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Must Do Disney Experiences if You Love Live Shows

Must Do Disney Experiences if You Love Live Shows

Do you love taking in a good show? You are in luck because Disney has some amazing options.

Live Shows at Walt Disney World

Photo: Disney

Believe it or not, Walt Disney World is not all about the rides. While there certainly are plenty of rides for Guests to delight in, there are also plenty of other entertainment options included in your admission. In addition to nighttime spectaculars, parades, games, live entertainment and concerts, and play areas, Walt Disney World has quite a few live shows that audiences love.

While there are a number of paid experiences like dinner shows, the great news is that not everything comes at an additional cost. Here are five must-see shows that are included in your Disney ticket!

Festival of the Lion King

Credit: Katie

If you head over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you simply must make time to go to Africa to see the Festival of the Lion King. While this show was running in a modified format for quite some time, it has been very much restored to its former glory. For those of you who have been waiting, the tumble monkeys and ariel bird acrobatics are back!

For those of you who are new, this show is a musical version of Disney’s The Lion King. It features all your favorite songs including Circle of Life, Be Prepared, Hakuna Matata, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight.

Performers are clad in impressively beautiful costumes. And, they do far more than just sing. They dance on stilts, they twirl swords and flames, they tumble, and they even perform ariel acrobatics! They also interact with the characters like Simba and Pumba brought in on huge floats.

Credit: Disney

The show lasts for about 30 minutes, and it is completely indoors in a large, darkened theater. However, if you want to see it, you should line up early or book it on Genie+. The show fills up, and Cast Members do have to turn Guests away once it reaches capacity. Check the entertainment schedule as showtimes change from time to time.

Festival of the Lion King is a big hit with my (Katie’s) travel party. The kids adore it and want to see it every time. If you or anyone in your family loves theatre, this is a must-do.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!

Credit: Disney

If you are looking for a show packed with action and adventure, head right over to Hollywood Studios for a treat in the form of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! The Stunt Theatre where the show is performed is located towards the center of the park, right near Echo Lake.

During the show, you will witness actors recreating some of the most epic stunts from Indiana Jones. It begins with sequences from the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. You will see Indiana Jones navigating booby traps including the infamous giant boulder.

Credit: Susan

Marion joins Indy to continue the fun of battling the bad guys. You will encounter fights, traps, explosions, and even an airplane. It is fun, exciting, and different than anything else you will see in the Walt Disney World Theme parks.

The show lasts for about 30 minutes, and there is seating within the theater. It is open air, so you will not be totally out of the elements, but it is shaded. Be sure to check the daily showtimes as your trip approaches so that you know when to catch it.

Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage

Credit: Maggie

Hollywood Studios is a hot place to be when it comes to live stage performances. While you are there, you can also catch Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage. This show is, of course, the retelling of the beloved Disney classic film Beauty and the Beast.

Gorgeous costumes, singing, and dancing help to bring this show swirling to life in the Theatre of the Stars amphitheater on Sunset Boulevard. There is seating in the amphitheater, and there is shade.

The show runs for about 25 minutes and includes favorite songs like “Be our Guest”. If you love the film, you will enjoy the show too.

Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire

Credit: Katie

If you have children or dreamers of all ages in your party, you are going to what to stop and watch Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire during one of its performances at Cinderella Castle. This delightful stage show features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Daisy as they meet new friends with songs to sing.

The new friends that pop include characters like Tiana, Naveen, and Louis from the Princess and the Frog; Rapunzel and Flynn (or Eugene if you prefer) from Tangled; and Elsa, Anna, & Olaf from Frozen.

It is a simple, sweet show. It is sure to delight, especially if someone in your party loves one of the characters performing. There are even a few sparkly pyrotechnics. These can be a little loud, so prepare your sensitive travel party members.

Credit: KtP

The show lasts for about 23 minutes from beginning to end. It is the perfect thing to do while you are waiting between Lightning Lane Reservations. It is one of those shows that is enjoyable even if you walk up in the middle as you will still be able to take in several musical acts. Be sure to check showtimes as you plan your visit.

You should also know that this show does take place outdoors with little to no shade, so you might want to reapply your sunscreen before it begins. As it is with fireworks and parades, there is no seating; it is a standing-room-only experience. Guests must stand in front of the castle or remain in their wheelchairs, EVCs, or strollers for the duration of the performance.


Credit: Disney

If you have a Disney Parks fan in your life, you have probably heard mention of Fantasmic!. This show is part nighttime spectacular, part animated projection water show, part live-action character entertainment, and all magical. During the show, Mickey’s imagination comes to life, revealing dream-like sequences and villainous battles and even a little bit of pyro. It is a show packed with Disney music and Disney characters. In fact, you probably won’t catch so many Disney characters at a glance anywhere else.

Of course, this show closed with the parks during the pandemic. However, Fantasmic! is set to return in November! If you are lucky enough to be in the parks once it returns, it is certainly worth seeing, especially if you have a character enthusiast in your group.

Credit: KtP Writer Christina

The show is approximately 25 minutes long, but you can and should arrive early. It takes place in an amphitheater with seating, which you can find on Sunset Boulevard on the way to the way to Tower of Terror.

My little ones loved this show so much that they rewatched it over and over again at home on YouTube. I cannot wait for them, and for you, dear readers, to get to see it again. It is good, clean magical fun that the whole family can enjoy.

Want More Shows?

Credit: Disney

If you want more live shows, you are in luck. There are several others to see as well.

  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! (Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration (Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Let the Magic Begin (The Opening Show for the Magic Kingdom)
  • Disney Junior Play and Dance (Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

And there are also plenty of films, animatronic shows, and entertainment options around the parks. You could easily make an entire trip out of exploring all the non-ride options if your heart so desired.

Do you have a favorite live performance to watch in Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Or, keep the conversation going and share your thoughts with us in our friendly Facebook Crew, too!

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