By Wishes Diva
We are currently gearing up to take our kids to Walt Disney World again. For my older kiddo, it’s his second trip, but for my little girl, it’s her first! For my son’s first trip there were some characters and movies he was familiar with, but definitely a lot he hadn’t been exposed to. So before this trip, my husband and I made a list of movies we wanted to be sure the kids watched at least once before heading to the parks.
The list below are my family’s suggestion for movies to watch before taking your first trip to Animal Kingdom.
- Lion King (G)- If you and your family plan to check out the Festival of the Lion King attraction (which is temporarily closed, but we hope it reopens soon!) then you’ll definitely want to watch this one at least once before your trip! Although in my opinion if you haven’t watched it before reading this article, you have a lot of catching up to do! The original animated movie will be your best bet to prep for this show and experience due to the characters and costumes featured, but the new live action re-make will do as well!
- Avatar (PG-13)- At Animal Kingdom there is an entire amazing section of the park devoted to Pandora and the World of Avatar. When you enter the World of Avatar you are instantly immersed in the fantastical setting of the film, complete with floating islands. Here you will find two attractions: Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey; both of which you’ll want to have the background knowledge of the movie before experiencing. Now, if you’ve got kiddos who you may feel like are a bit too young to watch a PG-13 movie, I will say that my 2 year old absolutely loved Na’vi River Journey on our last trip- so your littles will still be okay without!
- Up! (PG)- This movie will help you through one of the most interactive attractions at any of the parks! Throughout the entire park of Animal Kingdom, you’ll find different Wilderness Explorer stations based on Russell’s troop in the movie. At these stations you will get the chance to earn badges and become a true Wilderness Explorer! If you’ve got kids that you think would be interested in this, you’ll definitely want to make sure they have seen the movie so they know what a Wilderness Explorer is! Along with those stations, you can also catch references of this movie at the Up! A Great Bird Adventure show as well.
One Day at Disney (PG)- So this isn’t exactly a movie, but I still think it deserves to be on the list! This series can be found on Disney+. It is so fun, and gives an inside look to what happens behind the scenes at Animal Kingdom with the keepers and the animals, too. Watching some of this series will definitely be beneficial before you trip to give your family some insight and fun facts about the animal encounters and walking paths they offer at the park.
- A Bug’s Life (G)- Seeing this movie will give you the context for the attraction “It’s Tough to Be a Bug!” Becoming familiar with the characters and premise of the movie will help your kids be excited about this experience! Don’t forget to cover your nose before the stink bug!
- Finding Nemo (G)- One of my favorite Pixar movies, and one of my favorite shows at Walt Disney World! (Also temporarily closed, but we hope it reopens soon too!) Having experience with the storyline before seeing the musical at Animal Kingdom will help your family enjoy this experience even more. Being able to see your favorite characters from the movie come to life in a larger-than-life way is so much fun, and the fantastic music that they added to this story gives it another wonderful layer!
Well there you have it! My comprehensive list of movies to watch before visiting Animal Kingdom! Set aside some time for these, and your travel companions are more likely to become fully immersed in your visit!