Disneyland Fantasmic! is the most popular nighttime spectacular at the Disneyland Resort. The show takes place on select nights on Rivers of America in Frontierland.
Fantasmic at Disneyland is popular for a good reason! The show brings together incredible performers, the latest in special effects technology, and the incredible Disney songbook to tell the story of good vs evil inside Mickey Mouse's imagination.
This show is steeped in Disney history, nostalgia, and features fabulous special effects. This Fantasmic! Disneyland guide has information on the nightly showtimes, tips on Fantasmic! viewing areas and map, the pros and cons of the Fantasmic dining packages, and information on the history of this beloved Disneyland show.
This is truly my favorite nighttime entertainment at Disneyland and my top can't miss if the show is performing.
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Disneyland Fantasmic! 2023 Opening Date
Disneyland Fantasmic! has now officially returned after a long hiatus that began when Disneyland closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dining packages are currently available to book for Fantasmic! so make sure you reserve your spot now!
As I mentioned above, the show is a nighttime spectacular capturing the spirit of good vs evil. The show can be intense for younger guests so you may want to view the show video or view the synopsis (both included at the bottom of this Disneyland Fantasmic! guide).
Disneyland Fantasmic! Show Times 2023
Disneyland has updated the current entertainment calendar to reflect that Fantasmic! performs at 9 pm and 10:30 pm each night for the near future. On a typical summer night the first showing of Fantasmic! will run at 9 pm, then the Disneyland Forever! fireworks will be presented, and then the second 10:30 pm show of Fantasmic! will perform.
These times may change and you should check the Disneyland app for the specific show times on the days that you are in the parks.
How to Watch Fantasmic! at Disneyland
Fantasmic! takes place on Tom Sawyers Island and looks out over the Rivers of America in Frontierland. The length of the show is 27 minutes and during peak times of year there are two show times at 9PM and 10:30PM. If you're visiting during a peak time of year (summer, holidays, spring break) you can expect nightly showings and mulitple shows. During less crowded times of year (January-February) you might see only one evening performance or in rare cases only showings on the weekends.
Your best bet to plan for watching Fantasmic! is so check the Disney website calender for the entertainment schedule on the day of your visit. You can also easily find this information in the park by asking a cast member or consulting the Disneyland app or park maps.
Disneyland Fantasmic! Viewing Areas
The below viewing area information has been updated now that Fantasmic! has returned. There are two options for seating to watch Fantasmic! at Disneyland: open seating or dining packages.
Based on the first night of the run of the show we have updated the above Fantasmic! viewing area map. The show takes place in and around the Rivers of America. In the graphic above, the Fantasmic! main stage is directly under the “AS” in the title on the graphic though boats and projections can be seen all along the river.
Guests who secure a dining package have the best view of the show directly across from the main stage.
Those with the dining packages have the best view with their area roped off right in front of the main stage. Dining package viewers are also guaranteed to be able to sit during the show which is a nice perk in itself.
- The Hungry Bear Fantasmic! Dining Package seating is located on the far left in the viewing area and typically guests will remain standing.
- The River Belle Terrace Standard Dining Package is just off center to the left in the viewing area and guests sit on the ground.
- The River Belle Terrace also offers a premium dining package where guests are seated at 7:15 pm and then remain in their seats through the first 9 pm showing of Fantasmic!
- Though the Blue Bayou has not yet announced their dining packages details, we expect that the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! viewing area will return to the center as it was during the previous run of the show. These guests sit on the ground. It has been announced that Blue Bayou will have a dining package when it returns.
We'll go deeper into all of the Fantasmic! viewing area options in the following sections.
General Disneyland Fantasmic! Viewing Tips
A representative from Disneyland Public Relations has confirmed that there will NOT be a virtual queue utilized for “Fantasmic!” when the show returns.
This means that your options for viewing the show are staking out a spot along the Rivers of America or getting a reserved dining package.
Our key tip for avoiding spending a lot of your time waiting for a seat for Fantasmic! is to see the second show of the evening. For that show you'll want to watch the fireworks from the Frontierland area and then join the mass of people moving into the Fantasmic! viewing areas.
For general viewing if you are willing to line up a little bit early, we like to get up close to the fence along the water. If you are arriving later for the first show, line up on the bridge over Pirates of the Caribbean for a nice view of the show.
As you can see in the map shared above, the Disneyland Fantasmic! dining packages take up a large chunk of the prime viewing for the show (the best prime seating for the show is where the Blue Bayou section is listed on the map, directly across from Tom Sawyer's Island).
Here is a view from that prime spot. You'll locate this spot within the section as it is directly in front of the light board. Currently this is part of the River Belle Terrace reserved section most nights.
For guests who want to experience the show without a dining package and are aiming for the second show, you should follow these key steps.
- Watch the Disneyland Forever fireworks from directly in front of the River Belle Terrace restaurant. This is in the area along the waterfront between Frontierland and Pirates of the Caribbean. You'll want to be lingering a little ways from this area during the show to be able to move in.
