by Mary Jo Willey
Disneyland Travel Specialist
(Show began in 1992)
Fantasmic is shown nightly during peak season, and on weekends during non-peak season
When scheduled, the show times are typically 9:00pm and 10:30pm (2nd show during peak season). The show lasts approximately 20 minutes. (Check the Disneyland daily guide for current show times)
Fantasmic is a must see show but may be a little intense at times for smaller children. Performed on Tom Sawyer's Island, guests gather on the banks of the Rivers of America to view the show. If you arrive early seating is available on the ground near the water (you may get a little wet in this area), the remaining areas are for standing only. This show is so popular that people will begin finding viewing spots as early as 5-6pm for the 9pm show. You really don't have to wait that long to see it, however, it is a good idea to get there in plenty of time since it will be very crowded. If you have small children, it is a good idea to get the sitting area, or the first row of the standing area so your children will be able to see the show. Don't sit on the brick fences that line the walkways in that area because this is a walkway, even during the show and the Cast Members will ask you to move. Prime viewing areas would be the area in front of Pirates of the Caribbean, or on the bridge above it. If you are at the first show, try to get a spot where you can see the cable that goes from the Matterhorn past the castle. This area is great for watching the fireworks after the show.
Fantasmic is based on Mickey Mouse's imagination, and the fight of good against evil. There are over 50 live performers, plus film projected on three water mist screens (30-ft tall by 50-ft wide). Live action takes place on the island and on the water. Effects include pyrotechnics, fiber optics, lasers, strobe lighting, and a 45-foot fire-breathing dragon that lights the river on fire! The show begins with Annette Funicello's voice in a little introduction, then a single note starts off very subtle, slowly getting louder and louder until with a burst of music, fireworks, and Mickey's appearance the show begins. >From the beginning, guests are entertained by Disney characters - good and bad - until the final climactic scene against the dragon, and then the final exciting pyrotechnics show and characters finale on the Mark Twain Riverboat.
Waiting guests are entertained by a jazz band on a raft that floats back and forth along the river.
View of Tom Sawyer's Island and the area where Fantasmic is performed.
View from Tom Sawyer's Island, showing Fantasmic stage, and the area in Frontierland/New Orleans Square where guests watch the show.
View from Tom Sawyer's Island, showing the area in New Orleans Square where guests watch the show. In the background to the right is the Haunted Mansion.
Walkway by day, Fantasmic standing area by night
There are fewer guests at the second show, so you might want to watch that one instead. Make your way to Adventureland, or ride the Haunted Mansion or Splash Mountain/Winnie the Pooh during the first show and hang out in that area. When the show is over, make your way over to the viewing area as people from the first show leave.Guests who prefer a reserved seating area for Fantasmic can book the Fantasmic Premium Viewing option noted here: