Disney’s Fantasmic! makes grand return to Hollywood Studios

Show playing nightly at theme park

BAY LAKE, Fla. – Walt Disney World has officially welcomed back its nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It’s one of the longest-running shows at Walt Disney World Resort, and its return is something Disney fans and cast members have been waiting to see. The show has been absent ever since the theme parks were forced to close due to coronavirus lockdowns back in 2020.

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Fantasmic! returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

During its closure, teams added some special touches to enhance the show, including all-new sequences, characters, lighting and sound.

Fantasmic returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

“It was extremely exciting to take advantage of technological advancements that didn’t originally exist when the show opened in 1998. We took advantage of partnering with other disciplines such as special effects, lightning, lasers and music to ensure our visual content was exactly seamless and beautiful as it could be,” said Katrina Mena Rick, broadcast creative producer with Disney Live Entertainment. “Bringing back Fantasmic! here at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is extremely exciting and it means so much to our guests. It was a task to not only preserve the legacy of the show, but also introduce new characters for the next generation.”

Fantasmic! returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

While the show mostly remains the same, some scenes — including the scene that featured “Pocahontas” — were changed in an all-new and breathtaking way. Not only that, guests will also see an all-new sequence of incredible moments from Disney stories such as “Moana,” “Mulan,” “Aladdin” and “Frozen 2.”

Pocahontas paints with all the colors of the wind in an all-new sequence as Fantasmic! (Disney)

“Fantasmic! is definitely a show that takes you on a journey. You get to see so many characters, villains and heroes,” said Melanie Gagne, proprietor of entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Fantasmic returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

The 29-minute experience invites guests into Mickey’s imagination for a larger-than-life show painted on a grand canvas of dancing water overflowing with silly and suspenseful surprises. The show is a kaleidoscope of entertainment featuring thrilling stunts, dazzling special effects and a rousing score based on classic Disney animated films.

Leading up to Thursday’s debut, Walt Disney World invited its cast members and a select number of media out to preview the new show.

Fantasmic returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

“The energy is fantastic… you can tell everyone missed it,” shared Laura, a food and beverage guest experience manager. “The cast working the show tonight are thrilled, we’re all thrilled. I’ve just never felt so many cast so excited in one place!”

One video posted on social media shows the crowd breaking into a standing ovation Tuesday night following the show’s conclusion.

Fantasmic returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

Disney is also incorporating its newest wearable technology, Magic Band+, into the experience. During the show, the Magic Bands light up and vibrate to some of the show’s exciting moments.

MagicBand+ being used at Fantasmic at Disney's Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

Fantasmic! is performed nightly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can enter the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater up to 90 minutes prior to the show’s start. Because the show is performed in an outdoor venue, it is subject to cancellation due to inclement weather, Disney said.

Showtimes are subject to change and can be found in the My Disney Experience app.

Fantasmic returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (WKMG)

To experience Fantasmic!, guests need both a valid park admission and a park reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the same date.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.