Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Fantastic Fantasmic Facts
No day at Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Florida would be complete without seeing the wonderful ‘Fantasmic’ firework and laser show, in which Mickey Mouse battles against evil to emerge triumphant. It is one of my favourite attractions and one I never like to miss. No matter how many times you have seen it there is always something which you missed before.
‘Fantasmic’ is held in the specially constructed Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, which is dominated by a 59 ft man-made mountain, the fourth highest ‘mountain’ at Walt Disney World. This area can be found behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, off Sunset Boulevard. In front of it there is a huge moat, which holds 1. 9 million gallons of water, and this varies in depth from 1. 5 ft at the mountain, to 6 ft in the middle. The amphitheatre holds around 6, 900 seated and 3, 000 standing, but even so it is always wise to get there early – particularly for the first performance of the evening, especially in peak times. Aim to arrive about an hour before the show starts to make sure of getting a seat – there are great views from almost every part of the amphitheatre, but remember that the first few rows may get wet during the performance.
This wonderful show feature a brilliant display of fireworks, lasers, lights, balls of fire, explosions, dancing fountains and dazzling special effects. One of the most amazing is the three huge mist screens onto which are projected a multitude of images throughout the show. Each of these mist screens atomizes 800 gallons of water per minute, and stands 50 feet tall and 100 ft wide.
Performances last about 26 minutes, and involve approximately 50 performers, and 26 different Disney characters. These are supported by approximately 25 crew, 6 costumiers and 3 Stage Managers. Of course the music is from many of the Disney classics, such as ‘Fantasia, ’ ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Pocahontas. ’ There are some stunning special effects, including the huge fire-breathing dragon which has a wing-span of 50 ft, and weighs 32, 000 lbs. When Maleficent transforms into a 40 ft tall dragon and rises 50 ft into the air this dragon’s breath ignites the waterway with a sea of flames. Of course Mickey saves the day and creates a huge water curtain which smothers the flames. Another amazing creation is the cobra which Jafar turns into, and which is 100 ft long and 16 ft high.
The finale is a spectacle of fireworks and sparkling effects as all the favourite Disney characters gather on board Steamboat Willie to celebrate Mickey’s triumph over evil. Steamboat Willie is an 80 ft replica which weighs approximately 70, 000 lbs and has a 16ft beam. It moves along a track hidden beneath the water.
I am sure that you, like me will be dazzled and enthralled by this spectacular show which contains elements from our favourite Disney shows, as well as many of our favourite characters – including Snow White and her Prince, Aladdin and Jasmine, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Belle and the Beast. Of course there is also a surfeit of evil characters such as Maleficent, Cruella De Ville, and the Evil Queen from Snow White. t is absolutely brilliant, and you cannot fail to be immersed in this classic fantasy, which culminates in good triumphing over evil.
You should be aware that this performance includes loud noises and darkness, so some children may find this frightening. In the winter months the seats can get pretty cold as they are concrete, so bring a warm jacket in case the temperatures drop. If you have to sit there for an hour before the performance starts it is handy to be able to sit on something, so even if you don’t wear your jacket it will be useful! If you are lucky, someone will start a Mexican wave so you will have something to do whilst you wait.
Don’t miss it – but make sure you are there early to ensure a good seat. It can take quite a while to exit the amphitheatre after the performance, so be prepared to be patient, for your own safety. It is usually very orderly and well organised by the Disney staff.
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Page added on: 4 July 2008
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