If you are heading to the Walt Disney World resort theme parks, you may be wondering about the best shows in Disney World. Disney parks are well known for their amazing rides and popular attractions, but they also offer some of the best stage shows around.
During your Disney World vacation, use the My Disney Experience app to locate live shows, along with other live performances. Other live performance options may include daily parades, nighttime spectaculars, and character cavalcades. In this article, we will cover our favorite live stage shows in Disney World!
1. Festival of the Lion King, Animal Kingdom
The Festival of the Lion King show is an amazing show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! In fact, it is our family’s favorite of the live stage shows in the Disney parks. The show features your favorite characters from the feature film, Lion King. You will find the Lion King show at the Harambe Theatre in Africa, near Kilimanjaro Safari.
If it is your first time seeing the show, be sure to line up early. Even though it is not a new show, it always draws quite a crowd with long lines. All of your favorite characters from The Lion King will make an appearance along with amazing live performers. We love the talented gymnasts, strong acrobats, impressive fire jugglers, featured vocalists, and beautiful dancers that bring the show to life.
Check the My Disney Experience app for the times guide. On most days, the first show begins at 10 AM and continues hourly until the evening. Each show runs for 30 minutes. It is one of the best original shows in Animal Kingdom!
2. Finding Nemo: the Big Blue and Beyond, Animal Kingdom
Also located in the Animal Kingdom theme park is Finding Nemo: the Big Blue and Beyond. This show recently went through a bit of a makeover post-pandemic and it is back, better than ever! The Nemo show features live music from the performers and beautiful puppetry.
The Finding Nemo theater is located in the Dinoland area of Animal Kingdom, not far from the Expedition Everest roller coaster. The special effects that create Nemo’s underwater environment are stunning and kids of all ages will love it. The show is slightly shortened from its original time to about 35 minutes, making it a bit easier for little ones to sit through.
Finding Nemo: the Big Blue and Beyond feature original songs from composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Your family will love seeing their favorite Disney characters from popular movies come to life with these amazing puppets and performers. If you are a fan of musical theater and beautiful musical scores, be sure to add it to your Animal Kingdom touring plan!
3. Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, Hollywood Studios
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage is another great show, located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is an outdoor performance, located on Sunset Boulevard. If you are close to the Tower of Terror, then you are close to the show.
If you love Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast, you will enjoy the beautiful costumes, lovely scenery, and talented voices of this show. Beauty and the Beast usually take the stage at the top of each hour. Be sure to check the My Disney Experience app or ask cast members around the park about the next showing.
4. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Hollywood Studios
If you are visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be sure to check out the classic stunt show Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. You will find Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular in the Echo Lake area of the park, not far from Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
This fantastic show is an outdoor, action-packed show revealing some of the tricks of the trade behind Hollywood stunts. This is one of the original shows in Hollywood Studios and runs for about 25 minutes. It is a lot of fun to watch and our family enjoys it! It is also a great way to get away from the Star Wars crowds in Galaxy’s Edge. Though it may not have the newness of Rise of the Resistance attraction, it is still a classic Hollywood Studios experience.
Actors perform thrilling stunts from Raiders of the Lost Ark and bring in audience participation by explaining the stunts to viewers. This is also an outdoor venue, so it is subject to cancellation in bad weather. It can also get quite warm during the spring and summer months, so I usually suggest seeing the show early in the day or later in the evening for cooler temperatures.
5. Fantasmic, Hollywood Studios
Fantasmic is the classic nighttime spectacular in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Devotees of fireworks shows always stake out a spot early in the Sunset Boulevard amphitheater for this one. If you want good seats, be sure to arrive 30-60 minutes before show time, as seats do fill up during busy seasons.
If you want the best place to sit, consider purchasing a Fantasmic dinner package. The dinner package option offers a meal at one of five dining locations in the parks, along with reserved VIP seating for the show.
During Fantasmic, viewers watch as good and evil forces battle it out during Mickey Mouse’s dream. Some classic Disney characters appear during the show including Moana, Mulan, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, and the Lion King. The evil Maleficient also makes an appearance!
If you have little ones, just be forewarned that fireworks, stunts, and pyrotechnics may be a bit startling for them. Our youngest found it a bit scary on our last trip, so we will stick to the fireworks on Main Street USA over Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom for her. However, add this one to your list of great entertainment options if you have older children or just traveling with adults.
6. Disney Junior Dance Party, Hollywood Studios
If you have little ones that enjoy Disney Jr shows, be sure to catch the Disney Jr. Dance Party show. This fun stage show features popular characters like Mickey Mouse, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, and Timon. This quick 10-minute show is the perfect way for kids to dance around and burn off some steam.
The dance party takes place in the Animation Courtyard near the Walt Disney Presents Theater, not far from Toy Story Land. Check the My Disney Experience app for the latest times.
7. Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire, Magic Kingdom
Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire is a quick stage show right in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. Friends from Tangled, Rapunzel, and Frozen join Mickey Mouse to celebrate.
Your favorite music from the films, lively dancing, and some special effects help welcome you to the Magic Kingdom. Check the app for the next performance and remember that weather can affect the show since it is on the outdoor stage.
8. Feathered Friends in Flight, Animal Kingdom
If you love birds, be sure to catch the outdoor bird show at Animal Kingdom. Currently called “Feathered Friends in Flight“, animal behavior specialists give an amazing education about the birds at Animal Kingdom. This 35-minute show is held in the Anandapur Theater, in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom.
9. Voices of Liberty: America Pavilion, Epcot
If you are visiting Epcot, be sure to stop by the American Adventure Pavilion for a quick 15-minute performance by the Voices of Liberty. These amazing singers offer amazing vocal performances throughout the day. It is one of my favorite things to do at Epcot!
If you happen to visit Epcot during a festival, be sure to check the app for all of the live performances going on in the park.
10. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Hollywood Studios
Another one of my favorite live stage shows at Disney World has to be the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration in Hollywood Studios. Located in the Echo Lake area of the park, this sing-along is a fantastic and funny retelling of the Frozen story. The Royal Historians of Arendelle tell the story, in the way only they can! Kids will love the “snow” falling at the end of the show. Be sure to get there early, as the theater can fill up. It is a great way to relax and cool off during a busy day in the Disney parks.
I hope this post helps you in planning your next trip to Disney World! Be sure to check out all of the best shows in Disney World. It is such a fun part of the Disney parks! Be sure to sign up for my free newsletter below and keep reading for more great travel tips.
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