ever to be achieved by Disney.

We’re huge followers of Fantasmic, and have seen each the unique and “Fantasmic 2.0” model dozens and dozens of occasions at Disneyland. (Far fewer at Walt Disney World.) Whereas we love World of Colour and luxuriate in Primary Avenue Electrical Parade, the guts and soul of Disneyland’s nighttime leisure is Fantasmic. Should you’re a Disneyland first-timer or have solely watched it at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fantasmic at Disneyland is a real deal with and an absolute must-see.

The seminal Disneyland model of Fantasmic goes to be very standard for the foreseeable future, and it’ll play to a packed home nightly–even with a number of nightly showings. You may need to get a eating package deal for Fantasmic if you happen to plan on seeing the present anytime quickly. With Disneyland’s choice to forgo the digital queue for Fantasmic, and it not being accessible as a Genie+ Lightning Lane choice, the eating packages are the one option to assure view with out tenting out for hours. We’ll cowl that and extra on this put up.

Since that is the primary article devoted to Fantasmic on this weblog, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with viewing or photographing the present, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a enjoyable tidbit that I assume different Disney followers will discover attention-grabbing. Up till its late levels of improvement, Fantasmic was generally known as Creativeness!

The identify was finally modified due to issues with with the ability to trademark the generic Creativeness identify, whereas Fantasmic (a made up phrase), could possibly be simply trademarked. The Creativeness! identify received up to now alongside within the course of that Disneyland even made up advertising posters with Creativeness! as its identify. I just like the identify Fantasmic, however I’ll admit that I get chills after I pop within the Fantasmic CD and the opening line “imag-in-ation…imag-in-ation…” performs.

Okay, on with the extra related info for efficiently viewing and photographing Fantasmic! We’ll begin with merely seeing the nighttime spectacular alongside the Rivers of America at Disneyland…

Finest Viewing Spots

Disneyland’s seating may be difficult. Not like its counterpart at Walt Disney World, Fantasmic doesn’t have a purpose-built out of doors amphitheater. After we say that it’s carried out “alongside the Rivers of America,” we imply it. Its seating space is actually only a multi-level walkway and a promenade alongside the waterfront in the course of the day.

That Fantasmic comes alive basically out of nowhere is a part of its attraction. It additionally makes determining the place to observe–and even the place to wait to observe–a problem for Disneyland first-timers.

Throughout most busier dates, Fantasmic is carried out twice nightly, at 9 pm and 10:30 pm. Usually, the primary exhibiting of Fantasmic will wrap up, after which the Disneyland fireworks will likely be offered virtually instantly thereafter. The second efficiency of Fantasmic will happen about half-hour after that. Should you’re planning on watching the primary Fantasmic, keep in your spot after it ends to see the fireworks–there are mist screens with projections on the water and many of the pyro is seen. (You gained’t have time to get a spot on Primary Avenue after seeing Fantasmic.)

Word that these occasions are topic to alter. It’s best to examine the leisure schedule within the Disneyland app for the particular present occasions on the times that you just’re within the park.

Presently, viewing protocol for Fantasmic is not much like World of Colour. When the latter returned to Disney California Journey, it started utilizing a digital queue as a substitute totally free FastPass or paid MaxPass that was once provided. Our assumption was that Fantasmic would comply with go well with and supply Genie+ Lightning Lanes, however that has not occurred as of 2023.

As a substitute, Fantasmic’s major seating space–on the bottom within the lowest tier alongside the Rivers of America–is reserved for eating packages, and what’s left over is crammed in by standby friends. Nonetheless, there aren’t any ensures for standby and the variety of eating packages offered can fluctuate every day.

Along with that, there are standing areas behind and across the seating areas. These are scattered far and wide, with areas together with the bridge over Pirates of the Caribbean and sections of walkway close to River Belle Terrace and Haunted Mansion. These should not in the principle seating space, and except for the Pirates of the Caribbean viewpoint, are sometimes off-center views.

It’s very tough to supply ideas & methods proper now for any of those areas, as our latest experiences with Fantasmic has been nothing wanting chaotic. I can’t stress this sufficient, and it’s not hyperbole. A number of fights have damaged out, and it’s straightforward to see why–even attempting to navigate by way of Frontierland and New Orleans Sq. is a problem.

On high of that, the viewing areas are all packed, and there’s not a lot consistency as to how or once they refill. There are ropes that kind cattle corrals for friends to observe Fantasmic, however if you happen to’re a first-timer, it’s tough to make sense of what’s occurring. Along with this, protocol and procedures are nonetheless “evolving” as Disneyland Solid Members strive their finest to handle crowds. With that in thoughts, I’ll supply just a few pointers and circle again to this part in just a few weeks with clearer viewing technique…

My first piece of recommendation can be to see the second exhibiting of Fantasmic, because it’s considerably much less crowded and nobody is tenting out for it hours prematurely because the first efficiency ends roughly an hour earlier than the second begins. The second level is absolutely the important thing, as some locals stake out Fantasmic spots within the late afternoon for the primary efficiency of Fantasmic.

