Fantasy Island movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Fantasy Island filmed?

About Fantasy Island

What if there’s a place in this world that could fulfill your deepest thoughts and desires? Would you go there? Set at a remote luxury resort, Fantasy Island will explore some of your wildest dreams and delve into the crazy ‘what if’ questions that keep them awake at night. It will fulfill every guest’s request – though it rarely turns out as expected.

If you haven’t watched this thought-provoking drama, we’ll leave a spoiler alert here so as not to ruin the fun for you! We’ve also added some of the notable Fantasy Island filming locations should you decide to take a trip and go on a filmmaking tour.

The 2021 Fantasy Island TV series serves as a sequel to the hit drama series created by Gene Levitt, which aired from 1977 to 1984 on ABC. Ricardo Montalban played the iconic Mr. Roarke, the charming and enigmatic host who gives people the experience they dream about in their wildest fantasies.

A year before the new drama’s release, we see another version of Mr. Roarke, played by Michael Peña in the 2020 Fantasy Island movie, also known as Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island. While the story is related to the original series, where the lucky guests’ secret dreams come true, the movie has more horror and darker elements as their fantasies eventually turn into nightmares. They also have to solve the mystery behind the island to escape and save their lives.

The new series is completely unrelated to the 2020 Fantasy Island movie and the one-season series reboot in 1998. Instead, it’s a direct sequel to the original TV series in 1977, created by Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft. You won’t see any Mr. Roarke in the drama, but you’ll meet Elena Roarke (Roselyn Sánchez), as Mr. Roarke’s descendant. She became the island’s sophisticated steward after leaving behind her New York life and satisfying her guests’ deepest desires.

City Locations

Burbank, California; San Juan/Rio Grande, Puerto Rico; Kauai, Hawaii; Taveuni Island, Fiji

Location Types

Beach/Oceanview, Colonial, Cabins, Naturescapes, House, Studios

Location Styles

Beach House, Beachfront, Bungalow, Exotic/Tropical, Foreign, Luxury, Luxury Hotel, Resort

Fantasy Island Locations

Each Fantasy Island production uses different locations to capture the breathtaking fictional island. The legendary 1977 series was filmed mainly in Burbank, California, building the interior sets at Warner Bros. Studios in the city. But some shots of the enchanting Na Pali coast in Kauai, Hawaii, and the Wailua falls were used to bring tropical beauty to the opening sequence of the show.

Unlike the first show, the 1998 revival of the series was mostly shot in Hawaii instead of on a sound stage. It used the Hotel Hana Maui as its key location and filmed some scenes on various islands, including Kauai and Oahu.

In the 2020 movie, the cast and crew spent about two months filming in Fiji on the island called Taveuni, the third-largest island in the country. Then the new series uses Puerto Rico as the primary film location for Fantasy Island. The show’s production began shooting in April 2021 and wrapped up by the end of July 2021.

The shooting of the series took place in numerous places on the island of Puerto Rico. It includes San Juan, situated on the island’s Atlantic coast. The Rio Grande was also featured in the drama, specifically the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico.

Fun Fact:

Not much was ever revealed about Mr. Roarke in the original series. We never know how he acquired the island, and even his age remains a mystery.

Tattoo rings the bell scene in Fantasy Island

Queen Anne Cottage, Arcadia California

Those who grew up watching the original classic fantasy series would probably remember the scene where Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) rings the bell while shouting, “The plane! The plane!” Following this scene, you’ll see him and Mr. Roarke on a jeep driving around the fictional island.

Fans of the show would be glad to know that the massive house with the bell tower was neither a CGI nor a built Fantasy Island film set. It’s a place you visit in Arcadia, California. It’s known as the Queen Anne Cottage, one of the historic structures at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens.

The cottage was built by Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin between 1885 and 1886 and is currently nestled within the sprawling LA Arboretum. It is on the National Register of Historic Places list, featuring unique structural work and the paintings of the Baldwin family. Welcoming visitors at the cottage's front door is the stained glass portrait of Jennie Dexter, the third Mrs. Baldwin. There’s also a huge oil painting of her, almost a life-size, hanging in the cottage parlor.

The Los Angeles Arboretum is located in Arcadia, just across the street from Santa Anita Park and east of Pasadena. It is easily accessible by car and public transportation. You may take the Gold Line to get to the Arboretum or check the Metro buses' schedules.

The lagoon scene in Fantasy Island

Warner Bros. Studio, Burbank, California

In the 8th episode of the classic Fantasy Island season 5, Mr. Roarke appears with a Calvin Pearson (Claude Akins), reminiscing Calvin’s past fishing in the lagoon with his father. They talk about the fish Calvin’s father was particularly interested in, the serenade fish. While some believe it didn’t even exist, Calvin argues that they heard it once on a hot night on the lagoon.

The lagoon featured in the series is actually part of a jungle set at Warner Bros. Studio. The set goes back to the 1950s, built for the adventure movie Santiago. Besides the lagoon, the versatile location also features a barn, a cabin, and a roadhouse. It’s been featured in numerous films and series over the years.

Located in Burbank, California, Warner Bros. Studio often offers studio tours for visitors who want to go behind the scenes of their favorite shows and movies. A guided tour will lead you through the vast backlot and explore realistic sets, soundstages, props, and more.

