Nostalgic Disney Theme Park Shows on Discovery Plus


As a young (obsessed) Disney fan, I loved watching Samantha Brown’s Walt Disney World TV Specials on the Travel Channel, or other similar Discovery Network series that gave behind the scenes looks at the Disney theme parks. So even though I already own a Disney+, and a Netflix subscription, I was particularly excited for the release of the Discovery+ streaming service in January 2021. While not all of my favorite Disney theme park specials have been added to Discovery Plus yet, there are enough on the streaming service currently to satisfy the craving for nostalgic Disney parks content for now. 

Right now, if you only have time to watch one, I think the best Disney themed episode on Discovery Plus is definitely Unwrapped Season 4, Episode 20. It’s classic Disney nostalgia crammed full with shots of the parks, and behind the scenes looks at some of the most famous Disney foods. But besides Unwrapped, there are also Disney focused episodes of cooking shows, animal shows, and lifestyle shows too. 

A screenshot from Unwrapped: Disney…ahhhh the nostalgia… 🙂

I will continue to update this article as more Disney themed episodes are added to Discovery+ over time. Pleaseeeee Discovery can we get the Samantha Brown Disney Hotels episodes?!?!? In the meantime, keep reading for the full list of what Disney TV episodes you can watch right now on Discovery Plus. And save this post for reference in the future when you need your Disney TV fix! 

Quick List of All Discovery Plus TV Shows with Episodes Featuring Disney Theme Parks and Resorts

  • Unwrapped: Season 4, Episode 20
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Alive with Magic: One time special
  • Gardening by the Yard: Season 4, Episode 7
  • OutDaughtered: Season 5, Episode 7
  • Cake Boss: Season 2, Episode 8
  • Cake Boss: Season 101, Episode 3
  • Dinner: Impossible: Season 4, Episode 1
  • Challenge: Disney Dream Desserts: Season 2, Episode 7
  • Challenge: Villain Cakes: Season 5, Episode 1
  • Challenge: Princess Cakes: Season 5, Episode 4
  • Challenge: Star Wars Cakes: Season 13, Episode 2

Keep reading for a brief synopsis of each episode below, and get an idea of what to expect when you watch!

Discovery Plus Shows About the Disney Theme Parks and Disney Cruise Line

These episodes of Discovery+ TV shows focus on the Walt Disney World Theme Parks and are currently available for streaming:  

Unwrapped: Season 4, Episode 20

Unwrapped: Disney: Season 4, Episode 20

This episode aired in 2005 and follows the host on “a food lovers tour” throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks. And shares a behind the scenes look at some of the most iconic Disney foods, like the infamous turkey legs, and the Mickey ice cream bars. This one is a feel-good, fun, nostalgic watch providing a glimpse of the parks from the early 2000s. 

I know for many Disney fans (myself included), when visiting Walt Disney World, the food is a big part of what we look forward to. So watching this episode of Unwrapped on Discovery Plus always puts me in a good mood, reminiscing about my favorite theme park treats. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Alive with Magic: One Time Special

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Alive with Magic Special

This is a one-time special that aired on Discovery Channel in 2017 that gives a behind the scenes look at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, and showcases some of the animal trainers who work there. This special shows off some of the most popular animals at the park, like tigers, and baby elephants. And also features some insightful interviews with Cast Members who work at Animal Kingdom. And even an interview with Joe Rhode, the famous Imagineer who designed Disney’s Animal Kingdom, among many other Disney attractions. 

Gardening by the Yard: Season 4, Episode 7

Gardening by the Yard: Disney’s Teaching Garden: Season 4, Episode 7

In this episode, master gardener and TV host Paul James visits Walt Disney World in order to help share tips on how to manage pests, grow warm tropical plants at home, and large scale hydroponics. Several Walt Disney World Cast Members appear on this episode sharing behind the scenes details on their gardening and landscaping practices. Disney fans who wonder why there’s practically no mosquitoes in Walt Disney World (based in a swamp state) get their answers in this episode available now on Discovery Plus. 

