2023 Fantasmic Dining Packages at Disney World: Pricing, Restaurants & Recommendations
Fantasmic dining packages are now available for 2023 at Walt Disney World for breakfast, lunch & dinner, offering guaranteed seating in a reserved seating area for the nighttime spectacular at Hollywood Studios. Here’s a full rundown of the different participating restaurants and meal pricing, plus our commentary on whether the Fantasmic dining packages are worth it. (Updated December 15, 2022.)
For those unfamiliar with it, Fantasmic is a nighttime spectacular performed nightly in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Another version is also shown along the Rivers of America at Disneyland; the two are similar but sufficiently different that both are worth seeing. While Fantasmic includes pyro among its elements, it is not a conventional fireworks show. Instead, it’s more like a stage show at night, at an epic scale with wow-inducing wizardry, visuals, and performers.
Fantasmic dining packages are available for select restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Previously released for dates during the holiday season this year, Walt Disney World has finally opened up Fantasmic dining packages for early 2023. Here’s everything we know about the Fantasmic dining packages at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…
December 15, 2022 Update: As noted above, Fantasmic dining packages are now available for dates in 2023. These should have been released weeks ago, and there has been growing frustration among Walt Disney World fans about this.
It has been compounded by communication woes with call center Cast Members, who commonly claimed that the packages had already been released and were just sold out–or that no issue existed. (At some point this stopped being innocent ignorance. It was a widely known problem that continued to be denied.)
Regardless, we’ve spot-checked My Disney Experience for Fantasmic Dining Packages in January and February 2023, and have found availability for most restaurants. With some major exceptions.
First of all, for the best results, you’ll want to search for “Fantasmic Dining Package” in the My Disney Experience app rather than on DisneyWorld.com. There were several days when the website brought back no results, but the MDX app did.
Second, if you can’t find anything for your desired dates, try refreshing or adjusting your parameters in the My Disney Experience app. There are options (for now), they just don’t always appear at first. If you’re not having success, try some techniques from our Top 10 Tips for Hard to Book Advance Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World (numbers 7-10, in particular).
While not relevant to booking 2023 dates at this point, tip #2 is also worth mentioning. We have been seeing same-day availability for Fantasmic Dining Packages throughout the month. In all likelihood, this is because when ADRs for DHS restaurants are cancelled, they become eligible to be “converted” into Fantasmic Dining Packages. (The seating section for the dining packages is huge–far bigger than is needed for the current supply of Fantasmic Dining Package ADRs.)
Finally, it still does not appear that all dates have been loaded into My Disney Experience for the Fantasmic Dining Package. Yesterday, my assumption was that late January 2023 had simply already sold out. After hearing from readers and asking around, I’m now leaning more towards those dates not having been released yet. (I’m not 100% confident in this assessment, but it seems likely.)
With that said, every date I checked in February 2023 had availability. Note that even with the tips & tricks above, this may not be the case for you. That’s especially true for those with larger party sizes. In that case, keep trying or check back the night before or day of.
If you haven’t yet decided whether the Fantasmic Dining Package is right for you, that’s the first thing to do. For what it’s worth, we highly recommend booking the cheapest Fantasmic Dining Package and guaranteeing yourself a great seat that way!
Alternatively, you can consult our Viewing Guide for Fantasmic at Walt Disney World for all of our tips to get the best seats without paying extra for the package.
One other quick notes before we delve into the details of the Fantasmic Dining Packages. If you’re scheduled to do Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a date when there are two showings of Fantasmic, you probably do not need to buy the dining package. Exceptions to this are peak holiday dates.
Sarah and I have done Fantasmic multiple times now, and we’ve managed to see the second show from spectacular seats simply by showing up ~10 minutes in advance. There’s a good chance Walt Disney World will drop the second showings at some point in Winter 2023, but for now, they are a fantastic way to see Fantasmic without paying extra for the dining package!
On another note, if you want a Fantasmic dining package, you need to book that specifically. You cannot simply book an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) right now for one of the participating restaurants and add the dining package upon arrival. (That might end up being possible, but it’s not typically how this works.)
