In the North end of Hollywood Studios, nestled in behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you can find the amphitheater that houses Fantasmic. This nighttime theatrical extravaganza is full of projections, lights, lasers, fireworks, pyrotechnics and music. As you journey through Mickey’s dreams, both wonderful and scary at some points, there is so much magic in the entire Fantasmic performance that it’s no wonder many guests add it to their must-do list each time they visit. Whether it’s your first time seeing it, or your 100th time, here are 9 stunning facts about Fantasmic.
It’s hard to believe that Fantasmic has been running at Hollywood Studios since October of 1998. Even more impressive is the fact that the Debut of Fantasmic actually took place at Disneyland in 1992 and since then, a third show has debuted at Tokyo DisneySea. At Hollywood Studios, Disney built the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater to hold 6,900 seated guests with additional room for 3,000 standing guests. The stage in Walt Disney World is much larger than its Disneyland predecessor as it features a 50-foot tall mountain and has a longer run-time, clocking in at around 28 minutes.
8. The Water
Surrounding the mountain is a moat filled with 1.9 million gallons of water (7.2 million liters). That would seem like a lot if it weren’t for the fact that in some areas, the water is only 1.5 feet deep. At its deepest point, the moat still only has a depth of 6 feet. Dyes in the water keep its depth a mystery to guests so it all looks uniformly deep and you can’t see any of the tracks or pipes running just below the surface.
Over 350 lights are used during the performance of Fantasmic, rising out of the mountain and hanging from the large steel frame over the audience. If you look closely, the lights that are subject to the Florida weather have bubbles that sit overtop of them in order to protect them from the elements. These sophisticated lights can change color, rotate and focus at the touch of a button, which makes the lighting effects of Fantasmic one of the many reasons this show continues to wow guests today. Laser effects and black lights (meant to make neon colors glow) also lend themselves to the incredible lighting design of the show.
Fantasmic is run using the talents of over 75 cast members. 46 performers will be onstage, wearing over 78 different costumes. Those costumes are meticulously kept, maintained and prepared by 6 costuming cast members behind the scenes. Also behind the scenes, a crew of 25 people work hard to make the magic of Fantasmic come alive. It’s their job to make sure all of the equipment is in place and running properly. Finally, overseeing the performance are 3 stage managers in two different booths.
Different characters and movie scenes are projected during the performance and they all take place on three enormous mist screens. Fresh water is pumped through mist nozzles at an incredible 800 gallons per minute for each screen. One screen on its own covers an area 50 feet tall and 100 feet wide, so combining the three screens ensures that every guest can see the projections. High definition digital projectors display the videos on the mist screens.
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During the course of Mickey’s dreams, villains start to creep in to wreak havoc. It’s one of the rare occasions that guests will see so many villains working together (apart from the Boo-To-You Parade at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party). The list of villains includes appearances from The Evil Queen, Ursula, Cruella DeVille, Scar, Hades, Monstro, Chernabog, Governor Ratcliffe, Judge Frollo, Jafar and Maleficent.
Jafar makes two appearances during Fantasmic. Once as the sneering grand vizier (his most recognizable form) but he also appears as a massive snake. The snake used during Fantasmic is over 120 feet long and 16 feet high. The cobra is divided into 18 brightly colored sections that take up the majority of the mountain. Incredibly bright white eyes shoot beams out of his immense cobra head as he searches for Mickey on the Mountain below.
When Maleficent enters the realm of Mickey’s dreams, she quickly transforms into her dragon form in an attempt to defeat Mickey and take over his dream, turning it into a nightmare. Turning into the dragon, she suddenly dominates the stage at over 50 feet tall and 50 feet wide. The scene can be scary for younger guests, but don’t worry, Mickey has never let us down before.
1. Steamboat Willie
At the start of the finale, Steamboat Willie makes an appearance with Mickey at the helm and a host of his friends aboard as well. Steamboat Willie is over 80 feet long and weighs in at just over 70,000 lbs. A keel underneath the boat sits in a trench to keep the boat on track as it floats past guests, circling the mountain. It would be the perfect way to cap off the show, but there’s more magic to experience even after some of your favorite characters have gone by.
What are your favorite parts of Fantasmic? Is it on your must-do list when you visit Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments!