Best Ways to Watch Disneyland Fantasmic!

The best ways to watch Disneyland Fantasmic! complete with viewing areas, including walk-up viewing, last minute spots and why you should absolutely book a Fantasmic dining package for the ultimate experience.

Fantasmic returned to Disneyland Park on May 24, 2024 and shows twice a night during the summer months. You’ll definitely want a multi-day park hopper ticket to enjoy these iconic nighttime shows:

Disneyland Fantasmic Spots

Quick Info for Disneyland’s Fantasmic 

The night time show runs one or twice a night during the busiest times of the year (summer, holidays and major school breaks). During slower times of the year Fantasmic might run once per night and/or weekends only. Some nights may not have Fantasmic shows at all.

  • Fantasmic is outdoors at Disneyland (no ampatheater seating like at Walt Disney World).
  • Fantasmic is usually at 9:00 pm and 10:30 pm and runs 27 minutes long.
  • The show is free with valid theme park tickets and theme park reservations.
  • See today’s Fantasmic schedule for updated times.

You do not need a FASTPASS (now revamped into Genie+) or a Virtual Queue spot. This is different from World of Color over at California Adventure where you do need to join the Virtual Queue for the first show.


See my video snippet of the show embedded into this article if you don’t mind spoilers.

Free Spots to Watch Disneyland Fantasmic 

After the initial return of Fantasmic, I went In early June and spent the evenings watching how viewing options worked over multiple showings. I watched where people chose to watch, which free spots filled up first and which places you can snag a place last minute. 


Fantasmic Mickey cartoon


For the best free spots to watch Fanstamic, I list the areas for early arrivals and last minute spots. All free viewing is standing room only, along the Rivers of America bordered by Frontierland and New Orleans Square. 

If you want to watch for free, the areas I’ve labeled in blue offer standing room only. There will be ropes set up, but you’re welcome inside the ropes here! 

See an empty spot or some wiggle room? Just have a Cast Member unhook the rope so you can go inside the designated area. This photo below shows what it looks like very early on, before the show. You can see some people have already started to gather.


Last minute side viewing Fantasmic


Ropes for shows (fireworks, parades, etc.) at Disneyland means the crowd watching must be inside the rope, but anyone is welcome. If there is a “reserved” banner on the rope then it is not open to everyone. 


Fantasmic Last Minute Spots


  • Your View in Blue: As up close to the action as you can get without a paid upgrade. You’ll see water screens from the side, but lots of moving set pieces and performers will pass you on either side. 
  • Last Minute in Blue: The blue area closest to Haunted Mansion opens later than the other spaces because it is first used for queueing guests who bought the dining package.
  • Will You Get Wet in Blue: Possibly with mist and cool breezes but nothing that requires a new outfit after.
  • Time Commitment for Blue: Front row of this section typically requires more time commitment than most, plan on at least one hour before show time. 


Fantasmic viewing space perspective
Overheard view of Fantasmic viewing space.


Lots of people on Facebook and Instagram asked me, Can I still watch Fantasmic on the bridge over Pirates of the Caribbean? Yes and no. From my observations, the bridge is still being used for Pirates standby queue during the first show. But by the time the second show ran, that area is open to Fantasmic viewers—only a couple people deep spread out along the bridge. 

Another cool free spot to watch—Harbour Galley has an extended deck with tables and chairs, but during each walk by before both shows, people had camped out early for these spots. It’s very much a side view, but a wonderful, free option with tables and chairs. Consider a late dinner at 7:00 pm and get a prime spot in that area to relax until the first show time. 

During the second show, I noticed the area was “closed” and Cast Members were monitoring the already cleaned area. There’s a chance Disney may close this area all together before the first show, or continue to allow guests to use it for viewing. 

Best Value: Rancho del Zocalo Fantasmic Dining Package

If you want to see Fantasmic and you plan on buying dinner at Disneyland anyway, you absolutely must book a Rancho del Zocalo Fantasmic dining package. The price point is surprisingly affordable for Disneyland. 




One HUGE thing I want you to understand is—Fantasmic viewing does NOT offer seats in chairs (two exceptions will be discussed below). Viewing is standing room only OR sitting on the ground if you purchase a dining package. 

