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Taking a close-up view of the parks
Long-running program provides great show at Disneyland Hotel
Text and photos by Karl Buiter, contributing writer
Welcome back to Hidden Treasures. Readers of early MousePlanet may remember that I covered the lesser known but sometimes most magical of sights at the Disneyland Resort, including Snow White's Grotto and the Wishing Well, the Mark Twain Pilot House, and the now-closed Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough.
The inspiration for Hidden Treasures actually was the Fantasy Waters Magic of Disney Music water and light show. Hidden in a far corner of the Disneyland Hotelpast the pool, Goofy's Kitchen, and the Bonita TowerFantasy Waters is a magical break from your day at the Disneyland Resort, and one of the truly Hidden Treasures within the resort complex.
Fantasy Waters has been around for a long time. So long, in fact, that the All New updated show was from the early '90s. Disneyland has seen numerous nighttime shows attract our attention since then, including Fantasmic! from 1992 and the now-retired Believe fireworks show. That Fantasy Waters survived the reconstruction of the resort is amazing. It is the Way-Back Machine to a golden time for Disney movies and Attractions.
Fantasy Waters is a dancing waters show on a grand scale. Not quite as huge or as grand as the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, but for an intimate setting with very colorful lighting and a few tricks on the rear wall, it's a wonderful show to see.
Fantasy Waters opens with the basics. Small sculptures of water intermixed with walls of water illuminated in alternating colors. The first section of the show highlights some classic Disney films, sometimes set to new arrangements.
The show opens with Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah sung by Ric Ocasek of The Cars.
We get into original film music including:
Then The Bare Necessities from Jungle Book, by Harry Connick Jr.
And finally a lengthy portion of Step In Time from Mary Poppins.
A light panel wall comes to life toward the end of the classic Disney music sequence. Harry Connick Jr. covers Bare Necessities as the light wall and fountains rapidly alternate to the music. By the film version of Step In Time, the light wall and fountains are fully in sync. Different animated patterns appear on the wall, sometimes eerily reminiscent of early video game graphics.
The show takes a narrative turn to the attraction music of Disneyland. The music list includes:
What's that? For the answer to where you can still find Michael Jackson singing at a Disney park, the answer is Fantasy Waters. And lest we forget, the American Adventure is an Epcot park attraction. Disney Entertainment has been mixing up theme parks and their attractions for a long time.
The light wall suffers from colored panels that need replacement. However I do enjoy its fairly organic appearance. It's sort of like perfect fireworkswe always look for that perfect Mickey.
Some Christmas-tree light frames remain off in recent performances. There are four character frames, two flanking the castle on each side, that also have been conspicuously absent in recent performances.
The third section of Fantasy Waters covers Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. The show finishes with When You Wish Upon a Star.
The show runs about 16 minutes long. It appears nightly all year round. Present show times are 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.
One of the founding members of MousePlanet, Inc., Karl Buiter is now a contributing writer. He lives in Las Vegas, NV, and is a software developer with an interest in monorails.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Karl here.
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