Fantasmic! Is The Best Disney Entertainment Experience In The World
Fantasmic is the best show I've ever had the privilege of watching and I just could not leave it out of this blog so here's why I loved it so much...
If you know me, you know I'm a huge fan of entertainment and nighttime spectaculars. When it comes to shows, nothing even comes close to beating Fantasmic in my opinion, at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, Disneyland Resort, in California and in Tokyo DisneySea.
So let's talk about why this is such a hit for me and others.
First of all it's location. In Disney's Hollywood Studios, the show lives within a custom built amphitheatre which faces towards what looks to be a lake as well as a mountain that makes up the main stage where everything is performed.
The effects in this show have been around for years, but never have I ever seen them used in another show before. For example, Disney actually set water on fire. Yes, this actually does happen and when you watch it for the first time, you realise you know nothing about physics and learn to understand that magic is real. Yep, there's the M word already.
A great part of this shows, at both parks, is the water projections. A huge spray rises in front of the main stage, and acts as a curtain while a projector beams the different animated sequences on to the water. This allows for set changes to take place behind on the stage. While this is great and keeps the audiences engaged with the story, it does go on a little too long in some places, making it an obvious stall whilst the next live part of the show is set up. However, the animation is strong enough for you to still enjoy the show without getting distracted.
There is a sequence in this show that, although you wouldn't think it, but it really resonates with me. It's about half way into the show where Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, along with The Little Mermaid come across the water on floating stages. The key songs from each movie is played and I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but this scene has always stuck with me as they pass through the lake from one end to another. While it's nothing too big, I think it's the combination of music in this part of the show that speaks to me.
The penultimate scene is one of the most memorable part of this show. If you were to ask anyone if they had seen this show, I bet they'd turn around and say, "Is that the one with the dragon?" and they'd be right of course BECAUSE THERE IS A DRAGON IN THIS SHOW.
Disney literally heard the social comment, "Cool story bro, needs more dragons" and so they put a dragon in the show. Where does the dragon come on stage from? Well, isn't that a question I would love to one day answer because genuinely to this day, I still have no idea. Well, unless we're talking about the California show where it did actually rise above the stage from a large hole during the day once. Magic ruined? Absolutely not, because it's still magical.
If I were a child watching this production, I'd be slightly terrified. It's okay though, (spoiler alert) Mickey defeats the dragon and let us not forget, this entire show is set within Mickey's dream!
The finale is of course my favourite part. Like many other shows from Disney, it delivers with a very strong sung chorus. The music through this part of the performance is simply outstanding but they really ramp it up by the time we get to the end of the show. It gets to the point where I remember it giving me goosebumps and I just wanted to cry. I didn't cry, but I wanted to.
As all the cast and characters of the show ride on the steam boat, "The Mark Twain" featured in what was considered to be Mickey Mouse's animated debut, "Steamboat Willie". This passes as the music builds, the water dances and fireworks blast to deliver a breathtaking finale. We see the last piece of magic as Mickey dressed as the magician appears within a flash at the top of the mountain and brings on more fireworks before magically moving within seconds to the main stage from the mountain to deliver the final line of the show, "Some imagination, huh?" before disappearing again to end the show.
Once you've seen this entire performance, all I wanted to do was watch it over and over again. It always felt like the quickest 20 minutes of my life. It leaves you feeling happy, that everything in your life is great and reminds you how lucky you are to be in Florida at Walt Disney World. It also reminds you that dreams are not reality but sometimes, they can be.
If you're heading over to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort, be sure to watch Fantasmic!, it will make your holiday one of the most memorable, as it made mine.