Review: Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios



By Dave Shute

FANTASMIC AT DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Fantasmic is a 25+ minute evening fireworks (and more) show in that takes place in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

It combines fireworks, projected filmed animation, live action, audio-animatronics, music, and flames into a delightful and continually surprising show.

Without giving the show away, the Fantasmic follows a dream of Mickey Mouse about good and evil.

Fantasmic is probably my favorite thing at Walt Disney World, and certainly is my favorite at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Because this high regard is shared by many, it is listed as a favorite on this site’s Comprehensive Guide to Rides.

THE FANTASMIC DINING PACKAGE

Disney has a package where if you eat at certain restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at certain times, you get a reserved seat for Fantasmic.

  • I don’t generally recommend this package, as the times are inconvenient, the restaurants in the program aren’t much fun, and you still need to arrive 30-45 minutes before show time.
  • But of all the advice I give on this site, this is the one I worry the most about that I am wrong.
  • See this for more on the package.

Check the Hollywood Studios Calendar (find your month, then click on the days of your visit) to check when Fantasmic is being shown during the time you will be at Walt Disney World.

HOW TO CATCH A GOOD SEAT FOR FANTASMIC

You will be directed by a cast member to a certain area for seating, and will have little opportunity to sit other than where they direct you.

The middle of the center portion of the amphitheater is best, and up front at the ends of the amphitheater is worst.

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15 comments

1 Carrie { 05.02.12 at 11:34 pm }

Hi again (you’ll be sick of me by Oct 26th, the day we leave) :) I so appreciate your help!
I’m using your itinerary maker to plan our shorter trip. We are going Fri-Fri with the first Fri being all travel (arrive after 10p Friday). I really want to see Fantasmic but don’t see a schedule anywhere. I do see that there are extra magic hours 8p-11p Sun Oct 28th…would you suggest we spend the day at HS in case fantasmic will play that night? TIA!

2 Dave { 05.03.12 at 6:57 am }

Carrie I so will not get sick of you! I love this stuff…

Fantasmic is showing every night during your dates at 7.30p. Additional showings on some of these days will be posted later–perhaps as late as a few weeks before.

To get the dialy schedules, go to the monthly calendar and click on the day–e.g. here: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/hollywood-studios/calendar/?showMonth=october2012

See also this for help with the calendars: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/07/05/how-to-use-the-online-park-calendars-at-walt-disney-world/

3 Grandma { 05.17.12 at 11:14 am }

Have you received any feed back on whether the Fantasmic Dining is worth it? It does limit your dining choices but if I can save an hour wait (with 2 little people and impatient husband), it might be worth it.

4 Dave { 05.17.12 at 11:50 am }

Grandma, in general I’m not keen on it…you still have to arrive 30 mins early, so you only save 30 mins or so…Fantasmic is showing twice every night during your dates, so if you think the kids (and your husband) is up for staying up for the 2nd, 10.30p show, I’d skip the dining package and aim for the 10.30 show instead–getting in line a little after 10. Don’t do this Monday or Weds nights though…pick one of the other nights..

5 Lily { 08.02.12 at 1:08 pm }

Whatever you do try not to miss the show, your family will love it!

6 Dave { 08.02.12 at 6:07 pm }

Thanks, Lily!

7 Melanie { 10.27.13 at 6:27 am }

Hey there,
what is so special on Monday or Wednesday?
We have the option to go do the Disney Hollywood Studios at the 2., 3. or 4. November. I thought Monday would be best?!
Unfortunately we are not in a Disney Hotel, how about the Extra Hours. Is it possible to visit the Fantasmic in the Extra Hour if we don’t have a resort ID?

8 Dave { 10.27.13 at 10:55 am }

Not sure what your Monday/Weds reference is to, Melanie, but extra magic hours days draw hordes from the Disney resorts, so they are bad days to visit the parks if you can go on a different day. So your dates the third will be by far overall the best.

Whether you can go to Fantasmic as a non-Disney resort guest during evening EMH varies on the show time, and I don’t know the exact rules. It looks to me that you should be fine for the 8.30 show on 11-4, since the park close is so close at 8p, should you choose to ignore my advice on better days–but I am not 100% sure…

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9 Candy { 01.23.14 at 10:59 am }

I currently have Fantasmic booked through the dinner and show (which I see above you don’t recommend) as well as just a Fastpass ticket…both for 5 people. I’m leaning towards the Fastpass because I’m not overly enthused with the restaurant options for my 3 year old (would rather try the 50’s Prime Time Diner which we also have reservations for)…But I’m worried about seating…do you know how much better the seating is with the restaurant’s VIP seating vs regular seating with a fastpass. Any opinion on my choice?? Thanks for your help!!

10 Dave { 01.24.14 at 1:49 pm }

Candy, the FP+ just guarantees you entrance, and does not put you in any particular seating area. So for good seats, you have to arrive early anyway–so the FP+ is not worth a lot… the dinner package seats, which used to be so-so, are now great.

So the best option is to arrive early for Fantasmic, because of that score great seats, eat where you want, and use your FP+ somewhere more valuable like Toy Story Mania or Rock ‘n’ Roller…

11 valerie { 05.02.14 at 10:04 am }

I was just looking at DHS hours, Sept 28, 2014 it shows the park closing at 7:30 and Fantasmic at 8 during the extra magic hours (7:30 – 9:30) is that right? only the resorts guests get into fantasmic that night?

12 valerie { 05.02.14 at 10:39 am }

never mind, got my question answered… everyone gets into fantasmic. Non EMH people just stay in 30 minutes after closing.

13 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:06 am }

Valerie, this is common, and everyone–including those not staying at a WDW hotel–is allowed in!

14 Laura { 06.08.14 at 10:39 pm }

Hi Dave, Thank you for all this information! I particularly value the comprehensive guide to rides! Our family is planning to visit Hollywood Studios this Friday (Yeah!), June 13 and have a FP+ to get access to the 9:00 Fantasmic show, however I’m seeing something called Symphony of the Stars happening at about 9:45. My son, who is 8, is a big fan of Star Wars (let’s be honest, we all are). Is this fireworks show so good that we should skip seeing Fantasmic? This night is our only planned visit to HS. Thanks for your time and any input.

15 Dave { 06.10.14 at 8:24 am }

Laura, you are going during Star Wars Weekends, which are a zoo but fun for Star Wars fans. See this for an overview of offerings and some tips on how to handle: http://www.easywdw.com/worth-2/star-wars-weekends-2014-strategy-characters-hoopla-crowds-merchandise-etc/

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