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50+ Disney Movies to Watch Before Going to Disney World

Are you getting ready for a magical journey to Disney World? Before embarking on the most epic vacation of your life, get in the spirit by watching something fun on Disney+.

Not sure what to watch? Well, I’ve got a list for you – with a FREE downloadable, printable checklist to boot!

From musicals and comedies to action-packed tales and endearing romances, I’m counting down the 50 best Disney movies to watch before going to Disney World.

Whether it’s a nostalgic revisit or an introduction into a beloved world filled with lovable characters, these cinematic stories will surely add extra magic happiness onto your upcoming trip.

There is nothing quite like being taken away by one these fantastic cinematic adventures right before experiencing the most magical place on Earth in real life!

So turn off those phones and hit play on one of these movies today. Let’s get into it, shall we?

NOTE: This post may contain spoilers to movie or show plots. These movies and shows are available to stream on Disney+ in the US as of publication time, unless otherwise noted. Availability can change at any time.

Table of Contents show

Aladdin (1992)

Photo still of Jasmine and Aladdin riding the magic carpet in Aladdin (1992) and the Zenimation episode, Flight.

If you thought Aladdin was just a classic animated film, think again!

This iconic story has been given a whole new lease of life thanks to a live-action remake that has taken the world by storm.

But while the story of a “street rat” who falls in love with a princess is at the heart of both versions, the live-action Aladdin also brings its own unique thrills and spills to the table.

All in all, the latest incarnation of Aladdin is no mere remake, but a bold and daring retelling of a timeless tale!

Both the 1992 original animated film and the 2019 live-action film are available to stream on Disney+.

In addition, Disney+ also has the 1994 animated follow-up, The Return of Jafar and the third installment, 1996’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves.

Find it in the parks

Head to Adventureland in Magic Kingdom to ride the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, as well as meet Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.

At Epcot, you can sometimes meet Aladdin and Jasmine in the Morocco pavilion, as well.

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Down the rabbit hole she goes, animatedly navigating through a most peculiar wonderland.

Alice, with her curious nature and insatiable thirst for adventure, has captivated audiences since the release of the classic novel, Alice in Wonderland.

Disney brought the book to life with its 1951 animated film by the same name.

With giant mushrooms, talking caterpillars, and disappearing cats, it’s safe to say that Alice’s journey is far from ordinary.

Who knew a world as zany and humorous as Wonderland could exist in the mind of one person?

But then again, as Alice herself once said, “Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

So go ahead, follow the white rabbit, and let Alice in Wonderland take you on a ride you will never forget.

Also available to stream:

  1. Adventures in Wonderland (1992)
  2. Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  3. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (2013)
  4. Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
  5. Alice’s Wonderland Bakery (2022)

Find it in the parks

Head to Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom to ride the Mad Tea Party swirling tea cups.

You can also meet Alice at the UK pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.

The 1900 Park Fare character meals at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa also feature Alice. However, this experience is currently closed but will reopen on April 10, 2024. Advance dining reservations open for this revamped experience on March 5, 2024.

Beauty & the Beast (1991)

Photo still of Belle in Beauty and the Beast, walking down a dirt path in her provincial dress, as seen in the Zenimation episode, Serenity.

Once upon a time, Beauty & the Beast was just an animated movie that captured the hearts of audiences young and old.

Fast forward a few decades, and now we get to watch a live action version of the tale as old as time unfold on the big screen.

As much as we loved the animated classic, there’s something about seeing real people bring these beloved characters to life that adds a whole new magic to the story.

It’s a tale as old as time, but this time, it’s bigger, bolder, and more beautiful than ever before.

Both the original animated 1991 film and the 2017 live-action film are available to stream on Disney+, including Sing-Along versions.

You can also stream the following related entertainment:

  1. Beauty & the Beast: A 30th Celebration (2022)
  2. Beauty & the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
  3. Beauty & the Beast: Belle’s Magical World (1998)

Find it in the parks

There are tons of attractions and dining spots inspired by this classic story.

At Magic Kingdom, join everyone’s book-loving princess at Enchanted Tales with Belle for an interactive retelling of her story.

You can also dine at Be Our Guest, inside the Beast’s castle – and sometimes he’ll make an appearance!

Over at Epcot, sing along to tunes from the movie at the France pavilion in the World Showcase. You can also sometimes meet Belle nearby, in her provincial outfit.

At Hollywood Studios, relive the tale at Beauty & the Beast: Live on Stage.

Need a nightcap or afternoon refresher? Head to the Enchanted Rose lounge at the Grand Floridian for a cocktail or glass of wine.

A Bug’s Life (1998)

Bugs, bugs, and more bugs! That pretty much sums up the 1998 Disney film, A Bug’s Life.

This hilariously entertaining movie tells the story of Flik, a wacky ant who bites off more than he can chew when he embarks on a quest to save his colony from the evil grasshoppers.

With an all-star cast that includes voices from Hayden Panettiere, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Phyllis Diller, it’s no wonder why this flick still has people buzzing over 20 years later.

