PHOTOS and VIDEO - Take a walkthrough of the new Harambe Theatre area at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Jun 02, 2014 in "Festival of the Lion King"

Posted: Monday June 2, 2014 6:43am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney's Animal Kingdom opened a significant expansion to the land of Africa yesterday, with the creation of an all new 'Harambe Theatre' district.

Following the river around Discovery Island, the new area is wonderfully authentic, and appears as a seamless addition to the original Harambe.

Just like the original land, all the details are here that really transport you to somewhere else, once again showing just how good Joe Rohde and his team are at creating these environments. Those who were expecting just a small walkway to a new theatre will be impressed with how extensive this new area is.

The new Harambe Theatre, home to Festival of the Lion King is the centerpiece of this area, which is now a much more impressive venue since its move from Camp Minnie Mickey. The theater has a large standby line, with most of it covered.

The FastPass+ line is all covered, and includes some great details as you pass through the queue.

The new Harambe also includes a large restroom building, and a Lion King merchandise kiosk. Important for parents, is a very nice stroller parking area tucked off to the side of the theatre. There is some great wall art in this area - so keep a look out.

Besides the great views of the river and the new area itself, another great benefit of the expansion is that it now provides views of the rear of Tusker House, which was always so well done, but rarely seen.

Not only does the new area provide a much more fitting home for the Festival of the Lion King show, it provides much more walkway space in Africa and should go some way to removing some of the congestion in that crowded area of the park. In the future, it will also provide a link to the AVATAR land.

The new expansion to Africa is located immediately to the left when entering Africa, and is accessed along the side of the Dawa Bar.

To give you a better idea of how the area is laid out, we have a full video walkthrough of the area, along with an extensive photo gallery which you can see here.

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Next Big ThingJun 07, 2014

A lot more than most on here tend to think

doctornickJun 07, 2014

Well, sure, if they want to relocate a massive amount of backstage support -- and redirect a major access road -- which will probably require new development on current swamp land then, yes, there's plenty of room. More realistically, there's a relatively small amount of expansion space in the current footprint that could fit a small land. Honestly, they could do a scaled down version of Beastly Kingdom in that area, with maybe the proposed Fantasia Gardens ride plus the Unicorn hedge maze if they really wanted to without major building relocation.

Timothy_QJun 07, 2014

Actually, there's tons of space. Blue for Pandora. Pink for 3rd continent. Orange for another land (with some infrastructure rearranging of course) It even has it's own bridge connecting do DI, unlike the expansion plot between Africa and Asia

jt04Jun 07, 2014

My guess is it is only half of what it will be as of today. Especially if it turns out some were wrong about a greatly scaled back Pandora. A full scale Pandora would increase the park by at least 20 or 25% with plenty of expansion space. I predict a 2 day park for the average guest by 2021. IMO.

marni1971Jun 07, 2014

A bit late.

jt04Jun 07, 2014

Not in that quadrant of the park. But there is plenty of room elsewhere for an entire land. Room for expansion near Everest and the ability to reimagine and expand Dinoland. It seems that park is just getting started.

doctornickJun 07, 2014

There will not be a lot of room in the area once Pandora is completed. They could probably fit in a smallish land with a few dark rides or flat rides (somewhat larger if they redirected the access road or some backstage buildings), but not anything as substantial as Beastly Kingdomme was originally planned.

WDWLover#1Jun 07, 2014

I hint sarcasm in his post

DinoInstituteJun 07, 2014

There isn't room

jdmdisney99Jun 07, 2014

They should put Beastly Kingdom between Africa and Pandora.

DinoInstituteJun 07, 2014

I agree. I know there is no plan, but I can almost guarantee that by 2021 there will be something there...

doctornickJun 07, 2014

Room? Yes. Plan? Not at this point. But it would be nice if they added something between the theater itself and the new bathrooms.

Cesar R MJun 07, 2014

I agree. Even if locals wanted to do the "one day on weekend". Dont they have Florida discounts too?

Mouse_TrapJun 07, 2014

But who actually pays $100 a day? I would imagine only a tiny percentage of guests. The absolute vast majority are going to buy a multi-day pass.