Disney Dreams That Soar Drone Show Review: Is It Worth a Visit to Disney Springs?

    The Disney Dreams That Soar drone show has officially debuted at Walt Disney World’s shopping and dining complex, Disney Springs, and we were in attendance for opening night. The show runs twice nightly, and will be performed through September 2nd as part of a limited-time summer offering. In our Disney Dreams That Soar drone show review, we’ll cover the basics of the show, offer some photos and full video of the show, and try to answer if it’s worth a visit to Disney Springs during your next Walt Disney World vacation.

    Disney Dreams That Soar Full Show Video

    Here’s a look at the Disney Dreams That Soar drone show from the West Side viewing area along Lake Buena Vista. The show is viewable from many locations around Disney Springs (more on that in the coming days), but the preferred viewing area is from the West Side of Disney Springs.

    Disney Dreams That Soar Viewing Areas

    As we mentioned, the Disney Dreams That Soar drone show can be seen high above Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs, and a proper viewing area is available along the shoreline in the Disney Springs West Side.

    In the photo below, we’ve outlined the relevant areas for the Disney Dreams That Soar drone show. In short, the show is performed completely over the water, and it reaches more than 400 feet into the sky. It should be viewable from a few different locations around Disney Springs, but Disney has created a somewhat limited viewing area.

    The viewing area, designated in orange below, will be not only the best vantage point for the show, but also where the audio infrastructure has been installed to allow for the best viewing experience. There isn’t a lot of waterfront viewing outside of the orange viewing area that isn’t part of a dining location, so we expect that the formal viewing area will be quite popular in the opening days of the show.

    In terms of the actual logistics of entering the viewing area, the viewing area is gated – meaning that it is blocked off by Cast Members and guests are required to join a queue to enter. Our hope is that this process is only for the initial showings, which will be highly attended by locals, and an uptick in guests for Memorial Day weekend. Crowds were high for opening night, leading to significant foot traffic congestion, and issues leaving the parking areas at the end of the night. This should moderate over the next week or so.

    In order to join the queue, head to either the House of Blues water tower, or toward the West Side Starbucks/Aerophile blue balloon. Both areas were being used as entrances during the debut performance last night, but it’s possible that Disney adjusts operating procedures in the coming days.

    Disney Dreams That Soar Description & Photos

    The show starts with the fleet of drones, bathed in blue lights, making their way from the staging area in the Strawberry parking lot near Cirque du Soliel over to the performance area in the sky above Lake Buena Vista. The visible entrance for the drones is somewhat unique but plays nicely with the theme of the theme of flight. Whereas a typical drone show might use the cover of night to get the drones into position, Disney Dreams That Soar showcases the gentle rise of the drones into the night sky.

    During their flight, a soft version of the Dreams That Soar original song plays. It’s actually quite a beautiful moment, and is followed by narration:

    Good evening. Right here, underneath the starlit sky, a timeless adventure is about to unfold – inspired by the Magic Makers, heroes, and dreamers who have come before.

    Now, unleash your heart, let your imagination fly, and discover just where you’ll go, as we present: Disney Dreams That Soar!

    The first visual presented in the show is that of the Big Ben clock tower (12 feet taller than the actual Big Ben clock tower), seemingly brought to life by pixie dust from Tinker Bell before the first character appears in the sky – Peter Pan! You Can Fly acts as the soundtrack for the opening moment, with some speaking parts by Peter Pan and friends.

    As Peter Pan fades away, the drone swarm begins assembling into a new shape. Before the next character appears, spotlights from the shoreline of Saratoga Springs in the distance flood the night sky, providing a visual more dynamic than drones alone. The next character to appear is Dumbo, continuing the theme of flight. Casey Jr. (coming down the track) serves as the soundtrack for Dumbo. The show reaches its tallest point during the Dumbo scene at 354 feet.

    As Dumbo the Flying Elephant disappears, a single balloon from the Dumbo scene is met by a dozen other balloons to form the transportation method for the house from UP! More floodlights appear as the 321-foot-tall house floats above the lake. Quotes from the movie remind you that “Adventure is out there!” and that “The wilderness must be explored!” Married Life plays in the background.

