Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trip report: WDW & The Half Marathon, Pt. 6

Before continuing with my tale, I must allow George at Imaginerding some piece of mind. Here is the promised closeup of his beloved books:

Back to the regularly scheduled post:

Before Fantasmic began, Stacy continued her marathon shopping spree and Dough & I tooled around taking photos. LOVED this vintage car with the cool hood ornament!

And before we knew it, twas time to meet up again for Fantasmic. I’ll start right off with the disclaimer that I’m not a huge fan of Fantasmic. I’ve seen it about 3 or 4 times, and each time I think, “What's the big deal about?” I know that for some, that’s tantamount to sacrilege; I also know that there’s a fairly large sanction of people out there who frequently ask the question, “But what’s the storyline?” Personally, when it comes to attractions and shows, I want to be ENTERTAINED. If it’s not entertaining, I don’t give a crap if there’s a cohesive storyline. Just because you have 3 boring scenes that are tied together with a common thread of a storyline does not mean you have something entertaining. I LOVED Kim Irvine discussing Pirates and Mansion last year, saying they were like attending a fabulous cocktail party where you mingled with the guests and heard lots of fantastic tales. In summary, I don't find the bits and pieces of Fantasmic to be very entertaining. Sure, they've been tied together by saying that Mickey is having a nightmare, but BFD. I’ve never thought that the water effects or other pyrotechnics were spectacular enough to make my jaw drop. The Bellagio Water Show in THAT’S entertainment! The Tiana Showboat Jubilee: simple, yet VERY entertaining!

As is common at WDW, the abundance of space makes things much easier; Fantasmic is able to have its own amphitheater and "body of water," making almost ANYTHING possible. Funny thing so many other things, I prefer the Disneyland version better. Oftentimes, having a smaller space makes you think more creatively, and I believe the folks at Anaheim have a much better show on the Rivers of America than the WDW version in a sterile outdoor theater environment.

The WDW version has a heavy reliance on characters from “Pocahontas,” the 1995 Disney animated film.

Many similar elements to the Anaheim version are featured:

The huge snake was somewhat fun:

The Malificent/Dragon was fairly impressive, but not like the new whiz-bang version that Anaheim has:

It should come as no surprise that Mickey wins in the end against the dragon.

And here came the jaw-dropper of the evening. I have often read that Orlando is sometimes shortchanged in comparison to Anaheim; more money and cooler gadgets hit Anaheim first, with Orlando picking up the slack much later. Nowhere was this more clear than in the next scene. Even before the "boat" came out, I remember thinking, "This theater is for Fantasmic, and the water doesn't connect to the other parks. Did they build a second Mark Twain? Wow! That would be expensive!" The solution was much worse. I highly doubt that Imagineers could have taped together a more pitiful-looking vessel than the cheap piece of $%^&* that floated out with the Disney Character cast. I think I may have seen this thing in a salvage yard once.

Mickey must die from shame; even Steamboat Willie had a better boat.

And the Anaheim version: NO COMPARISON!

But the show goes on, and naturally it ended in a flaming blaze of glory.

OK, onto bigger and better things. As you would expect, the park looks even more magical at night.

Dough headed back to the hotel; Stacy & I went to The Magic Kingdom to enjoy the extra 3 hours the park was open exclusively to hotel guests. And that, dear friends, is where I leave you hanging today. Stay tuned! See more WDW Fantasmic photos at my website.


Major Pepperidge said...

Boy, that boat really IS a piece of junk. I'm not nuts about Fantasmic! either, but obviously others enjoy it. It's OK once! With the crowds and the altered riverfront, it hasn't done Disneyland's Frontierland any favors...

TokyoMagic! said...

I think that boat is supposed to be the Steamboat Willie boat....but yeah, pretty sad in comparison to Anaheim. I've never been a huge fan of Fantasmic either. It's nice to finally have a decent looking dragon, but the show doesn't warrant repeat viewings. And the crowds...ugh. That's the one thing I liked about WDW's version...the fact that they could have it off in it's own separate area and not affect park traffic flow. Actually, everytime I've been there, I think they ran Fantasmic right at park closing. Do they still do that?

Amy said...

“What's the big deal about?”

Me too! Glad I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

yeah that's not supposed to be the mark twain boat it's supposed to be steamboat willy's boat and it has more than the cartoon boat did. so slow down tiger.

Daveland said...

Anonymous - Saying a 3-dimensional boat has more detail than a cartoon from 1927 isn't really saying very much. Regardless of what it was supposed to be, as an element of a "wow" type show, it was a letdown.

Interesting that for this post, you zero in on one negative element from my report. But, that is what I have come to expect from those who sign their posts "Anonymous."

Show yourself, tiger.