Movies to Watch Before a Disney Trip

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Family Disney themed movie nights are a great way to introduce your kiddos to unfamiliar stories and characters they will encounter at the parks and help countdown to a Disney vacation!

Your child will have a better trip if they “know” the story. A ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will make more of a connection if they have been exposed to the story line. A hug from Snow White will mean so much more to your child if they “know” her.

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Deluxe Snow White dress

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Deluxe Snow White dress

So much effort goes into theming and detail at Disney. Kids of all ages (even the grownup ones) love discovering details Imagineers have incorporated throughout the parks!

With so many characters and stories in the parks, I have created a Mom Approved guide of movies to watch before a Disney trip so you can pick the ones that suit your trip itinerary.

Mickey and Minnie Character Meet

First, you HAVE to start with the mouse that started it all…Mickey! Chances are, your kiddo knows who he is, but do they really know him?

Frankly, I think everyone should re-watch a few classic Mickey cartoons: Steamboat Willie, The Band Concert, Mickey’s Fire Brigade, Lonesome Ghosts are some of my favorite- but newer short movies like: The Three Musketeers will work too! Check out Mickey Video app or on as well!

Mom Approved Note: Steamboat Willie is specifically featured in Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios

Source: Walt Disney Companies

Source: Walt Disney Companies

If you are doing a “Fab 5” type character meal, which is a term you may hear for a character meal with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy (Chef Mickey at the Contemporary, Minnie’s Hollywood & Dine at Hollywood Studios, Tusker House at Animal Kingdom etc.), exposure to these classic characters is a must!

While your preschooler has probably been exposed to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I think the classic cartoons show Mickey’s personality in the parks better.

Purchase: Have a laugh Vol 2
Purchase: Have a laugh Vol 3

Cinderella (1950):

  • The castle
  • Character meets
  • Character Meals: Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus
  • Intro to Lady Tremaine and Stepsisters especially for 1900 Park Faire
  • Parade and Castle stage show appearances

Purchase: Cinderella (1950)

Mom Approved Note: I LOVE the new live action version, but the cartoon is what is referenced in the park

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Deluxe Cinderella Dress

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes – Deluxe Cinderella Dress

Beauty and the Beast:

  • Attractions: Magic Kingdom: Tales with Belle
  • Hollywood Studios: Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Character Meets: Akershus, Be Our Guest Restaurant (Beast at Dinner)
  • Gaston Character Meet and fountain
  • Parade appearances

Purchase: Beauty and the Beast (though you may want to borrow this one or buy used until it comes out of the vault

Belle in Epcot

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes – Beauty Day Dress

The Little Mermaid:

  • Attractions:
    • Magic Kingdom: Under The Sea
    • Hollywood Studios: Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Character Meet: Ariel’s Grotto, Akershus, Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Art of Animation Resort

Purchase: The Little Mermaid

Ariel - Festival of Fantasy Parade

Peter Pan:

  • Attraction: Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Character Meet: Peter Pan (Magic Kingdom) Tinkerbell (Magic Kingdom)
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Pirates and Pals Cruise

Purchase: Peter Pan

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell meeting at Disney World

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Tinkerbell dress and Halo Set


  • Character Meet:
  • Anna & Elsa (Epcot: Norway)
  • Olaf (Hollywood Studios: Echo Lake)
  • Frozen Sing-a-Long (Hollywood Studios)
  • Frozen Ever After (Epcot: Norway)

Purchase: Frozen


Toy Story/Toy Story 2:

  • Magic Kingdom: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Character Meets: Green Army Guys, Buzz and Woody at Pixar Place, Buzz in MK
  • (Toy Story 2) Jessie appears in Character Meet with Woody and for the Move It, Shake It Street Party
  • All Star Movies Resort

Purchase Toy Story
Purchase Toy Story 2

buzz and woody

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Deluxe Rapunzel dress


  • Magic Kingdom: Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Character Meets in Magic Kingdom and Epcot (Morocco)
  • Some Character Meals: Sometimes at Akershus and Cinderella’s Royal Table

Purchase Aladdin

Aladdin and Jasmine at Magic Kingdom

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Arabian Princess dress

Snow White:

  • Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Character Meets
  • Character Meals: Akershus, CInderella’s Royal Table

Purchase Snow White

Witch - Snow White

Lion King:

  • Festival of the Lion King (Animal Kingdom)
  • Circle of Life (Epcot)
  • Character Meet- Rafiki (AK & MK)
  • Art of Animation Suite

Purchase The Lion King


Finding Nemo:

(Finding Dory will have a presence as well)

  • Finding Nemo – The Musical (Animal Kingdom)
  • Seas with Nemo and Friends (Epcot)
  • Turtle Talk with Crush (Epcot)
  • Art of Animation Suite/Pool

Purchase Finding Nemo

Nemo The Musical


  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Fantasmic (Hollywood Studios)
  • All Star Movies resort

Purchase Fantasia

Sleeping Beauty:

  • Character Meets
  • Character Meals: Akershus and Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Maleficent’s Dragon in Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Fantasmic
  • Perfectly Princess Tea Party at the Grand Floridian

Purchase Sleeping Beauty

Festival of fantasy parade
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Magic Kingdom)
  • Character Meets
  • Crystal palace Characters: Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet

