8 Totally Cool Things About The Festival Of The Lion King

The Festival of the Lion King is not always the most popular or well-known activity in Disney, but it is an amazing spectacle that truly should not be missed. With shows all throughout the day, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy it. This is a show of fun, music, magic, and love. I just love it. Here are 8 totally cool things about The Festival of the Lion King:

8. New Theatre/Section of the Park

The Festival of the Lion King used to reside in Camp Minnie Mickey, but has since moved and now calls the Harambe Village in Africa home. This part of the Park expanded to accommodate the theatre and is simply a wonderful addition to an already wonderful area. The theming for the theatre follows suit of the rest of the village, which means there is plenty of perfectly placed detail to appreciate!

7. Songs

When people think of The Lion King, often they associate it predominantly with the music. Elton John and Hans Zimmer created a masterpiece for the ages that lends itself beautifully for the Festival. All of the classics are a part of the show: “Hakuna Matata,” led by Timon and monkeys, “Be Prepared” by Scar, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” and “Circle of Life,” the last of which is performed by everyone in a celebratory finale.

6. Characters

All of your favorite Lion King characters are a part of this show too! The whole Festival is led in sorts by Timon and Pumba, although he just sits in the corner for most of it. Simba comes around, too, to check everything out and join the party! These characters make their way in as giant puppetry on floats with other animal friends. The four leads of the show are fully human, but have their own animalistic qualities!

5. Gymnastics

The gymnastics in this show are unbelievable. These are top of the line, best quality athletes. Even though these performers are fully clad in monkey costumes, nothing deters their skill. The four tumble monkeys pull out high ropes and swings and padding for below while Timon sings “Hakuna Matata.” They do flips and spins and leaps that make your heart stop. The tumble monkeys work together to put on an amazing show.

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4. Aerial Performers

The other phenomenal athletes in this show are the aerial performers. They come out for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” The couple is dressed in bird-like costumes with bright feathers and dance together like two birds gliding with perfect harmony. The man then hooks the woman and releases her high into the air as she soars through the air in stunning flight.

3. Theatrics

Much like the aerial performers, the Festival of the Lion King is chalk full of stunning theatrical elements. Every second of the 30 minute show is calculated and designed. Disney calls this one their Broadway level shows and I honestly have to agree. The Festival is bigger than life, complete with a massive company, full-length song and dance numbers, and top of the line costuming. It is truly a feast to behold.

2. Costumes

The costumes for the Festival of the Lion King are out of this world. Every character in the show is donned with color and something ornate. I love these costumes because even though they are often meant to portray animals, there is nothing cheesy about them. They are stunning and ethnically authentic. Each character has a very significant purpose in the show, which their costuming intentionally reflects.

1. Audience Participation

One of the most fun aspects of the Festival of the Lion King is the audience participation involved. The four leads enter the room and claim sections: lion, elephant, giraffe, and warthog. They then lead the audience in their respective animal sounds – giraffes apparently sound like sheep. Throughout the show, the audience is encouraged to participate as honorary animals! And, at the end of the show, the children in the audience get to join the cast for a dance. The Festival is a celebration, and by the end of it, you’ll feel celebrated too!

About Molly Elias

Molly Elias has been a dedicated Disney fan since she was 18-months old. She has grown up with and learned from Disney her whole life. As her family's main vacation spot, Disney World is a place of love and laughter and magic for her. Her family also prides themselves on their Disney Cruise Line knowledge and would rather be on the high seas with Mickey than anywhere else in the world. Molly plans to keep Disney in her life forever, while also pursuing a writing career. She recently completed a master's program in creative writing in the hopes that someday she will be able to be a writer for the Happiest Company on Earth. Molly keeps Walt's famous quote at the forefront of her life: "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."