The viewing choices are especially important if you have young children, people in your group who cannot stand for long periods of time, people who cannot easily sit on the concrete for long periods of time.


Rancho del Zocalo tacos


Enjoy a 3-course meal for lunch or dinner—pricing is the same! $35 per Guest (ages 10+); $25 per Guest (ages 3-9), tax and gratuity not included.

$35 Adult menu includes:

  • Chile Verde Riblet
  • Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Taco
  • Potato Tacos (plant-based)
  • Sweet and Savory Carne Asada
  • Sides  include Radish Slaw, Cilantro-lime Rice, Korean Potato Salad, Refried Beans
  • Cortadillo sponge cake with pink frosting 
  • Fountain drink

$25 Kid menu includes:

  • Riblet
  • Potato Taco (plant-based)
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Side fruit Cuties® Mandarin Orange
  • Cortadillo sponge cake with pink frosting 
  • Beverage 

Since the show’s return, Rancho del Zocalo replaced the Hungry Bear dining package and I think this one is here to stay! 


Fantasmic Tangled


It really is too good to pass up, especially if you like Mexican food. You’re going to need to buy dinner anyway, so why not add this Fantasmic dining package and get a close up view? See my viewing map below for the exact location.

Be sure to book your Fantasmic dining 60 days in advance and/or set up a free dining alert here. 

Southern Flair: River Belle Terrace Fantasmic Dining Package

If you can’t resist Southern comfort foods and prefer a sit down meal while a server takes care of everything, you should book a River Belle Terrace Fantasmic dining package. This dining package has the most options at one spot in both menu and viewing. 


River Belle Terrace outside


Choose brunch, dinner (both $55 for adults) or choose the 7:15 pm dining option to stay at your table and chairs during the show ($89 for adults).

Please note if you reserve anything other than the Fantasmic 7:15 pm dining at River Belle Terrace, you will be watching Fantasmic from another area. Only 7:15 pm dining stay at their tables. Your view is elevated but set farther back from the show.

This viewing choice is especially well suited for people who cannot stand for long periods of time or people who cannot easily sit on the concrete for long periods of time.


River Belle Terrace Chicken


$89 Adult Premium menu includes:

  • Platter featuring Fried Chicken, Brisket and Pork Belly Burnt Ends
  • Pot Roast
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Dessert (House Made Pudding or Cherry Oat Cobbler a la mode)
  • Regular menu items are also available

$45 Kid Premium menu includes:

  • Vegetable Crudite or Chicken Pot Pie Soup
  • Roasted Chicken Skewer, Impossible Meatballs or Mac & Cheese
  • Vegetables, Fruit or Mashed Potatoes
  • Dessert (Pudding or Berries)

If you prefer this menu over Rancho del Zocalo, you’ll find delicious southern cooking and dine at River Belle Terrace but you will watch from a different perspective along the river with ground seating. 


River Belle Terrace


$55 Adult menu includes:

  • Loaded House Fries with Egg (Brunch)
  • Apple Pie Pancakes (Brunch)
  • Nashville Hot Chicken and Brisket Mac & Cheese Sandwich (Brunch or Dinner)
  • Pork Chop (Dinner)
  • Sustainable Fish (Dinner)
  • House Made Pudding or Cherry Oat Cobbler a la mode

$30 Kid menu includes:

  • Silver Dollar Pancakes with bacon or sausage and fresh fruit (Brunch)
  • Roasted Chicken Skewer, Impossible Meatballs or Mac & Cheese (Brunch or Dinner)
  • Vegetables, Fruit or Mashed Potatoes
  • Dessert (Pudding or Berries)

Be sure to book your Fantasmic dining 60 days in advance and/or set up a free dining alert here. 

Best Splurge or Date Night: Blue Bayou Fantasmic Dining Package

If you want to see Fantasmic and you want to dine at the one and only Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean, this is a must do. I went with this package to splurge for me and my daughter.


Blue Bayou Menu and Table


You should choose Blue Bayou if you want:

  • Fine dining at Disneyland
  • Romantic setting
  • Delicious food
  • Incredible atmosphere

Considering what you’d pay for a normal meal at Blue Bayou, the Fantasmic dining package is not that much of a price difference. 


