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Fantasmic: What's Up Guys?

Walt Disney World: A rant on the infrequency of Fantasmic showings. Will Fantasmic come back to it's nightly schedule?

From Andrew Holden
Posted August 30, 2010 at 6:22 PM
Hey guys, so I wanted to talk about one of the topics that is bothering me most about the quality of Disney World right now. Obviously, it iis Fantasmic. So we've all heard Disney's story for use of a nicer word about how they are exploring entertainment options in the Disney's Hollywood Studios Park. I'm not believing this. Disney is trying to save money and in turn reducing the Fantastic quality of a Fantastic park.

DHS has an amazing show with a very specialized and special amphitheater. Disney should use this. People wonder why Disney is loosing attendance, and I believe changes like this are why. Now, hat tip to the execs for keeping the MSEP, however it will take more than that. In order to compete with Disney's rival movie park/studio in town and their new resident wizard, DHS needs to pull out all of the stops. I love DHS, but recently it has been slacking. The Backlot Tour and Sounds dangerous are a few of these slacking areas, and Star Tours 2.0 is a step in the right direction, however I digress.

American Idol came in and was supposed to replace Fantasmic as the nightly event and reduce this show to twice a week. This is a problem in my eyes. I hope Disney realizes it has made a mistake as the popularity of this hit show declines as it's star judge leaves. Nothing in the world could replace Fantasmic as the nightly show in my opinion, and even though it is expensive, it is worth it. As Fantasmic frequents the stage less and less, the park begins to close sooner, causing many people to leave before all their money is spent on things such as Fantasmic Dinner packages. The decision Disney has made is frightening, mostly because their is no sign of Disney going back to the way they were. If I am wrong correct me, I beg you, but I don't see them reverting back to their original, better ways.

What do you think? Is this a permanent change? Can we expect Fantasmic back on its nightly run when the recession ends? Was this a mistake on Disney's part? Am I wrong about the current popularity of the American Idol show?

Finally, please send letters to Disney asking, no begging them to return to their original quality of nightly showings and Hollywood nights at the parks.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 30, 2010 at 6:59 PM
No, it really had nothing to do with American Idol, but rather it being an extremely expensive show to put on. Think about how much money they are spending on actors, technnicians, and fireworks. Of all the nighttime spectaculars, Fantasmic is the only one with actors in it.

Personally, I think they should add one more show a week, but thats just an opinion.

And, this has NOTHING to do with Universal. As mentioned before, if IOA were to double attendance because of Harry Potter, it still would be less than AK, WDW's Least attended park. DHS is not losing people because of Harry Potter, but rather that people are not splurging for the vacation to FL.

From Nick Markham
Posted August 31, 2010 at 6:07 AM
I would like to see them update Fantasmic in WDWS like they have done in Disneyland as some help to push it back into a nightly show. It can't really be that much more expensive than Illuminations or the nightly firework show at Magic Kingdom ALONG with the Disney Spectro Magic Parade (or whatever its called in MK).

From Dan Babbitt
Posted August 31, 2010 at 7:29 AM
Anthony your right when it comes to how expensive it is. It cost more to do that show then what guests think. When they were doing one show a day for most of the week they would have to pay the cast a full day of work even though they worked only a couple hours that day.

There are also a couple other reasons. One being they can easily now schedule for the show because with the show only performing 3-4 times a week the the show fills to 3/4-full shows while before when running shows everyday it was harder to guess if how many guest would go to each show.

I do agree though that during busy periods (ie: summer and christmas) that there should be shows everyday or more per week

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 31, 2010 at 8:05 AM
I too was thinking of Spectromagic, but I think thats a little different because I think that there are more in Fantasmic and some of them are stunt actors (paid more I am guessing). Also, I do not think Disney could get away with not doing it at their Flagship Park of MK.

Even so, Disney is still paying a huge bill a night for Fantasmic, Wishes, Spectromagic/Main Street Electrical Parade, and Illuminations combined. So, if you want to cut back on one, which would it be? I would pick Fantasmic!

As for the dragon, at Disneyland, you are literally right up on the stage. Its a much further distance at DHS. DHS has taken DL's concept and plussed it beyond belief. In actuality, you can walk on the Fantasmic Stage at DL during the day!

From Tim W
Posted August 31, 2010 at 8:21 AM
Fantasmic should not have to suffer due to it being so expensive. It is the BEST show at WDW and needs to be shown every night again. It definately needs some updates too, I'd love to see a scene replace the pocahontas. I'd love to see the peter pan scene from Disneyland because it just fits better in Fantasmic! I really think they should update it to the standards of how the Tokyo Disney Sea version will be, cuz lets face it, it will surely be the best version!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 31, 2010 at 12:29 PM
Well, I actually like Illuminations better, but thats my opinion!

