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Fantasmic! restoration or quick fix?

I feel as though a great relief has come over me since Monday evening when I got word that Fantasmic! will be shown every night between July 6th and September 30.  The decision to reduce Fantasmic! showings from at least once a night to every few days back in 2008 has been a black eye upon Hollywood Studios and a subject of great dismay among the Disney Internet community.

The news of Fantasmic! returning every night is wonderful, but I'm not ready to declare victory quite yet.  We still don't know what will happen after September 30th and the motives for the change now still leave me with more questions than have been answered.

So why the change? And why now?  And why not go beyond September 30?  The easy question is why September 30, because October 1 is the beginning of the fiscal year for Disney and I suspect budgets have not been completed beyond September 30.  But the bigger question is why?  The lack of Fantasmic! every night has been the source of guest frustration since the plan was iniatiated three and a half years ago.  Surely Disney has recieved enough complaints earlier than this week to make them rethink their policy.

I've always assumed the decision to cut back on Fantasmic! showings was made somewhere up the corporate ladder by someone(s) that aren't in the park much, if at all.  The sort of evil bean counters many of us imagine exist in the Disney World bueraocracy that halt all sorts of fun sounding ideas for financial reasons.  So was there suddenly a surplus of money on hand that wasn't anticipated?  Did the avalanche of guest complaints override the need to shave a few dollars here and there? 

Perhaps the biggest question that this change created is what happens on October 1st and beyond?  It would seem ridiculous to me to have a showing of Fantasmic! every night in September, historically one of the least busiest months of the year, and then revert to cutting Fantasmic! back in the following months, a time of the year with ever increasing crowds.

There's no question that having Fantasmic! every night for the next three months is a great decision if you're a Disney World fan.  Anyone going on vacation this summer or early fall will find it much easier to see Fantasmic!, even if right now there's only one show per night.  While I'm happy to hear the news, I cant help but wonder what the long-term plan is and if this is merely an oasis we've stumbled upon before we have to venture back out in the desert.

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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 by