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Fantasmic!

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Fantasmic!
Fantasmic! Logo.svg
Disneyland Park
AreaFrontierland
Coordinates33°48′42″N 117°55′16″W / 33.8117216°N 117.921144°W / 33.8117216; -117.921144
StatusTemporarily closed due to COVID
Opening dateMay 13, 1992; 29 years ago (May 13, 1992) (Original)
July 17, 2017 (July 17, 2017) (Reopening)
Closing dateJanuary 11, 2016 (Original)
March 12, 2020 (Reopening)
Disney's Hollywood Studios
AreaSunset Boulevard
Coordinates28°21′41″N 81°33′30″W / 28.3612559°N 81.558249°W / 28.3612559; -81.558249
StatusTemporarily closed due to COVID
Opening dateOctober 15, 1998; 23 years ago (October 15, 1998)
Closing dateMarch 12, 2020 (Temporary)
Tokyo DisneySea
AreaMediterranean Harbor
Coordinates35°37′34″N 139°53′11″E / 35.626199°N 139.886346°E / 35.626199; 139.886346
StatusClosed
Opening dateApril 28, 2011 (April 28, 2011)[1]
Closing dateFebruary 28, 2020
ReplacedBraviSEAmo!
Replaced byBelieve! Sea of Dreams
General statistics
Attraction typeLive show
DesignerWalt Disney Creative Entertainment
ThemeDisney Films
MusicBruce Healey
Randy Miller (Disneyland version)
John Debney (Disney's Hollywood Studios version)
Don L. Harper (Tokyo DisneySea version)
Duration22-30 minutes[2][3]
SponsorDisney+
Fastpass available
FastPass+ available
Disabled access Wheelchair accessible
Assistive listening icon.svg Assistive listening available

Fantasmic! is a nighttime show at Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort, Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort, and previously at Tokyo DisneySea at Tokyo Disney Resort. It features fireworks, characters, live actors, water effects, pyrotechnics, lasers, music, audio-animatronics, searchlights, decorated boat floats, and mist screen projections. The narrative of Fantasmic! is a voyage through Mickey Mouse's imagination that culminates in a battle against the Disney Villains.

Fantasmic! originated at Disneyland in 1992 after Walt Disney Creative Entertainment was asked to create a nighttime spectacular involving water and fireworks to reinvigorate the space in front of the Rivers of America. The area was reworked, including terracing the walkways to accommodate viewing and modifying part of Tom Sawyer Island to allow the show's staged live action segments. The producers employed the resources of Walt Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering.

A second version featuring new scenes opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 1998, and a third version premiered at Tokyo DisneySea in 2011, replacing BraviSEAmo!. An updated version of Disneyland's Fantasmic! debuted in 2017, featuring a re-recorded soundtrack in addition to new scenes, lighting, choreography and costumes.

Disneyland version[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

Fantasmic! takes place on the waters of the Rivers of America at Disneyland and on a stage across the waterway on Tom Sawyer Island.

The show begins with Mickey Mouse being transported into his dream. He dances and orchestrates various water fountain, pyrotechnic, projection, laser and lighting effects to the show's theme. Mist screens rise from the water, acting as projection surfaces for various scenes from Disney movies. The show then transitions into a jungle scene from The Jungle Book, featuring a 100-foot-long (30 m) puppet of Kaa and three floating barges carrying King Louie and black-lit monkeys (that debuted in the Tokyo version) across the river stage. The song transitions into "Hakuna Matata". The music then segues into a dubstep rendition of "Pink Elephants on Parade" from Dumbo, as animated pink elephants appear onscreen and in the form of performers on the island. The scene then transitions to "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin. Sorcerer Mickey watches the Genie perform tricks. Then they go under the sea as they head into the world of The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo. A bubble floats by and Jiminy Cricket appears onscreen, searching underwater for Pinocchio. An animated Monstro appears suddenly, accompanied by a heavy musical score as he crashes through water. The sea morphs into the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" flood scene. As Mickey looks around in the dark and asks "What's going on?", a ship caught in a storm appears. Captain Barbossa then appears on the mist screens.