Find it in the parks

At Animal Kingdom, check out the 3-D show It’s Tough to Be a Bug!

But be sure to watch it soon – in September 2023, Disney announced that it would be replacing this in the future for a Zootopia-themed show, but didn’t say when.

Cars (2006)

Photo still from the Pixar Popcorn short, Unparalleled Parking, featuring characters from Pixar's Cars.
© 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Buckle up and get ready for a ride through the world of cars!

If I had to pick my favorite four-wheeled characters, it would have to be Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater.

Lightning is the sleek and speedy superstar who knows how to win a race like nobody’s business.

And then there’s Tow Mater, the lovably rusty tow truck who always finds himself in the middle of shenanigans.

Together, they make the ultimate dynamic duo, as their adventures take them from the racetrack to the sleepy back roads of Radiator Springs.

Also available to stream:

  1. Cars 2 (2011)
  2. Cars 3 (2017)
  3. Mater and the Ghostlight (2006)
  4. Cars on the Road (2022-ongoing)
  5. Cars Toon (a series of short films)
  6. Pixar Popcorn (2021)

Find it in the parks

Over on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, join Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.

You might also like Test Track at Epcot and Tomorrowland Speedway at Magic Kingdom, although neither are Cars-themed.

And for the ultimate fan, be sure to book a stay in the Cars section at the Art of Animation resort.

Cinderella (1950)

Photo still of Cinderella transforming into her ball gown, as seen in the original 1950 film, as well as the Transformation episode of Zenimation on Disney+.

There are few stories as recognizable as Cinderella.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the animated Disney classic or the live action retelling from a few years ago, it’s an enchanting tale that has captured the imaginations of generations.

It’s no wonder that this iconic story has lived on in so many forms – from books to movies and even Broadway shows.

One thing is for sure, Cinderella is here to stay.

Also available to stream:

  1. Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002)
  2. Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007)
  3. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)
  4. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella: The Reunion (2022)
  5. Sneakerella (2022)

Find it in the parks

The ultimate Disney World icon is Cinderella’s Castle, the gorgeous castle you see when you walk down Main Street at Magic Kingdom.

Inside the castle is Cinderella’s Royal Table, a super fun, princess-y, character dining meal.

Lastly, for some one-on-one time with your favorite blue-loving gal, head to Princess Fairytale Hall, where you can meet her.

The Country Bears (2002)

The Country Bears is a treasure trove of hilarious hijinks and toe-tapping tunes that will get you grooving in your seat.

Beary Barrington runs away to join his favorite bear band, only to find them in trouble with losing their iconic venue, Country Bear Hall.

The band reunites for a concert to try to earn enough money to avoid foreclosure. Can they do it?

Find it in the parks

At Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, you can see your favorite bears in the Country Bear Jamboree show, which will close sometime soon (date TBD!) to make way for a brand new Country Bear show.

Dinosaur (2000)

Remember that animated movie Dinosaur? I mean, who didn’t love seeing those prehistoric giants come to life on the big screen?

We were all in awe of the breathtaking landscapes and heartwarming story of Aladar, the iguanodon who finds himself traversing newly formed terrain with a group of misfit dinos.

And let’s not forget the wicked villainous Carnotaur, who gave us some major Jurassic Park vibes.

Dinosaur may have come out over 20 years ago, but it still holds up as a timeless adventure that reminds us of the awe-inspiring majesty of those creatures that roamed the earth eons before us.

Find it in the parks

At Animal Kingdom, head to DinoLand USA for lots of dino themed attractions, including DINOSAUR, a ride based on this very movie.

Dumbo (2019)

Once upon a time, an animated elephant named Dumbo captured the hearts of children and adults alike. Fast forward to today and we’ve got a live-action remake of the classic tale.

Sure, some purists may argue that nothing can compare to the original hand-drawn version, but there’s no denying the excitement that comes with seeing Dumbo in all his CGI glory.

Plus, with Tim Burton at the helm, we can expect a quirky and visually stunning interpretation of the beloved story.

We may not have flying elephants in real life (yet), but with the magic of cinema, we can soar alongside Dumbo and his unlikely band of friends once again.

Both the 2019 live-action and 1941 original animated Dumbo are available to stream on Disney+.

Find it in the parks

Head to Storybook Circus in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Encanto (2021)

Promotional poster for the 2021 Disney film, Encanto, featuring the colorful Colombian home of the Madrigal family.
© 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Disney’s latest film, Encanto, takes you on a wild ride through the colorful and enchanting country of Colombia.

This fiesta-filled flick follows the Madrigal family, who all possess magical powers except for Mirabel.

But when the family’s magic starts to disappear, it’s up to Mirabel to save the day and her family’s legacy.

From music that’ll have you shimmying in your seat to heartwarming moments that’ll have you reaching for the tissues, Encanto truly has it all.

So why not take your tastebuds on a journey with some empanadas and let this film sweep you off your feet? You won’t regret it!

Find it in the parks

Guests can meet Mirabel at the Fairytale Garden in Magic Kingdom.

Disney announced in September 2023 at the D23 Expo that they will be bringing Encanto to Animal Kingdom in the future, potentially as part of a replacement for DinoLand USA.

