Update: check the times before you go because they have already changed!
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! is open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! It’s an updated version of Finding Nemo – The Musical. I went to the final show on opening (reopening?) day. Here are a few thoughts.
I’ll start with a disclaimer. I don’t remember the original all that well. It had been years since I had seen it, even before the covid closure. I never had a problem with the show, but for some reason it usually did not fit into my plans. So I am not going to compare Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! with Finding Nemo – The Musical, because I’d be relying on a distant memory.
Currently, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! runs at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30. Always check the times when making your plans, because they could change. I didn’t arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom until about 4:10, and I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t make it to the final show, especially since it was opening day. It wasn’t a problem, there were still plenty of seats available when I arrived. I ended up sitting in the front row!
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! uses live actors and puppets to bring the story of Finding Nemo to life. I had heard that the updated show was going to lean more towards Finding Dory, but that isn’t the case. It’s 100 percent based on the first movie.
The actors make or break a show such as this one, and they definitely made Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! great! There was so much joy in the air. Since I sat in the front row I could see their smiles. It was also interesting to see just how the puppets operate. There is a lot of training that goes into bringing these beloved characters to life.
If you want to get lost in the fantasy of Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!, don’t sit too close to the front. When you’re in the front the actors are front and center. If your seat is further back it’s easier to focus on the puppets. That said, I’m glad that I sat where I did. I have a BA in Theater, and I will almost always pay attention to the actors who make the magic.
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! lasts about 25 minutes, which I think is the perfect length. Finding Nemo – The Musical was about 40 minutes, and to me it felt a little bit long. You’ll still see all of your favorite characters, including Nemo (obviously), Marlin, Dory, Bruce, Mr. Ray, and Crush. The way that the cast brings some of these characters to life is amazing!
I’m happy that Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! is open, and I highly recommend it. Lightning Lane is offered for those who buy Disney Genie+. The show that I went to wasn’t full, but a capacity day in the middle of the summer could be a different story.