Fantasmic! at Disneyland – Everything You Need to Know

Updated July 11, 2017

Fantasmic! is returning to the land of Disney on July 17, 2017. I’ll be there opening night and can’t wait to share it with you!

I’ll be updating this post with information as it becomes available. I have reservations for all three dining experiences now and will have them finished by August 7, 2017. Detailed reviews of each with photos will be added to this post after each dining event is complete.

As with any big show at Disneyland, good planning will ensure you have a good experience.

And, don’t forget the fun food the park will be selling to celebrate its return. 

For now, let’s look at what we know. I’ve compiled this information from what Disney has released to us, what other dining packages typically include and specifically what I know from the dining experiences offered with Fanstasmic! before it went under refurbishment.

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Basic Info

Fantasmic! is a very popular show that debuted in 1992 as an attempt to pull crowds over into the space that borders the Rivers of America. The show includes both water and pyrotechnics and can be scary for little ones. There are plenty of children at the show. But, if you have kids who scare easily, I recommend watching videos on YouTube prior to visiting. The basic synopsis involves good vs evil. Spoiler alert: Good always wins.

The show has been reimagined for its return in July with new scenes and an altered story line. It will still consist of a combination of part of the show on Tom Sawyer Island and the rest on water craft, including The Sailing Ship Columbia, Mark Twain Riverboat and small rafts.

It typically lasts around 25 minutes. Guests will fill the viewing area that surrounds the Rivers of America to watch the show. This space will be sectioned off into essentially three major parts – Dining Packages, FASTPASS holders, and Standby. You may not set up a blanket in front of the island and hang out all day to save your spot. A few hours prior to the show, the sections will start being defined and strollers, blankets, guests, etc, will be asked to relocate.

Showtimes for each day vary. Visit the Disneyland site to see what timing is available for the days you will be at the parks. Adjust the calendar at this link for your visit. For the first week of shows, from July 17, 2017 to July 23, 2017, three showtimes will be available each night. Those are 9:00pm, 10:30pm, and 11:30pm. After that initial week, most days will include two shows. Those are at 9:00pm and 10:30pm.

As with other Disney shows, the earlier times are always more crowded.

Let’s now take a closer look at the three options for Fantasmic! viewing.

Booking a Dining Package 

As with other big shows at the park, Fantasmic! offers dining packages that give you a premiere spot for viewing the show. In most cases, you will dine at the restaurant hosting the dining package and then show up later to watch the show with everyone else stationed around the Rivers of America. There is one exception – we’ll cover that in a second.

Dining packages are always popular at Disneyland and with the return of Fantasmic!, these are in high demand. Do not hesitate to book your package now. If you change your mind on using it, cancel within 24 hours of your dining time so that your credit card on file is not charged the $10 per person cancellation penalty. These packages do not requirement pre-payment. All you have to do now is make the reservation. The app does not allow you to make these reservations. You must use the Disneyland site or call Disney directly at (714) 781-DINE (3463) between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM daily (Pacific Time) to book.

Annual Pass and Disney Visa discounts apply to all dining packages, but the two cannot be used together. 

Dining packages can be booked 60 days out from the day you plan to dine at Disneyland. 

Each dining package includes favorites from the restaurant’s menu and sometimes a few dishes not available during regular dining. Exceptions/substitutions/changes, etc….from the Fantasmic! menu to the normal one are not allowed. You may only choose from the Fantasmic! menu.

The basic game plan includes enjoying your meal and then once you pay your bill, you will receive a “FASTPASS” (or return voucher) that will allow you entrance into the viewing section that coordinates with where you dined. Your FASTPASS should be a simple paper FASTPASS. Sometimes, they’re referred to as Return Tickets or Return Vouchers. But, they look just like the paper FASTPASS Reminders. As far as we know now, they will be paper instead of digital, like the new Digital FASTPASS system.

With any of the three dining package options, I recommend arriving an hour prior to showtime. The FASTPASS that you receive after paying your bill will advise showing up 30 minutes prior. And, lines will likely not be allowed to form until that time. But, with the popularity of this show, you don’t want to miss out on what you paid for – good viewing. Show up to the viewing area an hour early and just hang out. Wait for the line to form and jump in it as soon as cast members allow.

I’ll have photos asap of what these lines look like and where you should go for each dining package.

The three dining package options include:

Blue Bayou Dining Package

To book this package, visit this link. The free Disneyland app does not allow guests to book dining packages.

Pricing:

***Tax and gratuity are not included.

Adults (age 10 and over) – $65

Kids (age 3-9) – $25

Infants (up to age 2) – FREE (children age 2 and under do not have to pay for the meal and do not have to have a FASTPASS to enter the viewing area; a meal will not be provided to your child; he or she can eat off your plate)

Reservations for Blue Bayou start each day at 4:00pm. When you book – online or on the phone directly with Disney – you will learn which show your dining time is assigned to. The FASTPASS that you receive that allows you into your viewing location will state this show time, too. You may not attend a show other than the one your FASTPASS assigns you to.

A new upgrade to Blue Bayou’s dining package is available for the first time for $25 per person, adult or child. It includes a premium non-alcoholic drink (likely one of the fun lemonades with a glow cube) and a cushion to use at the show and then take home. This upgrade does not have to be booked ahead of time. When you check in for your reservation, request the premium upgrade and it will be applied to your bill.

Menu:

You may select one starter, one entree, one dessert, and one non-alcoholic beverage.

***The menu here is for adults. I’ll share the child’s menu as soon as it’s available.

Starters

  • New Orleans Gumbo
  • Blue Bayou House Salad
  • Louisiana Spiced Shrimp

Entrees

  • Blue Bayou Bouillabaisse with sustainable fish fillet, mussels, clams, shrimp and spiced sausage
  • Pan-seared Bone-in Pork Loin
  • Citrus-marinated Chicken Breast
  • Surf & Turf, featuring a petite lobster tail and broiled filet mignon
  • Portobello Mushroom and Louisiana Popcorn Rice
  • Blue Bayou Bone-in Rib-eye
  • Pan-seared Salmon
  • Herb-crusted Rack of Lamb

Desserts

  • Sorcerer Mickey “Fantasmic!” Dessert, with milk chocolate mousse, bananas foster sauce, milk chocolate pound cake and a chocolate glaze
  • Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlèe with fresh berries
  • 8-Layer Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Details:

Blue Bayou is located in New Orleans Square, to the right of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction exit. It is the premiere dining package and usually the most sought after.

Blue Bayou has indoor seating only, but you’ll feel like you’re outdoors in some ways because of the restaurant’s design. This dining option is located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and is old school Disney fabulous. You’ll see the boats of the attraction float by during your meal. If you’re interested in a water-side table (there are only about 15 tables located right next to the water), go by the reservation podium located at the front of the restaurant about 30 minutes prior to your reservation time and ask if you could please sit water-side. Your wait may be a little longer than expected, but many guests think this is an essential part of dining at Blue Bayou.

Viewing for Blue Bayou is typically dead-center, front row. There will be an iron railing in front of you, but this has never bothered me. You will be able to sit on the ground in this section, unlike Hungry Bear, FASTPASSES, or standby.

River Belle Terrace Dining Package

To book this page, visit this link. The free Disneyland app does not allow guests to book dining packages.

Pricing:

***Tax and gratuity are not included.

Adults (age 10 and over) – $45

Kids (age 3-9) – $25

Infants (up to age 2) – FREE (children age 2 and under do not have to pay for the meal and do not have to have a FASTPASS to enter the viewing area; a meal will not be provided to your child; he or she can eat off your plate)

Reservations for River Belle Terrace start each day at 4:00pm. When you book – online or on the phone directly with Disney – you will learn which show your dining time is assigned to. The FASTPASS that you receive that allows you into your viewing location will state this show time, too. You may not attend a show other than the one your FASTPASS assigns you to.

A new upgrade to River Belle’s dining package is available for the first time for $15 per person, adult or child. To upgrade your experience, you must call (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463 between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM Pacific Time daily. In order to upgrade, you must dine at 8:00pm. With that dining time and a confirmed upgrade, you can enjoy dinner and then stay at your seat to watch the first performance of Fantasmic! – which begins at 9:00pm – from the outside patio (where you’ll be seated). With this upgrade, you will enjoy a charging station at your table, a lanyard, and continued drink service through the show.

Menu:

You may select one starter, one entree, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage.

