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WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
I think DHS Fantasmic isn’t appreciated enough. While there are portions of DL’s that are better, there’s also portions that are worse. I really think each version is of similar quality, and I’m even talking about the pre POTC DL version. I’m going to repost something I wrote 3 years ago, comparing the two:


Ok you’ve all done it, I have the time to write it now, and it’s time for my whole thoughts on why Fantasmic! At DHS is much more maligned then it should be and DL Fantasmic is not the perfect masterpiece people make it out to be. Full disclosure: I enjoy both, also for simplicity sake I’m going to compare DL F! circa 2015, I’m also going to compare both the story and the quality of the scenes. Allright here we go:

Part 1: The call to Adventure (Opening-the first Sorcerer Mickey segment)

This segment from my memory was identical in each show, as it should because it’s darn near perfect. This opening scene does a great job of first informing the audience what is about to happen and then showing Mickey figuring out and playing with the magic of his imagination.

Winner: Tie

Part 2: Jungle Dreaming

DL: Mickey imagines a flower and then immediately after two villains enter the story the murderous Ka, and the comical kidnapper King Louie. Don’t get me wrong I love the dancing monkeys and the giant snake, it’s a great scene I just think it’s really misplaced as it suggests that Mickey quickly goes dark and starts imagining villains nearly immediately after the dream begins, of course the next vignette explains why, Mickey is drunk 😵! Look, I love the pink elephants as much as anyone and love the rock and roll riff on the song but there is a reason Walt decided to nix this idea for the spinner. Then we are treated to a very bizarre and out of place I’ve got no strings that seams to be here only to set up Monstro in the next scene. In short a very entertaining scene but a bit of a story telling mess

DHS: After the flower which is identical in both versions, instead of Jungle Book we get Lion King here but instead of focusing on villains we get treated to a stylized version of I just can’t wait to be King with a menagerie of black lit animals and along with the dancing monkeys minus King Louie. After this we have the dancing bubbles section that I happen to enjoy but realize most don’t. However, it’s hard to not see how this segment is designed to show Mickey’s imagination running away from him which sets up the appearance of the first villain appearance in this show.

Winner: DHS, it’s story is much more concise and even if you think the stage elements are better in DL, the snake will eventually come later.

Part 3: Adventure on the High Seas (Monstro, Stunt Sequence)

DL: This section is the highlight for the show in this version, after Monstro comes we are treated to the Peter Pan sequence and start to get an idea of how big Mickey’s imagination is.

DHS: This segment is when danger first presents in this show rising the tension, however it’s not good, especially when compared to DL.

Winner: DL in a landslide

Part 4 and 5: Princess Segment and The Evil Queen

I combined these two because they are identical, but because I’m focusing on DHS’s story I’ll just state it here, Mickey pulls back and has the last “happy segment” until the forces of evil drawn to him attack with the Evil Queen unleashing the mayhem.

Winner:Tie

Part 6: The middle villains (Ursula/Jafar and Churnabog)

DL: The queen calls upon Ursula to wreck havoc, who then passes the baton to Churnabog. While I love the music, and realize it wasn’t always this way, I must point out that this is all one giant water screen section and after the awesomeness of Pan and the tension set up by the Queen this was always a major bummer and a drag on the show.

DHS: While I do not like that they included villains who do not possess magic (Frollo, Scar, Cruella) I do like the idea of all the villains coming down on Mickey, but having the Jafar scene here really helps rising the tension and danger. I also have to call out how great a transition between Genie Jafar, Hades and then Churnabog is. It also makes Mickey’s situation seem hopeless leading up to the Mistress of all Evil showing up.

Winner: DHS

Part 7: Malnificent

Other then the shots and quips of the extra villains and some extra water fountains the script is nearly identical, but DL has such a better dragon that DHS doesn’t stand a chance

Winner: DL

Part 8: Good Triumphs (Tink, Boat Character Calvalcade)

This is another segment with the same script, and another segment where DL stagecraft trumps DHS, as nothing can match seeing the Mark Twain full of Disney characters

Winner: DL

Part 9: Sorcerer Mickey Finale

The finale plays out the same story wise in both versions but here DHS has the upper hand because it more faithfully recreates the dream segment in the short with its mountain background, individual flares moving to Mickey’s command at the beginning. I much prefer the east coast version of this segment

Winner DHS

Summary: I feel they are tied, DHS has a much better put together story, and other then the Pocahontas segment doesn’t have any “bad segments,” that said when DL F! Is good it is far better then DHS, but between the lackluster middle villains segment, the disappointing Mickey finale that is not very faithful to the original short and the muddled Jungle segment can’t quite emerge victorious over DHS.

Also I really like being able to sit down with an unobstructed view at DHS.
I agree. I was only discussing the dragon
 

Disney Analyst

Well-Known Member
Just lighting upgrades along with general maintenance.

