Top 10 Shows at the Disneyland Resort You Shouldn’t Miss on Your Trip

Updated 10/11/18. Anyone who has enjoyed Disneyland shows and entertainment knows they are not to be missed! With several incredible spectacles featuring lively characters, beautiful lights, and stunning special effects, Disney is truly unparalleled the entertainment industry. While no one will argue how fun the rides are at the park, it’s simply not a trip to Disneyland without experiencing the entertainment.

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Luckily for you, today we’re exploring the top ten Disneyland shows so you don’t have to miss a single one. Keep reading for everything you need to know about these Disneyland shows, so you can find the best picks for your family.

Let’s go!

1. Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln

Sign for the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: Disneyland Shows

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a historical and inspirational audio-animatronic stage Disneyland show featuring the beloved President Abraham Lincoln. It was featured at the 1964 World’s Fair and has been presented at Disneyland since 1965. It may be old, but it never fails to make me emotional – it truly is a great moment not to be missed. Make sure it makes your list of must see Disneyland shows!

Location: Main Street, U.S.A

Time of Show: This show runs every 20 minutes all day

Length of Show: 15 minutes

Length of Wait: There is never a line

Recommended For: This show is perfect for those who love American history as well Disney history, as this is truly a Walt Disney classic. The audio-animatronics are stunning, especially when considering how old they are.

Seating and Accessibility: Comfortable chairs are provided and wheelchair space is offered

Bonus Tips: Looking to cool off on a hot day or seek immediate shelter from a sudden rainstorm? Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a great solution! This is one many people walk by without realizing how amazing it is, but it is truly a do-not-miss!

2. Turtle Talk with Crush

Close up of Crush the turtle talking to the audience

Everyone’s favorite cool turtle, Crush, invites you to an interactive live chat with him and his favorite pals from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory! Participants will be invited to ask him questions, and he may ask you some, too! It’s almost like magic. This is kind of hidden and easy to accidentally miss, so make sure you keep your eye out for it!

Location: The Animation Academy building inside Hollywood Land in Disney’s California Adventure

Time of Show: This show runs about every 20 minutes all day

Length of Wait: For the best seats we recommend getting in line as soon as the previous show begins. This means you’ll be waiting about 20 minutes.

Length of Show: About 17 minutes

Recommended For: While kids may especially love the characters, teenagers and adults will still be fascinated by the technology that allows Crush to have actual conversations with the audience. This is another great pick for those needing a break from the hot sun or the rain.

Seating and Accessibility: Comfortable chairs are provided and wheelchair space is offered

Bonus Tips: For a better chance at getting picked to talk to Crush, sit in the front or on the aisle. And don’t miss the other fun offerings in the Animation Academy building including the Sorcerer’s Workshop and the Beast’s Library, where you can take a quiz to find out which Disney character you’re most like.

3. The Enchanted Tiki Room

The sign for the Enchanted Tiki Room

It may look like any old building from the outside, but once you’re inside you’ll find that every aspect of this room has been musically enchanted! Surprises are waiting at the end of every verse and chorus. As the first audio-animatronic show Disney ever produced in 1963, this is a beloved classic that you won’t want to miss!

Location: Right inside Adventureland

Time of Show: This show runs about every 20 minutes all day

Length of Wait: At peak times, you’ll typically wait for about 20 minutes. If you time it right and they have the space, you may be able to walk right in as a show is starting without waiting.

Length of Show: 15 minutes

Recommended For: This is a favorite among kids, but it’s also a must for lovers of all-things classic Disney! This is another great pick for those needing a break from the hot sun or the rain.

Seating and Accessibility: Guests will sit on benches. Those desiring extra back support should sit in the back against the wall. Wheelchair space is provided.

Bonus Tips: Don’t forget to buy a Pineapple Dole Whip to complete your tropical experience! Many people don’t realize there are two lines to get one. You can actually order a treat from the inside of the Enchanted Tiki Room’s queue area and avoid standing in the extremely long line on the other side.

4. Storytelling at the Royal Theatre

The stage during Storytelling Theater

Join the Imperial Players for comedic retellings of scenes from Beauty and the Beast and Tangled. Sit back, relax, enjoy the show – and prepare to laugh! This fun, small theatre provides an up-close look at some of your favorite fairytales and Disney moments.

Location: Right next to Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Fantasy Faire on Main Street, U.S.A.

Time of Show: There are several shows daily. Visit Disneyland’s official website for a specific schedule here.