Considering talk came from Disney itself, it seems probable. Now we just need a ground-breaking ceremony and projected opening date to make it real!

Fantasia (1940)

Prepare to be swept off your feet and into the magical world of Fantasia.

A true masterpiece in every sense of the word, Disney’s animated musical extravaganza is a feast for the senses.

From the soaring crescendos of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, to the frenzied dance of the Nutcracker Suite, Fantasia takes us on a journey through some of the greatest classical music of all time.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, along comes Fantasia 2000, with a fresh new take on the classic format.

With stunning animation and a whole new lineup of classical tunes, Fantasia 2000 proves that this timeless classic will never lose its charm.

So, hold on to your hats and get ready to be dazzled – Fantasia is here to take your breath away!

Find it in the parks

Visit Hollywood Studios at night, where you can watch a nighttime stage show, Fantasmic!, which was inspired by this film.

Finding Nemo (2003)

This classic tale of a lost little fish has warmed the hearts of millions around the world, myself included.

But let’s not forget the spunky sequel, Finding Dory, where we got to follow the journey of another beloved character searching for her own family.

As an avid fan of both films, I can confidently say that the underwater world Pixar has created is one of the most delightful and entertaining out there.

So swim on over to your nearest screen and relish in the adventures of Nemo, Dory, Crush, Squirt, and the gang. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Find it in the parks

Head to World Nature at Epcot for Turtle Talk with Crush, an interactive Q&A with Crush, and The Seas with Nemo & Friends, a slow-moving ride based on the movie.

Plus you can learn more about marine life in the Seas pavilion, complete with a massive aquarium.

Then, over at Animal Kingdom, you can see the story retold in a quirky Broadway-style stage show.

Frozen II (2019)

Photo still from Frozen 2 of Queen Elsa bending over to let Bruno the salamander into her hand, also featured in the Zenimation episode, Discovery.

In this sequel, we get to dive deeper into the mystical universe of Arendelle and beyond. But let’s be honest, some of us are just here for the ice powers, catchy soundtracks, and lovable characters.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Olaf and his endless stream of dad jokes?

So, let’s bundle up, grab some hot cocoa, and get ready to sing our hearts out to “Let It Go” one more time.

Also available to stream:

  1. Frozen (2013) – including a Sing-Along version
  2. Frozen Fever (2015)
  3. LEGO Frozen: Northern Lights (2016)
  4. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)
  5. Myth: A Frozen Tale (2019)
  6. Into the Unknown: Making of Frozen II (2020)
  7. Once Upon a Snowman (2020)
  8. Olaf Presents (2021)
  9. Arendelle Castle Yule Log (2020)
  10. Arendelle Castle Yule Log: Cut Paper Edition (2021)

Find it in the parks

Head to the Norway pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, where you can meet Anna & Elsa, as well as go on a dark boat ride through Frozen-themed scenes.

Over at Hollywood Studios, you can meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight.

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Promotional poster for the Sing-Along version of The Little Mermaid, one of the must-watch movies before going to Disney World.

Once upon a time, there was an animated movie that captured the hearts of audiences everywhere, The Little Mermaid.

It told the timeless tale of a curious mermaid named Ariel who longed to live among humans.

In 2023, the long-awaited live-action version of this film also released and is available to stream on Disney+.

Find it in the parks

Head to Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, where you can ride Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and meet (animated) Ariel in her grotto.

Plus, over at Walt Disney Presents in Hollywood Studios, you can meet the live-action Ariel for a limited time.

Moana (2016)

Photo still of Moana steering a boat on a wave, as featured in the Zenimation episode, Water Realms.

Move over Ariel, there’s a new ocean princess in town and her name is Moana! Well, she’s the daughter of a chief, not a princess, but same-same, right?

This spunky Polynesian heroine is not your average Disney damsel-in-distress. In fact, she’s got more sass than Maui’s enchanted hook.

Also, let’s talk about Maui for a second. I mean, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a demigod? Sign me up!

And who could forget the lovable sidekicks, Pua and Hei Hei?

Moana’s journey to restore the heart of Te Fiti is an epic adventure that will have you singing “How Far I’ll Go” for days on end.

Find it in the parks

At Epcot, there’s a new Moana-inspired interactive experienced called Journey of Water in World Nature, as well as a Moana meet-and-greet nearby.

For more tips on building an itinerary around this wonderful heroine, check out Moana at Disney World.

Monsters Inc (2001)

Grab a bag of popcorn and settle in for a comedic ride with Monsters Inc., the 2001 animated masterpiece.

Mike and Sulley’s dynamic duo is sure to keep you giggling throughout the film with their witty banter and hilarious pranks.

But let’s not forget about Boo, the adorable little girl who stumbles into the monster world and becomes the apple of Sulley’s eye.

This movie was a classic for a reason, and if you haven’t watched it yet, now is the perfect time to experience the magic.