Fantasmic dining salad Blue Bayou


Even though this is a premium experience with a price point to match—Fantasmic viewing does NOT offer seats in chairs. Viewing for Fantasmic will be ground seating after your meal.

Enjoy a 4-course meal for lunch or dinner—pricing is the same! $85 per Guest (ages 10+); $35 per Guest (ages 3-9), tax and gratuity not included.


Fantasmic dining pasta Blue Bayou


$89 Adult menu includes:

  • Bread
  • Gumbo, Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad or Strawberry and Pistachio Salad
  • Oscar-style Filet Mignon, Blackened Ribeye and Bourbon Shrimp, Fish, Creole Roasted Chicken or Pistachio Lemon Basil Pasta (some items are an extra $10)
  • Creme Brulee Tart, Chocolate Tart or Sorbet


Fantasmic chocolate dessert Blue Bayou


$35 Kid menu includes:

  • Vegetable Crudite or Chicken Gumbo
  • Roasted Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, Pasta with Marinara or Petite Steak
  • Vegetables, Rice, Fruit or Mashed Potatoes
  • Pettie Sundae or Berries 

Be mindful when choosing your time! While the system currently lets you choose the first show or second show, you’ll be best served by dining before 6:00 pm for the first show


Fantasmic colorful show


Our reservation was for 7:40 pm and I selected the first show, but our dining was not complete until 9:30 pm. Certainly we could have put a rush in but we preferred to enjoy the calm, soothing ambiance of the Bayou.

Be sure to book your Fantasmic dining 60 days in advance and/or set up a free dining alert here. 

Fantasmic Dining Package Viewing Spots

Now that we’ve covered the food and you’ve chosen which one interests you the most, sounds most delicious and is in your budget— you’ll need to know where you’ll go to view Fantasmic because you will not be watching from the restaurant itself!


Fantasmic Best Dining Spots


  • Your View in Orange: As up close to the  action as you can get! Blue Bayou is completely center and the others are just slightly off center.
  • Will You Get Wet in Orange: Possibly mists and cool breezes. Lots of people like to bring a light blanket to this area.
  • Time Commitment in Orange: Less time spent holding a spot, instead your time will be spent enjoying your meal. Check in near Harbour Galley across from Haunted Mansion at the noted time and you’ll be guided to your space. 


Fantasmic viewing area tickets


Remember, this is for reserved viewing and your spot will be ground seating for the show. I repeat this several times for good reason. 


Fantasmic Fountain


Is a dining package worth it?

Absolutely, yes—in most cases. You will pay with your time or your money. If there is room in the budget, Fantasmic dining packages offer an excellent value. Even purchasing the Blue Bayou package and seeing the second show of the night (often with less crowds), I felt the most expensive package was worth it for a party of two. 


Fantasmic viewing area standing room Cafe Orleans


I wouldn’t choose this package for my entire family of five unless this was our one and only (or few and far between) Disneyland vacation. 

Fantasmic vs. World of Color

I don’t put these two together because I want you to choose only one to see—they are  both stellar night shows! But some may wonder what the difference is and if you only have one night, which should be the top choice?

Fantasmic offers such classic Disney story telling with MIckey at the forefront. It features the animated cartoons many parents grew up on—Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Lion King and others. 


Fantasmic Beauty and the Beast


I particularly love the Peter Pan scene which at other times has been the scene featuring Pirates of the Caribbean. 

The story is played out over large water screens which may spread a mist over the first few rows of people if it’s breezy outside. Our day was without a breeze and we did not get wet or feel any water.


Fantasmic ending


Inside Mickey’s imagination you see the stories come to life high above Rivers of America and soon enough, the villains take over before Mickey realizes this is his dream and he can defeat the villains. The finale is a lively celebration with in-person characters aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. 

World of Color is not hosted by any live characters, it is all on screen and narrated with music. The waterscreens are more expansive at California Adventure, so viewing is great from almost every location. 

Both shows have elements of darkness, things that might frighten little ones and pyrotechnics with loud noises at times. 

