Access to shows?

We are planning our second trip to Disney World in August.
Last time we went we did the SD and QS dinner package, so I was able to reserve dinner packages for any shows we went to, like the RoL package. This time we decided that we would do QS and not be tied down with reservations.
So my question is, now how do I reserve the shows? Does it cost extra? Can I use my fast pass? What shows do we have to pay for?
Is the Lion King show or Beauty and the beast free, or do I need to reserve times and buy tickets for these?

Thank you!

You don’t pay for shows, they’re all free. You can get FPs, there is generally no need though. Just turn up. For most, 20 mins before is enough, unless it’s a really busy day. You need to be pretty early for Fantasmic. People often say 45 mins but we’ve never been that early.


This is strictly a subjective response, but my wife and I looked hard at the RoL dining plan BECAUSE we couldn’t get a FP for RoL. We later cancelled our dining plan because after much research (and in line with misover’s response below), there is a very good chance you’ll get into RoL w/o FP or a dining plan reservation.

I still would have kept the dining plan, knowing that 1/2 the seats at RoL are reserved for FP and dining plans, so those that love RoL were saying to get in line early enough to get tickets from the other half. But then we started researching RoL (we’ve never been to WDW before), and there are MANY people who simply don’t like the show and don’t think it’s worth a stretch. The most objective reviews we read said it’s impressive in many ways, but that 9- and 6-year-olds wouldn’t think it was worth the stretch