Disney has announced Fantasmic dining packages for lunch & dinner, with regular reserved seating or premium table views for the nighttime spectacular returning Disneyland this summer. Here’s a full rundown of the different meal and viewing options, plus brief info about another “special” experience coming to California.
As a quick recap, Fantasmic is the next nighttime spectacular returning to Disneyland Resort, coming alive on the Rivers of America starting May 28, 2022. This follows the Disneyland Forever Fireworks and Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland, plus World of Color at Disney California Adventure, all three of which returned late last month.
When Fantasmic returns to Disneyland on May 28, 2022, both Hungry Bear Restaurant and River Belle Terrace will offer three-course meals along with reserved seating for the nighttime spectacular to enhance the experience. Feast upon delicious cuisines before witnessing the wonders and delight of this exciting nighttime spectacular!
Hungry Bear Restaurant serves up an on-the-go-package featuring Southern-inspired dishes, like BBQ pork ribs, grilled salmon salad, bacon potato salad, and a dessert. Over at River Belle Terrace, indulge in plates like the Chicken & Dumplings Skillet, Plant-based Cornbread Skillet, and Pan-roasted Shrimp. Before we get to the brass tacks of these Fantasmic dining packages, there’s one other returning nighttime spectacular viewing ‘thing’ we want to bring to your attention…
Beginning on May 20, 2022, the Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Package returns to Disneyland in the upper level of the Innoventions/Super Hero HQ/Star Wars Launch Bay/event check-in building/whatever else they’ve used this space for recently that I’m forgetting.
The Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Package offers your choice of entrée, side, dessert, and unlimited beverages. Plus, a view of fireworks when on display. The Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Package costs $60 per person.
This is a complete and utter waste of money, and I’m disappointed that the Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Package is returning. With so much that still needs to be brought back and ongoing labor shortages, Disney prioritized this. REALLY?!
There are two big problems with the Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Package: this is an awful view of the Disneyland fireworks and there is no guarantee you’ll even see them. Note the “when on display” in the verbiage above. If the fireworks are cancelled (which happens often) or you simply book on a night with no pyro (also often), the price remains the same and no refunds are offered.
If you want a bad view of Disneyland Forever, Mobile Order from Tomorrowland Terrace and eat your food from the ground level in that general area. You’ll see just as much of the fireworks, there aren’t generally crowds, and at least your disappointing meal/experience will only cost ~$15 per person.
Turning to the Fantasmic dining packages, there are a few different options at River Belle Terrace, Blue Bayou Restaurant (once it reopens), and Hungry Bear Restaurant. Let’s start with River Belle Terrace, which has a couple of choices for its Fantasmic meals.
River Belle Terrace – Premium Package
Enjoy your dinner and the evening’s first performance of Fantasmic! right from your table on our outdoor patio.
You can choose from the regular menu or from special items offered only to Fantasmic! Dining Package Guests, such as loaded potato bites, petite New York steak and scallops, chicken and dumplings skillet, pan-roasted shrimp, chocolate rocky road cake or white chocolate raspberry trifle.
Advance reservations for the River Belle Terrace Premium Package are highly recommended and can be made on Disneyland.com or with the Disneyland app up to 60 days before your visit. Same-day reservations for the River Belle Terrace Premium Package can be made on a limited basis and are subject to availability.
Dinner: $75 per adult; $45 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax and gratuity not included.
7:15 PM Dining Reservation
As with all Disneyland dining reservations, you must cancel at least one day prior to your reservation to avoid a per-person cancellation fee. If you fail to cancel by then or are a no-show, the credit card provided at the time of reservation will be charged $10 per person.
River Belle Terrace – Standard Package
Savor a delectable Southern-style meal at lunch or dinner and receive a voucher admitting you to a separate reserved viewing location for one of the 2 Fantasmic! performances that evening.
You can choose from the regular menu or from special items offered only to Fantasmic! Dining Package Guests.
River Belle Terrace lunch or dinner Guests can request the Standard Package from their server. It cannot be reserved in advance. Availability is limited.
You can ask about performance time availability when you request your dining package. Your voucher lists the location of your viewing area, the time you should arrive at your viewing location and the show’s performance time. Early and late arrivals will not be accommodated.
Fantasmic performances can be cancelled without notice due to technical, weather or other issues. No refunds or exchanges will be issued for either the Standard or Premium Package, even if the show is cancelled.
Lunch: $50 per adult; $30 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax and gratuity not included.