Also available to stream:

  1. Mike’s New Car (2002)
  2. Monsters University (2013)
  3. Party Central (2014)
  4. Monsters at Work (2021)

Find it in the parks

Head to Pixar Place in Hollywood Studios for a chance to meet your favorites from Monster’s Inc.

Over at Magic Kingdom, have a chuckle at Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor.

Mulan (1998)

Photo still from Mulan, as featured in the Zenimation episode, Serenity.

Ah, Mulan – one of Disney’s more underrated heroines.

This feisty young lady is the antithesis of a damsel in distress. She busts out of corseted convention and decides to take her father’s place in the army, disguised as a man.

But Mulan’s not just any recruit. She’s got panache, personality, and a dragon for a sidekick named Mushu.

With Mushu in tow, she sets off to save her country from the pesky Huns (and pesky is an understatement!).

And with some stellar fight scenes, iconic musical numbers, and some great moments of self-discovery (everyone loves a good montage), Mulan proves that in a man’s world, sometimes a woman has to do it all.

A live-action remake of Mulan is also available to stream, but it follows a slightly different, more serious story – which means there’s no Mushu for comedic relief.

Personally I like the animated version better because of Mushu, but the live-action retelling was a refreshing take on the typical princess story.

Find it in the parks

Over at the China pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, you can meet Mulan at select times throughout the day.

The Princess & the Frog (2009)

Photo still from The Princess & the Frog, featured in the Zenimation episode "Night," with Princess Tiana looking out at the stars from a balcony while wearing a light blue gown.

This charming tale follows the ambitious and hardworking Tiana as she tries to make her dreams of owning a restaurant come true.

After getting tricked into kissing a frog and turning into one herself, Tiana must find a way back to her human self so she can realize her dreams.

Will she make it?

Find it in the parks

At the moment there aren’t any rides based on this movie, but there is one in the works!

Splash Mountain in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom is currently being reimagined as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

In the meantime, celebrate Princess Tiana and friends at Port Orleans – Riverside and Port Orleans – French Quarter. These neighboring Disney resorts are themed after Louisiana and New Orleans, just like Tiana!

Ratatouille (2007)

Move over Mickey Mouse, there’s a new rodent in town and his name is Remy.

We’ve all heard of making lemonade out of lemons, but Remy takes it a step further by making ratatouille out of scraps.

This charming little rat is the hero we never knew we needed, a culinary genius, and the rat of our dreams, as TikTok taught us.

With his wit and charm, Remy will steal your heart and teach you to never judge a book by its cover – or a rat by its tail.

Find it in the parks

Head to the France pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, where you can take a ride through the chef’s kitchen from a rat’s perspective on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a girl named Snow White who had a bit of a run-in with a wicked queen and ended up living with seven dwarfs who were miners.

And Snow White, who was probably the only person in the kingdom with a decent voice, hung out with them and sang her little heart out while they worked all day in the mines. Talk about a strange living situation.

But hey, if it means getting away from a queen who wants to see you perish, I’d probably run away to live in a woodland cottage with seven strange men, too.

Find it in the parks

Head to Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom to board Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a super fun and very smooth roller coaster through the mines.

In addition, you can dine with Snow White and friends at Story Book Dining at Art Point at the Wilderness Lodge, just a ferry ride away from Magic Kingdom.

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

Once upon a time, there was a movie that captured the essence of medieval England with a twist of magic and humor.

It was the Sword in the Stone, a 1963 animated classic that made us all believe in the power of destiny and the possibilities of talking animals.

With a whimsical soundtrack and a protagonist named Wart, this film enchanted audiences of all ages and proved once and for all that even the most unassuming of characters can rise to greatness when given the right circumstances.

So grab your sword, make sure your crown is straight, and let’s embark on a journey through the enchanted forest of cinematic bliss!

Find it in the parks

Behind Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom there’s a sword stuck in a stone in front of Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel.

Every once in a while, you’ll witness someone who’s able to pull the sword out. Maybe next time it will be you!

The Three Caballeros (1945)

The Three Caballeros is a classic animation film from 1945 that follows the hilarious adventures of Donald Duck and his two best pals, Jose Carioca and Panchito Pistoles.

This trio of feathers and fun take the audience on a wild ride as they explore the beauty and culture of Latin America.

From dancing with flamingos to singing with cacti, these three amigos never cease to entertain.

The humor and charm of this film are timeless and will have you laughing out loud alongside Donald and his crew.

Also available to stream is the 2018 animated show, Legend of the Three Caballeros.

Find it in the parks

Head to the Mexico pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, where you can meet Donald Duck, as well as ride the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros.

Toy Story (1995)

Photo still showing Bo Peep and her 3 sheep in the Pixar short, Lamp Life, on Disney+.
Lamp Life / Disney+

Toy Story is about a group of toys who get separated when their kid, Andy, and his family are preparing to move.

Despite some jealousy between the old fave, Woody, and the new fave, Buzz Lightyear, the toys eventually team up (with some help from their buddies Rex, Slinky Dog, and RC) to make sure everyone makes it onto the moving truck.

