You already know that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is so much more than just a place to “see the animals.” It’s a beautiful theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida that thousands of animals call home, but it’s also a place to delve deeper into your understanding of what’s involved in the daily care and keeping of these animals. Animal Kingdom is a theme park full of interactive attractions for all ages, thrilling rides and some of the best live entertainment at Disney World. One of the most popular shows in the parks is The Festival of the Lion King, performed as a tribal celebration-style show inside the Harambe Theater in the Africa section of the park. It’s quite a show! If you haven’t enjoyed it yet, be sure to do so on your next visit to Animal Kingdom. Here are 8 things you’ll love about it.
8. It makes use of a variety of performers.
During the Festival of the Lion King, many different types of performers are used. Some are fire-twirlers. Others are acrobats. Still others are stilt-walkers. And that doesn’t even include the puppeteers, dancers and singers! There’s truly something for every taste in this amazing stage show!
7. The original music is showcased in the stage show.
The soundtrack from the 1994 feature film, which included music by award-winning artist Elton John and award-winning composer Tim Rice, was fabulous when you first heard it in the theater. The writers for the Festival of the Lion King chose to include some of the same music in the stage show. Disney fans love that because it means they have no trouble singing along! Some familiar songs include “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” “Hakuna Matata,” “Be Prepared” (Scar’s song), “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and more.
6. It’s better than Broadway!
This fascinating stage show has a Broadway-style quality to it, as well as the quality of a Disney production, which makes it—especially to Disney fanatics—even better than a Broadway musical! And the best part is that this amazing show is included with your valid Animal Kingdom park admission, and no separate fee is required!
5. Guests become animals!
The audience is divided into four different sections—each one representing an African animal; you’ll get to play the role of a giraffe, warthog, lion or elephant! Be ready to make animal sounds when your section is called on! It’s a fun way to interact with the performers and be a part of the show.
4. See an aerial aviary.
Well, maybe it’s not an aviary, but you will see a performance in the air by two performers in costumes made to represent birds found in Africa. Their dance is choreographed to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the presentation.
3. The costuming is extravagant!
There are no simple costumes used in the Festival of the Lion King stage show! Each costume is representative of the character and animal it is intended to portray. Bright, bold colors are used, as are fabrics of different kinds. Feathers, plumes and wings are also used. The costuming alone is reason enough to see this fabulous presentation! You’ll remember the elaborate costumes long after the show is over!
2. The puppetry is unlike any you’ve seen before!
Some of the puppets are as extravagant as the costumes! As with any attraction or show, Disney knows how to do it up right and do it up well, and this show is no exception. Some of the puppets are enormous, which contributes to the lure of this stage show and to the excitement Guests feel when they experience it.
1. All the characters are here!
No one gets left out in this retelling of the story of Simba gaining his rightful place as king. Simba is joined by Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Scar, Mufasa and others who come together to bring his story to life on the stage. Thanks to stellar performances, elaborate costuming and beautiful choreography and music, there’s no mistaking who’s who in this fun family experience!