“For we now invite you to join Mickey, and experience Fantasmic!… a journey beyond your wildest imagination.”
Confess Wednesday: I absolutely love fantasmic. Possibly too much. If you haven’t seen the show before and don’t want it ruined, stop reading, get on a plane to orlando and see it. In honor of the passing of Jane Ethridge Correa, one of the female vocals featured in fantasmic, I figured I would give a little love to my favorite nighttime show at the WDW resort.
It is a tough choice when you have Fantasmic!, Wishes, Illuminations, Spectromagic, MSEP etc to choose from. To me what separates fantasmic apart is the use of the familiar characters, the creativity of the show, and, as any Engineer would admit, its technology.
The first time I saw fantasmic was last summer, when I was 20. I felt like I was 6 again being wowed by how amazing all of the shows elements are. It may be because I’m partial to Mickey Mouse (maybe some day I’ll post about my extended collection) but I think the main reason this is my favorite show is because of the music. It’s catchy, it incorporates a lot of the different Disney movies from my generation, and it certainly captivates the audience.
What does it for me is that this show is quite different from any other show at WDW. It seamlessly incorperates live characters, parade floats, a water show, pyrotechnics, fireworks, stunts, large mechanical elements and song. The idea of this all, of course, stemming from the inspiration of the movie Fantasia, is phantasmagoric, which is defined as “A constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements” This concept keeps the audiences attention by wowing them with different elements approximately every few minutes, so they are never bored. This is way different from any fireworks display.
One thing Fantasmic is criticized for is that it incorporates too much “evil and darkness” in the use of all of it’s villain characters. (The evil Queen, Ursula, Cruella de Vil, Scar, Frollo, Jafar, Hades, Malificent) When I first saw the show, I agreed with these criticisms, however watching it again and seeing that the “darkness” is only incorporated into about 6 and a half minutes of the 27 minute show, I think that is an appropriate time portion.
One thing I did not understand and thought where Disney failed at Fantasmic! Was the Pocahontas live action scene in the middle of the show. I didn’t quite understand how it themed with Mickey’s imagination and thought it was a poor attempt by Disney to incorporate stunts into the show. I did however, like the transition between this scene and the “Love scene” with all of our favorite Princesses dancing with their respective Princes. I interpreted this as a “love conquers all” allegory.
In my opinion, the show can be broken up into different “imaginative” themes:
- Excitement (Intro with Mickey conducting the water cannons)
- Curiosity (bubble scene in the water)
- Adventure (Live action Pocahontas scene)
- Love (Dancing Princesses)
- Evil (Villains)
- Triumph, Self-empowerment
I really love that this show is brought full circle, and the way Mickey is able to defeat the dragon is by his initial fun in conducting the water symphony. It shows that we have the power over our own fears. The show definitely ends on an upbeat and always leaves me smiling.
I also like how it takes the theming of Mickey Mouse being the center as a reminder of how Walt Disney and his most famous pal came to be. As it’s been said many times before “It all started with a mouse” but at the same time, Throughout all of these Decades since Walt dreamed up the idea for Mickey on a train ride, the mouse has still been the center of the disney franchise.
Overall, This is certainly my favorite show at the WDW and I think it is WELL worth the wait. ANY seat in the amphitheater is a good one.
Fun facst: It costs Disney $25,000 for each showing of fantasmic, almost 10,000 people can view the show at once. (6900 seats, 2500-3000 standing room only) (source: wikipedia)