The Festival of the Lion King is a live action show located in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The show is extremely popular, and with good reason. Combining live singing, interpretive dance, acrobatics and stunts; the show is one of the most entertaining half hours you can find at WDW. It currently ranks 5th on our Top 11 Shows At Walt Disney World list, however if you take it out the nighttime spectaculars it would be 2nd.
For this post, I am going to offer relatively little commentary. The show has little in terms of plot so I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking for the most part.
The show typically runs every hour for most of the day. While fastpass is available, I’ve never found it to be necessary. I arrived literally 1 minute prior to showtime on this day and there were still a decent amount of seats available. I actually lucked out and was seated in the dining package area (yes, this show has a dining package) since it had not filled up.
The show has 4 hosts, one for each of the seating areas. Each seating area is assigned an animal to represent. Below you can see the elephant section learning their call.
I was in the lion section for this performance so you can bet I let out my best roar! The other 2 sections are giraffe and warthog. Each section has their own accompanying parade float which is fun.
The lion section gets Simba and the Warthogs Pumbaa. The giraffes and elephants just get generic giraffes and elephants unfortunately.
The show begins with an interpretive dance of the Circle of Life opening to the film. There are lots of really cool costume designs to represent all the different animals.
Next, comes an upbeat version of “Just Can’t Wait to Be King”. This is actually where the animal floats enter, as well as Timon who is (or at least attempts to be) a sort of master of ceremonies throughout.
Timon starts to sing “Hakuna Matata”, which leads into the first big physical performance: The Tumble Monkeys.
The part doesn’t feature any music from the film, however it is thoroughly entertaining. The strength and agility on display here is incredible and it has just enough humor thrown in as well.
The fellas do their thing for a while then Timon steps in for the big finale, with the monkeys continuing their acrobatics around him.
And… big finish!
Timon wants to keep the show going so he can do his big hula number, but the monkeys pack things off an head out.
Instead, Timon runs into this guy, who I assume is supposed to be Scar.
Timon likes his hat, but its not enough to win him over. This leads to a performance of “Be Prepared”. This is the best song in The Lion King and I’ll argue with anybody to the end of time over that if needed!
More importantly, it leads to this flame twirler guy who is just flat out awesome!
I could watch this guy all day.
Just some fire on the feet… no big deal.
Luckily, all our baddies wanted was to be able to perform their musical number, as they leave immediately after. This leads to our cirque du soleil like dance number set to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.
As with all the performances in the show, the song is sung live, this time as a duet.
We then head into a reprise of “Circle of Life”, followed by a medley reprising all of the other performances from the show.
The finale also features a sing off of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, where half of the crowd sings the wimowehs and the other half handles the ee-e-e-um-um-a-wehs.
Timon agrees to sing the verses.
The show culminates in a big fun finish.
Overall, we really love this show. Its unlike anything else you will find in a theme park anywhere and is extremely entertaining throughout. Definitely not to be missed during your trip.
Let us know what you think of the Festival of the Lion King in the comments below!
Bye for now!