River Belle Terrace Fantasmic! Review

Updated August 27, 2017

***Beginning August 15, 2017, guests can make a reservation for Cafe Orleans instead of River Belle Terrace, as River Belle is going under refurbishment. Dates for dining at Cafe Orleans fall between September 5 – November 16, 2017. Pricing is the same as River Belle, however, there is not an Upgraded Option. I’ll update this post if it becomes available. More here.

The Cafe Orleans adult menu includes:

Starters:

La Salade de Maison, Seasonal Soup, Seafood Gratin, or Pomme Frites

Entree:

Bourbon Street Chicken, Steak and Potatoes, Blackened Sustainable Fish, Shrimp and Grits, Muffaleta Chopped Salad, Lobster Cobb Salad, Monte Cristo Sandwich or Three Cheese Monte Cristo Sandwich

Dessert:

Maleficent Dragon, Coconut Cake or Classic Mickey Beignets

I reviewed the River Belle Terrace Dining Package shortly after it opened. Lots to know about this and all of your other choices on how to see Fantasmic! at Disneyland.

River Belle Terrace is one of my favorite restaurants. I think it’s underrated, as most people go directly to Blue Bayou for higher end dining at Disneyland. I love Blue Bayou, too, but I encourage you to give River Belle a chance.

With a Fantasmic! dining package, you will pay for your meal and with it, you’ll receive a “FASTPASS” that saves you a spot in a great location to watch Fantasmic! later that evening.

I dined at 6:50pm for the 9:00pm show. I recommend an earlier dining time. This stressed me out, as I wanted to be claiming my spot for the show no later than 8:00pm. Next time, I’ll choose 6:00pm or earlier.

Take a look at all of your options for Fantasmic! within this post.

Now, let’s look at River Belle Terrace in detail.

Basic Info

***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)

Dining times 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.

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 require 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 discounts and the Disney Visa Card discounts apply to the River Belle Terrace package, however you can’t use them together. And, the discount won’t apply to the upgraded portion of your bill. For example, if you booked the Upgraded River Belle Terrace package at 8pm, you will receive your discount on the $45 per person portion, but not the $15 upgrade per person.

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

Book this package online here.

Menu

Here are the menus for River Belle Terrace Fantasmic! These menus differ from the regular dining experiences here, where you can order as you would at a normal meal. Dining packages include prix fixe menus.

Setting

The wallpaper at River Belle Terrace is my favorite in all of Disneyland. A solid reason to choose this dining experience? Maybe not. But, I love it. 🙂

Food

I had the House Salad:

And, the Fried Chicken Sandwich:

If memory serves, side options included tator tots, green beans (as I chose) and maybe a cole slaw. Every dish gets baked beans.

And, the Maleficent Dragon Dessert:

Where the Viewing Location is & When to Arrive

After paying your bill, you will receive a “FASTPASS” that looks like this:

As directed, arrive near Haunted Mansion to find the entrance for this section. It looks like this:

Unlike as directed, arrive well before the stated time in the ticket. I would show up by 7:30pm – at the latest – to select your spot. When I arrived (at 8:00pm), the area looked like this:

I was able to find a good spot because I was solo, but a group of people would have a more difficult time. Here was my view. Just a few people back from front row.

During the show, I had this view. It was fantastic!

The crowd:

Depending on when you dine, you will have a Return Ticket or “FASTPASS” for one of two shows – typically scheduled for 9:00pm or 10:30pm.

If you are seeing the 9:00pm show, arrive by 8:00pm to claim your spot. A few minutes after the show ends, Fireworks will begin (if they’re scheduled and weather doesn’t deter them). Stay right where you are for Fireworks. Don’t try to make it over to the castle. It’s too hectic and you won’t make it in time. Stand up after Fantasmic! ends (you’ll be directed to on the loud speaker) and watch Fireworks from where you watched Fantasmic! (More details below.)

