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Do NOT Miss Disney World’s Beautiful American History Attraction

Do NOT Miss Disney World’s Beautiful American History Attraction

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Many fans walk right past one of Disney World’s most beautiful attractions without even realizing it! But, this patriotic attraction is one to watch.

World Showcase

Credit: Disney

It is no secret that World Showcase in EPCOT can be a little bit daunting. After all, it is chock full of restaurants, shops, shows, entertainment, and attractions. In fact, many people walk right by attractions without even realizing that they are there.

And, some of the shows can be a bit unremarkable and are skippable, particularly if you are short on time. Beauty & the Beast Singalong immediately comes to mind. Reflections of China is woefully in need of an update although some of the cinematography is beautiful.

Moreover, many theme park Guests do not go to the parks to be educated. However, even if you do not normally love to do anything beyond the rides, there is one Disney show attraction that you may want to stop for at least once.

The American Adventure

Credit: Disney

While you certainly do not need to feel FOMO over many of the shows in World Showcase and other parts of Walt Disney World, one show that is worth stopping for is The American Adventure in EPCOT. Not only is the attraction a beautiful snapshot of American History, it is one of the most spectacular feats in the history of Audio Animatronics that Disney Imagineering ever put together.

According to Disney, The American Adventure lets you “Feel the spirit that propelled America to greatness in an inspiring retelling of our nation’s history.” I (Katie) cannot think of a show that does a better job.

Credit: Katie P

This dramatic and emotional production features 35 Audio Animatronics figures as well as digital rear-projection art images and photography on a 72-foot screen, all backed with stirring patriotic songs. It presents a beautiful representation of American History for audiences to watch.

Many people do not realize that this impressive show took Imagineers 5 years to complete! But, it all came together and now pivotal moments in history appear and disappear seamlessly through the use of a massive computer-controlled movable device. Ten different sets are stored under the stage and are moved forward or backward on cue by this American technological marvel.

When and Where is It?

Everything you need to know about Epcot's America Pavilion
Credit: Susan

To see the show, you must go to The American Adventure pavilion in World Showcase. It is housed inside the colonial-style building and the show’s entrance is near the entrance to Regal Eagle Smoke House.

The show runs several times daily. You can find the schedule in My Disney Experience and, of course, Character Locator.

Before the Show

Credit: Disney

There is plenty to do before the show begins. Often, you will be able to enjoy a concert from the Voices of Liberty, a fabulous a cappella group that performs daily.

You can also take a peek at the American Heritage Gallery exhibit. Right before the scheduled showtime, you will hear the announcer direct you to the velvet rope and make your way up the stairs or escalators to the theater.

Credit: Katie

As you ascend, you will notice a collection of flags suspended from the ceiling. Once you reach the top, you will walk around either side of the large dome and head to the theater.

The Story Unfolds

Credit: Katie

Of course, no one show can adequately capture every moment of a nation’s rich history. With such a vast amount of potential content and so much controversy to wade through, I imagine it was tricky landing on the right script for the show. Nevertheless, The American Adventure is truly Disney Storytelling at its finest.

The Imagineers created a show that does the job of highlighting some of the powerful and significant stories that propelled the nation throughout time. While the show is patriotic, it does not tell a story that paints the nation as perfect. Rather, it takes the approach of blending some of the darker moments in American history with some of the most beautiful, triumphant, and significant.

Credit: Katie

Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain are your guides on this trip through time. You will witness landmark events like the landing of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge, the penning of the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the crushing news of Pearl Harbor.

You will encounter some of our forefathers including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Moreover, you will hear from a diverse collection of some of the nation’s luminaries including Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Chief Joseph, and Teddy Roosevelt, among others.

Each historic vignette is its own chapter in the larger, cohesive story. And, of course, there are plenty of nuances for you to enjoy throughout.

A Finale to Remember

Credit: Katie

The whole thing culminates with a montage showcasing significant American figures and events. This sequence is backed with the song Golden Dream, which recently landed on Billboard’s list of Disney’s 100 top songs of all time. The song is perfect for the finale, and the clips are sequenced beautifully so that they build with the music.

