Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Disneyland Resort A to Z - The Fantastic Fantasmic
Readers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of the Disneyland nighttime spectacular Fantasmic. Simply put, it is the resort's best live action performance attraction. One of the more wide ready posts in this blog is my Fantasmic vs. World of Color entry. Yes, Fantasmic is better than World of Color in my humble opinion (though I think WOC can be made better than it currently is). Many Disneyland fans complain about how the park was managed (or rather mismanaged) during the Michael Eisner era. But under Eisner's watch, imagineers did give us Fantasmic.
Part show and part spectacle, Fantasmic gives the viewer an all out Disney assault on the senses. Using live characters, projections, animatronics, ships, fireworks, water fountains, lasers, music, and one big fire breathing dragon, Fantasmic gives us a Disney history lesson that builds to a thrilling, goosebump inducing, climactic end. You can't walk away from seeing it without the feeling you have watched something very special. The show is about 22 minutes long. If you have seen the show, you know what I am talking about. If you are planning a trip to Disneyland and have not seen Fantasmic, put it on your must do list of attractions. It's a shining example of what Disneyland and the magic of Disney is all about.
And now for the bad news - simply - crowds. Wall to wall people swell to see Fantasmic, thousands of them, and for many, this is a turn off. I know people who visit Disneyland regularly and avoid Fantasmic for all they are worth simply because of the numbers of people who gather to see it in the relatively small show viewing area around the Rivers of America. There are all kinds of strategies for Fantasmic viewing but the simple fact remains that it is a hugely popular show and it packs them in. People show up hours early in various areas just to hopefully get optimal viewing.
I have seen Fatasmic maybe a dozen times or more. I have waited hours to see it - squatting a table at the Riverbelle Terrace, sitting on the ground closer to the river's edge. I think I am to the point where I now just show up 20 or 30 minutes before showtime, crowd in, and hope for the best. The second showing also tends to be a bit less crowded than the first.
Be patient, with all those people, there is a bit of crowding, leaning, pushing, along with some general rude behavior and sometimes people do not take to kindly to this. A lot gets forgotten once the show begins
In the end, Fantasmic is remarkable on many levels but what separates it from its World of Color counterpart is Fantasmic actually takes the time to tell a story and is not a collection of Disney's Greatest Hits as WOC tends to be. The show is so vast and expansive that it really has a life its own in Disneyland. It doesn't fit in any one land. Fantasmic is a classic show for the Disney ages.