I love the DHS version of Fantasmic, it is still my favorite and I am beginning to think I am the only one. Before this, I had always thought that the DHS version has some things better than Disneyland and Disneyland had some things better than DHS. For one thing, DHS has an entire amphitheater devoted to the show, that has to count for something, right? When the whole Murphey incident occurred, the internet was flooded with pictures of construction crews working on it right in the middle of the park with nothing to keep it out of the eyes of the public. DHS would never have this problem due to the amazing amphitheater built specifically for this show. Secondly, Fantasmic runs throughout the year (though sporadically) unlike Disneyland. Finally the stage is a much better fit for the storyline, which is nearly the same and had the same effects Disneyland had before the revamp.
So why is it consistently being called bad? Is it because it is the only one that hasn't had a recent upgrade? Maybe bias is taking a part in these harsh remarks like it has in my choosing of a favorite :). I personally think the Disneyland fans were mad that WDW now had something just as cool as them and respond by talking down the show. Obviously I am only being funny, but that leaves me with a lack of a real answer. Can someone please explain this to me?
But in all seriosness here, I think they are using the wrong word. It is definitely not a cheap copy, just in need of some refurbishment.
The last time I was there, DL Cast Members were TRASHING DHS's version nonstop. They seem ticked that WDW got its own version.
BTW, they are both the same show, but DHS's version you enjoy seated!
1. Location. People seem to think the show rising out of the Rivers of America in DL was more magical. I can understand this to a degree but the show must cause a HUGE crowd control headache, forces several attractions to be shut down, is grossly out of theme, has an unimpressive backdrop, and has no seating. If they had attempted this at Magic Kingdom, it would have been a huge disaster. I think the show at DHS has a great setting very appropriate to the show. Part of me thinks if the show had originated at DL in an arena and been placed on the Rivers of America in WDW, Disneyland fanatics would still bash the WDW version for the location.
2. Pace of the show. I've seen people say the pace of the DHS show is too slow, which I can agree with mainly because of the never ending villain bubble montages.
3. Less dramatic scenes. DHS loses the Peter Pan/Pirate sequence and replaces it with Pocahontas. I personally love that scene but others seem to think it's boring. This also ties into the location. Obviously on the River of America, DL has access to the Mark Twain and Columbia to utilize in the show. Creating those at DHS would be impractical and pointless as they'd be incredibly costly props that sit dormant most of the day. People seem to point to the Steam Boat Willy paddle boat as a sign of cheapness.
4. Lack of updates. Can't disagree with this one. Has the DHS version ever really been updated? I'd love for us to get the Murphy upgrade in addition to the new projectors, effects, etc. of Disneyland.
While I think the overall show is probably better at Disneyland, I think DHS has the better venue and doesn't disrupt such a large segment of the park. It definitely could use some updates though.
In contrast, at Disneyland, the crowd naturally fills in as the show draws nearer, and walkways are maintained to ensure that guests not walking the show can easily go to Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, etc. After the show, crowd control easily guides the crowds out just like any of the fireworks shows. I am pretty sure that Fantasmic doesn't close down any attractions either (other than Tom Sawyer Island and all of the other River based attractions, which all closes at dusk anyway).
It's also sad considering how DHS doesn't run Fantasmic every day during the summer (three nights a week due to budget cuts), while Disneyland runs it every day during the summer. In fact, you can tell if it is going to be a busy night at DHS based on whether Fantasmic is running or not (crowds are much smaller on non-Fantasmic days during the summer).
Its on the shore of Tom Sawyer's Island. That has to be the worst area in all of Disneyland to put people! Disneyland is kinda small to begin with plus the worst bottleneck happening right near the center of the crowd for Fantasmic (Tarzan Treehouse/Pirates of the Carribean is pretty bad).
It really isn't worth a comparison, they are bascially the exact same show. I guess it matters on whatever one you saw first.