Fantasmic! is a long-running Disney nighttime show at both Disneyland in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios, Florida featuring fireworks, live actors, water effects, fire, music, several boats, decorated rafts and projections onto large mist screens featuring reworked Disney Animation. It originated at Disneyland in 1992 after Disneyland's entertainment department was asked to create a nighttime spectacular involving water and fireworks to invigorate the space in front of the Rivers of America. Disneyland Entertainment employed the resources of Walt Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering as collaborators. Much of the area around the Rivers of America needed to be reworked, including terracing the walkways to accommodate viewing and modifying part of Tom Sawyer Island so that it could act as a stage for much of the show's live action.
In 1996, Walt Disney Entertainment in Florida partnered with Imagineering and Feature Animation to bring a new version of the show to Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios), featuring new animated and live action scenes. The Rivers of America at the Magic Kingdom was not conducive to a replication of the layout at Disneyland, so a new purpose-built 10,000 seat amphitheater was built at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Intended to boost low attendance numbers at that park, the new Fantasmic! show was also seen as a needed replacement for Sorcery in the Sky, an aging nighttime fireworks show.
A third version of the show will begin playing in Tokyo DisneySea's Mediterranean Harbor in April 2011, replacing BraviSEAmo.
- The show is located on the waters of the Rivers of America at Disneyland and on a stage across the waterway. A tavern and tall trees act as a backdrop for the show. To begin, lights around the Rivers of America fade and a female narrator introduces the show.
- "Welcome to Fantasmic! Tonight, our friend and host Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to create magical imagery for all to enjoy. Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exciting adventure. But beware, nothing is more powerful than the imagination, for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare. Are the powers of Mickey's incredible imagination strong enough, and bright enough, to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey's dreams? You are about to find out. For we now invite you to join Mickey, and experience Fantasmic!… a journey beyond your wildest imagination."
- The show begins with Mickey in formal attire directing a water show on the river. The show's signature water projection screens are activated, onto which animation from the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence from the film Fantasia. Musical scores from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and the "Imagination" theme accompany the animation as Mickey conducts animated shooting stars pyrotechnics launched from the six pyrotechnic barges on the river.
- The animation then blends with live performers interpreting different flowers.
- The lighting and music change to a jungle beat, and a 100-foot-long (30 m) puppet of Kaa, the snake from The Jungle Book, makes its way across the island with beams of light firing from his eyes. Accompanying this scene are three floating barges carrying King Louie and black-lit monkeys across the river stage.
- The music segues to a contemporary rendition of "Pink Elephants on Parade" from Dumbo, as animated pink elephants appear onscreen and in the form of performers on the island. The elephants then seem to be puppets dancing on strings, which serves to transition into a sequence based on Pinocchio. Three large puppets are manipulated by nine performers with fiber-optic "strings" stretching 30 feet above the puppets.
- Onscreen animation shows Jiminy Cricket underwater searching for Pinocchio. An animated Monstro the Whale interacts with live splash effects on the river. The story line progresses as Mickey notices his dream becoming darker.
- A concussion cannon is fired from Sailing Ship Columbia, which portrays Captain Hook's pirate ship. Hook, Smee, Peter Pan, Wendy, and pirates participate in a stunt sequence as the ship makes its pass. Following the ship is an articulated crocodile barge, with the sound of a ticking clock emanating from its tail.
- Snow White and her Prince, Ariel and Prince Eric, and Belle and the Beast appear on three floating stages (transformed since the Jungle scene earlier) on the river, dancing to a medley of each princess' signature song, accompanied by lighting and water effects.
- The show enters its villain segment, as the Evil Queen from Snow White appears on stage, calling for her magic mirror — which appears onscreen in animated form. The mirror informs the Queen that the three princesses are fairer than she, and that "in Mickey's imagination, beauty and love will always survive."
- In anger, she moves to her cauldron, where the Queen transforms into the Hag from Snow White. The hag summons "forces of evil" to transform Mickey Mouse's dream into a "nightmare Fantasmic." Ursula, from The Little Mermaid sings and joins the plot against Mickey as her two pet eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, glide across the river.
- Onscreen, the face of Ursula transforms into Chernabog from Fantasia. Animation from the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence from Fantasia accompanies Mussorgsky's score. A pyrotechnic burst of flames announces Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty, beginning the climactic showdown sequence. Maleficent rises 30 feet from the stage and transforms into a dragon onscreen. The animation gives way to a 45-foot animatronic dragon, who rises from the stage before breathing fire onto the river, which utilizes fire-on-water effects. Mickey appears as the Brave Little Tailor and uses a sword to destroy Maleficent's dragon form. As the dragon screams, the villains who have appeared are also destroyed onscreen, and the sequence ends with a pyrotechnic burst from the river.
- Following an appearance by Tinker Bell, the Mark Twain Riverboat crosses the stage, piloted by a black and white Mickey Mouse, dressed in attire from Steamboat Willie. Approximately 50 Disney characters dance on the ship in a ribbon routine. The sequence is accompanied by searchlights, fountains, and pyrotechnic effects.
