WDW Magazine - - Helping Hands - BY KARYN LOCKE

When you start plan­ning a Walt Dis­ney World Va­ca­tion, be­gin­ning the plan­ning with a bud­get is gen­er­ally a good first rule of thumb. It’s once you’ve nar­rowed down lodg­ing op­tions, din­ing, and what type of tick­ets you’ll need is when you can be­gin to think about what to see and do, in­clud­ing live per­for­mances and shows.

Weigh­ing in whether to Scrooge or Splurge on live entertainment is also a fab idea: do you want to pay for tick­ets to see live shows, or is check­ing out the entertainment in the theme parks and at the re­sorts more your va­ca­tion­ing style? It’s a choice we all have to make and one that is eas­ily reme­died once you’ve got the facts down pat.

Get ready to Splurge…

Walt Dis­ney World al­ways goes above and beyond when it comes to live entertainment and ex­clu­sive shows are no ex­cep­tion.

At Dis­ney Springs, guests flock to hard-tick­eted shows like Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba. Lit­er­ally trans­lat­ing to “the party” in French, the show is the coolest, hippest, cir­cus-style entertainment on Dis­ney prop­erty and is per­fect for kids of all ages. Filled with clowns, jug­glers, trapeze artists and other per­form­ers rep­re­sent­ing 15 coun­tries, the show’s ticket prices be­gin at $59 per per­son, but can re­ally get up there de­pend­ing on where you’re will­ing to sit.

If your trav­el­ing party loves live mu­sic, it’s straight to House of Blues, also at Dis­ney Springs. Ev­ery Sunday the venue fea­tures a Gospel Brunch (now that’s some emo­tional mu­sic!) and international, as well as lo­cal, artists per­form through­out the week. While is brunch is a great time for ev­ery­one, both young and old, the con­certs at House of Blues is a rockin’ time with some pretty loud mu­sic, so keep that in mind if you have younger chil­dren with sen­si­tive ears.

Meals at House of Blues are mod­er­ately priced ($15 to $29.99 per adult) so you’ll want to take that pric­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion when de­cid­ing whether or not it’s worth the Splurge. But hey! You gotta eat! And if you’re look­ing to catch a con­cert while you’re there, re­mem­ber that’ll be an ad­di­tional cost, which varies de­pend­ing on the act.

Now on to the Scrooge…

The other side of the coin is catch­ing shows and live per­for­mances in the theme parks and at the re­sorts for free.

Each of Walt Dis­ney World’s four theme parks and the on­site re­sorts of­fer daily entertainment—all you need do is show up at the right time. The parks en­cour­age vis­i­tors to take-in the shows and whether it’s sched­uled, sit-down style per­for­mances like Beauty and the Beast or Fan­tas­mic! at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Studios, or catch­ing the elu­sive Di­vine at Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom that lets you walk up, check out the per­for­mance for a few min­utes, and then con­tinue on your merry way, these shows were cre­ated with fam­i­lies in mind and are short enough to grab kids’ at­ten­tion spans. LOVE that!

Ep­cot is also the park to visit if you want to take-in sev­eral shows in one day. Each coun­try in World Show­case of­fers per­for­mances that give trib­ute to its her­itage and roots (we al­ways have to stop and check out the Mat­sur­iza Taiko Drum­mers at the Ja­pan Pavil­ion and the Fife & Drum Corps at the Spirit of Amer­ica Pavil­ion) and what a way to get a les­son in world his­tory and cul­ture. The kids won’t even know they’re learn­ing!

Whether you choose to Scrooge or Splurge on Walt Dis­ney World entertainment, there’s no way you won’t have a blast once you hit the re­sort! Ev­ery show has that mag­i­cal Dis­ney style and feel, and your va­ca­tion is sure to be en­hanced by them.

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