Disney Movies to Watch Before a Disney World Visit

A visit to Disney World is a bucket list check for many people. The sheer magnitude of this destination can be overwhelming, with its sprawling theme parks, thrilling rides, and enchanting atmosphere. But what if there was a way to enhance your Disney World experience even further? By watching some of the most entertaining Disney movies before your trip, you can dive into the enchanting stories and characters that are readily featured in Walt Disney World parks. In this article, we’ve curated a list of must-watch Disney movies that will transport you to the imaginative worlds that inspired the enchantment of Disney World.

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Disney Movies to Watch Before Disney World

To truly immerse yourself in the Disney magic before your trip to Disney World, here are some essential movies to add to your watchlist. From timeless classics to recent blockbusters, these films have shaped the Disney legacy and continue to inspire the attractions and experiences you’ll encounter in the parks.

  • Cinderella (1950): This beloved fairy tale will transport you to a world of magic, hope, and dreams. Watch as Cinderella overcomes adversity with the help of her fairy godmother and captures the heart of Prince Charming.

  • The Little Mermaid (1989): Dive under the sea with Ariel, the curious and adventurous mermaid who dreams of exploring the human world. This enchanting film will prepare you for the wonders that await at Ariel’s Grotto in Disney World.

Read our The Little Mermaid 2023 review here!

  • Beauty and the Beast (1991): Be our guest and experience a tale as old as time. This timeless classic reminds us that true beauty lies within. Prepare to be enchanted by the Be Our Guest sit-down restaurant located at Beast’s Castle in Disney World’s Fantasyland.
  • The Lion King (1994): Join Simba, the young lion prince, on his journey to claim his place as king of the Pride Lands. This heartwarming and visually stunning film captures the beauty of Africa and the circle of life.

  • Toy Story (1995): Take a trip to Andy’s room and meet Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their toy friends. This Pixar classic film will ignite your imagination and remind you of the importance of friendship, setting the stage for the entertaining Toy Story Land in Disney World.

  • Frozen (2013): Venture into the icy kingdom of Arendelle with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf in the original Frozen film. This modern Disney classic will warm your heart with its memorable songs, empowering message, and enchanting beauty of Elsa’s ice palace.
elisfkc from Orlando, FL, United States
  • Avatar (2009): Watching “Avatar” before visiting Disney World enhances the immersive experience of Pandora – The World of Avatar, a themed land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The film’s stunning visuals and interesting storyline create a deeper connection to the land’s unique qualities, making the visit to Disney World even more magical and immersive.

  • Zootopia (2016): Journey to the bustling city of Zootopia, where predators and prey live harmoniously. This clever and heartwarming film tackles important themes of inclusivity and following your passion.

  • Frozen II (2019): Continue the journey with Anna, Elsa, and their friends as they venture into the unknown and discover the truth about Elsa’s powers. This sequel expands the Frozen universe and immerses you in a world of myth and magic.

  • TRON: Legacy (2010): Watching “Tron: Legacy” before visiting Disney World adds an extra layer of excitement and appreciation for the futuristic atmosphere of Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. The film’s visually stunning digital world and thrilling adventure complement the attractions and atmosphere of Tomorrowland, creating a seamless connection between the movie and the park experience.


  • The Twilight Zone (1959): While not a movie, the classic Twilight Zone episodes are a spooky way to prep for Hollywood Studios’ fantastic Tower of Terror ride. These short episodes have the creepy factor that the ride expands on with its story of a little girl lost in the Twilight Zone.

Watching these Disney movies before your trip to Disney World is like unlocking an additional layer of magic.

FAQs about Disney Movies to Watch Before Disney World

  1. Q: Can I enjoy Disney World without watching these movies? A: Absolutely! Watching these movies is not a requirement, but it can enhance your appreciation for the themed areas, characters, and references throughout the parks.
  2. Q: Are these movies suitable for all ages? A: Disney movies cater to a wide audience, and most are suitable for all ages. However, it’s always a good idea to check the film’s rating or content before watching with younger children.
  3. Q: Can I watch these movies on streaming platforms? A: Many of these movies are available on popular streaming platforms like Disney+ or Amazon Prime, making them easily accessible for a cozy movie night at home.

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