Disney World is packed with attractions, activities, water parks, characters and so much more that it could be overwhelming when you’re looking at prioritizing and not missing the best of the best.
Here are my Best Shows at Walt Disney World (in no particular order)
Finding Nemo – The Musical
Finding Nemo – The Musical is extraordinary on a number of levels, including the fact that the performers are bringing their A-Game each and every show! Live performances in Disney could be some of the most magical experiences that you’ll have, and when you put that into the air conditioned theater with bubbles, in-audience theatrics, and detailed puppets, it’s definitely a must-see!
The show is offered 5 times daily, lasting around 40 minutes. The line for the show gets pretty long, so we recommend getting a Fastpass+ reservation to see the first or the last show of the day. The show is appropriate for the entire family, although Bruce the Shark is a little scary for the little ones.
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Festival of the Lion King (or FOLK for you Disney-obsessed folks) is our second show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that is a must-do. The 30-minute show features one of the best soundtracks on property, which I’m listening to as I write this article.
With performers who continuously bring their best to each and every performance, the experience ranks highly across the spectrum. The Tumble Monkeys are a highlight, while the costumes are a testimony to the details that Disney is known for.
The floats are actually from a former parade that debuted in the Magic Kingdom, and we are so lucky to have them utilized daily versus a ton of the other parade floats that are dismantled and used for scrap parts.
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
What a delight! The performers, especially those that sing live each and every single show (Gaston & Belle), will dance their way from your childhood onto the stage right in front of you. The colorful costumes, dancing spoons, chip (who’s as awesome in person as in the movie) and other surprises are so great.
Our tip for this one is similar to the other shows, with a FastPass+ reservation for the first or last show of the day. The location is a mix of indoor and outdoor but still gets a little uncomfortable during the middle of a Florida day.
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Fantasmic is by far one of my favorite evening spectaculars at Disney World. The show has everything – Mickey, Princesses, Villains, great soundtrack, water projection screens, fog, special effects, and fireworks. The show is thrilling and involves a storyline that makes sense. Granted, the Villains, the music and a large snake (prop) can be frightening to younger children. Of all the shows you see at Disney, this may possibly be the most frightening to younger children due to the elements that make bring Mickey face to face with his imagination. But it is an amazing not-to-be-missed show! You will find this 30-minute show in Disney’s Hollywood Studio, taking place in an outdoor amphitheater so if there is adverse weather it will not go as scheduled.
TIP: We see a lot of folks talking about the Fantasmic Dinner Packages, however, it’s important to do your research. There are reserved seats for the package, but you’re able to get better seats with FastPass+ reservations. The amphitheater is huge and there really is no such thing as a bad seat in the house. Just make sure to get in line and enter 30-45 minutes before the show to get your picking if you’d like. Oh, and the first few rows are in the Splash Zone! Food and drink are permitted.
Best of the Rest
Looking back to when this show debuted, the technology was top notch and the Little Mermaid needed a home in the parks. Since then, New Fantasyland opened with a section dedicated to Ariel and the quality of shows have improved steadily. All shows are worth seeing at Walt Disney World, although this is a category which states that if you’re bored and have nothing else to do…then feel free. It’s still a solid 17-minute offering, with special effects and live performers with puppets, but kids are regularly scared due to the nature of the theater being focused around black lights and glow-in-the-dark features.
Indiana Jones needs to be in the parks, but this show has seen better days. Most younger fans don’t even know the property, so having such a large theater dedicated to the story is difficult to sell. That being said, the action scene with the truck and the airplane is still awe-inspiring each time I see it!
If you have a young Star Wars fan, you’ll want to get over to Star Tours early in the morning to get a special ticket to have the chance for your child to participate in the show. Do a search on Youtube to see some of the highlights…because some kids really get into it!
There is a huge assortment of live entertainment at Walt Disney World and I hope that this list was helpful. There is no such thing as a bad show in the parks, as it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Disney Junior live on stage is a great example, as it’s a perfect show if you have a toddler…or Frozen Live if you have family members who still can’t Let It Go;)