Top Attraction Shows at Walt Disney World

The weather forecast at Walt Disney World is reaching that predictable time of year: High of 87 to 95 degrees and humid with afternoon thunderstorms.  There are many ways to deal with the weather: get a Disney poncho and try to stay dry the best you can when the rain does come, go back to the resort and get in a swim before the rains come, have a long late lunch in the middle of the afternoon and watch it rain from your table.

However, these options may not appeal to you or fit your plans for the day.  Maybe you want to stay in the park but need to find those indoor attractions but don’t know which ones are best.  Today, I’ll try to list for you which attractions are the best at keeping you cool and dry when the mid-afternoon heat, humidity, and rains descend on Walt Disney World.

5) Living with the Land

The Land Banner

Some of you could be saying, “HEY, DAD!  That’s not a show.”  And you’re right, it isn’t a show but it is the third longest boat/tram ride at Walt Disney World.  Only Kilimanjaro Safaris and the Great Movie Ride are longer rides at 22 minutes.  Living with the Land is just under 15 minutes which puts it around the same duration as some of the shows that are on the list.  Kilimanjaro Safaris is outside which really doesn’t get you out of the heat, humidity, and rain and the Great Movie Ride is dated and the ride experience is highly dependent on the tour guide.

What does Living with the Land provide that the Kilimanjaro Safaris and Great Movie Ride don’t?  First, it’s entirely indoors.  There is part of the ride that takes guests out into the Disney Greenhouse and that section can get a bit warm but it’s only for a couple of minutes before guests are back into a more climate controlled environment.  Second, if you have kids with you, it can be educational.  Guests learn about climate and how it impacts farming.  In addition, guests learn about new ways of farming in areas where traditional farming can be difficult.

Living with the LandThird, it always has a short wait.  The longest wait that I’ve seen for this ride is 15 minutes and that was during a thunderstorm.  A lot of the time, guests can ask to stay on the ride if they want to go through it again.  So, it can turn into a 30 minute ride very easily.  So for those reason, Living with the Land slides into the #5 slot on this list.

4) Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Carousel of Progress

This attraction show makes on the list solely for the nostalgia that it brings to the Magic Kingdom.  It is one of oldest rides at the Magic Kingdom.  It has a certain style of quirky/nostalgic humor that can be lost of people if they are not paying full attention.  It’s a long show around 22 minutes and, at times, it’s not paced very well compared to other shows.  However, it has two important things going for it, especially in the summer, it’s inside and it’s air-conditioned.  Even if you’ve seen the show many times, it’s 22 minutes in air conditioning and after a long period of times in the parks that can be a god send.  It can stave the effects of the heat leaving you recharged to get back into the Magic Kingdom with a renewed energy.

Another reason that this show makes the list, it’s an overlooked attraction.  There is rarely a long wait for the show has it is six independent theaters which rotate through the carousel.  However, the entire queue is outdoors.  If guests can wait just a few minutes, one of those theaters will empty and be able take inside for 22 minutes of nostalgic entertainment in a climate-controlled environment.

3) Enchanted Tales with Belle

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Enchanted Tales with Belle checks in at number three on the list.  This attraction makes the list because of the wonderful theming that the Imagineers did inside the theater.  They give guests the impression that they really are in the Beast’s Castle and Belle is telling them a story which they already know but enjoy because they are where the story takes place.

Belle Theater Interior

What else does Enchanted Tales with Belle have going for it?  IT’S INTERACTIVE!  Guests get to take part in the show.  Most of the adults stay in the audience and act as “the chorus.”  Some children are selected to go up on the stage and participate in the show and act out the show with Belle and the other cast members.  The interaction is longer than the traditional meet and greet since the show is longer than a minute.

What prevents Belle from reaching the top two?  It has a long wait times especially right after park open and bleeding into the early afternoon.  Also, the majority of the queue is outside so you really don’t get a chance to get out of the heat.

2) Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King

This attraction has recently returned to Animal Kingdom after a six-month hiatus as the show moved from Camp Minnie-Mickey to its new location in the Africa section of the park in the brand new Harabme Theater.

The show has not changed after the move to the new theater.  The show does not follow The Lion King movie from beginning to end.  It uses songs from the movies and takes guests through a show which features precision acrobatics, audience participation, and dancing.

Festival of the Lion King Show

The show is fast-paced and keeps the audience engaged through the show.  So, while the show is long compared to some of the other shows on this list, it doesn’t really feel like it.  Guests of all ages will enjoy it.  Although, some of the smaller guests may be scared of the larger than life animals and long noises.

Because of the length of the show, if a guest just misses the start of the show, it can be a long wait until the next show begins and the waiting area is outside.  Animal Kingdom, for some reason, always seems like it is the hottest of the four parks how matter what day you go.

What attraction is preventing Festival of the Lion King from being #1?

1) Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Mickey's PhilharMagic

The reason, this attraction, is number 1 on the list.  It is the only attraction at Walt Disney World where Mickey Mouse is the star of the show.  It is claimed that “it started with a mouse.”  So, it’s only natural that the only attraction which stars that mouse claims the number 1 spot on the list.

It’s the shortest show on the list at only 12 minutes.  On the plus side, it’s funny.  It’s fast paced.  It keeps the audience engaged.  The only negative that the show has is it requires the use of “4D” glasses.  As a result, guests who normally wear glasses may have a hard time seeing some of the effects because of the combined effect of their normal glasses combined with the “4D” glasses.

There are a lot of shows which could have made this list.  Here’s what just missed the cut:

Honorable Mention (in no order): Finding Nemo – The Musical, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Tough to be a Bug, Muppetvision 3D, Circle Vision 360 – O Canada!, Disney Junior Live on Stage

Everybody’s list is going to be different.  What’s your top 5 “attraction shows” at Walt Disney World.

Also wanted to give a shout out to Lisa Green and the Living a Disney Life blog.  She linked my post from Tuesday about the Fastpass+ debate to her post today talking about the overall experience with new My Disney Experience:  Please give her post a look.

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Thanks for reading!


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