Walt Disney Entertainment
John Debney (score)
$45,000 per showing
Fantasmic! is a Disney nighttime show at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. The show features 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 2017 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.
In 2020, Walt Disney Entertainment in Florida partnered with Imagineering and Feature Animation to bring a new version of the show to Disney's Hollywood 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 6,900 seat amphitheater was built at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Intended to boost low attendance numbers at that park, the new Fantasmic.
The show is located at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. An enormous mountain with surrounding trees is the set for the show. As the lights fade, a female voice gives a brief welcome and mentions of the powers of imagination. "Welcome to Fantasmic! Tonight, our friend and host, Mickey Mouse, uses his vivid imagination to create magical imagery for all to enjoy. 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. We now invite you to join Mickey and experience Fantasmic! - a journey beyond your wildest imagination."
The show follows a dream of Mickey Mouse that he has one night while fast asleep. 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 center 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, baboons, birds, hippopotamus, rhinos, crocodiles, and cheetahs in black-lit fluorescent colors begin to herd in the mountain. These 3D black-light puppets make noise and move around on the island while Terk and gorilla do a dance on floats traveling across the water, and Tarzan and Jane romp together on the water-mist screen Originally, this sequence was themed to The Lion King, but it was transformed into a Tarzan scene following the 2022 refurbishment. Next, a large bubble montage takes place, where scenes and characters from major classic animated Disney movies (Tarzan, The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Lilo & Stitch, Alice in Wonderland, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Emperor's New Groove, Pinocchio, Frozen, Meet the Robinsons, The Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia 2000, Melody Time, Mary Poppins, Toy Story, and Ratatouille) appear in floating bubbles Originally, this sequence was themed to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hercules, Aladdin, Mulan, Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, but it was transformed into a Lilo & Stitch, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Emperor's New Groove, Frozen, Meet the Robinsons, The Princess and the Frog, Melody Time, Mary Poppins, Toy Story, and Ratatouille scene following the 2022 refurbishment.
Mickey discovers a magical lamp. He rubs it, causing Genie to be freed via onscreen animation. He then shows Sorcerer Mickey his powers while singing "Friend Like Me". Some of the transformations include turning into Donald Duck and Goofy, as well as turning Mickey into Pinocchio complete with dancers that look like Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, as a tribute to the origial Pinocchio sequence. Genie then disappears causing Sorcerer Mickey to go underwater.
Onscreen animation then shows Cleo, Pinocchio, and Jiminy Cricket underwater. An animated Monstro then appears onscreen, accompanied by a heavy musical score as he crashes through the waters. The chaotic sea morphs into Mickey lost in an overflowed room as he is whisked into a whirlpool. After Mickey wonders where he is, the scene shifts to one of the opening scenes from Frozen II, with the ship caught in a storm. The screens disappear, and the lights immediately darken.
Live characters from the movie Frozen II. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and the Arendelle citizens stop Elsa from fooling around but getting rid of the fires, After the sisters' conversation, Mist screens show Elsa starts singing "Into The Unknown" and "Show Yourself" while transforming into a spirit and then depict the ending where the sisters reunite. Originally, this sequence was themed to Pocahontas, but it was transformed into a Frozen II scene following the 2022 refurbishment. However, you can see silhouettes of Peter, Wendy, Michael, and John flying over the moon after Sorcerer Mickey paints it.
The projections then transform into castle, where Tin Soldier and Ballerina are on the stage as if they're ballet on the toy (set to Piano Concerto No. 2, Allegro, Opus 102). Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Ariel and 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 ("Beauty and the Beast", "Part of Your World", and "I See the Light" respectively) accompanied by lighting and water effects.
The music turns darker, like Mickey in his Sorcerer's Apprentice outfit encounters the Magic Mirror as he tells him "True magical power lies within the mirror, gaze deep into your own reflection and see powers better than you could even imagine." Mickey is skeptical at first, but he eventually decides to take a look. Mickey then gets trapped inside the mirror where he eventually encounters The Evil Queen who has been transformed into The Old Hag. She invokes the help of Ursula, Cruella de Vil, Shan-Yu, Scar, Frollo, Jafar, and Yzma. Yzma uses his magic to send Mickey to the Yzma's Secret Lab. After via roller coaster Mickey encounters Guards, who transforms himself into a an ostrich, a gorilla, a lizard, an octopus, a warthog, and a cow, appearing on both the stage and the mist screens. Seeing a vials Mickey rubs it, assuming it will vials. Unfortunately, Yzma is transformed into a cat. Originally, this sequence was themed to Aladdin, but it was transformed into a The Emperor's New Groove scene following the 2022 refurbishment. and calls upon Dr. Facilier, and Hades who then calls Chernabog, who summons spirits from the dead.
