The COVID-19 pandemic altered a lot of the traditional Disney magic we’re used to at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks.
From face masks to the new Park Pass Reservation system, the Guest experience at Walt Disney World and other Disney Parks across the globe was modified significantly for the health and safety of Guests and Cast Members.
A huge impact of the pandemic was the closure of multiple entertainment offerings at the Walt Disney World Resort, including parades, fireworks spectaculars, and shows. Many of these have already seen big returns, and now we have further news on a beloved Disney Park show still missing from the schedule.
Finding Nemo – The Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was one such casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney Guests have been missing the ocean antics of Crush, Dory, Marlin, Gill, Bruce, and of course, Nemo in the Disney Park musical.
In September 2021, Disney Parks revealed that Finding Nemo – The Musical would be reimagined, albeit with the same Pixar characters we all love, with a debut sometime in summer 2022. A return date has still yet to be announced, but we now know more details about the plot and sets of Animal Kingdom’s famous show.
After a press event, Twitter user Scott Gustin shared the news today, May 5, of the beloved Finding Nemo show’s new plot, which highlights further change to the musical we all knew and loved:
“Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!” takes place after Finding Dory. The new story is told through the eyes of the “Tank Gang.” I guess they survived the bags.
“Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!” takes place after Finding Dory. The new story is told through the eyes of the “Tank Gang.” I guess they survived the bags. pic.twitter.com/s3hr4ONZRV
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 4, 2022
Still located at the Theater in the Wild in DinoLand U.S.A., the musical is now based after the events of Finding Dory (2016), starring Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks. In the movie’s post-credits scene, the Tank Gang is still trapped inside their (now covered in algae) plastic bags, reaching California one year after floating across the Pacific Ocean. The Finding Nemo Tank Gang is then picked up by staff members from the Marine Life Institute.
The theme park musical will now address this end scene of Finding Dory. The show theater will be themed to the Marine Life Institute, including a “LED video wall designed to visually extend the world created by the physical sets on stage – such as a 32-foot-long sunken submarine and a 15-foot-tall fish tank volcano.”
Disney had also previously confirmed that select musical numbers from the original show will remain in the upcoming version of the production, including “The Big Blue World.” The catchy song is also featured in EPCOT’s Seas With Nemo and Friends attraction.
Disney Live Entertainment worked in close collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios on the revamping of this Guest-favorite Walt Disney World show. The entertainment team developed a new aesthetic inspired by layered, cut paper sculptures. This resulted in a fresh and unique look while staying true to the design of the original Pixar Finding Nemo (2003) film.
The returning beloved show will also see a shortened run time, with Walt Disney World reducing the musical’s length from 40 minutes down to 25 minutes.
Disney has not yet announced an opening date for Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but stay tuned to Disney Tips for any future updates of its summer 2022 return.