Disney parks are known for their live entertainment and incredible stage shows. The Magic Kingdom has some classics like The Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland.
There are also newer offerings like the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
EPCOT’s World Showcase has Circle-Vision theaters in the China and Canada Pavilions that host shows highlighting the culture and geography of these countries.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios houses the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular which is one of my husband’s favorite shows.
However, you may be surprised to learn that some of the best shows in all of the Walt Disney World Resort are performed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
In fact, there’s a brand new version of the popular Finding Nemo show that opened recently in the theater on the side of the park between DinoLand, U.S.A. and Asia. It’s called Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… And Beyond!
- Is the Lion King Show still at Animal Kingdom?
- Where in Animal Kingdom is the Festival of the Lion King?
- How long is the Disney Lion King show?
- What times are the Lion King shows at Animal Kingdom?
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What is the Festival of the Lion King?
The Festival of the Lion King show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most spectacular shows in all of the Disney parks.
This popular show is inspired by Disney’s award-winning 1994 film “The Lion King.” Certainly, fans of “The Lion King” Broadway musical will appreciate the show’s elements like large puppets, animal floats, incredible stilt walkers and iconic music.
The live Broadway-style show has been a popular attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park since it opened in 1998.
It features favorite characters from the classic movie like Timon, Pumba and Simba. There are also aerial dancers and colossal puppets all set to soaring music and the sounds of the African Savanna.
Before the show begins, guests are seated in one of four sections of the theater. One of four animal inhabitants of the pride lands is assigned to each of the sections: Warthogs, elephants, lions and giraffes. Audience participation is encouraged throughout the show.
A cast member leads each section by teaching the animal noises and accompanying gestures. Guests can sing along with the familiar tunes and are periodically invited to make the animal noise that corresponds to their assigned section.
The Festival of the Lion King showcases a wide variety of performing arts. Highlights of the show include iconic songs like “Circle of Life” and the upbeat “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party.”
The acrobatic hijinks of the popular tumble monkeys are a particular fan favorite among adults and small children alike. Elegant bird dancers perform a romantic aerial act to Elton John’s beautiful ballad “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”
Is the Lion King Show still at Animal Kingdom?
Yes, the Festival of the Lion King is still happening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When it first opened in 1998, it was in an area of the park known as Camp Minnie Mickey. In addition to the Festival of the Lion King show, Camp Minnie Mickey hosted several character Meet & Greet locations.
The show went on a brief hiatus back in 2014 during the construction of the Pandora expansion. During this time, upgrades were made to the 1,450-seat amphitheater, which was rebranded as Harambe Theater upon reopening.
In July 2020, the Walt Disney World Resort began its phased reopening following an extended closure in response to global shutdowns. Live stage shows like Festival of the Lion King did not reopen immediately.
Beginning in May 2021, the show reopened with a modified format. This version of the show allowed for appropriate physical distancing and was called A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King. The full Festival of the Lion King show finally returned in July 2022.
Where in Animal Kingdom is the Festival of the Lion King?
Harambe Theater hosts the Festival of the Lion King. It is located in the Africa section of the park. If you’re heading from the park entrance, take a left at the Tree of Life.
You’ll pass Creature Comforts on your left, then cross over the bridge from Discovery Island into Africa. Make a left at Dawa Bar and you’ll see the signs for the show immediately ahead.
If you’re entering Africa from the Asia section of the park, continue straight past Tamu Tamu Refreshments on your right and Mahindi on your left near the bridge to Discovery Island.
If you’re heading to the show after riding Kilimanjaro Safaris, follow the signs toward Discovery Island/Pandora. Make a right after passing Tusker House Restaurant and you’ll see the signs for The Festival of the Lion King.
If you’ve spent a great deal of time at Animal Kingdom, you’ll be familiar with a walkway that connects Pandora: the World of Avatar to the Africa area of the park.
The Harambe Theater is located near the beginning of this walkway. If you’re heading to Africa from Pandora, the theater will be on your left.
How long is the Disney Lion King show?
The show runs for approximately 30 minutes. Cast members begin seating guests in the air-conditioned amphitheater approximately 20 minutes before each show is scheduled to begin.
Late arrivals will not be permitted to enter after the start of the show, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. If you have a stroller, you’ll need to leave it in the stroller parking area outside the theater.
Guests with accessibility needs can be seated in the front row if needed. Just ask a cast member for assistance. You also have the option to reserve a time for the show using Disney’s Disability Access Service.
If you’re not familiar with this program, you can find out more or register at guest services. Assistive Listening Devices are also available through this program.
What times are the Lion King shows at Animal Kingdom?
Right now, the Festival of the Lion King shows are running every hour between 10 am and 5 pm. However, Disney entertainment schedules are subject to change depending on park hours and crowd levels.
It’s best to verify times in the My Disney Experience App as your Disney vacation approaches. You can also pick up a paper times guide near the park entrance when you arrive.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to see The Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I highly recommend it. It’s a crowd pleaser for guests of all ages, especially for fans of “The Lion King.”
Have you seen the Festival of the Lion King? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.