Fantasmic - DL vs WDW

NattyMouse

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Looking for some help, we are going to DL in about two weeks, have been to WDW a few times and love fantasmic. However, lucky for us, fantasmic is not running the entire 4 nights we are currently going to be there. We get park tickets for a day at the beginning of the trip to see it that day. Question, is the show at DL different enough (preferably different better:) to warrant this?

thanks
 

maroman

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
We got back from DL last month and I was expecting more as everyone there was talking it up. To be honest the show elements are the same and I didn't feel that I would have missed much if I skipped it. DL is better mostly because Pocahontas is not in the show at all.
 

figment_jii

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
I really like Fantasmic at Disneyland and make a point of trying to see it on most all of my trips. At WDW, Fantasmic is more of an "if there is time" type of thing. Some of the elements are similar (as is the basic story), but some of the scenes are markedly different and generally much better at DLR.

DL does not have the Pochontas scene, but rather has a Peter Pan sequence that makes use of the Sailing Ship Columbia. I find the Pochontas sequence okay, but it seems kind of lack luster once you've seen the Peter Pan sequence.

DL upgraded their dragon a few years back (granted, it was quite a problematic figure). It's much more substantial and impressive looking. So while both sequences are essentially the same (Mickey fights Maleficent in her dragon form), the look of the dragon is much different at DL.

The steamboat at the end is the same sequence, but DL's version actually uses the Mark Twain (think Liberty Belle). I can't help but laugh whenever I see the "steamboat" at DHS. It gives the DL version a much more impressive finale.

DHS has one advantage over DL and that's in terms of the seating. DHS has the stadium, which means pretty much everyone gets to sit. DL does not have a dedicated stadium (the show is presented on the Rivers of America), so it's harder to get a good spot to watch. So in that one way DHS has a better show, but in terms of the show itself, DL is a much better version.
 
  • GatorChris

    Not of This World
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2014
    I'm in agreement with Figment's last point. It's a lot hard to see the show at DL because they don't have the incredible stadium that WDW has. There are elements that are better at DL, but it's the same show for the most part. Again, seating is an issue. At Hollywood Studios, you can either get the Fantasmic Dining package, or just line up an hour before the show starts and get a good seat. Even if you're there sorta late, you can still get a good seat.

    At DL, you have to be there an hour before hand to even get a bad seat. Our last trip, we went over to DCA to catch World of Color (talk about even worse viewing areas) to catch the first showing of Winter Dreams. After seeing Fantasmic! many times at WDW, we didn't make it a priority. If anything on your trip, you'll miss the incredible viewing that WDW offers for all their night time shows.
     

    ktlm

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2008
    We are WDW vets. For the last several years we have taken one trip to WDW and one to DL. From the time we first saw Fantasmic at DL, we have not been back to watch it on any of our WDW trips. We never miss it at DL. We find it much better at DL. This is largely due to the fact that there is an entire Peter Pan section with a pirate ship (which replaces the Pochahontas section from WDW). DD has always been a Peter Pan fan, so that is a big plus for us. The steamboat at the end is much better at DL.


    We like it enough that we splurge and do the Fantasmic dessert package. You get an actual seat (at DL there is not an auditorium like at WDW- so people stake out spots on the ground hours in advance), all the non-alcoholic drinks you want, a box of desserts, cheeses crackers and grapes, and if you do the first showing you also get to stay in your seat and watch the fireworks so it is kind of a 2 for 1.
     

    ImDMous

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 1, 2011
    We are DL people. We went to WDW and saw Fantasmic! and were really disappointed and kind of confused. It was terrible, had no continuity and seemed really far away. The whole Pocahontas thing was just weird. We've been back to WDW twice since then and haven't bothered to go again.
     

    Fantaluminishes

    To all who come to this happy place, welcome!
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2013
    I've seen Fantasmic! at both parks, many times. DL's is HANDS DOWN better than the version they have at DHS. Sure, there is no seating at DL, but you can often walk right up (especially for a second showing) and have a very good viewing area. And yes, the dessert package is a great way to see it as well.

    I often recommend people get the dessert package for the 2nd show, and watch the fireworks from Main Street first. This is the best way to enjoy both shows.

    I don't like the DHS show because they have way too many issues, and the content is NOT the same. For example, the show at DHS relies way too much on the use of the water projection screens (sort of like WoC at DCA). Disneyland's version has a little more live action, and the Peter Pan sequence alone makes this show an easy winner. Weather is also a problem at WDW. They can cancel the show literally seconds before it is set to begin, and I've seen abbreviated shows several times due to technical malfunctions. I've only seen one malfunction at Disneyland in more than twenty years.
     
  • BrianL

    Doom Buggy Driver
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2013
    I would say DL is a better show, but they both have their pros and cons:

    DL Pros:
    -Peter Pan Sequence
    -Bigger Dragon
    -Seems Closer (though if I ever got to sit in front at WDW it might be equal)

    WDW Pros:
    -MUCH better seating
    -Better backdrop of the mountain
    -Steamboat Willie done in "black & white" (I actually like better than the larger boat because it is like the cartoon short)

    DL Cons:
    -Poor seating/viewing area
    - Wilderness fort backdrop seems out of place

    WDW Cons:
    -Pocahontas sequence
    -Smaller Dragon
    -Line forms EARLY for good seats
    -That AWFUL pre-show you have to sit through every time!!!!
     

