Must-See Walt Disney World Shows

Must-See Walt Disney World Shows - Carousel of Progress

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The four parks of Walt Disney World have so much to offer, including numerous dazzling shows. With so much to see and do, it’s nearly impossible to see it all in just one vacation. We’re taking a look at which Walt Disney World shows you simply must see on your Disney vacation.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is filled mostly with ride attractions, rather than shows. That certainly doesn’t mean this park doesn’t have any great shows to offer. Magic Kingdom is home to two of my absolute favorite Disney shows.

Happily Ever After

Each night the skies over Magic Kingdom illuminate with brilliant fireworks while projections of favorite Disney scenes can be seen on Cinderella Castle. Happily Ever After is by far the best nighttime show at Disney. In fact, you may end up wanting to see this show multiple times during your vacation. This show’s inspiring message of hope will inspire dreamers both young and old.

Carousel of Progress

Located in Tomorrowland, Carousel of Progress is one of my favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom. While there are those who would tell you to skip this underrated attraction, I think if you give it a try you may just find this show to be one of your favorites as well. Walt Disney created Carousel of Progress for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The show follows an American family throughout the 20th century, showing the changes and progress made throughout the century. In addition to being a fantastic show, Carousel of Progress is housed in a rotating theater. After each scene, the audience rotates to the next stage while listening to the wonderful “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” theme song written by the Sherman Brothers. Carousel of Progress is also a great spot to cool off on those hot central Florida days.

Must-See Shows at Walt Disney World - IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth


World Showcase at Epcot is home to several shows celebrating countries from around the world. Some of these shows provide insight into the history of these countries, while others celebrate cultures from across the globe.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

This nighttime spectacular is by far the best show at Epcot. The stunning fireworks and laser show takes place on World Showcase Lagoon. Because of it’s location, you can find a great viewing spot at just about any place in World Showcase. The show features an Inferno Barge which launches fire balls 60 feet into the air. The middle of the show displays videos showcasing the history of humanity on a 350,000-pound globe, the world’s first spherical video display system. Together, the fireworks,lasers, and videos, combined with the beautiful soundtrack featuring a narration by Jim Cummings (the voice of Winnie the Pooh) makes IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth a show you won’t want to miss at Epcot.

The American Adventure

Located in the back of World Showcase is The American Adventure pavilion, home to a wonderful animatronic show of the same name. This show, narrated by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain, tells the story of how America was created and transformed into the country it is today. While this may sound more like a history lesson, rather than entertainment, the music, video, and animatronics in The American Adventure do a great job of telling the story of America in a way which keeps the attention of both children and adults alike. In addition to entertaining audiences, The American Adventure also provides an air-conditioned theater great for cooling off on those warm Florida days.

Must-See Walt Disney World Shows - Voyage of The Little Mermaid

Disney’s Hollywood Studios


This nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes guests on a journey through Mickey’s imagination. His imagination is filled with favorite Disney characters, as well as, Disney villains who try to overtake Mickey’s imagination. The show features so many Disney characters, projections of animated films on water, fire, lasers, and so much more. Fantasmic! is a show unlike any other show at Walt Disney World. Whether it’s your first time in the parks or your 100th, this is a show you’ll want to see over and over again.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to not one, but two nighttime spectaculars. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular takes place in the skies above the Chinese Theatre. The show is sure to delight Star Wars fans of all ages. Featuring the iconic John Williams score from the films, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular celebrates the films through fireworks, lasers, and projections.

Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage

Located in the Theater of The Stars on Sunset Blvd., Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage tells the tale as old as time from the 1991 animated classic. The show opened on November 22, 1991, the same day the animated film opened in theaters across the United States. This Broadway style show features the beloved characters and soundtrack from the film. Fans of the animated classic are sure to love the stage version of this tale as old as time.

Voyage of The Little Mermaid

Voyage of The Little Mermaid takes guests on a journey under the sea with Ariel and her friends. Once inside the theater, lasers and a sea mist help guest feel they are going below the surface to meet the cast of the show. Voyage of The Little Mermaid features colorful blacklight puppets who help Sebastian tell Ariel how wonderful life under the sea is. The show also features the award winning soundtrack from the 1989 Disney film.

Must-See Walt Disney World Shows - Festival of the Lion King

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Festival of The Lion King

Located in Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the best shows at Walt Disney World – Festival of the Lion King {affiliate link}. This celebration of The Lion King features giant parade floats, characters from the film, singing, dancing, acrobatics, and so much more. The Tumble Monkeys who swing on the high bar, rings, and trapeze are always a guest favorite. A dancer thrills guests as he twirls his torch with fire coming from both ends. Performers dressed as bird elegantly fly through the air as the sounds of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” fill the theater. This live music and high-energy show may very well be the best show in all of Walt Disney World.

Your Thoughts

Did you favorite Walt Disney World shows make our list? Would you skip any of these shows or add other to the list? Let us know which shows you love to see over and over again in the comments below.


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Bernie wallace

Most people walk right past the American Adventure and do not go in. I think alot of people don’t even know a show is in there.


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