Also available to stream are:

  1. Toy Story 2 (1999)
  2. Toy Story 3 (2010)
  3. Small Fry (2011)
  4. Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation (2011)
  5. Toy Story Toons: Partysaurus Rex (2012)
  6. Toy Story of Terror! (2013)
  7. Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)
  8. Toy Story 4 (2019)
  9. Forky Asks a Question (2019)
  10. Lamp Life (2020)
  11. Pixar Popcorn (2021)
  12. Lightyear (2022)

Find it in the parks

Hollywood Studios is definitely the top spot for this film with Toy Story Land. Here you can ride Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers, and the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster.

There’s also Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ and Woody’s Lunch Box for dining options.

As if that weren’t all, you can also ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom.

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Photo still from Winnie the Pooh, with Pooh and Christopher Robin leaning over a fence, fishing in a pond, as featured in the Zenimation episode, Water Realms.

Winnie the Pooh has been a staple in the world of children’s literature for generations and the 2011 film adaptation did not disappoint.

With whimsical animation and a hilarious script, this movie brought to life the beloved characters of the Hundred Acre Wood in a way that had parents and children alike chuckling in their seats.

Whether you’re a die-hard Pooh fan or a newcomer to the world of the silly old bear, this movie is a must-watch.

Also available to stream:

  1. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
  2. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-1991)
  3. Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (1997)
  4. Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You (1999)
  5. The Tigger Movie (2000)
  6. The Book of Pooh (2001)
  7. Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002)
  8. Piglet’s Big Movie (2003)
  9. Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo (2004)
  10. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005)
  11. My Friends Tigger & Pooh (2007-08)
  12. Christopher Robin (2018)

Find it in the parks

If you love all things Pooh and friends, Magic Kingdom is where you want to be!

Dine with your favorite pals from the Hundred Acre Wood at The Crystal Palace on Main Street USA.

Plus, over in Fantasyland, you can meet your friends at the Thotful Spot, ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, as well as shop at Hundred Acre Goods.

Adventure Through the Walt Disney Archives (2020)

Are you ready for a magical journey through the Walt Disney Archives?

In this documentary, viewers step foot into a world of wonder and explore the history of Walt Disney like never before.

You’ll get to see rare artifacts, like Mickey Mouse’s original sketch and even Mary Poppins’ hat. It’s practically perfect in every way, just like this exhibit!

Find it in the parks

Head over to the Animation Courtyard in Hollywood Studios, where you can see more Disney artifacts in person at Walt Disney Presents.

Behind the Attraction (2021)

Promotional poster for the Disney+ show, Behind the Attraction, one of the best docuseries to watch before going to Disney World.

Are you ready to go behind-the-scenes of the most magical place on earth? Look no further than Disney+’s Behind the Attraction!

This series takes viewers on a wild ride through the history, innovation, and pure imagination that make Disney parks so enchanting. Each episode covers a different attraction or resort, many of which include Disney World.

So buckle up and get ready to discover the hidden gems and hilarious anecdotes that make your favorite rides tick – because with Behind the Attraction, the magic is only just beginning!

EpisodeWhere to Find it
Season 1, Ep. 1: Jungle CruiseMagic Kingdom – Adventureland
Season 1, Ep. 2: Haunted MansionMagic Kingdom – Liberty Square
Season 1, Ep. 3: Star ToursHollywood Studios – Echo Lake
Season 1, Ep. 4: The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorHollywood Studios – Sunset Boulevard
Season 1, Ep. 5: Space MountainMagic Kingdom – Tomorrowland
Season 1, Ep. 6: The CastlesMagic Kingdom – Main Street USA / Fantasyland
Season 1, Ep. 8: “it’s a small world!”Magic Kingdom – Fantasyland
Season 1, Ep. 9: Trains, Trams, and MonorailsMagic Kingdom & Epcot
Season 1, Ep. 10: The Hall of PresidentsMagic Kingdom – Liberty Square
Season 2, Ep. 1: Pirates of the CaribbeanMagic Kingdom – Adventureland
Season 2, Ep. 2: Big Thunder Mountain RailroadMagic Kingdom – Frontierland
Season 2, Ep. 3: Indiana Jones AdventureHollywood Studios – Echo Lake
Season 2, Ep. 4: EpcotEpcot
Season 2, Ep. 5: FoodEverywhere!
Season 2, Ep. 6: Nighttime SpectacularsEpcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom
*Season 2 premieres November 1, 2023.

Decorating Disney Holiday Magic (2017)

Decorating Disney Holiday Magic is the perfect way to get in the festive spirit this Christmas season.

This documentary gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to transform Walt Disney World for the Christmas season.

From the awe-inspiring castle with twinkling lights, to the magical landscape that only Disney can provide, you’ll be transported to a winter wonderland that will leave you enchanted.

Disney Insider (2020)

Promotional poster for the documentary, Disney Insider.

If you’ve ever been curious about what it’s like to work for the house of mouse, Disney Insider is the docuseries for you!

Whether it’s the parks, the studio, the merchandise, or something else, this docuseries takes you behind the scenes of nearly everything Disney produces.

Disney Parks Sunrise Series (2020)

Rise and shine, Disney+ fans! Get ready to witness the most magical time of day at the Disney Parks Sunrise Series.

