Rumor: Modified Version of Festival Of The Lion King To Return March 2021

We are hearing rumors that a fan favorite could be returning to Disney’s Animal Kingdom just in time for the spring break crowds. Festival of the Lion King has often been rated the number one show in Walt Disney World for years. However, it has not reopened at Walt Disney World since the pandemic began.

Copyright: Walt Disney World

Currently, the need to expand park capacity under the limited restraints Disney has currently set at 35% remain difficult. Aside from adding capacity to attractions while still social distancing (thanks plexiglass!), the next logical step is to start bringing back shows to Walt Disney World.

However, Disney limits seating in their theater to shows to every other row and then still allowing space between groups. Thus, most theater capacity remains at around 25% of what they can normally hold. In some situations where there are no Cast Members that are paid to perform (Enchanted Tiki Room/Carousel of Progress) those shows were brought back immediately. However, some shows like Feathered Friends in Flight, which was modified to include no Equity Entertainment employees also opened in the summer of 2020.

Photo: WDWMagic

Now it seems Festival of the Lion King might open in March 2021 if our sources are correct. Yet again, no Equity Cast Members will be used in this modified version of the show. Which is the majority of singers, dancers and acrobats. Rather, the script will be changed and most likely the show will be a sing-a-long style that will feature music from The Lion King film. They still could make use of the floats and costumed characters that normally populate the theater as well.

Festival of the Lion King, the popular, high-energy live musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom combines music, puppetry and pageantry inspired by Disney’s animated film classic, “The Lion King.” Performed inside the Harambe Theatre, this Broadway-style show is an exciting retelling of the film and immerses the audience in theatrics and classic songs. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Ryan Wendler, photographer)

Again, nothing is official until Disney says so. We will keep track of this as developments come out. Meanwhile, what are your thoughts? Are you glad the theater is reopening? Or would you rather wait to see the full Festival of the Lion King show return in the future?

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