Fantasmic dining package - should we do it?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by Quackerjax, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Quackerjax

    Quackerjax Earning My Ears

    Dec 12, 2012
    Hi, all! I am a long-time lurker, and new poster!

    My husband, son, and I went to Disneyworld in late 2005 and are finally going back in February. :hyper:

    We didn't see Fantasmic the first time because my son was really young. I have booked a reservation for the Fantasmic dining package with Hollywood & Vine, but am wondering if it's a good idea. I know a lot of people don't like the food there, and I am sure my son would like 50's Primetime or Sci-Fi better. Is it that big of a deal to do the dining package as far as Fantasmic seating goes? Can someone explain to me what the difference is in the seating process with the dining package vs. without? :confused3
  2. Stinky_Pete

    Stinky_Pete DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2000

    The big questions to get answered is how often is Fantasmic! being shown the week you're there, and how many times each evening.

    In general, if it is only once each night, and a few nights during your week, you will want the dining plan. Otherwise you may need to stand in line for up to 2 hours to get into the theatre.

    If you are going when Fantasmic! is showing twice an evening, the 2nd show is usually less crowded, so you won't have to line up quite as early, but will probably want to about an hour in advance to get your choice of seats.

    If Fantasmic! is showing every night, especially twice each night, during your visit, you probably won't need the dining package to get a good seat, but my advice would be to show up early to get a good seat - especially if you want to go to the early show.

    As far as the difference in the seating process - if you don't have the dining package you enter the main entrance and really need to go early to get a good seat. I almost always get the dining package so I don't really know how early during your time of year. One section is reserved for the dining package guests up until about a half hour before show time. So if you have the dining package, you need to show up at a different entrance prior to that, and you will be directed to seats in that area. After about a half hour before show time, they open the dining package area to general admission guests, and if you don't show up in time you may be in standing room only like I was once.

    Hope this helps.
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  4. DisneyFansInNYC

    DisneyFansInNYC DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    I will tell you that we saw Fantasmics three times and never used the dining package. The first time I waited on line 1 1/2 hours but then after that we just got on the line about 20 minutes before and made it in no problem. It is a huge theater. The first two times there were two shows. We absolutely love the Sci Fi Diner and the 50s Prime time cafe. The food is delicious.

  5. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

    Mar 8, 2011
    Stinky Pete has given you a lot of good information, so I'll just add my 2 cents after seeing Fantasmic half a dozen times.

    Whether or not the F. dining package is worth it depends on several things, like Time of year. We saw F. once without the package. It was late September. It was NOT an EMH night, and there was only one show. We had to stand in line for 1 1/2 hrs in the sun and the heat and 5-6,000 of our newest and closest friends. It was HOT!! We were exhausted before we even got into the show, and it was full and they closed the gates 30 min. before show time. We vowed never to do that again (at least when it's that warm!)

    The other times we have eaten at one or another of all of the participating restaurants. We didn't care for H&V, but that's only our opinion- others have found it perfectly acceptable. We have no complaints at all about the other 2 other than a fairly long wait at MMs (but in fairness it was during free dining, so demand for tables was very high). On all of these occasions we would enter through the reserved entrance about 40 min before showtime and would be seated in the reserved seating section. On 3 of these occasions the theatre filled to capacity before the show started (although I think there may have been a bit of SRO room left).

    There are times, that have been mentioned before, when the F. package seems unnecessary. If it's cool enough that it isn't a hardship to stand in line for over an hour. If there is more than one showing in a night- the later show almost always has a lower attendance. If it's not an EMH night and park attendance is fairly low that day. For over a year now (and for the forseeable future, since nothing new has been announced) F. is shown every night. Since I don't know when you are going to WDW, it's hard to say if any of these variables will be in play for the time you are there. You'll have to decide that for yourself.
  6. Patrickprincess

    Patrickprincess faith trust and pixie dust

    Oct 21, 2011
    I did this package back in 2004 and ate at HV at that time the food was okay. The only thing i didn't like about this package was the time for dinner i belive it was three thirty in the afternoon. The line up time was six thirty or seven. I'm going in september and i'm more than likey going to do this package.
  7. heidi8

    heidi8 Looking for Vanellope

    Jan 1, 2009
    If you like doing a sit-down meal for lunch as a break in the middle of the day, then it's a good way to see Fantasmic with a briefer wait. They have "dinner" packages during the lunch time-frame, when Fantasmic is at 6 or 630 at night.
  8. Mcert01

    Mcert01 Mouseketeer

    Mar 1, 2003
    Interesting. We have never had to stand in line, and have been during President's Week, Easter, 4th of July, June and August - not exactly low attendance periods. :)

    That said, when on the dining package we normally show up and get seats about 60 - 90 minutes before the show. This pretty much ensures really good site lines, though there isn't really a bad seat in the house.

    The dining package allows us to enter later, but still not less than 40 minutes before the show if you want better seats. You also get to go out of the alternative exit, which, if you don't want to go back into the park and ride, puts you near the park exit. The downside is that the dining package seats are on the far right of the theater. Again, there isn't a bad seat in the house, but if you want center stage you won't get it on the dining package.

    We have gone both ways, and it has worked out great both ways. We have even had fun sitting and waiting, talking about the day we just had, meeting folks sitting around us, and resting with a cold drink and/or ice cream after a long day of touring.

    The main thing is - don't miss the show! Fantasmic is WICKED AWESOME as my daughter would say. :cool1:

    Hollywood and Vine isn't all that special, just your average buffet. I would suggest Mama Melrose for the meal instead.
  9. Akitajade

    Akitajade Earning My Ears

    Jul 12, 2011
    We went in September for 10 days and had the dining plan. We had all our dinner reservations for earlier times, 5-5:30 and we did the early Fantasmic Dining Package at Mama Melrose. I have to say that it was the best meal we ate all week. The service was impeccable (yes, it's loud and crowded just like all the restaurants, but you should expect that). I had the Rib-Eye steak and I could have cut it with a fork. The manager came around and spent about 15 minutes chatting with my kids about their day, and after my daughter told her about how she had lost two of her favorite lanyard pins because the backs had come off, she sent a cast member over with a "special package from Bob the Builder to 'fix' her lanyard" with a dozen more pins! A little Disney magic to make our meal even more fantastic. We got to the theatre about 45 minutes early and got a great seat in the Dining package area. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Who wants to wait in a line for 2 hours or end up in the back row of the theatre when you don't have to?

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