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Attraction Guide – Festival of the Lion King
Based in the Camp Minnie-Mickey area of Animal Kingdom, the Festival of the Lion King is a show themed around the characters from the Lion King films. This is not simply a re-telling of the Lion King story; however, it is more of a musical revue featuring well known songs from the film and also other songs that fit in with the theme.
Set in its own purpose built theatre; you are ushered in and directed to one of four seating areas around a central performance area. The seating is just on metal bleachers, so it is far from luxurious, however once the show starts you soon forget all about that!
This colourful extravaganza begins with four travelling musicians coming out and taking charge of a different area of bleachers. Each area is given a different animal name, there are warthog, elephant, giraffe and lion to choose from – and you don’t get to choose! Once each section has been designated to help you get into the mood, each area has to make appropriate animal noises for their section.
Then the show starts in earnest. The theatre becomes filled with different performers and there are also large puppets for some of the animal characters for each of the sections. Simba takes pride of place . . . on Pride Rock! These puppets are quite amazing to watch and to really set the show going Timon and Pumbaa play host throughout the attraction. While Pumbaa is one of the large scale corner puppets (remember one of the areas was warthog, after all), Timon is much more mobile.
In the centre of the stage a multi-function platform is slid out and locked into place. This platform then transforms throughout the show to allow the various different performers to go through their routines. There are fire dancers and rope gymnasts who perform amazingly, but I think a definite favourite of the audience is a troupe of acrobats called the Tumble Monkeys. Using the central stage as a trampoline these acrobats spin, bounce and tumble in remarkable fashion. They use trapezes for some of their different antics and Timon gets dragged into the act as well.
The show builds to a climax of singing and dancing with the room filled with a great number of performers on the most wonderful and vibrant of costumes, all depicting the various animals of the African plains. There are quite amazing stilt walkers who move, dance and spin along with all of the other dancers and for the finale, children from the crowd can also join the performers as well.
The Festival of the Lion King is definitely an upbeat and fun show and not just a re-telling of the story from the film. Recommended for all of the family and well worth the time.
Location – Animal Kingdom, Camp Minnie-Mickey
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