***The menu here is for adults. I’ll share the child’s menu as soon as it’s available.

Starters

  • Corn Chowder
  • House Salad

Entrees

  • Pork Spare Ribs
  • BBQ Tofu
  • Oven-roasted Sausage Link Combo
  • Sustainable Catch of the Day
  • Oven-roasted Half BBQ Chicken
  • Fried Chicken Sandwich
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Beef Brisket Sandwich

Desserts

  • Maleficent Dragon “Fantasmic!” Dessert, with a milk chocolate crunchy base, spiced dark chocolate-blackberry ganache center, caramel mousse and orange-vanilla sauce
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Butterscotch Pudding

Details:

River Belle Terrace is located in Frontierland, across from the Rivers of America. It is typically considered 2nd in line to Blue Bayou as far as food goes, but I’m a huge fan of this place. It reopened with a new menu in February of 2016 after Big Thunder BBQ closed down for Star Wars Land. While it isn’t a total mimic of what Big Thunder offered, the menu transitioned to include more grown up, modern BBQ selections and I’ve really enjoyed them.

River Belle has both indoor and outdoor seating. I’ve dined in each and they’re both lovely. There is far more outdoor seating compared to indoor, so be prepared for a possibly longer wait if you want to dine indoors.

River Belle’s viewing section is next to Blue Bayou, so it’s not dead center, but it’s still really good. It will go up to the railing, so front row is possible, just like Blue Bayou. You will be able to sit on the ground in this section, unlike Hungry Bear, FASTPASSES and standby.

Hungry Bear Grab-n-Go Dining Package

To book this package, visit this link. The free Disneyland app does not allow guests to book dining packages.

Pricing:

Adults (age 10 and over) – $29.99

Kids (age 3-9) – $19.99

Infants (up to age 2) – FREE (children age 2 and under do not have to pay for the meal and do not have to have a FASTPASS to enter the viewing area; a meal will not be provided to your child; he or she can eat off your plate)

Reservations for Hungry Bear Restaurant start each day at 3:00pm. When you book – online or on the phone directly with Disney – you will learn which show your dining time is assigned to. The FASTPASS that you receive that allows you into your viewing location will state this show time, too. You may not attend a show other than the one your FASTPASS assigns you to. (From what I can tell, all Hungry Bear dining package guests are assigned to the first show each evening.)

Menu:

Adults may select one entree and one natural soda (Blue Sky Soda) or bottled water. Children may select one entree and a juice box, bottled water or milk.

***The menu here is for adults. I’ll share the child’s menu as soon as it’s available.

  • Cedar Salt Roasted Salmon, with kale and garbanzo bean salad, cranberry-apricot grains and wild rice medley
    BBQ Chicken, with kale and garbanzo bean salad, cranberry-apricot grains and wild rice medley
  • Blackberry BBQ Pork Ribblettes, with kale and garbanzo bean salad, cranberry-apricot grains and wild rice medley
  • Mushroom and Leek Frittata, with kale and garbanzo bean salad, cranberry-apricot grains and wild rice medley

Details:

Hungry Bear is a casual restaurant located in Critter Country, just across from where you grab FASTPASSES for Splash Mountain and to the right of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Unlike Blue Bayou and River Belle Terrace dining packages, you do not have to dine on location. You may simply pick up your food and take it elsewhere to enjoy or you may use one of the tables at the restaurant. All seating is outdoors, in a covered patio overlooking the Rivers of America.

Upon arrival, you will pay your bill and receive your meals packaged up to go (or stay). The restaurant provides everything you need – boxed meals, cutlery, napkins, etc. At this time, you will also receive your FASTPASSES granting entry into the Hungry Bear viewing section for Fantasmic!

The viewing section for Hungry Bear is similar to those for guests with FASTPASSES (as far I know now). I’ve been told that guests in this section will have to stand for the show like all sections except for Blue Bayou and River Belle Terrace. I’ll edit this post if that changes.

Using a FASTPASS

Similar to World of Color at California Adventure, FASTPASSES should be available for Fantasmic! These FASTPASSES should be paper ones and will be “disconnected”, meaning you can hold this Fantasmic! FASTPASS and any others in the park. They should not be attached to the new Digital FASTPASS system.

To use a FASTPASS for Fantasmic! viewing, you will pull this FASTPASS during your morning routine and hold onto it until showtime. These FASTPASSES – and all others – are included in your park admission. If you are not familiar with the FASTPASS system, be sure to read up on it before visiting. This post covers everything you need to know.

The FASTPASS machines should be located on Big Thunder Trail, which connects Frontierland and Fantasyland.

