Must-See Amusement Park Entertainment

Take a break from the roller coaster lines and be wowed by these incredible theme park shows.

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Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Disneyland

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Dollywood

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Busch Gardens

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World


Photo By: iStock

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World

Rivers of Light, Animal Kingdom

Part theater, part water show, part celebration of nature, this is one nighttime experience you don’t want to miss at Animal Kingdom. The new technology used to project images and footage onto water is stunning. And the lights are breathtaking. Take advantage of FastPass+ for prime viewing in this outdoor theater.

World of Color, Disney California Adventure

There’s just nothing like it anywhere else. Imagine the fountains at the Bellagio went to a rave and then add a dash of pyrotechnics. This spectacle will leave you awestruck by the sheer volume of water and power needed, but also by the technology used to project Disney footage onto giant screens of water.

Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood

There’s tons of bluegrass, gospel and country entertainment at Dollywood year round, but there’s no better time to visit than Christmas. The park transforms into a holiday wonderland with Dolly Parton’s Parade of Many Colors and It’s a Wonderful Life stage show.

Festival of the Lion King, Animal Kingdom

If you haven’t seen the Broadway adaptation of this Disney classic, this is your next best bet. The giant puppets, stilt walkers, trapeze artists and fire dancers will blow you away and take you straight to the African savanna.

WaterWorld, Universal Studios Hollywood

This stunt spectacular has it all: high dives, fire, explosions and flying Sea-doos. This show should not be missed, unless you have little ones. It’s pretty loud and could be scary.

Celtic Fyre, Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Celebrate Irish culture and Celtic storytelling is this incredible dance show. It is one of the most popular performances at the park, so you may want to consider the extra $5 for reserved seating.

Fantasmic, Hollywood Studios

This show is popular for a reason. It’s one of your best bets to see Mickey Mouse, but it's not just for the kids. There’s pyrotechnics, laser lights and one million gallons of dancing water. Plus some iconic photo ops of Mickey shooting streams of light out of his fingers a la Fantasia.

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, Islands of Adventure

Most Harry Potter fans are in such a rush to visit Gringotts or ride the train, they don’t stick around Diagon Alley for performances. But these are just as magical. In the Carkitt Market area of Diagon Alley there are several special performances throughout the day, including wizard star Celestina Warbeck. Diehard fans will enjoy this minor character from the books come to life.

Matsuriza, Epcot

One of the best parts about Epcot’s World Showcase is the street performances in each country. France has an incredible acrobat. Mexico has a mariachi serenade. But Japan’s drum performance will stop you in your tracks. From the stunts to sheer sound, you’ll be stunned. Find a bench and take it in.

Happily Ever After, Magic Kingdom

Ever wondered why the Magic Kingdom does fireworks at the end of each night? Walt Disney knew that leaving at the end of the day would be sad, so he wanted to send guests off with a goodnight kiss. And so, the castle fireworks show was born. While the park’s previous show “Wishes” dazzled and amazed guests with augmented reality and video projected onto Cinderella’s castle, we can’t wait to see what’s coming in the park’s new nighttime send off, “Happily Ever After,” coming late spring 2017.

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