ICYMI: All the Details From ‘A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King’ Reopening
We’re having a ROARSOME day over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where ‘A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King’ has officially reopening! MickeyBlog has been there since park opening to bring you all of the exciting details!
Showtimes beginning today (May 8th) are at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 pm. Cast members told us that this will be the schedule going forward.
We were so excited to attend the 12:30 performance and managed to catch some awesome photos of the cast members getting ready!
We enjoyed watching the character cavalcades as we waited. Here’s a big wave from Mickey & Pluto!
When we arrived this morning cast members were just getting the queues ready with social distancing markers and hand sanitizers.
For those planning on visiting in the future, we were told that there is a limit of ONLY 4 people per marker.
Above is an awesome video from our dedicated MickeyBloggers Greg and Elyssa when they arrived on the scene this morning.
When we first popped in line it took a while for other guests to join us.
But the longer we waited the more the crowds started to fill up.
Before long the line was stretching past Tusker House.
More cast members arrived on the scene to add finishing touches to the queue!
Here comes cast member Dustin with some signage!
Cast Member Mike is putting it in place at the front of the queue!
The signage notifies guests that all party members must be together when entering the queue.
Because of new social distancing requirements, guests must now notify cast members if you plan on leaving the queue.
As we reported earlier, the capacity at the theater has been reduced from 1200 to 400 to maintain safe social distancing.
Before heading into the theater we had time to meet and thank the awesome cast members for their hard work this morning!
Above are cast members Jordan and Hillary giving us an excited thumbs up!
And another thumbs up from Cast Member Dustin!
Here are a couple more pictures of the happy Cast Members!
And here’s something we haven’t seen for a while- the end of the line sign for Festival of the Lion King!
With the queue getting pretty long once word was out about the soft opening, these cast members had to get right to work organizing the crowd!
We’re always in awe of all the teamwork required to make special days like this happen and how hard Cast Members are working behind the scenes!
Check out this awesome video of Greg and Elyssa ready to head into the theater.
The doors have opened and we’re ready to go inside…
It was so nice to see the inside of this theater again – it’s one of our favorites!
Just some last minute crowd control…
We got another quick thumbs up from a cast member and then it was time to head inside!
Once inside, guests are advised to sit in every other row.
There were plenty of cast members on hand to make sure the social distancing was maintained.
As you can see all the bleachers which normally made up the first two rows of the theater have been removed.
Audience participation including the parade have put on hold to maintain Disney World’s health and safety requirements.
Groups are separated on the bleachers using these safety markers.
Below you can get a first look at the layout.
These bleacher markers are an affective way of keeping groups separate during the show.
Here are some images from the slightly scaled back but utterly fantastic performance!
We have to say that Disney did a fantastic job at keeping a lot of those elements that we love about the show.
The stunning animal floats were back!
Plus the Broadway-caliber performances!
We are always simply blown away by the costumes.
There were a few elements that were noticeably different. The monkey acrobats are currently on hiatus.
Instead we have some reptilian friends integrated into the show.
As we also mentioned, the aerial bird scene during “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” has been removed due to social distancing restrictions.
However, the performers still perform the number.
Yet now its more of delicate ballet.
But we still loved it.
Don’t they look fantastic in their beautiful plumage!
Above you can see the whole stunning cast assembled.
Rousing numbers like “Circle of Life” absolutely made us emotional!
And the cast did an incredible job of engaging the audience from a distance.
It is 100% still a visual spectacle and definitely worth adding to your must-do-list.
It is still our favorite stage show at Disney and the changes made are minimal.
Here is Timon out to celebrate the show’s return!
He looks as happy as we feel!
The stilt walkers are back which made us super happy.
You can also see Pumbaa below taking part in the fun!
One of the things I certainly wanted to know is if the fire-dancer would be back!
As you can see from these images the answer is a resounding yes!
This portion of the show is as spectacular as ever.
We were certainly on the edge of our seat!
We are so glad that Disney was able to bring back these talented performers.
Just look at how in awe the audience is!
Scar’s musical number is one of the more sinister moments of the show.
But everything is joyous in the end.
We love the image below of the entire cast in action!
And the show also marked the return of animatronic Simba.
Just take in the incredible set!
And the exquisite costumes.
The floats were able to be incorporated more into the staging of the show which was a welcome change!
Below you can see both Timon and Pumbaa!
It was so nice to be back at Festival of the Lion King.
The staging and the performance was top-notch.
And though Disney regulars may miss a few of the elements that are on hiatus, it is still one incredible performance.
Below is a video we took of today’s 12:30 performance- Enjoy!
Readers are encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog for further Walt Disney World news and updates!
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