Magic Kingdom® Park Prep: Your Guide to Seeing the Movies that Inspire the Magic

Headed to Magic Kingdom® Park soon? Be sure to check out this comprehensive list of Disney films that either inspired the attractions or were inspired by the attractions at Magic Kingdom® Park! Keep in mind most titles you can find on Amazon, but some may be in the "Disney Vault" so you may have to do a little digging. Also I have only listed primary features to watch, not sequels or other shorts where characters may appear.  

Films/animated features/cartoons are listed first, with the attraction or restaurant listed below and the location in parenthesis. I encourage families with small children to focus on the animated classics first then move on to the live-action films if you have time.

BY NO MEANS do you need to watch ANY of these to have a phenomenal day in Magic Kingdom® Park... this just helps to enhance the experience and get you excited about your upcoming trip!

So what are you waiting for?  Grab some popcorn and enjoy!!

  • Classic Mickey Mouse Cartoons or the New Mickey Mouse Cartoons (like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or these Mickey Cartoons)
    • Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater (Main Street, U.S.A.® Area)
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Pete's Silly Sideshow (Fantasyland® Area)
    • The Barnstormer (Fantasyland® Area)
      • This is a goofy-themed rollercoaster but is very much reminiscent of the the classic Goofy cartoons so many of us watched as children.
  • Peter Pan
    • Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater (Main Street, U.S.A.® Area)
    • Peter Pan's Flight® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
  • Fantasia
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
  • The Lion King
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
  • Lady and the Tramp
    • Tony's Town Square Restaurant (while the food at this restaurant leaves a lot to be desired, it's fun to see the Lady and the Tramp decor here. If you're a big fan of the movie be sure to peek your head in). (Main Street, U.S.A.® Area)
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    • The Crystal Palace, A Buffet with Character Restaurant (Main Street, U.S.A.® Area)
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Fantasyland® Area)
  • Swiss Family Robinson
    • Swiss Family Treehouse (Adventureland® Area)
  • Aladdin
    • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin Attraction (Adventureland® Area)
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean® Movies
    • Pirates of the Caribbean® Attraction (Adventureland® Area)
    • A Pirate's Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas (Adventureland® Area) - this is an interactive game where you collect Treasure Finder Cards and unlock special effects in the Adventureland® Area - lots of fun for boys and girls (and adults!) alike!
    • The Pirates League (Adventureland® Area) - you can transform into a pirate here for ages 3 through adult.  Extra fee required.
  • Song of the South
    • Splash Mountain® Attraction (Frontierland® Area)
      • This film will be VERY hard to find as the Walt Disney Company has removed it from circulation due to controversy surrounding the it.  I have seen it, and love the animated portions of the film depicting the stories of Uncle Remus, Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear.  At the very least, if you can't see the film be sure to check out YouTube videos of the animated portions by doing a simple search for Br'er Rabbit within YouTube.  And of course, you must watch this clip of the classic song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.
  • The Country Bears
    • Country Bear Jamboree Show (Frontierland® Area).  
      • This film is not a favorite of mine - I'd make it last on your watch list!  This is a case where the film was inspired by the attraction (and the film leaves a lot to be desired).
  • The Haunted Mansion
    • Haunted Mansion® Attraction (Liberty Square Area)
      • This is another case where the film was inspired by the attraction, and is a live-action movie starring Eddie Murphey.  The house in the movie actually looks more like the Haunted Mansion® Attraction out in Disneyland® Park but much of the theming is exactly the same.  If you go into this movie expecting it to be cheesy and corny, you won't be disappointed in the feature, and it does have some really cool ties back to the attraction.  I'm still holding out for one that Guillermo del Toro is supposed to be making.  HOLY COW that would be amazing!!  Check out an article on that here.