You will see so many recognizable people and newsreels including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Lebron James, Jiminy Cricket, Louis Armstrong, JFK’s funeral, Albert Einstien, Vietnam, Jim Henson, Geroge Lucas, Beyoncé, the crew of the Challenger, Michael Phelps, Whitney Houston, the USA Olympic gymnastics team, rescue crews from 9/11, and, of course, Walt Disney, among many many others.  As you can imagine it might just send emotions all over the place.

One portion of the song includes some of the nation’s most recognizable quotations with clips from Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech, John F Kenedy’s inauguration speech, and the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.

Credit: Katie

With a reprise of the final song, our hosts shake hands and lighting calls attention to the statues lining the auditorium. It is just enough to extend the emotion a little longer. The statues are not of specific people, but embodiments of the American qualities they represent. You will notice:

  • Adventure (a seaman)
  • Compassion (female doctor)
  • Discovery (mountain man)
  • Freedom (pilgrim)
  • Heritage (Native American woman)
  • Independence (American Revolutionary soldier)
  • Individualism (cowboy)
  • Innovation (African-American scientist)
  • Knowledge (school teacher)
  • Pioneering (pilot)
  • Self-Reliance (farmer)
  • Tomorrow (a mother and her child)

Where to Sit

Credit: Katie

This is one Disney show where every seat in the theater provides a good view. Plus, it is climate controlled, so you will also have a break from the elements outside. You don’t need to rush or be at the front of the line to get a good seat. The theatre is huge.

Even though all seats are good seats, you might want to select seats somewhat strategically depending on your preferences. Since it is rare that this show is at capacity, even on a very crowded day, you can select your row with little problem.

Of course, the closer you are to the center of the theatre, the more balanced your view will be. And, if you are not in a crowded showing, the Cast Members will likely not insist you move all the way to the end of the row.

If you want to be able to see the details of the  Audio Animatronics more clearly, try to get a seat in one of the first rows. However, if you want to get the fullest effect of the show’s finale and the unveiling of the statues, you might want to position yourself a bit further back.

Who Will NOT Enjoy This Show

Credit: Katie

If you have little ones who are a bit tender-hearted and do not love a healthy dose of reality at the Most Magical Place on Earth, you may consider letting them skip this one. For example, my own little one picked up on some of the tragedy surrounding the Civil War story and wept audibly. She thought the show was too sad and cited a scene depicting a fallen soldier on the battlefield.

You might have a traveler who wants their happy place to be happy all the time and prefers to save the sad stuff for the real world. But, if you want to take them to the American Adventure anyway, it might be good to prepare them for a few brief sad moments.

Also, if you cannot sit for an extended period of time in a theater seat you may want to skip it. The show does have a runtime of nearly 30 minutes.

Finally, if you have absolutely zero interest in American history (even when it is told well), this one is not for you.


Credit: Katie

If you haven’t seen this show in a long time, know that it has had some updates since it opened in 1982. Most significantly, the video montage received an update in 2018, and it is a GOOD update. Sometimes Disney gives us updates that fail to improve on the attractions we remember fondly, but that is not the case with this one.

If you are short on time and have rides to prioritize, skipping shows makes sense. But, if you plan to see at least ONE good show during your visit to World Showcase in EPCOT, this is the BEST choice.

Credit: Disney

On the whole, if you love America, regardless of political feelings, you will probably enjoy this show. If you love history, you will certainly enjoy the show. You might even be moved to tears from time to time as the story unfolds.

Have you ever stopped to see The American Adventure? Did you love it? Let us know in the comments! And, if you know anyone who loves American History and has a trip to Walt Disney World planned, be sure to pass this along so that they do not miss out on this emotional and beautiful show.

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Tuesday 4th of July 2023

I think every American family should see The American Adventure when at EPCOT. Start when your children are young and continue through their high school years. Your children may not hear this truthful version of American history in school any longer, and they need the truth to counterbalance Woke propaganda and indoctrination, so they can form their own opinions on America's goodness and shortcomings as they go through life.

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