The Walt Disney World Resort has it all when it comes to entertainment. Attractions, character interactions, restaurants offering every kind of dining experience, shows, parades, and firework spectaculars; there really is something for everyone. In fact, these are the things that most Guests associate with Walt Disney World, but there’s plenty more to experience and enjoy, that some Guests may not even know about.
When it comes to live music, there is plenty to stop by, listen to, watch and enjoy at Walt Disney World. Found both inside and outside of the Disney Parks, Guests don’t have to miss out if they don’t plan on purchasing and using theme park tickets during their Disney experience. Let’s look at all of the places that Guests can listen to and watch a live performance from talented musicians.
Magic Kingdom Park
There are three opportunities to enjoy live music in Magic Kingdom, and each help to bring magic to Guests’ Disney experience:
- The Dapper Dans – this famous barber-shop quartet brings 20 minutes of joy to every Guest who stops by Main Street, U.S.A. Look out for them in colored pinstripe suits and straw hats. Watch in awe as The Dapper Dans perform a cappella renditions of Disney classics and American standards. The Dapper Dans are also known to provide seasonal performances: dressing in festive colored suits during the Christmas season, and performing as the Cadaver Dans in Frontierland during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
- Casey’s Corner Pianist – ever walked passed the piano at the side of Casey’s Corner and wondered why it’s there? The Casey’s Corner Pianist performs here between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each day. Enjoy ragtime tunes played by a dazzling pianist whilst eating corn dog nuggets.
- Main Street Philharmonic – this legendary marching band performs on Main Street, U.S.A., U.S.A. and at Storybook Circus in Fantasyland throughout the day. The Main Street Philharmonic is also known to walk the parade route ahead of the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Easily identified by their red and white uniforms, the 12-piece brass and percussion ensemble are a wonderful thing to see. Listen to their renditions of favorite Disney classics and ragtime swing songs. You may even hear the ‘Mickey Mouse Club March’.
EPCOT offers the most live music performances of all of the Walt Disney World Parks. In particular, the Festivals are celebrated throughout the year in the Disney Park provide plenty of musical opportunities to Guests of the Walt Disney World Resort. Here’s a break down of what live music opportunities there are to see at each Festival:
- The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival brings the Eat to the Beat Concert Series to the America Gardens Theatre, with performances every evening of the Festival. Each year, a star-studded line up features, including favorites such as Hanson, Boys || Men, and Billy Ocean.
- During the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, the Candlelight Processional takes place each evening. A celebrity narrator tells the Christmas story with the help of a choir and and an orchestra. Favorite narrators include Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Gad and Neil Patrick Harris.
- The DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series takes to the stage of the Adventure Gardens Theatre during the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. This is your chance to see show-stopping numbers performed by an incredible cast from legendary Disney musicals.
- During the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, Guests can enjoy the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Previous stars have included The Pointer Sisters, Kool & The Gang, Plain White T’s and Little River Band.
While the Festivals bring limited edition performances to EPCOT, Guests can see live performances throughout the year as well. There are several live music events to see around World Showcase, including:
- Canadian Bands at the Canada Mill Stage in World Showcase. Bands that feature vary throughout the year, so you can enjoy a variety of musical performances if you are visiting at different times during the year.
- The Rose & Crown Pub isn’t just a place to stop for a British drink or some pub grub; it’s also the place to see The Rose & Crown Pub Musician play. They feature daily during the afternoon, from 1:30 p.m. to around 7 p.m. Get ready to sing along to British tunes whilst enjoying a pint or two.
- Have you ever noticed the Japanese Taiko drums that are part of the large building at the front of the Japan Pavilion? Well, they aren’t just for show! They feature in Matsuriza, where Japanese drummers perform an ancient form of drumming. Prepare to be amazed by the physical stamina that is required to produce the thundering sounds from the Taiko drums.
- the Voices of Liberty can be found in the rotunda of The American Adventure Pavilion. Be inspired by the pristine harmonies of the talented performers. The Pavilion provides perfect acoustics that only enhance the stunning performance Guests can witness. If you’re visiting during the Holiday Season, you won’t want to miss the Voices of Liberty – Dickens Carolers.
- Make your way round to the Mexico Pavilion to enjoy the sounds of the Music of Mexico. Mariachi Cobre and Marimba de las Americas are two bands that create sounds that are typical of Latin America. They usually stop by the mosaic wall that looks towards the Norway Pavilion.
There’s one other musical performance to find in EPCOT theme park. The JAMMitors are known to perform every hour from 9:15 a.m. daily. Watch as a clean-up crew break out in syncopated sounds, using trash cans for their instruments. You’ll find the JAMMitors in World Discover, close to Club Cool.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
There are a variety of musical performances found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Each performer helps to create the ambience of the land that Guests are visiting in the Disney Park.
Beginning in Discovery Island, the Viva Gaia Street Band are known for their brightly coloured costumes, incredible dance moves and upbeat tunes. They indeed turn Discovery Island into a Caribbean street party. Be sure to join the party throughout the day. You may even get the chance to dance with favorite Disney friends, and Kevin from Up! (2009).
