In addition to housing thrilling rides, world-class shows and entertaining attractions, Walt Disney World ® has also been home to many film shoots. You may think Disney ® films, TV shows and animated features are primarily shot at Disneyland or in Hollywood but there have been quite a few that have been produced right here in Orlando. Check them out:
Lilo and Stitch – How can an animated movie be filmed at Walt Disney World ® Simple in its animation studio located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ®. That is exactly where most of the 2002 animated science fiction comedy-drama film Lilo & Stitch was filmed. It was the second of the three animated features produced at the park.
Mulan – The 1998 American animated musical action-comedy-drama film, Mulan was the first animated film to be produced primarily at the Disney animation studio at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ®. In turn, the film won several Annie Awards including Best Animated Feature.
Brother Bear – This 2003 animated adventure comedy-drama was the third and final Disney animated feature produced primarily by the Feature Animation studio at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ®. The studio was shut down in 2004 not long after the release of the film. Brother Bear received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.
Beauty and the Beast – Most of the production of Beauty and the Beast was done at the main Feature Animation studio in Glendale, California, however a smaller team worked on the film at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ®. They assisted the California team on several scenes, including the “Be Our Guest” number.
Ernest Saves Christmas – This was the first major film production filmed almost entirely at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ®. Vern’s house was actually located on Residential Street at the park, and was part of the Studio Backlot Tour until it was demolished in 2002.
Escape from Tomorrow – Although filmed without permission, Escape from Tomorrow was filmed at both Walt Disney World ® and Disneyland. The movie features several popular rides at Magic Kingdom ® including “It’s a Small World.”
Tomorrowland - Currently in production, Tomorrowland is an upcoming science fiction film starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson. The plot involves Frank (Clooney) and Casey (Robertson) who travel to a place somewhere in time and space, known as Tomorrowland. Filming for Tomorrowland began in 2013 in Enderby, British Columbia and in November 2013, scenes of the film were shot at the Carousel of Progress attraction at Disney’s Magic Kingdom ®. Tomorrowland is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2015.
Marvin's Room – In this drama film featuring Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio, a mother and son take a week vacation in Florida, where they visit Walt Disney World ® before finding out if the mother is a bone marrow match for her sister.
The All New Mickey Mouse Club – The 1980’s-1990’s revival of Mickey Mouse Club was recorded in front of a live studio audience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ® and included several up and coming pop stars and actors such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, JC Chasez and Keri Russell.
Adventures in Wonderland – This live-action musical television series was based on Walt Disney’s animated classic Alice in Wonderland. The show originally ran form March 23, 1992 to 1995 and was taped at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ®, with two sound stages used exclusively for the show, but only for its first 40 episodes.
SeaQuest 2032 – This 1993 TV series is the only one to be filmed at Disney’s Epcot ®, and made use of the Living Seas Pavilion, now named, The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
The Middle – The cast of The Middle spend some time at Walt Disney World in March this year filming the season finale. They posed with Woody by Thunder Mountain, danced with Belle in Epcot, and said hello to Mickey Mouse right in front of Cinderella’s Castle. The episode just aired last week, so you still have a chance to catch it On-Demand!
Roseanne – The entire family heads to Disney World in two episodes, “We’re Going to Disney World” and “Disney World War II,” which premiered in 1996. Although Dan and Roseanne were nearly broke, they still managed to take everyone to the happiest place on Earth.
Family Matters – In this two-part 1995 episode, the entire Winslow family head to Epcot, where Steve Urkel is in an inventor’s competition. Through his invention, a transformation chamber, we got to see him turn into his alter ego, Stefan.
Full House – Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky decide to celebrate their anniversary at Walt Disney World since Jesse and the Rippers have a gig there. Instead of having to worry about missing the kids, they decide to take them along. Somehow the whole Full House gang winds up at Disney for two magical episodes of “The House Meets the Mouse,” shot in 1993.
Boy Meets World – Cory tries to win back his long-time love, Topanga, by flying to Florida after she won a contest that sent her to Walt Disney World for a week. The 1996 “The Happiest Show on Earth” episode features scenes like Cory and Shawn sleeping in a log flume at Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain and Cory and Topanga sharing an iconic kiss in front of Epcot’s Fountain of Nations.
Step-by-Step – Frank and Carol take the whole family to Walt Disney World for their anniversary during the 1996 episode “We’re Going to Disney World” Part 1 and 2. The Lamberts’ neighbor, Flash, is determined to break the record for visiting every restaurant and attraction at Disney World, and the episode showcases famous spots throughout the entire park.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – Sabrina Spellman and her science class take a field trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in “Disney World.” The 1998 episode was shot a week before the brand new park opened and premiered on television two days after Animal Kingdom officially opened to the public.
Can you think of any more movies or shows?
Orlando, FL – 05/30/14
By: Jena Pugh