How Early to Get to the F! Viewing Area

We have a 4:20 reservation at Blue Bayou with the Fantasmic package and seating for the first show which is at 9. The TP says to get there by 8 - is that to early or is an hour ahead of time about right?


I’d say at 8 you’d be pretty good. Not center seats, but not bad.

Following. If you don’t care about having the perfect seat, but just want your young children to be able to see how late can you safely get there. I’m not sure my small children will sit still for an hour.

If you get there at 8 you’ll be there just before/as they are allowing entry to the sections. There may be some people already there for 10 or so minutes before. If you want your pick of spots head to the return area at 7:40-7:45pm but if you are ok with just going in at 8pm that is great too & the nice thing with the dining package is that you can even show up at 8:20-8:30pm and still be OK, your spot just won’t be THE best spot (but the whole section is a great view so no sweat if you’re not there until 8:30).

I wouldn’t push it any later than 8:30 though as after that any open space can get sparse especially if you are more than 1-2 people. Also, if you have part of your group go save spots while the rest wait outside to do one last attraction/get food/allow antsy children time to run off their steam then make sure they join you by 8:30pm as people coming in at that time will be eyeing your carefully saved spots as prime seating & it’s just easier to have everyone there at that time so there’s no encroaching/squishing.


Just to give a quick update: We just got back from our trip so still getting settled back into the swing of things. But the return ticket they gave us at Blue Bayou said not to get there until 8:30 and the waitress was very adamant about not getting there until 8:30. As I had no idea where I was going I gave myself some extra time and got there about 8:15. This was after asking about 5-7 different cast members where I was supposed to go. None of the CMs were really able to give me answer except keep walking down the line. Then I happened upon a hoard of people that was mass chaos. Turns out this is where I was supposed to be. All dining packages were in just one big mass of people waiting to be let in. To make matters worse, depending on which CM you asked about which line was which you got different answers. However, the CMs seemed completely unbothered by all of this and continued chatting about how terrible their housing situation was and how much of a jerk Kyle, their roommates boyfriend, is and how they hope they break up.
Anyway, they started letting people into the viewing areas and that took forever because they kept turning people back because they were in the wrong line. The loaded River Belle guests first, then Blue Bayou and then Hungry Bear. There was just two of us (but we did have to park a stroller) and we were kind of in the middle of the pack and we were able to squeeze in and got seats basically on the front row. The seats themselves were great! Once we were in the viewing area, the CMs were great because of course as soon as we got in there, my son said he had to go potty. They let us leave our little cushion things and a small bags of snacks we had. When we came back the CM was looking for us and made sure we didn’t have any issues.
Overall, this package kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. The food at Blue Bayou was not great - with the exception of the Sorcerer Mickey dessert - and then it was chaos getting to our seats. I kind of felt like I paid for a really expensive seat cushion. I’m glad I did it, but I will not be doing it again. If you are doing it I would get there between 8-8:15 to start lining up and they start bringing people into the different viewing areas about 8:30.

Sorry your experience was less than optimal with the food & CMs. However, I can guarantee you that the FP section would have been more chaos, more people and way more time spent and if you had to leave like you did for your son to use the restroom, no CM in the FP section would’ve helped saved your spot like you experienced in the dining section. And on top of that they cram the FP section to the gills, so to us it’s just not a pleasant experience, even with a free FP.

After trying F! with FPs 10 or so times over 4-5 years with only once being a really good experience, we now just get a dining package if it’s in budget, or do standby bc the FP situation is just difficult & makes us just cranky. We love the freedom to show up at 8-8:15 and be able to have a space in a less crowded section guaranteed.

Oh I totally agree that the FastPass would have been even more crazy! No denying that haha. And our seats were great! I think honestly my main disappointment was in the food. I will probably do a dining package whenever I do go back to Disneyland (because there will be another visit just don’t know when :slight_smile: ) I just think it won’t be the Blue Bayou. I was wavering between Blue Bayou and Hungry Bear. While I’m glad that I did Blue Bayou, I just don’t think it will be a repeat for us!

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Blue Bayou is pricy and so we’ve only done it once the first time we decided to splurge & do a package for F! And while I did love my food, the price makes it less doable for repeat trips, so I don’t fault you for not wanting to return if your experience was lackluster for that price!

We love the Hungry Bear package! You get just as great a view as Blue Bayou and while the food choices wouldn’t have been our first choice, it was all well prepared & tasted great & it’s a much lower price point than Blue Bayou. You can also (usually) opt to order off the regular Hungry Bear menu if the F! package menu doesn’t appeal (but you are paying a mark-up for what becomes a burger/fries QS meal, they do a good job on burgers though so if you prefer to eat a burger to the package choices, it’ll be tasty as well).

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