No you can't. It's a subjective topic and everyone has an opinion. Everyone views art through their own filters. I'm obviously biased. However, both dragons are flawed and both have their selling points. The DHS dragon doesn't have a body. The DL dragon is a cartoony inflatable and has tiny wings. The DHS dragon looks more menacing and is certainly a more complex machine. The DL dragon has a body. Having said all that, I would like to see some "skin" installed on the DHS dragon. I just don't know if it's technically possible do to how she folds.

I think the dragon looks... accurate from the film. Didn't feel inflatable in person the times I've seen her gloriousness.
 

Touchdown

Well-Known Member
I think the dragon looks... accurate from the film. Didn't feel inflatable in person the times I've seen her gloriousness.
You realize it’s inflatable if you watch it’s head move. That said, as the lights slowly come up around it and breathes fire it’s spectacular. Just focus on Mickey afterwards, it’s what the show wants you to do.
 

Disney Analyst

Well-Known Member
You realize it’s inflatable if you watch it’s head move. That said, as the lights slowly come up around it and breathes fire it’s spectacular. Just focus on Mickey afterwards, it’s what the show wants you to do.

I actually don't think it's inflatable in anyway. I could be wrong of course.

My understanding is the body is hard, and the neck is a more moveable skin/material. I believe it has an inflatable look likely due to the material used on the neck.
 

Touchdown

Well-Known Member
I actually don't think it's inflatable in anyway. I could be wrong of course.

My understanding is the body is hard, and the neck is a more moveable skin/material. I believe it has an inflatable look likely due to the material used on the neck.
Marnin can correct me but, I believe it’s like Baymax, it has a rigid (telescoping) endoskeleton and a rigid head but the rest is inflatable.
 
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drizgirl

Well-Known Member
That's exactly why I prefer DHS over DL. I've always had a frustrating experience trying to find a place to watch DL Fantasmic and the standing/reserving a spot was tiresome. I'd much rather arrive 15 - 30 minutes before the show at DHS and sit in the amphitheater.

Also, I prefer the mountain over the cabin.
The viewing experience isn't even comparable. DHS hands down. But the show? DL all the way.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
That's exactly why I prefer DHS over DL. I've always had a frustrating experience trying to find a place to watch DL Fantasmic and the standing/reserving a spot was tiresome. I'd much rather arrive 15 - 30 minutes before the show at DHS and sit in the amphitheater.
I have to brag about this. One of our last times seeing it in DL we walked up 20 minutes before the show and surprisingly got 5ft to the right of the absolute central sweet spot on the pirates bridge. Couldn’t believe it.

Such a good video shot too :D
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
Just lighting upgrades along with general maintenance.

No you can't. It's a subjective topic and everyone has an opinion. Everyone views art through their own filters. I'm obviously biased. However, both dragons are flawed and both have their selling points. The DHS dragon doesn't have a body. The DL dragon is a cartoony inflatable and has tiny wings. The DHS dragon looks more menacing and is certainly a more complex machine. The DL dragon has a body. Having said all that, I would like to see some "skin" installed on the DHS dragon. I just don't know if it's technically possible based on how she folds.
Whatever floats your boat.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
Is it as bad now that you need a show pass to watch it? Like World of Color?
Like I said, we got this spot with less than half an hour before (second) show time

80A597CF-AE16-44B5-9EF9-FB82441F2BDA.jpeg


Like any show, others milage may vary night to night.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
I value a comfortable seat more then that but I give you it is a neat part of the DL experience.
I’m 6’1 so it helps in standing areas and I have minor back issues so hard benches with no back are not kind to me. With that being said, I’m personally much more comfortable standing for fantasmic and miss the old standing area in the amphitheater at dhs.

View attachment 535443

Like any show, others milage may vary night to night.

Martin, is that behind the black fence and just behind or to the right of the FOH booth? I’ve had luck with that spot as well on multiple ocassions.
 

Touchdown

Well-Known Member
I’m 6’1 so it helps in standing areas and I have minor back issues so hard benches with no back are not kind to me. With that being said, I’m personally much more comfortable standing for fantasmic and miss the old standing area in the amphitheater at dhs.

View attachment 535443



Martin, is that behind the black fence and just behind or to the right of the FOH booth? I’ve had luck with that spot as well on multiple ocassions.
2018-2019 I had really good luck with them opening the back of the FP section by Pirates to standees just as the show started. My preferred spot is just to the left of the Pirates Entrance when facing the River (towards HM.) Being there I get a great view of the show and a great escape afterwards (duck into POTC, enjoy, exit out into an empty NOS.)
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Disneyland (and DCA) has a lack of land compared with the WDW parks. Making an area multipurpose makes good use of the limited land. I love the ambiance of the setting for Fantasmic (and World of Color to a lesser degree). That's something that struck me going to WDW for the first time as an adult - just how much more space there is.
 

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