When I was younger, I had zero interest in seeing many of the shows at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. I was all about the rides! Shows seemed like a waste of time when I could just jump in line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for the 7th time that trip. As I’ve gotten older, and my stomach has gotten more sensitive, the appeal of the rides has dropped. Do I REALLY need to go on Space Mountain again? Probably not. Instead, I started to find myself seeking out parades and shows – and I ended up falling in love with Disney stage shows!
You probably can already guess that I LOVE my parades. I love photographing them the most! However, the shows are also must-sees when you get to Disney. They’re usually short (an hour or less) and retell Disney classics in the magical way only Walt Disney World can. Here are my top 5 reasons these shows should be worked in to your touring plans! Don’t forget – Disneyland has great stage shows too!
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Amazing Sets and Costumes
Anyone who has seen a Disney Broadway show or the live action remakes knows that there’s just something special about retelling classic Disney tales in person. These condensed shows have the best entertainers at Walt Disney World performing, and their costumes and sets will blow your mind for being theme park shows. Just scroll through the “Festival of the Lion King” tag on Instagram and see for yourself!
Additionally, the story stays true to the original source despite being a shortened version. “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” is much shorter than the movie, running at about 20 minutes, but still gets all the songs in and your favorite moments from the film.
A Break from the Heat
It’s no secret that Walt Disney World is hot! Even at Disneyland, the constant beating of the California sun can take a toll on your energy. Shows are a great way to get out of the heat and relax for a moment. Even the outdoor shows like “Beauty and the Beast” are in an amphitheater type setting, so there is coverage from the blazing Florida sun. Grab a seat and take some time to relax beforehand, and then enjoy the show!
Or maybe you’re just looking for a place to rest your feet for a bit! Getting off your feet when you need to is an important part of being able to avoid Disney burnout. Nothing beats taking a load off while waiting for “Mickey and the Magical Map” while in between Fantasyland rides at Disneyland!
Time Filler Between Reservations
Sometimes it’s hard trying to plan out your day at the parks. It’s a delicate balance between planning your meals and reservations around Fastpass+ slots – and trying to avoid running across the park constantly. Need to kill some time after Kilimanjaro Safaris before your Flight of Passage Fastpass? Check out “Festival of the Lion King”! Did your plans to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster get derailed by a ride breakdown? Check out “Beauty and the Beast” on stage!
These are all great filler options if you have nothing else to do. Would you rather sit around waiting for your next Fastpass or see a thrilling production? They’re free and all at set times, so it’s easy to fit them in to your plans. There’s no reason NOT to do them!
Even though I usually do not recommend seeing shows as part of your Fastpass+ plans, sometimes there’s just nothing else to fill a Fastpass slot. This is especially true as Disney continues to redo the tiers on their Fastpass plans, making it hard to get all the attractions you want each day. Why let a Fastpass go to waste? If you have NOTHING else to use it on, these shows are great Fastpass+ fillers. You’ll get closer seats and guaranteed entrance to the show, which makes planning your day a bit easier. If you can get closer and get a better view, why not take it?? Additionally, if you use all your Fastpasses and you find that only Fastpasses for the shows are available, go for it! They’re included in your theme park admission.
Fun For All Ages
One of my favorite shows is the “Frozen” show at the Hyperion at Disneyland. We saw “Aladdin” when it was there and we were so sad to see it go. It was because of this that I kind of put off seeing the new “Frozen” show until our latest trip. Turns out, it was amazing (as I knew it would be, I was just salty about “Aladdin” going!) You know who else really enjoyed it? My boyfriend! Seeing as how I dragged him to Disney to begin with, the fact that he really loved the show is a win for me. It was a shortened version of the movie but still had all the charm and magic of the feature length film.
This just goes to show that just about anyone of all ages will love Disney shows. No matter how old I get, I’ll love seeing the puppets in the “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” live stage show at Hollywood Studios. This trip, I’m making sure we all get to see “The Festival of the Lion King”. There are endless show options out there, so there is always something for everyone in your party!
Next time you head to Disney parks, make sure you slow down and check out some Disney stage shows. I promise you will not be disappointed! Be sure to check out more information on Disney stage shows in my favorite Disney planning guide, the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World! They give you all the touring plans you need to have a successful trip. They have a version for Disneyland as well!
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