- When the fireworks end, move up into the general viewing area closest to center right here. Make sure to ask a Cast Member where you are able to sit for the show as you are doing this. Sometimes the dining package reserved area is not clearly marked and you'll accidentally end up there and have to move.
- Hang out for the ~hour or so until the show starts. You'll be fine having members of your group head off to grab a churro or nighttime treat (use the Disneyland dining mobile order) while a majority of the group stays here to wait.
As you are thinking about the best spots for Fantasmic!, you'll want to keep in mind that you should be aiming to avoid any obstructions of Tom Sawyer's Island.
At the end of the day, the energy in the area is the most important part of the show and even an obscured view is a nice way to end the day at the parks.
Is there a Disneyland Fantasmic! Virtual Queue?
Previously we had expected that Disneyland would utilize a virtual queue for Fantasmic! in the same way that they are for the World of Color virtual queue process. The virtual queue process is not an extra charge. However, Disneyland is NOT currently going to be offering a Fantasmic! virtual queue.
Disneyland may still introduce a Fantasmic! virtual queue option. Below is information on how a Fantasmic! virtual queue option would function if they were to follow the system utilize for World of Color and the previous Fantasmic! reserved seating option using FastPass.
Disneyland could eventually offer a virtual queue viewing for Fantasmic! which gives guests the opportunity to secure a reserved seating section from the Disneyland app and not have to stake out a seat for Fantasmic! hours before. Basically, your virtual queue would assign you a colored viewing area and this is a way to save your spot for the show in advance. Be prepared that you may be asked to stand when you're in the virtual queue section and there is no guarantee of being able to sit during your Fantasmic! viewing.
We expect that the virtual queue option for Fantasmic! would match World of Color and that you will be able to join a virtual queue from anywhere after you have entered the park for the day at noon when the queue opens for the show. The virtual queue fills all the spots for the first show and then fills all the spots for the second show. You do not have the option to select which show you want to view.
I personally like being able to watch the first show and then the fireworks and then see the Main Street Electrical Parade.
The virtual queues works independently from the Disneyland Genie Plus service so you don't have to worry about this impacting any of your Lightning Lane selections.
Disneyland Fantasmic! Dining Packages
You can purchase Fantasmic! dining packages for the Blue Bayou Restaurant, the River Belle Terrace, and at the Hungry Bear Restaurant.
Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Restaurant Dining Package
The Blue Bayou Restaurant is one of the park’s most popular dining experiences. The Blue Bayou is an indoor, upscale restaurant with a view of Pirates of the Caribbean. Their Monte Cristo sandwich is a crowd favorite! This package includes a 3-course meal, which has a starter, entrée, and dessert.
This package includes admission to the reserved viewing area for a designated performance of Fantasmic! that night. Please note that the viewing area is separate from the restaurant location. Blue Bayou guests receive the best viewing location: dead center in front of the show. If you want the best seats, make sure to arrive one hour prior to the time on your return ticket for Fantasmic!
- Price: Lunch is $62 per adult and $29 per child (ages 3 to 9) and dinner is $72 per adult and $29 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax and gratuity not included.
- Reserved seating at Blue Bayou Restaurant begins daily at 11:30 AM for lunch and 4:00 PM for dinner.
Blue Bayou dining guests are also the only guests guaranteed to be able to sit down during the show. The Blue Bayou dining package comes with cushions for guests to sit on during the performance: one per person, per meal purchased.
Check out our most recent review here.
River Belle Terrace Fantasmic! Dining Package
The River Belle Terrace enjoys a picturesque view of the Rivers of America. Dining options include classic American dishes like fried chicken, baked beans, and more with a Southern flair. Each dining package includes a 3-course dinner (starter, entrée and dessert). The River Belle Terrace package includes admission to the reserved viewing area for a designated performance of Fantasmic! that night. The viewing area is separate from the restaurant location.
- Price: Lunch $50 per adult; $30 per child (ages 3 to 9). Dinner is $50 per adult and $30 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax and gratuity not included.
- Guests can upgrade to premium 7:15PM seating for an additional $25 per adult and $15 per child (ages 3 to 9) and enjoy their meal as well as the first performance of Fantasmic! from their seat on the outdoor patio.
The River Belle Terrace dining package guests sit adjacent to the Blue Bayou dining packages which allows for a great view of the show. River Belle Terrace dining package guests are typically allowed to sit during the performance. If you want the best seats, make sure to arrive one hour prior to the time on your return ticket for Fantasmic!
Check out our most recent review of the dining package with the upgraded seating!
Fantasmic! On the Go Package at Hungry Bear Restaurant
There is also a Fantasmic! On the Go Package at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. Guests can choose one of 4 entrees from a menu created especially for this event. Options include cedar salt-roasted sustainable salmon, barbecue chicken, blackberry barbecue pork riblets or a mushroom and leek frittata. All dishes are served with a medley of wild rice and cranberry-apricot grains as well as kale and garbanzo bean salad. Guests can dine at any of the restaurant's tables or take their meal to go.