Grab a cup of coffee and ease into your day by watching the sun rise over Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Animal Kingdom.

The only downside to this series? There isn’t an episode for Hollywood Studios. Personally, I’d love to see one for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!

The Imagineering Story (2019)

Promotional poster for the documentary, The Imagineering Story.

Are you ready to delve into the wild world of Disney magic with The Imagineering Story?

This fascinating documentary series takes us behind the scenes of one of the most iconic entertainment brands in history, exploring the innovative minds behind Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the beloved attractions that have captured our hearts for generations.

With one season full of insights, anecdotes, and unexpected twists and turns, this show is a must-watch for anyone who loves the enchanting universe of Disney.

Plus, the witty narration by Angela Bassett makes this an even more delightful experience.

Get ready to be dazzled and inspired by the Imagineers who brought the happiest place on earth to life!

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse (2022)

Promotional poster for the documentary, Mickey: The Story of a Mouse.

Get ready to put on your mouse ears and settle in for a wild ride through the world of Mickey Mouse like you’ve never seen before.

You may think you know everything there is to know about this beloved icon, but this documentary promises to peel back the curtain on the life and times of the charismatic rodent we all know and love.

This is one film that’s sure to have audiences saying “Oh boy!”

Find it in the parks

Where can’t you find Mickey Mouse is probably the easier question to answer!

Here are the top attractions featuring Mickey Mouse throughout Disney World:

  1. Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom
  2. Watch Vacation Fun short film featuring Mickey and Minnie at Hollywood Studios
  3. Ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios
  4. Dine with Mickey and pals at Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary Resort or Topolino’s Terrace in the Riviera Resort
  5. Watch Mickey and friends perform in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom in Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
  6. Watch Mickey take the lead in Hollywood Studios’ nighttime show, Fantasmic!
  7. Meet Sorcerer Mickey at Red Carpet Dreams in Hollywood Studios
  8. Meet Safari Mickey and Minnie at the Adventurers Outpost in Animal Kingdom
  9. Meet Mickey Mouse at the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival in Epcot

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom (2020-23)

Animal Keeper Caitlin kneeling down stroking the nose of Lola the Southern White Rhino in the rhino barn at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
National Geographic / Alex DeStefino

Disney+ has done it again with their new series, Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a collaboration with National Geographic.

This series invites viewers on a behind-the-scenes adventure into the magical world of creatures big and small at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

You’ll get to explore jungles and savannas and discover the intricate relationships between the animals and the Disney Imagineers.

From a baby white rhino taking its first tentative steps to the seamless teamwork of the animal care professionals, this is a show that will truly warm your heart.

The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World (1977)

Grab your mouse ears and get ready to travel back in time to 1977, when the Mouseketeers were the talk of Walt Disney World.

These young stars danced their way into our hearts with their adorable smiles and catchy theme song.

It was a time when TV and theme parks collided, and we couldn’t get enough of the Mouseketeers’ wholesome entertainment.

In this television special, the gang arrives to perform at the park, but not everything goes according to plan. Sounds like an OG reality show to me!

Once Upon a Studio (2023)

Promotional poster for the new Disney short film, Once Upon a Studio, featuring a variety of characters, such as Minnie, Mickey, Stitch, Moana, Jiminy Cricket, Olaf, the Cheshire Cat, Timon, Aladdin, Nick and Judy Hopps, Chip and Dale, and more.

In this new short film, Disney celebrates its 100th birthday with a gathering of all its animated characters, large and small, for a group photo.

I should warn you though, you’ll probably smile, laugh and cry, just like I did while watching it!

One Day at Disney & One Day at Disney Shorts (2019)

Promotional poster for the documentary, One Day at Disney, showing employees standing in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head.

If you thought a day in the life of Mickey Mouse was frenzied, just wait until you get a glimpse into the world of the Disney cast members.

The One Day at Disney documentary and One Day at Disney Shorts docuseries both promise a behind-the-scenes look at the folks who make the magic happen on a daily basis.

From animators to Imagineers, the people who keep the Disney dream alive and well are each getting a spotlight of their own.

Now, you’ll be able to put faces to the people who bring your favorite characters to life and probably feel even more amazed at how much work goes into each and every Disney production!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Adventure Awaits (2019)

The force is strong with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Adventure Awaits. This isn’t your typical theme park attraction, it’s an immersive experience guaranteed to transport you to a galaxy far, far away.

It’s so epic, even A-listers like Keegan-Michael Key, Kaley Cuoco, Neil Patrick Harris, Jay Leno, and Miles Brown have taken a trip to Batuu.

Just imagine exploring the Black Spire Outpost, building your own lightsaber, or even enjoying some blue milk at the local cantina.

Adventure awaits, so don’t miss out on this out-of-this-world experience!

If you don’t want the experience of visiting Galaxy’s Edge ruined before your first visit, skip this one! Otherwise, it’s a fun way to revisit this galactic land.

