Festival of the Lion King
I have loved this show from the first time I saw it. The wide variety of performance types, the absolutely stunning costumes, and the wonderful theater-in-the-round venue really come together masterfully to create a show that is spellbinding and fun. When the COVID shutdown happened, this was my first concern. I knew all of the live entertainment was going to have to go dark, of course, but I couldn't help but prioritize my worries on Festival. When they announced, in the summer of 2021, that it was coming back, I breathed a massive sigh of relief. This truly unique show is such an iconic part of Disney's Animal Kingdom, to lose it would be a massive blow to the distinct personality of that park.
To be sure, the whole show isn't back yet. The tumble-monkeys are still MIA, and the bird ballet portion is still without the beautiful aerial portion. Likewise, the audience participation has understandably changed in nature. In the era of COVID, it's hard to imagine a less hygenic activity than a whole audience section making the elephant trumpeting sound all over one another! Since the cast demonstrating the hand-jive to everyone also had a good bit of personal contact, that's also been removed, so if you don't already know how to do it from either seeing Festival before COVID or having seen Grease, then you may be a little lost. But the rest of the show is still vibrant and fun and the beginning of the show ('BAAAAAAAAA!...") still gives me chills to this day. Enjoy these photos of my absolute favorite show on property!