    A brief appearance (and roar) from an Alebrije acts as our transition into a lengthy Coco scene, featuring Dante the multi-colored dog that transforms into an alebrije himself as spotlights add to the burst of color.

    Fans of Wall-E will be happy to the trash-compacting robot joined by Eve in a scene that allows the two floating characters to dance around each other as they get closer and appear to merge. It’s a beautiful scene that uses the music just as much as the visuals to create a loving moment between the two robots. This is probably the singular scene during the entire show that showcases a 3D effect as the robots spin in the sky.

    Next thing we know, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan can be heard, before the imposing sight of a 213-foot-tall Death Star appears (larger than Spaceship Earth), almost as if exiting hyperspace right in the atmosphere above Disney Springs. Darth Vader’s iconic labored breathing combines with red lighting along the shores of Saratoga Springs in the distance. Classic Star Wars music is heard as drones work together to create an impressive effect simulating blaster fire in a good versus evil attack on the Death Star.

    Baymax is the next Disney character to rise some 328 feet above guests. Starting out with his typical healthcare companion look, Baymax then transforms into his red suit, spreading his wings and appearing to fly into the night sky at the direction of Hiro. Baymax reminds us that he’s actually a Marvel superhero, which works as a great transition into the next scene. As Baymax disappears, the sound of him deflating draws some laughs from the crowd.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy are up next, starting with a depiction of the Milano – the ship used by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course, the Guardians of the Galaxy are closely associated with music, so a mixtape appears before silhouettes of our heroes are displayed against a multi-colored wall that creates perhaps the biggest scene in the show.

    The brief appearance of Buzz Lightyear ends the single-IP scenes, instead transitioning into a montage of various Disney characters associated with flying or flight.

    Following the appearance of Buzz Lightyear, the Disney Dreams That Soar original soundtrack kicks off, and character montages begin. The following characters appear, in order: Mary Poppins, Zero, Eliot, the Magic Carpet, Sisu, Ray, Moongirl, Flora, Fauna, & Merryweather, FIGMENT, The Mandalorian, Grogu, Launchpad McQuack, ORANGE BIRD, Pegasus, Atta, Morph from Treasure Planet, The Rocketeer, Genie, Star from Wish, and Tinker Bell!

    Here are the lyrics to the Disney Dreams That Soar original song:

    There’s a place beyond the sky,
    where your stories come alive,
    and with a leap of faith, you might find your spirit guide

    A whole new world, full of hope,
    where new beginnings never get old,
    you can light the way that seems impossible

    If you’re feeling small, you can fly away,
    a new adventure’s coming your way,
    and tomorrow’s always brighter than yesterday

    Let’s go!
    Right where you wanna be,
    where the magic feels like family,
    and you can wish upon a star and never look back

    Let’s go!
    To the place where dreams come true,
    where you can be you and the hero too
    This is the moment, we’ve all been waiting for

    Just imagine where you’ll go, with Dreams That Soar!

    Use the thunder in your heart,
    To prepare you for the dark,
    Because the path you take,
    ends far from where you’ll start

    When it’s time to spread your wings,
    You’ll see that everything’s in reach
    You can change the world if you just believe

    If you’re feeling small, you can fly away,
    a new adventure’s coming your way,
    and tomorrow’s always brighter than yesterday

    Let’s go!
    Right where you wanna be,
    where the magic feels like family,
    and you can wish upon a star and never look back

    Let’s go!
    To the place where dreams come true,
    where you can be you and the hero too
    This is the moment, we’ve all been waiting for

    Just imagine where you’ll go, with Dreams That Soar!

    The logo for the show then appears and the 9-minute show draws to an end. The narrator concludes by saying “Remember, there’s no limit to how far you can go, when you have Dreams That Soar”.

    The show is 524 feet wide – the length of 2.5 monorails!

    Is Disney Dreams That Soar Worth a Visit to Disney Springs?

    Ultimately, the question that we’re trying to answer is if it’s worth a visit to Disney Springs to watch the Disney Dreams That Soar drone show. The short answer is yes in most cases, and here’s why.

