Fantasmic Hollywood Studios Guide 2023

Fantasmic is a popular nighttime spectacular at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. Fantasmic Hollywood Studios features stunning effects, students, pyrotechnics, and music from nostalgic and recent Disney films. Walt Disney World offers reserved seating for Fantasmic through dining packages and guests also have the option of lining up prior to the show to get a good spot.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios including how to get the best seat, what the show is like, and all the recent updates to this popular show.

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The show features Mickey Mouse as he dreams that he is a mighty sorcerer’s apprentice with the power to control water, color, and magic. The show features some of the most popular Disney Villains- including Maleficient in the form of a 40-foot-tall dragon- as they try to turn Mickey’s dream into a nightmare.

The show takes place in the Fantasmic Hollywood Studios amphitheater which curves around the lagoon so guests will have a great view wherever they sit. The show includes water projections, fire, and rafts/boats featuring popular characters from Disney films including:

  • Moana
  • Frozen 2
  • Mulan
  • Aladdin
  • Pocahontas
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Lion King

The show lasts about 30 minutes and is one of the best nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World.

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Fantasmic Walt Disney World New ScenesFantasmic Hollywood Studios

Fantasmic at Walt Disney World underwent a hiatus from 2020 through the end of 2022. When it returned at the end of 2022, it was reimagined with new technology and additional scenes to the show featuring popular films like Moana and Frozen.

Some of the updates included upgrades to the audio and visual technology and new special effects. But the most noteworthy update for guests is the new “heroes scene” in the show which focuses on moments central to the heroes in popular Disney films like Moana, Mulan, Aladdin, Frozen 2, and Pocahontas.

This new scene replaced a previous Pocahontas scene and has greatly improved the show to include more heroes and more visual effects. The Aladdin scene includes the “chase” scene from the film with cool, live stunts. Rather than the more well-known (and perhaps, a bit tired…) “Let It Go,” Elsa’s scene is set to “Show Yourself” from the Frozen sequel. Most Disney enthusiasts agree that this update has considerably increased the appeal of the show.

Disneyland Fantasmic Fire UpdatesFantasmic Hollywood Studios

Fantasmic does include pyrotechnics in the show but it is not considered a fireworks spectacular. If you want to see fireworks at Walt Disney World, your best choice is going to be the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom over Cinderella’s Castle. Fantasmic is considered a nighttime spectacular with fire, water screen projections, character performances, and a 40-foot-tall Maleficient dragon.

As for the Maleficient dragon, Disneyland had a fire in Spring 2023 which resulted in their version of the Maleficient dragon being burnt to the ground (no injuries!) and this has resulted in their Fantasmic being on hold until later in the year. As for Walt Disney World’s version, there have been no changes to their fire effects or their Maleficient dragon. The closure of Disneyland’s Fantasmic has not impacted the Walt Disney World version of Fantasmic which remains the same. For a moment after the fire, all pyrotechnics were paused at the US Disney Parks but they have since resumed after Disney conducted their precautionary safety checks.

Fantasmic ShowtimesFantasmic Hollywood Studios

During peak times of the year at Walt Disney World like the busier weeks of the Christmas season at Walt Disney World, Spring Break, and popular holidays, there will be two showings of Fantasmic that usually take place at 8:30PM and 10PM at Hollywood Studios.

When there are two showings of the performance, I recommend guests see the second showing of Fantasmic since it likely will take place after the park closes and has much more minimal crowds, making the necessity of a dining package less likely for a great viewing spot. You can get a great spot for the second showing of the performance without committing to a large amount of time in advance. And then you also get to view the performance after the park closes which is a natural way to extend your theme park time.

During times of the year when the schedule of Fantasmic Hollywood Studios goes to only one performance per night, the showing is usually at 9:15PM. Unless you are visiting during a peak travel season at Walt Disney World, you can get away with getting your Fantasmic spot about 30 minutes prior to the show if you are not picky about your seat. If you want a perfect, center-view spot then you may want to line up 90 minutes early (as soon as Disney allows) to get a great seat. But because of the design of the theater, most seats offer a decent view even if you are off center of further back.