I recommend arriving an hour prior to showtime so that you can get the best spot available within your section. Your FASTPASS will tell you to arrive 30 minutes early. Be there an hour early just to be safe. A line likely won’t form until closer to the 30 minute mark, but arriving early will allow you to get in that line as soon as cast members allow it.

It’s usually possible for an adult to save space for your group with a small blanket, but the blanket cannot be left unattended. Using this blanket may not guarantee that you will actually be able to sit during the show. Some sections may include standing only, as guests standing allows more people to fit into each section. So, be prepared to stand if necessary.

Standby

Standby sections are for guests who did not pull a FASTPASS and who did not purchase a dining package. These sections get smaller and smaller, it seems, over the years. I recommend not relying on this option and instead pulling a FASTPASS in the morning.

Cast members will be advising all guests where to go for each section, standby included. I recommend heading over to the River of Americas an hour prior to showtime to get a sense of where you should go for standby.

 

Viewing Sections

Once the show starts up, I’ll have details on exactly where the viewing sections are located and what you can expect from each. The map, above, shows the general idea, based on what previous years included. This is a VERY ROUGH idea of where each section will be located. I’ll update the map as information becomes available.

If this new show is like the old one, the sections work like this:

  • Blue Bayou – dead center, up to the iron railing; most people sit on the ground
  • River Belle Terrace – to the left or right of Blue Bayou, up to the iron railing; most people sit on the ground
  • River Belle Terrace “Upgraded” – at the tables on the perimeter of the River Belle patio
  • Hungry Bear – to the far left or right of Blue Bayou and River Belle sections; standing room only
  • FASTPASSES – to the far left or right of Blue Bayou and River Belle sections and behind them; standing room only
  • Standby – the rest of the space sectioned off for Fantasmic! viewing; standing room only

 

Notes

  • There is no current option for guests to sit in a chair at Fantasmic! If this is a deal breaker for you, I recommend booking the River Belle Terrace 8:00pm option with the upgrade so that you can stay in your seat to watch.
  • If you lose your FASTPASS or dining package FASTPASS, it is not replaceable. Put it in a safe place and don’t allow children to hold theirs.
  • If your child won’t eat any of the options on the child’s menu (when the menus are available), you may pay for an adult dining package and allow him or her to order from it. But, children cannot order from it without paying the adult pricing.
  • As with all restaurants at the Disneyland Resort, these dining package options will do their best to accommodate guests with food allergies or special diets. When you book your reservation, make clear notes in the comments section with your needs. If you book by phone, share your needs with the cast member you speak to. Upon arrival, reiterate what your needs are to the cast member you’re checking in with. Your notes will already be attached to your reservation, but I recommend calling attention to them when you arrive.
  • A Disability Section should be available in the Fantasmic! viewing area. I’ll share more details on that as soon as I find them and will also update my post on Disabilities at Disneyland.

Lots to learn ahead! This post will be updated often, so check back for more information.

As always, please leave me a comment or email me with any questions or concerns. Happy to help you!

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Casey, your green arrow for the RBT dinning section is incorrect. The upgraded section is on the part where the name of the restaurant is, the curved part. The other section you marked was used as a pass through. We ate there last night.

  2. I love all that you do! Do you plan on doing the River Belle Terrace Dining Package with the upgrade to stay in your seat? Im just wondering if my 4 year old would have a decent view? Thank you!! I CAN NOT WAIT to see all your pictures!!

  3. I’m super eager to get your input and advice Casey! Can’t wait for your updates. I love you blog, and I already booked my dining package for when I go next month.

  4. I read elsewhere with respect to Fantasmic! prior to the hiatus that guests along the water at the very front of the fastpass area were allowed/asked to sit. Was that the case/is this the case now (once you have a chance to see)? Also, can you purchase a child’s meal from the regular menu for kids under two who eat more than just nibbling off others’ plates?

    • Hi, Katrina.

      Most of the dining package sections (Blue Bayou and River Belle) included guests seating near the water when I was there before the show when on hiatus. I’ll be reporting as soon as the show starts again to let you know what you can expect. Blue Bayou has an optional upgrade which includes a foam seat cushion, so some seating has to be an option (on the ground – no chairs). I’ll take photos as soon as I can and update this post with them.

      You can purchase a meal for a child of any age from either the adult or child’s menu from the dining package options. You cannot purchase from the regular menu if you are attending as a dining package guest.

      Hope you enjoy it! More to come as I review each option.

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