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Fantasmic...A cheap what???

Walt Disney World: With the opening of the Tokyo Disneyland version of Fantasmic, there has been a lot of talk about which is the best. In many of these conversations I have heard people say that the DHS version is a "cheap copy". How can this be???

From Andrew Holden
Posted April 30, 2011 at 4:48 PM
All Disney/theme park fan sites have some post at this moment about the new Fantasmic at Tokyo Disneyland. Inevitably, this has led to a discussion over which one is best. In a large majority of these discussions, I have heard the DHS version be described as, in one word, bad. This has come as a total surprise to me as I read descriptions like cheap copy.

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?


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

From Nick Markham
Posted May 1, 2011 at 7:21 AM
Who said it was a cheap copy? Please give me a list of names so I can find where they live, take them hostage, send them to Disney Hollywood Studios to watch Fantasmic! live, and then back home so they can apoligize for the accusations! ;D

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.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted May 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Its Disneyland people, especially cast members.

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!

From Andrew Holden
Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:12 PM
So I guess my kidding wasn't all that far off base, I am glad to see that all this hubub about the suckiness of Fantasmic at the studios is just big talk.

From Victoria Jurkowski
Posted May 2, 2011 at 3:43 AM
I personally like the Disneyland show better because I think it shows ridiculous creativity in use of space, especially the boats. But it just makes perfect sense to me for Disney to put one of their best shows into Florida and build a huge theater for it. If I had to choose which show to go to I'd probably choose Florida because I wouldn't have to viciously guard a spot for 4 hours. But I'd enjoy watching the California version more. anyways, its definitely a jealousy thing. Fantasmic was one of the few reasons that people who had never been to a Disney park might choose ca instead of fl and now they're back to being the older spinster sister park.

From Brandon Mendoza
Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:10 PM
While I don't think that the DHS version is bad or drastically inferior, I will say that the Dragon (when it's working) and choreography in DL is much better... just watch the youtube video of the side by side comparison especially on the River Boats. Unless it has changed, the DHS version isn't choreographed while the DL version is.

From David Kirby
Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:34 PM
Though I've never seen the DL version, people seem to take issue with the DHS version based on:

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.

From Jonathan Yeh
Posted May 8, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Honestly, even though I admit its nice for DHS to have its own venue and seating, that doesn't make up for Disneyland having the better version.

Also, DHS also has crowd control nightmares when people are waiting to enter the venue and then are directed slowly into the venue for seating. The second show during the summer especially has a huge crowd waiting on Sunset Blvd, as the venue has to be cleared from the first show before those waiting for the second show can enter.

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).

From john Coaster
Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Find, Search and Compare amusement parks on http://pikimal.com/ .

From Anthony Murphy
Posted May 9, 2011 at 4:58 PM
Disneyland's is not a logistical nightmare?

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.

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