- Price: The cost for this package is $30 per adult and $25 per child (ages 3 to 9); tax is not included.
- Reservations for meal pick-up times are normally available from 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM. However, times may vary based on the Fantasmic! schedule.
- Reservations made for 3:00 PM through 6:45 PM will receive a voucher that permits entry into the reserved viewing area for the first performance of Fantasmic! that evening.
- Reservations from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM will receive a voucher permitting entry into the reserved viewing area for that night's second show.
When picking up their meal at Hungry Bear Restaurant, guests will receive a voucher that allows entry to the reserved viewing area for that evening's performance of Fantasmic! Hungry Bear's reserved viewing is sandwiched on both sides of the River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou's reserved dining areas. Keep in mind you will likely be asked to stand in this viewing area. If you want the best seats, make sure to arrive one hour prior to the time on your return ticket for Fantasmic!
Guests with Disabilities Fantasmic! Viewing
Disneyland strives to accommodate all guests and this includes those with disabilities. There is a special area between the River Belle Terrace dining section and the general viewing area that is reserved for guests with disabilities. This section is typically reserved for those in wheelchairs and ECVs along with their families.
For dining packages, guests in wheelchairs or ECVs are seated near the back of the section so they're not blocking the view of other guests so these areas are all seated.
Pro Tips for Fantasmic! at Disneyland
- The first viewing of Fantasmic will always be the most crowded so similar to the advice we give for fireworks, we recommend watching the later showing if you don't plan on purchasing a dining package. If you have your heart set on the dining package experience, the first show is the best choice since the dining package viewing areas can often be combined for the second showing making your view a bit more crowded.
- If you are at the first show time of Fantasmic! and fireworks are scheduled that night, then stay where you are to watch the Rivers of America put on a magical show with projections that play against the screens of water in sync with the fireworks show.
- Be aware that Fantasmic! may be scary for small children. The show can get bright, loud, and a bit scary at times.
- Blue Bayou is currently the only dining package that offers guests a complimentary seat cushion.
- Since the show takes place on water, guests in the very front may get wet.
- The only option for chair viewing is the upgraded package for River Belle Terrace. All other options, dining packages included, only offer seating on the ground.
- All non-dining package viewers should be prepared to stand throughout the show.
- Always arrive early to the viewing areas- even if cast members aren't allowing guests to line up yet, you will see people hovering about waiting to jump in line when they do.
History of Fantasmic! at Disneyland
Disneyland's Fantasmic! debuted in 1992 and has been a beloved part of Disneyland entertainment ever since.
Fantasmic! includes fireworks, live performers, water effects, pyrotechnics, music, watercrafts, decorated rafts, animatronics, and projections! When Fantasmic! first debuted it was the first of its kind to incorporate so many different elements into one performance. The addition of Fantasmic! to Rivers of America meant that some reworkings of Disneyland had to take place including terracing the walkways to accommodate viewing and changing the front section of Tom Sawyer Island (now named The Pirate’s Lair) with the goal that it could act as a stage for most of the show's live action.
Fantasmic! was well received and now has regular showings more than 20 years later at Disneyland in the Disneyland Resort, Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World and Tokyo DisneySea in Tokyo Disney Resort.
I never recommend watching YouTube videos or reading a synoposis for any entertainment or ride you're experiencing for the first time. The surprise is half the fun! But since Fantasmic! does have moments that might startle small children, it might be helpful to know what the show will feature so you can be prepared.
Since its debut in 1992, “Fantasmic!” has performed nearly 11,000 shows at Disneyland and has received numerous enhancements such as the fire-breathing Maleficent dragon in 2009 and the addition of new songs from Aladdin, Tangled, and more in 2017. We can't wait to see this beloved nighttime spectacular return to Disneyland!
Warning: synospis and video below feature spoilers, scroll past if you'd like to be surprised!
Fantasmic! starts with the imagination of Mickey Mouse set within the water of Rivers of America where he transforms into Sorcerer Mickey and takes us on a trip to some of our favorite Disney movies like Fantasia, Aladdin, The Lion King, Tangled, and Pirates of the Caribbean – featured on state of the art water screens.
Fantasmic! also features beautiful live action scenes such as Aladdin and Jasmine delighting guests on their musical carpet ride, the Sailing Ship Columbia with action packed moments from Pirates of the Caribbean, rafts lit up with lights and well adored Disney princesses including Belle, Rapunzel, and Ariel.
The show includes the classic good vs. evil struggle when Mickey is pulled through the magic mirror and enters a world of Disney's most famous villains. The show stopping villain here is none other than Maleficent as Mickey gears up to fight the 45-foot dragon.
Of course, with all things Disney, the good prevails. In an epic finale, the Mark Twain Riverboat paddles its way along the river dotted with every Disney character imaginable. Words alone cannot materialize the images all the fascinating water effects, lasers, pyrotechnics, fireworks, and live action scenes Fantasmic! brings to life.
For a literal play-by-play of the show itself, check out this Wikipedia article.
Or if you prefer to watch it all play out on video, watch the video below!
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