The Ultimate Lion King Lover’s Guide
Rafiki’s strong arms proudly displaying the King to be over the African savanna, among the cheers and triumphant hoof stamps from below, will always be as exciting cinematically as it was the day it opened. It’s been quite awhile since the The Lion King hit theaters. The circle of life has been moving us all for 25 years!
It’s not surprising that Disney is celebrating this event with the release of an all-new CGI version of the classic film, but that’s far from the only way you can celebrate your love of the Pride Lands! Disney Parks is getting in on the fun too, and you’re invited to join the party! From shows to parties for all ages, check out these must-do experiences for Lion King lovers!
Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party
Join Timon as he shows off his best dance moves on Discovery Island! This new dance party is the newest entertainment addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film! The dance party is certainly meant to be family-friendly. Both kids and adults alike should come prepared with their best rhythmic moves.
Speaking of rhythm, this dance party isn’t only fitting for jitterbugs, but for music lovers too! Unlike The Incredibles dance party at Magic Kingdom, this version features a live band…there is no canned music in Africa! The percussionists drive this rhythmic performance, and with a set consisting of classic Disney tunes, everyone’s sure to to be treated to a song they love out on the dance floor!
If you’re a fan of The Lion King, you’ll jump at any chance to see a real-life version of the king of beasts! Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite attraction in the Park not only for its 20-minute duration (the stand-by time is definitely worth it!), but because it offers us glimpses at rare African animals most of us will likely never see in their real natural habitats.
After your safari truck completes its slow-moving tour of the open savannah, the truck always goes silent. On the left, a massive rock formation appears as you round the bend. Without fail, each time I’m on the attraction my fellow riders and I fall silent when we catch a glimpse of the real-life The Lion King up on the rocks. If you’re lucky and you time it just right, hearing those lions roar is an experience like none other!
Animal Kingdom is often the Park that guests try cram into a ‘half day’. While I can completely understand why you’d only spend a half-day at Hollywood Studios right now, Animal Kingdom is in no way shape or form a half-day Park people! I could spend 3 hours exploring the details at the foot of Expedition Everest alone. If you really take your time, you’ll notice so many of the nuanced details that contribute to this Park’s incredibly immersive theming.
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is one of those experiences that’s often bypassed in favor of haste, and that is such a waste! You won’t want to miss your chance to observe Timon. The real meerkats adorably poke their heads in and out of their holes. Plus, a trip down Gorilla Falls will open your eyes to many other species showcased in the film too!
Festival of the Lion King
If you’ve seen it, you know, If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Voted ‘best show’ in all of Walt Disney World Resort for years on end, Festival of the Lion King is the ultimate stage celebration of the beloved film!
Watch as live acrobats take on the role of the tumble monkeys. They’ll swing on trapezes and bounce on trampolines. Marvel as a fire dancer performs in darkness. Beautifully costumed bird dancers soar high above the audience during the show’s love sequence.
The show is a non-stop live performance that plays multiple times daily at Animal Kingdom. Like I mentioned, the show is popular, and arriving early is a must if you want a guaranteed seat. The show is so popular that a brand-new theater was constructed just for the show. If you thought about skipping it in favor of going to another Park, don’t.
You will remember this epic show long after your vacation, and Lion King lovers should put this as the #1 spot on their list! Have you experienced any of these attractions or shows that celebrate The Lion King? If so, which is your favorite? Leave a comment below!
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