- Then in a flash of light, Mickey appears on top of the tavern as Sorcerer Mickey, and "conducts" laser beams, fireworks, and other lighting effects that span the length of the river stage. With a flash, he disappears from atop the Tavern and re-appears center stage, resuming his formal attire. Mickey says to the audience, "Some imagination, huh?" and disappears in a flash. A final burst of pyrotechnics is accompanied by searchlights placed around the tavern and stage.
Walt Disney World VersionEdit
- As the lights fade, a female narrator gives a brief welcome and mentions of the powers of imagination. A very faint musical note is heard, swelling and growing into a dramatic chord in the complete darkness. Once the chord strikes, two tall columns rise on stage left and right, with roving spotlights, until finally Mickey appears centre stage. He conducts various water fountain effects, until bringing up the giant water-mist "screens", which, in conjunction with a few flares, fade into the famous "Sorcerer's Apprentice" scene from Fantasia.
- From there, the falling stars of the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene morph into flowers, and after a brief interlude, into a jungle scene. Elephants, giraffes, monkeys, birds, ostriches, rhinos, crocodiles, and cheetahs begin to herd in the mountain. Neon animals make noise and dance around on the island while Rafiki and monkeys do a dance on floats traveling across the water. Simba and Nala from The Lion King romp together. Next, a large Bubble Montage takes place, where scenes and characters from major classic animated Disney movies appear in floating bubbles. Scenes from The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Alice in Wonderland, Hercules, Pinocchio, Aladdin, Mulan, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia, Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid pop and float across the screen.
- An animated Monstro next appears onscreen, accompanied by a heavy musical score as he crashes through the waters. The chaotic sea morphs into one of the opening scenes from Pocahontas, with the ship caught in a storm. The screens disappear, and the lights immediately darken.
- A loud cannon blast erupts. Live characters re-enact battle scenes from the film, Pocahontas. Governor John Ratcliffe and his fellow Englishmen fight against the Native Americans, followed by John Smith. As John Smith climbs to the very top of the mountain, a Native American warrior moves to strike Smith when Pocahontas arrives; the water screens spring back up, and Grandmother Willow appears, with a quote from the movie; the lights dim on the battle, and the Colors of the Wind scene plays out on the screens. The show then moves into classic dancing scenes with Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip, Cinderella and Prince Charming, and Princess Jasmine and Aladdin.
- Three small floats now arrive, with Belle and the Beast, Ariel and Prince Eric, and Snow White and her Prince each contained in their own float. As each float reaches the centre, the spotlight shines on it, with the accompanying signature melody from each movie — "Beauty and the Beast," "Part of Your World," and "Some Day My Prince Will Come", respectively.
- The music takes on an ominous tone as Mickey's dream takes a turn for the worse. The Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on stage, calling for her magic mirror — which appears onscreen in animated form. The mirror informs the Queen that the three princesses are fairer than she, and that "in Mickey's imagination, beauty and love will always survive." Angered by this, she concocts a spell amidst pyrotechnics and other special effects, and turns herself into a hag. Upon being told by the Magic Mirror that she now has the power to control Mickey's mind, she invokes some of the most infamous Disney villains:
- Ursula from The Little Mermaid
- Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians
- Scar from The Lion King
- Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Jafar from Aladdin
- Jafar uses his magic to send Mickey to the Cave of Wonders. After escaping a wave of lava, Mickey encounters Jafar, who transforms into a giant black cobra appearing on both the stage and the mist screens. Seeing a magic lamp, Mickey rubs it, assuming it will help him. Unfortunately, Jafar is transformed into a genie and calls upon Hades (Hercules) and Chernabog (Fantasia) with the latter summoning the spirits from the dead.
- On stage, Mickey encounters Maleficent, who transforms into a 40-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon that sets the waters ablaze. Guests as far as halfway back in the theater can feel the heat from the fire. Mickey, now in his Brave Little Tailor outfit, manages to create a wall of water around the island, smothering the flames and defeating the dragon. He destroys the villains using the power of his imagination and his sword (similar to The Sword in the Stone). Maleficent also dies as the water splashes with a large firework bang. All is quiet, until Tinker Bell appears and flies to restore the mountain. Magical stars sparkle in the mountain as the Steamboat Willie River Boat approaches. Then a spark of pyrotechnics ignite from the riverboat, revealing Steamboat Willie controlling the boat.
- As it glides past the audience, various Disney characters appear aboard the River Boat, dancing with golden streamers. A celebratory atmosphere prevails amid a flurry of fireworks. With another flash of pyrotechnics, Mickey appears atop the highest point of the mountain as the Sorcerers Apprentice as fireworks, fire, and water light up the stage. As the finale concludes, Mickey disappears from the top of the mountain with another spark of pyrotechnics, a small explosion in the main stage and simultaneously reappears in his shiny tuxedo suit. A small applause from the crowd and Mickey says, "Some imagination, huh? Ha ha!" Pyrotechnics shoot out of the main stage and barges on the moat, he vanishes one last time to the final notes of the music while a cone of lights and searchlights bright up the stage for a few seconds. All turns dark once again and the show has concluded.
A big thanks to Wikipedia for this article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasmic!