So you’re sheltering at home and school just ended for your children. Faced with a summer of no camps and very few outings, what are we to do? At my house, we are dreaming of Walt Disney World reopening and making sure we are prepped and ready by watching a few of our FAVORITE Disney movies. If you’re like us, you’ll want to watch them ALL (thank you, Disney Plus!), but if you just want the ones that will get you ready for a trip to the World, sit back and get ready for our family’s Top 10 List.

We will start in the fan-favorite park, Magic Kingdom. This park is FULL of amazing movie tie-ins and awesome characters! We have several favorites from this park!

  1. Dumbo! Sweet and nostalgic, Dumbo is everyone’s favorite elephant and a classic ride in Fantasyland. If you’re dreaming of flying with Dumbo, this one makes a great family film! While we can’t play on Dumbo’s playground right now or soar to amazing heights on his back, we can cue up this movie to relive some sweet memories. (Bonus: It even has an updated live action feature if you’ve worn out the animated movie already!)
  1. Staying in Fantasyland (there are SO MANY in Fantasyland!), our next movie pick is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. One of our favorite rides in all of Disney World is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and knowing the story of Snow White makes it even more fun! Waiting in this line, while ALWAYS long if you’re trying stand-by, is actually one of our favorite things! The movie will introduce you to the dwarfs and their relationship to Snow White. The ride itself will take you through the mine as heigh-ho, off you go! Snow White is one of my favorite princesses and we always enjoy watching this one!
  2. Peter Pan has such a special place in my heart. My 3-year old (who is now 10!!!) was mildly obsessed with Peter Pan. We had a Peter Pan birthday party when he turned 4! This is definitely one of our favorite rides at Disney World, one of our favorite meet and greets, AND one of our favorite parade floats! (That rainbow!) We LOVE watching Peter Pan at home when we can’t go to the parks!

Magic Kingdom Honorable Mention: Swiss Family Robinson, Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland! There are SO MANY good tie-ins for Magic Kingdom!

Now we will head over to Epcot for a quick visit!

4. Our top movie to watch before heading to Epcot had to be Finding Nemo! There’s a whole area dedicated to Nemo! From riding The Seas with Nemo and Friends to the aquarium to one of our favorite restaurants – Coral Reef! Finding Nemo was a hands-down winner for us!

5. Frozen is another must-see before heading to Epcot. Norway is one of my VERY favorite countries in the World Showcase. There you’ll find the ride – Frozen Ever After – as well as a meet and greet with two favorite princesses – Ana and Elsa!

Our family’s FAVORITE park is probably Hollywood Studios. Since they’ve recently added two new lands, it is ABSOLUTELY a full-day park! Two weeks before closing, our family spent a weekend at Disney and BOTH days were spent in

6. Hollywood Studios trying to do it all! The movie tie-ins here are definitely plentiful! Top for us is Star Wars! I realize this is a series, but you need to start with A New Hope and work your way out from there. Galaxy’s Edge is new and AMAZING. We were floored by it when we visited. My husband is not a Star Wars fan and even HE said that Rise of the Resistance is one of his favorite attractions in all of Walt Disney World!

There’s also Millennium Falcon – Smuggler’s Run to try and our old favorite is Star Tours! Another must-do for elementary-aged kids is Jedi Training! The kids get trained to be Jedi and individually battle Darth Vader or another villain at the end of their instruction. Try a Star Wars movie or two even if you think they’re not for you, just to give you some background before you visit!

7. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my favorite movies of all time! I absolutely love watching it! Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has always been one of our FAVORITE shows at Hollywood Studios, but it’s awesome to have a little background before watching Indy and Marian flip, punch, and kick! (Insider tip – wait after the show until everyone has left and walk to the floor. Sometimes the cast members will come over to take a quick picture and say hello!)

  1. Toy Story is definitely another must-see before heading to Hollywood! The new Toy Story Land is INCREDIBLY well-themed. Slinky Dog Dash is our favorite ride there, but you can’t go wrong getting in line for any of the Toy Story rides. Sometimes you’ll also find Bo Peep, Woody, Jessie, and the Green Army Men there for pictures and autographs!

Honorable Mention: The Incredibles! You’ll find many of the characters, snacks from the film, and some great photo ops tucked away as you go toward Toy Story Land!

Finally, we will make our way over to Animal Kingdom (my personal favorite park!)

  1. While it’s not suggested for younger kids, for those who are over 10-12, Avatar is a must-see before heading into Pandora at Animal Kingdom. Pandora opened a few years ago, but I still haven’t gotten over how INCREDIBLE it is when I walked into it. Tucked away toward the front of Animal Kingdom, it is home to one of the most sought-after Fastpasses at Disney World, Flight of Passage. This land makes a lot more sense if you’re familiar with the movie, BUT it’s absolutely enjoyable whether you’ve seen the movie or not!
  2. The Lion King is my final pick for our top-10 list! While it’s not a necessary tie-in like some of the others, it’s a favorite at our house and will get you in the Animal Kingdom spirit! Our favorite show at Walt Disney World is Festival of the Lion King! The tumble monkeys are our FAVORITES! Will, our youngest, wanted to BE a tumble monkey when he was a little younger! This show features music from The Lion King as well as some of the characters! After you’ve seen that, head over to Kilimanjaro Safari where you can see some of the REAL versions of the characters in The Lion King! Africa is definitely our favorite place in Animal Kingdom! The music, theming, and cast members are TOP NOTCH! 

Honorable Mention: UP! See if you can find Russell and Dug’s meet and greet as well as Kevin wandering the park! There’s also a new Up-inspired bird show that we love!

Alright, now it’s YOUR turn! What movies would you add to our list of favorites? How many did I miss?

Lauren Fresh

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