There are two things in Disney World that make me tear up/cry every single time...Wishes Fireworks in the Magic Kingdom and Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The fireworks I get, the music is emotional and moving and the whole experience is quite visceral. Why the Lion King makes me cry, I have no clue, it just does! Those two things are also where I take the most pictures, my camera pretty much stays in burst mode and I just keep firing. It's always a pain to go through several thousand shots just to get the good ones (because I have issues with getting rid of any of them), but it has always been worth it.
I haven't been there since their new theater was built, so this review will be based on the old theater that was at Camp Minnie-Mickey (which has now been demolished to make way for Avatarland...don't get me started). It belonged in the Africa section anyway, so it's better suited to its new location. But, before I start with the actual show's pictures, let me first do a moratorium to my favorite statues anywhere on Disney property. I do hope, after the Avatar crap comes (can you tell I'm excited for it?), they find a home elsewhere in the park because they are sorely missed already. Most people never even noticed they were there, but it definitely proves my point that it's worth looking all around you!
But anyway, FOTLK (our acronym for the day) used to be located in Camp Minnie-Mickey as I've said:
and the queue area used to be a gigantic cluster fudge pie because literally thousands of people are crowded together like sardines for up to 30 minutes. It's a big panic moment for me and I have had to leave the line more than once when I go by myself. I just can't take the crowds. Agoraphobia and Social Anxiety Disorder tend to create a very claustrophobic reaction. But, once we're inside, all is right with the world again.
While you wait for the show to start, there is quite a bit of audience participation (which I also hate). You are divided into four sections (the lion section, the warthog section, the elephant section, and the giraffe section). We seem to always get stuck in the giraffe section for some reason and I never get good shots of Timon, the so-called master of ceremonies. They also pull individuals from the crowd (usually children) and get them to lead the animal noise-off (I have no other clue how to describe it). Here are the giraffes (we managed NOT to get in that section last year) showing us their best giraffe interpretations. Do you know what sound a giraffe makes? I do!
But finally, "it...is...time" and the performers all start to come out and the singing begins!
And the stage fills quite quickly:
The Tumble Monkeys are a fan favorite, but the dust they produce will cause your pictures from that point on to be filled with dust particles either that, or that place is REALLY haunted and they are orbs (but it's not, trust me, I'd know). You've got a flamethrower that does his thing during the "Be Prepared" rendition.
My favorite part is the "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" section with the flying "birds" (and considering I hate birds, they are just big bugs to me, it's weird that's my favorite part):
Everyone comes back out and you get a medley of all the Lion King songs, including a foot stomping version of "Circle of Life":
I do spend a lot of time trying to get good pictures of Timon (he's one of my top 10 Disney characters), but I rarely get lucky enough for him to look my way:
But I love Timon having his "crush" moment:
Then you have the big finale and that's when the tears start pooling:
I absolutely LOVE this show! We've only ever missed it once, and I've regretted it ever since. With the wait time and show time combined, it's just not feasible to see it twice, especially since Animal Kingdom is only an 8a-5p park, but I could easily sit through it twice! And hey, considering I have pictures (and video) from every single second of this show, I did pretty good on not bombarding you with pictures this time, huh!