The Sailing Ship Columbia during the Pirates of the Caribbean scene

A cannon is fired from Sailing Ship Columbia, portraying the Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann, and other pirates participate in a stunt sequence. The scene ends with fountains that look like explosions and a cannon fired from the Sailing Ship Columbia (In earlier incarnations, the Columbia served as Captain Hook's pirate ship). As the scene concludes, Mickey paints the moon, with silhouettes of Peter Pan and the Darlings flying over it. Mickey's sorcerer hat is painted on the mist screen and the hat turns to clouds as Aladdin and Jasmine are on a physical magic carpet flying through the clouds while a rendition of "A Whole New World" plays. Then the carpet fades away and three small barges arrive carrying Belle and the Beast, Ariel and Prince Eric, and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, with the accompanying signature melody from each film—"Beauty and the Beast," "Part of Your World," and "I See the Light".

Mickey Mouse faces off against Maleficent in her dragon form in the previous version of the show.

Mickey's dream takes a turn for the worse. The magic mirror appears onscreen and tempts Mickey to enter the darker realms of his imagination. When asked if he has the courage, Mickey accepts the challenge, and the mirror traps Mickey inside. The Evil Queen, disguised as the old hag, calls all the villains to partake in Mickey's nightmare, invoking a riled Ursula who joins the Queen's plot to destroy Mickey. Ursula calls upon Chernabog, who summons deceased spirits. He then summons Maleficent(the true mastermind who wishes to take over Mickey's dream), who threatens Sorcerer Mickey as she transforms herself into an enormous dragon. Onstage, the 45-foot dragon sets the waters ablaze, breathing fire onto the river. Mickey defeats the dragon, destroying the villains in the process.

Tinker Bell then appears, the Mark Twain Riverboat approaches with fireworks, and black and white Mickey from Steamboat Willie appears. Mickey then appears again to conduct a final set of fireworks and water fountains before leaving in a bright blast of fireworks.

Development[edit]

The original Disneyland soft opening and press premiere were scheduled to begin Wednesday, April 29, 1992 and continue through the weekend. By late afternoon, rioting began in Los Angeles following the acquittal of the Los Angeles police officers involved in the Rodney King beating. Promotional materials with the catchphrase "Be There When the Night Ignites" were quickly pulled from public circulation.[4]

Refurbishments[edit]

Disneyland's Fantasmic! has undergone several technical refreshes. A new sound system debuted in the summer of 2007, along with new show barges featuring LED lighting arrays. A complete overhaul of the lighting system debuted in the spring of 2008. The three mainland lighting towers, which rise hydraulically from pits in the ground prior to the show, were rebuilt with pull-out slides for the new Clay Paky Alpha Spots and Washes and redesigned for the new Strong Gladiator IV followspots. The footlights on the mainland side at water level were replaced with LED fixtures. Refurbished pyrotechnic barges were given new technologies derived from Disneyland's Air-Launch Firework (ALF) system.[5]

In 2008, the three original 70mm projectors were replaced with high definition (HD) digital projectors. A new audio-animatronic dragon (nicknamed Murphy by fans, after Murphy's law, when the dragon experienced multiple delays in 2009) was built to replace the previous dragon which had been a mechanical dragon's head on a JLG cherry picker. The new dragon was designed to be a full-bodied replica of Maleficent's final form in Sleeping Beauty, standing at 45 feet tall.[6]

In early February 2010, the entire Rivers of America were drained. Both the Mark Twain and the Sailing Ship Columbia were refurbished, and the track along which the ships travel was replaced. The show's underwater effects underwent maintenance as well, and the laser effects for the finale were upgraded. On August 28, 2010, the second-generation dragon broke again, partly collapsing during a performance.[7] It was restored to the show on November 12, 2010.

On January 11, 2016, Fantasmic! and other attractions closed due to the construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.[8][9] It reopened on July 17, 2017.[10] This version features some scenes that are inspired by the defunct Tokyo DisneySea version of Fantasmic!, along with the "Imagination" song as part of the post-show.