Fantasmic Questions and Answers

We’ve gone through a TON of information here. But there’s still more to discuss. Here are some of your most frequently asked questions about Fantasmic. 

Do I need a Park Hopper ticket to see Fantasmic?

If you’re starting your day at California Adventure Park, you will need a valid park hopper ticket.I suggest getting your ticket at a discount from my partners here

How long is Fantasmic? 

The show is approximately 27 minutes long. Total time commitment is about 60-90 minutes when you include showing up to your spot an hour before, along with time to exit the area. 

What time does Fantasmic start?

Returning for nightly performances in 2024, Fantasmic runs at 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Check the Disneyland App for undated schedules on the day of your visit. 

Can I stay here to watch fireworks after Fantasmic?

Yes and you should! Some people will leave this area but it’s best to stay put. Fireworks views are excellent from this vantage point. You’ll also get the music and projection screens over Rivers of America. 


Fireworks over Rivers of America

Do I need Disney Genie+ for Fantasmic? 

No, you do not. There are plenty of free, walk up spaces available for viewing Fantasmic at Disneyland.

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By Jessica Sanders

Recognized authority on all things Disneyland Resort. Offering dynamic planning strategies and the latest theme park information since 2013. Jessica's insights have been featured on Yahoo! News, InStyle, The Washington Post, and many others.

14 thoughts on “Best Ways to Watch Disneyland Fantasmic!

  • Scott

    Did you say Fantasmic! at Disney World is indoors?? And although World of Color is a wonderful show if you can only see one it’s absolutely Fantasmic!

  • Sarah

    Hello, do you know if we do not see special option but still make an early reservation, will we still be able to do the fantasmic package??

  • Casey

    I appreciate the viewing map in this post. I’m interested in seating that isn’t on the ground. Does the Blue Bayou Fantasmic Dining have seated viewing in their reserved section? Thank you

  • Andi

    Hello! I want to purchase the Hungry Bear dining package for Fantasmic in June. Is the preferred area that you get worth it the cost? Can you buy the package, eat when you want and just return at the designated time?

    • The preferred area is center, along Rivers of America. I feel it’s definitely worth the cost because you get a meal and less stress trying to get a decent view, since it’s already included in your meal cost. When you make a dining reservation, you select a time that’s available to pick up your food. You can eat it at Hungry Bear or save it and carry with you to eat somewhere else. You do not dine at the same time or place as Fantasmic itself. Hope that helps!

  • Keala Storm

    Planning a 1st time Disneyland trip for my family, from Hawaii, 2 adults and 3 kids (13, 10, 8), and want to plan for the Fantasmic show as best as possible on a budget. How can we get right up at the railing for the show, after which dining option, what time, and weekday or weekend night better? Gosh sitting for 1-1.5 hours before the show, guess we should bring a beach towel to sit on, something to do? other tips? This may be a one time trip for us, so want to make it count. Thanks!

    • Aloha Keala, your kids are older so I suggest doing the second Fantasmic show of the night, if there are 2 shows running while you’re there. Less people come to the second show, so your chances of getting front seating is better. You can do this the free way with a FASTPASS, but you’ll need to keep an eye on FP distribution to make sure you get FP for the 2nd show. Then be ready to arrive back an hour before the show to claim front row seats. Another option of course is to get the Hungry Bear dining package and arrive about 20 minutes before the stated return time says on your reserved seat. You could also get the Hungry Bear dining package and simply show up 30 minutes before, you’ll still be in front but just a few rows back. Sounds like a fabulous vacation! I hope you have a great time. Let me know if you need help with park tickets or hotels, always happy to give tips.

  • Steffanie

    So if I make my reservations for River Belle 60 days in advance sounds like I would have a better chance at a “good” seat. Is it still a good viewing area or should we just do Blue Bayou? I actually think my kids will do better being a little further away so the villain scenes don’t scare them as much. Thoughts?

    • Yes, Steffanie that is the idea. And I think your idea is perfect to be set back a bit so your kids aren’t too scared. The Fantasmic! schedule does change throughout the year, some times it runs every day and some times it’s only on weekend nights. If you don’t see availability for your date be sure to call Disneyland dining and they can verify if it’s running that night or not.

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