Listen to How to View Fantasmic at Disneyland or continue reading.
Everybody’s favorite nighttime spectacular show Fantasmic returned to Disneyland on May 28, 2022. Along with multiple dining packages that provide preferred seating for Disney guests who reserve them.
The show takes place during the evening before and after the fireworks on the Rivers of America.
Long ago Disneyland guests had to camp (sit and save space for their family members) for hours to get a good view of Fantasmic. And before moving to California and becoming a passholder, I was one of those guests! While I have no regrets over making sure my family would have a great spot to view the show, it came at the cost of losing a lot of time that could have been spent on rides.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee-drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…
The new way to view Fantasmic at Disneyland
In 2014, Disneyland ended the camping issue by having guests obtain Fastpasses when they arrived at the park. They divided the viewing areas into sections, and guests would return to the designated area on their Fastpass no more than an hour prior to showtime. Or they had the opportunity to purchase a dining package that guaranteed them one of the prime viewing areas.
Upon its reopening after the pandemic shutdown, Disneyland replaced its Fastpass system with Genie Plus. Currently, there is no way to reserve a Fantasmic viewing area with Genie Plus. But you can still get a great view by booking one of their Fantasmic dining packages.
Which Fantasmic at Disneyland dining package is the best?
There is no best or perfect package. However, your answers to the following questions can help you purchase the Fantasmic dining package that best fits your needs.
- Are you and everyone in your party able to sit on the ground not just throughout the show, but for at least an hour prior as well?
- If asked to, would you or the guests in your party be able to stand throughout the 27-minute-long show?
- Is there anyone in your party, yourself included, that would prefer to have space between you and other guests?
- Would you prefer to eat indoors where it is airconditioned?
*On the official Disneyland website, it states that all the Fantasmic viewing areas are standing only (excluding the River Belle Terrace Premium package), with accommodations for guests with disabilities. However, the few times I have been in the area during the show since it reopened, I have noticed that the dining voucher areas were seated on the ground throughout the performance.
Hungry Bear Fantasmic Dining Package
If you answered YES to questions 1 and 2, the Hungry Bear Fantasmic Dining Package would work for you. This package is $25 per child (ages 3-9) and $35 per adult (ages 10 and up). Tax is not included. A $10 per person cancellation fee will be charged to your credit card if you fail to cancel before or are a no-show.
As for the food, my family and I have not purchased this package, so I cannot give a review of it. Because my disability requires the use of a wheelchair and I do not wish to be packed into an area with a bunch of people, this package is not one I would personally choose. With that said, it may be the ideal package for you.
The reserved Fantasmic viewing area is in the front, towards the west side of the riverbank.
This package requires a reservation that can be made 60 days in advance.
River Belle Terrace Standard Fantasmic Dining Package
If you answered yes for 1, 2, and 4, the River Belle Terrace standard package would be an excellent option.
Note that the River Belle Terrace has both indoor and outdoor seating. If you want to dine indoors, be sure to mention it to the hostess when checking in. You may have to wait a little longer, but you will have a cool place to enjoy your meal.
Guests choosing this option are given a voucher for a reserved viewing area along the Rivers of America.
This option allows guests to choose from their special Fantasmic options or from their regular menu. These are the same menus that the River Belle Preferred Dining package has. See my notes from the premium package for menu suggestions.
The cost for lunch and dinner is $30 per child (ages 3-9) and $50 per adult (ages 10 and up). Tax and gratuity are not included. A $10 per person cancellation fee will be charged to your credit card if you fail to cancel before or are a no-show.
Blue Bayou Fantasmic Dining Package
This is the perfect option if you answered yes to questions 1, 2, and 4 and are looking for a relaxed and cool dining experience.
The Blue Bayou is an indoor restaurant where guests are seated along the waterfront of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The atmosphere is elegant, fun, and something everyone should do at least once in their life.
Like the River Belle Terrace, guests may choose from the Blue Bayou’s regular menu or special items offered only to Fantasmic! Dining Package Guests.
Although we haven’t and won’t be purchasing this dining package, my family and I enjoy eating there. The food is always excellent and like I said before, watching the boats float by while listening to the sounds of the bayou is a magical experience for all.
The priciest of all the dining packages, the cost for it is $35 per child (ages 3-9) and $89 per adult (ages 10 and up). Tax and gratuity are not included. A $10 per person cancellation fee will be charged to your credit card if you fail to cancel before or are a no-show.
Fantasmic at Disneyland Premium Dining Package at River Belle Terrace
This package is perfect if you answered yes for questions 3 and no for 1 and 2.
As an older Disney guest with disabilities requiring a wheelchair, I love this package! Seriously, I will not watch Fantasmic any other way. While not the most expensive, it is still pricey, but something that I will gladly justify doing once or twice a year. The price of this package is $45 per child (ages 3-9) and $75 per adult (ages 10 and up). Tax and gratuity are not included. A $10 per person cancellation fee will be charged to your credit card if you fail to cancel before or are a no-show.
Guests may choose from a special Fantasmic or the regular menu.
But first, read my review!
My River Belle Terrace Premium Fantasmic Dining Package Review
Guests choosing this package can view Fantasmic from their tables on the terrace!!! The tables were spaced far enough to allow for amazing views of the show. There was plenty of space for my wheelchair at the table. The only issue I had with the wheelchair was entering when our party was called, which I will get to in a moment.