Moving through Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Asia, there’s a small stage near the Yak & Yet Local Food Cafes. Chakranadi is a talented musician that fills Anandapur with a mesmerising performance on the sitar, producing the charming sound of traditional Indian melodies. Performances by Chakranadi run throughout each day, from Thursday’s through Monday’s.
Head to Africa to enjoy two other musical performances in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Watch a magical musical play a hand-crafted African harp that uses 21 strings, known as Kora Tinga Tinga. Performances take place on the hour throughout the day. You’ll also want to see the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe perform their rhythms, imitating the rapturous beat of the Congo. Their costumes, instruments, and performance create an impressive show for all Guests.
The Disney shopping and dining district is the perfect place to take some time away from the Disney Parks. Whilst Guests will probably think of visiting Disney Springs to browse the stores or dine in fantastic restaurants, it’s also the place to enjoy some live music during the evening. It’s fair to say that the neighborhoods of Disney Springs come alive with music when the sun is setting and beyond.
Here are all of the places that Guests can enjoy live music at Disney Springs:
- The Advent Health Waterside Stage at the Marketplace is one of the most prominent stages at Disney Springs. It’s the place to catch live music from bands and musicians during the evening and dance troupes during the day. Grab a drink and snack from nearby stands, and take a seat in the open-air venue.
- Dockside Margaritas at the Marketplace provides the perfect combination of handcrafted margaritas with an intimate music venue. We recommend getting a seat overlooking Lake Buena Vista just before sunset to admire the stunning views before the live music begins.
- Raglan Road at The Landing is a great place to dine on award-winning cuisine, sip on alcoholic beverages, and enjoy live performances from talented singer-songwriters and energetic bands, accompanied by Irish dancers too. The main stage is located inside the pub, and the patio stage can be found opposite Gideon’s Bakehouse.
- Paradisio 37 at The Landing comes alive with Latin music during the evening. This is the place to visit if you are hoping to take to the dance floor!
- The BOATHOUSE at The Landing features musical performances every evening from 8 p.m. till midnight. The combination of waterfront dining with great music makes for a great dinner spot.
- Waterview Park at The Landing is a mini-amphitheater with a stunning view. Laid-back evening performances can be enjoyed here, with Lake Buena Vista as the backdrop. Time it right, and you may even see the Disney Enchantment fireworks in the distance. Guests who are having dinner at The BOATHOUSE, and are sitting at a table on the porch near the amphicar landing, may get to enjoy the live music from Waterview Park.
- Springs Overlook can be found in Town Center near D-Luxe Burger. This spot is often occupied by top-class musicians who delight Guests with beautiful renditions of we–loved tunes.
- House of Blues Music Hall is a spectacular venue that hosts live concerts and special events on the West Side of Disney Springs. Make sure to check the calendar for upcoming schedules and to purchase tickets for events, including the World-Famous Sunday Gospel Brunch.
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes at West Side isn’t only a place to dine and bowl. Visit from Friday to Sunday to enjoy live music at this venue.
- Orange Node at the West Side can be found near the Orange Garage Exit. Local musicians and performers provide entertainment for Guests at this spot during the evening.
- Riverboat Square at The Landing can be found outside Paddlefish. The plaza is often filled with the sounds of an acoustic guitar or is filled with unique street performers.
- Sunshine Highline at the West Side can be found just outside Starbucks. A variety of live music fills this space each night under the elevated railway track.
At the end of Disney’s BoardWalk, opposite the Atlantic Dance Hall, is Jellyrolls. Open from 7 p.m. through to 1:45 a.m. each evening; this lively piano bar is the place to visit after the Disney Parks have closed. You’ll be mesmerized and entertained by the musical maestros who can play practically everything on the piano. Order your favorite cocktail, snack on popcorn, and write your requests on a napkin whilst showing your appreciation for the evening’s entertainment. It’s certainly one of our favorite spots to spend some time in Walt Disney World.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The lobby at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a beautiful place to sit and relax. It can only be made more perfect with the relaxing melodies played by the Grand Floridian Lobby Pianist. Make sure to stop by and enjoy performances beginning at 3 p.m. daily. You may even request a song to be played!
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
The River Roost Lounge at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort comes alive each evening, Wednesday through Saturday, from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. Yehaa Bob Jackson takes to the stage with his wacky piano playing and singing, mixed with a little bit of comedy too. Arrive a little earlier than showtime to secure your spot in the cozy lounge and place your first drinks order.
Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
You may associate Scat Cat’s Club with the famous Mickey Beignets, but there are other reasons to stop by this part of Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. Scat Cat’s Club Lounge is based upon a New Orleans lounge, serving up Southern-inspired speciality cocktails, craft beers and appetizers, alongside live jazz music. Performances take place on Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
How many of these experiences have you checked off your list? Are there any that you’ve planned into your next Disney vacation? If you are interested in enjoying any or all, of these Disney experiences, make sure to check the My Disney Experience App for up-to-date schedules. You won’t be disappointed by what you see and hear!