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REVIEW: The return of Fantasmic!

Fantasmic! isn't just back.

It isn't just better.

It's one of the best Disney offerings ever.

Our Spoiler-free Perspective

Fantasmic! returned this week after its pandemic-induced hiatus to a roaring crowd, packed tightly into its 10,000-capacity amphitheater. A palpable thrill bounced through Sunset Boulevard as guests lined up early for the 8 p.m. showing, leaving only limited seating available before the clock struck 7 p.m.

That excessive hype became quickly justified, as though we always loved the original show, Fantasmic!'s new additions back the triumph of its return with new scenes and updated technology that boast a story as victorious.

It contains everything we loved about the original spectacular—famous Mickey Mouse lines included—but with additional storytelling prowess lended by over 20 years of the show's history.

If you're debating how to budget your time on your next trip, be certain in choosing to spend enough on Fantasmic! to arrive over an hour in advance. You'll want a good view of all the new show has to offer, and the closer to center you are, the better position you are for the show's design (though we did find the limited seating sections to be adequate). In busy seasons, line up earlier, especially while the show is still "new."

If you want to go in avoidant of spoilers, you should stop here with an affirmation that Fantasmic! does so much more than bringing back a perennial favorite, injecting one of Disney's most beloved spectaculars with a special sort of magic only its very best experiences can convey.

What's New

If you've seen the show already or are ravenous for all of its new details, here's what we noticed:

• New lasers mimic those in Magic Kingdom Park®'s nighttime spectaculars, creating an immersive canopy during key moments

• New pyro effects, including during the Maleficent fight, the finale and the boat

• New projections on the stage

• Fountainheads were replaced, making water screens taller and the projections on them more vivid and colorful

• Rafiki has moved from the barges to the stage during the monkey segment of the show, adding more depth to the scene

• The pirate ship and Governor Ratcliffe scenes have been removed

• The final boat scene contains new choreography

• A new, heroic scene has replaced the removed scenes. Mickey asks for help as he slips into his nightmare, and projections display on water screens of various Disney heroes during victorious moments. Live actors integrate and alternate with the projections, creating some of the most immersive and awe-inspiring scenes of any Disney stage show or nighttime spectacular ever. Characters from Pocahontas, Mulan, Frozen, Moana and Aladdin all get their moments on stage. Although each of them are grand and stunning, Elsa's scene stands out as the singular best moment of any Walt Disney World® Resort offering.

These changes combine, especially when considering the new scenes, to create a show that is better paced and grander than its predecessors.

In Conclusion

The newest iteration of Fantasmic! represents everything The Walt Disney Company is capable of when it operates at its best: inspirational, technology-powered stories that use their iconic characters to bring a childlike sense of wonder and magic to guests of all ages and interests. Disney should be lauded for such an accomplishment, and guests should prioritize the show on their next visit, for it accomplishes what so few stories anywhere can.

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