If you are seeing the 10:30pm show, watch Fireworks (if they’re scheduled and weather doesn’t deter them) from wherever you wish and then head over to the viewing section as soon as they end. The later show allows all three dining package guests to sit in the same section. So, you will want to grab a spot as soon as Fireworks end. You can watch them from the viewing area that you will sit in to watch Fantasmic! It’s open to everyone. Then, when the ropes go up to start reserving space for the dining packages, you can be right there ready to claim your spot.

Everything moves quickly here. 9:00pm Fantasmic!, 9:30pm Fireworks, 10:30pm Fantasmic! Cast members are great at keeping people moving. Know ahead of time where to go and you’ll have great views for all shows.

The Upgraded Option

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. The $15 add on does not allow an Annual Passholder discount, but the actual dinner does.

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.

Here are some photos from that experience, courtesy of my friend, Rose Keiser.

(Thank you, Rose, for the info!)

You get bread at your table with this upgrade:

 

You also have a charging station for your table:

 

And, you’ll receive a lanyard!

 

I’ve heard conflicting reports on where you get to sit, so I’ll keep this post updated as more information comes together. I was told by cast members that for the show – if your table isn’t front row or close to it in this section – you can politely move up a bit to stand if you wish to watch with a closer view.

This section is elevated, so the guests standing in front of you in the other sections shouldn’t block your view. River Belle Terrace does have lighting, though, so you’re not watching from darkness, as you would other sections, which can inhibit the experience a bit.

Fireworks

If fireworks are scheduled for the evening you watch Fantasmic! (with or without a dining package), and you’re slated for the first Fantasmic!, stay right where you are for the show.

You’ll be advised to stand (by the magical voice on the Disneyland loud speaker), but it’s a great place to watch fireworks, as you can see them shooting off in all the locations. Projections that accompany the show are visible on a water screen (like World of Color), in front of Tom Sawyer Island.

So, as you can see from this photo, fireworks are going off to the right and then the projections are in front of you. These are the same projections you will find on the castle and the it’s a small world facade.

(Fireworks are not part of the dining package and are never guaranteed.)

Notes

  • The food here is good. I’m a big fan of it, but I hear other guests suggest it’s too pricey for “sandwiches”.
  • All dining packages are new since Fantasmic! is newly returned. Be patient with the experience, as cast members are learning along with us.
  • Disneyland is super accommodating with food allergies. If you have specific needs, share those when you book online in the section provided. If you call in to book, let the cast member helping you know your needs. Then, when you check in at your dining time, reiterate those details again.
  • With that in mind, I recommend a dining time well before showtime. I booked the 6:50pm time and that felt too close to when I wanted to arrive. I would aim to be in the viewing section by 7:30pm; 8:00pm at the latest. Book your dining time for 6:00pm or earlier.
  • Only Blue Bayou and River Belle Terrace viewing sections should allow guests to sit on the ground during the show. The other sections require guests to stand, which fits many more people in one space.
  • Within each dining package section, guests in wheelchairs or ECVs are stationed near the back of the section so that they’re not blocking other guests’ views since they’ll be sitting on the ground. Feel free to enjoy any of the dining packages and know you can sit with everyone in your party within in the dining package sections noted on the map above.
  • Watching both the show and fireworks from this area is a real treat. Recommend!
  • You can find my review on the Blue Bayou Dining Package at this link. It’s more expensive, a fancier setting, and includes a parade cushion for you to sit on during the show.
  • You can find my review on Hungry Bear Grab On-The-Go Dining Package at this link. It’s the least expensive option and has food you can take with you if you wish.
Take a look at how Get Away Today can help with your vacation

24 COMMENTS

  1. For the River Belle Terrace upgrade option – can/should you remain at your table following Fantasmic for the fireworks? If not, what’s your best option for viewing the fireworks at that point? Thanks!

  2. If you have back beck knee problems don’t do it. We paid $65 per person at Blue Bayou and sat on the ground! I’m 70 years old and could not move. They stuff you in and there is no way to stretch your legs. We had small children who couldn’t see the show! Very disappointed!

  3. Great post. We are doing the Fantasmic dinner package Blue Bayou Sep 17. I tried to book and learned all 3 restaurants were sold out. Then I used the ” hotel guest preferred seating” option and – bam – they found us a table for 5 at 8 pm blue bayou, walk out at 930 see fireworks, run to Winnie the Pooh and will be back for 1030 fantasmic. Yippie!!!

