Disney will be testing allocated seating for Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios next week

Jul 18, 2015 in "Fantasmic!"

Posted: Saturday July 18, 2015 4:35pm EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney will soon be testing allocated seating for Fantasmic! performances at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

During the test period, no advance FastPass+ reservations will be available, and instead, guests will be invited to visit a FastPass+ kiosk in the park on the day of the show.

The FastPass+ kiosk will then assign either a specific seat, row or section - depending on the day of the test.

We've been told that on July 21 and 22 2015, the test will be allocating specific seats to guests. On July 23 and 24, the system will be allocating specific rows, and finally on July 27 and 28, just a section in the amphitheater will be allocated.

The Hollywood Hills Amphitheater has seating for over 7000 guests, and the show's popularity frequently sees guests arriving a couple of hours before show time.

Disney is keen to reduce the pre-arrival time to around 30 minutes maximum, and it appears that the tests are designed to look at different methods of eliminating seating anxiety and reassuring guests that their position in the show will be available without arriving hours before the show.

This is the second test in recent times at Fantasmic! The park has recently tested delivery of food and merchandise to guests once seated inside the amphitheater.

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Biff215Jul 22, 2015

I agree and realize this is a test, but getting that specific with bleacher seating is only going to cause problems. I feel bad for the CM's who will be needed to check seats. It's embarrassing enough at a sports venue where there are actually individual seats. I was able to grab an additional FP last week about an hour before. I'm ok with this system but they should have a section reserved for FP like the dining package instead of just sending you in with everyone else.

TheScreedJul 22, 2015

In light of the average WDW visitor, I don't think 20 inches will be enough. It might be enough on average (total seating inches per total number of guests) but WDW has a tremendous number of people who couldn't possibly fit into a space that size. Without numbers, it can work out by having kids sit closer together, but now you will have people taking a 20 inch space who don't need it and people taking way more than their allotted 20 inches. It might work if WDW guests were a cross-section of the overall population, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. I have a feeling the numbered seat thing will be a bust.

roj2323Jul 22, 2015

From today July 22

allgigglesJul 22, 2015

I suspect we were there the same night (Friday, 6/19). We had planned to go to the 2nd showing of Fantasmic that night (we had watched the Frozen Fireworks the night before) and ended up watching the Frozen Fireworks (with a slightly obstructed and off-center view) again from the Fantasmic Line. As soon as the fireworks were over we were quickly hoarded into the Fantasmic theater. Then it started raining during Fantasmic and DH & I made the executive decision to bail on Fantasmic. We were about halfway down the exit ramp when we heard them announce that the show was being cancelled for the safety of the guests and performers We told the kids to "keep moving" so we could stay ahead of the crowd and get to the buses before getting totally soaked. Our little head start kept us in front of the crowd and when we got to the bus stop for AoA there was a bus waiting. We were on the bus about 30 seconds when it left for the resort (with about 20 people on it). As we pulled away we could see the mobs of people just arriving at all of the bus stops.

bethymouseJul 21, 2015

They should have done this long ago!

bethymouseJul 21, 2015

@DABIGCHEEZ The same thing happened to us! They really need to do something about this! It was even worse on the day we went because the Frozen fireworks were delayed as well. Those fireworks ended about 10:30. We practically "ran" to go see Fantasmic! It was total chaos! It ended up the finale of the show was stopped due to storms in the area, and we got a bit wet;) trying to catch a bus back to the resort!:eek:

YodaManJul 20, 2015

Numbered stickers were put on the benches within the past week. Each one is about 20 inches apart

ABQJul 20, 2015

Well reading through Steve's news post, they are doing 3 separate rounds of testing. One seat based, one row based and one section based. They must be adding numbers to a portion of rows within a section. Once the testing is over, feasibility will, I assume, be assessed for each option.

CaptainAmericaJul 20, 2015

Yeah they could assign a row and section and then have people sit all the way to the center of their assigned row as it fills in.

MansionButler84Jul 20, 2015

No. This is curious to me, too. I can't see how they can specify anything beyond a row. But, as others are saying, it should just be an assigned section and let people choose from there.

jaypking1983Jul 20, 2015

As a dad who's daughter loves the show.....I do not want assigned seats I love picking and choosing our seats..... that being said I dont mind change.... what I would like would be a better exit strategy for leaving the show

BetsybooJul 20, 2015

Hopefully I'm not asking a question or making a statement that's already been made, but are the seats numbered as they are now? I don't have any memory of seeing numbers on those bleacher style seats.

flynnibusJul 20, 2015

The system should be as it's been created for WoC and used since... the point of the system is to avoid the 'camping wars' -- where people continue to camp out earlier and earlier to get a spot. By forcing the area to be cleared and you are put in areas by batches... you achieve that simple goal. You also have the byproduct that you are able to set sections aside for value-add/u;sell purposes. What @FerretAfros is valid and should be a concern.. it's a lot easier to tell people to 'take 2 steps foward' when its a corral, and much harder when everyone is on benches.. besides simply 'squeeze to the right.. etc'. The thing about sections is it takes a lot more staff and space for staging. But I still think the FP by section is still the best hybrid.

Vegas Disney FanJul 20, 2015

I hated the idea of FP on Fantasmic at DL but it's really helped with crowd control and eliminated the need to go really early to get a good spot. They have also started stand by lines, not only does this fill all the sections but it has also made it possible to see the show if you arrive after the FP are gone for the day, you're not guaranteed a spot but the CMs do their best to fit in as many people as possible in the last 5-10 minutes before show time. I hated the concept but after using it a few times really like how simple it's made the process.