Fantasmic has been my favorite show at Disneyland for as long as I can remember, I was so sad when they took down the show last year and it has seemed like an eternity without Fantastic on the Rivers of America. But FEAR NOT because it is BACK and more magical than ever. The new version of the show not only includes new sequences, huge mist screens and the projection mapping technology that Disney is keen to include in all its new shows but it also includes new dining options.
Since Sarah, Colleen and I were going to see the show on opening weekend we knew the dining package was necessary. Disneyland offers 3 options at 3 different price levels, the most expensive being the Blue Bayou ($65), middle tier is River Belle Terrace ($45) and the budget option is Hungry Bear ($30). We originally had reservations for River Belle but after a reservation mix up we had to get Hungry Bear, I’m actually SO GLAD that we got Hungry Bear because it ended up being a way better deal.
Honestly we went in with the intention of paying for a fastpass, we weren’t expecting much from the food and the options were nothing that amazing. All three of us got the riblets which were nice and very filling. The sides were sub par, a weird rice dish and a dressing-less salad. Overall, a 5/10. The meal also included a drink; they were offering a strange “indie” soda brand but let us substitute for good old normal Diet Coke (thank god).
The amazing parts of our meal were “extras” and available to anyone, not only those who buy the dining package. We got a Milk and Honey Funnel Cake ($7.49) to share and Sarah and Colleen got the Lavender Sparkler ($4.99) which I, of course, had a few sips of. I am STILL dreaming about that Milk and Honey Funnel Cake… it is probably one of the best Disney desserts I have EVER had and I hope it becomes part of the permanent menu. It was a perfect size for the three of us to share and had the perfect amount of sweetness that wasn’t overpowering. 10/10 would recommend.
The Lavender Sparkler was very good but it was a lot sweeter and a lot less “sparkly” than I originally assumed. From the name I anticipated a light, spa-like sparkling drink but we got a heavy, sweet, cordial-like drink. We all agreed that it tasted great but was way too big for just one person. Personally I could only take 2 sips before I was done. I did love the actual sprig of lavender in the drink that made it smell AMAZING. 7/10
The most important part of all of this was the fast passes, I was very worried about getting a good seat since we got the second viewing (its just first come, first served). Our fast passes recommended coming at 10pm but I thought we should start lining up at 9:30pm, just in case. Getting the timing right was a little tricky because immediately after the first show lets out the fireworks begin which makes New Orleans Square a dark, packed, disaster zone. Our goal was to get to the Hungry Bear viewing area before the fireworks began but after the 9pm Fantasmic ended (I was very adamant on not seeing ANY spoilers). This gave us about 5 minutes to make it from Fantasyland to the Haunted Mansion. We made it in perfect timing and got a GREAT view of the fireworks from behind the rope to the viewing area (they did not let people in until after the fireworks). As soon as they cleared the first show crowd we made our way directly to the front of the line. Nothing gets in the way of me and good Disney show viewing… sorry to the small children I probably mowed over power walking to our spot. We were dead center right up against the fence (my personal favorite spot to watch Fantastic from!) And literally sat right on the tape line that divided the *premium* viewing from the Hungry Bear viewing.
Overall the Hungry Bear Dining Package was 100% worth it and got rid of SO much stress of trying to get fast passes for the show. The show itself was amazing as I anticipated and I can’t wait to see it again soon!
Thanks to Sarah and Colleen for being the best friends and dealing with me being an absolute crazy person. And thanks for not judging *too hard* when I sobbed through the whole show. True friends.