From Andrew Holden
Posted August 31, 2010 at 1:35 PM
Anthony, I don't actually believe it is due to American Idol or Universal, I was just exploring possible reasons. It has pretty much been all speculation. Anyway, I think 7 days a week is ridiculous for the off season however they should up it to 3-4 shows a week. In the summer season, they should play it twice a day every day. In my opinion, Fantasmic is the best SHOW on disney property and I would be excited beyond belief if it were to be refurbished.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 31, 2010 at 3:32 PM
No, I understand what you are saying and it is a good point.

I think everybody is feeling the recession crunch and they just made that decision. I think I might be the minority and think that Fantasmic is not the best show at Disney. Then again, its like comparing the Mona Lisa to the David: Its all great!

From Nick Markham
Posted August 31, 2010 at 6:18 PM
Fantasmic! should end up costing about the same as any other show. I mean think about it: Fantasmic barely has any fire works while firework shows are all about them. The money they would spend on more fireworks is just put in for Fantasmic!.

Plus, they can just use the characters that they pay to walk around the park for the show, making it less expensive.

From Russell Meyer
Posted August 31, 2010 at 7:23 PM
I think Disney is doing what they can with the smallest of the Orlando parks. Fantasmic is not designed to be an every-night show. It's an event, and the fact that they show it more than 2-3 nights a week is a plus. The show is a big draw, and is primarily used to even out crowds between the four parks. If Fantasmic were every night, it wouldn't feel special.

DHS has recently added Toy Story Mania, and will give Star Tours a much-needed upgrade next year. Could Disney do more? Sure, but in the current economic climate, they are making fiscally responsible decisions that will allow them to add another e-ticket attraction within the next 5 years.

From Phil B.
Posted August 31, 2010 at 11:02 PM
Here, here to Illuminations Mr. Murphy!

What if DHS rotated nightly shows, so you at least get a night time spectacular every night? A couple nights you could do Fantasmic, then on a few other nights perhaps a new version of Sorcery in the Sky or something to that effect. Hell, throw in the Star Wars Symphony in the Stars show one night a week, which will go nicely with the opening of Star Tours 2.

Maybe even take a page out of the Disneyland resorts book and have a version of Glowfest on the weekends, which was a huge crowd pleaser and money generator. Lord knows Downtown Disney isn't pulling it's night time entertainment weight these days.

From Donna McKay
Posted September 1, 2010 at 5:36 AM
I think I must be one of the few visitors who didn't bother with Fantasmic on my last trip. I'd far rather watch Illuminations (or American Idol for that matter)

From sarah g
Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:01 AM
wait wait wait...we're forgetting one more crucial piece... does anyone want to see fantasmic in the daytime??? um, no. therefore, DHS has to stay open late enough to run a nighttime show, and when we are in off peak, its ridiculous to keep a park open 12 hours (especially a park that can experienced to its fullest in 6 hours, max) solely to be able to show fantasmic.

From Nick Markham
Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:20 AM
Sarah, you can't even experience everything there in 1 day, let alone 6 hours.

From Andrew Holden
Posted September 1, 2010 at 12:19 PM
I agree with Nick. DHS may have fewer rides, however it is impossible to fit in the rides and all the great shows in one day, especially with the new(er) shortened hours. Anyway, Fantasmic provides incentive to stay later and eat in one of DHS's fantastic establishments earning the park more money. And Donna, I couldn't disagree with you more, but that is what discussion boards are for, right?

From Hermione Potter
Posted September 1, 2010 at 12:48 PM
I have to admit I've been to DHS at least 50 times in my life and not once have I ever stayed to watch Fantasmic. I always wanted to as a kid but my siblings could never make it and now that I'm on my own I'd rather go to Epcot and eat dinner at a nice place instead of watching some show.
Still, for the families coming for their first time or taking their trip of a lifetime, I think they should have the option of seeing it. That's the thing though - first time/I'm-spending-my-whole-life-savings visitors usually do the whole shebang and spend like a week there, which means they can schedule their trip to DHS around the show schedule. Those of us who've been a million times usually only take a day or 3 and hop around to fit the key elements in and can always come back and see it next time - at least I think that's what Disney Execs think.

From Tony Duda
Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:10 PM
Fantasmic should be an every night show because it is the ONLY live show away from the castle that stars MICKEY MOUSE!!!

From Donna McKay
Posted September 2, 2010 at 5:47 AM
I couldn't agree more Andrew- that's why were all here, to express and swap our views. :) Besides, if we all liked the same thing the parks would be a VERY dull place!!!

I must admit though that I usually go in June. This year I went in May and it was a culture shock to note the shorter hours and limited shows etc. Mind you, there were NO qait times for almost every ride in our first week so it was a good trade off!

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