There’s not much known–officially, at least–about what’s coming to Disneyland when FANTASMIC! returns this summer (heck, we don’t even have an opening date yet!) but Disney released a few more tidbits today that help give a better picture of what to expect when the cherished nighttime spectacular returns.
The writing on the wall has been clear for some time now that Pirates of the Caribbean are replacing the Peter Pan segment of the show aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia and while Disney has still not officially announced as much, they did drop another more detailed nugget that “Captain Jack Sparrow at the helm of… an eerie pirate ship that appears on the Rivers of America.” in a recent press release.
A summary of the announcements plus more fun facts can be found below!
Highlights of Changes
- Kaa, the conniving snake from “The Jungle Book” who slithers across the “Fantasmic!” stage, is 100 feet long.
- Special new appearances by characters from “The Lion King” and “Finding Nemo.”
- Captain Jack Sparrow and a crew of ghost pirates man an eerie pirate ship that appears on the Rivers of America. These professional stunt performers execute all the spectacular duels and falls
- New magic is incorporated with Aladdin and Jasmine floating over a bed of fog on their flying carpet
- Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from “Tangled” join other Disney couples in an inspiring romantic sequence.
- New scenes will feature songs such as “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” from Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin.”
- Additional enhancements give the popular show an even brighter look, with more vibrant projections and new mist screens.
- Every inch of every surface on the show’s island “stage” has been digitally mapped. Projection mapping and three-dimensional video combine, allowing the creative team to transform the island as never before.
- All technical elements of the show, including lighting, fountains and water screens, have been upgraded.
- Central to the magic of “Fantasmic!” are the three mist screens, each 60 feet wide by 30 feet tall, upon which the films are projected.
- Each night, more than 100 cast and crew members bring “Fantasmic!” to life, in the 23-minute show.
- As part of the “Fantasmic!” story, the wicked Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” will rise to a height of 45 feet in 17 seconds, before transforming into the dragon.
- The dragon is a fully animated three-dimensional design that replicates the movements of the dragon in “Sleeping Beauty.” The dragon is 45 feet tall by 28 feet wide and weighs approximately 18,000 pounds.
- The dragon lights the Rivers of America on fire for 25 seconds.
- Approximately 9,000 guests can view “Fantasmic!” at each performance. The audience is approximately 70 feet from the main stage on Tom Sawyer Island.
- Water effects include 21 fountains and six “whale tails” in the scene when Monstro the whale charges across the Rivers of America.
- At the beginning of the show, two light towers appear on either side of the main stage. During the day, these towers rest 26 feet underground. They rise to a height of 40 feet in less than a minute.
- The audio surrounding the “Fantasmic!” spectators is created by four speaker stacks on Tom Sawyer Island and three on the mainland.
- “Fantasmic!” premiered to the public on May 15, 1992, at Disneyland.
- An enhanced version of that original “Fantasmic” presentation, featuring digital projections and the spectacular new 45-foot-tall dragon, premiered June12, 2009.
- The main stage on Tom Sawyer Island, including underground housing for many special effects, was specially built for “Fantasmic!” By day, it is a boat dock and “cider mill” visited by guests on the island.
- In 1992, the original estimate for the prospective audience size was 6,500. Spectators, however, found every space they could and the average number of guests per performance was 11,000 that first summer.
- Within days, the area was re-landscaped to accommodate more guests in the viewing areas. “Fantasmic!” was scheduled for three shows per night that year, and extended to four shows on July 4 and New Year’s Eve. Before summer 1993 arrived, the walkways and planters in New Orleans Square had been redesigned in the “terrace” style from which today’s guests view the show.
- A different version of “Fantasmic!” premiered in October 1998 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios) at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
See it for Yourself!
The return of “Fantasmic!” coincides with the reappearance of some other classic Disneyland attractions this summer. The Disneyland Railroad, Pirates’ Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, and the water crafts that sail around the Rivers of America in Frontierland – Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes – all are returning for summer 2017.