While there is no news yet on Walt Disney World® Resort’s reopening, guests have been scratching the Disney vacation itch by getting creative from home. Since there are little options but to remain at home for the time being, movie marathons have become the way to go, and guests are streaming their favorite movies that remind them of each park. Here we’ll simulate a marathon reminiscent of completing all four parks in one day, with all movies available to stream on Disney+:
Morning: Disney’s Animal Kingdom®
There are few better movies that encapsulate Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s themes like the original animated version of The Lion King. It has become more synonymous with the park’s images over time, and is still one of Disney’s best animated films.
In the spirit of not having anywhere else to go, there’s no better option than to stick with the same park by following up The Lion King with Finding Nemo. Avatar is a great choice as well due to Pandora’s excellent placement in the theme park, but its length—even though we do have all day—likely rules it out for families with younger ones and six more movies to get through.
Early Afternoon: Epcot®
Epcot gets the lunch slot for the bountiful options of food in World Showcase, with the first movie of choice going to Frozen for its inclusion in the Norway Pavilion.
Continuing the tradition with Pixar movies rounding out the second choice for each park, Ratatouille gets the nod, not only for being one of Pixar’s best films, but also for its upcoming inclusion as an attraction in the France Pavilion.
Late Afternoon and Evening: Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
Rather than an animated Disney movie, there is no better selection to symbolize the updated look of Disney’s Hollywood Studios than Star Wars. Our suggestion is to pick your favorite movie in the franchise here, but if your family hasn’t latched onto any of them yet, consider going with the original, A New Hope.
And of course the Pixar follow-up to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the original Toy Story. The second film in the saga is my personal favorite, and the third and fourth are equally as excellent in their own right, nothing gets nostalgia going like the original.
Night: Magic Kingdom® Park
No park is more fitting to finish a long day with than the original, but the way so many films pour into its lands makes the decision on which ones to pick pretty difficult. In the spirit of one of Disney’s most atmospherically complete restaurants, the first film for the park goes to Beauty and the Beast. If your family has paced yourselves throughout the day and has yet to sit down for dinner, this is the perfect film to do it with because of its real-world restaurant ties.
And in forgoing the newly minted tradition of ending each park with a Pixar film, consider wrapping up the night with your family’s favorite Walt-era movie. Sleeping Beauty is my personal favorite and will get my official thumbs-up due to its gorgeous animation, Maleficent’s inclusion in Magic Kingdom Park’s parade and Aurora’s surprising depth in her limited screen time. Peter Pan makes for a great choice for those who want something a little more lighthearted and reminiscent of fireworks spectaculars instead of parades, but ultimately we’ll leave this slot to preference.
The Final Films List:
So in summary, here are the films we recommend watching alongside your favorite Disney-themed snacks, whether it be popcorn, pretzels or ice cream bars:
- The Lion King
- Finding Nemo
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- Toy Story
- Beauty and the Beast
- Sleeping Beauty