Ten Movies Your Family Should Watch Before Your Disney Vacation
Every time we book a Walt Disney World Vacation, we “study” as a family. It’s the perfect excuse to begin a family movie night, if you haven’t already.
Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to find a movie the entire family will enjoy. You may find some movies are “too girly” for the guys, or “too cootie-fied” for the girls. Disney does a great job to make movies appealing to both genders, even the princess movies.
However, after a few trial and error runs, these seem to be our top ten favorite DVDs to watch leading up to check-in day. We call them “Countdown DVDs”.
- Alice in Wonderland Even though the story centers around Alice, I find that boys don’t seem to mind since the Queen of Hearts provides quite enough destruction to win over even the most skeptic little guys. If not, there’s always the comedy the Tweedles bring along.
- Mickey’s House of Mouse Villains I prefer this dvd for the Fab five. It’s quite entertaining and while it’s not the Playhouse Disney Mouse that most of the kids today know, they will be entertained and meet quite a few of the classic Disney villains. This would be terrific to end a countdown on if you are attending a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
- Lilo & Stitch I absolutely adore Stitch. In fact, I have one of my own, er, I mean my son reminds me of Stitch. With catchy tunes and memorable lines (Ohana means family…), this movie is a hit with both Princesses and Princes in our house.
- The Little Mermaid This one might not be quite as entertaining to anyone who is anti-princess, but there are plenty of danger and suspenseful moments to entertain them if they will give it a shot.
- Finding Nemo This movie teaches so much about love, trust, adventure and family. Bingo, I mean, Elmo, oh wait is it Fabio? Oh Nemo, that’s right. Nemo is delightfully entertaining for an entire family and really speaks to little ones about some difficult life lessons in ways that only Disney can.
- Pirates of the Caribbean This is the only live action movie on my list. I tossed around ideas of quite a few more, but for our family, Pirates of the Caribbean is solidly in the top ten countdown. Cap’t Jack is thoroughly amazing with his happenstance brilliance. The kids and the parents both enjoy the entire series.
- Toy Story There’s no doubt about it, Toy Story is a wonderful tale. We love all three movies and watch them often. It’s a staple for us with each trip. There’s just enough to appeal to both genders to make this movie hard for anyone to hate.
- Peter Pan While I don’t love this movie, I think it’s vital to watch it at least once as your arrival day draws near. The essence of Tinkerbell comes across so wonderfully while telling a beautiful story of three children full of adventure and discovery.
- The Lion King Following Simba’s journey through life is mesmerizing and eye-opening. While some of the younger viewers may not grasp the full meaning of the storyline, it will still be entertaining for them and their parents. Each time we watch Lion King, and Circle of Life at Epcot, I still get teary eyed.
- Cinderella Yes, it’s a princess movie. As the last movie on our countdown, I find it to be kindred to Wishes Nightime Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom. The Prince Charmings in our household don’t quite agree, but alas, just knowing that this is the last sleep before walking right down the middle of Mainstreet USA and standing in awe of Cinderella Castle is enough to entice them to oblige me.
- Snow White
- Honey I Shrunk the Kids
- Sleeping Beauty
- Beauty and the Beast
- Song of the South
Wait a second, that’s not on DVD! If it was, I would most certainly purchase it. It’s the truth! It’s actual! Everything is satisfactual(-ly on YouTube.)
While my short list will certainly help you brush up on some of the most popular characters for rides, meet-and-greets and shows, it isn’t comprehensive. Walt Disney World is huge! I recommend picking a few of your favorite childhood movies and group them with some from the last ten or so years to find your own Top Ten.
Do you have any Disney movies that are must-sees prior to a trip? Do you have any that you bring along with you to catch while relaxing in your room? What is your absolute favorite Disney film of all time?
Psssst: Mine is Beauty and the Beast.
Lisa writes here at Chip & Co. as well as her blog Adventures in Mousedom. As a local to Disney World, she offers a different insight into visiting the parks. If you’re super cool like Chip, you should check it out. Okay, even if you’re not super cool like Chip, you should check it out. Trust me. What’s the worst that could happen?
- Firsthand Look At Disney’s Art Of Animation Resort (onlywdworld.com)
- Characters: Disney World for Disney Princess Fans (aglassslippervacation.com)