Disney Films You Should Watch Before Your Vacation

Pandora: World of Avatar

There are many ways you can prepare for your Disney vacation at home including watching Disney films! Disney+ is an excellent resource for watching Disney movies ahead of your vacation. You can find classic Disney films, Pixar films, films based on attractions, and everything in between. If you have an upcoming trip to Disney World and want to refresh your memory on Disney films that have a strong park presence then check out these Disney films that you should watch before your vacation.

Pirates Of The Caribbean

This iconic Disney film is based on an iconic Disney attraction. Pirates of the Caribbean is an excellent movie to watch prior to your vacation. While the Disney attraction actually came before the movie, the attraction has been updated with characters from the film. If you want to understand any references made to the film during the attraction then be sure to check out the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. There are 5 films in total, but you will be in on most of the references if you watch the first 3 films.

Pirates of the caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. Photo: Emily Murray

Peter Pan

If you want to familiarize yourself with the original subject matter of the classic Disney attraction “Peter Pan’s Flight” then you’ll definitely want to revisit the Peter Pan film. This film is a good addition to your list not only because of the classic dark ride, but also because of the characters starring in Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Peter Pan in Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Peter Pan in Festival of Fantasy Parade. Photo: Emily Murray.

Star Wars

You will probably enjoy Batuu and Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios much more if you are familiar with the Star Wars films. There are 9 films in total but most of the content involving Star Wars in the parks comes from episodes 4-9. Guests might also want to watch the first season of The Mandalorian as well as Ahsoka and Andor, as Disney’s Star Tours attraction will be updated this spring to include elements from these shows.

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Photo op
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Photo op.

Guardians of the Galaxy

One of EPCOT’s newest attractions features characters from the Marvel series Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a roller coaster that is enjoyable to all, but perhaps a bit more enjoyable if you are familiar with the characters from the film! There are 3 films in total in this series but even just watching the first film is enough to familiarize you with the characters in the attraction.

Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Photo: Emily Murray.

Toy Story

Hollywood Studios is home to Toy Story Land, a world of Andy’s backyard and larger-than-life attractions fit for a toy. Guests can enjoy food at Roundup Rodeo BBQ and Woody’s Lunchbox as well as ride exciting attractions like Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Toy Story Mania. Guests will definitely want to be familiar with the Toy Story series in order to enjoy this area to its fullest. There are 4 films in total and references to all movies are noticed throughout!

Toy Story Land
Slinky Dog Dash. Photo: Megan Woodard.


Animal Kingdom’s Pandora is a brilliantly themed section of park that brings the world of Avatar to life. Even if you haven’t seen the Avatar films you can still appreciate this area for its beauty and alien-like atmosphere. Guests might find more enjoyment out of attractions like Flight of Passage if they are familiar with the Avatar films. There are currently two films in this franchise but just watching the first film is enough to familiarize yourself with the land of Pandora.

Banshees at Pandora
Banshees at Pandora. Photo: Disney.


Journey of Water-Inspired by Moana recently opened in EPCOT’s World Nature section of park. It is a water playground that is full of Moana-inspired imagery and storytelling. Guests who are planning on experiencing this unique attraction might enjoy it more if they are familiar with Moana. Guests can also meet Moana at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park!

Journey of water
Journey of Water.

There are several films that you can watch in preparation for your Disney vacation! If you want more then check out the Disney Parks category on Disney+ and have fun watching!

Featured Photo: Emily Murray.

Written by

Megan Woodard

Contributing Writer

Megan was born into a Disney family. Her first trip to Disney World was when she was only 18 months old. Now as an adult, Megan loves to share the magic of Disney with her two toddlers. Keeping up with Disney news and Disney World knowledge is a fun hobby for Megan. Disney World is her favorite place to be and continuously brings back her childhood joy.

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