A Look at Festival of the Lion King

Fesitval of the Lion King - Photographic Review

I have a confession.  Currently my favorite Disney Park is the Animal Kingdom.  I know many people disagree with me.  They think it is boring, needs more rides and only a half day park.

To me it is a world of enchantment.  I LOVE the immersive theming and I could spend hours exploring, taking photos and see all of the fantastic shows.

I have already shared with you my love of The Flights of Wonder Show and Finding Nemo.  So let us move onto Festival of the Lion King.  This one is my absolute favorite.

The New Festival of the Lion King in Africa

The New Festival of the Lion King in Africa

This 20 minute show recently changed venues and moved from Camp Minnie Mickey (soon to be Avatarland) to it’s new home in Africa.

Fesitval of the Lion King - The Theater

As you enter the building you will be directed to one of four seating areas.  Soon the lights dim and your four hosts arrive.




Introductions

Each host will head to one of the four sections to introduce themselves and the animal you (yes, you) will represent.

Fesitval of the Lion King - The Hosts of the Festival

Our hosts Kibibi, Nakawa, Kiume and Zawadi

Kibibi

This is the younger women.  Her name means “princess” and she perfectly portrays this role as she teaches her group to make the sound of the giraffe.  Hint: they make a bleating sound like a sheep.

Nakawa

This is the younger gentleman.  His name means “good-looking”.   He says it a bit egotistical and the other hosts will get a dig in.  His group is the Lion.  So this group gets to put up their claws (hands) and ROAR!

Kiume

This is the older gentleman.  His name means “masculine and strong”.  Just the site of him makes that point.  His group is the mighty pachyderm (elephant).  Get ready to make elephant noises if you are in his section.

Zawadi

This is the remaining women.  Her name means “the gift” and her voice is AMAZING.  Her group is the wart hog.  (I think Pumba has something to do with this).  So she will have you

If you are lucky enough to be seated on the front row you may get pulled up to help your section host lead the group in making the sound of their animal.

You too May Get to Make the Sound of a Warthog

You too May Get to Make the Sound of a Warthog

The Festival Appears

Once the introduction and animal noise education is complete out come all of the other entertainers and the floats that represent each section.

Fesitval of the Lion King - Giraffe Float

Fesitval of the Lion King - Pumba Warthog Float

Fesitval of the Lion King - Elephant Float

Fesitval of the Lion King - Simaba Lion Float



The Show

The festival is kicked off with Timon leading a group of tumbling monkeys on a rendition of Hakuna Matata.  They fly through the air and make you want to join in on the swing.

Fesitval of the Lion King - The Monkey with Timon sing Hakuna Matata

The Monkeys Fly Through the Air with Hakuna Matata

Soon the lights dim and the monkeys are scared off by a very stern looking Kiume.

Fesitval of the Lion King - Timon and Monkeys Scared of by Scar

Kiume takes on the role of Scar and sings Be Prepared.  The highlight of this song is the polynesian fire dancer.  He sets the stage a blaze and you are entranced as this dark song continues.

Fesitval of the Lion King - Scar Be Prepared Fire Dancer

Be Prepared is accented by some wonderful Fire

Fesitval of the Lion King - Scar Be Prepared Fire Dancer

As the smoke clears you hear the familiar tune of Can You Fill The Love Tonight and two dancers come in dressed as birds. Kibibi and Nakawa bring the song to life with their wonderful voices.

Fesitval of the Lion King - Can you Feel the Love Tonight Birds

You are drawn into the romance of the song and as it crescendos the female birds takes flight.  This is my favorite part of the show!

Fesitval of the Lion King - Can You Feel The Love Tonight Birds Flying

Love Birds fly through the year with Can You Feel the Love Tonight



The Finale

After the song many of the dancers come out as Zawadi sings Circle of Life.  Let me tell you she is fantastic!! You can definitely tell her voice is the star of the show.

festival of the lion king-20

The Queen of the show thrills you with Circle of Life

It is now time for the finale and that includes you!  Get ready to play your part in a wonderful rendition of Lion Sleeps Tonight led by Simon.

Fesitval of the Lion King - The Lion Sleeps Tonight with Timon and Monkeys

Jump in with Timon as he leads The Lion Sleeps Tonight

During this time children are brought out to be part of the show and dance around the stage.

Fesitval of the Lion King - Finale Parade with Children

Your Kids May even get to join in

This show really takes me back to when I saw the move as a kid and my kids love it just as much today.

And by the way the theater is air conditioned so it is also a great reprieve from the midday heat

So next time you are in the Animal Kingdom stop and take in the Festival.  You’ll thank me.

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