OutDaughtered: Season 5, Episode 7

OutDaughtered: Quints on the High Seas: Season 5, Episode 7

Of all the Disney themed Discovery+ episodes on this list, this one is the longest at 85 minutes total run time. The episode follows the Busby family (with quintuplets!!) as they take a Disney cruise aboard the Disney Dream. The actual cruise portion of the episode starts about 33 minutes into it. 

So you get about an hour of footage of the family on the cruise. It’s fun to get a glimpse of the cruise ship itself, and the onboard activities. But I would argue that it is also fun to watch the family struggle with wrangling their excited bunch of children (it’s more fun when they aren’t yours)!

Discovery Plus TV Shows Featuring Cooking at Walt Disney World

These episodes of several Discovery+ cooking shows actually take place in the Disney theme parks. They are filmed and cooked in the kitchens at Walt Disney World, and feature clips of the parks as well. 

Cake Boss: Season 2, Episode 8

Cake Boss: Castles and Cannolis: Season 2, Episode 8

Cake Boss is one of the more well-known Discovery+ series that have filmed at Walt Disney World. In this episode, head chef Buddy Valastro and his team are invited to Walt Disney World to help serve cannolis at the Food and Wine Festival. And you also get a glimpse of the family enjoying the attractions at the parks as well.

Besides the episode of Unwrapped that I mentioned first in this article, this episode is definitely my second choice for what to watch on Discovery Plus when I’m in a Disney mood. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Buddy Valastro in a Mickey ears hat?

Cake Boss: Season 101, Episode 3

Cake Boss: Cake Block and Cruise: Season 101, Episode 3

In this extended episode of Cake Boss, head chef Buddy Valastro and his family set sail on a Disney cruise to celebrate and renew their wedding vows. The episode starts with Buddy as he tries to make the wedding cake that his wife Lisa always wanted. And then follows the family on their Disney cruise as they try to avoid rain storms ruining their plans, and get ready to celebrate together. 

Dinner: Impossible: Season 4, Episode 1

Dinner: Impossible: Disney Dinner Dash: Season 4, Episode 1

This series is basically a game show mixed with a cooking competition hosted by experienced chef, Robert, who must help execute, prepare and serve a very large meal. In this Disney themed episode, the host has to cook a meal for 350 guests, 100 of which are Disney Dreamers (a program supporting high school students). But before cooking the meal, the host must complete a scavenger hunt throughout all four Walt Disney World theme parks for clues that will help him prepare the meal.

Although, there are not a ton of in-park segments in this episode. In fact, most of this episode consists of chefs cooking in one of Disney’s on-site kitchens. So keep that in mind if you’re looking for something more theme park oriented.

Challenge: Multiple Episodes Available

The Challenge cooking competition series featured several baking competitions held at Walt Disney World. The competitions are filmed, and cooked, in onsite kitchen studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. These four episodes are currently available for streaming on Discovery+ now:

Challenge: Disney Dream Desserts: Season 2, Episode 7

Several young pastry chefs compete for a chance to win a scholarship and internship in culinary arts at the Walt Disney World Resort. 

Challenge: Villain Cakes: Season 5, Episode 1

Four teams of pastry chefs design and bake large, intricately themed cakes representing various Disney villains. The teams compete for the best cake based on design, taste, and execution.

Challenge: Princess Cakes: Season 5, Episode 4

Just like the Villain Cakes episode, four teams compete in a baking competition at Walt Disney World for the best Princess themed cake. 

Challenge: Star Wars Cakes: Season 13, Episode 2

Again in this episode, four teams compete to make the best Star Wars themed cake which is then presented at the grand re-opening of the newly designed Star Tours attraction at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Have You Watched These Disney Episodes on Discovery Plus?

Relaxing while watching a nostalgia inducing episode covering the Disney theme parks is a great way to enjoy some Disney magic at home. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve watched any of these episodes on Discovery+ yet. And let us know which one’s you’re hoping get added in the future? For me, I’m impatiently waiting for Samantha Brown’s coverage of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels…

Allison Strunk

Allison is a Disney travel agent and down right obsessed Disney fan. Allison has been helping clients and strangers on the internet plan amazing Disney vacations for over five years. She has sailed on Disney Cruise Line, is a current Disneyland Annual Passholder, though she still considers Walt Disney World her "home park" and visits there often. Allison loves to talk all things Disney and help others plan trips of their own!

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