You need to wait and book the dedicated dining package. You’ll know you have the right thing because it’ll be listed as “Fantasmic Dining Package” in the My Disney Experience app, on disneyworld.com, and on your confirmed ADR.
Here’s what’s included in each Fantasmic! Dining Package at Walt Disney World:
- An entrée and appetizer or dessert at select full-service restaurants or one (1) full buffet (where applicable), along with a non-alcoholic beverage
- One voucher for guaranteed seating at Fantasmic! in a reserved area
Participating restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and dining package prices, which exclude tax and gratuity:
(ages 10 & up)
(Ages 9 & Under)
|50’s Prime Time Cafe
Classic American comfort food, ’50s kitsch and a good old-fashioned family gathering take you back to a bygone era.
|Hollywood & Vine
Celebrate breakfast with Disney Junior Stars or enjoy lunch and dinner with Minnie and friends at seasonal dining parties.
Lunch & Dinner: $71.00
Lunch & Dinner: $47.00
|Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
Mangia in the backlot of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at this casual but colorful Italian eatery with a California twist.
|Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
Do dinner and a show ’50s-style at our drive-in “theater,” featuring all-American cuisine and sci-fi movie clips.
|The Hollywood Brown Derby
Step into the Golden Age of Hollywood at this warm, wood-paneled restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine.
All listed package prices do not include alcohol or park admission. Alcohol will only be served to Guests 21 and older.
Know Before You Go
Here’s important information from Walt Disney World about reserved seating, scheduling, and more for the Fantasmic dining packages at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Both a theme park reservation and valid theme park admission are required. Disney’s Hollywood Studios admission is not included in the price of the dining package.
- Advance Dining Reservations are highly recommended.
- You can pick up your seating voucher for Fantasmic! at the time of your meal.
- Seating at Hollywood Hills Amphitheater begins 90 minutes prior to show time. You must arrive at least 25 minutes prior to show time to be seated in the reserved section. Check your My Disney Experience app for showtimes.
- Your seats are not assigned. Rather, you will choose your seats within the reserved section on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The entrance for dining packages is located on Sunset Boulevard next to Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage.
- The Fantasmic! Dining Package is available on all Fantasmic! show days.
- Please note that your dining experience will still take place, even in the event that your entertainment experience is cancelled.
It’s nice to see a larger slate of eligible restaurants for the Fantasmic dining packages at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As far as recommendations go, our preliminary one is anywhere but Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano!
Seriously, we really like all of these restaurants except Mama Melrose, and all for different reasons. Hollywood Brown Derby is one of the few in-park Signature Restaurants, and it’s generally really good. (Our last meal there was only so-so, but I still recommend it. Sarah does not.)
We also really love both 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. I’ve said for years that you should disregard the negative reviews, as the experience at both restaurants is the star of the show. Personally, I think both serve pretty good food, too.
I’m inclined to pick Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater over 50’s Prime Time Cafe, but other Walt Disney World fans favor 50’s. I can’t fault them for the preference–you really can’t go wrong, either way. Both are among the pinnacle of themed dining at Walt Disney World and are well-worth experiencing at least once. (We’ve done both many, many more times than that!)
With that said, our personal top pick–and the restaurant we will be attempting to book–during the Christmas season is Hollywood & Dine. While we cringe a bit at that $71 price for adults, we absolutely love Minnie’s Holiday Dine, and this is the first time in 3 years that we’ll be able to do the normal experience there, so we were planning on doing it, regardless. Now, two birds with one stone!
Hollywood & Dine is another restaurant that gets mixed reviews, with some Walt Disney World fans ardently opposed to it. To be sure, this is not the height of haute cuisine at Walt Disney World. It’s a character buffet. The food is familiar and comforting, and in no way whatsoever envelope-pushing, but generally good. We are big fans. (Overall, I think the table service ‘scene’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios doesn’t get nearly enough credit. It’s no World Showcase, but almost everything offers something worthwhile.)
