Friends have been “gently encouraging” us for quite a while to go see the Festival of the Lion King at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. After many delays, we finally got the chance to see it, and we are very sorry we didn’t make it a priority earlier!
The story of this theatrical production is not how a young lion can’t wait to be king, but instead is about a festival that takes place after Simba has been crowned king of Pride Rock. He is joined by Timon, Pumba and their other friends from the African Savanna in the celebration. It combines a multitude of human actors, actors in costume, acrobats, fire dancers, flying performers as well as animatronics all singing and telling the story within the celebration.
This 30 minute production is all one would expect from a Disney experience. It is full of color, fire, music and audience participation.
Guests are expected to provide some sound effects of various animals which adds to the storyline; even lucky young ones are selected to help lead the other viewers.
Acrobatic acts play a large part of the story and the “Tumble Monkeys” are absolutely fascinating to watch. They bounce around on trampolines performing their acrobatics on rings and bars, and eventually climb onto a trapeze, performing feats one would expect from the best circuses.
Dancers dressed as birds also perform flying feats over the stage, and a fire dancer amazes the audience with his carefully choreographed act.
The show is conducted in the round so there are no bad seats or angles. It is performed several times per day so be sure to fit it into your schedule. Fast passes are recommended, but may not be necessary if you show up early for the standby line as there is ample seating. Animal Kingdom is also the hottest of the parks, so this is a great way to cool off in the afternoon heat!