Disney Creates New Home For “Festival of the Lion King”

Filed under: Disney's Animal Kingdom |

Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World has officially announced the popular “Festival of the Lion King” show at Animal Kingdom will be moved sometime in 2014 from its current location in Camp Minnie-Mickey to a new theater located to the west of Harambe Village in the “Africa” section of the park, behind the Tusker House Restaurant.

The move is becoming necessary as Disney is building Avatar Land. Construction has already started and is expected to last between 3 to 5 years as the new area is expected to span several acres that will feature multiple rides and attractions. Exact details of the attractions have not yet been announced but James Cameron, the designer, producer, writer and editor of the Avatar movie, confirmed that a flying attraction featuring “3-D projections and creature designs that were cut from the original film” are a concept on the drawing board for the area.

The “Festival of the Lion King” has been one of the most popular attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom ever since the park opened in 1998. If you’ve not seen the show yet, it’s simply a “must do” when visiting the park.  The extremely popular 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. Guests sit in four sections, each designated with an animal name: Warthog, Elephant, Giraffe and Lion. The animals are represented by large puppets on four parade-style floats, and 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”).

There is no word if the show will undergo any downtime during the move.

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