    NattyMouse

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2013
    totally agree about the DW pre-show, last April we were down front and it was even worse at close range:)
     

    OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    We love the DL version of Fantasmic, much better than the DHS version.
     

    superlarz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2013
    If you go to the second show, you only have to be there around 9:45 for the 10:30 show to get a seat basically in the front center.
     
  • HydroGuy

    A Pirate's Life For Me
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2005
    I really like Fantasmic at Disneyland and make a point of trying to see it on most all of my trips. At WDW, Fantasmic is more of an "if there is time" type of thing. Some of the elements are similar (as is the basic story), but some of the scenes are markedly different and generally much better at DLR.

    DL does not have the Pochontas scene, but rather has a Peter Pan sequence that makes use of the Sailing Ship Columbia. I find the Pochontas sequence okay, but it seems kind of lack luster once you've seen the Peter Pan sequence.

    DL upgraded their dragon a few years back (granted, it was quite a problematic figure). It's much more substantial and impressive looking. So while both sequences are essentially the same (Mickey fights Maleficent in her dragon form), the look of the dragon is much different at DL.

    The steamboat at the end is the same sequence, but DL's version actually uses the Mark Twain (think Liberty Belle). I can't help but laugh whenever I see the "steamboat" at DHS. It gives the DL version a much more impressive finale.

    DHS has one advantage over DL and that's in terms of the seating. DHS has the stadium, which means pretty much everyone gets to sit. DL does not have a dedicated stadium (the show is presented on the Rivers of America), so it's harder to get a good spot to watch. So in that one way DHS has a better show, but in terms of the show itself, DL is a much better version.

    I agree 100% with figment here and as well as almost everyone else.

    I saw Fantasmic (for the second time) on my last trip to WDW and it was disappointing I do not plan to ever see it again. DL's version is significantly better - even if you have to sit on the ground.

    :wizard:
     

    GatorChris

    Not of This World
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2014
    WDW Pros:
    -Steamboat Willie done in "black & white" (I actually like better than the larger boat because it is like the cartoon short)
    This! I keep hearing how DL's boat is so much better, and it IS a better boat. But I like that WDW's version looks more like the actual Steamboat Willie cartoon boat. The first time it appeared and the spotlights hit it, I knew exactly what it was. The original arrival of Mickey Mouse on the silver screen.

    I guess we can argue endlessly about this. When it comes to WDW vs. DL for Fantasmic!, it's almost like Washington style politics.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    I once wound up watching Fantasmic at Disneyland right next to some DHS CMs visiting DLR that weekend. This was shortly after the new dragon finally debuted. The DHS CMs knew the show inside and out, but when the Peter Pan sequence began, they immediately whipped out their phones to capture what they were seeing. They repeated this when the dragon showed up.

    On my last visit to WDW in November 2012, I finally decided to check out their version of Fantasmic. I laughed and not in a good way when the steamboat came out for the finale. The Disneyland finale is so much grander.

    Count me in the crowd that doesn't care for the WDW pre show pep rally. It all felt so forced. I'd much rather sit on the ground and listen to the jazz music/watch the Disneyland fireworks.
     

    LostGen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2014
    The Disneyland show is miles above the WDW show. Not only does it use the actual ships (the sailing ship Columbia and the Mark Twain riverboat) but it happens along the rivers of America and Tom Sawyers Island so it adds that magical feeling of something spontaneous and wonderful just happening in front of you. If you only see one show, it should be Fantasmic and it should be at Disneyland. Honestly, I wouldn't waste my time with the WDW version again.
     

    PinkBudgie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2008
    When I saw the WDW version for the first time this past June I just wanted to cry for all those poor people who only get that version and are so excited to go see F! It was just so sad. The Pocahontas scene went on and on with just a few pictures on water screens. It slowed the whole show down and I lost the point of it. No pirate ship. And the boat at the end looked like it was slapped together plywood and pipes. That's the best part- to see the huge Mark Twain filled with characters. It was just a let down and if we go back to WDW, we won't bother with it again.

    I did love having the nice stadium with real seats though! DL gets so clogged in that area at night. We avoid that area if we aren't watching the show.

    We've seen F! at DL several ways. Sometimes we slip in and stand behind the light pole before it goes up, not too long before show starts. Last summer we got there at 5:30pm and sat front and center at the rail. We sat with some friends and each family took turns going to Cafe Orleans for dinner while the other family watched the blankets. We all sat through the first show, the fireworks, and decided we may as well stay for the second show!
     

    got2sammies

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2010
    DL version.. WDW vet and Fantasmic is a must do every trip... Last year we wemt to DL.. It was only going to be showed the one night and I knew from reading to get a spot early (for the first show..my brother has small kiddies). So while everyone napped I went back and staked out a spot. I was so glad I did... They had never seen the show at all and I told my brother how cool the WDW version was. Well it did not dissapoint! My booty hurt from sitting on concrete for 1.5 hours BEFORE the show even started but I got all of us a good seat and I was all by myself people watching in my element, talking to the locals ect. Good times! To be honest I have no desire to watch the WDW version when we go back in November...
     

    grnflash

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2013
    The DL version is waaaaaay better. I have a friend who tries to equalize the Pirates experience because the WDW queue is better. Yeah, but no. And just like a better queue cannot bring the Pirates experience up to DL's level, no amount of better seating can bring F! up to DL's version. Do not miss seeing it.
     

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