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Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Area Camp Minnie Mickey (1998-2014)
Africa (2014-present)
Status Operating
Opening date April 22, 1998 (Camp Minnie-Mickey)
June 1, 2014 (Africa)
Closing date January 5, 2014 (Camp Minnie-Mickey)
Hong Kong Disneyland
Area Adventureland
Status Operating
Opening date September 12, 2005
General statistics
Attraction type Musical
Theme The Lion King

Festival of the Lion King, an original interpretation of the Disney animated film The Lion King, is a live stage musical performed in Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida and in Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland. The show uses songs, dance, puppetry and visual effects to portray a tribal celebration in an African savanna setting filled with lions, elephants, giraffes, birds, zebras and gazelles. In this theater environment, Festival of the Lion King is a traveling celebration presented by Simba and his friends (including a band of four human singers). The show is in the form of a revue, and not a condensed version of either the film or Broadway show. The show features Elton John and Tim Rice's award-winning music from the movie.

Disney's Animal Kingdom version

An actress in the Warthog section of the performance at the Animal Kingdom.

The show is presented inside an enclosed theater in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guests sit in four sections, each designated with an animal name: Warthog, Elephant, Giraffe and Lion. These animals are represented by large puppets on four parade-style floats, which were originally built for Disneyland's The Lion King Celebration parade. Guests are asked to make a noise corresponding to their animal at certain times during the show and children are sometimes pulled out of the audience to dance.The show is hosted by four performers dressed in costumes inspired by traditional African dress. Each has a Swahili name: Kiume (meaning "masculine and strong"), Nakawa (meaning "good-looking"), Kibibi (meaning "princess"), and Zawadi (meaning "the gift").

The story of the movie is not followed, being replaced instead with a circus style show featuring music from the films. Acts include acrobatic 'Tumble Monkeys', an Adagio (acrobatics) featuring performers dressed as birds Maji and Moto (Swahili for water and fire), a fire knife hyena, and an ensemble cast of dancers, puppeteers, and stilt walkers. The cast also performs annually for the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade which is filmed at the Magic Kingdom and is broadcast on Christmas Day on ABC.


A new themed land called Avatar Land (based on James Cameron's Avatar (2009 film) and its upcoming sequels) is replacing the Camp Minnie-Mickey area of the park. Camp Minnie-Mickey closed permanently on January 5th, 2014 so that construction could begin on Avatar Land. Due to the popularity of Festival of the Lion King, The fact that the Festival of the Lion King show has been a staple of Disney’s Animal Kingdom since it opened in 1998 and Disney has no plans of closing it any time soon. The show went into hiatus so that Imagineers could build a new theater called the Harambe Theater in an unused area in the Africa section of the park (right behind the Tusker House Restaurant). After a year of construction the show's new theater was completed in May 2014. The show reopened on June 1st, 2014 in its newly built Africa location.

Hong Kong Disneyland version

Musical at Hong Kong Disneyland

The show is featured in the "Theater in the Wild" in Adventureland. Similar to the theater setting in Disney's Animal Kingdom, guests sit in four different sections, each with an animal name: Warthog, Elephant, Giraffe and Lion. The show in Hong Kong has been arranged to a simplified version of the story of The Lion King along with the songs in the movie. The performance is mainly in English, but two actors dressed as monkeys summarize and translate Rafiki's lines into Cantonese in order to accommodate guests who do not speak English. Simplified Chinese subtitles, for Mainland Chinese visitors, are also projected onto the screens above each seating section. The show is presented to Simba by Rafiki (portrayed by a female actress, as in the Broadway musical) as a re-telling of Simba's life. Simba is represented by a large, elaborate puppet on a parade-style float decorated as a tribal-styled Pride Rock.

In contrast to the Simba of the Animal Kingdom production the puppet in this production wears red and black tribal bracelets and has braids in his mane.


Clip from "Celebration Finale (Hakuna Matata/Can You Feel the Love Tonight/Be Prepared/I Just Can't Wait to Be King/Circle of Life)".

Problems playing this file? See .

A soundtrack CD was released in 2001, titled "Festival of The Lion King (Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World)"


  1. Circle of Life - 1:40
  2. I Just Can't Wait to Be King - 2:40
  3. Hakuna Matata - 2:04
  4. Tumble Monkeys (Sing, Sing, Sing/Playmates/Snake Charmer/Caravan/Hakuna Matata/Yes! We Have No Bananas/Hawaiian War Chant) - 3:56
  5. Be Prepared - 3:00
  6. Can You Feel the Love Tonight/Circle of Life (Medley) - 4:45
  7. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - 2:28
  8. Celebration Finale (Hakuna Matata/Can You Feel the Love Tonight/Be Prepared/I Just Can't Wait to Be King/Circle of Life) - 3:45
  9. Circle of Life (Bows) - 0:34
  10. I Just Can't Wait to Be King (Instrumental Reprise) - 2:34

See also


External links

  • Walt Disney World Resort - Festival of the Lion King
  • HKDL Festival of the Lion King full show

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