Length of Wait: For the best seats, the wait will be about 30 minutes

Length of Show: 22 minutes

Recommended For: Children and fairytale-lovers will be delighted by this, but the added humor and creative storytelling will be fun for the whole family

Seating and Accessibility: Benches are provided for viewers. If you don’t want to stay for the whole show, you’re always welcome to stand in the back for a few moments as you pass through. There is seating on the ground in the very front for children.

Bonus Tips: This is a great opportunity for your kids to see some of their favorite fairytale characters up close without having to wait in a long line.

5. Disney Junior – Live on Stage

Sofia the first on stage singing

Your little ones will love singing and dancing along to some of their very favorite character puppets on stage like Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Mickey Mouse! This colorful and interactive show could easily be the highlight of the trip for your Disney Junior fans. Be prepared for some fun surprises for one of the most energetic Disneyland shows!

Location: Hollywood Land in Disney’s California Adventure

Time of Show: There are several shows daily. For specific showtimes, check out the official website here.

Length of Wait: Around a half hour, but sometimes longer depending on the day

Length of Show: 18 minutes

Recommended For: Children and preschoolers

Seating and Accessibility: There are a few benches, but most of the seating is on the floor. Wheelchair space is provided.

Bonus Tips: Want to join the show? Pick up a Made with Magic Connected Ear Hat here! These illuminating interactive hats will colorfully glow along to the DJ’s picks during the performance.

6. Parades

Drummers smiling during one of the parades down Main Street

Parades are without a doubt some of the most popular Disneyland shows! And with offerings changing seasonally, there will always be something new for you to enjoy.

The two parades currently offered include the Pixar Play Parade in Disneyland, a fun, daytime water parade featuring all your favorite Pixar pals, and the Paint the Night Parade in Disney’s California Adventure, a truly spectacular nighttime parade featuring 1.5 million lights. See updated offerings here.

Location: Through Fantasyland and Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland and through Hollywood Land and Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure

Time of Show: Varies. Currently, the Pixar Play Parade is at 6:00 PM daily and Paint the Night is at 8:50 PM daily. Again, we encourage you to look at the current schedule so you don’t miss anything, as offerings are subject to change.

Length of Wait: For good seats, expect to wait up to an hour or longer. If you have a small group and don’t prioritize being on the front row, you can usually find a spot and enjoy the parade right as it starts.

Length of Show: Parades are typically around 45 minutes

Recommended For: Everybody!

Seating and Accessibility: Curbside and sidewalk seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Feel free to ask a cast member for suggestions on where and when to line up.

Bonus Tips: Parade performers will often try to give your children a wave or some special attention if they’re wearing their costume. Parades are a great time for children to dress up!

7. Fireworks

Child watching the fireworks and smiling

Fireworks light up the sky all throughout the year – not just on the Fourth of July – at Disneyland Resort! These are without a doubt some of the most beloved Disneyland shows that are offered. We highly recommend them! Like parades, firework shows change seasonally. Click here to find out what is currently being offered.

Currently, enjoy Together Forever – a Pixar Nighttime Spectacular. Enjoy projections and fireworks set to your favorite Pixar movie tunes. Plus, enjoy projections and fun special effects all down Main Street, U.S.A. as well. The two highlights of this Disneyland show is without a doubt both Buzz Lightyear and the UP house flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle – it’s a stunning spectacle you won’t want to miss!

Location: Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street, U.S.A.

Time of Show: Varies. Currently, Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular shows every night at 9:30 PM.

Length of Wait: Expect to wait up to an hour or more if you have a specific preferred viewing location. Naturally, the closer to the castle you want to be, the sooner you should line up. If you don’t care about being close, the fireworks can be viewed from several locations throughout the park without waiting in line, although views are sometimes partially obstructed.

Length of Show: About 15 minutes

Recommended For: Absolutely everyone!

Seating and Accessibility: While people are saving seats they will often sit, but once the fireworks start, most stand. Wheelchairs are allowed everywhere, though we’d recommend a location off to the side rather than the middle of the crowd so you can see around those that are standing.

Bonus Tips: Lining up early for a good fireworks spot? Take advantage of the food carts around Main Street, U.S.A.! Send one member of your party to pick up corndogs, churros, popcorn, and more for a better – and tastier – waiting experience.

8. Nighttime Spectaculars

Mickey shooting fire during Fantasmic

In addition to fireworks, Disneyland offers nighttime spectaculars, special evening Disneyland shows that feature a variety of fun special effects. It’s very possible that these are my very favorite of all Disneyland shows. They feature the perfect end to your day.

