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Festival of the Lion King


Festival of the Lion King is a half-hour theatrical show featuring acrobats, dance, puppetry, stilt-walkers, and song with audience participation. This high-energy, feel-good performance is a huge crowd favorite and is usually packed full, at least during regular park hours.


The floats in this show originally appeared in the Lion King Celebration parade that ran from July 1, 1994 through June 1, 1997 in Disneyland.

According to legend, the Festival of the Lion King was meant to be a temporary filler for the quickly-developed Camp Minnie-Mickey, providing something to pull guests into that corner of the park during its early operating days. However, the show became such a huge success that it is hard to imagine it will be replaced any time soon.

The cast of this show performs annually as part of the Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade on ABC.


Festival of the Lion King is one of the can't miss attractions at the Animal Kingdom. All of the major songs from the movie are included - Circle of Life, Just Can't Wait to be King, Hakunah Matata, Be Prepared, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, and even The Lion Sleeps Tonight (which Timon is humming right before Nala attacks Pumba in the movie). No Morning Report, but then that song just wouldn't translate to the stage.

The acrobatics and flame-baton-twirling are exciting to watch. These are clearly talented performers who are auditioned carefully, not just cast members who can keep a beat.


Touring Tips

  • If you enter early enough, go across the central stage area and sit in the Lion section off to the right. You don't want to end up in the Elephant section (too hard to make the animal noise loud enough) or the Warthog section (need we explain?). If you arrive late, you will be funneled through the emergency exit into the Giraffe section. In case you're wondering, a giraffe bleats like a sheep. You really want to be in the Lion section.
  • A seat in the front row or two will give you the chance to be selected to lead your section in the animal call. The Warthog section always is represented by an adult male (the alto makes a flirtatious comment to increase the embarrassment), while kids are always chosen for Lion (usually a boy) and Giraffe (usually a girl). The Elephant section could be either adult or child, boy or girl.
  • A seat on the aisle near the front (within six rows) gives you the chance to interact with a tumble monkey, either doing the hand jive or getting a quick grooming.
  • Sign language interpreters are available at select showings (sometimes only once a week) - check the Times Guide for details. You have to sit in the Warthog section to see the interpreter. What's the sign for snort?

Hidden Treasures

  • Watch the tumble monkeys carefully. In addition to being highly skilled gymnasts, they are also frequently good comic actors. They improvise a lot, both with Timon and with the audience. If you're sitting on the aisle (see Touring Tips) you may get an interactive experience, especially if you happen to be a young child.


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