Attractions or Lands that inspired movies, starting at top left and going clockwise: Country Bear Jamboree, Haunted Mansion® Attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean® Attraction, and the themed Tomorrowland® Area (Tomorrowland® Area photo courtesy of Jennifer Sebby)

  •  Cinderella (animated classic) and Cinderella (live-action feature film)
    • Cinderella Castle (Fantasyland® Area and "the hub" where all "lands" meet)
    • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Meet Cinderella at Princess Fairytale Hall  (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Cinderella's Royal Table Restaurant in Cinderella Castle (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (Fantasyland® Area in Cinderella Castle) - transform into a Disney Princess or a Valiant night for ages 3-12 only.  Extra fee required.
    • **BONUS** while not in Magic Kingdom® Park, you can have dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming over at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at 1900 Park Fare. It's a short monorail ride from Magic Kingdom® Park!
  • Elena of Avalor (Disney Junior TV Show)
    • Meet Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall (Fantasyland® Area)
  • The Princess and the Frog
    • Meet Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Tiana's Riverboat Party - Ice Cream Social & Viewing Party (Liberty Square Area) - this is an additionally priced experience on the Liberty Square Riverboat where you can meet Princess Tiana and Price Naveen during an Ice Cream Social and then have VIP viewing for the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
    • **BONUS** while not in Magic Kingdom® Park, you can stay in a Royal Guest Room at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside, all decked out by Tiana for her princess friends.  And the entire feel of the Magnolia Bend portion of Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside is classic New Orleans plantation-style.  Love!
  • Tangled
    • Meet Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall (Fantasyland® Area)
    • While not an attraction, if you walk from the Fantasyland® Area to the Liberty Square Area, you will go through a part of the park that is very much dedicated to Rapunzel and you can even spot her tower.  While here, be sure to check out the restrooms - they're the prettiest ones in the Magic Kingdom and there are hints of Rapunzel throughout.
  • Beauty and the Beast (animated classic) and Beauty and the Beast (live-action feature film)
    • Enchanted Tales with Belle (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Be Our Guest Restaurant (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Gaston's Tavern (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
Gaston's Tavern WDW Shutterbug.jpg

Above, the interior of Gaston's Tavern (photo courtesy of WDW Shutterbug).  The cinnamon rolls here are delicious and you can use a snack credit to buy them on the Disney Dining Plan!

  • The Little Mermaid
    • Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Ariel's Grotto (meet Ariel in her mermaid form) (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Prince Eric's Village Market (snack stand) (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic® Attraction (Fantasyland® Area)
    • **BONUS** while not in Magic Kingdom® Park, you can stay in a Little Mermaid room at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.  These rooms are super cute and loved by aspiring little mermaids everywhere. :-) Even if you're not staying there, if you have a Little Mermaid fan in your family it's totally worth stopping by to check out this section of the resort.
  • Alice in Wonderland (animated classic) and Alice in Wonderland (live-action feature film)
    • Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Cheshire Cafe (snack stand) (Fantasyland® Area)
    • **BONUS** while not in Magic Kingdom® Park, you can have breakfast with Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter (among others) over at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at 1900 Park Fare.  It's just a short monorail away from Magic Kingdom® Park.
  • Dumbo
    • Dumbo the Flying Elephant® (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station (Fantasyland® Area)
    • Big Top Souvenirs (Fantasyland® Area)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Fantasyland® Area)
  • Pinocchio
    • Pinochio's Village Haus (quick-service restaurant) (Fantasyland® Area)
  •  Tomorrowland (live-action feature film)
    • Tomorrowland® Area
      • This live-action feature film was partly inspired by the themed land of Tomorrowland® in Magic Kingdom® Park.
  •  Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University
    • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor® Attraction (Tomorrowland® Area)
  • Lilo and Stitch
    • Stitch's Great Escape!™ (Tomorrowland® Area)
  • Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3
    • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin® (Tomorrowland® Area)

BONUS!!  Fireworks & Parade

Magic Kingdom® Park's fireworks spectacular, Happily Ever After, is FULL of references to Disney movies from the past and today!  I've listed as many as I have caught below but quite possibly could have missed a few! These include:

**Note: I only provided links to films that were not outlined already above.

 

Happily Ever After Fireworks.jpg

Above, Happily Ever After lights up the night sky and turns Cinderella Castle into an amazing projection screen during Magic Kingdom® Park's not-to-be-missed nighttime spectacular! How many Disney characters do you recognize from this picture?

Finally, Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade also features spectacular floats, catchy music and amazing performances that highlight characters from the following Disney movies:

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Cinderella
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Frozen
  • Tangled
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan
  • Brave
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Pinocchio
  • Dumbo
  • Fantasia
  • Classic Cartoons featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip & Dale

Above, images of some of the Festival of Fantasy parade in Magic Kingdom® Park.