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Festival of The Lion King Making Way for Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I feel just a little possessive of Festival Of The Lion King, after all they’re using our floats. Yes, those floats from the greatest Disneyland Parade, The Lion King Celebration, are the stages the puppets sit on in FotLK. I can still remember the final day of the parade at Disneyland and am happy that I can now visit those floats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom whenever I want. But there’s a new rumor going around saying that circumstances could change.

The Festival Of The Lion King show has been the subject of relocation rumors practically since it opened in Camp Minnie Mickey instead of Africa, where it would seem to make more thematic sense. Elevation balloons were recently spotted over that section of the park. And while no ground has been broken, it was confirmed those balloons were some early planning for Avatar-land. With Avatar-land inching closer to reality, it looks like Camp Minnie Mickey is the likely candidate for Avatar.

I’m hearing from multiple sources that FotLK will soon be closing to prepare that land for the expansion. It has been assumed that the show would be moved to a location in Africa when that happened. However, no structure is currently being constructed. There could be a number of reasons for this. Disney could be planning to completely retool the show, they could plan to relocate the existing structure, or it could just be dancing away forever.

Disney has not yet announced the next refurb for FotLK, but my sources say it’s coming soon. I hope they’re wrong and that Disney would be building a new home for FotLK before closing it down to be moved. Since FotLK is the highest rated show at DAK, you would think they would do everything they could to keep some version of it running even during construction.

Just for old times sake, there’s a full video of the show below the jump:

27 thoughts on “Festival of The Lion King Making Way for Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom”

  1. Do a retool of the show if need be, but please don’t do away the show altogether!
    Festival of the Lion King is one of the things theat bring us back to AK time and time again – my son loves the show and it is one of the few things he will sit still long enough to watch!

  2. I had a feeling this would be the case. Something had to be collateral damage for Avatar and this just makes the most sense. I wonder if maybe Disney is going to move it to another park altogether, perhaps Shanghai?

  3. Dr. Nigel Channing

    Festival of the Lion King is one of the best shows on property.

    If I had to choose, I’d pick FotLK over Avatarland…

  4. Avatar-land I hope that isn’t what they call it. The land of Avatar is much better.
    I know Walt said he never wanted WDW to be finished, and I know some things have their time and need to make way for new things. But if they do away with Lion King to make way for Avatar (which I am thinking will be a disaster) I think they are being really short sighted.
    As annual passholders we only visit AK a few times a year. but without Lion King it will be even less. Avatar was ok but not good enough to build a new land around.
    You want something to draw crowds, build Carsland here in Fla. too. Now that is worth building.

  5. OH I hope they are moving FOTLK — Its such a wonderful show, it would be a shame to not have it there.

  6. Relocation I am fine with but don’t u dare get rid of my FotLK. It is my number one can’t miss attraction. It has the best concept, costumes, music, and performers at any disney show. It is always a treat to watch.

  7. We saw the show for the first time in October, on the recommendation of friends that work for Disney, and we LOVED it, and were looking forward to going to see it again in November. I do hope they don’t close it for good. It’s extremely entertaining and fun for everyone. The room was packed when we were there! There’s a reason for that!

  8. I don’t get it, there already are not enough attractions in Animal Kingdom to warrant a full-day visit; it simply sounds foolish to even consider dumping one of the keystone attractions that draws people to the park.

  9. Dianey is cheap. Lion King show expensive with so much cast. Their customers sheep, will come again and again despite declining product quality. They will forget FOTLK as many other attractions. Until the declining quality of parks, food quality, etc is met by declining profits (the entire reason for Disney), it will continue to decline. It’s the little things, fewer lanes open for parking, fewer turnstiles, not cleaned as much or even areas of self service restaurants closed off so everyone is crammed together to save paying a college intern minimum wage to open it up and improve the experience. Sorry, I’m a Disney fan, but the parks are managed poorly. Guest experience and safety means nothing. It’s all about pinching a penny.

  10. NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is our absolute favourite show in all of Walt Disney World! Please Disney, find a way to relocate the show, don’t remove it. Retool if you must, but this show is just too wonderful to simply be allowed as “collateral damage”.

  11. If they think they can replace something for ALL AGES with something originating from a mostly adulterated film, they’re crazy!

  12. We would be devastated if this were true! We only visit Animal Kingdom for 2 reasons: Festival of the Lion King and the Safari!! And FofLK is one of our all time favorite shows! Avatar was dumb and I personally do not see how it even fits into Disney World. I do not even see my family visiting it at all. Hope Disney makes the right decision :)

  13. D: Nooooo!! I love that show! I used to love the parade here at Disneyland when I was little, so the moment I read “Festival of the Lion King” on the Animal Kingdom map this Spring Break I dragged my family there. It was the first attraction I experienced on my first trip to Disney World.
    If anything should disappear it’s the plans for this Avatar-land nonsense >.> there are plenty of great *Disney* animal themed movies. Why not make a Lion King Land, or Rescuers Down Under?!

    1. Love the idea of a Australia themed land – A Rescuers Down Under dark ride would be so good!

      Down with AvatarLand! >:(

  14. I hope the powers that be change their mind about Festival of the Lion King. It is my favorite show in all of AK. I am not a fan of Avatar.

  15. I have friends within the cast who have been told that they are closing. no talk of relocation. sadly, they found out through an online source before they were told backstage.

  16. Well, this may very well be the reason we don’t renew our annual passes after next year. I did not see Avatar, don’t care to see it, and would not be interested in a “land” of it. There are too many good “Disney” brand characters and ideas to waste space on an outside brand. I don’t like where the company is going, losing it’s high standard of quality entertainment. I understand it’s a business, but they need to consider how and why they were so successful before–because people were willing to pay for that quality. Now, the prices keep going up, but the quality isn’t there anymore.

  17. Pingback: Festival of the Lion King Relocation Plans Revealed | The Disney Blog

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