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Old 10-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
DisneyGayl
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Fantasmic! in January

My family is planning to see F! at DHS on Friday, Jan 4. Right now there is only one show at 6:30 pm. What are the odds of Disney adding a second show at 8:00 pm during New Year's week?

I currently have a F! Dining Package reserved at MM at 12:20 pm on the 4th. But after reading that we will have to pay a fixed price of $35 each for an appetizer, main dish and dessert, I am reconsidering this plan. That is simply too much food for each of us to eat! We usually share an appetizer or a dessert among the four of us.

I think it might be best if we cancelled the F! Dining Package and just waited in line for the show. This plan would make even more sense if Disney added an extra show!

What is your opinion?

Gayl
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
Itinkso
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Originally Posted by DisneyGayl View Post
My family is planning to see F! at DHS on Friday, Jan 4. Right now there is only one show at 6:30 pm. What are the odds of Disney adding a second show at 8:00 pm during New Year's week?

I currently have a F! Dining Package reserved at MM at 12:20 pm on the 4th. But after reading that we will have to pay a fixed price of $35 each for an appetizer, main dish and dessert, I am reconsidering this plan. That is simply too much food for each of us to eat! We usually share an appetizer or a dessert among the four of us.

I think it might be best if we cancelled the F! Dining Package and just waited in line for the show. This plan would make even more sense if Disney added an extra show!

What is your opinion?

Gayl
I saw F! on Tuesday - only one show at 8:00. There were quite a few people in line 90 minutes before show time but there were still very good seats 60 minutes before. They seat the center sections first and then expand outwards, the last far left section filled at about 7:30. We had the Fant package a few years ago and the seating was in the two far right sections. So, getting there an hour early will still give you better seating than the package seating. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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No one can predict exactly how large the crowds will be or how early you should go to find a seat for Fantasmic! on any given day.
It has totally to do with the whim of the crowd at DHS on that day, and the general crowd levels.
How much time you wish to "invest" in waiting is a personal decision. We have never done the F! Dinner Package, and have always seen the show (dozens of times).

(Take all of these as "average" numbers, sometimes the crowd will be MUCH greater and the theater can fill up much sooner.)

VERY Busy days:
If you go to the first show of the evening (or "only" show that evening), if you arrive about 75-120 minutes before show-time, you can sit just about anywhere.
45-60 minutes before: Outside seats likely still available.
30-40 Minutes: will vary between seats at edges and rear of theater to SRO or even "closed" to further guests.

Yes, the lines can start forming over 2 hours before the show-time on a very busy day.

At about 90-120 min. before show-time, they will open the gates and begin allowing guests in line to approach the theater seating.

(See my maps. It is a very long ramp.)

They will continue with the lines of guests walking in until the theater is completely filled or the show begins, whichever comes first.

They will "hold open" the Dining Pkg. seating area ONLY for guests who have the Dining Pkg. voucher.

BUT, if the theater is over-crowded
then, at about 30-35 min. before show-time,
the CM's will cease holding the DP area open for DP voucher guests
and, at that time, begin to allow ANYONE
who still needs a seat to sit in (any seats left) the DP area.


Busy days:
If you go to the first show of the evening (or "only" show that evening), if you arrive about 75-120 minutes before show-time, you can sit just about anywhere.
60 minutes before: Good seats
25-35 Minutes: will vary between seats at edges and rear of theater to SRO or even "closed" to further guests. (The crowd of "last-minute" arrivals can be slow to get seated before show-time.)

Off-Season (not busy days):
You should be OK to enter by 30-50 minutes before, but you'll likely be seated to the outer edges, and/or way at the back.

Dining Package:
New Dining Pkg. Entrance was added in mid-Sept. 2009.
If you do the Fantasmic! Dinner Pkg. you still SHOULD enter by AT LEAST 35-45 minutes ("safer" at 45 minutes) before show-time and still be guaranteed "pretty good" seats (not my "first choice" area, but fine), regardless of crowd-levels. Remember, the DP is only valid for the first show of the evening, if there are 2 or more. If you do have DP and you spy some seats outside the DP "reserved" area, you are free to choose to sit anywhere outside that area you like, no problem.

