Soul won Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score, and Best Sound. The picture also won Best Animated Feature from the Art Directors Guild, the ANNIEs, the AFI, BAFTA, Black Film Critics Circle, Golden Globes, and the National Board of Review. So, let’s take a tour of the many attractions that are based on a Disney movie at Walt Disney World.
At Disney’s Magic Kingdom we have The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. This ride is inspired by the 1992 Disney movie Aladdin. Did you know that Robin Williams was the voice of the Genie? Jasmine and Aladdin hang around the ride, and once in a while they take their Magic Carpet over to Epcot’s Moroccan Pavilion.
With the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride has risen to new heights; the ride now even includes animatronics of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. See the movies before you go to Walt Disney World. They’re a blast.
The Swiss Family Robinson is a 1960 film adaptation of the Johann David Wyss novel and was the inspiration for the Swiss Family Treehouse. Splash Mountain is based on Song of the South. Disney recently announced that the attraction will receive a Princess and the Frog-themed overlay.
There is, of course, the favorite ride of all little tykes: Dumbo. If you haven’t seen Dumbo (first released in 1941 and winner of an Academy Award for original music score), you have an elephant-size gap in your Disney education. Watch this movie that is fun for all ages. In 2019 Disney released the live-action adaptation of Dumbo. The film is directed by Tim Burton, who has worked on many memorable films, including Alice in Wonderland (2010), Edward Scissorhands, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), just to name a few.
Enchanted Tales with Belle is based on Disney’s Beauty & the Beast. The movie is also celebrated in the Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Belle and the Beast are known to take trips over to the France Pavilion, so be on the lookout!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride was inspired by the many Winnie the Pooh movies. Did you know Paul Winchell won a Grammy for his voicing of Tigger? He also voiced a Chinese cat in The Aristocats and Boomer the woodpecker in The Fox and the Hound; plus, he provided the voice of the evil Gargamel in the animated TV series The Smurfs. Meet Merida at Fairytale Garden celebrates the flame-haired Scottish princess from Brave.
Disney’s animated film version of Peter Pan is, of course, the inspiration for Peter Pan’s Flight, one of Fantasyland’s most beloved attractions. And the boy who does not want to grow up roams around the attraction with Wendy and, at times, a dose of Pixie Dust may fly them over to the United Kingdom Pavilion.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Princess Fairytale Hall, and the pièce de résistance at the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Castle, all pay tribute to Disney’s Cinderella flick. Princess Fairytale Hall is also the home of other Disney Princesses Elena of Avalor (Disney movie series Elena of Avalor), Rapunzel (Tangled), and Tiana (The Princess and the Frog).
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is based on the space-commando character Buzz Lightyear from the 1995 Disney-Pixar feature Toy Story. Did you know that Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are the voices of Woody and Buzz?
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor draws its inspiration from the 2001 Pixar film Monsters, Inc., starring Billy Crystal (voice) in the role of Mike Wazowski. It won an Oscar for best song.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is inspired by Walt Disney’s Snow White. Snow White herself regularly visits her wishing well at Epcot’s German Pavilion.
Ariel’s Grotto and Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, both located at Fantasyland, are based on Disney’s movie The Little Mermaid. The animated picture is also prominently represented at Epcot with The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride and the interactive Turtle Talk with Crush attraction. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios enjoy the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show.
At Epcot the Norway Pavilion at Epcot is taken over by the Arendelle gals with the Frozen Ever After Ride, and you can meet the royals at the Meet Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus.
Frozen is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale “The Snow Queen.” Frozen won many awards, including two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. If you haven’t seen it, do so. I can assure you that Idina Menzel’s song “Let it Go” will be with you for a long, long, time. If you don’t believe me, head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and participate in the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.
The China pavilion does not have a ride, but it is the home of the heroine of the 2020 Disney movie Mulan. Mushu, her pint-size dragon friend, joints her on special occasions.
On October 1 of this year the France Pavilion will see the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride. The 2007 Disney-Pixar animated film Ratatouille is what inspired the ride. And Ratatouille, featuring Remy, the rat-turned-chef, won Best Animated Feature at the 2008 Academy Awards, the BAFTA Award, the Golden Globe Award, among many more accolades.
At the United Kingdom Pavilion the heroines of the Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins movies hang around the cottage inspired by Anne Hathaway’s cottage on Stratford-upon-Avon. Anne Hathaway was the wife of William Shakespeare. Alice and friends also get together in front of the Mad Tea Party ride at the Magic Kingdom. They must be doing so using the famous rabbit hole.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to Pandora: The World of Avatar, an attraction based on James Cameron’s movie Avatar. Make sure to experience Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. The first Avatar movie was released in 2009 and is still the world’s top-grossing film at the global box office, with earnings of $2.8 billion. Mark your calendars for the next sequel of Avatar, scheduled to be released December 2022.
Two shows that are must-sees at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are based on movies. The Festival of the Lion King is a show inspired by the animated feature The Lion King. Did you know that James Earl Jones, the voice behind Mufasa (father of Simba), was also the voice behind Darth Vader in several of the Star Wars movies?
Finding Nemo – The Musical, and of course the soon opening Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!—a live puppet and musical stage show based on the 2003 film Finding Nemo is shown in the Theater in the Wild in DinoLand U.S.A. Finding Nemo is also prominently represented at Epcot with The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride and the interactive Turtle Talk with Crush attraction.
UP! A Great Bird Adventure, in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, pays tribute to the 2009 movie UP. The picture won many awards, including the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.
It’s Tough to Be a Bug! located inside the Tree of Life can be a potential horror show for the age-7-and-under crowd, but you can prepare your kids by watching A Bug’s Life before you leave home—many of the characters are the same.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the place with the most attractions tied to movies. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is based on events that happen after Cars 3, while Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! is based on Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Star Tours—The Adventures Continue and the entire Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge are celebrations of Star Wars. Make sure to ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
In 1995 Pixar debuted Toy Story, a movie where all toys are secretly alive (unbeknownst to humans). This feature-length film was followed by three more successful installments. Now Woody and his friends also have a land to welcome honorary toys. Go ahead and join them inside Toy Story Land, to infinity and beyond! The three rides of the land are Alien Swirling Saucers, Toy Story Mania!, and the Slinky Dog Dash roller-coaster.
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, pre-order the The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.