The full-blown version of “The Festival of the Lion King,” a fan favorite, is returning to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in July, complete with tumble monkeys, the company says.
The stage show, which incorporates music from “The Lion King” movie, live performances and other acts in the round, will be at the theme park’s Harambe Theater staring July 16.
The musical was closed along with the rest of Walt Disney World in March 2020 as a pandemic precaution. It returned in an abbreviated form called “A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King” with a thinned cast in May 2021.
This July’s return will include the popular acrobatic act that’s featured in an “Hakuna Matata” segment and an aerial, bird-inspired performance, both of which were in the original production.
“The tumble monkeys will be up to their acrobatic hijinks again,” according to posts on official Walt Disney World social media accounts.
Neither “Lion King” show will be produced July 5-15 in preparation for the transition, according to Disney World’s website.
The show opened with the park in the Camp Minnie-Mickey area. In 2014, it shifted to a new theater in the Africa section of the theme park.
Disney has slowly rolled out live entertainment options at the resort after reopening the parks in the summer of 2021. Animal Kingdom will be home to “Finding New: The Big Blue … and Beyond,” a replacement for its previous “Nemo” show, and “Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue” will return to Fort Wilderness on June 23.
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