For the second efficiency you’ll need to watch the Disneyland fireworks from the border between Frontierland and New Orleans Sq., within the space between River Belle Terrace and Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s fairly straightforward to sneak in and seize a waterfront spot in the course of the mass exodus after the primary Fantasmic–and also you ought to have the ability to keep there for the present. (Simply watch out to not inadvertently enter the eating package deal space to the left of most of the people space!)

At this level, that’s the perfect suggestion now we have for watching Fantasmic. Should you’re prepared to gamble, another choice is ready over by Harbour Galley (in entrance of Haunted Mansion) for last-minute seating within the reserved seating space for eating packages. If this part isn’t full, standby friends are allowed to fill-in a couple of minutes earlier than Fantasmic begins. (No ensures on this, although.)

Worst views are something with an obstructed view. This might sound apparent, nevertheless it’s price reiterating that Fantasmic doesn’t have a purpose-built venue alongside the Rivers of America. That is simply the traditional waterfront, and there’s a whole lot of stuff in the way in which. The simplest option to decide whether or not a view goes to be good or dangerous, is to face there and see how clearly you may see the principle stage on Tom Sawyer Island.

Whereas the principle constructing there may be key, there are a number of ranges and props on the stage, a few of which block Mickey Mouse and different characters if you happen to’re standing at a harsh angle on the far sides alongside the Rivers of America. In entrance of Haunted Mansion or Golden Horseshoe qualify as areas which might be lower than ultimate, and the identical goes for the Harbour Galley and River Belle Terrace seating areas. The latter is now offered as a premium eating package deal that prices greater than the traditional–and superior–eating packages. Until you completely want a chair, it’s best to go for one thing else.

Alternatively, you are able to do a Fantasmic Dinner Package deal. With this, you’re paying a premium to dine at Hungry Bear Restaurant, River Belle Terrace, or Blue Bayou in a bundle that features a ticket for reserved seating. One of the best seating location is for Blue Bayou, with Hungry Bear and River Belle Terrace flanking the dead-center seating of Blue Bayou.

Despite the fact that it’s the priciest choice, Blue Bayou is the eating package deal we suggest for vacationers. Should you’re going to do the Fantasmic Eating Package deal, you may as nicely splurge for a meal and eating expertise which might be really good. Blue Bayou and Fantasmic are each quintessential Disneyland experiences, and this can be a nice option to do each.

See our River Belle Terrace Fantasmic Eating Package deal Overview for our previous expertise with that choice. We simply did the Hungry Bear On-the-Go Fantasmic Eating Package deal and will likely be reviewing that very quickly. Each are nice choices at completely different worth factors–the viewing location for River Belle Terrace is certainly the higher of the 2.

Should you do these eating packages, you’ll both need to get a entrance row spot and look by way of the rail or sit a bit again from the entrance. Second “row” (air quotes as a result of it’s all very casual) on this seating space isn’t nice as a result of the hand rail alongside the waterfront will successfully block a part of your view. There’s completely nothing flawed with being within the third or fourth rows of the seating space, because it slopes upwards away from the water. (So far as the seating space goes, I feel entrance or again is finest.)

My favourite spot for viewing Fantasmic at Disneyland is straight in entrance of the present management space behind the seated space. To provide some reference, that is straight in entrance of Cafe Orleans. The Pirates of the Caribbean bridge is one other good standing spot, too.

Disneyland claims that any view of Fantasmic is an effective one, however that’s not totally true. Whereas the present has a number of mist screens to offer 180º of “good” views, there’s just one major stage. Because of this views of Mickey Mouse, the dragon, and the rest that takes place are finest from the middle of the seating space.

In actuality, you’re going to have little selection over your viewing location except you’re visiting in the course of the low season, as soon as crowds die down. The excellent news is that the majority spots within the seating space supply an important view. It’s a dynamic present and the seating space is intimate, so don’t fret over the place you’re sitting.

Fantasmic Images Suggestions

Fantasmic is usually a problem to {photograph} because of the low mild and shifting parts, coupled with flashes of vibrant results. For level and shoot customers or DSLR homeowners with out a lot technical data, my finest suggestion is to place your digicam in “sports activities” mode. There may be a whole lot of quick motion in Fantasmic, and this may maintain your shutter velocity excessive and forestall you from having blurry pictures.

Nonetheless, it is going to additionally lead to a whole lot of noise and darkish pictures for a lot of the present. I might in all probability solely concentrate on brightly lit scenes (corresponding to when the dragon seems), as you will find yourself with a whole lot of rubbish pictures. Bear in mind, that is an imperfect resolution to a posh present to {photograph}.

In case you are comfy along with your cameras settings (or prepared to be taught), you’ve higher choices. Should you don’t have primary technical understanding of the weather of publicity (shutter velocity, aperture, and ISO), I extremely suggest studying Understanding Publicity by Bryan Peterson earlier than studying any additional attempting to take higher pictures. If the paragraphs that comply with don’t make sense to you, begin with that (and different images books) after which come again.

By way of gear, you’ll need to use the longest zoom you’ve. For me, this can be a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II. The importance of excellent gear for photographing Fantasmic (or a extremely shut viewing spot) can’t be understated. You’ll need a zoom lens that can be quick.

