Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Written by
Published: March 1, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Theme Park Insider readers have voted Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom as the third seed in the Best Live Show bracket of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament.

Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Unlike many other theme park shows based upon animated films, Festival of the Lion King doesn't retell the story of the 1994 Disney hit "The Lion King." Instead this show is, well, a festival, a musical review of songs from the movie, accompanied by acrobats, puppets, animatronics and even a slew of kids plucked from the audience.

Playing at nearly 30 minutes, the show takes place in a massive covered arena, with the audience divided into four sections, surrounding moving set pieces that play in the middle of the arena. Simba, the Lion King, watches from one perch, as dozens of performers swarm into and out of the arena in waves.

More than a decade after its debut, Festival of the Lion King remains one of the more popular attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom, drawing large crowds and long queues during most of the year. That popularity has propelled Festival of the Lion King to a high seed in this year's tournament, but can it push the show to a tournament title?

We'll find out when voting begins in two weeks. Until then, please share your thoughts about the show, in the comments.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on March 1, 2010 at 2:16 PM
This is #3?????? What could be better???

This is, hands down, my most favorite theme park show ever!

There is music, dancing, acrobatics, and the best singing!

From Manny Barron on March 1, 2010 at 3:10 PM
Festival of the Lion King is awesome. The Lion King film has some of the best music ever in a movie and this show definitely plays to that strength. It appears my top 2 favorite shows will be the top 2 seeds. The only reason Lion King isn't better than those shows is because it lacks much of a story but the acrobats are wonderful, though.
From Sylvain Comeau on March 1, 2010 at 3:39 PM
This is my second favorite theme park live show (Aladdin at DCA is the best). Probably the best show in Orlando, even though it recycles some parade floats. It's actually a nice change to see a show without a storyline, just lots of joyful music, color, dancing and acrobatics.
From James Rao on March 1, 2010 at 5:00 PM
FotLK is an acrobatic delight! Truly one of the highlights of this beautiful theme park (pretending that Chester & Hester's DinoAbomination does not exist, of course).
From Joshua Counsil on March 1, 2010 at 5:01 PM
Still great, and what keeps it great is its seamless progression between scenes. The whole package just fits together very satisfyingly and never lags, which is a problem with many Disney live shows (particularly stunt shows).

9-Outstanding, but not the best theme park live show out there.

From Tim W on March 1, 2010 at 6:32 PM
My favorite show of them all. Hope this wins in the bracket!!
From Lindsay Murray on March 1, 2010 at 6:56 PM
I love this show! I really enjoy the idea of it being a festival and think that the whole thing just translates very well. This show also features some of the best vocal performances you'll hear at WDW. It's basically just a big celebration of everything we love about The Lion king and really makes the audience feel like a part of the action.
From Anthony Murphy on March 1, 2010 at 8:55 PM
It is almost worth the theme park ticket to see this!


BTW, great video of this show! I wish the singing was a little bit better, but very clear video! You can also sorta see the animated head of Timon who actually "sings" and blinks. A definate plus for Disney Imagineering and this show!

Versions of this show is at HKDL and DLP. I have seen the one at DLP and it pretty much just the singing, not the acrobatics and it was just as breathtaking. There is just something about the music of the Lion King that is spectacular, especially with strong vocals.

I also believe it is one of the saviors of the terrible and rocky opening that AK had in 1998. Now if they can only get more confortable seats........

From Ryan Sanford on March 2, 2010 at 4:47 AM
how is the broadway version compared to this?
From 76.172.237.107 on March 2, 2010 at 1:14 PM
I firmly believe The Festival of the Lion King deserves the win at least in this category. I saw it for the first time this past summer, and it was the best surprise of the trip. I appreciated that it did not attempt to simply retell the Lion King story. I have the Broadway play and movie on DVD to do that. This show is fun, technically impressive, and just the right blend of original material with familiar background.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Is Singapore a realistic vacation destination for Americans?



How to save money on a Disney World trip

Saving money at Disney World

Insider's Pick: You can afford that Walt Disney World family vacation of your dreams. Get started with 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World, a great guide to planning an affordable trip to the Vacation Capital of the World. Why wait? The sooner you start saving, the sooner you and your family will be enjoying your vacation!

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks