Aaryn’s Best of the Best: My Top FIVE Shows To See At Walt Disney World Resort

Aaryn here!  Ready for the next Best of the Best post?  Well, here we go!

It’s no secret that Walt Disney World is our family’s favorite vacation spot.  With as many times as we have been there, I have had the pleasure of experiencing and enjoying many amazing attractions the Disney parks have to offer.   I have survived thrilled rides, savored delicious meals at various restaurants, and met with some pretty “goofy” and “magical” characters.   Yet another exciting aspect of visiting a Disney Park is the variety of live shows offered.   These shows are a great opportunity to take a break from the heat of the day, give your feet a rest and enjoy some spectacular artistry, participate in a story or laugh until your sides hurt!   In keeping with my ” Best of the Best” series, I have compiled a list below of the top five shows I have enjoyed at Walt Disney World. See how many of them you have experienced.

#5 Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!

Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular ~ photo taken by B.R. Brown
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular ~ photo taken by B.R. Brown

This stunt show has always been one of my favorites, as well as the crowds.   Being a kid who loves the performing arts and a good action-packed production, I also love to see the “how” of a performance and what is actually going on behind the scenes to create the fantastic special effects that we as the audience see.   This show gives insight into the fight scenes, explosions and daredevil action that come together to form this amazing show.   Not to mention, they always take on a few “extras” before the show begins and my Mom was actually selected once!   I get to say my mom’s famous (well, sort of).

T during her "extra" performance during Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular ~ photo by B. R. Brown 2014)
Mom during her “extra” performance        during Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular ~                   photo by B. R. Brown 2014)

It has been rumored for years that this attraction was going to be replaced, particularly because of the many growing pains Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going through.   I whole-heartedly hope that these are just that – rumors, because this show continues to be one of the best action shows in the parks.

# 4 Fantasmic!

(sorry, Mom didn’t have a picture on hand)

This dynamic show has always been and will always be a classic at Walt Disney World.   Here, the story is told of how a little mouse with good in his heart triumphs over the forces of evil.  Through dancing water, laser lights, illuminating fireworks and the power of music, the Guest is drawn in and immersed into Sorcerer Mickey’s world.  It is sure to warm your heart every time, as well as give you the opportunity to see an array of characters at once!   I confess, it has been a bit since I have been able to see this show (perhaps five years or so), but I’ve already made my parents aware that it is high on my list of “must-do” requests for our next trip.

#3 Festival of the Lion King 

Photo by Disney Photo Pass
Photo by Disney Photo Pass

I experienced this theater-in-the round type show for the second time during my most recent trip to Walt Disney World.  Both times, I was mesmerized by the show’s creativity, excitement and audience interaction.   The Festival of the Lion King features many of everyone’s favorite characters from the Lion King, including Timon, Pumbaa and, of course, Simba.   Of course, my favorite part in the show is the Tumble Monkeys.   They are entertaining and amusing to watch, keeping the audience in stitches with their crazy antics.   I strongly recommend this show to all who love the Lion King movie…and anyone who wants to get out of the heat and into the air conditioning!

#2 Finding Nemo- The Musical

Finding Nemo the Musical at Disneys Animal Kingdom Park ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown
Finding Nemo the Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom                               Park  ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown

The first and only time that I have experienced this show was during this last trip in May (you can read all about it here).   I have to admit, I was a little skeptical of it at first, but my perspective quickly changed.  What I saw blew me away!  The creativity on that stage really shines through every scene as the actors try to convey the feeling of being underwater, taking us all under the sea (yes, yes ~ a different Disney movie reference, but it fits).     Finding Nemo – The Musical is truly fantastic, covering the entire story of the little clown fish in just about thirty minutes.  The actors we saw were stellar, the songs hit the heart and the scenery takes you exactly where you need to be.   For those who have little ones who love Finding Nemo the movie, this show is a great way to entertain them during your adventure in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


#1 For the First Time in Forever- A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

First Time in Forever Frozen Sing-A-Long ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown
First Time in Forever Frozen Sing-A-Long                                     ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown

Okay – my numero uno pick!   For those of you who have experienced For The First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, there is probably little doubt in your mind that this would be at the top of my list.   This attraction royally welcomes its Guests into the city of Arendelle and tells the tale of Princess Anna and Queen Elsa as retold by the Royal Historians.   Again, if you have seen this show, you know all about the Royal Historians.  They have to be two of the most hilarious hosts ever to land on stage!   These two (and we have been fortunate enough to have had the same two both times I have seen this show) keep the audience in stitches!  If you are not singing, you are laughing!   From the standard scripted jokes to the impromptu puns and teasing, I could not stop smiling, laughing or giggling!   Yes, it’s a sing-along and, yes, it is all the songs that we have grown to love, hate, adore, memorize and create parodies around.  From Olaf’s song about summer to Let it Go, this experience will no doubt brighten your day and have you walking back into the heat feeling refreshed!

Honorable Mention: Beauty and the Beast- Live On-Stage

I had to bring this one up because it certainly does not deserve to be forgotten.   This amphitheater style performance tells the story of the love that develops between Belle and Beast.   There are dancing dishes, meddling candlesticks, skeptical clocks and egotistical villains gracing the stage and the music that we all know and love accompanying it.

Well that does it for now.   What is YOUR favorite show at Walt Disney World?  Do you prefer those that include stunts?  How about those that have illuminating pyrotechnics?  Are you more of a romantic or an adventure-seeker when it comes to watching a performance at Walt Disney World?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until the next step ~ Aaryn

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