Purchase The Many Adventure of Winnie the Pooh

pooh bear


  • Dumbo Ride at Magic Kingdom
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade

Purchase: Dumbo


Princess and the Frog:

  • Character Meet: Tiana (Magic Kingdom)
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Port of Orleans Resort
  • Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Castle Stage Show (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase: Princess and the Frog



  • Character Meet
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade (Magic Kingdom)
  • Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Castle Stage Show (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase: Tangled

Magical Meet Monday - Meet Rapunzel at Disney

Star Wars- A New Hope and The Force Awakens

  • Star Tours (Hollywood Studios)
  • Character Meet and Greets: Chewie, Kylo Ren and the Jawas
  • Attractions: Star Tours, Launch Bay
  • Jedi Training Academy (Hollywood Studios)

Purchase: Star Wars – A New Hope
Purchase: Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Chewbacca Meet - Walt Disney World


  • Character Meet: Merida (Magic Kingdom)
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase Brave

Merida Character Meet - Walt Disney World

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Scottish Princess dress

Mary Poppins:

  • Character Meets: Magic Kingdom, Epcot
  • Character Meals: 1900 Park Faire

Purchase Mary Poppins

 Mary Poppins

Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl:

  • Attractions:
    • Pirates of the Caribbean (Magic Kingdom)
    • Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial (Magic Kingdom)
  • Experience: Pirates League Makeover

Purchase Pirates of The Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates League - Disney World

Monsters Inc:

  • Monster Inc Laugh Floor (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase Monster Inc.

Inside Out:

  • Character Meet: Joy, Sadness (Epcot)

Purchase: Inside Out

Joy And Sadness

The Incredibles:

  • The Incredibles Super Dance Party (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase: The Incredibles

Big Hero 6:

  • Character Meet: Baymax (Epcot)

Purchase: Big Hero 6

Baymax at Epcot


  • Move It! Shake It! Dance & Pay It! Street Party (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase: Zootopia


  • Wishes Fireworks
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade

Purchase: Pinocchio

Festival of Fantasy Parade


  • Art of Animation Resort

Purchase: Cars

Jungle Book (1967):

  • Character Meets (Animal Kingdom)

Purchase: Jungle Book

Louis and Baloo

Lilo & Stitch:

  • Stitch’s Great Escape (Magic Kingdom)
  • Character Meet
  • Character Meal: Ohana

Purchase: Lilo & Stitch


  • Character Meets (Animal Kingdom)
  • A major scene in Fantasmic (Hollywood Studios)

Purchase: Pocahontas

FantasmicAlice in Wonderland (1951):

  • Mad Tea Party (Magic Kingdom)
  • Character Meal: 1900 Park Faire
  • Character Meets: (Magic Kingdom and Epcot)

Purchase: Alice in Wonderland

Alice Character Meet

Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark:

  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (Hollywood Studios)

Purchase: Raiders of The Lost Ark
Mom Approved Alternative: A Indiana Jones Lego Video Game walk through


Swiss Family Robinson:


The Muppet Movie:

  • MuppetVision 3D (Hollywood Studios)

Purchase: The Muppet Movie


  • Character Meet: (Epcot – China)

Purchase: Mulan

Mulan Character Meet

The Three Caballeros:

  • Gran Fiesta Tour (Epcot – Mexico)
  • Character Meet: Donald (Epcot – Mexico)

Purchase or Rent: The Three Caballeros


101 Dalmations:

  • All Star Movies resort

Lady and the Tramp:

  • Tony’s Town Square restaurant at Magic Kingdom

Purchase: Lady and The Tramp

Haunted Mansion:

  • Haunted Mansion Ride (Magic Kingdom)


Song of the South:

  • Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom)

Pete’s Dragon (1977):

  • Main Street Electrical Parade (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase: Pete’s Dragon

Pete's Dragon _ ELectrical Parade

Sword in the Stone:

  • The Sword in the Stone next to the Price Charming Regal Carousel (Magic Kingdom)

Purchase: Sword in the Stone

A Bugs Life:

  • Attraction: A Bug’s Life (Animal Kingdom)
  • Character Meet: Flik (Animal Kingdom)

Purchase: A Bug’s Life

Flik - Animal Kingdom

Chip N Dale Cartoons:

  • Character Meets: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios
  • Character Meal: Garden Grill
  • Chip-N-Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long – Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Mickey’s Backyard Barbeque – Fort Wilderness Resort

Purchase: Cartoon Favorites Vol 4 – Chip & Dale

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Cinderella Day dress

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Cinderella Day dress

Wreck it Ralph:

  • Appearance in some parades

Wreck It Ralph

Disney Junior Shows:

Handy Manny
Doc McStuffins
Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Sofia the First

  • Character Meal: Hollywood and Vine
  • Character Meets
Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Amulet Princess dress

Featured: Mom Approved Costumes Amulet Princess dress


Wilderness Explorer’s Program

Only if attending Halloween Parties:

Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Walt Disney

Hopefully you found a few new movies to watch before a Disney trip or to add to your pre-trip checklists! Our family loves to watch Disney movies during our drive to Florida and even on the way home!

Need to Pin for later? Pin on Pinterest Now

Movies to Watch before Disney




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