Welcome to Sam’s Disney Diary Episode #9 — Disneyland’s Fantasmic!
In an attempt to reenergize the Disneyland Rivers of America area in the early 90s, Disneyland entertainment introduced a nighttime spectacular. The show would feature fireworks, live actors, fire, music, water effects, boats and rafts along with mist screen projectors showcasing Disney Animation.
In order to accommodate the large scale project, the rivers of America along with Tom Sawyer Island needed to be reworked…
This construction, including: draining the rivers of America, removing part of Tom Sawyer Island and constructing a terrace of walkways and viewing areas along the rivers of America. Most important the new terrace should not be noticed during daylight hours. In addition a multipurpose building needed to be constructed on Tom Sawyer Island, that building would double as the fantastic stage and show building for the nightly performance.
The Disneyland Fantasmic show is 22 minutes long and according to Disney has an audience capacity of about 10,000 guest standing along the banks of the Rivers of America, standing in Frontierland and New Orleans Square. There are a small number of “seats” that can be reserved with the “Fantasmic VIP Dessert Package”. I’ve experienced that package personally, the desserts are just OK, and you are essentially purchasing a seat for the show. If having a seat is worth $50 go for it, otherwise skip it.Fantasmic includes a Cast of 51 performers and 50 crew, the 51 performers will use 341 costumes. Most of the show takes place on the River of America; the main stage by day is the rest area in front of the Cider Mill on Tom Sawyer Island. At night it transforms into the main stage including a 20foot by 20 foot trap door which is part of the Maieficent and dragon effects.
The Three main mist screens are each 30 feet tall by 50 feet wide and feature HD projections originating from projects hidden in the island. Both the Mark Twain steamboat and the Columbia Watercraft sailing shop have roles in the show. The show also features three show barges and six additional barges used for pyrotechnic effects.
Some other cool facts:
KAA the Snake is 100 Feet long. Peter Pans Crocodile is 25 Feet long, 12 feet wide and 17 feet tall. Ursula the sea with is 20 feet tall and 32 feet wide and the dragon is 45 feet tall!
Walt Disney World should take note, the Disneyland dragon is by FAR superior to the Walt Disney World version!!!
The Disneyland version was the only fantasmic show until Walt Disney Worlds Hollywood studios premiered a similar (but not exact) show in October 1998, followed by a third in 2011 at Tokyo Disney Sea.
Hope you enjoy as much as I did putting the video together….
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