If there are TWO Fantasmic! shows in one evening, the second one will have lower crowd level than the first one. You can arrive a bit later (generally, 45-60 minutes) and still find a seat.
(Some say less advance time will be needed, but I'm cautious.)


Be aware that the second show waiting area will LOOK like the show is "too crowded".
That's because they HOLD the 2nd crowd outside the theater while the CMs CLEAN it after the first crowd has exited.

Then, they will let those waiting together in that big group IN... all at once, and there will be PLENTY of room.

(The theater seats over 7,000 guests.)

When you enter the theater, there will be CMs along the way directing the flow of traffic, but you may (if you are early enough to have a choice) simply choose any open seats in the theater to be your own.
If you want to exit more quickly, choose a seat farther back and to towards audience-right.
If you want to be immersed in the show (and sometimes, immersed in water-mist, if the wind is blowing "in") choose a seat towards the front.

We like to eat our evening meal while waiting for Fantasmic! to start.
You can bring in items from the counter-service places in DHS, or they DO have concession stands at the rear of the theater serving "baseball stadium-type" food and drinks. Yes, even beer, sold strictly ONE-at-a-time, one-only-to-a-person, so a single person can't go and buy beer for other members of a group... all guests wanting to buy a beer must be present in-person at the counter.
We have a hot dog, maybe a pretzel, later some popcorn or cotton candy (Disney Health Food).
http://www.allearsnet.com/menu/menu_fan.htm
Click above for the "menu."

But, nothing ALWAYS happens the same way at WDW.
I would be cautious about assuming anything, as WDW has been experiencing
unpredictable (sometimes record-breaking) crowds even over the past couple of years.

If its IMPORTANT to see a particular show, arriving a bit too early will be better than arriving a bit late.

If its not a really big deal to see a particular show, you may certainly arrive closer to show-time and just see if you get lucky.
Many folks do.

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Old 10-13-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyGayl View Post
.....I think it might be best if we cancelled the F! Dining Package and just waited in line for the show. This plan would make even more sense if Disney added an extra show!

What is your opinion?

Gayl
Keep in mind, that with the 3 water screens that the show is displayed on, all seating...left, right, center, dining area...are all equally good viewing. It is not like a movie theater or playhouse with just one screen/stage, and center may be the best seating. All seating is great. Exception may be the seating down close to the water screens, maybe first half dozen or so rows. Those seats can get wet, or drenched, depending on the wind, speed and direction. Might feel nice on a broiling hot July or August evening, but downright freezing in early January.

Enjoy.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
DisneyGayl
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Thank you for your advice - especially Robo! I appreciate your explanations of what the crowds and seating are like at F! We saw the show once many years ago and really want to see it again.

I like the idea of cancelling the DP and buying food to eat while we wait in line for the show. That sounds better than paying $35 each for a meal we won't be able to finish!

Gayl
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyGayl View Post
Thank you for your advice - especially Robo! I appreciate your explanations of what the crowds and seating are like at F! We saw the show once many years ago and really want to see it again.

I like the idea of cancelling the DP and buying food to eat while we wait in line for the show. That sounds better than paying $35 each for a meal we won't be able to finish!

Gayl
Don't worry, you won't have to be eating while in line.
You will be allowed to be seated in the theater at least 60-90 minutes before show-time.


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Last edited by Robo; 10-14-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Slight hijack..

Robo, I'm 99.9% sure that the answer to this is "no", but do you know if there is there anyway to make that tiny jump from the DP path to the boat dock without walking all the way out to the gate?
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:01 PM   #8
Robo
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Slight hijack..

Robo, I'm 99.9% sure that the answer to this is "no", but do you know if there is there anyway to make that tiny jump from the DP path to the boat dock without walking all the way out to the gate?
You're correct. You can't do it.

The 10-foot (3 meter) fence gets a bit in the way.
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