Currently, enjoy Fantasmic in Disneyland – a fun show on the Rivers of America that celebrates imagination and features pyrotechnics, projections, music, and all your favorite characters including Mickey Mouse!

Location: The Rivers of America in Disneyland

Time of Show: Shows are typically performed twice daily. Availability is subject to change, so make sure to check out Disneyland’s official daily schedule here as you are making your plans.

Length of Wait: These are FastPass events. While you can sometimes get spots on standby, we definitely recommend getting FastPasses early in the day for the best viewing. As stated on the FastPass, you’ll be allowed to line up a half hour prior to performance time. For the best seats in your assigned section, we recommend showing up even earlier than that, up to an hour before the show begins.

Length of Show: About 25 minutes

Recommended For: Everybody! These Disneyland shows can often easily be the most magical part of your vacation.

Seating and Accessibility: Ground seating. Make sure to inform a Cast Member if you have a wheelchair in your party, as there is specific wheelchair-accessible seating.

Bonus Tips: For a fun viewing option, take advantage of Dining Packages, which include a delicious meal and a reserved seat to view the show without having to wait in line for the best spot. Find more information about Fantasmic Dining Packages here .

9. Frozen – Live at the Hyperion

Anna and Elsa on stage during Frozen Live

You’ll be stunned by the emotional, comical, and heart-warming Broadway-style performance of Frozen – Live at the Hyperion! You’re sure to be impressed by the elaborate costumes and sets, show-stopping dance numbers, and special effects. You may think that you aren’t a fan of theatre, but this Disneyland show is sure to enthrall the entire family.

Location: The Hyperion Theatre inside Hollywood Land in Disney’s California Adventure

Time of Show: A few times throughout the day. Check out the official schedule here.

Length of Wait: Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommend getting in line 45 minutes to an hour before showtime.

Length of Show: One hour

Recommended For: Frozen fans will be especially delighted at the retelling, but we really do recommend this to even the most skeptical park-goer. The theatre is very cool and makes great shelter from the hot or rainy weather.

Seating and Accessibility: When you enter the queue, you’ll be able to choose between lines leading to the Orchestra, Mezzainine, or Balcony. From here, it’s just personal preference. Some like to sit higher for a better vantage points. I prefer to sit closer. It’s your pick! Seats are very comfortable. Inform a cast member if you’d like to stay in your wheelchair, as there are spaces available for this.

Bonus Tips: There isn’t a restroom in line or inside the theatre, so make sure you use one before! If you do have to exit the line while you’re waiting for the show to begin, make sure to get a return pass from a Cast Member so you will be allowed back in.

10. Mickey and the Magical Map

The stage during Mickey and the Magical Map

Many common park guests might miss Mickey and the Magical Map because it’s tucked back in a secluded area of Fantasyland, but we love it! This musical Disneyland show celebrates imagination and features many of your favorite classic Disney characters including Sebastian, King Louie, and Princess Tiana, who lead you through creative lands and beloved songs.  It’s very entertaining, and the technology is remarkable.

Location: The Fantasyland Theatre right next to the entrance of Mickey’s ToonTown

Time of Show: Several times daily. Find the official list of showtimes here.

Length of Wait: We recommend showing up 20 minutes prior to showtime for the best seats, but if you don’t care where you sit, you may be able to get a seat without waiting

Length of Show: 22 minutes

Recommended For: The whole family! The show takes place under a covered theatre, so it’s a nice shady, spot for hotter days as well.

Seating and Accessibility: Bench seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wheelchair space is available.

Bonus Tips: You’re welcome to bring food and drinks into the theatre! How about dinner and a show? The Troubadour Tavern is located right outside the theatre and offers several delicious meal and snack options.

Plan Your Disneyland Trip Today!

Now that you know about all the incredible Disneyland shows offered, it’s the perfect time to start planning your vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth. To get started, subscribe to our FREE deals newsletter for access to exclusive content and deals you won’t find anywhere else. Check it out HERE! Don’t forget to check out some of our other helpful planning guides:

  1. Best Times to Visit Disneyland 2018
  2. Best Disneyland Souvenirs 2018
  3. Disneyland Restaurant Reviews and Tips
  4. Disneyland FastPass Guide
  5. Booking Disneyland Packages

Thank you so much for joining us as we explore the Top 10 Disneyland Shows! Enjoy your vacation!

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

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