Disneyland will mark the 20th anniversary of the iconic nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” tomorrow, May 13. Even though this show is 20 years old, it has never gotten old for us here at DisneyExaminer and I’m sure for many of you!
UPDATE 5/12 – Disneyland will be having Fantasmic! showings for tomorrow to celebrate the occasion. Showings begin at 9PM and 10:30PM.
If you have never seen this show before, we highly recommend you make time for it the next time you visit. You’ll leave humming the musical score, smiling, and wanting more for the next 20 years.
Disney recently released a story from Barnette Ricci, Vice President/Show Director of Special Events for the Walt Disney Studios, who 20 years ago was senior show director for Disneyland Park. Read the story below as she shares some of her magical memories while creating Fantasmic! –
We had no new attraction opening that summer of 1992, so I was asked to create a show that could be marketed as something really special. I always felt that the [Rivers of America] was a truly unique venue, but I wanted to use it in a new way to create something different for our guests.
We researched all kinds of water-related special effects, and we discovered these water screens in France. We found that projecting animation footage on the water looked absolutely spectacular! By layering the dancing water fountains, special lighting, lasers, pyrotechnics and black light, along with live performers on watercraft and this new way to project animation on water, I was convinced all of these elements combined would create a rather exciting show!
It took months of searching through Disney film footage to find the right clips for the storyline and to create the film elements so they would look great on the water. We spent three months of ‘all-nighters’ out there on the river, programming all the effects and meticulously finessing the timing based on the time code of the film. Every burst of water, pyrotechnic, laser and live element had to be exactly timed and rehearsed to be in sync with what happened on the screen and with the fantastic musical score.
The show was originally called ‘Imagination’, as the title song implies, but everyone felt it needed a stronger title, so finally – and fortunately – it was renamed ‘Fantasmic!’
The first time we performed the show for a real audience, I was thrilled watching and hearing their reaction to the show. Words cannot express how proud I am of ‘Fantasmic!’ and how proud and thankful I am of everyone who worked so hard to bring it to life, and who continue to keep it going strong, night after night.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, Disney has announced that they will be holding Annual Passholder-ONLY showings of Fantasmic! for four days, beginning this coming Monday, May 14! You must RSVP in person at a Disneyland Resort ticket booth. Read our original post for more information.