  4. Just wondering, from a comment you made awhile ago, is Fantasmic only a limited time show? We are going in the beginning of February and were hoping to do one of the dining experiences for the show. Will it be going on at that point? Also, a side-bar…will WOC being going on in February as well? This is our first winter/spring trip and I’m out of my league here. Thanks so much!!

    • Pending any refurbishments, both shows should be going on. The shows change sometimes, as one comes or goes, but both of these are year round entertainment options for the most part.

  5. Thanks for the updates, I’m glad I have a reservation at RBT for the 4th of Sept. 8pm show.

    But to speak on the price for a minute, 3 years ago I paid $65 per person for dessert cart, granted we got chairs to sit, so now I get more food and it’s less …plus it was worth it to see my child’s little face light up for the show. Just my 2¢

  6. Thanks for the wonderful review Casey! I am going the second week of October and really hope that River Belle Terrace will be open by then, but based on your heads up from the CM that it may take 2 months, I’m not so confident. I’ve eaten at Blue Bayou many times and have never eaten at River Belle. I was really excited to be able to kill two birds with one stone by doing the River Belle package… oh well. I’d love to hear a Blue Bayou review soon. Specifically I’m wondering if all Blue Bayou dining packages get the seat cushion!

    • Or Cafe Orleans is now an option! Just announced today:

      Beginning August 15, 2017, guests can make a reservation for Cafe Orleans instead of River Belle Terrace, as River Belle is going under refurbishment. Dates for dining at Cafe Orleans fall between September 5 – November 16, 2017. Pricing is the same as River Belle, however, I haven’t seen an Upgraded Option. I’ll update this post if it becomes available.

  7. Thank you for all of the great info! So am I reading this correctly?… For the 9pm show, we should get there at 7 pm with the dining package? If so…man oh man! To me – that is a long wait after paying for a dining package!

  8. So arrive 1.5 hours before it starts? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of reserved seating? I have always arrived about 30 minutes prior to start and seen it just fine from back row. Then duck out 2 minutes early to hit pirates and other new Orleans area rides. Last in first out (but maybe demand is greater right now)

    • It depends on what kind of view you want, really. The FASTPASS options require less time to save your spot, but your view will be not nearly as good. Totally up to what you want to commit to the show.

  9. Could there be a chance they will open the Fantasmic! show for additional days in the fall? I am so out of touch with Disney and the shows – since I haven’t been to any of them since I was a kid. We are going in October, but only during the week (mon-weds) and I really want to see the show.

  10. I found out the same thing regarding the show only being available on the weekends in September. We arrive Sunday and I scrambled to make sure we got to see Fantasmic the night of our arrival. We wanted these River Belle upgraded viewing seats, but alas, not an option. The Cast Member I spoke with wasn’t super forthcoming. We reserved the Blue Bayou option, which we are also reserving for the Halloween Party viewing. We are eating Blue Bayou twice, but honestly, I can think of worse things 🙂

  11. Do you think it is reasonable to expect that people in the reserved section will remain seated throughout the show?

    • Kind of. I would recommend walking outside of the patio area if any trees are in your way. Otherwise, I love this entire area for fireworks. Less crowded and messy than Main Street and near the castle.

  12. Thanks for this review! Unfortunately for me, I learned today that in September 2017 Fantasmic is just going to run Friday-Sunday, which doesn’t work with my travel dates. Also, the person I spoke with today at Disney said that they are unable to book River Belle Terrace Fantasmic dining packages in September at all because they have no supply/availability. I wasn’t quite sure what this meant, but it might have to do with River Belle Terrace showing as “under refurbishment” on the Disney calendar in September. The Disney person I spoke with didn’t seem to want to offer specifics, but I thought I would share the limited info I had…maybe more details will come out when Disney updates the calendar for the rest of September. I am sad to miss Fantasmic…another time I guess!

  13. Oh, I’m soooo glad you gave it such a good review! We will definitely book it for our trip this fall. Thank you!!!

LEAVE A REPLY