Disney's Hollywood Studios version[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

Mickey vanishes the villains using his imagination and his sword
Steamboat Willie finale

The Florida version of the show takes place at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, with a rocky mountain and a façade of trees serving as the setting. The narrative of the Walt Disney World version is fairly similar to that of Disneyland's original version, with the show's introduction and conclusion nearly identical. However, there are notable differences throughout the rest of the show.

Hollywood Hills Amphitheater[edit]

Hollywood Hills Amphitheater stage for Fantasmic!
Hollywood Hills Amphitheater rear entrance

The Hollywood Hills Amphitheater is a purpose-built seat riverside amphitheatre at the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, that showcases the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic! It is located off of Sunset Boulevard, between The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Theater of the Stars, where the Beauty and the Beast stage show takes place. The Fantasmic! stage in Florida is significantly larger than Disneyland's, featuring a man-made, 50-foot-tall (15 m) mountain on which Sorcerer Mickey stands and from which the dragon emerges. The amphitheater has 6,900 seats, with room for an additional 3,000 people standing.[11] The moat around the island itself can hold 1,900,000 U.S. gallons (7,200,000 L) of water.[11]

On September 15, 2015, it was announced that Pop Secret would become the official sponsor of Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios.[12] Prior to this, Fantasmic! was the only nighttime fireworks show at Walt Disney World without a sponsor, with Wishes gaining sponsorship from Pandora Jewelry in 2014,[13] while IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth was sponsored by General Electric from 1999 to 2003 and sponsored by Siemens from 2005 until 2017.[14][15]

On March 12, 2020, this version of Fantasmic! was temporarily closed, due to COVID-19 pandemic in United States. On August 17, 2020, even though Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, due to the ongoing on COVID-19 pandemic the Fantasmic! lagoon has been drained.[16]

Alternate show: "Taste Of Fantasmic!"[edit]

The Florida version has a four-minute-long substitute show that plays when inclement weather prohibits the presentation of the regular show.[17] The alternative show does not showcase any of the performers, floats, or puppets due to the dangerous conditions that are posed to the performers because of the possibility of rain accumulating on the stage. Instead the ancillary show is a brief summation of the conventional show; including a fountain display synchronized to "Little April Showers", a sequence integrating the "Night on Bald Mountain" music, and a finale orchestrated with all of the usual pyrotechnics and musical fanfare from the original show's conclusion.[18][19]

Development[edit]

Refurbishments[edit]

Tokyo DisneySea version[edit]

Fantasmic! debuted at Tokyo DisneySea on April 28, 2011, replacing the BraviSEAmo! show in the Mediterranean Harbor.[20] The show was originally planned to debut on April 23 with the park's 10th Anniversary "Be Magical!" celebration, but was delayed by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Originally, Fantasmic! was planned in 2001 for the park and the story would be themed around Tokyo DisneySea but was scrapped and instead DisneySea Symphony debuted. Many of the barges were reused from Tokyo DisneySea's former nighttime Christmas show “Candelight Reflections” but were reimagined. The Christmas tree barge was used for Mickey's sorcerer hat. This barge would also be used for Tokyo DisneySea's former nighttime Christmas show “Colors of Christmas” (2012-2019). The natural gas line in the harbor and 5 water cannons originally used for BraviSEAmo! were also repurposed.

The show's score was recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, composed by Don L. Harper, featuring Bruce Healey's theme from the original Fantasmic! at the US parks. The DisneySea version has new scenes and narrative elements, including scenes based on Aladdin, Finding Nemo, and Cinderella, and the original new song "Imagination". This is the only version of Fantasmic! to not have a stationary stage, with the show taking place entirely on barges. All of the characters' dialogue and sung parts were recorded in Japanese by the characters' respective Japanese voice artists.

This version of Fantasmic! closed on February 28, 2020. It was originally scheduled to conclude its run on March 25, 2020,[21] but was moved up due to the extended closure of Tokyo Disney Resort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.