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, but always as part of the Disney Dining Plan. That is still temporarily suspended (see When Will the Disney Dining Plan Return at Walt Disney World? for more on when we’re expecting it to return), so obviously it’s not possible to get the Fantasmic dining package for “free” with the DDP right now.
If you asked me pre-closure whether the Fantasmic dining package was worth the out-of-pocket cost, my answer would’ve been a quick and unequivocal “no.” I would’ve simply recommended catching the second show, or hedging your bets with a FastPass+ selection if Fantasmic was really important and you didn’t want to wait or risk it.
It’s very difficult to offer that same forward-looking assessment for the Fantasmic Dining Packages. To the contrary, we purchased Fantasmic Dining Packages for the nighttime spectacular’s return. I’m not sure whether they’ll always be necessary, but I’m also not certain they won’t.
What I am relatively certain of is that Fantasmic dining packages will fill up fast–just as quickly as Candlelight Processional dining packages did last month. The nighttime spectacular is beloved, there’s a ton of pent-up demand, and desire to see the reimagined version of Fantasmic.
While the previous version of Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios had plenty of fans, it didn’t have the same diehard following as the Disneyland incarnation. We went a year or more without seeing it on multiple occasions, which is not something I can say about the one shown along the Rivers of America at Disneyland.
We aren’t alone in that. And now, we are counting down the days until Fantasmic’s return, anxiously awaiting the reimagined nighttime spectacular and its new Disney Heroes segment. Among diehard Walt Disney World fans, we aren’t alone in that, either.
Even pre-closure, there were times when people lined up 2 hours in advance for Fantasmic. Granted, this was not most guests–and it was usually possible to get a seat within an hour of showtime–but the point is that Fantasmic has always been popular with first-timers and infrequent visitors.
Now, added to that mix will be more Walt Disney World regulars who might’ve skipped it before. Fantasmic will probably have even more interest among casual guests, as it’ll be hyped up by Disney in marketing materials. Animal Kingdom doesn’t have a nighttime spectacular, and people will Park Hop from there to one of the other three parks.
There’s also the fact that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will displace thousands of people per evening it’s held, disproportionately causing crowding at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That’ll lead to even more demand for Fantasmic during the first two months it’s back.
Then there’s the simple fact that the first full month of Fantasmic dining packages will likely be the busiest stretch of the year at Walt Disney World. Suffice to say, the stars are aligned for Fantasmic to draw absolutely colossal crowds and long lines in this holiday season.
This is despite the fact that the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater seats 6,900 guests with additional standing room for about 3,000 guests. That’s a massive number, and one that’ll allow a good percentage of all guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic–especially if it has two nightly performances this holiday season, as expected.
It’s still a near-certainty that demand will exceed capacity. That would be true whether Fantasmic offers 1, 2, or 3 nightly showings. The combination of crowds, pent-up demand, and lack of alternatives during the holiday season all but guarantees it.
Accordingly, it’s our view that Fantasmic dining packages are worth it, at least in the near-term. The unfortunate reality is that we probably won’t know whether Fantasmic will offer Genie+ until sometime in 2023. While I think it’s likely, I also wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
Without a doubt, standby will be a viable option for Fantasmic. Simply by virtue of available restaurant capacity v. Hollywood Hills Amphitheater seating area capacity, that much should be obvious. (Our guess is that <10% of the venue can conceivably be taken up by dining packages in the near-term.) So, if one of the Fantasmic dining packages is not in your budget, it’s not a huge deal–you’ll still be able to see the show so long as you line up early (or, hopefully, purchase Genie+ and book a Lightning Lane for it).
Conversely, that same capacity constraint means that Fantasmic dining packages are going to be exceedingly difficult to score. There are going to be a ton of people competing for comparatively few tables. So don’t fret if you miss out. While we’d recommend attempting to book a Fantasmic dining package–and will be doing so ourselves–it’s not the end of the world if you get shut out. The odds are not in your favor. Even without a dining package or Lightning Lane, it will be possible to see Fantasmic…it’ll just be chaotic!
