3-D movies are all the rage right now, with recent 3-D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. In the next couple years, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and The Little Mermaid will also be finding their way back to the big screen in 3-D versions. While 3-D movies are still relatively new to the neighborhood cinema, 3-D movies have been thriving in Walt Disney World for decades.
Here are six things to do in Walt Disney World if you love 3-D movies.
1. Mickey’s PhilharMagic
This 3-D film is found in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom. It begins with a trip to the orchestra (hence you’re wearing “opera glasses,” not 3-D glasses), but some shenanigans by Donald Duck lead to traveling through scenes from classic Disney films. Little ones might find this attraction a little scary, not because of the content, but because of the feeling of things flying at them, including actual water and wind effects. If your kids are skittish, you might have them try it without the glasses the first time.
2. Captain EO starring Michael Jackson
I’ve already admitted (in my post on astronauts) that this Epcot attraction doesn’t really do it for me, but if your love for 3-D is accompanied by a nostalgia for the 1980s and Michael Jackson, you will thoroughly enjoy it. Like in Mickey’s PhilharMagic, expect to experience some 4-D theater effects.
3. Muppet*Vision 3-D
This has to be my favorite 3-D movie in Walt Disney World. It’s been playing since 1991, but the only part of it that feels dated is at the end, when you see the parkgoers’ 1990s hairstyles and outfits, plus an old-style Mickey balloon. More than just a movie, this attraction also has a live performer and several Audio-Animatronics in the theater to create a more immersive experience.
4. It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Speaking of immersive, that’s practically the definition of It’s Tough to be a Bug! If you don’t like bugs, darkness, or being unexpectedly poked in the back, steer clear of this attraction! As I mentioned in my post on Halloween, this attraction terrifies all of my nieces and nephews, so you might want to hold off until the kids are in elementary school. Many older kids love it though!
5. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
This reimagined version of Star Tours is more than just a movie; it’s a motion simulator plus a 3-D movie. Before your trip, you don a pair of “flight glasses,” and then it’s off to destinations unknown. The randomized ride sequence has 54 possible combinations, so this is the only 3-D movie on the list that will likely be different every time you ride it!
6. Toy Story Mania!
This attraction is not so much a 3-D movie but a series of 3-D carnival games. If you like 3-D movies but wish they were more interactive, this is the attraction for you. The possibility of improving your score will likely make you want to ride multiple times, so I suggest getting to Disney’s Hollywood Studios before opening, heading straight to Toy Story Mania!, getting a FASTPASS, and then immediately getting into the standby queue, so you’re guaranteed at least two rides that day.
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The best part about the 3-D movie attractions is that they tend to have large capacities, so you don’t usually have to wait longer than the length of one show. Since Toy Story Mania! is actually a ride rather than a show, and a very popular ride at that, you’ll want to make that your first stop on your 3-D movie day. Next, ride Star Tours, and then head to Muppet*Vision 3-D. That completes your list for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so next take a bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for It’s Tough to be a Bug! After that, head over to Epcot for Captain EO. Wrap up your day in Magic Kingdom with Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
Which of these 3-D movies/experiences is your favorite?