Finding Nemo the Musical Review at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Finding Nemo the Musical Opened On: January 24, 2007.
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Location: The entrance is located along the walkway that connects DinoLand USA and Asia. In the picture of the theater above, you’ll notice the Forbidden Mountain in the background. Expedition Everest’s entrance is around the corner on the right, while DinoLand is behind me.
Extra Magic Hours: No shows usually scheduled.
Show Length: 40 minutes, which is 10 to 20 minutes longer than most.
Show Schedule: There are usually five to six shows scheduled daily. The first show is usually scheduled at 12pm, followed by 1pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, and the potential for an additional show added around 6pm given heavy crowds.
Scary Factor: Low.
Nemo gets into some trouble with a shark puppet, but that’s about it.
When To Go: See the first or last show of the day to minimize waiting.
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 seats closer to the stage. FastPass+ users typically fill in from the bottom, while standby comes in from the top. For most shows, seats in the back are available running up close to showtime.
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 Kristen Anderson-Lopez, now of Frozen fame, penned 16 original songs for the show. Michael Curry, who helped design the wildly successful Lion King Broadway show, served as lead designer. That’s quite the pedigree.
The show is similar to Festival of 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 larger than your average dining room table. Fon’t be put off by this being “just a puppet show.”
It’s much, much more than that, as the puppets and their caretakers swim around the stage.
You can pull up the full show here to get a better idea about the size and scope of the production.
Where to Sit: Seating is bleacher-style with backs. The slits in the seats make for a less comfortable experience than you might expect. Most seats afford a good view of the stage because the puppets 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. I like to sit in the top right section. Fewer people sit there, which offers an opportunity to spread out to get a better view.
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. Consider waiting a couple of minutes for an easier exit.
FastPass+: Yes, low priority. The return window is between 30 and 10 minutes before a show starts. For a 3pm show, the return window is 2:30pm-2:50pm, and you’ll need to arrive closer to the 30-minute mark to enjoy much benefit. Without FastPass+, your seat would be in a similar location in standby. If you’re planning to arrive just a couple of minutes before showtime, FastPass+ will benefit you as you’ll be guaranteed admittance into that show.
What You Miss Using FastPass+: Nothing. Everyone waits outside for seating to begin.
Total Average Experience Time with FastPass+: 60 minutes, assuming you arrive 20 minutes before show time.
4th FastPass+ Availability: Because of the large size of the theater, Disney distributes a lot of FastPass+ for each show. People cancel their Nemo FP+ more often than for the rides. Most showtimes should be available with some FastPass+ refreshing.
When to Arrive: 20 to 30 minutes before afternoon showtime given moderate or heavy crowds. You can cut it closer to showtime for the first or last shows of the day or given very low crowds.
Commentary: Finding Nemo The Musical is an enthralling production that features out-of-this-world props, catchy music, and a large, talented 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 who have trouble sitting still. The middle section of the show does lag a bit. You’re also looking at budgeting about an hour to see the show. That may be too much time if you have a dense itinerary. Do your best to fit Finding Nemo the Musical in because it’s one of Disney’s best stage shows. It would stand out even more without Festival of the Lion King on the other side of the Park.