Fantasmic! Live Entertainment Panel Talks About Return of Nighttime Show

Hi everyone!

Fantasmic! returned November 3rd, 2022 to Disney’s Hollywood Studios after a two-and-a-half-year absence. The 29-minute nighttime spectacular takes place each night and has been extremely popular in the few days since it returned to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater on Sunset Boulevard. I was invited to a preview on November 2nd, which included a panel prior to the show featuring Disney Live Entertainment Producer Laurice Marier, Show Director Matthew Hamel, and Director of Creative Development Tom Vazzana.

Photo by Denise Preskitt, Mousesteps

Vazzana said that they had the opportunity to make Fantasmic! more relevant. “How do we take this amazing show, this time we’ve been given, and then to put in seamlessly a new storytelling for the next generation of our audiences”, as well as the older generation that has embraced it already. He says that after all these years (Fantasmic! debuted at Walt Disney World in 1998), “I’m still in love with the show”.

Photo by Denise Preskitt, Mousesteps

Marrier said that besides working with the team on the show, she also worked with the facilities partners on the infrastructure for Fantasmic!. “It is a very long process and it has taken us about two years to get to today”.

The three talked about what their favorite part of Fantasmic! is. Vazanna answered, “My favorite part is ‘Welcome to Fantasmic!'”. He also said that he loves the exit, seeing the faces of guests. “I can’t wait to see all of you. That’s how we know we have tugged the heart, and made an adventure: Showed how we can be relevant; showed how we can all be heroes…and when we see that on the audiences faces, that’s my favorite part.”

Photo by Denise Preskitt, Mousesteps

Hamel also took the question of his favorite part of Fantasmic!. “As far as the legacy portion of the show, Steamboat Mickey up there with such a collection of amazing stories and characters to tell those stories. There’s nothing like it.” He continued, “There is definitely a moment where we see the connection from who started it all to what it has become, which is such a beautiful thing”. He then talks about the new section of the show. “I really do love the whole thing…it takes a little bit of everything: It takes Pocahontas laying the groundwork. It takes Mulan trying to do something she doesn’t think she’s capable of.

(Matt Stroshane, Photographer) – copyright Disney

It takes Aladdin always wondering if he’s going to be seen one way versus the way that he really is. It takes Elsa discovering, finally, what is at the depths and the core of who she is as a human being and then bringing it home with somebody like Mulan, who is then taking that journey and the things she’s learned from her family in the past to the future.” Hamel then stated, “I have loved the most putting the pieces together”.

 (Matt Stroshane, Photographer) – copyright Disney

Marier said that Fantasmic! “feels like a new show that’s familiar”. She continued, “And the excitement that we have for everyone to experience that again is quite overwhelming.” She said that there is a team of about 300 people who have put the show together from start to rehearsals.

Vazzana said he’s most excited for people to see themselves in the show. “If you feel something, write about it. Tell us….I want to hear from our guests”.

Leave a Reply