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Best Broadway Disney Musicals

Published on: Sep 8, 2022
By: Kathryn Willingham
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Broadway Disney Musicals

See Broadway the Disney way!  A great choice for families and kids of all ages, Broadway adaptations of beloved Disney movies allow fans to see their favorite stories and characters live. Ever since Disney started producing musicals with Beauty and the Beast in 1994, there has been at least one Disney musical running on Broadway. Here’s what you can watch now – live or from the comfort of your couch!

Disney Musicals Currently Running on Broadway



THE LION KING opened in 1997 and won 6 Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical. It is one of the longest running shows in Broadway theatre history and is also the biggest box-office hit of all time and consistently one of the most popular musicals on Broadway and the West End. With music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, The Lion King includes the hit songs “Hakuna Matata”, “The Circle of Life”, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” along with songs written exclusively for the stage show. Time Out New York called it, “a gorgeous celebration of color and movement.”



ALADDIN is currently playing at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street and is based on the beloved animated film of the same name with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Watch as Aladdin discovers a “Whole New World” in Agrabah when he finds a lamp, a genie, a flying carpet, and a chance to make all his wishes come true. The Hollywood Reporter calls it, “A family friendly hit!”

What Other Disney Musicals Have Played on Broadway?

Frozen Disney Musical


FROZEN is based on the hugely popular Disney movie of the same name and has music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee. The show opened on Broadway in 2018 and has gone on to have West End and international productions. See your favorite characters of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven come to life in a magic-filled spectacle that’s great for all ages. NY1 said, “there is a special magic that only live theatre can produce, and it’s working a charming spell on the Broadway stage…Kids will love it. But the big question: Can “Frozen” melt the hearts of sophisticated theatergoers? Thanks to those talented sisters [Anna and Elsa], it did mine.”

Mary Poppins Disney Musical


MARY POPPINS, based on the Best Picture nominated film starring Julie Andrews, has music and lyrics by the Sherman Brothers (additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe) and a book written by Julian Fellowes, who wrote Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age, and Gosford Park. It started on the West End before playing on Broadway in 2006, where it received seven Tony Award nominations. Variety said the musical is “bursting with dazzling stagecraft, stunning design, old-fashioned storytelling virtues and genuine charm.”

Tarzan Disney Musical


TARZAN, based on the Disney animated film of the same name, featured songs by Phil Collins and a book by David Henry Hwang. This Broadway musical opened in 2006 before going on to have international and regional productions, and it includes beloved songs from the movie like "You'll Be In My Heart," "Two Worlds," and "Strangers Like Me." 

Beauty and the Beast Disney Musical


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was Disney’s first Broadway show. With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, this musical opened in 1994, was nominated for nine Tony Awards, and ran until 2007. It remains one of Broadway's most successful shows. Susan Egan starred as Belle and Terrence Mann starred as The Beast.

Other Disney Theatrical Group Adaptations

King David


KING DAVID, with music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Tim Rice, was the first production to play at the New Amsterdam Theatre after its completed renovation in 1997. This concert based on the Biblical books Samuel and 1 Chronicles was partially staged, and the cast included Judy Kuhn, Roger Bart, and Alice Ripley. 



AIDA is based on the opera of the same name by Antonio Ghislanzoni. This Disney Theatrical Group produced musical features music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang and opened on Broadway in 2000, where it ran until 2004. It won four Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Original Score. Heather Headley starred as the titular Aida and won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The New York Times said, “[Headley] has fire, self-possession and an uncompromising sense of purpose. And although she may have goddesslike attributes, she also gives off a purely human flesh-and-blood intensity…she is simply splendid.”

Peter and the Starcatcher


PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is based on the novel Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It was adapted for the stage by Rick Elice and follows Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Hook, and Mrs. Darling before the events in J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy. The play first premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in 2009, then played off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop in 2011 before transferring to Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 2012. It was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won five. The New York Times called it an “ecstatic production…‘Peter’ is all about storytelling as a lively (and live) art, and the energized complicity that’s forged between the teller and the listener.”

Sister Act the Musical


SISTER ACT was produced in association with Disney Theatrical Productions and began at the Pasadena Playhouse in California in 2006 before having productions on the West End in 2009, where it was nominated for four Olivier Awards, and on Broadway in 2011, where it was nominated for five Tony Awards. It is based on the hit film starring Whoopi Goldberg, who also produced the stage show along with Stage Entertainment. The NY Daily News called it “a feel-good crowd-pleaser worth celebrating.”

Disney Musicals Available to Stream Online

Newsies the Musical


NEWSIES THE MUSICAL was filmed live at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. This David and Goliath story follows a group of teenage “newsies” as they stand off against two publishing juggernauts trying to raise newspaper distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense. The Hollywood Reporter called the musical “inspiration storytelling in the best possible sense.” You can also watch the original Disney movie musical the Broadway show is based on, starring a young Christian Bale.

The Little Mermaid Live!


THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE! stars Auli’I Cravalho as the iconic Disney Princess Ariel, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric, John Stamos as Chef Louis, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastian and Amber Riley as The Emcee (a new character). This star-studded event based on the beloved Disney film was directed by Hamish Hamilton and was a hybrid musical/film production – the animated film played while live musical performances from the movie and from the Broadway production were performed. The AV Club called it “a love letter to Disney fans.”



There are rumors that the musical Aladdin, filmed live from the West End, will be added to Disney Plus soon. In the meantime, you can also watch the pro shot of Hamilton. Disney Plus also has a great selection of live action movie musicals including: Annie, Into the Woods, The Greatest Showman, and Mary Poppins. And don’t forget the animated classics like The Lion King, The Jungle Book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Sleeping Beauty and newer hits like Moana and Encanto which both feature music by Lin Manuel Miranda. Disney Plus even includes Disney Channel movie musicals like Camp Rock, Teen Beach Movie, and High School Musical, which has now been adapted into a popular musical theatre stage show often performed by high school and regional theaters. 

Who Produces Disney Musicals on Broadway?

The Disney Theatrical Group, or Disney on Broadway, is headed by Thomas Schumacher and was founded in 1993. It’s been producing Broadway musicals ever since and is responsible for all of Disney’s musical theater productions on Broadway. It is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios along with companies like Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, LucasFilm, and Walt Disney Pictures.

Does Disney World Have Musicals?

Yes! There are many musicals, stage shows, and live performances throughout the park.

Family-Friendly Plays and Musicals  

Disney shows are a great first port of call for families looking to see a Broadway show together - and there are many more shows to choose from.  If you’re looking for a family-friendly Broadway show, check out our article on Best Broadway Shows for Kids!

Kathryn Willingham

Head of Creative Development at Jean Doumanian Productions

Kathryn Willingham has worked in entertainment for over ten years, and recent credits include: Co-producer of SHRINK currently streaming on Peacock, Associate Producer of the independent film UNA, and Creative Executive on multiple theatrical productions including HANGMEN by Martin McDonagh on Broadway, NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour Off-broadway and Associate on productions EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble. She was Producer of Todd Almond’s musical travelogue “Wyoming and Parts of Kansas” and Production Coordinator for Karen O and KK Barrett's “Stop the Virgens.”


Education: B.A. in English, Literature & Creative Writing from Rhodes College
Knowledge: Theatrical Production


Sep 8, 2022

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