When most people think of Walt Disney World, they think of rides that are based on their favorite movies — both past and present. But zooming through Paris with Remy or riding on Slinky Dog’s back along a rollercoaster track aren’t the the only ways to pay tribute to the talented animators behind these films.
One of the most often overlooked attractions at Epcot is the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. Not only is it a great place to catch some much needed A/C on a hot Florida day, but it’s also a fun 4D show for all ages as you take in three shorts. They might be ones you already know and love, or they might become new favorites.
If you’re ready for the show, join us for our guide to the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival.
Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival Quick Facts
Description: The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival is a short showing of three animated shorts, complete with special in-theater effects and a pre-show exhibit giving a peek into the making of these films.
The Disney & Pixar Film Festival can be found in the Imagination Pavilion, right next to Journey Into Imagination with Figment.
How to Experience the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival has a Standby Line and a Lightning Lane. There is no Single Rider Line here.
Though you’ll find the lowest crowds here first thing in the morning, this attraction is never really too crowded. Lines won’t usually exceed 20 minutes — even at the busiest times of the year, the longest you’ll have to wait is likely for the current show in progress to end.
This is good news, of course; that means it can be a short wait and a great attraction to check out in the middle of the day, when lines for other attractions are at their longest (and the sun is at its most powerful).
Do I Need To Use Genie+ for the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival?
While Genie+ is available here, we don’t recommend that you use it for this attraction. There are more popular rides at Epcot that your selection would be better spent on, and it’s not very likely that grabbing a Lightning Lane here would speed things up much.
Be sure to check out our Epcot touring plans for more advice on making the most of your Genie+ purchase.
Rider Switch/Child Swap
Since this attraction is a show for all ages, there is no Rider Switch available here.
If you have little ones who may not be able to sit still for a show that’s nearly 20 minutes long, you may want to skip this one. But if you want to give it a shot, it’s easy enough to slip out of the exit without disturbing others if you find that the kids you’re with are getting a bit squirmy.
What to Expect When You Visit
The queue here begins outdoors, though you’ll likely be able to head directly inside when you arrive.
While you wait for the show to start, you’ll hang out in a pre-show area that has benches, along with artwork featuring Mickey Mouse and the shorts being shown at the festival on the wall.
In fact, just inside the Magic Eye Theater, Mickey holds a meet and greet for fans while they wait during certain times of the day, and the line here is usually shorter than you’d find in other areas in the park where you can meet the mouse in charge.
Once you’re through the turnstiles, you’ll enter a pre-show holding area where you’ll wait for the doors to open, at which point you can find a seat in the theater.
Guests using a wheelchair or ECV will be able to remain in them for the show. There is a wheelchair row inside the theater that will allow a companion to sit next to the guest using the wheelchair.
Both video captioning and handheld captioning are available here for guests with hearing disabilities.
During the Experience
Once seated in the theater, you’ll be treated to three different shorts:
- “Get a Horse,” a short that stars Mickey, Minnie, and friends and starts out as a classic black and white short that turns out to have a few colorful plot twists along the way.
- “Piper,” a Pixar short about a baby bird learning how to find her own food.
- “Feast,” a Walt Disney Animation short about a man who adopts a dog who ultimately helps him find love.
This is a 4D show, so you will be given 3D glasses to wear when you enter the theater. Throughout the show, you’ll be treated to different in-theater effects that will make this experience something totally unique from just watching these shorts at home.
Is the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival kid-friendly?
The film festival is kid-friendly, and all three shorts are appropriate for little ones to see. There are dark and loud moments that could frighten some children, but the shorts themselves don’t include scary moments.
For more guidance on traveling with kids, check out our guide to what may scare little ones at Disney World.
If you’re traveling with a stroller, you’ll need to park it before entering the theater. There are designated stroller parking areas both outside the attraction and at the nearby Journey Into Imagination with Figment.
Be sure to take any valuables with you before heading inside, and you may want to cover your stroller, just in case one of those pesky Florida rainstorms pops up while you’re indoors and enjoying the show.
Before this building housed the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival, the Magic Eye Theater was actually home to the show Magic Journeys when it opened in 1982.
Most famously, the theater showed Captain EO, the popular 4D film starring Michael Jackson that debuted in 1986. In 1994, the show was replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, based on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise.
Captain EO would briefly return to the theater as a tribute to Jackson after his death in 2010, and closed for good in 2015.
On December 23, 2015, the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival officially opened to the public, debuting with the shorts “Get a Horse,” “La Luna,” and “For the Birds.”
Other Fun Details
- The seats in the theater feature hydraulics underneath them, allowing them to move to add another layer of immersion to the shorts on screen.
- You can meet Mickey inside the theater without watching the show — in fact, this can be a huge time saver for those who want to make it a priority to snap a picture with him during their visit to Epcot.