Disney magic isn’t just in the rides, the castle, or the characters. It’s also in the attention to detail and the entertainment found between those big Hallmark moments.
One of our favorite ways to stop and take it all in is by hitting up a show, and there are plenty of options to be had in the World!
Shows, ranging from character sing-alongs to colorful acrobatics to stunt spectaculars, are especially great because they’re an “anytime attraction.”
If you’ve got downtime before your next Lightning Lane window or restaurant res, consider it an excellent opportunity to take an entertaining break (read: air-conditioned time off your feet!).
Which ones should you make time to see? Here are our picks.
Note: This list ranks our personal preferences and reader favorites. We did our best to rank them in order, but truthfully? It’s tough. This post is about our top 7 shows at Disney, which means we love ’em all, and you can’t go wrong!
7. Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!
Located a little off the beaten path in DinoLand U.S.A. at Animal Kingdom, Finding Nemo is a mesmerizing show with a production level that makes it easy to forget you’re at a theme park. It’s like getting a little slice of Broadway included in your park ticket!
Until the end when you remember you’ve actually just been sitting on uncomfortable benches.
6. Festival of the Lion King
Fittingly found on the Africa side of Animal Kingdom, Lion King has long been proclaimed a must-see show at Disney, and we agree – especially for first-timers.
Bursting with extravagant costumes, familiar tunes, and acrobatics, Lion King is energetic, colorful, and exciting!
Also, due to the theater size and bleacher-style seating, we don’t feel like there’s a bad seat in the entire house.
5. Impressions de France
Everyone knows the attraction that draws the largest crowds to the France Pavilion at EPCOT is not Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
It’s Impressions de France.
Displayed across five large screens, the film pays homage to French culture with beautiful panoramic views of the French countryside, monuments, and more.
Ok, fine. While technically, Impressions de France is our #1, most people would disagree, so we placed it in 5th.
But the magical, I-wish-I-were-actually-European-vibe you get from walking through the France Pavilion carries over into this show and it’s totally worth it.
4. Muppet*Vision 3D
We’re not sure how hard we really need to sell a Muppets show, 3D or otherwise. You know it’s gonna be good.
The show’s name can be misleading – it’s actually a 4D experience rife with that distinctively wacky Muppet brand of humor that’s got something for everyone in your group.
It’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s surprisingly comfortable! Be sure to catch the pre-show!
3. Beauty & the Beast Live on Stage
Hollywood Studios slides into third with another show of Broadway caliber. Featuring elaborate settings from the well-loved movie, Beauty and the Beast fans of all ages will especially enjoy the songs, the costumes, and seeing their favorite household characters on stage. Who knew Lumière was 6 feet tall?!
2. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
At first glance, this show looks like it’s probably catered toward young children with Anna and Elsa fever and their poor parents.
But then you’d be wrong and miss out on a surprisingly hilarious show.
Yes, it’s a Frozen sing-along at heart, but it’s packing all kinds of that “over-the-kids’-heads” -type humor geared toward parents. Trust us, and don’t miss it!
1. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
We saved the number one spot for the show that consistently ranks high among our readers, and we’re all for it!
One of the higher capacity shows at Hollywood Studios, Indiana Jones never fails to impress with action-packed and explosive stunts – and the “how-to” behind some of those moves.
The Cast Members rock, and we often watch the show with our mouths hanging open. It’s a for-sure crowd-pleaser!
How to make sure you aren’t missing out
You know we love a good strategy, but most shows don’t require the level of planning needed to ride headlining attractions. In most shows, you can walk in up until they’re about to start and get a seat.
BUT, if crowd levels are higher (i.e., school breaks, holidays), many shows will fill up ahead of the start time.
Checking your MDE app for show times and budgeting time accordingly works, but Lightning Lane is a good idea for saving yourself the time spent waiting (or if you’re set on seeing a particular show).
Lightning Lanes can also help get you better seating, so if a show is significant to you (like your Beauty and the Beast-obsessed 3-year-old is dying to see Belle), you should use it anyway!