Home » Add These Movies to Your Queue BEFORE You Hit Walt Disney World!

    Add These Movies to Your Queue BEFORE You Hit Walt Disney World!

    Finding Nemo - The Musical

    Though there are a handful of shows and rides built on original ideas, today’s Disney parks are based primarily upon movie or cartoon characters. The latest and greatest attractions focus on bringing the silver screen to life and pulling popular characters out of the theater and into a more intimate setting, where you can interact with them in a whole new way.

    To get the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation, it helps to brush up on some of your movie lore. While there are dozens of movies that are featured somewhere in the parks, a few stand out for getting multiple shows or attractions based on their characters. Each of these movies has at least two related experiences available in the theme parks, so you’ll have ample opportunity to see the highlights off the silver screen during your visit to Walt Disney World.

    Finding Nemo

    Finding Nemo - The Musical

    No animated film has more associated attractions at Walt Disney World than Finding Nemo. While Finding Dory is a great follow-up if your kids are in love with this undersea adventure, it’s the original Finding Nemo film that gets the most references in the parks.

    Epcot’s Sea Base houses most of the Finding Nemo attractions. Here you’ll find The Seas with Nemo & Friends, a slow-moving family-friendly ride that’s appropriate for all ages. You can head over to Bruce’s Shark World to get some unforgettable pictures with shark statues. Queue up for Turtle Talk with Crush for an interactive session with the famous turtle from the film, who will answer kids’ questions about life in the ocean.

    The fun isn’t confined to Epcot, though. Animal Kingdom hosts Finding Nemo – The Musical. This outstanding stage show recaps the entire story of Nemo and his friends, adding plenty of singing and dancing to a movie that was otherwise bereft of Disney’s signature musical numbers.


    Frozen Ever After

    If you haven’t seen Frozen yet, jump on the bandwagon and give it a living room screening before you head to Walt Disney World. The new Frozen Ever After attraction at Epcot gives you a chance to visit the film’s beloved characters on a whimsical boat ride. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can belt out your favorite Frozen songs in the stage show, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.

    You can also meet many of your favorite Frozen characters, though you should expect a long line for these experiences. Meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Sommerhus in Epcot, or head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see Olaf.


    Pandora - The World of Avatar

    If you prefer live action to animation, schedule a movie night with the PG-13 film, Avatar, before you head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park’s newest themed land aims to bring this whimsical world to life in a thoroughly immersive way. Pandora – The World of Avatar is its own complete area of the park. The themed attractions Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey let you ride right into the action.

    The Swotu Waya Na’vi Drum Ceremony is a live show that takes place hourly through most of the day. You can enjoy Avatar-themed dining at the quick service Satu’li Canteen restaurant. Dishes include Cheeseburger Steamed Pods, Vegetable Steamed Curry Pods, and Sustainable Fish Bowls. Slake your thirst at the Pongu Pong lounge, which serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

    Toy Story

    Toy Story Midway Mania

    Catch any of the engaging Toy Story films before you visit Walt Disney World so you’ll enjoy all the charming details included in the parks’ themed rides. Magic Kingdom features Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin where you can test your skill against the Evil Emperor Zurg. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll find Toy Story Mania!, a wild spin through Toy Story-themed midway games.

    In the future, you’ll be able to enjoy even more with the opening of Toy Story Land, where you’ll find a Slinky Dog roller coaster and Alien saucers attraction in a land that’s designed to shrink you down to the size of a toy in Andy’s backyard.

    Pirates of the Caribbean

    Pirates of the Caribbean

    The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is unique in that it followed, rather than preceded, its signature attraction. The original Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland opened in 1967, 36 years before the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. There are now five PG-13 films in the franchise. See one or watch them all to make sure you get the most out of the associated attractions.

    Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom has received several updates since the films were released and now includes three audioanimatronics of Johnny Depp’s character, Jack Sparrow. Barbosa appears on the attacking pirate ship at the beginning of the ride, and you’ll see signs of mermaids in the chilling grotto.

    You can also indulge your inner pirate with the interactive adventure, A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas. Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial lets junior pirates join the crew for a quick lesson in sword fighting.

    Star Wars

    Star Wars Launch Bay

    The Star Wars Franchise has numerous attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that bring the films to life. You can ride Star Tours – The Adventure Continues, explore the Star Wars Launch Bay, learn light saber skills with the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show, and more. Shows like the March of the First Order, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away offer additional excitement.

    If you’re a big fan, watch a movie a week leading up to your vacation so you won’t miss a thing in this richly themed area. If you’re less familiar with the franchise, catch a couple of the newer releases to start your journey into the world of Star Wars.

    The Little Mermaid

    Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

    Though it was released in 1989, The Little Mermaid is a classic that still gets plenty of play at Walt Disney World. Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid in Magic Kingdom opened in 2012, offering guests an undersea adventure that takes them through the most popular scenes from the film. You can also see Ariel in the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This musical production features live actors in a 17-minute show.

    Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage

    The recent release of the live action Beauty and the Beast only fueled the flame that fans have always kept burning for this classic Disney film. Whether you go for the original animated version or the live action film, you’ll get a taste of the charming story that will add to your experience when you visit Walt Disney World. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a live musical stage show that retells the story from the movie. In Magic Kingdom, you can experience Enchanted Tales with Belle, where Belle herself comes to share storytime with guests.

    If you can snag a reservation, enjoy dinner in the Beast’s castle at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. For a quicker bite, you can stop in to Gaston’s Tavern for a hearty ham and cheese stuffed pretzel and a chilled mug of LeFou’s Brew.

    Movie-themed fun abounds at Walt Disney World. Schedule some special movie nights with your family as part of the countdown to your visit so you can catch all the special nods to these films that exist in the theme parks.