Festival of the Lion King (FoTLK)is a main stay show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World. It consistently receives the highest ratings in guest feedback, so that when Disney decided they want to build “Pandora – The World of Avatar” in Camp Minnie-Mickey, the original home to FoTLK, Disney built the show an nearly identical theater in the Africa themed area of the park to move it.
Known as FOLK to the cast members who have danced and puppeteered their way Festival of the Lion King. Once you’ve been a part of the show you’re considered part of the FOLK family.
The former performers have been missing the show as much as the fans and recently united virtually to create a mega mix video recreating the finale number complete with choreography and improvised costumes.
This video includes peformances filmed in homes and locations all over the world by current and former cast members of the Festival of The Lion King show and was edited together by Billy Brath and
Oh my. I feel all the emotion of that finale swelling back up. Thank you to all the performers in the FOLK family who came together to give us this gift. Nice touch with the original logo for Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the end too.
Stay safe and Hakuna Matata everyone!
Festival of The Lion King Fun Facts:
Did you know that the four floats and seven puppets that sit in the corner of the theatre and are home to Giraffes, Elephant, Pumbaa, and Simba, started their lives as actual parade floats in Disneyland’s “The Lion King Celebration” parade.
Hundreds of cast members have performed in the show over the years. Some have gone on to have successful careers in stage musicals. Trevor Dion Nicholas, who played The Genie in the London West End production of Disney’s Aladdin the musical is a former FoTLK performer.
For becoming one of the highest rated Disney attractions ever, the show was never intended to be permanent. The area it was built in was intended to be temporary and then become a “Beastly Kingdom” themed land. The show itself was put together relatively late in the development of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
There are over 136 costumes used in the show.
The story of the show is that the audience is being entertained by traveling performers who visit new lands to celebrate the reign of King Simba through song, dance, and with colorful costumes.