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Will you be booking a Fantasmic dining package? Is it worth the surcharge to guarantee that you’ll have a spot in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater 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!
A friend just booked 1/24 lunch. Group of 7. Had to split the party for the dining package. But once they canceled their original non-package ADR it became available as a table for 7 with the package. So if you have an existing ADR you might try canceling and re-booking if up for the risk.
I have yet to see anything released for the 10th-31st of January. We’ve been religiously refreshing for weeks trying to get something for the 19th but the only thing we’ve noticed is a huge pool of new regular ADRs released so I’m thinking someone screwed up and put them in the wrong category somewhere on the back end.
Availability just opened up. GO GO GO!
Yeah they opened up while I was driving and now I’m out of luck and even more frustrated and disillusioned. I hate that I can plan and research and wake up at 5am every day for four weeks just in case they release them…and they still just vanish out from under me. I’m sending a mail to guest services now, because this is not fair.
Seems like maybe this was indeed an inventory and/or staffing issue for January. I found lots of F! Dining Package availability for February 8-11 a couple days ago on the website (I didn’t try the app).
As soon as I saw this post yesterday, I tried booking for January 31. I was on the phone for quite some time with a cast member, who confirmed with her manager that No Fantasmic dining packages had been sold for that day. So, seems that haven’t released some dates yet. The cast member had no idea if they were going to and said I should keep checking back. :/
Thanks for sharing that. From what I’ve gathered (and please don’t hold me to this–it’s entirely anecdotal and could be wrong), the impacted dates appear to be January 21-31, 2023. No clue why dining packages were released for before and after that, but not that window. Really odd.
Yes, very odd and stressful for people planning a once in a long while trip (like me! :)). Jan 31 just opened, so perhaps that range of dates it all open now! Just wanted to let you and your readers know if anyone is trying to get these reservations! Thanks for all you do Tom!
Any idea when March dates will be released??
In theory, 60 days out (+10 for on-site guests).
Really gotta emphasize the “in theory” part of that.
If a performance of Fantasmic is cancelled due to inclement weather, are we just out of luck or do we have the option to hop back to DHS another night for the show to use our vouchers? There is a fairly significant upcharge for the package, so that possibility makes me a little nervous.
I also tried looking and I cannot find anything. I’m not even going during a “busy” week! 🙁
I do not believe they did a full release on all dates, especially in early January. I was able to snag a reservation yesterday and released my existing non-Fantasmic reservation. I immediately searched again and saw that my previous reservation had been converted to a Fantasmic dining package, so I switched back for the better time slot. That tells me that they are converting reservations that are cancelled to Fantasmic dining packages…maybe because they did not hold enough reservation inventory for Fantasmic? No doubt Disney IT is to blame, but reservations may only be trickling open for earlier dates in 2023, but appear to be more widely available for later dates.
“…maybe because they did not hold enough reservation inventory for Fantasmic?”
I think this is the best explanation, as the same thing happened when I released a regular ADR for December.
“No doubt Disney IT is to blame…”
Probably not in the above case–that seems more likely a planning issue with the dining teams. Perhaps in the slow trickle of ADRs being released is the fault of Disney IT, though?
After doing more searching, I’m also now seeing entire date ranges that are totally unavailable. Oof. I have no clue whether those have still yet-to-be-released or if they were released earlier and already snatched up. Sorry!
I don’t understand your update today (December 14) that you “have found a ton of availability for most restaurants” for dates in January & February 2023. I’m looking during two weeks in late January and it doesn’t matter which date or which restaurant I search for, it says there are absolutely no Fantasmic Dining Packages availability at any time on any date!
I’m having the same problem, unfortunately. I’m not seeing anything for any of my dates, checking both the website and through the app.
I have not been able to find a single Fantasmic Dining package thus far. Can it be booked from the general “check dining availability” option, or do I need to go somewhere else? Is it listed under the specific restaurant or would it say “Fantasmic Dining package”? Thanks for the help!