Finding Nemo The Musical
Opened: January 2007
Location: DinoLand USA. The entrance to Finding Nemo is located along the walkway that connects DinoLand USA and Asia. You’ll exit the Chester and Hester portion of DinoLand USA on your way up to Expedition Everest and Asia and see Finding Nemo on your right in between the two areas.
Extra Magic Hours: No.
FASTPASS: Not usually. If the overall crowd level is a 9 or 10, it’s possible that Disney will distribute FASTPASSes for the next scheduled show. If that’s the case, FASTPASSes should be available at the Discovery Island wait times board. The FASTPASS would get you into the show before anyone that doesn’t have one, resulting in a better selection of seats.
Reserved Seating: Now that Tusker House is a character meal at lunch, reserved seating with a reservation is no longer available.
Type: Musical theater show
Similar To: Unique in its scope and scale, but similar to Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
Requirements: None, other than the ability to sit through the performance. If you’re planning to arrive about 20 minutes before show time, you’ll be looking at sitting in the same spot for about an hour.
Scary Factor: Zero
When To Go: There are usually five to seven shows scheduled throughout the day, depending on operating hours and expected crowds. The two least crowded shows are the first show of the day and the last show of the day. If you are planning to skip the 3:45pm Parade, the show that begins around 3pm – 3:15pm makes a lot of sense because a lot of people will be intent on seeing the Parade, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get out of the theater in time to see the Parade. If you are planning to see the Parade, I recommend going to the last show of the day. A lot of people leave after the 3:45pm Parade and crowds thin substantially. It’s also easier to get to DinoLand at the end of the day, after completing your itinerary in Africa and Asia.
Expect to Wait: The theater holds 1,500 people, which is usually adequate, but you’ll want to be lined up for the Musical about 30 minutes before it’s scheduled to start to ensure the best seats. For recommended shows and overall crowds that are five or less, arriving about ten minutes before the show is scheduled should result in decent seats. You may be able to walk right in during the slowest seasons or need to get there 45 minutes early during the busiest seasons. It depends mostly on the time of year and how many visitors are in the Park.
Length: 40 minutes
What to Expect: Finding Nemo The Musical is an elaborate stage show that features the characters from the Finding Nemo movie. The show is housed in an air-conditioned theater with fairly comfortable bench seats with backs. Tony Award winner Robert Lopez and his wife penned 16 original songs for the show and Michael Curry, who helped design the wildly successful Lion King Broadway show, served as lead designer. The show is similar to the Lion King in that the actors and puppeteers wear costumes and are just as much a part of the show as the puppets themselves. While technically “puppets,” many are as large as domestic automobiles, so don’t be put off by this being “just a puppet show” because it’s much, much more than that.
Where to Sit: Most seats afford a good view of the stage because the stage and characters are so large. Unfortunately, the height of the person in front of you comes into play because it’s difficult to see over tall people’s heads and shoulders. With little ones, it will probably be more about finding seats where they can see over whoever is sitting in front of them. Other than that, plan to sit at least half way up in the middle seating section. Sitting any closer may result in a cropped view of the stage that requires a lot of head turning to see the action. Seats more than half way up on either of the two far sections should be just fine too. If you’re nervous that the kids will be able to make it through the show or you may need to cut out early, the exit is located at the top right of the theater as you’re looking at the stage.
Exiting the Theater: Everyone exits at the back right of the theater. With about 1,500 people exiting from your average show, it can take a while. If you’re sitting on the left side of the theater, it may be faster to walk through an empty row rather than try to walk up to the top of the theater and proceed that way. After you exit, DinoLand USA will be on your left and Expedition Everest/Asia will be to your right.
Commentary: Finding Nemo The Musical is an enthralling production that features out-of-this-world props, excellent music, and a large cast. It’s also a nice way to get out of the sun for an extended period of time in a dark, air-conditioned, moderately comfortable theater. The show may be too long for kids that have trouble sitting still, especially because the middle section isn’t necessarily in your face action. You’re also looking at budgeting about an hour to see the show, which may be too much time if you have a long itinerary and Animal Kingdom is only open until 5pm or 6pm. Still, most people should be able to fit it in if they have interest. This really is a great show and not one people with any interest whatsoever in theater or music will want to skip without giving it a hard look.