Dinner: $50 per adult; $30 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax and gratuity not included.
Starting at 11:00 AM for lunch and 4:00 PM for dinner.
Fantasmic! On-the-Go Package at Hungry Bear Restaurant
Finally, there’s a grab & go counter service Fantasmic dining package available at Hungry Bear Restaurant. This one also needs to be reserved up to 60 days ahead of your visit via Disneyland.com or the Disneyland app. Same-day reservations can be made on a limited basis and are subject to availability.
When you’re at the park, head to Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country during your pickup time window. Along with your meal, each guest with a Fantasmic dining package will also receive a voucher for entry to the reserved viewing area for the first or second performance of Fantasmic. You can enjoy your food in the restaurant’s outdoor seating area or eat elsewhere in Disneyland.
Choose from a down-home menu created just for this event, featuring barbecued pork ribs, grilled salmon salad or a barbecued half-chicken, served with bacon potato salad, seasonal vegetables, a dessert and fountain beverage. Or try a plant-based Impossible sloppy joe sandwich with seasonal vegetables, fresh fruit, dessert and fountain beverage. Kids meals include barbecued ribs, mac and cheese, and a plant-based Impossible sloppy joe slider.
Hungry Bear Fantasmic On-the-Go Package Pricing
$35.00 per adult (ages 10 and up)
$25.00 per child (ages 3 to 9)
Tax is not included
Reservation and Show Times
Your reservation will include a time to pick up your food. Meal pick-up times are normally 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM, though times may vary based on the Fantasmic! schedule. Reservations made for 3:00 PM through 6:45 PM will include a voucher for entry into the reserved viewing area for the first performance of Fantasmic! that evening. Reservations from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM will include a voucher for entry into the reserved viewing area for that night’s second show.
Blue Bayou Restaurant – Coming Soon
Check back for opening date, pricing and package details.
In addition to the dining packages, it’s our expectation that Fantasmic will use a virtual queue at Disneyland to fill out the rest of its seating area. This is premised on a mix of past precedent and what DCA is doing with World of Color, which previously used the same FastPass/MaxPass system as Disneyland.
If World of Color is also any indication, the Fantasmic virtual queue will fill up very quickly for the entirety of Summer 2022 at Disneyland.
As for whether the Fantasmic dining packages are worth the money is a matter of how much a good spot for the nighttime spectacular matters to you. We’ve done versions of these a few times over the years, and I’ve never felt like the value proposition was satisfactory.
With that said, I’m also not a Disneyland first-timer or even an infrequent tourist. I’ve seen Fantasmic dozens of times and am relatively comfortable gambling on the virtual queue. If I lose out, it’s not the end of the world–I’ll try again next time. Obviously, the calculus is different for someone who has never seen the superior Disneyland version of Fantasmic. With that said, if I were a first-timer with limited time at Disneyland, I wouldn’t want one of my few meals to be at River Belle Terrace, so there’s also that.
This is not to say the Fantasmic Dinner Package is not worth purchasing. It really depends upon your definition of “worth.” Typically, the best seating for Fantasmic is reserved for the dining packages, and even the best FastPass spots for Fantasmic are fairly far off-center or in a cramped and small standing-only section. (Presumably, that’ll hold true with the virtual queue spots, too.)
If you’re willing to be extorted for a centered view of Fantasmic, a dining package makes sense. I think paying less and doing the Hungry Bear grab and go option, or paying more and having the front and center view for the Blue Bayou package might be the better options than River Belle Terrace, though. I definitely would not do the premium option there, and find it downright laughable that this used to be free seating not too long ago when River Belle Terrace was a counter service restaurant.
For first-timers, our recommendation would be doing the Blue Bayou Fantasmic dining package or nothing at all. It will unquestionably be the most expensive of the bunch (we know this because it was before), but Blue Bayou is a Disneyland institution. It’s worth dining there once solely for the ambiance and eating inside Pirates of the Caribbean. If you’re a tourist visiting Disneyland wanting the whole experience, I think it’s easier to justify the Blue Bayou Fantasmic package from that perspective. The Blue Bayou dining package is expensive, but it’s a very good restaurant, and you’ll get an excellent view of Fantasmic.
Will you be booking a Fantasmic dining package? Is it worth the surcharge to guarantee that you’ll have a spot along the Rivers of America to see the nighttime spectacular? Have you done any of these dining packages in the past? Was it worth the money? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!