Don’t forget the Fastpass! The Festival of the Lion King

don't forget the fastpass blog series

I’m starting another series for you guys. This one is about attractions that you MUST visit while at Disney World. This series will only include attractions which can be booked in advance, or ‘Fastpassed.’ Why is this important? It gives you an advantage in planning your vacation to include the best attractions possible. It also makes great use of your precious vacation time. Let me whet your tastebuds with a little FIRE! Now, read on for more! the festival of the lion king, fire baton

The Attraction

This is a show that occurs continuously through the day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It occupies its own dedicated theater within the country of Africa.

The show is very unique in that is a variety show which is based on the music/plot of The Lion King. The seater has bleachers which provide seating for all guests. It is a very entertaining and relaxing experience.

The show features professional singers, tumblers, dancers, and variety acts. It is quite impressive if I don’t say so myself. It is very cheerful and the singers/performers are interactive with the audience. You leave here feeling not only entertained but refreshed.

Who can watch?

This attraction is appropriate for all ages. There are some dark lights and ominous music, but it’s usually something even toddlers are fine with.

Why Fastpass?

This attraction can get crowded, FAST! A fastpass pretty much guarantees you a place to sit for this attraction. Without a fastpass, you would need to show up at least 30 minutes early and perhaps more on busy days.

When should I schedule it?

If you have a choice of times, I’d pick some time during the very hot part of the day (12:00 PM – 4:00 PM). This is air conditioned and very comfortable. It’s a nice break from the heat. It is near tusker house, so it would also be convenient after a meal there. It is also close to Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Tell me about the show!

circle of life

The show starts with all four singers greeting you. These guys have amazing voices and really hold your attention. Notice the costumes are African themed. There is one of each vocal type: tenor, baritone, soprano and alto. These guys can SING!


This shows you a good view of the theater, the seating, and the position of the singers with each seating section. The auditorium is round and there are four sections of bleachers. Each singer interacts directly with their section.

the festival of the lion king, tumble monkeys

Here comes the fun part……all the animals come their appropriate section on huge floats. They take up residence there for the remainder of the show. There are the following sections: Giraffe, Lion, warthog, and elephant. Each section is asked to imitate the sound of their animal mascot at certain points in the show. The emcee of the show is introduced here – none other than Timon.

the festival of the lion king, Simba

Pictured above is one of those floats I mentioned earlier. This is the Lion float and of course, that lion is Simba. This animatronic Simba does talk during the show. Thanks Matthew Broderick!

the festival of the lion king, tumble monkeys

Here’s the fun part, and probably my favorite act……….TUMBLEMONKEYS! These are acrobatic performers which are nick-named ‘tumble monkeys’ as they tumble and appear to look like monkeys. These guys are impressive. They flip, jump, trapeze, and literally fly from place to place on the stage. They are absolutely adorable and awe-inspiring. The stuff they do will amaze you.

the festival of the lion king, tumble monkeys

More tumble monkey antics. i actually caught these guys mid-air. Isn’t it super cool?

the festival of the lion king, fire baton

Now the show transitions to an ominous tone as ‘Be Prepared’ is perfumed. A Polynesian fire dance comes out to impress you with his skills with flame. This is also pretty awesome. I love seeing this guy do the amazing things he does. He also comes out at the end of the show (during the finale) to juggle knife batons.

the festival of the lion king, fire baton


the festival of the lion king, ballet dancers

At this point, the excitement dies down a bit; now it’s time for things to get romantic. The male and female singer perform a duet of ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight,’ while we watch ballet dancers perform a perfectly choreographed routine. These aren’t any ordinary dancers. These guys do plenty of lifts, contortions, and arial stunts. It’s pretty amazing. It’s also beautiful.

the festival of the lion king, arial performance

Remember those arial tricks? Yeah, I captured one mid air. Spinning away, this girl amazes me.

Final Note – What NOT to Fastpass

If you are having a hard time deciding what to give up in order to see this. Here are some suggestions of things to NOT fastpass and pick this instead…..

  • A Bug’s Life – there is NEVER any line for this, do not fastpass it.
  • Finding Nemo: The theater for this is HUGE, so you can usually skip the fastpass
  • Kali River Rapids on a cool day: The line for this is about 5 minutes unless it’s hot. However, it’s hot about 90% of the time in florida. I like to wait until the end of the day for this ride regardless, so I’d recommend a late fastpass or skip it. The ride will literally give you a shower from head to toe.
So, was all this enough to make you want to see the show? Think you’ll make it a priority?


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