Preparing for a Disney trip requires a LOT of prep. It’s why I have my WDW Prep Checklist to help you out and make sure you get all your reservations done in time! One thing that you may not have considered before planning your Disney trip? Watching Disney movies! It may seem silly to suggest you need to watch movies before you go to Disney, as Disney literally will be surrounding you 24/7. However these particular films make you appreciate certain attractions more, in my opinion. So make sure you watch these films before you head to the parks! They’re available for purchase on Amazon or some of them are available on Disney+ for streaming!
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Peter Pan – The ride is a classic, taking you through the entire plot of Peter Pan as you fly along through Neverland. The magic is all the more appreciated if you watch the classic film before you go! The older film combined with one of the original Walt Disney designed rides makes you feel like you’re in a land of the past. It’s definitely an experience if you’re familiar with the movie, so be sure to watch before you leave!
Pirates of the Caribbean – While it may not be the most child-friendly movie in the Disney lineup, if you have older kids you should definitely check out Pirates of the Caribbean before heading to the ride of the same name. The obvious reason to watch is that it introduces you to the fabulous Captain Jack Sparrow! Plus, it’s just a fun ride that will get you excited for the magic of Disney!
Sleeping Beauty – While Princess Aurora and her adventures aren’t as heavily featured in Walt Disney World as she is in Disneyland, you can still watch this movie to get yourself pumped for Walt Disney World! Sleeping Beauty’s fight scene with Maleficient as a dragon vs. Prince Phillip is heavily featured in Festival of Fantasy. Meanwhile, Aurora can be found at Princess Fairytale Hall on certain days.
Monsters Inc – Monsters Inc Laugh Factory is one of my favorite underrated attractions at the Magic Kingdom! Using some Disney magic, the audience gets to interact with Mike and his monster friends at a live comedy show! The wait isn’t usually very long either. In order to get the full experience make sure you watch the original film. That why you’re familiar with the background of the characters and the concept of the laugh canisters!
Ratatouille – EPCOT is a foodie’s paradise – so naturally you need to watch this culinary based movie! Not only that, but Ratatouille is going to be the star of his own attraction in the France pavilion this summer. Remy and his friends are moving in to Walt Disney World, but the movie itself is also one of Pixar’s best. It’s a great message about not judging people and what they can do based on appearances!
Aladdin – Have you heard about the new nighttime spectacular Epcot Forever? “A Whole New World” is featured heavily in this show. Additionally, Aladdin and Jasmine have their own meet and greet in Morocco! Aladdin is one of Disney’s best animated films in my opinion. The live action version is one of my favorites as well!
Guardians of the Galaxy – Due to copyright issues, Disney World cannot incorporate many Marvel characters into their parks in Florida. This is why California Adventure has become the main home for Marvel characters at Disney. However, Guardians of the Galaxy were NOT included in that. Thererfore, they will be the first Marvel characters to make their debut in EPCOT! Check out the original film and its sequel to get you in the mood for the newest park expansions!
Finding Nemo – The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a huge part of the park, and if your kids love fish and aquariums you’ll have to check it out. Refresh yourself on this classic Pixar film before heading to the parks. You’ll find the ride is based almost scene for scene on the movie!
Star Wars (The New Trilogy) – Star Wars has a HUGE place at Hollywood Studios. While it’s good to watch the older films to get the basis of the story, the new trilogy (the ones starring Rey and company) really influenced Galaxy’s Edge. In order to understand what’s going on with the story of Galaxy’s Edge, be sure to watch the newest trilogy. It introduces the new characters and the First Order, who has taken up post in Batuu!
Toy Story – Who doesn’t love Toy Story?! The Pixar film that started it all has been honored with its own land at Hollywood Studios. Watch the original Toy Story to get reacquainted with Andy’s toys before you head to Toy Story Land. It’s going to be a party in Andy’s backyard!
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark – Yet another one of the film franchises purchased by Disney, Indiana Jones gets his own stunt show at Hollywood Studios. I recommend watching the first one before seeing the show. Once you do, you’ll understand all the scenes they are acting out and you’ll see how all the stunts were performed. Plus, Indiana Jones is just a great film!
Avatar – Avatar is the latest film franchise to be given a land at Disney parks. Pandora is an amazing new addition to the parks and the Imagineers went above and beyond to replicate Pandora from the films. Check out the film (which, spoiler alert, has almost the exact same plot as Pocahontas). Then you’ll understand the backstory between both attractions in Pandora.
The Lion King – The Festival of the Lion King is an excellent show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Not to mention, Simba and his friends obviously show up on lots of merchandise around the park and the Africa pavilion! Check out the classic animated version before you head down to get a refresher on the story before catching the show! (It’s on Disney+, but the link I provided is for the live action!)
A Bug’s Life – A Bug’s Life is one of the lesser known Pixar films but still an amazing movie! Flik and his friends will tell you all about how hard it is in It’s Tough to Be a Bug! which is a 3D show situated in the Tree of Life. While you don’t need to necessarily know the whole backstory, it’s still a good movie and might make the show less scary for young kids. Stream it today on Amazon Prime!
DINOSAUR – One of the forgotten Disney movies, the dinosaurs that star in the ride of the same name come from this film! It’s a fun movie for kids who are obsessed with dinosaurs, and it’s nice to know WHERE that dino comes from when you’re riding.
ANY Disney movie will get you hyped for Disney!
These are just a handful of movies that you should watch before heading to the parks! Realistically, ALL the Disney movies have some nod in the theme parks, or give you the excitement you’re seeking before your Disney trip! Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
Headed to Disneyland? Check out this amazing post on Disneyland movies to watch from Mom Rewritten!
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