Fantasmic Hollywood Studios Seating OptionsFantasmic Hollywood Studios

Fantasmic Hollywood Studios takes place along Sunset Boulevard which is located right near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The seating in the amphitheater curves around a lagoon which gives guests a good view regardless of where they are seated. Guests in the first few front rows may get water as the show includes large water projections which can spray into the crowd.

Disney requests that your entire party is together when you enter the amphitheater rather than sending one family member to save seats. Guests can start arriving 90 minutes prior to each show.

Walt Disney World also offers dining packages which include a meal at one of the table service restaurants in Hollywood Studios along with a voucher with reserved seating for the show. If you plan on dining at one of the restaurants anyways then it may be worth paying a bit more to receive the reserved seating for Fantasmic.

Fantasmic Hollywood Studios Best SeatingFantasmic Hollywood Studios

The seating for Fantasmic Hollywood Studios takes place in an amphitheater with bench seating. The area curves around the stage and lagoon in a horseshoe shape so you arguably will have a decent view regardless of where you sit.

But as with any live performance, there are going to be better seats than others! Some guests might want to run to the first row but you may find that your view is partially obscured by the front railing. Because of this, the best spot for viewing is about three rows back so your view isn’t blocked by the rail.  The closer you sit beyond this, the better your view will be. Due to the size of the amphitheater, the show feels a bit impersonal the further back you are.

If you are devoted to getting the best spot to watch Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios then I recommend you get there at least 60 minutes prior to showtime for that perfect, close-up center seating. Or you can book a dining package that often seats guests in the front, centered viewing areas which are arguably the best spots.

If you’re not too worried about having perfect seating, then you will likely be safe arriving around 30 minutes prior to showtime. If you are visiting during a busier time of year, then you may want to arrive earlier.

Fantasmic Hollywood Studios Dining PackagesFantasmic Hollywood Studios

The Fantasmic Hollywood Studios dining packages include a meal at one of the participating restaurants and one voucher for guaranteed seating at the Fantasmic show in the reserved section for dining packages.

Each dining package includes:

  • An entrée and appetizer or dessert at select full-service restaurants or one (1) full buffet (where applicable), along with a non-alcoholic beverage
  • One voucher for guaranteed seating at Fantasmic! in a reserved area
(ages 10 & up)
(Ages 9 & Under)
50’s Prime Time Cafe
Classic American comfort food, ’50s kitsch and a good old-fashioned family gathering take you back to a bygone era.
$51.00 $22.00
Hollywood & Vine
Celebrate breakfast with Disney Junior Stars or enjoy lunch and dinner with Minnie and friends at seasonal dining parties.
Breakfast: $54.00
Lunch & Dinner: $71.00
Breakfast: $36.00
Lunch & Dinner: $47.00
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
Mangia in the backlot of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at this casual but colorful Italian eatery with a California twist.
$54.00 $22.00
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
Do dinner and a show ’50s-style at our drive-in “theater,” featuring all-American cuisine and sci-fi movie clips.
$49.00 $22.00
The Hollywood Brown Derby
Step into the Golden Age of Hollywood at this warm, wood-paneled restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine.
$73.00 $29.00

The dining package prices for Fantasmic Hollywood Studios do not include alcohol or gratuity.

Checking in for Fantasmic Dining PackageDining Package Check In

The entrance to the Fantasmic Hollywood Studios dining package reserved seating is located on Sunset Boulevard next to Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage. Seating begins 90 minutes prior to the Fantasmic! show. Arrive at least 25 minutes before showtime to be seated in the reserved section.

Dining packages for Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios are a great choice if you want the peace of mind of knowing your spot is guaranteed and that you will have a good view. Your spot in the dining section is guaranteed and you can show up as late as 25 minutes prior to the show to be seated in these prime viewing areas.

The most affordable restaurant with a Fantasmic dining package is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. This is the choice I would recommend as this is also one of the best Walt Disney World restaurants. The theme of this restaurant takes you to a 1950s-era drive-in theater and you will sit in cars facing a drive-in movie screen. The restaurant serves classic American food like burgers, shakes, and fries.

Fantasmic is a classic show at Walt Disney World and one you should take the time to work into your schedule for a Walt Disney World trip. You do not want to miss it!

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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