When the construction for Star Wars Land was announced and the significant land and attraction closures that would follow with it, my family quickly decided to take advantage of the Fantasmic! dining packages. We do not frequent the “nicer’ restaurants on property often, and thought that it would be a lovely Christmas treat to ourselves to book the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! package in the middle of the holidays. Fantasmic! has always been in the top three list of my favorite entertainment offerings at the parks, and definitely one of the only shows that I have memories of from childhood, and it was bittersweet enjoying the evening and watching the show for one last time before it goes away.
The options for the dining package include the Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, and an on-the-go boxed meal option from Aladdin’s Oasis. We knew we wanted the evening to be particularly special, so we went with the Blue Bayou option. For $61 per adult (plus a passholder discount), the meal included three courses, drinks, a seat cushion for the show, and a reserved viewing ticket for either the 9:00p or 10:30p showing of Fantasmic. I do not profess to be a food connoisseur, but everyone in our party enjoyed their meals, including two adults who have a finer appreciation for food than I do (I have heard very mixed reviews about the food at the Blue Bayou). I had the gumbo as my starter, the steak with veggies and potatoes as my entree, and the pear and almond pastry for dessert. I enjoyed everything that I had and found it to be flavorful and filling. My biggest concern whenever I am dining out, especially at Disney, is the value of what I’m getting for the price. We did the math and, with our discount, decided that the value of what we got matched the price we paid for it. Without the discount I would argue that it is too costly per person, but our discount saved about $10 per adult and I thought that this came out to be reasonable. My next biggest concern was whether we would be rushed at the restaurant, or if we would be given the opportunity to take our time. I was expecting to be rushed, so I was not surprised when the server approached us throughout the evening in a time-sensitive way. We had to order everything at once, which gave us minimal time to consider our options, and she was insistent on knowing our order within five minutes of us sitting down. I understand that the restaurant is a prime location and that they are very busy, but considering the price I would have appreciated the process to be slower. Regardless, we enjoyed our meals, had a great conversation, and were excited to move on to the (in my opinion) best part of the evening. As we paid and were preparing to leave, we were given the reserved viewing fastpasses for the 9:00pm show and were told to arrive by 8:30 for seating.
We managed to enjoy a few rides before having to return to the viewing area for our seats, which was especially nice considering the insane crowds of a Saturday night during the holidays. The entrance to the reserved viewing area is across from the Haunted Mansion and was easy to find. After turning the corner on the riverfront, the viewing area is essentially right in the middle of the river with a straight-shot view of the cabin and the island. I couldn’t have been happier with this; this view is what made the price worth it for me. We were there early enough so that the section was hardly full yet, and were able to get perfect seats with the view I was hoping for. With a short wait until the show started and not having to hassle with the crowds, we were very happy. The reserved viewing section is also (now, with the new Fantasmic! setup) the only area where you’re allowed to sit, and that made it significantly easier to enjoy. The seat cushions did their job. And of course, Fantasmic! was wonderful. The show looked beautiful, all of the effects seemed to be working, and it reminded me how much I love Disney and the wonderful things that they create. After the show we were able to remain in our viewing area for the fireworks show, which was icing on the cake of what was already a wonderful evening.
In general, I would say that the experience is worth doing at least once if you’re comfortable with the price and hit-or-miss food (based on other reviews). You can get good Fantasmic! viewing without the dining package, but this made it easy with a group of adults who wanted to enjoy a good sit-down meal and not manage the hassle of the show’s seating system. I do not see myself doing it again, unless I am with a party who specifically wants to do it.
My biggest point? Enjoy Fantasmic! while it’s still showing. I’m going to miss it while it’s gone!