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Disney Dreams That Soar Review and Viewing Tips

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This summer, Disney Springs is lighting up the sky with a nighttime spectacular celebrating Disney’s characters who soar through the sky, space, and our hearts! Eight hundred drones and a fun soundtrack featuring the music and voices we love bring Disney stories to life with images up to 400 feet tall, twice every night until September 2nd. Disney Dreams That Soar is fun, unique, and does not involve loud pyrotechnics. At just under 10 minutes long, it’s a perfect fit for families to cap off an evening at Disney Springs.

I was at the opening night of this show filled with Disney favorites, including, Tinkerbell, Dumbo, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, a couple of special Florida favorites, and so many more. In the parks, everyone understands that there will be a lot of people all viewing the fireworks or Fantasmic!, but I was surprised to have some of the same crowd-related issues when viewing Disney Dreams That Soar. My experience and recommendations are below.

The Opening Night Experience

Disney has said that the best viewing is along the water on the West Side of Disney Springs, and you might think that you just need to be in the area at the starting time. Alas, this is not true. Not only is the show not visible unless you have a clear view over Lake Buena Vista (where the drones fly), but there is an official process to get into the viewing area. When I arrived at 6:30 for the 9:00 premiere, I walked right up to the waterfront, planning to wait to the left of Summer House. I was surprised to see it was roped off, and I was directed to head down past the House of Blues.

A line was already forming for guests waiting for the show. There were about 30 people ahead of me, and we all waited as the line grew. At 7:45, we were led into the waterfront area. We were guided to fill the area from Aerophile (the balloon) to Cirque du Soleil. Waiting paid off, I had a perfect view along the railing because I had been in line since 6:40.

Disney Dreams That Soar, Guardians of the Galaxy segment

To exit, they dropped all the ropes, but it was so crowded that we were literally at a standstill, where nobody could move for a few minutes. When we could finally shuffle to the garage, it was very crowded. Disney Springs is a shopping mall, not a theme park, so the garage is not designed for everyone to leave at one time. I sat in my car for a bit because I couldn’t get out, and even then, traffic was crawling. I can usually be home from Disney Springs in 25 minutes; I didn’t get home until 11:00!

I suspect the crowds will not be this intense all summer. It was the premiere night, the last day of school for Orange County public schools, and the start of Memorial Day weekend. That is a lot of factors driving the crowds. However, we think this will be popular! It’s a great show in a location with no ticket prices and free parking. I’m hopeful that Disney will do a bit better with managing the exit traffic if the show continues to be very crowded; this could easily have been a first-night learning curve issue for them.

Our Review

Disney Dreams That Soar, Up segment

Reading the above, you might wonder if it’s worth the effort. If you’re going to be at Disney Springs for dinner, we think it’s worth making the effort to see the show. All the TouringPlans team members who have seen this show have loved it. Photos and video don’t do it justice; the lights are much brighter and the show feels more dynamic in person. That said, it’s ten minutes long. It might be worth making a plan to spend the evening in Disney Springs in order to see the show. But it’s probably not worth making a trip to Disney Springs just to see the show, if you have no other plans while you’re there.

Tips For Viewing Disney Dreams That Soar

Disney Dreams That Soar runs twice a night at 9:00 and 10:45 pm, weather permitting. The show will be in place through Labor Day, September 2, 2024. If possible, you may want to see the show on a weeknight when local crowds should be smaller.

Getting There

The Orange Garage is closest to the show, but the Lime Garage is also convenient. If you’re staying on property, consider taking the bus. The Sassagoula River Ferry Boats offer transportation from Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, and Port Orleans to Disney Springs, however when the water table is low you may find that they are not running. If that’s the case during your visit, you’ll have bus service from those resorts to Disney Springs.

When to Arrive

Plan to arrive at the queuing area by 7:45 for the 9:00 show. If you want to have nobody in front of you, arrive at Disney Springs earlier and keep an eye on the line. If you are waiting for the 10:45 viewing, plan to be in line by 9:30. If you don’t have kids (or adults) who need an early bedtime, the 10:45 show should be less crowded. And on a weeknight, you should be able to arrive later and still get a great spot.

Viewing area in red; arrows indicate queue locations in use on opening night.

For efficiency, grab a mobile order meal to-go and picnic while you wait in line. If you’ve already eaten, you’ll find merchandise carts with ice cream, drinks, and bubble wands stationed nearby, and House of Blues had a bar set up.

Only three Disney Springs locations (Amorette’s Patisserie, BB Wolf Sausage Co., and D-Luxe Burger) allow you to mobile order a meal through the Disney World app. However, several Quick Service locations offer mobile ordering through their own website and app. This list includes Chicken Guy, the Polite Pig, Earl of Sandwich, and Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza,

Polite Pig is one of the Disney locations that offers mobile ordering through its own site. (photo by Scott Sanders)

Another option is to make reservations for the Summer House or Jaleo and ask for the patio. Just be aware that patio seating is not guaranteed. This is especially true since Jaleo is offering a Disney Dreams That Soar Tasting Experience that can be booked on Open Table. You will be able to see the show from the waterside seating at some other restaurants, but it will not be a head-on view and the images may appear distorted.

This view from a “not best viewing” location includes flipped images.
After the Show

Consider hanging back a bit and enjoying a view of the water while the crowd disperses. If you’re heading for your car, gauge the crowds. Consider taking a bit of time to walk, grab a dessert, or do some shopping while the parking garages empty.

Fun Facts

  • There are 800 drones.
  • The show is 400 feet high.
Some scenes let you see the full 400 fit height of the show
  • The drones are stationed/staged at the golf course nearby.
  • There is an original soundtrack.
  • There are 24 different Disney stories represented.
  • 38 characters have either their voice or likeness in the show.
  • Figment and Orange Bird are there to represent Florida!
  • MagicBand+ will light up with the show.
  • If you’re staying at Saratoga Springs, the view is pretty good! But viewing is intended for guests of the resort and we saw wristbands being checked.

Will you get a chance to see Disney Dreams That Soar this summer? Let us know in the comments!

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Amy Schinner

Amy Schinner is a lifelong fan of Disney, a mom, and an advocate for people with special needs. She loves spinning in teacups, screaming down Mt. Everest, and exploring it with her family. Her joy is helping families vacation and create memories together because everyone deserves some pixie dust!

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