You do not want a tripod for Fantasmic. You don’t even want a monopod. Your shutter velocity will must be comparatively quick to freeze the motion in the present. Bear in mind, a tripod solely eliminates digicam shake induced by the photographer…it doesn’t freeze the stuff you’re photographing!

Moreover, use the metering mode in your digicam that takes the center-average of the body, reasonably the entire scene. Because you’re photographing characters and so they’ll have spotlights on them, you need to meter off of those characters. Don’t common that metering with the darkish areas behind them.

Should you keep within the default metering mode, put together for blown out characters. I often take this a step additional by additionally dialing in -1 as my publicity compensation. It’s straightforward to brighten darkish spots than to get well blown highlights. You’ll additionally need to regulate your focusing mode to make sure that you’re constantly focusing. Once more, shifting characters, so that you need to be monitoring concentrate on these actions.

As for publicity settings, I prefer to go together with aperture precedence with a large open aperture (f/2.8 on my lens), with auto ISO, setting a base, and a minimal shutter velocity. Affordable minds could range on the usage of aperture precedence mode, and never each digicam has as strong of auto ISO choices as Nikon DSLRs, however I feel it’s the finest choice.

For minimal and most ISOs, go together with the minimums and maximums your digicam permits. I’ll clarify why later. A number of the exercise in Fantasmic occurs quick, so I like to recommend setting a minimal shutter velocity of 1/two hundredth of a second (typically I am going barely quicker, typically slower). You continue to may get some blur with this, however you’ll get a whole lot of sharp pictures, and this may stop you from continually maxing out your ISO and ending up with an excessive amount of noise in your pictures.

The rationale for these settings as an alternative of, say, full handbook mode or shutter precedence, which could appear to be the intuitive choices is straightforward: the Maleficent Dragon Scene. I discover this to be far and away the perfect scene in Fantasmic for pictures. That is very true in Disneyland, the place Murphy the Dragon is actually a sight to behold.

This scene in all variations can be a lot brighter than many of the remainder of the present (thanks to fireplace) and its depth modifications in the course of the course of the scene. Should you use handbook mode, you’ll blow pictures on this scene except you’re actually fast with settings.

Shutter precedence is best than handbook mode, nevertheless it doesn’t permit for the dynamic auto ISO settings, which means it’s important to preset your ISO, which I choose to not do. For the dragon scene particularly, you’ll both have to alter your ISO setting you there’s an opportunity you’ll inadvertently have your ISO too excessive, and have noise when no noise was “needed.”

This scene may be tough to {photograph} not simply due to the settings required to sort out it, however as a result of smoke and warmth can obscure the scene. The warmth could make Mickey blurry (typically this seems cool and provides to the scene), and smoke can drift in entrance of the scene and trigger issues, too. Difficult images, certainly!

Disneyland's Fantasmic Dragon

For instance, with the photograph above, I used to be in aperture precedence with my aperture at f/2.8, my minimal shutter velocity at 1/a hundred and twenty fifth of a second, my minimal ISO at 100, and my most ISO at 6400. For many of the present, my pictures have been at ISO 5000 or above. Nonetheless, for this shot, the ISO plummeted to ISO 360! That meant a photograph with far much less noise, however in any other case “ultimate” settings. Until I used to be ridiculously fast to alter my settings, if I shot this in shutter precedence, I might’ve ended up with the next aperture (which wouldn’t have been an actual profit) and the next ISO.

That is the principle motive why I like to recommend aperture precedence and auto ISO for Fantasmic! Hopefully with this info, you’ll have the ability to take nice pictures of Fantasmic, too. Simply keep in mind, you’re certain to get some (many) dangerous pictures, so don’t get discouraged…simply be prepared for the dragon scene.

Total, Fantasmic is a wonderful present at each park at which it’s proven. Whereas my private favourite is Disneyland’s Fantasmic, they’re all a ton of enjoyable, and have some attractive imagery and particular results. Seeing Fantasmic at Disneyland is tough, because the present is extremely standard and the seating space may be very small. It’s much less of a problem on the different two parks. In any respect of them, it’s definitely worth the effort and time. It’s additionally definitely worth the effort to strive photographing the present, because it seems attractive in pictures!

Planning a Southern California trip? For park admission offers, learn Suggestions for Saving Cash on Disneyland Tickets. Find out about on-site and off-site accommodations in our Anaheim Resort Opinions & Rankings. For the place to eat, take a look at our Disneyland Restaurant Opinions. For distinctive concepts of issues that’ll enhance your journey, take a look at What to Pack for Disney. For complete recommendation, seek the advice of our Disneyland Trip Planning Information. Lastly, for guides past Disney, take a look at our Southern California Itineraries for day journeys to Los Angeles, Laguna Seaside, and tons of different locations!

Your Ideas

What’s your favourite viewing location for Fantasmic? Do you sometimes do the eating package deal, standby, or have a unique technique for seeing the present? Bummed that there’s no digital queue for Fantasmic? Have you ever tried photographing Fantasmic? Another ideas you may supply? Listening to from you is half the enjoyable of those articles, so share your ideas and some other ideas you might need within the feedback!

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