It must have been about 6 years since Craig and I had graced the outdoor theater that holds one of the best shows on WDW Property known as “Fantasmic.” We had been on many vacations between then and now, but since they had started showing it only on certain nights, it was getting tougher and tougher for us to plan it, so we just didn’t. Since we live here now, there was no excuse not to find the time, so we made a night of it and off we went.
Again, the coolest part of being a Resident is that you get to just “go” when the mood strikes you. It was exciting to plan out the evening with the kids, where to eat, what to do, and then once Craig was done with work, we were off. To continue to keep the cost down when visiting the Parks as much as we do, we continue to pack a bag full of Vitamin Waters and mints. We even packed 2 towels from home so that if we got sprayed at the show, or a down pour, we would be ready.
We laughed as we parked, since the joke was the weather. It was a down pour as we drove under the WDW arch, and started to let up a bit once we parked. We have gotten used to the wonky weather here in FL, and knew, in time, it would stop. A tip for all of visitors, if you are going into the Parks after a good rain, the parking tram will most likely be SOAKED. So even if you get from your car to the tram, dry as a bone, you will have a wet caboose in no time on the tram. If you can do it, and in most Parks you can, just walk it in. Wait in your car until it lets up to a small mist, and then follow the parking tram poles into the Park. Also watch out for sitting in the front and back rows on the tram- the water that collected on the tram while it was stationary comes down in large quantities once the tram starts up again. Yes, I got very wet.
Hollywood Studios was pretty empty as we walked in on the wet pavement. It was a great feeling to get out of the house for awhile, all four of us happy, and enjoying a night well deserved. It’s fun to be in the sunshine, but there is a whole other feel when you are in the Parks at dusk. Even with the humidity, it was a beautiful evening. We headed towards Star Tours, passing the American Idol Experience where I actually, for once, paid attention to the video outside because it wasn’t blistering hot. The spot in which the video plays has NO shade, so it is near impossible to watch it during the day, on top of the fact that the sun reflects on it most of the time, so it’s hard to see as well.
The Jedi Training Academy was going on as we walked up, and as we entered the queue for the ride, Vader’s theme music played and he walked out to the oohs and aahs of the crowd. It was quite amusing to me to hear that music while walking into the ride- gives it a whole different feel. I realize those who don’t come to Star Wars Weekends don’t get to see those Characters as often, but having just seen them all in June, it feels almost “like home” to see them as much as we get to do. I enjoy this line area so much- from the video screen to the characters, it’s just a fun experience that every Star Wars fan should have. We walked right onto the ride, no wait, and our vehicle was so empty that we were able to pick any row we wanted. Craig and Em sat in the top row, with Kyra and myself in front of them. We got Vader, Princess Leah, and the Pod Racers. It was a great ride, but I still get queasy on it. Craig wasn’t doing as well after either, so with a Mint and a walk, we felt better and moved on.
Taking a beautiful stroll among the back streets, we enjoyed the peace and quiet they had. We dreamed of the Osborne Lights going up in the near future, and what Christmas here in FL would be like. We smiled at the Chevrolet sign on one of the buildings, since they just signed a contract with WDW. We walked into Pixar Place, which was flowing with Toy Story Mania madness and Green Army Men all over the place. I really like the Green Army Men, makes me feel like a kid when I see them- no clue why.
We waited a few minutes to get onto The Great Movie Ride, and lucked out getting the very last car and last row. It was cool to be able to see the rooms from the back, and have the freedom to get shots I had never been able to get before. I hope to one day be a part of the dessert party they did once in the Munchkin room- that would be a dream come true!
It was around 7:00 when we got to the line for Fantasmic, which was half way down the boulevard. I personally would never wait for it again- just wait about 15 minutes or so until the theater opens up, THEN go in and look for a seat. The cattle call we were stuck in was insane, and with it being FL, it was also hot and muggy to be standing there with everyone. The mass of people then hoofed it up the walkway towards the theater, only to be bottlenecked into one section of the theater, whereas if they had opened at least TWO sections, the crowds wouldn’t have been so bad. We were escorted by Cast Members to the third row, ideally not where you want to be if you don’t want to get a tad wet.
Craig and Kyra went to grab supper- a tradition in our family when we do Fantasmic. We have the yummy hot dogs while waiting for the show. I was thrilled when he returned with hot dogs that still had the nice hot dog buns and not the train wreck ones at Casey’s lately. I enjoyed every bite as we eagerly waited for the time to tick away. We seat down probably about 7:30 and the show started one hour later. I would like to add that they have a recording playing that “Due to the nature of the show, the show may be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather.” Not what you want to hear sitting among strangers, hot, and sticky- but you make do.
It was finally 8:30 and the place was full. Of course the wave started, which Emily just loved, and then the show began. I loved how much I had forgotten! The music was on the tip of my tongue, I remembered it all to a tee, but the imagery was just breathtaking. I got goose bumps over and over again, and it was in that moment, that once again I was happy with our choice of moving here.
We walked out of the theater after the many droves of people had left, and sang along to “Ever After” from Enchanted while twirling Emily along the path way. I felt like I was on vacation again, it was new and something different. Emily was so small the last time we had seen it, that for her, this was brand new. I felt such a warmth over my heart as I watched the kids giggle and smile. Even the walk out is rewarding to us because everything has a peaceful tone to it. We enjoyed the stroll out and headed home. It was a fantastic Fantasmic night!