As Chernabog finishes, Mickey comes face to face with 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. Sorcerer Mickey outfit, manages to create a wall of water around the island, smothering the flames and defeating the dragon. He eliminates the villains from the dream world using the power of his imagination and his sorcerer powers. As the villains feel the wrath of the magical electricity from the sorcerer powers, Maleficent dies as the water splashes with a large firework bang.
All is quiet until we see Tinker Bell fly to restore the mountain. Magical stars sparkle in the mountain as the Steamboat Willie riverboat approaches. Then a spark of pyrotechnics ignites from the riverboat, revealing Mickey, looking as he did in the original short, controlling the boat. As it glides past the audience, various Disney and Pixar characters appear aboard the boat, usually waving streamers. A celebratory atmosphere prevails amid a flurry of fireworks.
With another flash of pyrotechnics, Mickey appears atop the highest point of the mountain in his Sorcerer outfit 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? Haha!" 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.
Featured Disney films
Heroes and heroines
Characters appearing in the Finale
- Conceived and Directed by Barnette Ricci
- Original Score Composed and Conducted by John Debney
- Original Fantasmic! Theme Composed by Bruce Healey
- Music Supervisor: Dave Jordan
- Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony
- Soundtrack Recorded at The Newman Scoring Stage, Fox Studio Lot, Los Angeles, California, US
- Soundtrack Mixed at Barbara McLean Mixing Stage, Fox Studio Lot, Los Angeles, California, US
- Music Editors: Jim Harrison, Jeff Carson
- Orchestrations by Brad Dechter, Frank Bennett, Jeff Atmajian, Bruce Babcock, Don Nemitz, Lars Clutterham, Christopher Klatman, John Ashton Thomas, William Boston, Mark Graham, Pete Anthony, Cameron Patrick, Gordon Goodwin, Mike Watts, Jon Kull, Mark McKenzie, Tommy Laurence, Geoff Lawson, Andrew Kinney, Dave Metzger, Ira Hearshen, Patrick Russ, Edward Karam, John Neufeld, Conrad Pope, Christopher Lord, Kevin Kaska, Tim Simonec, George Oldziey, David Shipps, Louis Febre, Michael Kramer, Jonathan Bartz, Victor Pesavento, Andrew Hauschild, Alex Kovacs, Molly Rogers, Lesli Carroll, Larry Hochman, Stephen Oremus, Doug Besterman, Craig Marks, Christopher Guardino
- Soundtrack and Album Produced by John Debney
- Executive Vice President Of Entertainment: Ron Logan
- Album Executive Producer: Tom MacDougall
- Score Recorded and Mixed by Shawn Murphy, Alan Meyerson
- Additional Score Recorded by Wolfgang Amadeus Aichholz
- Soundtrack Editing, Sound Effects, and Surround Sound Services by Skywalker Sound A Lucasfilm Ltd. Company, Marin County, California
- Soundtrack Editing, Sound Effects, and Surround Sound Design by Ben Burtt
- Music Production Manager: Andrew Page
- Orchestral Assembly by Robert Wolff
- Orchestra Contractors: Sandy DeCrescent, Peter Rotter, Reggie Wilson
- Vocal Contractor: Bobbi Page
- Choir: Hollywood Film Chorale, LA Master Chorale
- Vocal Soloists: Suzanne Waters, Elyse Willis, Karen Hogle Brown, Lisbeth Scott, Carmen Twillie, Clydene Jackson
- Music Preparation: Mark Graham, JoAnn Kane Music Services, Booker White, Walt Disney Music Library
- Score Consultants: Dan Savant, Bob Badami
- Executive Music Assistant: Jill Heffley
- Score Production Coordinator: Lydia Paweski
- Score Production Supervisor: Melanie Mullens Hoyson
- Score Coordinator For John Debney: Lola Debney
- Pre-Production Music Coordinator: Deniece LaRocca-Hall
- Music Production Assistant: Siobhan Sullivan