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‘Festival of the Lion King’ Cast Get a First Look at the New Harambe Theatre

posted on May 8th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Harambe Theatre is nearing completion in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When it opens in June, the theater will be the new home for the immensely popular show, “Festival of the Lion King.” We tagged along recently, as the cast of “Festival of the Lion King” got a first look at their new theater, both onstage and backstage.

The cast is busy rehearsing in the Harambe Theatre now, getting everything ready for the triumphant return of this thrilling, musical extravaganza in just a few weeks!

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Kim on May 8th, 2014 at 10:45 am

I recognize some of the performers! Can’t wait to see this again! This might be our favorite show in WDW, but it is so hard to pick just one.


Melanie on May 8th, 2014 at 10:59 am

“Be prepared for SENSATIONAL news! A shining new era is tip-toeing nearer…”

Since the day Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened, the Festival of the Lion King show has been the highlight of many a day spent in the park. It couldn’t be placed in a better home within Africa. The King has returned. :)


Shawn Slater on May 8th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Melanie – I like what you did with the lyrics there! Very clever. :-)


Karen on May 8th, 2014 at 11:09 am

Is this located behind Tusker House? Can’t wait to see this show again!


Laura on May 8th, 2014 at 11:44 am

Can’t wait for this to come back! Have the performers been doing other (different) shows in the parks in the interim?


Shawn Slater on May 8th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Laura – Yes, many of our Cast Members have been performing across Walt Disney World Resort over the past few months and are now excited to be “home” at “Festival of the Lion King.”


Meredith from MA on May 8th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

“Harambe Nights” here we come! So excited to experience this new event at Animal Kingdom and see the theatre during our WDW vacation in June!


Shawn Slater on May 8th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Meredith – Be sure to visit Harambe Theatre during the day, as well as during the Harambe Nights event. The two shows are completely different theatrical experiences!


Tim on May 8th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Where did they fit the theater in Harambe? Hope it will be open the first week of June when I’m there.


Traci from PA on May 8th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Can’t wait until January to see this– I missed being able to see it this year!


Eric from MA on May 8th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Yes, where IS that big theater? Behind the background wall?


Shawn Slater on May 8th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Karen, Tim, & Eric – The Harambe Theatre is located along the waterfront, to the west of Tusker House Restaurant and the Dawa Bar. When it opens next month, it will reveal a whole other section of the village of Harambe!


Nancy on May 8th, 2014 at 4:30 pm

How do you get into the Festival of the Lion King? Is it a ticketed event or fast pass?


Shawn Slater on May 9th, 2014 at 7:14 am

Nancy – “Festival of the Lion King” is available with general admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom during regular operating hours. Once the show reopens in June, Disney Fastpass+ service will be available.


Mike on May 8th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

In looking at the video, the theatre looks to be very similar to the old digs. What kind of changes occurred in creating the new location?


Shawn Slater on May 9th, 2014 at 7:25 am

Mike – The biggest changes have taken place backstage and on the exterior, where the incredible detail work of the Imagineering team make the theater look right at home in the African town of Harambe. Inside, the show has been refurbished and received some technology upgrades, but will still be the “Festival of the Lion King” we’ve all come to love.


Megan on May 8th, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Oh my goodness so EXCITING!! The Festival of the Lion King is such an incredible show, we missed it on our last trip and i just can’t WAIT to get back!!!!


Eric from MA on May 9th, 2014 at 1:47 am

Nancy – Festival is the free show that used to be at Camp Minnie-Mickey before being relocated, and FP’s usually aren’t necessary.
Harambe Nights is the ticketed event.


Rebecca on May 9th, 2014 at 8:30 am

YAY! With all the NEW changes coming to “The World” it’s comforting to see the refreshing and renewing of a long-time favorite. Welcome home, everyone…can’t wait to see the new place!


melissa on May 14th, 2014 at 11:55 am

i cannot wait to see this next time i am back in Jan 2016 – it was closed for remodeling when i was there this past Jan. i hear it is a spectacular show.


Joachim from ON on May 20th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

So anyone knows when will the Lion King be available to the public?


jacqueline on May 30th, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Lion King and its entire cast are the best in all of Disney World! I am sooo excited to see them all again and want them to know how much they were missed! I’m glad to see the new theater looks alot like the original, loved that theater!! Back to my giraffe section :)


Erin on June 3rd, 2014 at 1:26 pm

How many people can fit in the theatre?