This three-course meal begins with a reservation time of 7:15pm. Guests start lining up to check in at 7:00pm. The check-in area is along the brick wall on the south side of the restaurant, right across from the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean. Cast members will greet you, check you into the system, and issue you a wristband. The wristband makes it easy for you to re-enter the area should you need to leave it to use the restroom.
The only problem with the check-in and entry area is that it is not accessible with a mobility aid. When our party was called, the rest of my party entered while I had to go to the usual entrance for the restaurant and work my way through a crowd to reach our table.
Speaking of the tables, they were assigned to each party before we arrived. While waiting to be checked in, we could see where we would be seated.
Premium Dining Menu Review and Tips
When your server arrives at your table they bring a basket of warm biscuits and cornbread. Then everyone in your party orders an appetizer.
To our surprise, the appetizers were FULL sized!! We were expecting smaller portions, and because of that, we all ordered our favorite, which happened to be the same thing!!
It was way too much for any of us to eat. We barely finished it when we shared it on a prior visit. Had we known this, we would have each ordered something different and shared.
Because we often dine at the River Belle Terrace, we chose our entrees from the Fantasmic-only menu. I don’t know if it was an off night, but none of us were thrilled with this portion of our meal.
My husband ordered a petite New York steak and scallops. The steak was not up to par. I ordered the chicken and dumplings skillet, which had the smallest and most disappointing dumplings I have ever had. Our daughter ordered the pan-roasted shrimp, which brought an odor of dead fish to the area. Seriously, I couldn’t wait for them to take her plate away.
Next time we will order from the regular menu because that has never disappointed us.
River Belle Terrace entrees we recommend:
- Bacon & Blue Cheese Wedge Salad with your choice of protein
- Pimento Mac and Cheese with smoked brisket and herb crumble
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- Country Ham Cubano – pulled pork, Havarti cheese, and pickles
On the Disneyland website, there are two dessert options listed. However, that is not what is included with the package. Instead, at least for the time being, the dessert is a chocolate ball filled with fruity sorbet and a raspberry sauce.
Because of my citrus allergy, I was brought an allergy-friendly dessert replacement of chocolate pudding topped with an Oreo cookie.
We had water and soft drinks with our meals and coffee and hot chocolate with our desserts. They even made sure we had plenty of whatever beverages we wanted before the show began. The payment was taken at the same time so as to not interrupt us while we enjoyed the show.
Watching Fantasmic at Disneyland from the River Belle Terrace
With a 7:15pm reservation for dinner and Fantasmic not beginning until 9:30pm, we thought there might be a lot of time with nothing to do. We were wrong! That time flew by! Our only problem was with a June reservation; the sun did not set until 8:00pm. The first 30 minutes were a bit toasty, and I was blinded by the sun’s reflection on the windows next to our table. However, once the sun set behind Splash Mountain (soon to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure), the temperature dropped, and all was good.
An Added Bonus!
Soon after Fantasmic ends, the castle fireworks begin! Because I am not a fan of being smooshed together with thousands of people on Main Street, I love finding alternative areas to watch the fireworks. And having the option to remain at our table to watch the fireworks was an excellent bonus!
While not a castle view, we still had a great view of the aerial fireworks. In addition, the projections shown on the castle and Main Street buildings are also projected on water screens on the Rivers of America! It was a unique and enjoyable experience for our entire party.
Final thoughts on the River Belle Terrace Premium Dining Package
Do I think this package is worth the price? YES! And so did the rest of my party.
Speaking of our party. Reservations for this package are hard to come by. It was only through the diligence of my friend Kaytee that we got the reservations that we did.
Unfortunately, they were unable to make it. We missed them dearly and hope to do it again with them sometime in the future.
Thank you, Kaytee and Albert, for letting us keep the reservation!!
I will definitely purchase this package again. Watching Fantasmic and the fireworks where I didn’t have people bumping into me, elbowing me in the head, or children kicking or trying to crawl under my wheelchair was worth every penny spent. Another perk was having a safe place to wait for the crowd to clear before we headed out of the dining area.
Fantasmic viewing options for mobility aid users.
All Disneyland guests may still watch the show without a dining package, but they cannot camp in the area. Instead, they can enter the standing room only areas after the area has been roped off and the cast member ushers them in.
Note that there is a disability viewing area. It is located next to the Mark Twain River Boat exit on the east side of the river. This area fills up quickly and, in my opinion, has the worst views.
Dining package viewing areas are in the front, and guests typically remain seated throughout the show, giving the wheelchair or ECV a great view! With that said, depending on how many people purchase the same package, guests may be asked to stand during the performance.
Guests with mobility aids can purchase a Fantasmic at Disneyland dining voucher package that includes a reserved viewing area, BUT you will have to sit in the rear of that section unless you are willing to part with your device until after the show.
Unfortunately, if you check in after the back row is filled, you will be sent to the disability section. At that point, you wasted your money on a meal you probably wouldn’t have ordered, for a view that isn’t worth a dime. The same will happen if the front row of the standing room only area is filled before you arrive.
Dining at Disneyland with food allergies
Disney does a great job of providing alternative options for guests with food allergies. My daughter and I have food allergies that are not common enough to warrant a mention on menus. However, Disneyland always takes our allergies seriously and works with the chefs to provide delicious alternatives.
Never hesitate to discuss your food allergies with your hostess or server.
Have you tried any of the Fantasmic at Disneyland dining options?