Watching the Vacation Planning DVD as we prepared for our Disney World trip, I remember the excitement building with each glimpse of the Tower of Terror or Pirates of the Caribbean and all the other great rides at Walt Disney World. But Disney has so much more to offer than coasters and boat rides. Some of the highest quality entertainment in the world can be part of your next Disney vacation. Here are my picks for the coolest shows at Walt Disney World. What makes these the coolest picks out of all of the extraordinary Disney shows? Each of my top choices has what I call it’s own special “cool factor” that sets it apart from all the others. Each show offers something unique and unforgettable to the Disney World experience!
6. Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review at Disney’s Fort Wilderness
The Hoop Dee Doo is a down home, country style dinner show, brimming with Southern hospitality and humor. Enjoy a family style all-you-can-eat barbecue with all the fixin’s along with an interactive, vaudeville style show featuring a rollickin’ cast of players you won’t soon forget! The show does accept the Disney Dining Plan (check with Guest Services for credit amount). Opt for the last show of the evening for the best seating when using the Dining Plan! It is a bit of a trek since vehicular traffic is limited through the Fort Wilderness resort area, so allow a little extra time to get to Pioneer Hall before showtime! Of all the dinner show options in and around Walt Disney World, the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review is the most knee-slappin’, belly-bustin’, laugh out loud fun around for the whole family to enjoy!
5. Jellyrolls Dueling Pianos at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
This one is for the grown-ups. Jellyrolls Dueling Piano Bar livens up the night down on the Boardwalk with phenomenally talented musicians taking requests of everything from Disney songs to classic rock or modern pop. Scribble your favorite tune on a napkin and drop it on the stage, add an extra dollar or so to encourage the players to choose your request! The bar always has a variety of specials, and baskets of free popcorn to munch on. Grab your friends, or make some new ones, and sing along to crowd pleasers like Sweet Caroline or maybe even your own favorite song! Although credit cards are accepted at the bar, it is a good idea to bring some dollar bills and a pen if you want to submit song requests!
4. Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom
Joke around with Mike and his monster friends as they try their hands (and claws) at comedy in this interactive show that’s a laugh riot for the whole family. Submit your jokes (they might be read by the monsters!) and laugh out loud to fill the Laugh-o-Meter that powers Monstropolis. With continuous shows throughout the day, this is a great (air-conditioned) break from the hustle and bustle of a hot, busy park day.
3. Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Setting it apart from the laser and fireworks shows at Epcot or the Magic Kingdom, this nighttime spectacular combines the thrill of a live stage show with incredible special effects, storytelling, and fireworks. Join Mickey Mouse as he explores his imagination full of enchanting heroes and dastardly villains. Fantasmic is one of the most popular shows at Walt Disney World, so make sure to arrive early to get a seat. I like to grab dinner from one of the quick-service restaurants on Sunset Boulevard and bring it with me into the theater to enjoy while I wait for the show. Make sure to collect your trash and tray before heading out of the theater though! The show does feature water effects, so don’t sit too close unless you want to get wet!
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2. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Find your way from the streets of Hollywood to the jungles of South America where Dr. Jones performs some of his most iconic stunts. Hold your breath as Indiana Jones searches for the golden idol, and cheer as he narrowly escapes that giant boulder! Watch as Indy and Marion are chased through the Cairo marketplace by spry bad guys and attempt to escape the desert surrounded by militant villains in this explosive stunt show. Full of action, adventure, and humor, this show has thrills for all ages. The stunts are real, so don’t try this at home! If you stay after the show, there’s even a chance you could meet Indiana Jones!
1. Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The longtime family favorite has a new home in Harambe, Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Celebrate with Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, and the procession of jungle animals as your favorite songs are brought to life by an incredible troupe of singers and dancers. It is impossible to leave this show in anything other than a great mood. The festive colors, dance, and music implore guests to sing and clap along, and the little ones might even get to jump up and join the celebration! This spectacular show highlights everything we love about The Lion King and lifts our spirits as we take part in this joyful celebration together. This is an extremely popular show, so make sure to arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior to showtime. Check the times guide, My Disney Experience app, or ask a cast member to find out about showtimes. Make sure to practice your animal sounds and that Hakuna Matata hand jive!
What are your must-see shows at Walt Disney World?