Avatar (2009)

(L-R): Neytiri (voiced by Zoe Saldana) and Jake Sully (voiced by Sam Worthington) in Twentieth Century Fox's AVATAR, one of the best movies to watch before going to Disney World - especially Animal Kingdom.
Photo courtesy of WETA. © 2009 Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.

James Cameron’s Avatar has been hailed as a cinematic masterpiece. From the incredible world-building to the jaw-dropping visual effects, this film is a feast for the senses.

Did you know that it took Cameron over a decade to bring Avatar to the big screen? Talk about patience!

But it was well worth the wait, as it became the highest-grossing film of all time upon its release. Plus, who can forget the iconic blue-skinned Na’vi people?

Avatar has definitely left its mark on pop culture, and we can’t wait to see what epic adventure Cameron has in store for us next.

Also available to stream is Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) and 2020: Avatar – The Deep Dive (2022).

Find it in the parks

Head to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom where you can fly on the back of a banshee on Flight of Passage and take a boat ride on Na’vi River Journey. There are shops and dining options here, too!

Guardians of the Galaxy movies

(L-R): Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.
© 2023 MARVEL.

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are proof that James Gunn is a master at turning obscure comic book characters into blockbuster hits.

With a witty script and a cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, David Bautista, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper bringing the lovable and flawed characters to life, it’s no wonder the movies have become so beloved by fans.

But what sets the Guardians trilogy apart is the way it infuses action, humor, and heart in equal measure.

From dancing Baby Groot to the hilarious banter between Rocket and Star-Lord, these movies are a rollicking ride through space that’s impossible not to enjoy.

You can catch Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1 & Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 on Disney+, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Given that Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 just hit movie theaters in May 2023, it’ll likely be a few months before it becomes available for streaming on Disney+.

Find it in the parks

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is in World Discovery at Epcot.

Set your alarm early so you can grab a spot in the virtual queue or buy a lightning lane pass starting at 7 AM. Spots fill up quickly, so don’t hesitate!

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Promotional poster for Haunted Mansion, featuring LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, and Chase Dillon.
© 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Step right up, folks! Today we’re taking a ghostly tour of the Haunted Mansion.

There are three different Haunted Mansion stories on Disney+:

  1. The Haunted Mansion (2003)
  2. Muppets’ Haunted Mansion (2021)
  3. The Haunted Mansion (2023)

The newest film tells the story of a single mom who buys a house that ends up being haunted. She and her son work with a rag tag group of locals to get the hauntings to stop.

Find it in the parks

Head to Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom to board a doom buggy and journey through the Haunted Mansion ride.

Jungle Cruise (2021)

L-R: Jack Whitehall as Macgregor, Emily Blunt as Lily, and Dwayne Johnson as Frank, in Disney's Jungle Cruise.
Photo by Frank Masi. / © 2021 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hold onto your hats and buckle up because Jungle Cruise is taking you on a wild ride!

This film has it all – adventure, action, and some good old-fashioned humor from the one and only Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

And let’s not forget about Emily Blunt, who proves she can hold her own as a fearless explorer.

But don’t be fooled, this isn’t your typical cruise, so you won’t be lounging by the pool sipping fruity drinks.

Instead, you’ll be battling against supernatural forces and searching for a legendary tree with mystical healing powers.

Find it in the parks

Head to Adventureland in Magic Kingdom for a ride on Jungle Cruise, which inspired this hilarious film.

For even more jungle-y vibes, have a meal at the nearby quick-service spot, Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

What’s better than a spoonful of sugar? Mary Poppins Returns, of course!

The beloved nanny is back and ready to take us back to Cherry Tree Lane.

Emily Blunt brilliantly captures the magic of the iconic role, reminding us all that even as adults, we can still find joy in fantastical adventures.

With new songs to sing along to and a cameo by the one and only Dick Van Dyke, this sequel is practically perfect in every way.

And of course, the original film, Mary Poppins (1964), is also available on Disney+.

Find it in the parks

Sometimes you can meet Mary Poppins over by the UK pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.

In addition, the Grand Floridian Resort has little touches of this film throughout, plus one of the restaurants there, Cítricos, is themed after Mary Poppins Returns.

The Muppets (2011)

If you haven’t seen The Muppets (2011) yet, then you’re missing out on some seriously hilarious puppet action.

From the lovable Kermit the Frog to the mischievous Miss Piggy, these Muppets are as charming as ever, and their antics will have you rolling in the aisles.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the original TV series or a newcomer to the world of Muppet mayhem, you’re sure to enjoy this delightful film, which is filled with catchy musical numbers, clever jokes, and plenty of heartwarming moments.

This movie is witty, zany, and delightful, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

Also available to stream are:

  1. The Muppet Show (1976-81)
  2. The Muppet Movie: The Original Classic (1979)
  3. The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
  4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  5. Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
  6. A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008)
  7. Muppets Most Wanted (2014) & its Sing-Along version
  8. Muppet Moments (2015)
  9. The Muppets Show (2015)
  10. Disney Jr. Muppet Babies (2018-2021)
  11. Disney Jr. Muppet Babies: Show and Tell (2018)
  12. Disney Jr. Muppet Babies: Play Date (2019)
  13. Muppets Now (2020)
  14. Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)
  15. The Muppets Mayhem (2023-Ongoing)

Find it in the parks

Watch Muppet*Vision 3D at Hollywood Studios. There’s also a super fun Miss Piggy fountain outside the show building that is great for photos.