On July 20, 2020 the Oriental Land Company announced that Fantasmic! would be replaced by an all-new nighttime spectacular in honor of Tokyo DisneySea's 20th anniversary celebration, called Believe! Sea of Dreams. This brand new show is set to debut on April 1, 2021.

In late September, the Fantasmic! barges were spotted backstage. While it was thought that they would all be dismantled, it was discovered in February 2021 that Disneyland Paris had purchased the 4 main barges for Walt Disney Studios Park for a future nighttime spectacular on their future harbor/lagoon. This may be a similar version of Fantasmic!

In early January 2021, two of the main Fantasmic barges were spotted circling the harbor most likely training drivers for the new show.

On March 11, 2021, the former hat barge, now reimagined was docked in Mediterranean Harbor rehearsing for the new show.[22]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack for the Disneyland show was included in the 2015 release of Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Disneyland.[23]

Voice cast[edit]

Disneyland

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Japanese version (Tokyo DisneySea):


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OLC Announces Tokyo DisneySea to Reopen on April 28th - LaughingPlace.com: Disney World, Disneyland and More". LaughingPlace.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  2. ^ "Fantasmic!". Disneyland. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Fantasmic Show and Fireworks - Walt Disney World Resort". Walt Disney World. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Bates, James (May 11, 1992). "Bad Timing Awards". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 4, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "Disney's Enviroport - 2004 Annual Environmental Report" (PDF). Corporate.disney.go.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 13, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  6. ^ "Disney's Dragon still under repair for Fantasmic show". The Orange County Register.
  7. ^ Esquivel, Paloma (August 31, 2010). "The case of the missing dragon". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2017-07-25.
  8. ^ Lenker, Margaret (September 25, 2015). "Disneyland's 'Star Wars' Addition Prompts Ride Closures". Variety. Archived from the original on November 1, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  9. ^ Chris Nichols (November 5, 2015). "58 Ways Star Wars Land Is Changing Disneyland". Los Angeles Magazine. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  10. ^ Glover, Erin (June 15, 2017). "Classics Come Back to Disneyland Park this Summer with the Return of 'Fantasmic!,' Rivers of America and Disneyland Railroad". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Water Animation and Fireworks Combine For Fantasmic! Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios". wdwnews.com. Disney Parks. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Pedicini, Sandra. "Pop Secret becomes Disney's official popcorn". orlandosentinel.com. Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on September 16, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  13. ^ Risom Langelund, Jakob. "PANDORA AND DISNEY ANNOUNCE NEW STRATEGIC ALLIANCE" (PDF). PandoraGroup.com. Pandora Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  14. ^ Sylt, Christian. "Why Siemens And Disney Make A Magical Team". forbes.com. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  15. ^ Russon, Gabrielle (July 3, 2017). "Siemens will no longer be Disney sponsor". Orlando Sentinel.
  16. ^ "Fantasmic! Drained at Disney's Hollywood Studios". www.blogmickey.com. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  17. ^ "Fantasmic!, Walt Disney World – LaughingPlace.com: Disney World, Disneyland and More". LaughingPlace.com. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  18. ^ "Disney World's MGM Studios – Fantasmic!". Villas4all.com. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  19. ^ "A Taste of Fantasmic - Rain Show". July 29, 2009. Archived from the original on July 29, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2019 – via YouTube.
  20. ^ Geryak, Cole (April 17, 2020). "Extinct Attractions – Tokyo DisneySea's Fantasmic". The Laughing Place. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Exciting Offerings Coming to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in Fiscal Year 2019" (PDF). Tokyo Disney Resort (Press release). Oriental Land Company. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea Temporary Park Closure Extension and Park Operations (Updated 6:00p.m. March 11, 2020)". www.tokyodisneyresort.jp. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 2020-03-15.[dead link][failed verification]
  23. ^ "Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection Disneyland Set For Release Exclusively At Disneyland Resort On May 20" (Press release). Burbank, California: PRNewswire. April 28, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  24. ^ Wonderful Union. "Official Site". Chris Mann. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  25. ^ MacDonald, Brady (July 28, 2015). "Disney voice-over actors bring theme park rides to life". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 22, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015.

External links[edit]