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Disneyland Article
Another Fantastic Dream
Cal Jones
Fantasmic! Will forever be my favorite Disney Park show. So, when I heard that the show was getting an upgrade on effects and scenes, as one might be able to imagine, I was happy about the new effects and iffy about the new scenes, especially when I heard that "Peter pan" would be replaced with "Pirates of the Carribean." Believe me, "Pirates" is one of the best movies ever made, but come on, leave the classics. I later read that for the "Pirates" bit, the "Columbia" was turned into a ghost ship, which sounded really cool.

I watched the show on YouTube first and for the most part, I liked it. A lot of the music had changed slightly. It had the same melody but it was done by different instruments and a man sang the theme instead of a woman. Along with a bit of new music, there were also new lights, water jets, and sound effects. The first time I watched the show, I felt like the music overpowered the vocals a time or two, but the second time, it was alright.

The new scenes included "Lion King," "Aladdin," "Finding Nemo," and of course, "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Kaa makes a cameo in the "Lion King" sequence, the same as usual, but behind a mist screen showing scenes from the "Lion King" film. The dancing monkeys on the barges, which doubled in number, look more African. I thought they were lions at first. A modified "Pink Elephants on Parade" segues us into "Aladdin," with the appearance of the Genie. The crowd cheered louder at that point than any other during the show.

Pinocchio shows up on the mist screen with Mickey's head, not as the actual marionette. Monstro makes a larger appearance in this rendition than in the old one, with "Little Mermaid" and "Finding Nemo" sprinkled in.

Barbossa comes onto the screen, asking about the Pearl, and telling Miss Turner that she best be believing in ghost stories, because she's in one. The Black Pearl looked amazing. In the old show, when the "Columbia" was being turned into the Jolly Roger, I can't imagine that it took long, because it didn't seem like there was much to do: covering the name, adding show lights and the necessary rigging to perform on. I have no idea how long the transformation to the ghost ship Pearl takes. In addition to the flag on the back, there is Jack's wanted poster. The ghost ship looks probably come from extra lighting or something. Elizabeth bounces a lot and then swings around while Jack and Barbossa are in the rigging, sword fighting in a swing-swing-stab kind of way (the "Peter Pan" sword fight was much more exciting) before Jack swings to Elizabeth's rescue. The same kind of projection that the park uses on the buildings during other shows is used to set Tom Sawyer Island on fire.

"A Whole New World" is, for all intents and purposes, sung on an actual rug with smoke to hide the machinery. On the Princess barges, Snow White gets replaced with Rapunzel, who dances with Flynn Rider to "See the Light." Belle and Ariel have refurbished barges as well.

There is a new Magic Mirror sequence, with Sorcerer Mickey soon trapped in it. The Evil Queen doesn't make an appearance, only the witch she turns into does. For the most part, the rest stays the same, but with a few tweaks. One of my favorites is the Maleficent dragon. She starts off on the mist screen and then becomes the real dragon. That was a cool effect. I noticed as she was igniting the River, the water roiled right before ignition. I have no idea if that was just the gas waiting to light, if it was an effect, or both. Knowing Disney, I'm betting on both.

The dragon is taken out by Sorcerer Mickey, not the Brave Little Tailor. Tink isn't seen quite as long and there seemed to be a whole lot more fireworks than usual.

Sorcerer Mickey is in pretty much every scene on the mist screens in one way or another. The show begins and ends with what I like to call Premiere Mickey, looking dashing in his tuxedo. Apart from the usual boats and barges, the only props were the snake, dragon, and carpet. Everything else is on the now larger mist screens.

I got to see it on May 11th, and it was slightly different, a combination of new and old, likely because it had started to drizzle. While it was still daylight, I got to see a bit of the ship with tattered sails.

Pinocchio wasn't a part of it at all, save the bit with Monstro the whale. Elisabeth is less of a damsel, and the battle was for Jack's compass, though the sword fight between him and Barbossa wasn't any more exciting than on YouTube. The flying carpet wasn't in it, either.

There were also a lot of lasers and colored lights, in addition to the fireworks. The main theme is sung by a different woman than the original. When Maleficent turns into the animatronic dragon, her "human" form is silhouetted on the dragon's abdomen, which looked very cool. When the show was over, we saw at least one Cast Member waving the light wand that they use to direct the crowd on beat with the exit music.

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