Timing for Fantasmic and Tale of the Lion King

shosh1530

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
We'll be visiting the parks on a Sunday-Tuesday timeline, so will only be able to see shows like Fantasmic and Tale of the Lion King on our first day.

We have the Hungry Bear package for the first Fantasmic show. How early should we plan to line up/find a spot in that section? Can one person hold a spot (family of 3) while the others walk around? My kiddo isn't one for long waits.

For Tale of the Lion King, I see there are shows at 12:30, 1:45, 3:00, 5:00 and 6:15. Is the seating area in full sun? I'd normally opt for the 6:15 showtime to avoid heat and sun (sensitive to both) but I don't want to cut things too close to Fantasmic either.

Also, how early do people show up before Tale of the Lion King? I expect it to be a very busy weekend at the parks.
 

SOCALMouseMommy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
The Fantasyland theater where Tale of the Lion King is performed is completely shaded. It’s a very nice break from the sun and heat if it’s a warm day. The theater won’t really fill up, but if you want a close up seat you could probably show up 15 minutes before the show and be fine.
 

gelatoni fan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
For Fantasmic, you'll have to decide how close and center you want to be. People usually start getting in line for the Hungry Bear section a little over 2 hours before the show. The first few rows will fill up quickly with people who waited in line and then there's usually a trickle of people until about half an hour before the show starts. Then, a lot of people start showing up and if they sold out, you'll be squished in the back. It is possible for one person to hold spots for others but ideally, you'd want most of your group present when they start letting the line in (assuming you arrive that early) and about 30 minutes before the show because they may tell groups to squish.

For Tale of the Lion King, I agree that 15 minutes before is usually fine. If you don't care what spot you get, you can even arrive as the show is starting and usually get seats somewhere a bit off to the side or further back.
 

starlite_

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
We'll be visiting the parks on a Sunday-Tuesday timeline, so will only be able to see shows like Fantasmic and Tale of the Lion King on our first day.

We have the Hungry Bear package for the first Fantasmic show. How early should we plan to line up/find a spot in that section? Can one person hold a spot (family of 3) while the others walk around? My kiddo isn't one for long waits.

For Tale of the Lion King, I see there are shows at 12:30, 1:45, 3:00, 5:00 and 6:15. Is the seating area in full sun? I'd normally opt for the 6:15 showtime to avoid heat and sun (sensitive to both) but I don't want to cut things too close to Fantasmic either.

Also, how early do people show up before Tale of the Lion King? I expect it to be a very busy weekend at the parks.
I think you should be fine, as long as all 3 of you are there when they start letting ppl into the section. It's a sitting no the floor kinda deal and if you aren't there you might need to squeeze in and no one will be happy with that.
 

frechley

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
How long before the show do they start letting people in?

I have to say, repeatedly, what a bummer this is compared to the old days. My last time seeing Fantasmic! we just strolled up about 45 minutes before and got great spots. This was pre-fast pass being assigned for the show. I saw it many, many times between 95 and 06 and never, ever had issues getting a spot. if i wanted to be front and center, i did get there early and stake out a spot, but even without doing that we always got great river spots close enough to the rail.
 

SOCALMouseMommy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
How long before the show do they start letting people in?

I have to say, repeatedly, what a bummer this is compared to the old days. My last time seeing Fantasmic! we just strolled up about 45 minutes before and got great spots. This was pre-fast pass being assigned for the show. I saw it many, many times between 95 and 06 and never, ever had issues getting a spot. if i wanted to be front and center, i did get there early and stake out a spot, but even without doing that we always got great river spots close enough to the rail.
I haven’t done Hungry Bear post-covid, but it looks to be more crowded of a section. I did River Belle twice and both times we could have easily walked up 15-20 minutes before the show started and had an easy time finding spots. Not at the rail mind you, but I prefer to sit back from the rail so I don’t have to peer through it.
 

gelatoni fan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
How long before the show do they start letting people in?

I have to say, repeatedly, what a bummer this is compared to the old days. My last time seeing Fantasmic! we just strolled up about 45 minutes before and got great spots. This was pre-fast pass being assigned for the show. I saw it many, many times between 95 and 06 and never, ever had issues getting a spot. if i wanted to be front and center, i did get there early and stake out a spot, but even without doing that we always got great river spots close enough to the rail.

How early they start letting people in depends on what management decides. If the line is getting crazy, they'll open it up earlier but typically I've been seeing it open around an hour before the show.

Even before the shutdowns of 2020, it wasn't really crazy. I used to sometimes get Hungry Bear as a back-up if I arrived at the park late and they ran out of Fantasmic fastpasses. For the second show, they often just let all the dining people be in one combined area and I could get pretty much any spot I wanted since there'd sometimes be less than 100 people total for all the dining packages.

These days, Hungry Bear and Blue Bayou can be completely packed, especially for the first show. In fact, I've been there when they physically ran out of space in the Hungry Bear and Blue Bayou sections so they had some Blue Bayou people who arrived late spill over to the River Belle Terrace section. River Belle Terrace for the second show can be semi-empty for the 2nd show on some nights though.
 

shosh1530

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Thanks everyone for the responses! We'll probably try to line up an hour before and hope for the best.

And so good to the Tale of the Lion King show is shaded. I'll probably aim for the 12:30 show then before we take our afternoon break.
 








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