Top 10 Most Featured Movies at Walt Disney World

Disney movies are the building blocks of our beloved theme parks and as such they are often a much-debated topic. Should Marvel appear in Disney theme parks? Which movies will the rumored Star Wars land focus most heavily on? Which Disney movies deserve to be made into attractions? And of course…haven’t we already seen too much Frozen??? Everyone has an opinion on what they want to see more or less of in the parks, but here is an objective look at which Disney movies (and specific characters) appear with the greatest frequency throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. This includes theme park attractions, restaurants, shops, character meet and greets, and resorts. #10 Finding Nemo: Clever comedy and a story full of heart make Finding Nemo both an instant favorite and a cherished classic so no wonder it starts the list with a solid representation. With an entire pavilion in Epcot with two great attractions (The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Turtle Talk with Crush), a visually stunning musical stage show in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a whole section of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Finding Nemo fans can find plenty to get their fill. Appearance Count: 4 times (The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Finding Nemo the Musical, Art of Animation). ---3 Way Tie for #9-#7--- #9 Alice in Wonderland: It wasn’t one of Walt Disney’s personal favorites but Alice and all of her zany pals must strike a note with fans because they appear often throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. It all started with a simple attraction in the Magic Kingdom and now includes a meet and greet in Epcot’s UK, as well as several appearances at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Appearance Count: 5 times (Mad Tea Party, Meet and Greet in UK, 1900 Park Fare Character Breakfast, Wonderland Tea Party, Grand Floridian Water Play Area) #8 Winnie the Pooh: One of Disney’s most beloved franchises, Pooh and Friends have been winning new generations of fans for decades. The characters are all lovable but everyone has their favorite whether it be Pooh, Piglet, Tigger or Eeyore and this explains the many options for character meet and greets and meals along with the beloved attraction: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Appearance Count: 5 times (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Hundred Acre Goods, Crystal Palace, 1900 Park Fare, UK Meet and Greet) #7 Lion King: Probably the most memorable movie of this writer’s childhood, the Lion King was one of the most popular Disney movies of the 90s and while at first thought it seemed that the Lion King was overlooked in the Disney theme parks, the numbers tell otherwise. Even though it seems like it’s all princesses all the time, the Lion King holds its own with a live musical, conservation themed land and movie as well as an entire section at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. I think this movie can feel the love tonight. Appearance Count: 5 times (Festival of the Lion King, Circle of Life, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Art of Animation Resort, Simba’s Clubhouse at Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort) ---3 Way Tie for #6-#4--- #6 Cinderella: This one kind of figures…what with the castle being the face of the entire resort and all. She may not be Walt’s first princess but she just might be his most beloved and you can tell because her presence is everywhere: from her castle and everything it hides inside to a century old carrousel and plenty of meet and greets. Appearance Count: 6 times (Cinderella Castle, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel, Princess Fairy Tale Hall, Akershus) #5 Toy Story: Pixar’s epic tale of two unlikely best friends is a favorite with kids and adults alike and its melding of two different worlds lends itself to a strong presence in the parks. It’s no wonder that two of Walt Disney World’s most popular attractions, as well as a restaurant, a couple of meet and greets and part of a resort are based on this movie Appearance Count: 6 times (Toy Story Mania, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Woody and Jessie Meet and Greet in Frontierland, Buzz and Woody Meet and Greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Pizza Planet, All Star Movie Resort) #4 Little Mermaid: Sometimes referred to as “The Original Frozen,” the Little Mermaid started Disney’s renaissance of great animation in the 90s and it’s been dazzling fans ever since. The spunky princess with great hair and an amazing voice wows park attendees daily with a dark ride attraction, live musical show, character meet and greets, and a section of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort). Appearance Count: 6 times (Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Prince Eric’s Village Market, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Art of Animation Resort, Akershus) ---2 Way Tie for #3-#2--- #3 Beauty and the Beast: Quite possibly the greatest Disney movie ever made and the first full-length animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, Beauty and the Beast is truly a family film and it’s not surprising that it has such a strong presence in the parks, particularly in New Fantasyland. An attraction with brand new technology, a live musical, a pair of popular restaurants, and several meet and greets put Beauty and the Beast solidly in the top 3. Appearance Count: 7 times (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Belle and Beast Meet and Greet in France, Bonjour Village Gifts, Akershus) #2 Frozen: No surprise here…and it’s not the first time in forever that this has been discussed. Some say too much, some say not enough but the fact is that the fans keep eating it up (multiple hour waits for Anna and Elsa in Fantasyland) and Disney keeps dishing it out (replacing Maelstrom with a Frozen attraction). From a highly anticipated new ride to THE hot ticket meet and greet to a summer of frozen fun, Frozen has a strong foothold in 3 of the 4 WDW parks. Appearance Count: 7 times (Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet, Maelstrom Replacement Attraction, Royal Welcome, For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing Along, Dance Party, Olaf’s Cooldown, and Fireworks at the Frozen Summer of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. #1 Mickey and the Gang: If you thought Frozen would top out this list, shame on you for forgetting the mouse! It was all started by him, after all. It’s hard to look across a park without seeing something touched by Mickey and his pals. From attractions to shows to character meet and greets and shops…the Mouse is literally everywhere. He clearly wins this competition and I’m sure this is only even a partial list of sightings. Appearance Count: 20 times (Barnstormer, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Dream Along with Mickey, Fantasmic, Gran Fiesta Tour, Magic of Disney Animation, Fantasia Section at the All Star Movie Resort, Town Square Theater, Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing Along, Epcot’s Character Connection, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Chef Mickey’s, Cape May Café, Tusker House, Garden Grill, Goofy’s Candy CompanySir Mickey’s, Mickey’s Star Traders, Fantasia Shop at the Contemporary Resort, M. Mouse Mercantile at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort) Well there you have it…do any of these slots surprise you? Did I miss appearances of a movie or character in a park or resort somewhere? What Disney movies do you think should have a bigger presence in the parks? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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