Festival of the Lion King is located in Africa at the Animal Kingdom. Become immersed in this interactive, acrobatic show based on Disney’s classic animated feature The Lion King (1994).
Opening Day: April 22, 1998
Type of Ride: Show
Age Recommendation: All ages
Duration of Ride: About 30 minutes
Typical Queue Time: None; shows start at scheduled times
Single Rider Line: No
Chicken Exit Available: No
Baby Swap Available: No
Type of Vehicle: None; guests sit in bleachers
Type of Restraint: None
Attraction Open During EMH: No. See our Extra Magic Hours page for more information.
Ride Photo Available For Purchase: No
Height Requirements: None
Flash Photography or Video Allowed: No
Shopping: African wines, art, clothing, crafts, and other assorted goods can be purchased nearby at “Mombasa Marketplace.”
Dining/Refreshment: Guests can enjoy a buffet-style breakfast, lunch, or dinner nearby at Tusker House. Here, assorted Disney characters, led by Donald Duck, interact with guests at all meals, which feature a variety of American and African dishes. Guests preferring a counter service meal can enjoy African-style chicken, sausage, ribs, and the like at Harambe Market.
Restroom: Restrooms are situated to the left of the theater entrance.
Smoking Location: Smoking is permitted in designated smoking areas only. Disney parks are smoke free.
Did you know?
- Festival of the Lion King is presented as a tribal celebration related to The Lion King, not as a play retelling the plot of the movie. Amidst excellent lighting effects, singing; dancing; stilt-walking; and acrobatic endeavors by energetic, costumed performers dominate the show. Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa are included as large puppets, controlled by covert cast members.
- Festival of the Lion King is hosted by Kiume (Swahili for “masculine and strong”), Nakawa (Swahili for “good-looking”), Kibibi (Swahili for “princess”), and Zawadi (Swahili for “the gift”). The hosts interact with audience members.
- At Festival of the Lion King, guests sit in bleachers surrounding a central staging area. The bleachers are divided into four sections: elephants, giraffes, lions, and warthogs. The audience members are encouraged to make the noises associated with the respective animals.
- A group called the “Tumble Monkeys” performs wonders on a trampoline, a trapeze, and monkey bars.
- Songs featured in Festival of the Lion King include “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” “Hakuna Matata,” “Tumble Monkeys,” “Be Prepared,” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
- The floats for Festival of the Lion King were originally utilized in “The Lion King Celebration,” a parade that ran at Disneyland from 1994 to 1997.
- Festival of the Lion King debuted with Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 22, 1998. The show, from opening day until January 5, 2014, was housed in the park’s former “Camp Minnie-Mickey” section, which is being transformed into Pandora—The World of Avatar, slated to open in 2017. Festival of the Lion King commenced performances in its current theater in the Animal Kingdom’s Africa section on June 1, 2014.
- Festival of the Lion King and Camp Minnie-Mickey were conceived as temporary stopgaps until construction began on the park’s intended but eventually-cancelled “Beastly Kingdom” area, which was to be themed around mythical creatures. Festival of the Lion King proved so popular with guests that it was retained as a permanent attraction.
- The original Festival of the Lion King theater was enclosed in 2003. The venue had previously been exposed to the elements.
- Festival of the Lion King was Walt Disney World’s third Lion King-based attraction, after the now-defunct “The Legend of the Lion King” show at the Magic Kingdom and “Circle of Life” environmental film at Epcot.
- A slightly-altered version of Festival of the Lion King opened with Hong Kong Disneyland on September 12, 2005.
Top 5 Tips for Festival of the Lion King
- Be prepared for an immersive performance. If you are seeking a relaxing show, Festival of the Lion King is not it.
- Sit in the front rows if you are especially eager to participate. The hosts directly interact with some guests.
- Consider watching The Lion King prior to your visit such as to better appreciate this attraction.
- Be prepared to have catchy music linger in your head after the show ends.