The Top Must-See Shows at the Walt Disney World Resort

Everyone has a favorite show that is always on their "must" list during a Walt Disney World vacation. And we know the Wishes, IllumiNations, and Fantasmic are likely on that list.

But today we're going to talk about some of the other "must see" shows at Walt Disney World, including a couple that might not be on your radar.

If you're a "rope drop person" it's likely that you've seen the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show at least one or twice or 10 times. If you are a "we're on vacation and we're sleeping in" type of person, you need to make it to the Magic Kingdom at least once to see the Welcome Show.

The Magic Kingdom's Welcome ShowThe Magic Kingdom's Welcome Show

Essentially the Welcome Show is the opening ceremony at the Magic Kingdom every morning. The train comes into the station with a cast of characters on board, including the Big Cheese himself. There's singing and some dancing, and then Mickey, his friends, and the Mayor of Main Street U.S.A. welcome all the guests to the Magic Kingdom.

And then it's a mad dash down Main Street U.S.A. to get to the first attraction of the day.

If you're visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom, there are two shows that are always on a the top of a "must-see" list.

The first is the Festival of the Lion King. The show has recently returned to the Animal Kingdom after a brief hiatus and it has a new home in the Harambe Theater. The show is a celebration of The Lion King and includes songs from the animated film and incredible costumes. And, it's in an air conditioned theater so this is a great way to get out the heat.

Festival of The Lion KingFestival of The Lion King

Another must-see show at the Animal Kingdom is Finding Nemo: The Musical. The 40-minute long show features original songs and incredible puppets that bring the story of Nemo to life on stage. The musical numbers were composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won an Academy Award this year for Let it Go from Frozen.

If there's one theme park at Walt Disney World where you would expect amazing shows, it's Disney's Hollywood Studios. And, the park does not disappoint.

The adrenaline junkies in your group will want to check out the Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show. This nearly 40-minute long show is full of amazing stunts, roaring car engines, explosions, and high-speed chases.

Inspired by the Moteurs...Action! Stunt Show Spectacular in Disneyland Paris, the show features a red "hero" car and several "villain" cars. The premise of the show is to showcase what it takes to make an action film with pyrotechnics, stuntmen, jet ski chases, and car chases.

Lights! Motors! Action Extreme Stunt ShowLights! Motors! Action Extreme Stunt Show

Another exciting show at Disney's Hollywood Studios is the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. One of the highlight of this show is that guests actually have a chance to participate as 'extras' in different sequences of the show.

The show includes the giant boulder from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, street fights, and of course explosions. It's all very exciting.

Of course if you are looking for a show with fewer explosions, we suggest visiting the Theater of the Stars along Sunset Boulevard where you can see Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. Fans of the film will love this classic retelling of the story of Belle and Beast, complete with songs from the hit film.

A bit of history about the show: it opened on November 22, 1991 which was the very same day the film opened in theaters, making it the first time a stage show opened on the same day as the movie that inspired it.

Beauty and the Beast Live on StageBeauty and the Beast Live on Stage

Over at Epcot there are so many things to see and do, but some of them you might miss if you don't take a moment or two to slow down. While you're touring the World Showcase, stop by the France pavilion in the afternoon to watch the Serveur Amusant acrobats. You will be wowed by their acts of balance and coordination, and you'll be left wondering "how did they do that?"

In the American Adventure pavilion stop in to hear the Voices of Liberty inside the rotunda of The American Adventure. This a capella group will perform a 15-minute show featuring some of the most beloved songs from America. Outside, you might catch a performance of the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps. UPDATE 8/29/2014: As of September 27th, 2014 the Fife & Drum Corp will no longer be performing at Epcot. You can find more information HERE.

Serveur Amusant in Epcot's FranceServeur Amusant in Epcot's France

There are so many great entertainment options at the Walt Disney World Resort, you won't see them all on one visit (although you could try). We suggest picking a few of your "must see" shows and fitting them into your touring plans. And as always, check the daily times guide for schedules and showtimes.

What are your "must see" entertainment options when you're visiting Walt Disney World? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Marc wrote on Mon, 06/30/2014 - 12:26:

Marc's picture

I wonder what will go into the Indiana Jones and the American Idol Experience spaces when they close both in January.

Andrew wrote on Tue, 07/01/2014 - 16:35:

Andrew's picture

Stars Wars will fill those spaces.

Tammy wrote on Mon, 07/07/2014 - 22:50:

Tammy's picture

I know that it has been announced that American Idol Experience will close in January, but has it officially been announced that Indiana Jones will close? I thought that was so far just a rumor.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:27:

Kristen K.'s picture

Tammy - as far as we know right now the only official closure announced has been American Idol.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.

More information about formatting options