    Disney Dreams That Soar is Walt Disney World’s first real attempt at a modern drone show. We’ve seen some pretty stunning imagery out of Disneyland Paris, and we imagine that Walt Disney World execs are eager to see how drones can be used at The Most Magical Place on Earth as well. Yes, this drone show is presented for free outside of the theme park, which may undercut the perceived value a bit, but there is an original song and a cohesive theme throughout.

    Disney has previously presented a drone show at Disney Springs called Starbright Holidays back in late 2016. The show was actually a first for not only Walt Disney World, but really the United States. As such, it was more of a proof of concept than anything else. The imagery from Starbright left lots to be desired, and Disney didn’t really invest to a level that would be required for a nighttime spectacular. To be clear, Disney Dreams That Soar is not a theme park-level nighttime spectacular, but it is far more advanced than Starbright Holidays.

    A Christmas Tree in Starbright Holidays drone show (2016)

    To that end, Disney Dreams That Soar is probably worth your time on the novelty alone. There’s a good chance that this will be the first time that you’ve seen a drone show in person, and it’s pretty impressive. Disney employs the use of 800 drones for the show, each about 1 foot wide, and while we certainly found ourselves wanting even more drones, it was a great first effort, and hopefully the start of some creative uses of drones in future nighttime entertainment.

    Now, we should caveat this by saying that Disney Dreams That Soar shouldn’t take priority over actual nighttime spectaculars such as Happily Ever After or Luminous. Those are big budget spectaculars that won’t be matched by a drone show, inside or outside of a theme park.

    However, if you find yourself at the end of your Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom day, it might be worth popping over to Disney Springs to check out Disney Dreams That Soar, especially if you’ve already seen Fantasmic or are not planning to on your visit. There is no nighttime entertainment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the projection shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are just ok.

    If you’re at Disney Springs anyway, it’s certainly worth spending 30-45 minutes waiting for a good view along the West Side waterfront viewing location.

    We should also caveat this by noting that Disney Dreams That Soar has a 9-minute runtime. That’s pretty short when compared to the effort that you’ll go through to see the show if you’re headed to Disney Springs only for the show. In the coming days, we plan on grabbing more photos from different vantage points around Disney Springs to give you an idea of what’s possible to see from different viewing areas beyond just the designated viewing area in the Disney Springs West Side – we don’t necessarily expect great views.

    To wrap this article up, we’re very happy to see drones finally make their way to Walt Disney World, and we hope that they are not a limited-time offering. While Disney Springs might need a summer boost, Disney’s Animal Kingdom desperately needs a reason to stay open past sunset and an empty amphitheater that is a waste of space at the moment. It’s honestly pretty wild that a Walt Disney World theme park consistently closes before sunset and has no plans for nighttime entertainment. A drone show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be pretty great.

    Another spot where we’d love to see a drone show is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Years ago, Disney World abandoned the proper fireworks launch site on the west side of World Drive. When thinking about what might be possible, a launch site from the shuttered Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser could provide some amazing views from within Batuu. Views from in front of the Chinese Theater wouldn’t be any more skewed than they were with the World Drive fireworks launch site. Come on Disney, give us a real Star Wars nighttime show again!

    All this to say: we hope that this is just the start. Drones are the answer for Disney Springs this summer, and the Disney Dreams That Soar show makes Disney Springs worth a visit. While drones are not the answer for all nighttime entertainment, they are a tool that we hope Disney World continues to utilize beyond the current September 2nd end date for the Disney Dreams That Soar drone show.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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    5 COMMENTS

      • Check the Disney Springs website for showtimes on the day of your visit, but right now it’s scheduled for 9pm and 10:45pm

      • The show may be delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions. The 9pm show last night was too windy. The 10:45pm show was presented as normal

        • It would have been nice for them to have announced that as the reasoning, or at least have shared it with cast members to tell disappointed guests who were leaving if all the announcements are pre-programmed. It was not a high-wind day, so with the show being new no one would have expected that to be the reason.
          To lighten the mood, we asked a cast member about our fast pass for the show being canceled & his cute reply was that he could only guarantee us a full refund of our ticket pricing.

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