Festival of the Lion King Show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


One of the best theme park shows at Walt Disney World is the Festival of the Lion King.  Located in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this 30 minute show was inspired by the storyline from the movie, The Lion King.

There are a number of characters that are featured in the show including Simba, Timon and Pumbaa along with a number of live performers that fill the entire theatre.  The performance includes stiltwalkers, acrobats, dancers and even a fire thrower.  But the best part is the music which includes a number of songs from the movie like “Hakuna Matata”, Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and the “Circle of Life”.

Guests are seating in four sections that surround the “stage”.  With a little help by the a few of the performers, each section of the audience becomes part of the show, imitating one of each of the four animals in the show.  These include a lion, a warthog, an elephant and a giraffe.

The Festival of the Lion King show is located in the Harambe Theatre along the Discovery River, just past the Tusker House Restaurant. Typically there are multiple shows every day starting at 10:00 AM and running every two hours until the last show at 5:00 PM.

Make sure to check the Disney World app for showtimes on the day of your visit.

The fully air-conditioned indoor theatre seats approximately 1,500 guests in four sections of bleacher type seating that surrounds the center stage.  Handicap accessible seating is available along the front row of each of the seats so guests can remain in a wheelchair / ECV or other device.

While there are no bad seats, we highly recommend to get to in the queue at least 30 minutes for showtime to ensure you get the upcoming show.  If we can’t get the first row in our section, the Endless Summer family likes sitting up higher to get a better perspective of the show.

Individual Lighting Lanes are available and can be accessed through the Disney Genie system.

This larger than life show started back in 1998 was originally located in Camp Minnie-Mickey.  In 2014 the theater was relocated to its current location in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom to make room for Pandora – The World of Avatar.  

The show is performance for kids of all ages but strollers are not permitted in the theater.  Young children that are not familiar with the movie will still enjoy the show due to it’s theatrics including the act by the acrobatic monkeys as well as the fire twirler / dancer. 

Both acts add a bit of excitement and “thrills” to the show.

In addition to all the live performers, there are four audio-animatronic characters (including Simba and Pumbaa) that are part of the show.  These huge characters speak and are an amazing part of the show.

The Festival of the Lion King is truly of the “must see” shows for guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  It is among the best live stage performances at Walt Disney World and an enjoy show for all to see.

While we like to see this show in the afternoon as a break from the Florida heat, which showtime to choose depends on what is your preference of attractions as well as the crowd levels on the day of your visit. 

Where to stay when visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom

While there are no hotels within walking distance to Animal Kingdom like at the other three Disney World theme parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (and the DVC Animal Kingdom Villas) is the closest hotel to the park and one of the best resorts at Walt Disney World.

Originally built in 2001, this 1,307 room resort is a “Deluxe Resort” and one of the most uniquely themed on-site hotels at Walt Disney World.  What makes this resort unique is that is features three savannas that are home to more than 200 live animals, birds and reptiles of African origin.  Many of the rooms have direct views so guests can see a giraffe right from their patio.

In addition to the savannas, the resorts amenities are extensive and include two resort style pools, numerous organized activities, a full service finesses center, complimentary resort wide transportation and a number of great food & beverage options.

Since Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the “Deluxe Resorts”, hotel prices are among the highest of any at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Typically, nightly rates range from around than $350 per night to more than $1,000 per night depending on the time of year and the room type.

Click here to see a tour of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1998 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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