Our family traditionally takes our vacations to Disney World during the summer months. Before we started school, we did take a trip in October, but generally speaking, it is during the summer months that we go to Disney. As you all know who have been during that time, there can be some extreme weather conditions during the summer. Whether it is high temperatures, or high humidity (or both), or rain, one of the things you should understand is that there is a lot to do when the weather isn’t cooperating. One of the best things is to take in a show when the weather intrudes, so today I am going to look at my favorite Disney shows.
To clarify, a show can be a stage performance with Cast Members acting out the parts, a movie that you watch on the screen, or even the parades you can watch. Since there are so many choices in each category, I’ve broken them down into the categories shown below.
Disney World Movies
One of our favorite movies is Mickey’s PhilharMagic. Located in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, this one has it all:
- An incredible 4D experience involving 3D movie effects coupled with wonderful smells and water effects.
- Incredible music including all the great headliner songs of the classic Disney movies such as The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Beauty and the Beast.
- A unique ending involving Donald Duck crashing out of the screen into the back of the auditorium. I’ll never forget one time when that happened my daughter turned around and yelled, “Are you ok Donald?” The audience laughed when they heard her say that.
Another awesome movie that we really enjoy is the Circle-Vision 360 presentation of “O Canada!”, featuring the voice talents of Martin Short. This movie, with it’s unique 360 degree aerial view, is quite a stunning show. Located at Epcot at the Canada Pavilion (go figure!), this movie is one that I see once a year – primarily for the aerial views, but also for Martin Short’s narration!
Also at Epcot, this time in the China Pavilion is “Reflections of China”. This show is also a Circle-Vision 360 presentation, but unlike “O Canada!”, this show hasn’t been updated in quite a long time, if ever. However, that doesn’t bother me. The beauty of this show is again in the stunning photography, and also in the timeless history of China’s past, and that is something that should be on display always. I don’t see “Reflections of China” every time we come to Disney, but I try to see it every other visit.
Growing up, I was a HUGE fan of “The Muppet Show”. As a result, one of my favorite shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is “Muppet*Vision 3-D”. This show, which plays towards a certain audience, isn’t as good as the ones I’ve mentioned previously, but it is a nice show, full of the corny jokes and gags that “The Muppets” are known for! I think Statler and Waldorf may be my favorite part of the whole show! If you haven’t seen it before, check it out at least once.
One movie that I haven’t seen but plan on seeing the next time we visit is “Impressions de France”. Somehow I have forgotten that it is there until my friend Ken re-introduced it to me in his post “Best Things I Love about Disney – Impressions de France”.
Disney World Stage Shows
Disney has some of the best stage productions I have ever seen. One of our favorites is “Finding Nemo – The Musical”. This show located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the great shows in all of Disney. The casting is phenomenal, and the ability of the cast members to produce a show that includes all of the grace of elegance that fish exhibit in the water is really astounding. The cast and crew of “Finding Nemo – The Musical” have a lot to be proud of – this show is truly one of a kind.
Another Animal Kingdom show that we try and see every time we are there – but aren’t as successful in achieving that goal – is “Festival of the Lion King”. I think between Nemo and Lion King we actually like Lion King better – the music is incredible, the performance is top notch, and being able to cheer on our own character from the movie just brings the audience into the show that much better! The only drawback I have with “Festival of the Lion King” is that it is hard for us to get seats at times – another testimony of how popular this show really is.
By far, though, my favorite stage production at Walt Disney World is “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage“. This production, which opened on the same day that the movie was released in theaters – that is a first for a Disney show, by the way – is a classic rendition of the wonderful movie and story. With music, dancing, and romance, Beauty and the Beast is a treasure, and one that you won’t want to miss any time that you are visiting at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney World Parades
We have seen so many parades during our times coming to Disney World that it is sometimes hard to keep the different parades separate in my mind. However, I have vivid memories of two parades that we have seen that I will never forget. The first one is the return of Disney’s Electrical Parade (although I remember it before as the “Main Street Electrical Parade”). The return of the parade last summer was one of the many highlights of our trip to Disney World last summer with my niece Stephanie. The floats are incredible, the incorporation of the brighter LED lights is awesome, lending to many more pictures than before, and I am really happy that they have extended the Parade to an open-ended closing. Hopefully Disney’s Electrical Parade will be around for years to come!
The other parade that I have very fond memories of is Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade, located over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We saw this parade several years ago, when Sophie was still riding around in a stroller. We didn’t really plan on seeing the parade, but I’ll never forget the expression on Sophie’s face as we watched it, especially with the tall stiltwalkers! That was one of the memories of that trip.
I hope you all have enjoyed my rendition of my favorites shows to catch at Disney World. Next time you are there, take time to enjoy some of these! Happy viewing!
- Animal Kingdom – Top 5 Attractions For Seniors (chipandco.com)
- Events and Attractions coming to Disney World – July & August 2011 (chipandco.com)