Since 1998, “Fantasmic!” has delighted Guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort with breathtaking fireworks, water projections, laser effects and an all-star cast of Disney heroes and villains. This beloved nighttime spectacular takes audiences on a colorful journey through the vivid imagination of Mickey Mouse. Mickey’s dreams are now brighter than ever thanks to the recent installment of new digital projectors, which surely make a big difference.
“Fantasmic!” features classic animation projected onto water screens, highlighting favorite moments and songs from Disney animated films. In early August, these projections were refreshed with upgraded digital projectors, prompting the switch from traditional film to digital content. The projectors now display the animation at a 2K (2048x1080 megapixels) resolution.
“The digital projectors have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for projection on the water screens of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios,” said Production Manager Jill B. Bamford.
To make this upgrade possible, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment partnered with Walt Disney Animation Studios, ETicket Studios, Christie Projectors, and Engineering Services. Technical Director Matthew Cotter matched the latest, digitally remastered versions of the classic animation to the original film layout.
“By upgrading to digital projectors we now have the flexibility to adjust current content and add new content as it becomes available,” explained Jill. Creative Entertainment teams took advantage of this adaptability, and added several recent films to the “bubble sequence,” which had previously stopped with 1998’s “Mulan.”
“We made every effort to showcase synergy and diversity with the addition of new popular films,” said Production Manager Tiffany N. Thetard. The new sequence features “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled,” and “Frozen.”
While other scenes remain unchanged, the new digital content displays details that may not have been seen on the original film, including Grandmother Willow and Tinker Bell. Tiffany shared that, “tech teams who have been working on this show for years told us they were super excited to see moments and characters they had never seen before.”
The digital projector upgrade has made the animated moments of “Fantasmic!” crystal clear, making the entire show even more fantastic! Make sure to see it for yourself the next time you visit Disney's Hollywood Studios!
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