I had the opportunity to try out the “on the go” version of the Fantasmic dining package at Disneyland on the 25th February 2018. In this review I’ll cover basic information on the package, as well as my thoughts on the food offerings, viewing area and whether I think it’s worth the price.
The Fantasmic dining package is currently offered at three locations inside Disneyland. Two of these – River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou – offer a sit down set menu while Hungry Bear Restaurant is a quick service alternative. Each of these packages include a ticket to a reserved viewing area for Fantasmic that evening. The viewing areas are separate for each of the restaurants, with Blue Bayou (the most expensive) getting the best view followed by River Belle Terrace and then Hungry Bear. As a further option those dining at River Belle Terrace can pay a supplement and view Fantasmic from their water view table at the restaurant as opposed to the dining area. If there is more than one showing of Fantasmic on the evening of your package. your reserved show will depend on the time of your dinner reservation. On evenings where only one Fantasmic showing is held, all packages will be for that showing and dining reservation times will be available accordingly. Reserved viewing is available only for the date and time shown on the ticket you receive with your meal.
I’ll only be looking at the quick service package for this dining review, however full details of the other dining packages can be found here.
I had originally planned on doing this dining package on my first day in Disneyland, but due to a change of plans my first day in Disneyland ended up being a day earlier than expected. There was no issue changing the date of my package though, and I easily managed to make a reservation for 3pm. I’d stress though that the dining packages at the sit down restaurants are much more popular and I’d advise making reservations for these as soon as possible.
The Hungry Bear Restaurant can be found in the Critter Country area of the park, in the top left corner:
With Splash Mountain closed for refurbishment I didn’t have much reason to come back here otherwise, so it was a nice excuse to explore this area of the park.
I arrived a few minutes early, and was handed a menu while I waited for service to begin at 3pm. The package cost $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids aged 3-9, with the options being:
- BBQ Chicken
- BBQ Pork Riblets
- Mushroom and Leek Frittata
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Served with Cranberry Apricot Grain and Wild Rice and a Kale and Bean Salad. The child options were the same but with the option of replacing the rice and salad with goldfish crackers. A drink is also included with adults being offered Blue Sky Natural Soda in a variety of flavours and children offered juices, milk etc. Regular fountain drinks were also available in place of any of these options.
I ended up deciding on the pork riblets. I imagine the chicken and salmon are healthier options, but when you’re walking about 25,000 steps a day you’ve earned the pork. The natural sodas didn’t really appeal so I ended up just getting a regular old diet coke, old habits die hard!
The pork was flavourful and tender and only needed a fork to get the meat off the bone – didn’t stop me using my hands though… I thought the BBQ sauce was sweet and sticky as it should be and I was totally thankful for all the wet wipes at the end! The rice was really nice too with the cranberries giving it a fruitier taste. On the other hand the salad was completely bland, but a bit of the BBQ sauce sorted that out pretty quickly. Overall I felt it was a tasty dish and a good size portion, if maybe a little on the small side for the price.
Also included in the bag was the viewing ticket for Fantasmic:
As you can see the ticket allows you to enter the viewing area up to 1 hour before the show. The entrance point for these packages was at the Harbour Galley – reference N in the park map above. I arrived about 25 minutes before the show started and as the cast member checked my ticket she informed me that it was seated viewing in this area. There was only two rows in front of me when I arrived and I had a really good view:
The viewing area is slightly worse than for those that dined at River Belle Terrace and slightly worse again than those who dined at Blue Bayou. These packages are more expensive, more than double in the case of Blue Bayou, so this was expected. The viewing area still gave a really good, unobstructed view of the show. One of the main perks of these areas though, on top of being able to arrive so close to show time, is the amount of space you have around you. Rather than being shoulder to shoulder with everyone else trying to watch the show in the general areas I was able to sit down and even stretch out.
To be honest I’m in in completely two minds about this package. On one hand it is quite expensive for what you get, particularly when you can get a three course sit down meal with better viewing spots for only $15 more at River Belle Terrace. I also think for children the menu may be a bit tricky for fussy eaters, assuming they don’t allow substitutions for the much more standard menu.
For a solo traveller like me though it was perfect. I don’t like spending a lot of time at lunch alone but I still wanted a guaranteed good viewing spot for the show. This package allowed me to do both of these things and the food was some of the better quick service food I tasted while at Disneyland. If I was to try and break things down into monetary terms though I’d guess that this meal would usually cost about $15 with the drink coming in at about $4. This means that in my estimations the reserved spot for Fantasmic costs around $11 per adult with this package. Personally I find that to be a good value and would recommend this package as a good quick option, particularly if you are a solo traveller.