The opening scene in Fantasy Island

Wailua Falls, Kauai, Hawaii

An aerial shot of the cascading waterfalls will catch your attention in the opening scene of the original Fantasy Island series. It appears before the part where Tattoo rings a bell after seeing a plane that takes the guest to the resort. Although there’s no dialogue at this point, you’ll hear the nostalgic drama theme song intro in this scene.

The dramatic waterfalls locale featured in the long-running classic tv show is one of the stunning spots in Kauai, the fourth-largest island in Hawaii. Located north of Lihue, at the south end of the Wailua River, the Wailua Falls is 173 feet high and can be easily seen from the roadside.

When there’s high precipitation or heavy rain on the island, the double waterfalls merge into a single giant, raging waterfall. Its convenient location and grandeur make it one of the island’s most famous waterfalls.

The best way to get to the waterfalls is by car. Since it’s right by the side of the road, you can easily see it without a difficult hike. If you’re traveling from Lihue, go north and follow the Maalo Road in Hanamaulu. Then you have to go uphill for about three miles.

The guests’ arrival scene in Fantasy Island

Taveuni Island, Fiji

In the first few minutes of the 2020 Fantasy Island movie, guests arrive on the gorgeous island, in awe at seeing the picturesque scenery and luxury resort before their eyes. Meanwhile, we see Mr. Roarke instructing the resort staff to “Smiles everyone, smiles” upon hearing the guests’ arrival. The VIPs are then greeted by Mr. Roarke’s assistant, Julia, emphasizing that “anything and everything is possible” on the island.

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island places a terrifying twist on the popular show of the seventies. But the palm-fringed beach and blue waters might convince you to hop on the island for a dream holiday, despite the possible nightmarish experience.

This horror movie version of the classic adventure show scouted a hidden paradise in Fiji as a perfect backdrop for the Fantasy Island film scene. Filming for the movie took place in Taveuni, also called the ‘Garden Isle’ due to its lush vegetation, beautiful tropical flowers, and pristine rainforest. The production spent two months shooting on the island, featuring its dramatic caves, spectacular greenery, and white-sand beaches.

In one of the Fantasy Island action scenes, viewers will also see the characters chased by monsters through the dark forest. But in reality, visitors will fall in love with the enchanting lush tropical environment. You’ll even find an extensive marine park and a waterfall in the heart of the jungle, allowing you to lose yourself in nature.

The best way to get to the island is by plane. You’ll have to fly from Suva or Nadi International. If you’re not in a rush, you can also travel by sea and take a ferry from Vanua Levu. However, it can be unreliable, and travel depends largely on weather conditions.

Cave scene in Fantasy Island

The cave, Taveuni Island, Fiji

Perhaps, one of the terrifying scenes in the 2020 Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island happens in the cave where the characters encounter vengeful ghosts and are haunted by their own monsters. You’ll probably agree with Brax (Jimmy Yang) when he says, “We should’ve never come here,” while speaking to his wounded brother, JD (Ryan Hansen).

The film cast and crew didn’t have to leave Taveuni Island to capture the horrific scenes in the movie. The Film Island production would trek to the cave to film some of the ghost and chasing scenes. It would take them around twenty minutes to hike. But once they get to the location, they’re rewarded with the mind-blowing natural scenery.

Taveuni is a glorious island in Fiji with great attractions and sights you’d expect from an untouched island paradise. Not only does it give visitors the chance to see marine life and delve deeper underwater, but it also allows you to witness the beauty above the sea.

Taveuni features the Warrior Burial Cave, a must-see attraction on the island. Discovered in the 1950s, the cave was used by the Fijians as a secret burial spot for their revered warriors. Although we’re not entirely sure if it’s the same cave used in the film, it’s still worth exploring with your friends and family.

Hungry Christine scene in Fantasy Island

Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

In the first episode of the newest Fantasy Island drama, Hungry Christine/Mel Loves Ruby, you’ll be introduced to the news anchor guest, Christine Collins (Bellamy Young). She expresses her fantasy, “to eat and eat and eat and eat,” without consequence. She desires to eat as much as she likes but wants her body to look exactly the same when leaving the island.

This scene is set in a resort with a clear blue sky, beautiful blue waters, and pine trees in the background. It was filmed on the grounds of a real-life seaside resort, the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico. This family-friendly beach resort in Puerto Rico is framed against the breathtaking backdrop of the gorgeous El Yunque rainforest and features a sprawling lagoon-style swimming pool.

While the production used some parts of the resort to shoot, they also built a set specifically for the show. You can see the resort throughout the show in various episodes, and it provides an ideal backdrop for Elena Roarke to fulfill the island’s fantasies.

The beach resort is open for customers who want to enjoy a deluxe resort experience without unintended consequences or dramatic twists. It offers countless attractions, including outdoor pools, tennis courts, golf courses, a rainforest spa, marine adventures, etc. It’s a fantastic place to visit and relax with family and friends while enjoying the amazing sights of the Caribbean island.

You can drive from San Juan to the beach resort, which takes about 40 minutes. The fastest way to get there is by car or taxi.

Conclusion

No matter what version of the show you’re a fan of, visiting the filming location of Fantasy Island will lead you to some of the world’s best beaches. It will take you to an island in the Central Pacific, Fiji’s Garden Island, and the scenic resorts and beaches in Puerto Rico. Take your pick or include these glorious places in your next holiday getaway.

Although the original drama has long been wrapped up, its legacy continues today. This is all thanks to modern films and new tv series bringing us great adventures and heartwarming stories. And with another season soon, we might discover other unique locations to add to our must-visit list.