Crowds Take Over Park as Disney Fails to Offer Lightning Lane, Virtual Queue For Return of Highly-Anticipated Attraction

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Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park

Credit: Disney

It’s finally time. Walt Disney World Resort’s premium nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic! has returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus following the pandemic closures of 2020.

But, as with any new attraction (hello, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind) the comeback performance of something as beloved as Fantasmic! was reportedly drawing crowds on Sunset Boulevard over 10 hours before the show start time, leaving Disney Resort staff to turn Guests away.

Mickey Mouse in Fantasmic!
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Changes Iconic Fantasmic! Poster Ahead of First Show

Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was once one of Disney World’s most crowd-catching attractions. The live entertainment story of Mickey Mouse fighting evil with friends along the way, set to a powerful soundtrack, and including special effects, fountain work, and fireworks, took place nightly at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater off Sunset Boulevard.

After the Disney Resort in Orlando, Central Florida shut down due to the spread of coronavirus, the Amphitheater lay dark for over two years. Over the recent months, Disney World has teased the comeback of Fantasmic! — at first confirming a 2022 reopening date, and then a November reopening date, and then finally,  Disney Parks announced the spectacular would officially return for Resort Guests on November 3, 2022.

A group of people on a city street
Credit: Disney

And in true Disney fan style, Guests were already clamoring for the chance to secure their place for this new version of Fantasmic!’s inaugural show, complete with the return of Sorcerer Mickey. According to reports, Disney World Cast Members were turning Guests away from the entrance to the performance area and going so far as to discourage line-forming some 10 hours before show time. A tweet from Theme Park Express (@ThemeParkExpress) said:

Guests are currently being told to not form any sort of line for Fantasmic. They do not have an estimate of when guests will start being allowed to form a line. Fantasmic is standby only for the first few performances. No lightning lanes are being offered.

Related: The Return of Fantasmic! Needs More Mickey

And the comments rightly point out that Disney’s frequent use of the Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane Selections system is completely absent from this attraction. The anticipation alone should have provoked the Disney Resort to put something in place to control crowds for this large-scale event. Even on Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, a virtual queue was put in place to control the hordes of Guests wanting to enter the Main Street, U.S.A. Emporium.

As time has rolled on throughout the day, the line has officially formed on Sunset Boulevard with scores of fans taking over Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park — the Disney Park home to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Brady C. (@DisneyDude_71) shared the following image:

The line for fantasmic reopening day! #WaltDisneyWorld

Fantasmic! is playing tonight, after a preview last night on November 2, at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m at the Disney Park. The official description of Fantasmic! — with new scenes — is as follows:

Fast asleep, Mickey Mouse dreams that he is a mighty sorcerer’s apprentice with the power to control water, color and magic. The Disney Villains—including Maleficent in the form of a towering, 40-foot-tall dragon—turn Mickey’s dream into a nightmare, but don’t underestimate the power of Mickey’s imagination!

The fantastic fantasy includes Disney Characters from some of your favorite animated films:

  • Moana

  • Frozen 2

  • Mulan

  • Aladdin

  • Pocahontas

  • Beauty and the Beast

  • The Little Mermaid

  • The Lion King

Will you be heading to see Fantasmic! at Walt Disney World soon? Let us know in the comments down below!

Walt Disney World Resort boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. It also features two Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, and the retail and recreation area, Disney Springs. A valid ticket, as well as a Park Pass reservation, is needed to enter each Park and Park Hopper hours begin at 2 p.m. daily.

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