theater in the wild
Credit: Disney Fandom Wiki

Reimagined Guest-favorite live show returns this summer to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney shared some of the most exciting Animal Kingdom news we’ve heard in a long time, and we couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Last fall, news surfaced about the possible closing of the Finding Nemo – The Musical live show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. On social media, performers from the Guest-favorite show began exchanging farewells. Disney fans of all ages feared the worst–that there would be no more Finding Nemo show from Disney Live Entertainment at the Theater in the Wild at Animal Kingdom‘s Dinoland U.S.A.

Instead, we were treated to the news that the show was really only going into hibernation so that a brand-new updated version of the show could be created. (Disney likes to call the process “reimagining,” and we’re down with that.)

Later in the fall, Disney announced that a new show featuring Nemo and all his friends from the Big Blue was in the works. Crisis averted!

On November 20, during the Destination D23 celebration held at the Walt Disney World Resort, it was announced that the new show was headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom sometime in 2022, and Disney even revealed the name of the new show: Finding Nemo: The Big Blue . . . and Beyond!

Now Disney World has given fans more insight into this amazing fish tale starring Nemo, Dory, and friends from Disney and PIXAR’s Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

New Updated Finding Nemo Musical Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme  Park in 2022 | Disney Parks Blog

Credit: Disney Parks

For starters, we now know the show will debut sometime this summer. Disney World didn’t give an exact date for the debut, but at least fans know they won’t be waiting until late this year to see the new show.

According to Disney Parks Blog, the newly reimagined show is an updated version of the Finding Nemo – The Musical live show that premiered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2007.

Behind the Scenes: Meet the Puppeteers at 'Finding Nemo – The Musical' at  Disney's Animal Kingdom | Disney Parks Blog

Credit: Disney Parks

According to Disney:

Stepping inside the Theater in the Wild, we’ll catch up with the group of fish from Dr. P. Sherman’s office in Finding Nemo, who have made their way across the ocean to the Marine Life Institute. The fish tell Nemo’s story in this fully updated, 25-minute show, incorporating live performers and puppets, along with many of the beloved songs and production numbers from the original “Finding Nemo: The Musical” – which is great news if you’ve had In the Big Blue World stuck in your head since 2007.

Disney also shared that the live show will feature a brand new script. It will also showcase new set pieces and a new LED video wall that will give the impression of an extension of Nemo’s and Dory’s underwater world.

Physical sets will still be a part of the stage show, and some of them will be huge! The new show will incorporate a 32-foot-long sunken submarine and a fish tank that stands nearly 15 feet tall.

New Updated Finding Nemo Musical Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme  Park in 2022 | Disney Parks Blog

Credit: Disney Parks

While it’s not clear at this time how many Equity live performers will get the coveted callback, but the fact that the Nemo show is returning is great news for the Actors’ Equity Association, according to Russel Lehrer, Equity’s assistant Eastern regional director.

Finding Nemo is a beloved destination at Animal Kingdom, a high-energy show where the Equity performers get to share their love for these characters with Guests,” Lehrer said in a statement. “The new version allows everyone to refresh that vision, and welcome back performers and guests to rediscover the joy with old friends.”

The previous version of the show lasted 40 minutes, but the new show will be a 25-minute rendition (still long enough for a nice break from the Central Florida heat and humidity).

Finding Nemo | Disney Movies

Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

The return of a Finding Nemo-themed live show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is just one more welcome reminder that we’re back to a “normal” that’s not dependent on a global pandemic.

We’ll take that any day!

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!