The Best Movies for a WDW Trip
Going to Walt Disney World is an amazing experience. If you are mentally prepared for crazy awesomeness, then that is what you'll encounter as soon as you cross into Disney territory.
But you know what can make a trip extra special? Noticing all the "extras" in the park.
Disney Imagineers have created a fascinating set of parks, where guests are immersed into a land that is different from all other theme parks. If you look closely, though, they have added little details that immerse a guest even deeper into the Disney lore.
Much of the parks are filled with details taken directly from the Disney movies, both animated and live action. So if you're gearing up for a trip, here are some films that will help you take your enjoyment of Walt Disney World up to 11:
The Little Mermaid
This movie is a favorite of mine, because it was animated so well! You can find details from this movie in the Magic Kingdom's dark ride and Hollywood Studios' stage show. Ariel and Eric are also featured in Fantasmic!
Beauty and the Beast
There is a lot of areas in WDW that cover this movie. The best one is the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, where you dine in Beast's castle. You can eat in the West Wing, guys!!
Belle also shares her Enchanted Tales in the Magic Kingdom. In Epcot, the France pavilion has a few areas dedicated to the movie (including some great stained glass windows). Plus, it has a stage show at Hollywood Studios, and Belle and the Beast are also in Fantasmic!
One of the older Disney movies has a large representation in the parks. One of the most popular rides in the Magic Kingdom is the Peter Pan ride. There are small details found on the floors of the Grand Floridian Resort. The characters are also all over the Magic Kingdom, including the Main Street Electrical Parade, and Tinkerbell can be spotted flying over Cinderella's castle during Wishes!
Speaking of Cinderella...
She has her very own coach in the Main Street Electrical Parade at the Magic Kingdom, and has her very own castle to show off to guests! You can meet her in the Princess Fairytale Hall, too. You can dine with Cinderella (in her castle!) at the Royal Table, and Prince Charming has the Regal Carrousel out back.
Toy Story characters are found in the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. In the Magic Kingdom, they tend to act like they are indeed cowboys and spacemen, but in Hollywood Studios they act more like toys! They have two attractions (so far; there will soon be more!): Buzz Lightyear SpaceRanger Spin in the Magic Kingdom, and Toy Story Mania in Hollywood Studios.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Walt Disney's first feature length animated classic is well represented in the Magic Kingdom. Snow White and her dwarfs dance around in the Main Street Electrical Parade, and you can find the dwarfs at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
Star Wars...All Seven of Them
Right now Star Wars has a nice little patch of land in Hollywood Studios, where you can go on Star Tours and your children can try out the Jedi Academy. They also have several stage shows right in the middle of the park. But stay tuned...14 acres of Star Wars land are on its way!
Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio
I was never a big fan of these trippy Disney films, but they have a pretty large presence in the parks. Alice has the Mad Tea Party and Pinocchio has his own restaurant. Both can be seen in the Main Street Electrical Parade. But beware...these movies are crazy! I watched Pinocchio before my first trip, and it was terrifying!
Raiders of the Lost Ark
If you want to understand the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular in Hollywood Studios, watch this movie first. You'll also understand many of the details of Jock Lindsay's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Does this really need an explanation? Not only is there the attraction from which the movie is based, Captain Jack Sparrow has his own Pirate Tutorial!
Footlight Parade, Singin' in the Rain, Mary Poppins, The Public Enemy, Fistful of Dollars, The Searchers, Alien, Tarzan the Ape Man, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz
Want to make the most out of the Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios? Then make sure to watch these before you go!
Watch two sections to better understand the wonderful Hollywood Studios' show Fantasmic!: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Night on Bald Mountain."
Swiss Family Robinson
As if you needed another reason to watch this classic, their Treehouse has been recreated in the Magic Kingdom!
Maleficent is a major player in the Magic Kingdom's Festival of Fantasy Parade and Fantasmic! in Hollywood Studios.
You can sing along with the songs in Hollywood Studios, and soon you can meet with them and go on a boat attraction in Epcot!
This movie is featured prominently in the Seas pavilion in Epcot and has its own musical (which is spectacular!) in Animal Kingdom.
This politically incorrect movie can be found (with greater political correctedness) in Animal Kingdom, and has a large presence in Fantasmic!
So there you have it! A nice list (though far from complete) of movies that will help enhance your future Walt Disney World visit. Happy watching!