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“Dream a Fantastic Dream”: Fantasmic! is Back at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

This article contains spoilers for the new show scenes in Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen or are planning on seeing the show!

Fantasmic!, the beloved nighttime spectacular at Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, made its triumphant return earlier this month to the excitement of cast members and guests alike. Fantasmic! had previously closed for the COVID-19 pandemic back in March 2020 and failed to return when the rest of the park had a phased reopening a few months later.

The Florida version of the show takes place on a moat-surrounded mountain at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater behind The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction. The show’s story follows Mickey Mouse on a journey through his imagination that culminates in a nightmare battle against the Disney villains. The show’s current runtime is 29 minutes long.

Fantasmic! opened with two cast member previews on Nov. 1 and 2 before opening to the public on Nov. 3 with brand new show scenes replacing the former Pocahontas battle scene in the middle.

The show begins with Mickey introducing us to his dream by dancing around and conducting water fountains, pyrotechnics, lasers, and lights. Scenes from Fantasia and other Disney movies are projected onto mist screens before transitioning into a jungle scene led by Rafiki from The Lion King (1994), black-lit animal puppets, and three barges of dancing monkeys. The scene switches again to the mist screens for a musical montage of Disney characters presented inside bubbles, including the newest character, Mirabel, from Encanto

It’s at this point in the show that the brand new scenes begin, starting with Pocahontas singing a few bars of “Just Around the Riverbend” at the top of the mountain, followed by a Mulan training number to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” an Aladdin chase scene to “One Jump Ahead,” a show-stopping number with Elsa singing “Show Yourself” from Frozen 2, all ending with Moana splashing through the water, singing “I Am Moana” while she raises the heart of Te Fiti. 

The next segment features Snow White and Prince Florian from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid, and Belle and The Beast from Beauty and the Beast dancing together on three floating barges to “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “Part of Your World,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” respectively. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs‘ Evil Queen then appears onstage, asking the Magic Mirror who’s the fairest of them all. She turns herself into the old hag and calls on all the forces of evil to turn Mickey’s dream into “a nightmare Fantasmic!” 

In addition to the Evil Queen, Ursula, the sea witch from The Little Mermaid, Chernabog from Fantasia, “Night on Bald Mountain,” Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, Cruella de Vil from One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Scar from The Lion King, Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jafar from Aladdin, and Hades from Hercules make appearances. Jafar, in his snake form, lures Mickey into the Cave of Wonders, where Mickey finds a magic lamp, and upon rubbing it, releases an evil red Genie. Chernabog, meanwhile, summons deceased spirits. 

Mickey’s battle with the villains culminates in the show’s climax, where Maleficent transforms herself into a dragon and sets the moat ablaze with her fire breath. Mickey, in his Brave Little Tailor attire, pulls the sword, Excalibur, from its stone and points it up at the dragon, where it proceeds to shoot out sparks and fireworks, ultimately taking down the dragon and the other villains once and for all.

The show’s finale features all the Disney characters waving to the audience as they float by on Steamboat Willie, driven by none other than Mickey Mouse. Sorcerer Mickey appears one last time at the top of the mountain, surrounded by fireworks, before reappearing again at the bottom of the mountain to proclaim, “some imagination, huh?” as the last of the pyrotechnics go off and the lights cut to black.

Fantasmic! has entertained audiences for nearly a quarter of a century, now, and if you haven’t seen it before, it’s a must next time you find yourself at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Emily Ryan is a Spring '23 BFA Film major at the University of Central Florida and a writer for the UCF chapter of Her Campus Magazine. A proud Pacific Islander, originally from the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World: Plant City, Florida. As a former Jungle Cruise Skipper at Magic Kingdom, Emily has ample entertainment experience under her belt, from hosting her own radio show, "Emily's Playhouse" on HCC HawkRadio, to performing for two years as Trixie the Usherette, Columbia the Groupie, and Eddie the Ex-Delivery Boy in a live shadowcast production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and countless video productions, including a second place faux horror movie trailer for the Fall 2016 "813 Film Challenge" entitled, "The Other Side" and a third place music video for the Winter 2017 "813 Film Challenge" to Andra Day's 2015 song, "Rise Up". When she's not writing or going to school, you can catch Emily at her job at Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith or Fantasmic! down Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios! She also loves spending her free time watching shows and movies on various streaming services, making playlists on Spotify and Apple Music (Aerosmith fans rise!), getting tattoos, singing, playing her keyboard, amateur photography, engaging in a session of Dungeons & Dragons with her neighbors, cuddling her boyfriend, Tex, and of course, going to Disney World! Follow her on social media! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@erryan1999 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGkO4fWdKEV53LXFQP1wEXA? Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/124204150?si=cb1ea93978b1453d