Movies to see before you visit Disneyland

I’m often asked for Disneyland trip planning help.  One of the key things I recommend, especially when travelling with children, is in the months leading up to your trip, watch some of those Disney movies you haven’t seen.

At Disneyland many of the attractions are based around story and theme.  This usually comes directly from a movie.  So here is my must watch list of Disney movies before you visit Disneyland.  Check the ratings on some of the movies if your children are very small.


  • Indiana Jones Adventure, watch Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Tarzan’s Treehouse, watch Tarzan

New Orleans Square

  • Pirates of the Caribbean, watch Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearl


  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, If you are keen, read Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  If you are super keen, watch Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest (the 2nd Pirates of the Caribbean movie)

Critter Country

  • Splash Mountain, watch Song of the South (note, this is very hard to come by as some believe it romanticised the slave era in the USA in the south after the civil war)
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, watch any of the Pooh movies


  • Sleeping Beauty Castle itself and the walk through, watch Sleeping Beauty
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, watch Pinocchio
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures, watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • Casey Junior Circus Train, watch Dumbo
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant, watch Dumbo
  • Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, watch The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad or The Wind in the Willows
  • Peter Pan’s Flight, watch Peter Pan
  • Mad Tea Party, watch Alice in Wonderland
  • Alice in Wonderland, watch Alice in Wonderland
  • Pixie Hollow, watch Tinkerbell (any of the recent movies) and also Peter Pan

Mickey’s Toontown

  • Watch any movie (or cartoons) with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Chip’n’Dale and Goofy
  • Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin, watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit


  • Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage, watch Finding Nemo
  • Star Tours, watch Star Wars (episodes III Revenge of the Sith & IV A New Hope)
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, watch Toy Story 1

I’d also recommend watching these movies as the characters are in the parades and featured in Fantasmic.

  • The Lion King
  • Pocohontas
  • Aladdin
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Jungle Book
  • Frozen

For Disney California Adventure Theme Park, some of the above are helpful but there is also additional movies not covered here which I’ll write about in a future post.

If you are a New Zealander or Australian traveling to Disneyland, check out my previous post about cheap tickets for our part of the world.

Also be sure to check out previous posts about Disney and as I will have a lot more coming up in the next few months about Disneyland, make sure you follow me.


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