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Inside the Ride

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The new Harambe Theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom ® opened its doors a little over a month ago and already guests are flooding the theater to see the revamped production, Festival of the Lion King. If you haven’t yet made your way over to the Africa area of Animal Kingdom ® you might want to do so before August 9.

Prior to closing in January, Festival of the Lion King called a theater in Camp Minnie Mickey home, but due to the Avatar-themed land coming to Animal Kingdom ®, that area of the park was cleared out to accommodate the new project and Festival of the Lion King was in need of a new home. Harambe Theatre quickly began construction and while Disney ® built the theatre they also decided to incorporate a few changes to the popular production.

The show itself about the story of Simba and his journey to become King of Pride Rock hasn’t really changed much. Audiences will still enjoy moments from the classic Disney film, “The Lion King” along with Disney’s ® own unique additions like puppetry but there are a few new things for guests to sing “Hakuna Matata” too. With glorious new floats and even more dazzling elements, the new Festival of the Lion King feels fresh, vibrant and even fuller of animal pride than before. The colossal puppets, dancers, stilt walkers and acrobats are mesmerizing and will lure you in regardless of how many times you saw the show before.

In addition to the new imagery, Festival of the Lion King has also added a celebrity narrator backed by a live orchestra that helps the cast of singers and dancers recreate the drama of an African story circle. The celebrity narrators have been lighting up the production since June and there are only two narrators left including:• Brian Stokes Mitchell — August 2, 2014• Patina Miller — August 9, 2014

But the new changes don’t stop at the show and theatre, Disney ® is also offering a new nighttime street party called Harambe Nights. Here guests are able to enjoy African-inspired food, drink and entertainment both before and after the show. It all begins with a welcome reception in Animal Kingdom’s ® Harambe Village where guests are able to enjoy delicious appetizers, a specialty cocktail and a selection of beer and wines. Then, after The Festival of the Lion King you are invited back to Harambe Village for an after-party with even more African food, Afro-pop, performers and more.

The first-ever Harambe Nights will welcome guests every Saturday now through August 9.

To see the new The Festival of the Lion King in its new home and for a chance to celebrate the theatrical production in Harambe Nights look for discounted Walt Disney World ® tickets right here on Orlando Fun Tickets.