Disney World Fantasmic! What To Know Before You Go

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and a partner of other affiliate programs including Booking.com, CJ and Tripster, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases via links found in this article.

Fantasmic! is one of Walt Disney World’s night-time spectacular shows. It’s hosted in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The original version of the show opened in Disneyland back in 1992. 

The Hollywood Studios version of the show opened later that decade in 1998 (when the park was still known as MGM Studios).

Fantasmic! is best known for the starring roles it grants to the Disney villains we all love to hate. 

Inspired by the iconic story in “Fantasia”, the show starts when Mickey Mouse goes to sleep. He dreams of once again becoming the Sorcerer’s apprentice (think multiplying sentient brooms and uncontrollable wooden buckets of water).

He discovers the ability to control elements like water, light, color and even fire! Mickey’s dream quickly becomes a nightmare and he eventually must face Maleficent, a 40-foot-tall dragon. 

Fantasmic! features Disney characters (both heroes and villains) from favorite films like “Moana,” “Frozen 2,” “Mulan,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King.” 


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

To see a list of current area deals, discounts and offers!

Please wait...

Thank you for signing up!

The larger-than-life show involves suspenseful surprises, incredible stunts and eye-popping pyrotechnics.

If you’ve seen Fantasmic! in years past, you may be surprised to see some new characters in Mickey’s dream.

Like most of Disney’s nighttime entertainment offerings, Fantasmic! showtimes will change with the seasons. Crowd levels and the time it gets dark are the main factors that will determine the schedule. 

As always, be sure to check Disney’s website or the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date entertainment schedule. 

The Hollywood Hills Amphitheater curves around a moat with a stage at its center. The seating area is not covered, so the show may be subject to cancellation in the event of heavy rain or severe weather. 

Mickey Mouse in Fantasmic
Fantasmic! is first come, first served at the time of this writing (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

How can I watch Fantasmic!?

Fantasmic! recently returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2022. Like any other attraction inside a Disney Park, you’ll need valid admission and a theme park reservation to enter the park. 

Once you’re in the park, seating for showings of Fantasmic! is available on a first-come, first-served basis. In the past, reserved seating for Fantasmic! was available with Disney’s Fastpass+ system.

Disney may add Fantasmic! to its newer Genie+ service at some point in the future, especially if the show maintains popularity among Disney fans. 

Read Also: Inside Disney World’s Cinderella Castle, 20 facts vs rumors

Beauty and the Beast in the Fantasmic! Show
Beauty and the Beast share a dance in Fantasmic! (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Is Fantasmic! a popular show?

Upon reopening, Fantasmic! has been wildly popular. Disney fans have been eager to be among the first to see the updated version of the show after a two-year hiatus. 

The lines have been reportedly very long with guests queueing up on Hollywood Boulevard hours before the scheduled start time. We can expect these crowds to ease with the passing of time. 

The entrance to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater is located at the end of Sunset Boulevard near the Hollywood Tower Hotel (Tower of Terror). 

According to Disney’s website, the theater opens so that guests can begin arriving approximately 90 minutes before the show begins. Keep in mind that those seated in the first several rows may get wet during the show. 

Disney also offers Fantasmic! Dining Packages, which give guests access to a special reserved seating area and eliminate the need to arrive early for preferred seats. The packages include a meal and dining reservation at one of Hollywood Studios’ table service restaurants. 

Options include The Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, Hollywood & Vine, 50’s Prime Time Cafe or Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Dining packages vary in price and entitlements based on which restaurant you select. 

Typically they include an entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. In the case of Hollywood & Vine, you can choose a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation. 

Read Also: How does the Sword in the Stone at Disney World work?

Elsa at Hollywood Studio's Fantasmic!
Elsa appears in the current version of Fantasmic! (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Is Disney getting rid of Fantasmic!?

Nope! While Fantasmic! went on a long hiatus following Disney’s 2020-related closure, it’s now back at Hollywood Studios.

An updated version of the beloved show featuring a new sequence of music and visual effects returned in November 2022 as part of the Walt Disney World Resort’s phased re-opening. 

The show originally opened in 1998 and ran for over 20 years, during which time the park went through some major changes. 

In 2008, Disney’s MGM Studios was rebranded as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Longtime Disney fans will certainly remember the gigantic sorcerer’s hat that used to tower over the center of the park. It’s the bright blue one with stars that Mickey wore in Fantasia with the red robes.

Fantasmic! continued to serve as a nod to the symbol of that iconic hat. 

Shortly after Disney acquired Lucasfilm and Star Wars, they added a second nighttime spectacular show at Hollywood Studios featuring characters from the Skywalker saga.

Even still, Fantasmic! remained popular. The show continued to run throughout major construction projects including two park expansions.

Toy Story Land opened in 2018 and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in 2019.

Fantasmic lights at Hollywood Studios
1.9 million gallons of water in the moat are employed to create water screens onto which colored light and images are projected (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

 Is Fantasmic! open every night at Disney World?

Yes, Fantasmic! happens every night at Hollywood Studios. During peak crowd weeks, there are often two showings per night.

However, be sure to check the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date scheduling information as Disney entertainment schedules are subject to change. 

Disney live entertainment schedules are adjusted seasonally to account for the time that it gets dark. In winter when the sun sets early, the show may be scheduled for earlier in the evening. There’s also often a second showing on weekends or during the holidays when the crowds swell.

In the summer when the sun sets later in the evening, Disney schedules its nighttime shows later. 

The parks also tend to remain open later in the evening during summer, so they sometimes have a second showing very late in the warm months as well.

Have you experienced Fantasmic? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Photo of author


Kirby Russell

Kirby Russell is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

Leave a Comment