Peter Pan & Wendy (2023)

Promotional poster for the Disney+ original film, Peter Pan & Wendy, showing Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, and other characters.

Disney+ is taking us all on a magical adventure with their latest original movie, Peter Pan & Wendy.

And just like the boy who never grows up, we can’t wait to see what hijinks he and Wendy get into in this new telling of the classic tale.

With all the swashbuckling action and fantastical imagery we’ve come to expect from the magical world of Peter Pan, we’re sure this movie will be a real crowd-pleaser.

But don’t worry, Disney isn’t just catering to young audiences. This film promises to be a fun, witty adventure for audiences of all ages.

Find it in the parks

Over at Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, you can ride Peter Pan’s Flight, plus meet Peter Pan and sometimes Wendy, too!

Pirates of the Caribbean collection

Ahoy there, mateys! Let’s talk about the one thing that can make even the roughest seas seem a little smoother – the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.

And what better swashbuckler to bring up than the one and only Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

He’s got an array of quirky catchphrases, a jar of dirt, and a rum addiction that would make any pirate proud.

But let’s not forget about his crew, a ragtag group of misfits that you can’t help but root for.

From fighting off cursed sailors to facing down giant squids, the adventures of Captain Jack are always entertaining.

So hoist the colors and let’s set sail into the world of Pirates of the Caribbean!

Here’s the full list of Pirates movies you can find on Disney+:

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Find it in the parks

Head to Adventureland in Magic Kingdom for a leisurely boat ride through the world of your favorite swashbucklers on Pirates of the Caribbean.

You might also enjoy the interactive treasure hunt, A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasure of the Seven Seas, which you can join at The Crow’s Nest shop in Adventureland.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

If you haven’t seen Saving Mr. Banks yet, then you need to drop everything and hit play immediately.

This movie is a witty and engrossing look behind the scenes of the making of Mary Poppins, and the struggle between Walt Disney and author P.L. Travers to bring the beloved character to the big screen.

It’s got heart, humor, and just the right amount of drama to keep you hooked from start to finish.

Star Wars movies & shows

(L-R): Din Grogu sitting on a bar with bowls of food in front of him with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) in the background in Season 3 of Lucasfilm's The Mandalorian, one of the best shows to watch before going to Disney World.
Din Grogu in The Mandalorian, a Disney+ original Star Wars show. / ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Star Wars movies, series, and cartoons have been entertaining audiences for decades.

Whether you’re tuning in to see space battles, lightsaber duels, or the latest adventures of your favorite characters, Star Wars has something for everyone.

And with new movies, series, and cartoons on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to get lost in the epic and ever-expanding world of Star Wars.

But be warned – once you enter this galaxy far, far away, you may never want to leave!

There are far too many Star Wars movies and shows to list in this post. So if this interests you, check out my post about upcoming Star Wars series to get an idea of what’s coming.

Find it in the parks

Head to Hollywood Studios, where you can visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Here you can ride Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, meet characters, build a lightsaber or droid, and eat iconic food from across the galaxy.

Plus, just outside this galactic land you can ride Star Tours and visit Star Wars Launch Bay, where you can meet Chewbacca, BB-8, Darth Vader, and other galactic characters, and see cool props from the movies and shows.

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Swiss Family Robinson is a classic film that follows the story of a family that is deserted on an island and must work together to survive.

Watching the Robinsons inventing ingenious ways to survive and thrive on the island was nothing short of inspiring.

Who else could think of using bamboo as ropes for a hot air balloon or live in a treehouse that rivals any modern-day treehouse hotel? I take my hat off to them.

Find it in the parks

Head to Adventureland in Magic Kingdom, where you can tour the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse!

TRON Legacy (2010)

If you’re looking for some futuristic fun, then set your digital sights on TRON Legacy. This 2010 film takes us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure through the Grid.

Jeff Bridges returns in his role as Kevin Flynn, while Garret Hedlund stars as his son, Sam. Olivia Wilde also plays a big role as Quorra.

Also available to stream is the original 1982 film, TRON, starring Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, a software engineer and hacker, as well as the 2012-2013 animated series, TRON: Uprising.

Find it in the parks

Make your way to Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom to check out the newest ride at Disney World, TRON Lightcycle Run.

You’ll need to join the virtual queue or buy a lightning lane pass to ride, so make sure you grab one (or both!) at 7 AM sharp.

Which movies will you watch before going to Disney World?

With over 50 timeless films to choose from, it’s easy to start your Disney World prep today.

Whether you pick a classic like Cinderella or something more recent like Encanto, these movies will get you excited for an unforgettable experience and put you in the right mindset before entering the parks.

So start streaming on Disney+ and don’t forget to sprinkle in a few laughs and tears along the way!

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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This post was originally published June 7, 2023. It was last updated October 18, 2023.