Finding Nemo The Musical

by josh on September 2, 2010

Finding Nemo The Musical

Opened: January 2007

Location: DinoLand USA.  The entrance 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+: Yes – Low priority. There is no FastPass+ dedicated seating section. Guests with FP+ that arrive 30+ minutes early may be allowed to find their seats before standby. If the theater is filling close to showtime, cast members may close the standby queue and only allow FP+ users into the theater. Arrive 15 to 20 minutes before showtime and FP+ is unnecessary and will result in the same seats as standby.

Type: Musical theater show

Similar To: Unique in its scope and scale, but similar to Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Festival of the Lion King.

Requirements: None, other than the ability to sit through the performance that lasts just under 40 minutes.

Scary Factor: Low. Nemo gets into some trouble with a shark puppet, but that’s about it.

When To Go: There are usually five to seven shows scheduled throughout the day, depending on operating hours and expected crowds. See the first or last show of the day to minimize crowds.

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 good 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: This 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 trying 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.

Rating: 9/10

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. Do your best to fit it in because it’s one of Disney’s best stage shows.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg Hartenstein May 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

We are not willing to give up either Lion King or Nemo. We love both shows. Flights of Wonder is nice but not something we feel the need to see every year. Usually we have two days at AK so we see Nemo one day and LK on another day. This year we only have one day so we will be squeezing both shows in on that one day. My kids are 15 and 18, they much prefer Nemo over Flights of Wonder.


Terri in So Cal September 11, 2011 at 11:05 am

I really enjoyed this show the one time we have seen it. (few years back) Hope to do it again this year, but sometimes it is hard to squeeze it all in when AK is only open 9-5.


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